Chair - Dr Kulvarn Atwal
Kulvarn specialises in teacher professional learning. His doctoral thesis highlighted the factors that impact upon teacher engagement in professional learning activities, with a particular focus on workplace learning theories and action research. He published his first book, 'The Thinking School. Developing a Dynamic Learning Community' in 2019.
Kulvarn has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to inclusive practices and has worked in partnership with AfA for over 7 years. He shares their passion, dedication, and commitment to improving the life chances of those children and young people that are at greatest risk. At this particularly challenging point in time it is even more important that we work in partnership to ensure that the social and emotional wellbeing of our children and young people is at the forefrontt of all that we do.
Kulvarn is delighted to be joining the Board of Trustees and honoured to have the opportunity to build on the work of Brian Lamb OBE as Chair.
It is a real privilege to have joined AfA’s board of trustees. AfA’s mission to support children and young people that need it the most is one I feel very passionate about and a topic I have tried to support throughout my 20 years of experience in education as a lecturer and a researcher and evaluator. AfA’s impactful work is admirable and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to it going forward.
Originally from the Midlands, John previously worked with business leaders across the UK as head of education at the CBI, as well as chairing their LGBT+ Network. Prior to this, he advised three former education ministers and was a founding director of the independent Education Policy Institute. Outside of work, John is Non-Executive Director of the Activate Learning Group, has been a governor of a special needs secondary school for five years, sits on Pearson's Editorial Board, and is the Deputy National Chair of LGBT+ Conservatives.
It’s a huge privilege to be able to contribute to growing Achievement for All. After a decade working in education policy, including for several Education Ministers, I’ve seen first-hand the transformative effect charities can have on schools, especially for the most disadvantaged and those with special needs. The work of AfA couldn’t be more vital as we recover from Covid-19 and ensure every child and young adult are not scarred by the social and economic impact it has wrought.
John Harding CBE
After graduating from Southampton and Bristol universities, and qualifying as a probation officer, spent 37years in the service in Notts, Devon, West Midlands, Hampshire (Chief officer) and London (Chief officer). Pioneered Community service by offenders as a national pilot for the Home office and in the eighties piloted for the Home office victim-offender restitution. Parole board member 2001 to 2007. Former Chair and trustee of Addaction, a major drug and alcohol treatment agency for users, Trustee of the Penoptical trust, providing offenders with optical skills, trustee of Footprints, mentoring service for ex-offenders in Dorset and Hants. Worked for EU as a team leader in Russia (2007-2009) Turkey (2010/11) and Serbia (2012). Visiting Professor of Criminal Justice studies at Hertfordshire University (2001-2009), Visiting Professor United Nations Far Eastern Institute (1991-1999), Fuchu, Japan. Freeman of the Educators and Freeman of the Spectacle makers. Appointed CBE for services to Probation in 2001,
Stephen is the campaign manager for the Disabled Children’s Partnership, a coalition of more than 80 charities campaigning for better health and social care services for disabled children and their families.
Stephen worked in the Civil Service from 1991 to 2016 in a range of roles in the Department for Education and the Department of Health. These included, between early 2011 and late 2014, Deputy Director responsible for special educational needs and disability policy. Stephen took up that post during the consultation period on the Green Paper ‘Support and Aspiration’ and was the lead official on the development of Part 3 of the Children and Families Act; the Code of Practice; and the overall reform programme. He left the post in late autumn 2014, after implementation of the Act.
After leaving the Civil Service, Stephen took a career break, during which he undertook a year-long cycle challenge, riding over 7,100 miles and raising money for Contact, the charity for families with disabled children. Since January this year, he has been Campaign Manager for the Disabled Children’s Partnership, a coalition of more than 60 charities campaigning for better health and social care services for disabled children and their families.
Between 2011 and 2014, I was the lead official at the Department for Education on special educational needs and disability policy. That role included working closely with Achievement for All, who the Department was funding to develop and disseminate approaches to improving educational attainment of children with special educational needs. The government drew heavily on the work and experience of Achievement for All in drawing up the guidance in the SEND Code of Practice. When the opportunity came, therefore, to be involved again with Achievement for All – this time as a Trustee – it was too good to miss, and I am looking forward to learning more about how the charity has developed over the intervening period and playing my role in its future success.
Tanya Popeau has worked with the world’s leading corporates, non-profits, development agencies and academic institutions. Her projects have covered a range of global issues including urban poverty, disaster risk management, civic engagement, governance, energy efficiency, gender-based violence, sustainable development, and education. She has worked across Africa, Asia, the US, and the UK.
Tanya is a consultant and advisor to the United Nations. She has worked for the UN’s largest agency and was at the forefront of their shift to a strategic focus on innovation. She implemented this new approach across 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific, overseeing the development of the first ever innovation fund in the region. She was also the lead consultant on the fund, which generated projects from around Asia tackling challenges from natural disasters to women’s economic empowerment.
At Royal Holloway University of London, Tanya led the start-up and strategic development of a new innovative programme. She designed and implemented a range of projects working with over 10 academic departments, managing all operations. In her role, she successfully involved new strategic partners from the private sector and creative industries including the BBC, Amnesty International, Mercedes Benz, BP, Oxfam, Arsenal Football Club and Procter & Gamble.
Tanya has also carried out research on methodologies and techniques for innovating in international development (for Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency), and has lectured and managed at all levels of education in the UK and internationally. Former students range from postgraduates in Malaysia, to young offenders in inner city London, to a team of professors and physicians in Chicago.
Tanya studied up to postgraduate level at Cambridge University and King’s College London. Her studies have focused on using innovation to solve complex global challenges. She also studied 3D modelling and new emerging technologies at Ravensbourne University, and is particularly excited by Augmented and Virtual reality.
She is passionate about raising aspirations and educational attainment to ensure that all students have equal opportunities. During the time of this global pandemic, it's more important than ever that no child is left behind. She is therefore delighted to be joining the board of trustees to support the excellent work of Achievement for All which continues to make positive impact in these areas.