Conference speakers

A to Z by surname

Dr Annalisa Alexander, Imperial College London

Annalisa is the Head of Outreach and Widening Participation at Imperial College London. After completing her PhD at Imperial, she joined the HEFCE funded Imperial Volunteer Centre as the centre’s administrator, and then in 2004 became the Mentoring and Tutoring Programmes Manager for the College’s newly formed Schools’ Liaison Office. In July 2014 she became the Head of the Outreach team.


Femi Bola, MBE FRSA

Femi is a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow, executive coach and former Director of Employability at the University of East London. Femi has worked successfully with disadvantaged learners in post 16 education and employment for over 20 years. In 2012 Femi was awarded an MBE for services to diversity.

Naomi Burley-Baker, The Access Project

Naomi has been working for The Access Project for the past 2 and a half years. She started on the front line, delivering the TAP programme in school. Naomi now manages The Access Project programme accross TAP's London schools, ensuring successful delivery and having ultimate responsibility for school partnerships. 

Bridget Clay, Teach First 

Bridget Clay is a former teacher who works supporting schools to implement powerful professional learning. She is the Head of Programmes for Leading Together at Teach First, a UK-based charity focused on ending educational inequality. Previously, she was the Director of School Programmes at the Teacher Development Trust, the national charity for professional learning in the UK.


Samantha Dangerfield, Causeway Education

Sam is an experienced secondary and post 16 teacher and senior leader. She has an MSc in Education, Leadership and Management from Worcester University. Sam is currently working as an education consultant supporting middle and senior leaders with school improvement and as a progression specialist for Causeway Education, working one to one with sixth form students. Sam is an experienced Chair of Governors. 

Michael Dosanjh, University of Nottingham

Michael has worked within Widening Participation for just under 10 years, managing programmes for both pre and post 16 students across three different institutions within that time. He has currently been at the University of Nottingham for two years in which he manages and oversees the delivery of e-mentoring for over 400 Y13 students.

Jill Eatherden, Bay House School & Sixth Form

Jill led on setting up Bay House Sixth Form in 1996 which opened with 68 students and has since grown to around 450. Bay House is driven to support students from less advantaged backgrounds to succeed and around half of their students will be the first in their families to go to university. Jill stepped down last year after 21 years as Head of Sixth and now supports on a part-time consultancy basis.

Richard Eyre, The Brilliant Club

Richard is the Chief Programmes Officer at The Brilliant Club, an award-winning university access charity. Previously, Richard has worked at the Department for Education and the Home Office in a range of high-profile policy and delivery roles, and as consultant with the Education Delivery Institute in Washington, DC and internationally. 

Doug Jennings, University of Bristol

Doug Jennings graduated from the University of Bristol in 2004. Following eighteen months working for the NHS, Doug returned to the University to take up the post of Outreach and Summer Schools Officer. In 2012 he was appointed as UK Student Recruitment Manager, overseeing the delivery of all home recruitment and widening participation activities. 

Miriam Keith, Morpeth School

Miriam is a careers and higher education advisor at Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets. Her background is in youth work, and she is passionate about raising aspirations of young people. Previously she worked at St Giles Trust leading a national youth employability and training project, and has also worked in youth engagement and outreach.


Nikki Lane, East Coast College, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft 

Nikki is Assistant Principal: Student Wellbeing and Support at East Coast College, leading student wellbeing and safeguarding; tutorial programme; student voice and involvement; careers and progression; additional learning support and learning resources. Nikki promotes the importance of positive mental health and progression in Further Education at a local and national level. 

Nasser Latif, Nottingham Trent University

Nasser leads a range of projects linked to access and student success, which seek to empower students to seize opportunities and develop a sense of belonging to NTU. Nasser is particularly interested in approaches to challenging the ethnicity attainment gap and exploring obstacles that have thus far hindered significant progress.

Martin Lewis OBE, MoneySavingExpert 

Martin Lewis OBE is the journalist and consumer campaigner who created and is now the site’s Executive Chair.

He is a passionate advocate of financial education, and via the Young Money Charity, has funded three years of ‘My Money Week’ in schools. His latest scheme with the charity is a new curriculum mapped financial education textbook, which he will pay to be distributed for free to every state secondary school in England.  

Martin also founded and chairs the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute charity. He was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2014. 

Saeed Mahmood, Smart Start Alumnus

Saeed attended Al Hijrah School, in Birmingham, and successfully completed Allen & Overy’s Smart Start programme in 2016.  He’s the first generation in his family to attend university and whilst the majority of his classmates did not pursue university education, Saeed is approaching the end of his first year at Queen Mary University of London, where he is studying Law. Saeed is now on the upReach and SEO programmes, and also has a work experience placement arranged with Baker McKenzie.

Jo Marchant, King’s College London

Jo is a Widening Participation Officer at King’s College London. She manages relationships with key partners, including The Brilliant Club, SEREN, and IntoUniversity. Her role includes acting as the main schools liaison contact and supporting the Outreach for Medicine team. Previously Jo led on the establishment of IntoUniversity’s Brighton centre and taught History at the University of Westminster. 

Suzanne Maskrey, Brightside Trust

Suzanne Maskrey is Deputy Chief Executive at Brightside, a national social mobility charity which has created over 100,000 online mentoring relationships since 2003, helping young people make life-changing decisions. Suzanne also runs a national mentoring working group for the Higher Education sector and has co-written a mentoring quality framework.

Hannah McAuley, Ark Schools

Hannah is Head of University and Careers Success for Ark Schools, an academy trust of nearly 40 primary and secondary schools serving over 20,000 students from disadvantaged communities. Hannah is currently chair of trustees for the STEM university access charity In2Science UK and previously managed Teach First’s access work including the pupil facing Futures programme.


Chris Millward, Office for Students

Chris Millward, the first Director for Fair Access and Participation in the Office for Students (OfS), joins OfS from HEFCE.  

As Director (Policy) he led HEFCE’s work on access and student success, learning and teaching, and higher level skills.  This included delivery of the Teaching Excellence Framework, the National Student Survey and the National Collaborative Outreach Partnerships, as well as programmes to remove barriers to student success, to improve postgraduate progression and to develop degree apprenticeships. 

Simon Pedley, Ormiston Academies Trust

Simon is the Most Able and Post 16 advisor for Ormiston Academies Trust, and is responsible for boosting OAT students progression to aspirational HE destinations. Before joining Ormiston, Simon taught History and Geography at Bethnal Green Academy where he was also led on Most Able and Post 16 provision. 

Natalie Perera, Education Policy Institute

Natalie is currently Executive Director and Head of Research at the Education Policy Institute and a Causeway Education Trustee. She worked in the Department for Education from 2002 to 2014 and helped to deliver the 2005 Childcare Act through Parliament.  

After leading on the Department’s spending review bid for children and family services in 2010, Natalie took up post as the Head of the School Funding Reform Unit where she led on the design of a new national funding formula, allocation of the Pupil Premium, reform of academies funding and funding for universal free school meals. Natalie is also a Director of a Multi-Academy Trust in South London.

Anand Shukla, Brightside Trust

Anand joined Brightside as Chief Executive in 2015. Previously, he was Chief Executive of Family and Childcare Trust. An inspiring speaker and commentator on social mobility, Anand has written for the Guardian, Higher Education Policy Institute and WonkHE. He is a member of the Speakers for Schools network and was selected to be a Clore Social Leadership Fellow in 2012. 

Carole Smith, Urban Scholars, Brunel University

Carole is the Urban Scholars Programme Director within Brunel University London. Drawing on her experience as an Advanced Skills Teacher, she designs, researches and delivers a unique sustained widening participation programme for students drawn from thirty schools. Carole has published research on the impact of this 3 year evidence-based programme. 

Cath Smith, Bow School

Cath is the Executive Head Teacher of Bow School and is currently seconded through the University Schools Trust for 4 days a week as the Headteacher at The John Roan School in Greenwich. In 2016 – 17, Cath was the first Executive Director of the Tower Hamlets Education Partnership to establish and promote school-to-school support networks that drive school improvement and continue to raise standards and increase opportunities for young people in Tower Hamlets.

Bojan Stankovic, Suffolk New College 

Bojan is the Student Services Manager at Suffolk New College with extensive management and leadership experience in the Education and Local Government Sector. Prior to joining Suffolk New College, Bojan was responsible for NEET Reduction and developing strategies to address Youth Unemployment at Essex County Council. Bojan started his professional career in Widening Participation at the University of Liverpool.

Professor Lord Winston 

Professor Lord Winston is a world-renowned expert in fertility and genetics, currently Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College  London. He has over 300 scientific publications about human reproduction and the early stages of pregnancy to his name.  

He is Chairman of the Genesis Research Trust – a charity which established the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology at Imperial and which now funds high quality research into women’s and babies’ health.  

He is a passionate communicator of science to all age groups both as a BAFTA-winning broadcaster and an author of over 20 titles. 

Sue Wisbey, Allen & Overy

Sue Wisbey is a Community Investment Officer at international law firm, Allen & Overy. With over 14 years experience working in CSR, Sue currently manages a range of community development programmes including Allen & Overy’s award-winning Smart Start work experience programme, and ReStart – an over-50s employability scheme. Last year, Smart Start was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of ‘Promoting Opportunity through Social Mobility’.

Sarah Young, Impetus-PEF 

Sarah works for Impetus-PEF, a charity that improves educational and employment outcomes for disadvantaged young people by partnering with high potential charities. Sarah works closely with charity leadership teams to help them to agree their mission and strategy, build their impact management capacity, grow their reach and strengthen their leadership, governance and sustainability.