Tanya Barron – Strategic Advisor

Tanya is the Chief Executive of Plan International UK. Starting out as a special needs teacher, and then a lecturer in Politics and Philosophy, Tanya entered the international development sector in 1989 as Head of Programmes for Eastern Europe and former Soviet countries at VSO. She went on to senior roles at the European Children’s Trust, Home-Start International and Leonard Cheshire Disability. From 1995-2002 Tanya was Chair of a UNICEF NGO Committee in Geneva, she is currently a Board Member of the World Bank’s Global Partnership on Disability and Development and in 2003 she was given the European Woman of Achievement (Humanitarian) award.

Professor Sir George Berwick – Strategic Advisor

As a highly successful head teacher and now Chief Executive of Challenge Partners and Olevi, George has acquired an international reputation for introducing a number of innovative system-wide approaches to school improvement centred upon school-to-school work. This includes the development of the Teaching School concept, of which there are currently over 600 designated in the UK alone. His innovations are used by over 1000 schools internationally. As International Project Director for the Western Quebec Board and visiting Professor at the Institute of Education his leadership of system-wide approaches to school improvement, based around the effective management of knowledge, have helped to transform the educational opportunities of countless young people across the globe.

Dame Susan Jowett – Education Advisor

Susan is a highly experienced UK head teacher, Executive Principal and most recently Chief Executive of a group of ten primary and secondary schools which constitute The Spencer Academies Trust. As Executive Principal of George Spencer Academy, she led the school to “outstanding” and established it as a Teaching School and a license holder of the National College, delivering high quality professional development for thousands of teachers, leaders, Executive Heads and CEOs. Susan is also a National Leader of Education and a founding Senior Partner of Challenge Partners, focussing on school and organisational improvement. She has worked with schools and education departments internationally on the development of system leadership.

Alex Nairn – Strategic Advisor

Alex spent six years as Programme Director for the Training and Development Agency for Schools, where he led major government school improvement programmes across all 22,000 schools and 150 Local Authorities in England.  He is an experienced change management consultant, facilitator and qualified coach and has held several board positions in commercial environments including HR Director at WHSmith.  Since 2010 Alex has been working with the Maasai in Northern Laikipia, Kenya, supervising the project management, building, marketing and operation of a new luxury safari camp.

Richard Ogdon – Strategic Advisor

Richard has spent over 20 years in the investment banking and private equity industry, principally focused on developing markets. In the 1990s he founded UBS Warburg’s Moscow office and pioneered many milestones in the development of Russia’s capital markets, as well as advising Russia’s post Soviet government from 1992 on the restructuring of its foreign debt. He has held board positions at Troika Dialog, Uralsib, OTKRITIE Securities, AVTOVAZ, KAMAZ, High River Gold Mines and Russian Direct Investment Fund. He is currently advising Russia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund on direct investment.

Stuart Rees – School Development Director

Stuart has enjoyed a multinational 35 year education career, having worked as a Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher in the UK, taught in schools in sub-Saharan Africa and North America and led tours to China, New Zealand, Australia and Canada for senior educational leaders. Stuart also has significant experience of school improvement after operating as Principal Secondary School Officer and Education Lead for the Building Schools for the Future programme in Redcar and Cleveland, working as an Associate Headteacher for the Spencer Academies Trust in Nottingham and delivering ‘Narrowing the Gap’ work for a number of schools in the Midlands.  He is relishing the opportunity to renew acquaintances with Zambia some 40 years after first teaching there.

Oskar Semweya-Musoke – Strategic Advisor

Oskar is principal of Taibah Schools in Uganda, some of the leading private schools in the region renowned for introducing new trends in education. Previously, he was a senior teacher at Lampton School, an over-subscribed large comprehensive school in west London, and he taught at Makerere University in the Institute of Languages for two years. Oskar is also the moderator of a popular, weekly interactive talk show on a national radio station, a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Jacquie Smith – Education Advisor

Jacquie has over thirty years of educational experience. She is currently Associate Headteacher at Lampton Academy, an outstanding Teaching School in London. She also serves as Head of Initial Teacher Training for the West London Teaching School Alliance and as a National Evaluator for the Challenge Partners Challenge the Gap programme and Olevi’s Improving Teacher and Outstanding Teacher Programmes. Brought up in Malawi, Jacquie taught for two years in South Sudan.

Jess Talbot – Operations Director

Jess has worked in the UK voluntary and education sectors for ten years.  Whilst Director of the charity Future she worked to set up and grow their academy chain, including leading the establishment of their free school in London – Pimlico Primary.  Most recently she led school improvement programmes focused on improving the outcomes of disadvantaged children at Challenge Partners, a national charity that supports school collaboration in the UK.  Jess has also spent time working with schools, health centres and youth groups in Uganda whilst leading a peer education project in a rural community.


Strategic Partners


The Scholé model is to transform education in Africa by drawing on the best of UK practice. We do this through recruiting high calibre individuals as School Development Directors and through our Specialist Programme of short to medium term placements of outstanding UK practitioners. We are able to do this through strong relationships with some of the UK’s leading networks of schools and leadership trainers.

Challenge Partners

Challenge Partners is the UK’s foremost school improvement network founded by the team that led the London Challenge. It is a UK charity, owned and led by schools, who work together to lead school improvement. It believes that when schools are working in partnership to continually improve their practice, an excellence education for pupils will be achieved. Challenge Partners is made up of over 300 schools. Scholé has a pool of senior leaders from Challenge Partners’ schools, who are interested in becoming School Development Directors when Scholé scales up. For more information, click here.

Olevi International

Olevi works to drive up standards in the quality of teaching in schools nationally and around the world, create a successful teaching and learning culture that leaves a lasting legacy and ensure all schools become centres of excellence in the enhancement of teaching and pedagogic leadership, improving learning outcomes for all. It delivers this through a range of teacher training and professional development programmes, having trained almost 3,000 programme facilitators in over 1,000 facilitator schools across the UK and abroad. Olevi has granted Scholé free access to all its training materials and is actively recruiting Specialists from its network of outstanding teachers. For more information, click here.

World Class Schools Quality Mark

The World Class Schools Quality Mark (WCSQM) is the new standard in education for schools that have moved beyond outstanding. WCSQM is a group of experienced educationalists, from a variety of backgrounds (including headship, advisory work, and inspections), which recognises that there is a need in England to formally recognise state secondary schools that go ‘beyond outstanding’. It believes passionately in the potential of UK state schools to compete with the best in the world. WCSQM schools The Wren, Sandringham School and Claremont High School have provided Scholé with Specialists for short term assignments in Africa. This year, the programme is being expanded to eight more schools.

Scholé | High quality affordable schools for Africa

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