OUR TEAM

Sarah Waite
Founder and Chief Executive

Founder, Sarah Waite, began her career teaching maths, seeing first-hand the difference that gaining GCSE maths and English can have on the opportunities that are available to young people. Sarah has also worked as a Political Advisor to the Shadow Education Secretary and as Head of Policy at the Social Mobility Commission – where she started developing the idea for Get Further, recognising that improving levels of basic skills is a key social mobility challenge for our country.

In 2018, Get Further won the Teach First Innovation Award – a nationwide competition to find the next big ideas to tackle education inequality. Sarah is a Shackleton Leader and was shortlisted for the inaugural Virago/New Statesman Women’s Prize for Politics and Economics. She has a first class degree in mathematics and was awarded a distinction for her Masters in Education.

New Hire
Programme Manager

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Advisory board

Natasha Porter
CEO, Unlocked

Natasha is the founder and Chief Executive of Unlocked Graduates – a charity that attracts high-calibre graduate talent to work in the UK prison service. Before this, Natasha was a founding teacher and Senior Leader at King Solomon Academy, leading the English department and then the upper school from pre-opening stage until their first GCSE results which were some of the best in the country. She has extensive experience in educational policy development, both at think tank Policy Exchange where she published research into post-16 English and maths, and the Department for Education. Natasha continues to be involved in setting up new schools, and is a founding governor of One Degree Academy.

Professor Martin Doel CBE
FETL Professor of Leadership in Further Education and Skills, Institute of Education (UCL)

Martin was appointed as the first FETL (Further Education Trust for Leadership) Professor of Leadership in Further Education and Skills at the Institute of Education in April 2016, after having previously been the Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC). Prior to this, Martin served for 28 years in the Royal Air Force where his final appointment was as Director of Training and Education for all three Armed Services, working in the Ministry of Defence, the largest employer of apprentices in the UK.

In April 2019, Martin was appointed Interim Chair of West Kent and Ashford College. He is also a Trustee of the Royal London Society for the Blind and of The Challenge, a social integration charity delivering the National Citizen Service. He is the independent member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Institute for Technical and Further Education and is Governor of Cambridge Regional College. In what little spare time he has left, he is a Life-Vice President of the RAF Football Association and a qualified FA Coach.

Martin was appointed OBE in 1998 for his work in support of operations in the Balkans and for his contribution to Anglo-German relations, and CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for his contribution to education.

Chris Wilson
CEO, The Brilliant Club

Dr Chris Wilson is the CEO at The Brilliant Club, an education charity committed to supporting the progression of under-represented pupils to university by mobilising the research community to work with schools. During his time at The Brilliant Club, Chris has been a PhD tutor, rolled out the charity’s provision across the UK, co-founded the teacher training programme Researchers in Schools, and launched the charity’s five-year strategy, The Path to Outcomes. Chris trained as a medieval historian at the universities of Cambridge and Exeter.

Piran Dhillon-Starkings
Head of Public Affairs, Association of Colleges

Piran leads on Parliamentary and Government relations for the Association of Colleges. Previously she worked for a Member of Parliament and former Minister. She was a campaign organiser for a political party in the General Election and prior to this worked for a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and American Literature from the University of Kent and is a college Governor. She is an assessor for The Royal Anniversary Trust Queen’s Anniversary Prize Awards for Higher and Further Education.

Maths Advisors

Naveen Rizvi
Maths Curriculum Adviser, United Learning

Naveen is a maths curriculum advisor at United Learning. She began her career teaching maths in South Manchester, completing the Teach First programme. Since then, she has taught maths at transformative schools around the country, including the Great Yarmouth Charter Academy in Norfolk, all the while developing her understanding of maths curriculum design. She consistently applies insights from cognitive science into her teaching practice and has an uncompromising belief in high expectations of what students can achieve.

Bruno Reddy
Founder, Times Table Rockstars

Bruno studied psychology at university and then followed his dream of becoming a maths teacher. At the age of 28, he and a small group of friends opened a secondary school in London which went on to become the highest performing school in England in 2016. Now he runs a successful maths app business (Times Tables Rock Stars – ttrockstars.com) and sits on expert panels at the DfE, Ofsted and the AQA exam board.

Bodil Isaksen
Programme Director, Unlocked Graduates

Bodil is Programme Director at Unlocked Graduates, a two-year graduate scheme that develops outstanding leaders in prisons to address the damage of reoffending. She was a founding teacher and the Head of Maths at Michaela Community School in Brent, where she designed and implemented a mastery-based curriculum. Bodil started her teaching career through Teach First.

English Advisors

Jo Facer
Vice Principal, The Ebbsfleet Academy

Jo Facer is an English teacher, and currently Vice Principal at a school in Kent. She is a regular speaker at national education conferences, on topics ranging from the English curriculum and pedagogy to professional development and improving teacher workload. She blogs at readingallthebooks.com – and her own book on education, Simplicity Rules, will be published by Routledge in May 2019.

Lia Martin
Head of English, Jane Austen College

Lia is an English teacher who currently co-runs an English department at Jane Austen College in Norwich. Lia began her teaching career at a secondary school in North London, after working in journalism. She writes about English teaching and school culture at Hearts and Minds, and has written for various other publications, such as the forthcoming ResearchEd book. She has given talks on English pedagogy and curriculum at national education conferences and hopes to do more of this in the future.