Toby Salt Chair of the Teaching Awards Trust

Professor Toby Salt is an experienced CEO and non- executive director. His present clients include the Ed Tech company Zen Educate and he is senior advisory director for AQA, Thomas’s Schools and Academies Enterprise Trust. He also provides coaching and mentoring for a number of CEOs in the schools sector. Until recently he was the group CEO of AQA the largest exam board in the UK. AQA also has a number commercial subsidiary companies and an international joint venture. He was previously Chief Executive of Ormiston Academies Trust, which sponsors 37 academies across England, with responsibility for 26,000 students and 3,500 staff. Prior to that, Toby was Deputy Chief Executive at the National College for School Leadership, an executive agency providing leadership development and policy advice for schools and ministers. Toby’s teams led on programmes such as teaching schools and national leaders of education. Toby has worked in a variety of education leadership roles, including as Executive Head of a federation of three schools, and has led schools (across the phases) to achieve ‘outstanding’ gradings under Ofsted. In 2000, he was appointed by the Prime Minister as Director of the Department for Education’s Innovation Unit to lead innovation in school practices and structures. He has also held a number of voluntary and non-executive director roles including appointment to the Cabinet Office Innovators’ Council and as a board member of UCAS. He is a visiting professor of education leadership at the University of Wolverhampton; a member of All Souls Group, Oxford; and a member of the Windsor Leadership Trust Chief Executives’ working group. He is a governor emeritus of Chichester FE College and trustee of Southern Pro Musica. Toby is the chair of the Teaching Awards Trust and senior adviser to the board of the British Exploring Society.

Andrew McCully OBE

Retired Civil Servant, formerly Director General for Schools at the Department for Education 

Andrew retired in 2023 after a long career at the highest levels of the civil service:  26 years as a senior civil servant in the Department for Education and its predecessors, the last 12 of which he was the Director General on the Leadership Team of the Department responsible for the school system.  His wide range of policy roles during the Labour governments 1997-2010 included the establishment of a cross-Whitehall unit for children and young people’s outcomes, responsibility for school standards, the teacher workforce agreement, and cross-Whitehall delivery programmes in support of vulnerable young people.  His leadership roles under the Coalition and Conservative governments 2010-2023 included the academies and free schools programmes, school funding reform, safeguarding in schools, the teaching workforce and school curriculum and qualifications. 

He received an OBE in 2001 for public service and was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 2019 

Corrienne Peasgood OBE

Corrienne Peasgood is President of the Association of Colleges, the national voice for England’s colleges. Corrienne took up the role in October 2022 after more than 25 years in Further Education.
Corrienne trained as a plumber after leaving school at 16 and by the age of 21, she had completed an apprenticeship and joined her family business in plumbing and heating. In 1996, the opportunity came to join City College Norwich as a sessional plumbing lecturer and over the next 15 years Corrienne moved on to become a full-time lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Director, Vice Principal, and Deputy Principal. Thus, gaining insights into the many different departments at the college. Corrienne then served as CEO and Principal at City College Norwich for a decade, before retiring in July 2022.
Corrienne was appointed an OBE in 2020 and was Vice Chair of Norfolk’s Children and Young People’s Strategic Alliance and FE Board member of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP). Corrienne is Chair of the NALEP Agri-Food Industry Council.

David Weston

David Weston is the founder and Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust, the national charity for effective professional development. He Chaired the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Professional Development Expert Group and advises the Department on Early Career Teachers and school leadership. David taught maths and physics for ten years in two schools in London and the South East. He is a Council Member and Fellow for Chartered College of Teaching. David speaks and writes frequently for the education sector and national media and has had a number of radio and TV appearances around teaching, teacher development and LGBT issues.

Jonathan Taylor-Cummings

An entrepreneur and educator at heart, Jon is passionate about building ‘bigger’ people and organisations.

Having spent much of the last 30 years in professional services, he has built his career around helping both blue-chips (Merrill Lynch & Credit Suisse) and start-ups (Redington) grow and develop their businesses around engagement, alignment and relationship development.

Today, as Co-CEO and Co-Founder of 4 Habits Consulting, Jon helps leaders and teams build ‘Relational Intelligence’ to improve wellbeing and productivity, and develop heathier, happier, more inclusive cultures.  As part of his give back, Jon co-founded Soulmates Academy Foundation to help people in schools, colleges and communities develop the skills to do relationships well, on purpose.

Together with his wife Andrea, Jon talks about the importance of proactively developing ‘The 4 Habits of ALL Successful Relationships’ in their TEDx talk and book of the same title.

Julie McCulloch

Director of Policy, Association of School and College Leaders

After an early career in educational publishing, Julie has held a number of senior roles in education policy, including as Director of UK Policy and Thought Leadership at Pearson, and Primary and Governance Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

Julie became Director of Policy at ASCL in 2017. In this role, she leads the organisation’s engagement with government and other stakeholders, and coordinates the work of a team of policy specialists. She speaks and writes regularly in the media, at conferences and on panels on a wide range of issues, and is the author of ASCL’s Blueprint for a Fairer Education System.

Julie is also a trustee of a large multi-academy trust in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. She was previously a board member of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust, a not-for-profit company which built on and embedded the work of the long-running independent inquiry into primary education.

Mandy Coalter

Mandy Coalter is the author of the successful book ‘Talent Architects; how to make your school a great place to work’, published in 2018. Previously, she was Director of People at United Learning, one of the largest school groups in the UK. Before that, Mandy worked in senior HR roles in local government, the NHS, the voluntary sector and schools and is a very experienced board director and advisor on aspects of corporate governance.

HR magazine listed Mandy in the top 40 HR Most Influential Practitioners in 2017 and she was shortlisted for the HR Excellence Awards ‘HR Director of the Year’ in 2018.

Nicole Reid

Nicole Reid is the Executive Principal of four high achieving local primary schools in Hackney, London.

Moving from Jamaica in her early twenties, Nicole has over twenty years of experience in education, working her way from class teacher to Executive Principal, spending some time at every rung of the ladder. Her passion for education as a life changing force may have been forged in Jamaica but Nicole has spent her career using it as a personal motivation to make successes out of the local schools she is responsible for, and which serve diverse communities with high proportions of disadvantaged pupils.

As well as her main Executive role she is a Local education Lead and has been coach and mentor for Heads and SLT teams within and outside of the Federation she runs. Much of her work has been involved with transforming schools identified by local and national government. She sits on the local authority Executive Headteacher Advisory Board, a vital bridge between strategic policy makers, schools and families.

With a particular passion for early language and reading for pleasure, Nicole is also the Strategic Lead for one of the thirty two English Hubs, financed by the DfE, supporting schools in the South East of England.

At the heart of Nicole’s career is the building of excellence in local education for diverse communities with a particular focus on pupils who have been impacted by poverty. Her uncompromising, hands on approach allied to a willingness to make hard decisions and a determination to hold people to account including herself and close colleagues has earnt her respect from many.

Shane Mann

Shane is the managing director of Lsect, an education publishing and events company operating across the UK. He is the publisher of the leading education news outlets Schools Week & FE Week.

He joined the organisation to launch FE Week in 2011. A dedicated newspaper for the further education and skills system in England. In 2014 he launched Schools Week, covering the education system from early years through to secondary education.

Shane is also the director of the prestigious Festival of Education at Wellington College. He became a trustee of the Teaching Awards Trust in 2020.

Dr Tesca Bennett

Dr Tesca Bennett is an Executive Principal and School Improvement Partner for the Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South and leads Haberdashers’ Knights Academy a large 11-18 school in London.

She is a Trustee of Astrea Academy Trust, chairing the Education and Inclusion Committee and sitting on the Finance and Budget Committee.  She is a Local Leader of Education, coach and facilitator for various leadership development and educational improvement programmes.

Tesca is a member of the steering committee of Reconnect London, mentor  for the charity ‘The Difference’  and a judge for the Fair Education Alliance Innovation Awards.

Tesca joined the profession through the NCSL Fast Track Teaching programme, teaching the sciences in inner London schools.  She has a strong interest in organisational culture, leadership development and is committed to social regeneration through education, particularly in disadvantaged communities.