Our People

We are made up of passionate individuals with a range of experience from the education and youth sectors, but we all have one thing in common, we want to see all children and young people in the UK getting an equal start in life.

Our Patrons

Dame Julia Cleverdon - Patron

Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE is a passionate and practical campaigner who has gained an international reputation for ‘connecting the unconnected’, inspiring individuals and organisations to work together for the common good.

As Vice President of Business in the Community and former Special Adviser to The Prince’s Charities — concentrating on responsible business practice and focusing connecting the unconnected in disadvantaged communities — she promotes collaboration among senior leaders from business, government, education and community organisations to build a more robust civil society.

Our Trustees

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.

Alita Benson – Trustee

Alita has 30 years experience as an HR professional. She has an English degree from Southampton University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.

Anthony Harte – Trustee

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 – Trustee

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.

Chris White – Trustee

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.

David Sheldon – Treasurer

David is the Head of Treasury Product Control (EMEA) at Nomura. 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.

Debi Bailey – Trustee

Debi is currently Chief Executive of a multi academy trust in the East of Newcastle. The trust is made up of four primary schools and one secondary with a mix of Church of England and non-faith schools. The trust was formally established on 1st April 2017. The trust serves an area of high deprivation with the FSM figure averaging around 66%.

The trust has gone from strength to strength over the last three years based on a belief in developing strong relationships with the school community as key to
making a difference.

Prior to this post, Debi was the Executive Head Teacher of a large primary school, one of those now in the trust, working in the school for 18 years, progressing from a subject lead to Head teacher and then Executive Head. She has also worked as an Ofsted Inspector, inspecting a range of primary schools across the North.

Debi currently leads the Teaching School and Research School based within the trust and is a National Leader of Education, regularly supporting schools with aspects of school improvement. She sits on a number of boards including the Newcastle Promise board and believes that real collaboration is key to improving life chances.

Born in Byker, in the East of Newcastle, Debi has a wealth of knowledge and experience of, and love for, the community in which she works, believing  passionately that education is a way to open doors for young people and improving life chances. Debi believe that we must empower young people and communities to find their own solutions which has brought her to us as Right to Succeed. 

In her spare time Debi loves taking her therapy dog Ned (a cockapoo) for walks after a day of reading with children across her trust and supporting her boys from the touchline as they both enjoy playing football.

John Rowlands – Trustee

John is an experienced leader in education holding various senior leader positions, most recently Principal of academy in Manchester and currently an Executive Principal of a Multi Academy Trust in an area of significant social disadvantage. John is an ambassador headteacher for the Youth Sport Trust and a board member of the Manchester PE association. He brings a wealth of experience in supporting an equitable education, social justice and youth opportunity.

Julia Grant – Trustee

Julia is an experienced Non Executive Director and Trustee. She was formerly Chief Executive of Pro Bono Economics an influential charity in the impact management and social investment space. Julia led fundraising for the charity and trebled income in her first three years. Previously Julia served as Chief Executive and Portfolio Director of Impetus the Private Equity Foundation where she played a leading role in impact investment, scaling proven social solutions for disadvantaged communities. In both these roles and as Chief Executive of the National Gardens Scheme and Surrey Community Action, Julia developed deep expertise in building key partnerships.

Currently Julia is a non-executive member of the Department for International Development, a Trustee of the global education charity, the Education Development Trust, and a Forestry Commissioner. Previously Julia served on the BVCA Impact Investment Committee, the Advisory Board of Big Society Capital and was a member of the G8 Task Force on Impact Investment. On graduating Julia joined Barclays International Bank later moving on to become a consultant with AT Kearney, Deloitte and PwC working in London and Hong Kong. Julia read PPE at St Hilda’s College, Oxford and received her MBA from the London Business School.

Suzanne McCarthy – Trustee

Initially working as a lawyer, with an LL.M. degree from Cambridge, Suzanne left private practice and then lectured in law at Manchester University before entering the civil service working first at the Home Office, where she served as Private Secretary to two Home Secretaries, and then at HM Treasury. She moved into running Arms-Length Bodies becoming CEO of both the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Financial
Services Compensation Scheme. Her last Executive role was as the UK’s Immigration
Services Commissioner.

Currently she is Chair of Depaul UK, a homeless charity focused primarily on young people, Chair of Lepra,  which works directly with communities in Bangladesh, India, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to find, treat and rehabilitate people affected by leprosy and related tropical diseases, Chair of the Joint Audit Panel for the Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime and the Metropolitan Police Service, Chair of the Fire Standards Board and Deputy Chair of the Valuation Tribunal Service. She is a member of the Fundraising Regulator’s Board and chair of its Standards Committee, the Senior Independent Director of the Advertising Standards Authority and a member of the Board of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority. In addition, she serves as the Independent Appointed Person for the Greater London Authority reviewing allegations of misconduct made against elected officials. Her previous Board appointments include the University of London, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the General Medical Council. In addition to her law qualifications, she has a MSc in International Development and Project Management.

Our Staff

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.

Alison Bellaby – Reach Programme Manager

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.

Andrew Thurlow – Reach Programme Manager

Andy is the Reach Program Manager for Doncaster. Andy has a wealth of experience spanning over 28 years within the secondary school sector, operating as vice principal for behavior and inclusion before taking up a role within the local authority, commissioned to carry out a behavior review of current provisions; where they are and what is required to meet needs in the future. Andy set up his own consultancy company in 2018 supporting schools and Local Authorities on their behaviour and learning provisions. Andy is committed to providing quality education and provision for all pupils to  improve their future life chances.

Annie Hinton – Programme Design Manager

Annie is responsible creating the design and delivery of different programmes for the organisation. Annie comes from a background in international development; she completed a Master’s in Global Studies at the University of Vienna and recently finished working as a Policy and Advocacy Advisor for the National Youth Council of Malawi. Most recently she was working as the Regional Fundraising Coordinator for Village Aid. Annie is a skilled researcher and consultant, volunteering her time with a number of organisations, including Raising Futures Kenya.

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 a number of free special and alternative provision schools.

Beth Matheson – Chief Operations Officer

Beth is responsible for the finance, HR and governance functions within Right to Succeed.

Having qualified as an ACA at Deloitte, she has spent the last decade 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 Right to Succeed, 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.

Ella Fothergill - Development Officer

As Development Officer, Ella supports the development team in fundraising for Right to Succeed. She recently completed her degree in Social Anthropology at The London School of Economics, taking a particular interest in youth identity and its intersections with race and class. Her passion for tackling educational inequality was sparked when performing a long-term ethnographic research project in a London primary school, where she saw firsthand the devastating effects of poverty on educational attainment. Ella has volunteered as an in-school mentor, as well as assisting teaching projects in both London and Sri Lanka.

Janice Bluett-Duncan – Programme Manager North Birkenhead

Janice is the Programme Manager for our North Birkenhead programme, Cradle to Career. With a background in education and non-profit programme delivery, Janice is passionate about collective working and the VCSE sector. Before joining Right to Succeed, Janice spent 2 years in India, working on various NGO- and CSR-led social innovation programmes to improve educational outcomes for children living in poverty, whilst completing a qualification in International Development.

Jenny Davies - Programme Officer

As a Programme Officer, Jenny is responsible for providing administrative and strategic support for the Reach, Pathways for All and KS3 Literacy projects in Blackpool.

Jenny joined Right to Succeed with a background in mobility, where she supported work abroad and cultural exchanges for young people looking to improve their employability.
After working as an English Language Assistant in France, Jenny became motivated to develop her career in the education sector in order to empower young people through addressing the systematic inequalities that prevent them from reaching their potential.

Keelan Early - Programme Manager, North Birkenhead

Keelan has volunteered or worked within the community sector for more than half his life. Recently appointed Programme Manager for the Cradle to Career project in North Birkenhead, he brings together the community, families, education sector and local organisations and services with a place-based, collective impact approach to improving outcomes for children and young people.

In his previous role, he supported the local sector to access funding, boost volunteering involvement and delivering effective partnership working. More importantly, he represented the challenges and opportunities faced by the community sector and communities they work within.

Keelan has been invited to advise the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in all manners related to community and social business sector by sitting on the Social & Solidarity Economy Panel.
A trustee of Deafness Resource Centre and an advisory board member of St Helens Arts in Libraries programme, he brings a breadth of asset-based community development knowledge

Kezia Harper – Operations Coordinator

Kezia supports the team with a range of administrative and communications support, including finance, HR and general office management. Kezia has a background in technical production and administration in the fashion industry and, after finding the industry to be lacking in potential for improvements in ethics and sustainability Kezia began studying a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Design, which she is completing alongside her role at Right to Succeed. Her research is concerned with the underlying structures and codes in society which prevent equality and contribute to the exploitation of people in vulnerable situations.

Lauren Whiteley – Programme Officer

Lauren is the Programme Officer for the Reach Programme, and the Every Child Project in Manchester, which involves providing programme delivery and administrative support. She grew up in Bradford, and has recently settled in Manchester after completing a degree in International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response at The University of Manchester. Lauren has a background in charity work and has experience working with Refugees and Homelessness through various organisations, and experience working in Manchester Schools. She was recently part of the ‘Everyone In’ initiative as part of Manchester City Council’s response to homelessness during the Covid-19 pandemic, which received the High Sheriff’s Award for its commitment to ending homelessness. She has a strong interest in social justice, and the effects of poverty on society.

Mary Randolph – Programme Manager, Manchester

Mary is the manager of all our Manchester based programmes. She’s 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 worked as primary school teacher in Istanbul, Turkey.

Olivia Sixsmith – Director of Development

Olivia leads our development work, covering all fundraising and communications activities with partners and stakeholders. Olivia comes from a youth work background with experience working with disadvantaged young people in inner city contexts in London, Manchester and overseas in Latin America. In her early career, she pushed for collective working to create joined-up processes with a range of local organisations including schools, housing departments, social services, residents/tenants’ associations and the police, to improve the services and outcomes from young people.

Olivia is passionate about Right to Succeed’s mission and after spending time working in fundraising and development roles within small, medium and larger organisations including Afghanaid, Womankind and Save the Children, she is delighted to return to her roots working to support children living in poverty to achieve their potential.

Patricia O'Lynn - Reach Programme Manager

Alongside her role at Right to Succeed, Patricia is a doctoral student at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University, Belfast. Her research seeks to better understand young people’s experiences of exclusion from school within the context of Northern Ireland.

Patricia is a skilled researcher, political activist and education consultant. She sits as a board member to the Chartered Management Institute and school governor to Braidside Integrated Primary. Patricia was presented with the Sir Tomas Dixon award which will enable her to conduct a comparative study on truancy between the jurisdictions of Northern Ireland and New Zealand.

Paul O’Neill – Chief Programmes Officer

Paul leads on the strategic and operational delivery of our programmes, being responsible for quality assurance, partnerships and relationship management. He has managed numerous programmes and interventions in education and the third sector, joining Right to Succeed from The Children’s Society in 2015 where he led large multi-site teams through transformational change initiatives.

In addition to teaching at the University of Manchester since 2012 specialising in Psychology, Social Justice and Youth Intervention, Paul is a school governor at Abraham Moss Community School in Manchester and a member of the UK Policy and Practice Network for the UoM Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement EU research project.

Rita Pilkington - Senior Insights Analyst

Rita is responsible for the capture, analysis and presentation of data at Right to Succeed. She is passionate about using research and data to improve outcomes for those most in need and previously worked for Depaul UK, a youth homelessness charity. Prior to joining Right to Succeed, Rita was a Senior Research Executive at Morris Hargreaves McIntyre, an arts consultancy.

As well as having a background in research, Rita’s academic background is in science – she has a Batchelor’s degree in Biomedical Science and recently completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Global Health which looked at how social science approaches to research can help support policy change around the world. 

Sarah Stockwell - Development Manager

Sarah has worked in fundraising, in a range of different charities, for over 16 years. The thread linking all of her roles is her passionate commitment to supporting organisations which enable others to access the same opportunities that she has been privileged to be given. Sarah brings to the team her specialism in Trust, Statutory and Institutional fundraising and partnership working. She also brings her experience of working with corporates and a range of individual funders. Sarah is especially excited to be part of the Right to Succeed team as, having been born and raised in Blackpool, she can see the tremendous difference our collaborative approach is having in this and other areas.

Steven Baker - Programme Director North Birkenhead

Steven Baker is the Executive Headteacher of two outstanding schools in Merseyside that cater for children aged 5-16 with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH); he has also recently taken on the leadership of a Pupil Referral Unit that is in special measures. They have won a range of national awards for their compassionate, collaborative approach and in 2018 the Department for Education cited the primary school as an example of best practice in mental health.

Steven has held a range of leadership roles, is a former Ofsted inspector and regularly delivers national keynotes on topics including well-being, managing challenging behaviour and leading strategic change. Steven is a member of the Ambition Institute and Learnus advisory boards; he was recently made a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching for his ‘significant and sustained’ impact on teaching. Steven is on the SecEd and Headteacher Update editorial board, sits on the panel of judges for the Pearson Teaching Awards and works with the Ministry of Justice in youth and adult establishments nationwide as they focus their efforts on developing a culture of rehabilitation.

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 the success of our programmes.

Tom Staples - Programme Officer, North Birkenhead

Tom is responsible for assisting in the delivery of the Cradle to Career project in North Birkenhead. Providing both administrative and programme delivery support. Tom recently completed his masters in social research methods, specialising in local government & public policy. His research centred on re-configuring approaches to public-sector digital reform. After a brief stint working with a consultancy and volunteering for a local homeless night shelter project,
Tom began his search to find a charity that his skillset could support. It was then that he discovered Right to Succeed and the work we do to support citizens from areas in the UK with high levels of disadvantage.

Our People

We are made up of passionate individuals with a range of experience from the education and youth sectors, but we all have one thing in common, we want to see all children and young people in the UK getting an equal start in life.

Our Patrons

Dame Julia Cleverdon - Patron

Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE is a passionate and practical campaigner who has gained an international reputation for ‘connecting the unconnected’, inspiring individuals and organisations to work together for the common good.

As Vice President of Business in the Community and former Special Adviser to The Prince’s Charities — concentrating on responsible business practice and focusing connecting the unconnected in disadvantaged communities — she promotes collaboration among senior leaders from business, government, education and community organisations to build a more robust civil society.

Our Trustees

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.

Alita Benson – Trustee

Alita has 30 years experience as an HR professional. She has an English degree from Southampton University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development

Anthony Harte – Trustee

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 – Trustee

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.

Chris White – Trustee

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.

David Sheldon – Treasurer

David is the Head of Treasury Product Control (EMEA) at Nomura. 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.

Debi Bailey - Trustee

I am currently Chief Executive of a multi academy trust in the East of Newcastle.
The trust is currently made up of a four primary schools and one secondary with a
mix of Church of England and non-faith schools. All schools made the decision
collectively to convert and this was a continuation of a long term relationship
between all of the schools. The trust was formally established on 1st April 2017. As a
trust, we serve an area of high deprivation with our FSM figure averaging around
66%. The trust has gone from strength to strength over the last three years and we
believe in developing strong relationships with our school community as key to
making a difference.Prior to this post, I was Executive Head Teacher of a very large (700 pupils) primary school which is one of the primaries in the trust and had worked in that school foraround 18 years progressing from a subject lead to Head teacher and then Executive Head. I have also previously worked as an Ofsted Inspector, inspecting a range of primary schools across the North.
I currently lead the Teaching School and Research School based within the trust
and I am also a National Leader of Education, regularly supporting schools with aspects of school improvement. I sit on a number of boards including the Newcastle Promise board and believe that real collaboration is key to improving life chances.
On a personal note, I was born in Byker which is a ward situated within the East of
the city of Newcastle so I have a wealth of knowledge and experience of and love
for, the community in which I work. I believe passionately in education as a way to
opening doors for young people and improving life chances. I am very proud of the fact that I was the first member of my family to study for ‘A levels’ or go to university.
I feel the quote “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela, sums up my view of the importance of a successful
education. I also believe that we must empower young people and communities to
find their own solutions hence my belief in and desire to support Right to Succeed as
I feel the vision and values of the organisation aligns to my own.

In my spare time I love taking my therapy dog Ned (a cockapoo) for walks after a day
reading with children across our trust and supporting my boys from the touchline as
they both enjoy playing football.

John Rowlands - Trustee

John is an experienced leader in education holding various senior leader positions, most recently Principal of academy in Manchester and currently an Executive Principal of a Multi Academy Trust in an area of significant social disadvantage. John is an ambassador headteacher for the Youth Sport Trust and a board member of the Manchester PE association. He brings a wealth of experience in supporting an equitable education, social justice and youth opportunity

Julia Grant - Trustee

Julia Grant is an experienced Non Executive Director and Trustee. She was formerly Chief Executive of Pro Bono Economics an influential charity in the impact management and social investment space. Julia led fundraising for the charity and trebled income in her first three years. Previously Julia served as Chief Executive and Portfolio Director of Impetus the Private Equity Foundation where she played a leading role in impact investment, scaling proven social solutions for disadvantaged communities. In both these roles and as Chief Executive of the National Gardens Scheme and Surrey Community Action, Julia developed deep expertise in building key partnerships.

Currently Julia is a non-executive member of the Department for International Development, a Trustee of the global education charity, the Education Development Trust, and a Forestry Commissioner. Previously Julia served on the BVCA Impact Investment Committee, the Advisory Board of Big Society Capital and was a member of the G8 Task Force on Impact Investment. On graduating Julia joined Barclays International Bank later moving on to become a consultant with AT Kearney, Deloitte and PwC working in London and Hong Kong. Julia read PPE at St Hilda’s College, Oxford and received her MBA from the London Business School.

Suzanne McCarthy - Trustee

Initially working as a lawyer, with an LL.M. degree from Cambridge, Suzanne left private practice and then lectured in law at Manchester University before entering the civil service working first at the Home Office, where she served as Private Secretary to two Home Secretaries, and then at HM Treasury. She moved into running Arms-Length Bodies becoming CEO of both the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Financial
Services Compensation Scheme. Her last Executive role was as the UK’s Immigration
Services Commissioner.

Currently she is Chair of Depaul UK, a homeless charity focused primarily on young people, Chair of Lepra,  which works directly with communities in Bangladesh, India, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to find, treat and rehabilitate people affected by leprosy and related tropical diseases, Chair of the Joint Audit Panel for the Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime and the Metropolitan Police Service, Chair of the Fire Standards Board and Deputy Chair of the Valuation Tribunal Service. She is a member of the Fundraising Regulator’s Board and chair of its Standards Committee, the Senior Independent Director of the Advertising Standards Authority and a member of the Board of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority. In addition, she serves as the Independent Appointed Person for the Greater London Authority reviewing allegations of misconduct made against elected officials. Her previous Board appointments include the University of London, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the General Medical Council. In addition to her law qualifications, she has a MSc in International Development and Project Management.

Our Founding Trustees

Our Advisors to the Board

Dame Joan McVittie – Advisor to the Board
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.

Our Staff

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.

Alison Bellaby – Reach Programme Manager

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.

Andrew Thurlow – Reach Programme Manager

Andy is the Reach Program Manager for Doncaster. Andy has a wealth of experience spanning over 28 years within the secondary school sector, operating as vice principal for behavior and inclusion before taking up a role within the local authority, commissioned to carry out a behavior review of current provisions; where they are and what is required to meet needs in the future. Andy set up his own consultancy company in 2018 supporting schools and Local Authorities on their behaviour and learning provisions. Andy is committed to providing quality education and provision for all pupils to  improve their future life chances.

Annie Hinton – Programme Design Manager

 Annie comes from a background in international development; she completed a Master’s in Global Studies at the University of Vienna and recently finished working as a Policy and Advocacy Advisor for the National Youth Council of Malawi. Most recently she was working as the Regional Fundraising Coordinator for Village Aid. Annie is a skilled researcher and consultant, volunteering her time with a number of organisations, including Raising Futures Kenya.

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 a number of free special and alternative provision schools.

Beth Matheson – Chief Operations Officer

Beth is responsible for the finance, HR and governance functions within Right to Succeed.

Having qualified as an ACA at Deloitte, she has spent the last decade 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 Right to Succeed, 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.

Ella Fothergill – Development Officer

As Development Officer, Ella supports the development team in fundraising for Right to Succeed. She recently completed her degree in Social Anthropology at The London School of Economics, taking a particular interest in youth identity and its intersections with race and class. Her passion for tackling educational inequality was sparked when performing a long-term ethnographic research project in a London primary school, where she saw firsthand the devastating effects of poverty on educational attainment. Ella has volunteered as an in-school mentor, as well as assisting teaching projects in both London and Sri Lanka.

 

Janice Bluett Duncan – Programme Manager, North Birkenhead

Janice is the Programme Manager for our North Birkenhead programme, Cradle to Career. With a background in education and non-profit programme delivery, Janice is passionate about collective working and the VCSE sector. Before joining Right to Succeed, Janice spent 2 years in India, working on various NGO- and CSR-led social innovation programmes to improve educational outcomes for children living in poverty, whilst completing a qualification in International Development.

 

Jenny Davies – Programme Officer

As a Programme Officer, Jenny is responsible for providing administrative and strategic support for the Reach, Pathways for All and KS3 Literacy projects in Blackpool.

Jenny joined Right to Succeed with a background in mobility, where she supported work abroad and cultural exchanges for young people looking to improve their employability.
After working as an English Language Assistant in France, Jenny became motivated to develop her career in the education sector in order to empower young people through addressing the systematic inequalities that prevent them from reaching their potential.

 

Kezia Harper – Operations Coordinator

Kezia supports the team with a range of administrative and communications support, including finance, HR and general office management. Kezia has a background in technical production and administration in the fashion industry and, after finding the industry to be lacking in potential for improvements in ethics and sustainability Kezia began studying a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Design, which she is completing alongside her role at Right to Succeed. Her research is concerned with the underlying structures and codes in society which prevent equality and contribute to the exploitation of people in vulnerable situations.

Mary Randolph – Programme Manager, Manchester

Mary is the manager of all our Manchester based programmes. She’s 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 worked as primary school teacher in Istanbul, Turkey.

Olivia Sixsmith – Director of Development

Olivia leads our development work, covering all fundraising and communications activities with partners and stakeholders. Olivia comes from a youth work background with experience working with disadvantaged young people in inner city contexts in London, Manchester and overseas in Latin America. In her early career, she pushed for collective working to create joined-up processes with a range of local organisations including schools, housing departments, social services, residents/tenants’ associations and the police, to improve the services and outcomes from young people.

Olivia is passionate about Right to Succeed’s mission and after spending time working in fundraising and development roles within small, medium and larger organisations including Afghanaid, Womankind and Save the Children, she is delighted to return to her roots working to support children living in poverty to achieve their potential.

Patricia O'Lynn – Reach Programme Manager

Alongside her role at Right to Succeed, Patricia is a doctoral student at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University, Belfast. Her research seeks to better understand young people’s experiences of exclusion from school within the context of Northern Ireland.

Patricia is a skilled researcher, political activist and education consultant. She sits as a board member to the Chartered Management Institute and school governor to Braidside Integrated Primary. Patricia was presented with the Sir Tomas Dixon award which will enable her to conduct a comparative study on truancy between the jurisdictions of Northern Ireland and New Zealand.

Paul O’Neill – Chief Programmes Officer

Paul leads on the strategic and operational delivery of our programmes, being responsible for quality assurance, partnerships and relationship management. He has managed numerous programmes and interventions in education and the third sector, joining Right to Succeed from The Children’s Society in 2015 where he led large multi-site teams through transformational change initiatives.

In addition to teaching at the University of Manchester since 2012 specialising in Psychology, Social Justice and Youth Intervention, Paul is a school governor at Abraham Moss Community School in Manchester and a member of the UK Policy and Practice Network for the UoM Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement EU research project.

Rita Pilkington – Senior Insights Analyst

Rita is responsible for the capture, analysis and presentation of data at Right to Succeed. She is passionate about using research and data to improve outcomes for those most in need and previously worked for Depaul UK, a youth homelessness charity. Prior to joining Right to Succeed, Rita was a Senior Research Executive at Morris Hargreaves McIntyre, an arts consultancy.

As well as having a background in research, Rita’s academic background is in science – she has a Batchelor’s degree in Biomedical Science and recently completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Global Health which looked at how social science approaches to research can help support policy change around the world. 

Sarah Stockwell – Development Manager

Sarah has worked in fundraising, in a range of different charities, for over 16 years. The thread linking all of her roles is her passionate commitment to supporting organisations which enable others to access the same opportunities that she has been privileged to be given. Sarah brings to the team her specialism in Trust, Statutory and Institutional fundraising and partnership working. She also brings her experience of working with corporates and a range of individual funders. Sarah is especially excited to be part of the Right to Succeed team as, having been born and raised in Blackpool, she can see the tremendous difference our collaborative approach is having in this and other areas. 

Steven Baker – Programme Director North Birkenhead

Steven Baker is the Executive Headteacher of two outstanding schools in Merseyside that cater for children aged 5-16 with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH); he has also recently taken on the leadership of a Pupil Referral Unit that is in special measures. They have won a range of national awards for their compassionate, collaborative approach and in 2018 the Department for Education cited the primary school as an example of best practice in mental health.

Steven has held a range of leadership roles, is a former Ofsted inspector and regularly delivers national keynotes on topics including well-being, managing challenging behaviour and leading strategic change. Steven is a member of the Ambition Institute and Learnus advisory boards; he was recently made a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching for his ‘significant and sustained’ impact on teaching. Steven is on the SecEd and Headteacher Update editorial board, sits on the panel of judges for the Pearson Teaching Awards and works with the Ministry of Justice in youth and adult establishments nationwide as they focus their efforts on developing a culture of rehabilitation.

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 the success of our programmes.

Tom Staples – Programme Officer, North Birkenhead

Tom is responsible for assisting in the delivery of the Cradle to Career project in North Birkenhead. Providing both administrative and programme delivery support. Tom recently completed his masters in social research methods, specialising in local government & public policy. His research centred on re-configuring approaches to public-sector digital reform. After a brief stint working with a consultancy and volunteering for a local homeless night shelter project,
Tom began his search to find a charity that his skillset could support. It was then that he discovered Right to Succeed and the work we do to support citizens from areas in the UK with high levels of disadvantage.

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“Right to Succeed’s research-informed approach is made sustainable through their commitment to harness the power of the collective.”

Sir Harvey McGrath, British business and philanthropy Executive and Right to Succeed funder

Right to Succeed
2019-03-14T14:50:34+00:00

Sir Harvey McGrath, British business and philanthropy Executive and Right to Succeed funder

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“Right to Succeed’s research-informed approach is made sustainable through their commitment to harness the power of the collective.”
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"They have challenged our thinking, provided tools to help us improve our outcomes for young people and remained consistent throughout the process to date."

Head SLT Ed Diversity

Right to Succeed
2019-03-21T20:41:08+00:00

Head SLT Ed Diversity

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"They have challenged our thinking, provided tools to help us improve our outcomes for young people and remained consistent throughout the process to date."
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"It shows me that the work that you are doing is enormously important. You are acting as filters, brokers, and relationship-builders. You are nudging, monitoring and linking the work in the region. You are generating momentum, funding, and enthusiasm."

David Weston CEO at Teacher Development Trust

Right to Succeed
2019-03-21T20:45:45+00:00

David Weston CEO at Teacher Development Trust

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"It shows me that the work that you are doing is enormously important. You are acting as filters, brokers, and relationship-builders. You are nudging, monitoring and linking the work in the region. You are generating momentum, funding, and enthusiasm."
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"After 30 years in this profession and eight years as a Head Teacher I can honestly say that I have never before worked with such professional people who have been able to challenge my thinking and inspire my practice"

Wendy Casson, Headteacher, Educational Diversity Pupil Referral Unit, Blackpool

Right to Succeed
2019-03-21T20:19:42+00:00

Wendy Casson, Headteacher, Educational Diversity Pupil Referral Unit, Blackpool

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"After 30 years in this profession and eight years as a Head Teacher I can honestly say that I have never before worked with such professional people who have been able to challenge my thinking and inspire my practice"
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