Lady Helen Hamlyn
Helen Hamlyn graduated as a fashion designer from the Royal College of Art in the mid 1950s, and worked as head designer for Cresta Silks and Debenhams. 

Since the 1980s she has promoted a better environment and better-designed products for older people through her charitable work. A major focus has been the design of homes for older people and the household equipment available to them, and the establishment of working models for enhanced care and support for older people in their communities.

Lady Hamlyn set up the Helen Hamlyn Trust in 2001 in memory of her late husband, Paul Hamlyn. The Trust, which has endowed the RCA Helen Hamlyn Centre, supports innovative projects that will effect lasting change and improve quality of life for people in the UK and in India. Its projects are wide-ranging – from medical, arts and culture, education and welfare to healthy ageing and international humanitarian affairs.

Sir David Bell 
Sir David Bell is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading. Sir David's extensive 33-year career has included many of the UK's top education jobs. 

Sir David began his career as a primary school teacher and later became a head teacher. He then moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, ending up as Director of Education and Libraries between 1995 and 2000. 

As Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England (2002-2005) Sir David oversaw the inspection system in England, encompassing schools, colleges, local authorities, teacher education and childcare. Sir David encouraged much more rigorous self-evaluation as part of the inspection system and led the introduction of new shorter, sharper inspection frameworks.

As Permanent Secretary to the Department for Education (2006-2011), Sir David held the most senior civil service role in education in the UK. During this time, he served four Secretaries of State and three Prime Ministers. Under the first Coalition education minister for 60 years, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Sir David helped to implement one of the most substantial education reform programmes in recent times.

Kate Gavron
Kate received her PhD in social anthropology from the LSE in 1997 and has been associated with the Institute of Community Studies and Mutual Aid Centre (also based at Victoria Park Square) since 1992.

Kate researches issues relating to race, community and conflict in east London. She co-authored The New East End with Geoff Dench and Michael Young, which was published in February 2006 by Profile Books.

Before reading Social Anthropology at the LSE she had a career in book publishing: with Heinemann (1974-1988) (director 1984-88); Secker & Warburg (director, 1984-88), Virago (non-executive director, 1994-96); and Carcanet Press, Manchester as poetry publisher, where she has been chair since 1989. She is a Director of Folio Holdings Ltd and has been a trustee of George Piper Dances since 2001 and a Trustee of Reprieve since 2010. Kate was a Trustee of the Runnymede Trust 1997-2009 and she was a Trustee of the Young Foundation until 2009.

Hilary Hodgson
Hilary Hodgson was formerly Director of Education at the Ormiston Trust and Head of Education at the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. She has a strong background in arts education, previously working as a drama practitioner and for the Arts Council. She is a trustee of Teach First and a school governor.   

Hilary has an MA in Modern Foreign Languages from Oxford University, loves music, literature and travel.               

Lucy O’Rorke
Lucy worked in theatre for 13 years producing, designing, performing and teaching, before joining the Helen Hamlyn Trust as Projects and Research Director at the start of 2003.She trained as a performer at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq, Paris and in design at the Laboratory for the Study of Movement (L.E.M) in Paris. In 1992 she set up and ran her own company creating devised productions and touring them internationally. She is an experienced teacher having run over 150 projects in design and performance for professional companies, drama schools, colleges, schools, forensic psychiatric units, young offender institutions and special schools nationally. 

Dame Alison Peacock
Dame Alison Peacock, DBE, BA (London), MEd (Cambridge) is Executive Headteacher at The Wroxham Primary School and  Leader of the Cambridge Primary Review National Network.  She is also a National Leader in Education (NLE) and leads a National School of Creativity. The Wroxham Primary School was awarded Teaching School status in July 2011.

Dame Alison’s teaching career spans primary, secondary and advisory roles.  Dame Alison led her current school out of special measures less than a year after her appointment as Headteacher (January, 2003).  The school was subsequently judged by Ofsted to be outstanding (February, 2006 and March, 2009).


Advisor to the Board

Sir Malcolm Field
The former chief executive of WH Smith, Sir Malcolm chaired the Civil Aviation Authority from 1996 to 2001. Sir Malcolm has held non-executive directorships with numerous companies, including Scottish and Newcastle Plc and Evolution Beeson Gregory.