Our Team

David Weston, CEO

David is the founder and Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust. He is Chair of the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Professional Development Expert Group and, alongside Bridget Clay, wrote Unleashing Great Teaching: the secrets to the most effective teacher development. David taught maths and physics for ten years in two schools in London and the South East. He is a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. David speaks and writes frequently for the education sector and national media and has had a number of radio and TV appearances on the subject of teaching, teacher development and LGBT issues.

Maria Cunningham, Director of Education

Maria joined the Teacher Development Trust in 2016 having been a primary school teacher and Communications Officer for LAFF, a UK charity based in Peru. She has led and contributed to national programmes including TDT’s DfE-funded CPD Excellence Hubs, the Wellcome CPD Quality Assurance Project and Nesta EdTech R&D Programme. Maria regularly writes for publications including SecEd, Headteacher Update, Tes and Schools Week and authored a chapter for the Research-Informed Teaching Revolution. In March 2021, Maria co-authored the working paper ‘A culture of improvement: reviewing the research on teacher working conditions’ alongside David Weston and Bethan Hindley.

Rachel Dunsby, Head of Operations.

Before joining TDT, Rachel supported Watford Grammar School for Boys as their chief Exams and Admissions Officer, liaising with the local authority, exam boards, teachers, and parents, and coordinating cross-phase and mid-year admissions. She sat on the Education and Health & Safety Committees as staff governor during this time. Alongside her work with TDT, Rachel is Partner and Company Secretary for Ace Garden Services Ltd. and has 7 years’ previous conference organisation experience within the leisure and events industry. Joining the team in 2019, Rachel is motivated by TDT’s mission of supporting and empowering robust professional development school-wide. Contact Rachel for all queries on internal events management, bookings, legal information, billing, and accounts.

Michelle Barker, Network Programmes Lead

A former Centre Director for a national learning company and EAL teacher, Michelle has over 6 years’ experience in supporting both UK and overseas education in state and independent schools. Specialising as a trainer in customer experience, she joined the team in 2019 eager to continue delivering on the needs of the Teacher Development Trust’s network and expanding the reach of our charitable mission by connecting the people at its core. She now manages the development of the membership provision for the Trust’s network and leads on communications. She regularly hosts interviews for Naylor’s Natter, a podcast for teachers, is published in Tes and SecEd, and led on TDT’s collaboration with the National Foundation for Education Research’s work into Teacher Autonomy.

Bethan Hindley, Head of Leadership Delivery

A Teach First Ambassador, Bethan taught secondary maths and economics in London and later led this in Sao Paulo. She now supports the trust as an expert advisor, auditor and course content creator, and is particularly interested in exploring professional development for schools as an evidence-supported solution to narrowing the disadvantage gap. While leading on course content and delivery for TDT, Bethan manages the Leading Teacher Development module of The University of Buckingham’s Online MA Education (Teaching and Learning). Bethan sits on the advisory board for CollectivED: the Centre for Mentoring, Coaching and Professional Learning, and volunteers for Reach Out, a mentoring charity. She regularly appears on Naylor’s Natter, a podcast for teachers, and has published work in SecEd, Tes, and the Chartered College International Teacher CPD Report.

Kathryn Morgan, Head of Leadership Content

A former Deputy Head Teacher and MAT Director of Professional Learning and Development, Kathryn joined the central team as an Expert Advisor in July 2020. Having previously worked at Ambition Institute as Associate Dean for Learning Design, Kathryn is interested in the instructional design and content of leadership professional development. With a keen interest in organisational development and dialogic inquiry, Kathryn is an accredited Fierce Conversations coach and has worked with a variety of schools to help them maximise the impact of their professional conversations and build high levels of trust. As an experienced Primary maths and science subject leader, Kathryn is a member of the St Matthew’s Research School team and keeps her knowledge and experience of school improvement up-to-date as a Chair of Governors. She is a regular host on the Naylor’s Natter podcast and is also part of the SLTchat team on Twitter. Kathryn is also a trustee for RefugeeEd and oversees the induction and development of volunteers.

Matthew Dean, Communication and Partnership Officer

Matthew has previously worked within the CPD sector as a Marketing Executive with Creative Education Ltd. He has a firm appreciation of just how vital quality professional development can be for the outcomes of both teachers and students alike. In February 2020, he was very pleased to have achieved a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing (Dip DigM) from the Institute of Data and Marketing in London.

Dave Price, Project Officer

Dave is a former secondary ICT teacher who worked as a middle leader for an inner London secondary school until 2014. Since then he has set up his own business and worked for The Challenge on the NCS programme in North East London as an area manager. Dave has a passion for technology, personal development and giving young people the best start in life. He is excited about working with the Nesta R&D Project partner schools to support them with his experience and wealth of ideas.

Damilola Dauda, Delivery Partner Manager

Damilola worked in schools all round the world. She has taught primary and secondary Mathematics in London, Ibadan (Nigeria) and Lima. She has a background in Engineering and recently completed a Master’s in Public Administration at New York University.

Damilola believes in education as a human right and is interested in how education systems can empower both students and teachers to take an active role in their own growth and development.

Alongside her role at TDT, Damilola teaches Mathematics and Economics and sits on the advisory board of Impact on Urban Health’s childhood obesity programme.

Kat Howard, Expert Advisor

After an extended period in Senior Leadership within the financial sector, followed by a role working for one of the UK’s largest public unions, Kat is a Senior Leader for an all-through school in Northamptonshire, alongside her role at TDT. In addition, she is Founder for Litdrive, a charity that supports English teachers with resource hosting, a peer coaching programme and subject knowledge regional events in a bid to reduce workload and keep fantastic teachers from leaving the profession. She is also East Midlands Representative for MTPTProject, a charity that supports parent teachers with ongoing CPD.

Kat is author of Stop Talking About Wellbeing and co-author of Symbiosis: the curriculum & the classroom

Abby Bayford, Expert Advisor

Alongside her role at TDT, Abby is the Director of Institute of the Academy Transformation Trust and prior to this she was Vice Principal at Bristnall Hall Academy, based in the West Midlands. Abby has been a qualified teacher for 14 years, working in and supporting a range of schools in the Midlands. In this time Abby has undertaken the role of SENCo, Lead Practitioner, Assistant Principal and, most recently, Vice Principal in charge of Leadership and Management and Quality of Education. Abby now leads on people development across all directorates for all employees at ATT. Abby has been invited to share this work at national events; she has also written for national publications on CPD design principles.

Abby is Editor of Letter to my NQT self, published by John Catt

Dr Sam Sims, Research Advisor

Sam is a quantitative education researcher, interested in teachers and education policy. Alongside his work with TDT, Sam is a Lecturer in the Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities (CEPEO) at UCL Institute of Education. He is also a Research Associate at FFT Education Datalab. Along with Rebecca Allen, Sam is the co-author of The Teacher Gap – a book about the teaching profession in England.

Neil Gilbride, Leadership Advisor

Alongside his new role advising TDT on leadership, Neil teaches across MA Educational Leadership, Inclusive Education and Research Methods at the University of Gloucestershire. He is the Acting Course Lead for the PGCE in Secondary Education, with a particular specialism in Biology. UoG provides the home for his research into the role of adult development in school leadership: his ERASMUS+ project, Getting Heads Together, is a pan-European study exploring a new model of school leadership development. His research into the adult development of school leaders is currently in the top 5% of most engaged with research within the field of educational leadership. A former teacher, he has held a wide portfolio of roles as a practitioner, researcher and leader.

Vina Sharma, Expert Advisor

Vina is an experienced Secondary English teacher, qualifying from the University of Oxford in 2003. She spent her formative years teaching in two contrasting schools, both situated in areas of high deprivation. Since then she has been a specialist peripatetic teacher of English and Literacy in a wide range of inner-city secondary schools and has also supported Widening Participation in English at both Further Education and Higher Education level. Throughout the last decade, Vina has been employed by a range of organisations; local authorities, MATs and state schools, in various leadership roles, to support colleagues, analyse the effectiveness of system leadership and bring about transformational change.  She has significant experience in Primary school governance, has acted as a regular Thought Partner for Birmingham Women’s Hospital and has taken part in rigorous PLACE inspections for The Children’s Hospital, Birmingham.

Our Trustees

Chair: Dame Sue John

Executive Director, Challenge Partners; Chair, Brilliant Club; former headteacher of Lampton School, former secondary director of London Leadership Strategy; former director of the Department for Education, Future Leaders and Teaching Leaders.

Vice Chair: Anna Pedroza

Marketing Director, Baker-Dearing Trust. Formerly an independent communications and marketing consultant who worked with TeachersMedia, Edcoms, O2 Learn and IRIS Connect. Formerly Director of Marketing and Communications at Teachers TV.

Andrea Carr

Chair, Sumdog; Vice-chair, Langley Park Learning Trust; Founder, Rising Stars Education.

Arvi Luoma

Founder & CEO of Blackbrook Capital. Formerly, Head of European Investments at W. P. Carey, a public US REIT.

Veena Naidoo

Head Teacher at Cleveland Road Primary School. As of 1st January 2016, Cleveland Junior School amalgamated with Cleveland Infant School to form the new larger than average sized, primary school that serves the community of South Ilford, an area of considerable socio-economic disadvantage.

Martin Post

Regional Schools Commissioner for South-Central England and North-West London. Formerly Headmaster of Watford Grammar School for Boys and National Leader of Education.

Sam Freedman

Chief Executive, Ark Education Partnerships; former Executive Director of Programmes at TeachFirst, former Policy Advisor to Michael Gove at the Department for Education

Former Trustees

  • Mark McCourt (former Chair)
  • Sir John Holman (former Chair)
  • Dame Alison Peacock
  • Russell Hobby
  • Charlotte Leslie MP
  • Emma Hardy MP
  • Rt Hon David Laws
  • Robin Schlinkert
  • John Bangs