Tamanna Ali, Assistant Inspiring Governance Manager
Tamanna recently graduated from City University with a BA (Honours) degree in Journalism and Sociology. During and after this period, she has been a media intern for several organisations working on campaigns affecting disadvantaged groups. As someone keen to engage in community activities, Tamanna has also volunteered as a community fundraiser and taught English. Other interests include actively engaging in the creative arts social media for various culturally diverse groups.
Nick Chambers, Chief Executive
Prior to joining the Taskforce, Nick was Director of Education at Business in the Community. During this time he oversaw the production of a report on school governance with the University of Bath on behalf of the National Council of Education Excellence. The council, chaired by the Prime Minister considered how best to mobilise businesses and universities to work with schools and colleges, and to promote links between schools to contribute to raising standards and achieving educational excellence.
Between 2000 and 2006 he was Director of Development at a leading independent school in London where he was responsible with the Governors for reviewing and articulating the school’s vision as it approached its 500th anniversary and developing a strategic plan to achieve this. Nick originally studied Environmental Management and then ran his own business as well as being involved with various charities. In 1992 he obtained a PGCE and taught in an 11-16 comprehensive school and an 11-18 grammar school. In 1997 he was appointed Development Director at the state school in Lancashire where he had been teaching in – the first appointment of its kind in the UK where his responsibilities included employer engagement.
Sarah Coskeran, Relationship & Programme Manager for Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Sarah joined the Taskforce in February 2016 as Relationship Manager for Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML). Prior to joining the Taskforce, Sarah was programme manager at the Teacher Development Trust, the national charity for teachers’ professional development. In this role, Sarah managed an online marketplace of external professional development resources for schools, aiming to improve the quality of engagement between schools and external training organisations.
Having graduated with a degree in languages from Cambridge University in 2012, Sarah was previously an English language teacher at a state school in Tianjin, China.
Sarah is trustee of SoundMix, a south London charity offering musical opportunities to young unaccompanied refugees and asylum seekers; and is governor of a small primary school in Southfields, south-west London.
Sophie Greaves, Events and Campaigns Co-ordinator
Prior to joining the Taskforce, Sophie worked as a Schools Coordinator for the Challenge Network, a Youth and Community Charity promoting diversity to young people. Since graduating from De Montfort University, Leicester in 2008 with a Degree in English Literature and American Studies, Sophie spent two years teaching English in Thailand. Upon her return to the UK, she has worked as a mentor to teenagers involved in social action projects and for the travel company Flight Centre.
Oliver Hallam, Development Manager – Schools and Employers
Oli joined the Taskforce in March 2013 from Teach First. During his tenure at Teach First, Oli first completed the Leadership Development Program (LDP) teaching science in Barnsley, before moving onto the charity Teach First Graduate Recruitment department.
Oli is also a founding member of the East London Academy of Music, a free school that gained approval from the secretary of state, to open in September 2014. In collaboration with high profile organisations and individuals within the music industry the ELAM curriculum will provide students with the skills and opportunities necessary to start a successful career in the music industry.
A chemistry graduate from the University of Bath, Oli also has a passion for outdoor education having been involved in running several clubs at university, and co-running the outdoor education club at his school.
Monty Karmakharm, Schools Engagement Assistant
Prior to joining Education and Employers in March 2016, Monty was an intern for Education Development Projects Trust. Monty completed a BA in Economics for Business from Leeds Beckett University, followed by an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies. Monty has volunteered in Honduras on a conservation project and is a holder of the gold Duke of Edinburgh award.
Elnaz T. Kashefpakdel, Senior Researcher
Elnaz is a PhD graduate from University of Bath working in the area of higher education policy evaluation. She joined the Education and Employers Taskforce in 2011 as a Research Assistant and was appointed as Research Analyst from December 2013. She works for the Research and Policy team and is mainly responsible for quantitative research and runs data analysis for different projects using statistical methods. She has been involved in several publications and presented her work at the Third Taskforce Research Conference in 2014 and other seminars. Elnaz has an MSc in Management and Finance from Queen Mary University of London and BSc in Engineering from the Islamic Azad University in Tehran. She received in-depth experience in statistical analysis in social sciences within both academic and corporate environments.
Charlotte Lightman, Head of Schools
Charlotte joined the Taskforce in June 2012 as Projects Assistant. In 2013 she was promoted to the position of Schools Liaison Officer, responsible for liaison with schools nationally to assist school use of and engagement with Inspiring the Future. She acts as the first point of call for schools with queries about the service and assists schools in using Inspiring the Future to support their careers activities.
Prior to joining the Taskforce, Charlotte worked as a Campaigns Organiser for a Member of Parliament where she was responsible for local media and communications and coordinating the MP’s campaigns in the constituency. She has a degree in History and Politics from the University of Sheffield and attended Llanishen High School in Cardiff.
Dr Anthony Mann, Director of Policy and Research
Anthony trained initially as an historian, lecturing in American history before joining the civil service in 2001.
In Whitehall, he was responsible for multi-million pound policy development and delivery in higher education (DIUS/DfES), regional skills (Government Office for the North West), post-New Deal employment options (Jobcentre Plus), national e-learning strategies (on loan to the Higher Education Authority in Dublin) and, at DCSF, engaging employers in 14-19 curriculum delivery.
Joining the Taskforce at its creation, he has led its research function, chairing the Taskforce’s annual international research conference and publishing extensively on themes surrounding employer engagement in education. Publications include (with Julian Stanley and Louise Archer), the first collection of research essays on the subject: Understanding Employer Engagement in Education (Routledge, 2014) and (with Chris Percy), the first peer-reviewed analysis of adult wage premiums linked to UK school-mediated employer contacts: Employer engagement in British secondary education: wage earning outcomes experienced by young adults (March 2013).
He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Education and Work. Anthony regularly advises government and its agencies on effective approaches to employer engagement in education. He speaks regularly on the subject, addressing audiences in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Greece (CEDEFOP), Italy and the United States as well as across the UK.
He was a founder of East Sussex Credit Union and attended Longcroft Comprehensive School in Beverley, East Yorkshire and the universities of Warwick, Manchester and Keele.
Robert McKenzie, Head of Finance and Administration
Rob joined the Taskforce in January 2010 as Events & Office Administrator after working in the private and public sectors. His initial responsibilities was managing the day to day financial operations of the Taskforce, assisting with volunteer events in schools and providing general administrative support to the executive team.
In spring 2011 he was promoted to the position of Finance & Administration Manager, handling all Taskforce Human Resources matters in conjunction with his existing finance/administrative responsibilities.
Prior to working at the Taskforce, Rob was a Basic Skills teacher/mentor for ESOL students at Lambeth College and later ran a SME with his brother which provided education opportunities for teenagers in East London.
Gabriella Oakley, Head of Campaigns and Engagement
Gabriella joined the Taskforce in March 2014. Prior to this, she worked predominantly in the charity sector on projects related to corporate social responsibility, community engagement, and organisational development and learning. She has co-ordinated community consultations and stakeholder analysis for local government and public authorities. She has also led training and development programmes for organisations such as the British Overseas Network on Development, the Refugee Council and Community Links Bromley.
After graduating with a degree in English Literature from Sussex University, Gabriella went to work at the International Centre for Education and Human Development in Colombia. She has since lived and worked in South America, Spain and Germany. She has also been a facilitator with BigFoot Arts Education, providing drama and literacy training for schools across the South East.
Phil Pyatt, Director – Inspiring the Future
Phil joined the Taskforce in May 2013 after previously being Director of Engagement at Localgiving.com where he helped launch and grow the organisation to support over 3,500 local charities and community groups into becoming a multi-million pound online fundraising enterprise.
Since graduating from Southampton University with a degree in Marketing and Design, Phil has worked in interactive television at Two Way TV as well as the BBC, before moving into the voluntary sector to work on youth projects. He soon joined the charity Crimestoppers, where he was running the youth team and helped develop innovative digital solutions for the public to give anonymous information about crime. Phil has also worked at NESTA on education projects looking at innovation skills needed to meet the challenges of the future.
Adam Roberts, Office Administrator
Adam joined the Taskforce in December 2013 as their first apprentice to pursue a role offering a higher level apprenticeship. Prior to this Adam worked at Stone Lodge Group as an apprentice where he completed an NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration. Whilst working for Stone Lodge Group Adam was promoted to an Office Manager in early 2012 which involved monitoring in-house finance systems and supporting new apprentices in their job role.
Now working with the Taskforce, Adam works across the organisation providing support to Finance and HR, Inspiring the Future, Research Department and the Taskforce Director on a variety of projects and key tasks including digital technologies.
Alasdair Smith, Salesforce CRM Manager
Alasdair has been at the Taskforce since October 2012. His responsibilities include Salesforce administration, reporting and analysis for the Inspiring the Future schools digital platform as well as supporting the Business Development and Schools team; helping to recruit and mobilise engagement amongst employers and the education professionals that Inspiring the Future can serve. He previously completed an internship at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and graduated with an MA in Modern and Contemporary British History from Queen Mary, University of London.
Francesca Walsh, Assistant Schools Engagement Manager
Prior to joining Education and Employers, Francesca worked as a Schools Coordinator for The Challenge Network, a Youth and Community Charity promoting diversity to young people. Since graduating from the University of Roehampton, London, in 2014 with a first class honours degree in Spanish and Human Rights, Fran went on to volunteer abroad with the ICS programme in Bolivia and has also volunteered for education, refugee and street work charities both in the UK and abroad.
Tony Sanderson – Financial Advisor
Tony Sanderson is a Chartered Accountant and an experienced Finance Director. After an early career with a major accountancy firm he worked in a number of SME businesses in both the UK and internationally. Tony now acts as a consultant to growing businesses and charities providing financial and operational advice and support. Tony has a long standing interest in education and issues affecting young people. He joined the Charity in early 2015.
Colin Wills – Taywell Services Ltd
Colin retired from Shell in June 1999, aged 50, after 29 years with the company. In August 1999 he became the (part-time) accounts manager for Murcott (UK), a family owned business based in East Peckham and Marden, and he is still engaged in that role. Since this first client he has provided book-keeping and payroll services to upwards of some 23 small, local businesses and charities. Colin currently has 13 clients.