The Team

  1. Hannah-Jones

    Hannah Jones

    Hannah Jones is founder and director of Connecting Learning Ltd. Prior to setting up Connecting Learning Hannah held a Director position at the National College for School Leadership where her role was to provide leadership and direction on leadership of ICT and other large-scale initiates. During her time at the National College Hannah initiated, designed and delivered the high successful Strategic Leadership of ICT) SLICT and Building Schools for the Future (BSF) leadership programmes.

    Hannah has a strong record of delivering high quality large scale ICT professional development programmes that have a proven impact on raising standards and achieving educational outcomes at both school, national and international levels. She has vast experience in the field of ICT and new technologies to improve learning, has written several articles, been long standing member of BETT Awards and other advisory bodies, contributed to Self Review Framework and other leadership tools.

  2. Roy-Richardson

    Roy Richardson

    Roy Richardson taught and held senior posts in schools for thirteen years prior to becoming a school adviser with Lincolnshire LA. He has managed consultant teams and planned and delivered a great many successful curriculum programmes for both the primary and secondary sectors.

    He has a vast portfolio of working with senior teams in both school and local authority environments and has a broad experience of leadership modelling, school improvement and change management programmes. He has held senior national roles for the Department of Education working with authorities across England and Wales on management and leadership issues in relation to the standards agenda.

  3. Alice-Whyley

    Alice Whyley

    Alice Whyley is creative designer and project manager at Connecting learning. She specialises in branding, promotional material, photography, website design and illustration. Alice has 3 years of experience in the creative industries as well as an Hons Degree in Graphic Communication. She is highly motivated and passionate about creating innovative design and improving learning through design. She prides herself in being approachable and sensitive to client needs to ensure high standards.

Senior Associates

  1. Bob-Harrison

    Bob Harrison

    Bob Harrison has been in secondary, further and higher education for 35 years. In recent years he has worked for Govt departments as consultant to their Improvement Group, where he has provided advice and support on ICT, the workforce development plan and leadership development. Toshiba’s Education Adviser for 10 years, he is a writer & researcher on mobile learning, digital technologies and next generation learning.

    Bob is currently an active member of the ETAG Group. The Education Technology Action Group (ETAG) was set up in February 2014 by three ministers: Michael Gove, Matthew Hancock and David Willetts. Its mission is to promote the use of digital technology across the schools, further education and higher education sectors for the benefit of students, employers and the wider economy. It is an independent group that builds on the good work done by the DfE Education Technology Group and by the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG).

  2. Gareth-Long

    Gareth Long

    Gareth Long is a very successful education consultant with proven success in many aspects of education. He is a highly experienced teacher and school leader having worked in schools for over 20 years. As a successful Headteacher he took over a number of secondary schools in very difficult circumstances both in the UK and abroad.

    Gareth is absolutely passionate about learning and young people and works to ensure that they have the best possible resources and opportunities to support aspirations for now and the future. He is committed to the highest quality ongoing professional development of staff and the power of student voice.

    He has recently been involved with numerous successful school design projects including BSF, Academy, UTC and Free School projects in the UK as well as international school projects across the UK, Mauritius, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the USA. He is currently working on a number of innovative projects with a range of groups including schools, local authorities, international school groups, architects and contractors. One of the school schemes he worked on received the 2013 Building Project of the Year (£5m - £50m) Award last year.

  3. Tony-Parkin

    Tony Parkin

    Tony Parkin has worked in education for the greater part of his career, initially as a secondary school teacher, then educational technologist, information technologist and curriculum director, before becoming a university lecturer, writer and adviser. He joined the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust in July 1998, where he was Head of ICT Development in Leadership and Innovation Networks until 2010. This involved visiting and working with many schools and local authorities, both on the classroom use of new technologies and whole school leadership and change management. Significant projects included the ICT Register, TeachnetUK, and helping deliver Strategic Leadership of ICT (SLICT) and Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programmes.

    Tony now works as a freelance speaker, writer and consultant, using his extensive experience of educational technologies to help with futures thinking, and is Visiting Lecturer at the University of Roehampton Education Department. His goal since 1978 has been to help shift the educational focus from teaching to learning, and exploring the way that a variety of pedagogies and technologies can assist in that transfer. Paradoxically that has meant increasingly working with school leaders or teachers rather than learners directly. The challenge has always been, and continues to be, keeping the educational technology focus on the first word, whilst so many want to talk about the second.

  4. Dr-Dave-Whyley

    Dr Dave Whyley

    Dr Dave Whyley is an inspirational and motivational leader in the fast changing and complex world of educational technology. Internationally recognised as one of the pioneers of Mobile Learning, David specialises in fields of technology change management, cloud based learning adoption and developing new approaches to learning and teaching utilising an ecosystem of the latest technologies. He is a highly respected and has been presented at numerous international Keynote speeches.

    Having over 35 years of experience as a teacher and educationalist in the City of Wolverhampton means his work is firmly rooted in hands on pedagogy. He is a former Primary Headteacher, leader of the BETT award winning Wolverhampton City Learning Technologies Team. Regarded as one of most significant innovators on his field, his individual contribution has been recognised with an Honorary Doctorate of Technology by Wolverhampton University. He has also received the Mobile Learning Impact Award (USA), two BETT awards and the inaugural lifetime achievement award from the e-Learning Foundation. David currently works with a number of UK and Global clients, including schools, educational establishments and multi-national tech companies.

  5. Niel McLean

    Starting as a teacher, Niel then joined a local authority developing the use of technology in the classroom. A passion for the role of technology in education led to increasingly senior roles in various national agencies and an international reputation. In the early 1990s he developed the first National Curriculum and qualifications for IT and Computing. Niel is a skilled negotiator in politically sensitive areas and has a strong track record of developing and delivering strategy, winning funding, and delivering tangible results. He created support services for schools and teachers, provided research-based evidence to the treasury, and led the scheme providing technology to 250 000 low income families. He advised Prof. Byron on her review of safeguarding children online and chaired the school resources group of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety.

    Niel is experienced at building stakeholder relationships and partnership working. He was business Development director for TES’ digital business, led the Futurelab Research Centre at NFER where he developed a model of innovation in the classroom that has been adopted across Europe. He led the e-skills UK education team’s mission to open up opportunities for young people in the information economy. He is a member of the Educational Technology Action Group, is a trustee of a number of educational charities and a fellow of the RSA. Niel is a proven, well-regarded communicator, key-note speaker with extensive media experience.

Headteacher and Academy Principal Associates

  1. Gareth-Dacey

    Gareth Dacey

    Gareth Dacey is Headteacher at Ysgol Gynradd Cwmclydach Primary School, Wales. Gareth has been headteacher of Cwmclydach Primary School in Rhondda Cynon Taff for two years having previously spent most of my teaching career in Hillingdon, West London. Literacy, and in particular writing, have always been his specialist area however over the last few years IT has become a keen interest and has been used as the key driver for raising standards in the school.

    Gareths school won the inaugural National Digital Award in 2013 and has been short listed again in 2014 for collaborative projects that they have developed involving innovative use of IT. School and learning environment design projects with an emphasis on 21st century skills development are the schools current focus.

  2. Dean-Lloyd-Jones

    Dean Lloyd-Jones

    Dean Lloyd-Jones is Assistant Principal Shelfield Community Academy, West Midlands and is a positive ambassador for e- learning in schools. Dean has recently implemented a successful 1-1 digital technologies programme at his academy and is currently working on an International research project on 1-1 in order to help other schools exploit technology in their schools, at speed and at scale.

    Dean regularly speaks at Leadership and ICT Conferences such as most recently the EICI Conference in Manchester on successful leadership of ICT.

  3. Dr-Neil-Hopkin

    Dr Neil Hopkin

    Dr Neil Hopkin is Headteacher Peters Hill Primary School, West Midlands. Dr Neil Hopkin is a Primary School Headteacher and National Leader of Education and is as an enthusiastic innovator in pedagogy for children. He has wide experience in teacher professional development and coaching and also initial teacher training, working with the Universities of Manchester, Plymouth and Warwick. A former member of BECTa’s Leading Leader Network and board member of the the ICT Register and the SSAT, Neil still chairs their National Primary Headteachers Task Force and am part of the Vision2040 group.

    Neil has worked on various projects for the SSAT and NCSL such as Developing Future Leaders, Aspirant Headteachers, Strategic Leadership of ICT training and the Primary Capital Programme, in addition to the Home Access programme for the DCSF and leadership publications for BECTa. He enjoys focusing upon personalised, independent and negotiated learning with particular reference to Information and Communication Technology. Much of Neils work can be seen at

  4. Jackie-Valin

    Jackie Valin

    Jackie Valin has 36 years experience in education. Her passion and no-nonsense attitude has inspired both students and staff to look beyond where they are now and to strive for excellence. Her belief that with young people despite their background ‘failure is not an option’ and ‘success is the only option’ has been her motto throughout her education career.

    Jackie was appointed Headteacher of Southfields Community College in 1998. In 2007 Jackie was recognised as a National Leader of Education as the school achieved an Outstanding HMI/Ofsted inspection report in all areas of the framework. Jackie regularly appears in articles in the TES for her outstanding leadership and The Guardian for articles on BSF. She has contributed to a number of publications including the G2G (Good to Great) initiative for the National College.