Connect to a network that believes in realising the potential of all young people. 

Disadvantaged pupils in the UK begin school up to 4 months behind their peers. This gap widens over time.

Right to Succeed believe that every child and young person in the UK deserves the right to realise their potential, but far too many are left behind because of the barriers that stand in their way.

Our Approach

Together with our partners, we have invested  in a collaborative approach, that focuses on long lasting impact.

right to succeed approach

One. Develop collaborative solutions to the systemic problems of educational inequality
Two. Pilot these solutions at a size where they can be robustly proven
Three. Scale and replicate the effective solutions until they reach a systemic scale


Right to Succeed’s first project is to develop a school-led approach to turning around challenged secondary schools in low-income communities.

The project will support schools through a 4 stage change process, during which they will receive access to the evidence based support and resource they require to deliver their turnaround vision. To qualify, schools will be in the lowest quartile for disadvantage (circa 40%+ of pupils eligible for Free School Meals over the last 6 years), hold an OFSTED grade 3 (requires improvement) or grade 4 (inadequate), be achieving a grade C or worse on the best 8 GCSE measure and serve at least 600 pupils. The programme will support schools over 3.5 years to deliver the change, setting in place the structures and processes to for the school to continually improve outcomes through evidence. The first programme will take place in Blackpool from September 2015.

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“Right to Succeed is taking on the ambitious and exciting goal of harnessing and building upon excellent practice within the education sector to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. Building on and embedding outstanding practice in our schools holds the key to addressing educational inequality and so I am excited by the potential our partnership holds.” 

Brett Wigdortz, Founder and CEO, Teach First

Our People


Jo Owen – Chair

Jo is a co-founder of eight charities in education and re-offending including Teach First, the UK’s largest graduate recruiter. He is a top author and speaker on leadership: his books have reached over 50 editions globally and include How to Lead, Global Teams and Tribal Business School. He was a partner at Accenture; he started a bank, has been sued for $12 billion and was the best nappy salesman in Birmingham while working for P&G.

Dame Joan McVittie – Vice Chair

Dame Joan is currently an Education Consultant. She was awarded a Damehood in honour of her contribution to education in December 2012. Dame Joan has 18 years’ experience as a secondary head in inner city schools in challenging areas, including Woodside High, Haringey, in 2006 which Ofsted rated as outstanding in two successive inspections. In 2011 – 2012, Dame Joan was the President of the Association of School and College Leaders. She was a member of the governing council of the National College, a trustee of the Youth Sports Trust, is still a trustee of the Education and Employers Task Force and is the Lay member on the Heart and Lung Transplant Board for NHS Blood and Transplant.

Jill Finney

Jill has spent her career in Strategic Marketing and Comms and has experience at Director level across the private and public sector which includes manufacturing , professional services , The British Library and Regulation. She was the Deputy Chief Executive of the health and social care regulator: The Care Quality Commission. Jill now manages a portfolio of non executive positions in higher education and the charitable sector advising on strategy, governance and communications.

Anthony Harte

Anthony is Senior Vice President (EMEA) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML). Anthony oversees the firm’s philanthropic programme and is part of the leadership team for Environment, Social and Governance in the EMEA region. Before joining BofAML, Anthony established the Community Affairs platform at Nomura and prior to this worked within the Philanthropy and Cultural Partnership team at Lehman Brothers.

Charles Scott

Charles has had 33 years as a management consultant and was a founding partner of The Berkeley Partnership, a highly regarded independent consultancy. His current activities are varied: non-executive chairman of T H White, a mechanical engineering business; a qualified Meyler Campbell business coach; chair of a small music charity for young people; and school governor of Ark Conway primary school.

David Sheldon – Treasurer

David was Director of Finance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He has built finance teams covering derivative and funding products across banking. David qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Chris White

Chris is Co-Founder of ZING – a seed funder of early stage organisations focusing on young people realising their potential, often in the transition between education and the workplace. ZING also brings about scalable web and mobile technologies to the not-for-profit sector.


Graeme Duncan – Chief Executive

Graeme was the first graduate hired by Teach First in 2003, teaching for two years in a secondary school serving a highly disadvantaged community, where he led the Maths Faculty. He then joined London First, a business lobby group, as Executive Assistant to the CEO, Baroness Valentine, before focusing on education and immigration projects. From there he joined Teach First in 2008 to work on fundraising, policy and public affairs before, in 2010, becoming Director of Development at Greenhouse, a charity that uses sport to engage and develop young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. In June 2014, he stepped out to set up Right to Succeed.

Beth MathesonChief Operations Officer

Beth is responsible for budgets, financial reporting and all other aspects of financial management within RTS.

Having qualified as an ACA at Deloitte, she has spent the last ten years working in the not-for-profit field, heading up the finance function or part thereof of various international organisations, including Amnesty International International Secretariat. Prior to joining RtS, Beth had a short stint as a Finance and Resources Director for a London-based Ark Academy, which sparked her interest in getting involved in education improvement.

Paul O’Neill – Director of Programmes

Paul leads on the strategic and operational delivery of our programmes, being responsible for quality assurance and overseeing relationships with schools, delivery partners, external organisations and local authorities. He has managed numerous programmes and interventions in education and the third sector, joining RtS from The Children’s Society where he led large multi-site teams through transformational change initiatives.

After an early career as a professional athlete, Paul has also managed a school based inclusion unit, operated as Director of a Football Academy and taught at the University of Manchester since 2012 specialising in Psychology, Social Justice and Youth Intervention within the University’s School of Law.

Paul is a school governor at Abraham Moss Community School in Manchester and a member of the UK Policy and Practice Network for the University of Manchester’s Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement EU research project.

Belinda Logan – Director of Reach

Belinda is heading up Right to Succeed’s Reach Programme. Her experience has been gained from over 30 years in education. Belinda has worked in a variety of roles in a number of local authorities, including education officer and Ofsted inspector, though the majority of her time has been as a senior leader.

Belinda has worked as a teacher in primary and secondary schools as a senior leader, headteacher and executive headteacher in special and alternative provision schools. As part of her role more recently she has contributed to the successful opening of four free special and alternative provision schools.

Zoya Wallington – Director of Impact

Zoya leads on impact management, insights and analysis. In her previous role Zoya led on research with 40 schools on behalf of Teach First, Teaching Leaders and Future Leaders Trust. The three-year collective impact approach was supported by the Education Endowment Foundation to test whether investing intensively in professional development for teachers, could accelerate closing the achievement gap for pupils in areas of high deprivation.

Zoya has published work on user voice on behalf of Shelter and the End Child Poverty Coalition and has led research into inclusion and youth leadership working with schools, specialist providers, special schools and pupil referral units across the UK.

Tom Shirley – Senior Analyst

Tom is a data analyst with a specialism in data that relates to young people and their skills – from early years through to employment. He has worked with a variety of teams across local councils, as well as universities, academy chains and charities, to help maximise their insight and drive improved outcomes for young people. He works with our Impact team on the technical elements required to create outputs that drive adoption and success of our programmes.

Mary Randolph – Programme Coordinator

Mary is responsible for the coordination of different programmes for the organisation, providing both administrative and programme delivery support. She been involved in education in various capacities for the past ten years. She taught English as a Second Language in several countries around the world. More recently she spent five years as English teacher in a private school in Istanbul, Turkey working with young learners.

Michael McKay – Programme Manager, North Belfast

Michael is Programme Manager for Right to Succeed’s North Belfast Reach Programme. He has extensive experience of working in the Community and Voluntary Sector in Northern Ireland, and latterly working in Academia both as an employee of Liverpool John Moore’s University, and the University of Liverpool. Michael has management experience in the Voluntary Sector, and has also managed a large 5-year Randomised Controlled Trial, funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

Michael has had over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters published to date. These are predominantly in the areas of health and developmental psychology and are focussed on adolescents and University-students. Along with colleagues world-wide, Michael continues to develop measurement and theory in the area of temporal psychology.

Alison Bellaby – Programme Manager, Blackpool

Ali is the Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion within the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Blackpool.  She has taught for 19 years across both primary and secondary phases, including 10 years within the specialist PRU sector, which has given her a wealth of experience and understanding of how to support some of the most vulnerable students within education.  She has worked within multi-agency teams alongside social workers, CAMHS, clinical and educational psychologists, parenting, youth, and pupil welfare services. She has led several initiatives across Blackpool to collaboratively support mainstream schools in improving outcomes for children and young people.  

Ali is interested in developing research and evidence-based practices within schools to help ensure support for young people is truly well considered and relevant.  

Marcus Isman Egal – Programme Manager, Doncaster

Marcus is a MSc Graduate from the University of Hull Marcus has a range of skills in developing new programmes and services, running not for profit businesses and youth enterprise initiatives. Marcus’ previous work includes the management of a DfE national programme at the Children’s Workforce Development Council and several senior strategic roles with local authority services for young people and more recently with Doncaster Children’s Service Trust (DCST). At DCST Marcus led the design and development of EPIC Youth Crime Prevention Service. During the first year of service delivery EPIC reduced the number of young people entering the criminal justice system by an incredible 49%.

Marcus working directly with Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and has also co-designed an alternative learning provision to work directly with young people at risk of school exclusion and social isolation. Outside the office apart from being a chauffeur for his two teenage children, Marcus has a love for all things sports, including following Liverpool FC and playing tennis.

Alice Wells – Executive Assistant

Alice assists the team with a range of administrative support, including finance, HR and general office management. After spending a year teaching English in rural Thailand, Alice worked as an administrative assistant at a CRM company, and is now currently studying towards a degree in Primary Education to qualify as a Primary School teacher in the coming years.

Our Partners


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Ambition School Leadership
Teacher Development Trust

Development Partners

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The Funding Network

Join Us

Overcoming a problem as systemic as educational inequality will require a huge collaborative effort. You can help us in 3 ways:

Partner with us.

If you would like to develop, pilot and scale collaborative solutions to the systemic problems of educational inequality them please get in touch by emailing

Work for us.

If you are passionate about improving educational outcomes for young people, thrive on a challenge and recognise the value of a collaborative approach, please send a covering letter and CV to for any of the roles below. Your letter should outline your interest in the role. It should also detail how your skills and experience meet the specified requirements.

Job applicant privacy notice


Programme Manager (Doncaster)

Are you passionate about ending educational inequity for young people?

If so, Right to Succeed is looking for a committed and experienced Programme Manager.

As Programme Manager within Doncaster, you will be working with 10 primary and secondary schools, as well as local providers, serving low-income communities to support them in developing interventions that will transform outcomes for those most at risk of exclusion.

If you have at least 3 years’ experience in the English education sector (including working with young people at risk of exclusion), experience working in the Doncaster context and a track record of leading successful initiatives targeting improved pupil outcomes – and you can prove to us you have the ability to influence, inspire and to initiate change, then please take a look at the detailed Job Description which gives further details on requirements for the role and how to apply.

To find out more

If you want to find out more about our work, then please drop us a line on

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