Who We Are

The Commission has been working since 2018. The Commission has benefited from the support and input of over 100 individuals and organisations in that time. The current members of the Commission are (in alphabetical order) –

Nick Brook

Headshot of Nick Brook

Nick is the Deputy General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT). He has previously held management roles at OFSTED, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the Home Office and the TDA (Training and Development Agency for Schools).  He holds a PGCE from the University of Sussex.

Neil Carmichael

Neil was Conservative Member of Parliament for Stroud from 2010 to 2017, during which time he held the role of Chair of the Education Select Committee, with the ability to scrutinise the Department for Education and provide oversight on behalf of Parliament. After leaving Parliament, he has been appointed honorary professor of Politics and Education at Nottingham University, and has chaired the Commission of Sustainable Learning for Work, Life and a Changing Economy.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney was formerly a physics teacher in Camden, where he joined the Camden branch of National Union of Teachers. He has over 25 years’ experience as an NUT school representative and association secretary, and became deputy General Secretary of the NUT in 2010. In July 2015 he was voted in as the General Secretary of the NUT with 70% of the vote.

Dame Judith Hackitt

Headshot of Dame Judith Hackett

Dame Judith currently has a portfolio of non-Executive roles following a long career in industry and 10 years as Chair of the Health and Safety Executive. She is Chair of MakeUK and of Enginuity and is a non-Exec Director of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and serves on the Board of HS2 Ltd. She is also an independent advisor to Government following on from her review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, following the Grenfell Tower fire.

She is a chemical engineer, a past President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a Fellow and Trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She is passionate about encouraging young people to follow careers in engineering.

Jo Owen
(Commission Chair)

Jo is co-founder of Teach First, and of Teaching Leaders, Future Leaders, Ambition School Leadership and STIR Education. He is chair of Right to Succeed and STIR Education. Previously he was a partner at Accenture and worked in brand management at P&G. He is the author of 20 books on management and leadership and is the only person to win the Chartered Management Institute gold medal four times for his writing. He can be contacted at jo@ilead.guru.

Professor Emma Smith
(Research Partner)

Professor Emma Smith is a former secondary school Chemistry teacher and is currently the Director of the Centre for Education Studies at the University of Warwick. Her research interests lie in the field of education and social justice and the role that education policy can play in reducing educational inequalities. She has recently completed a large funded study into inequalities in the educational and employment trajectories of STEM graduates. She is the co-editor of The BERA/SAGE Handbook of Educational Research and her latest book Key issues in Education and Social Justice was published by SAGE in 2018.

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