Our Trustees

Huw Davies

Chair of the board

Huw has recently retired from the Wates Group where he was CFO for 11 years. He was previously Head of Corporate Finance at Taylor Woodrow and has held key positions with KPMG, Ernst and Young and the Government of Oman. He is currently an independent director of Wessex Water Services Ltd and J. Murphy Ltd. He has had much involvement with the charity Business in the Community and was previously HRH The Prince of Wales Ambassador for Responsible Business in the South-East. Huw joined the Board of Trustees of I CAN in September 2010.

Stuart Shepley


Stuart is an insurance executive and a qualified actuary. A former partner of KPMG, he was also chief actuary at both Zurich Insurance and Hiscox Insurance. Now based in the UK, Stuart maintains a number of insurance and consulting interests.

He takes an active interest in the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries affairs and has been a Management Board member, an elected Council Member, as well as Chair of the General Insurance Board. He is a member of two Worshipful Companies and contributes to their charitable and social activities. Stuart is married with two grown up children, living in Surrey where he enjoys playing golf and participating in other outdoor pursuits.

Charles Newman

Chair of the Remuneration Committee

Charles studied History at Cambridge University before deciding on a career in the law. On qualifying as a solicitor in 1992, he chose to specialise in employment law, working first at Slaughter and May before joining DAC Beachcroft as a Partner In 2000. After 13 years at DAC Beachcroft Charles decided to become a freelance consultant based at home. He continues to practice as an employment lawyer and regularly conducts workplace investigations. He lives in South London with his wife and two children, and his hobbies include open water swimming, tennis and Chelsea Football Club.

Riccardo Basile

Chair of the Social Enterprise Committee 

Riccardo is a Principal at Permira, a global private equity fund investing in growing market-leading companies in the consumer, tech, healthcare, financial and industrial sector. Prior to joining Permira, Riccardo was a director at AlixPartners, where he delivered a number of operational turnaround programmes mostly in retail, consumer goods and industrial sectors. Before that, he worked for PwC where he focused on delivering supply chain transformation programmes. Riccardo had previously held line management roles in industry. He holds a MBA and an MEng from Bologna University, in Italy.

Dr Judy Clegg

Chair of Dawn House Governors 

Dr Judy Clegg is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Human Communication Sciences at the University of Sheffield, UK. She trained as a Speech and language therapist at the University of Manchester and completed a PhD in developmental language disorders at the University of Nottingham.

Judy is the Director of Professional Learning overseeing the clinical degree programmes in speech and language therapy. Her research interests focus on the developmental trajectories and outcomes of children with language and communication needs, the impact of social disadvantage on children’s language and communication development, the complex co-morbidity between children’s social disadvantage, their developing language and communication and their behaviour and mental health, and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions designed to facilitate children and young peoples' language and communication abilities. Judy is also co-editor of the journal, Child Language Teaching and Therapy. Further information can be found at www.sheffield.ac.uk/hcs/staff/clegg

John Willis 

Chair of Meath Governors

John Willis worked in the energy sector for the first five years of his career, followed by 30 years in the financial sector, including 12 years with Deutsche Bank Securities and then Deutsche Asset Management as Global Head of Research, Trading and Security Lending.  He recently retired as Co-Founder and Director of Sustainable Insight Capital Management.  John is Head of the Finance & Risk Committee at the Chartered College of Teaching and is Chair of Governors at St John’s School in Leatherhead, Surrey.

Jean Gross

Chair of the Programme Development Committee 

Jean served as National Communication Champion for two years until the end of December 2011, and for her outstanding work was awarded the CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

Prior to her appointment as Communication Champion, Jean was Founder Director of the Every Child a Chance Trust, which developed the Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts programmes. Before that she was Senior Director within the government’s Primary National Strategy, responsible for its work on overcoming barriers to achievement. A former teacher, lecturer, educational psychologist and Head of Children’s Services in a large urban local authority, Jean is a national expert on inclusion issues.

Her work has focused on improving outcomes for children with significant difficulties in language, literacy and mathematics, promoting practitioners skills in inclusive teaching, and developing children’s social, emotional and behavioural skills through the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) whole-curriculum approach. She has been a visiting fellow at two universities and is currently an associate fellow at the University of Warwick.

Susan Gregory


Sue has decades of experience in the primary phase and was a headteacher for almost 12 years. Following secondment to a local authority Sue was appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) in 2000. While at Ofsted, Sue led teams of HMI, developing inspection frameworks, policy, guidance and training materials across early years, schools and children’s centres. Sue held a number of leadership posts at Ofsted, including director responsibility for inspections, schools and early years. During her years as a director, she liaised with the Department for Education, national agencies, ministers and members of the House of Lords.

Sue retired from full-time work as an Ofsted Director and HMI at the end of December 2013 and is now working part-time as an independent education consultant. 

Yvonne Wren


Director of Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit at North Bristol NHS Trust and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol.  She qualified as a speech and language therapist at the University of Manchester and worked in a clinical capacity in Liverpool and Bristol for ten years before joining the North Bristol NHS Trust.  She obtained her PhD in 2005 from the University of Bristol and was awarded a fellowship from the National Institute of Health Research in 2011. Her main area of interest is in the field of persistent speech disorder and more specifically, in developing a better understanding of the causes and characteristics of children who have this difficulty.

Simon Wright


Co-Founder and Director of Gatehouse Consulting Ltd., a leading internal communications consultancy. Clients include several FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 organisations. Prior to this he spent four years as Chief Operating Officer at Ernst & Young LLP. His interests and experience include digital communications, marketing, and branding.  Simon has been a Governor at three schools.

Ann Gross


Recently retired from the civil service following a distinguished career including the last 17 years in senior positions in the Department for Education and prior to that 16 years in the Department for Health.  Ann was responsible for strategy and policy on education for disadvantaged children, SEND reforms, mental health, children in care, the Child Poverty Unit and Sure Start Children’s Centres.

Juliet Agnew


A self-employed philanthropy advisor. Previously she was Head of Philanthropy and Partner at I.G. Advisors, Managing Director at the Utley Foundation, Director of Philanthropy Services UK at UBS, Director at Ashmore, and Director at ACE Africa.  She currently sits on the British Jury for the Postcode Lottery’s International Green Campaign and for six years was a trustee of the Nationwide Foundation.


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