Our Governing body


Rt Hon Baroness Morris
Pro Vice-Chancellor Sunderland University and Chief of the Strategy Board at the Institute of Effective Education, University of York.

Estelle Morris was elected to Parliament as Member for Birmingham Yardley in 1992. Formerly a teacher in the West Midlands, Baroness Morris taught for 18 years in an inner-city comprehensive school in Coventry.  She also served as a Councillor on Warwick District Council for 12 years, for eight of these as Labour Group Leader. 

She moved to the Whips Office in 1994, where she served for one year, before moving to Labour’s Frontbench Education Team as Shadow Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools and Early Years.

After the 1997 election, she was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for School Standards in the new Labour Government and in July 1998 she was appointed Minister of State for Education and Employment and she became a Privy Councillor in 1999.

She was Secretary of State for Education and & Skills from June 2001 to October 2002, and then after a brief period in the back benches she became Minister for the Arts from February 2003 until the 2005 election when she stood down as an MP. 

In the summer of 2005 she was elevated to the Lords and became Baroness Morris of Yardley. She became chair of the e-Learning Foundation in January 2003 and stood down in September 2006 but remained as a Trustee until April  2008 when she became Patron of the charity.

Rt Hon Lord Knight
Managing Director, online learning with TSL Education Ltd
James "Jim" Knight, Baron Knight of Weymouth, is a British Labour Party politician, who was Member of Parliament for South Dorset from 2001 until 2010. He held several ministerial posts during his time as an MP including Minister for the South West, Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform, and Schools Minister where he spearheaded the Home Access programme. In October 2008 he became a member of the Privy Council and was made a life peer in the summer of 2010.


Lord Mitchell
Born in 1943, and married with three children, Lord Mitchell was one of the founding Trustees of the e-Learning Foundation in 2000 and was Chairman from 2006-2010. He was Chairman of Syscap plc, an IT service provider until August 2006. Elevated to the peerage in 2000, he has sat on the Science and Technology Select Committee and campaigns on technology in education, foetal alcohol syndrome and pay day loans. In 2012 he became a Shadow Business Minister for the Labour Party.


Lord Willis
Phil Willis was Chairman of the e-Learning Foundation from 2010 - 2013 and a trustee from 2004. He is a former Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Harrogate and Knaresborough and Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. He was a member of the Education and Employment Select Committee until November 2000, and is a vice-chairman of All-Party Groups on pluralism in education and further and adult education. He chaired the group on mobile communications and was treasurer of the All-Party Group on medical research.

A former Leeds headmaster, Phil Willis was principal Education and Employment spokesman in Charles Kennedy's "Shadow Cabinet", from 1999 to 2005, after being Further and Higher Education spokesman as deputy to Don Foster. His special interests include special education needs and inclusion in education. He is a keen supporter of Leeds United FC.


Jerry Roest
Business Consultant

Currently involved in a variety of business initiatives as an independent business consultant, as well as being chairman of a small publishing company.

Previously Jerry led a number of successful businesses; DSGi Business, Shazam Entertainment, Compuserve Europe, the Financial Times Online Division and he built the internet & broadband business of NTL inc (now Virgin Media).

Karen Bach
Managing Director, Kallikids

Karen is a highly qualified Commercial and Finance Director and gained a first class degree in Management studies and French before becoming a Chartered accountant. Karen worked at Ernst & Young before taking industry roles with international divisions of insurance and publicly quoted manufacturing companies, and moving into senior management of global telecoms and outsourcing companies. Subsequently, Karen was Director of a venture capital backed data centre business taking this multi-site international company public and through rapid growth followed by two Director roles within listed software businesses (Kewill and Advanced Computer Software).

After a period as Commercial Director of kidsunlimited, a childcare and education business with close to 60 day-care nurseries, she has started a new online business, Kallikids.  Karen brings governance and financial experience to the Foundation together with a technology and child education background.


Jenny Bailey
Marketing Communications Consultant
Through her own award winning public relations business Jenny has devised and managed successful strategic communications campaigns designed to build corporate reputation for a variety of major brands including Microsoft, Toshiba, Barclays, Fortis, BT, Alfred McAlpine, Gucci and PWC.  Amongst her many projects were a variety of educational initiatives.

Now an independent Marketing Communications Consultant she works at a senior level within organisations both commercial and not for profit.  Jenny has also recently completed a research project devised to foster well-being on two London estates.


David Burrows
Managing Director - Government Solutions
Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft Corporation

Prior to his current role, David was in charge of business strategy and marketing for Microsoft’s UK public sector division, following six years as Director of Education/ Voluntary Sector for Microsoft UK.

David joined Microsoft in 1991 as the ‘City’ Sales Manager, and has held sales and marketing management roles within the UK subsidiary and at the European Headquarters. He previously worked for Digital Equipment Corporation and Olivetti. David has a BA (Hons) from Leicester University.

David is a past serving member of the ITCESSG, a task group within the Information Age Partnership looking at IT Skills as part of the National Skills Task Force, a board member of CC4G (Computer Clubs for Girls); a past member of the DELG Task-Force reporting to the National LSC (Learning and Skills Council) on workplace learning using technology and was appointed as a member of the MOD Defence Education and Skills Advisory Board. He is a past Chair of Trustees of the Learning Lab. In 2006, David was made an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Sheffield Hallam (UK) in the faculty of ACES in recognition for services to Education.



Mike Butler
Chief Executive, The Education Village Academy Trust

Involved at the beginning of the e-Learning Foundation movement through his role at King Edward VII School in Melton Mowbray, Mike has previously headed up Djanogly City Academy, in Nottingham, an award-winning school and a leader in the use of ICT in education. He now heads up a group of four academies and a free school, incorporating special and mainstream provision across the 2-19 age range.

Mike has also held a number of board positions, including being: a governor of another secondary school in Nottingham for over 13 years; a Director and past Chairman of the Independent Academies Association; and a trustee of the National e-Learning Foundation for the past 5 years.


David Doherty
Director of ICT Ofcom

David has worked in the ICT industry for over 30 years, with a career spanning end user organisations, consultancy and IT Managed Services Providers.
Prior to joining Ofcom, David has been acting as a consultant and advisor to a number of companies in the ICT sector.

Previously David has held senior management positions at NTL Business, Vanco and Easynet, where he was Group CIO up to the end of 2012.


Professor Diana Laurillard
Chair of Learning with Digital Technologies at the London Knowledge Lab, part of the Institute of Education, University of London.

Diana's main role is to lead research on e-learning, and to build productive collaborative projects between the Lab, educators, the digital media industry, and policy-makers. Her work focuses on theory-based design of learning and teaching methods and resources, learners’ conceptions and misconceptions and approaches to learning, flexible learning activity design tools for teachers, and cost-benefit modeling for the introduction of e-learning.

Professor Laurillard previously held a three-year term as Head of the e-Learning Strategy Unit at the UK Government’s Department for Education and Skills. From 1995 to 2002, she held two terms of office as Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the Open University. She has been a member of the Visiting Committee on IT at Harvard University, and a member of the Dearing Committee on Higher Education for the UK Government. This work has been recognized through her honorary degrees from the University of Abertay, the Open University of the Netherlands, and the University of Brighton. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Fellow of University College London.

Her book ‘Rethinking University Teaching’ has been widely acclaimed, and is still used as a set book in courses on learning technology all over the world.

Niel McLean
Head of Education, e-Skills UK

Niel has over thirty years experience in the education sector. He held senior roles in a number of national education agencies and for the last 20 years he has been promoting and supporting technology for learning, including establishing the ICT Mark for Schools. He has managed national programmes, multi-million pound budgets and large teams, ensuring effective delivery and value for money. He led the Home Access programme reaching over 250 000 low income families and has worked in the private sector developing new online educational business. He is a trustee of a number of charities and a fellow of the RSA. He leads the education team at e-skills UK developing the next generation of skilled and motivated IT professionals.

Lynn Petersen
Chief Executive, British Horse Society

Lynn’s career spans Director positions in sales and marketing with commercial organizations such as TIME Magazine, Kraft General Foods and Burson Marstellar, and fundraising for the UK charity The Outward Bound Trust. In 2010, she was in Ethiopia for the Swiss charity Rainbows for Children where she ran a school and is now on the Board of Governors.

Educated in the U.S., Lynn has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in City Planning and has dual nationality in both the UK and USA.

Horses, dogs, walking and international travel fulfil the personal passions in life.

 Chief Executive
Paul Finnis
Chief Executive, e-Learning Foundation



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