Join the Education Debate

The Exec

Nigel Jones

Nigel Jones

Chair

Nigel spent 42 years teaching in secondary schools and in FE colleges, including head of department and on committees involved with policy-making and worked part-time for the West Midlands Churches FE Council. He played a key role as elected staff governor at Stoke College, helping to turn round a disastrous situation. He is governor of a primary school and has been a local councillor and member of council cabinet.

​Lord Mike Storey CBE

​Lord Mike Storey CBE

President

Mike Storey is the LibDem Education Spokesman in the Lords. Until 2012 he was Headteacher of a large inner-city primary school, renowned for its arts and enterprise education. Formerly Council Leader and Lord Mayor of Liverpool, under his leadership, Liverpool moved from being one of the worst performing, to the most improved authority. He oversaw the regeneration of the city, successfully delivering a European Capital of Culture year.

Janet Grauberg

Janet Grauberg

Secretary

Janet is a Policy and Strategy Consultant specializing in children’s services, including early years policy and children’s social care. She is a former Lead Member for Children and Young People and recently worked for Barnardo’s as Director of Strategy. Previous roles include Policy Adviser in the Department for Education, supporting Sarah Teather MP when Minister for Children and Families. She also chairs a small community arts charity in Kilburn, north west London.

Helen Flynn

Helen Flynn

Committee member

Helen Flynn has been a school and college governor for over 15 years and is currently Chair of Governors at Hookstone Chase Primary School in Harrogate. She is an education policy specialist and has served on the Federal Policy Committee of the Liberal Democrats. She coordinated the publication of the Social Liberal Forum booklet, “21st Century Education: A Social Liberal Approach" in 2014. She is an elected member of the Social Liberal Forum, a Harrogate Borough Councillor and contested the Harrogate & Knaresborough parliamentary seat in 2015.

Tom Barney

Tom Barney

Treasurer

Val Melnyczuk

Val Melnyczuk

Membership Secretary

Val is a qualified early years teacher and is currently employed as an Associate Lecturer with the Open University. Until recently she ran her own early years training company, N4K Ltd and prior to that was an Early Years Consultant for Cheshire LA, a Children’s Centre teacher and an EYP (Early Years Professional) assessor.

Peter Downes

Peter Downes

Vice President

Peter Downes is a County Councillor in Cambridgeshire and is the Lib Dem Spokesman for Children and Young People. He was a languages teacher and Head of comprehensive schools in Oxfordshire and later Cambridgeshire from 1975 to 1996. He ran a pilot school for Local Financial Management and education finance remains one of his major interests. As Past President of the Secondary Heads Association (now ASCL), he retains a strong involvement in current education politics. He is also a primary school governor.

Sal Brinton

Sal Brinton

Vice President

Sal Brinton is President of the Liberal Democrats. Baroness Brinton is a former bursar of two Cambridge colleges, a trustee of the United Kingdom Committee of UNICEF, a director of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, and former chair of Cambridgeshire Learning and Skills Council. She began her working life at the BBC, was later a successful venture capitalist, and now has a particular interest in education, skills and learning.

John Howson

John Howson

Vice President

Professor John Howson is a county councillor in Oxfordshire and speaks on education matters for the local Party. he has been a teacher, lecturer, government advisor and businessman in his long career in education. His career in education started in the early 1970s but his political career in the Liberal party started with the 1966 general election. In addition to his interest in education, John has interests in renewable energy and the criminal justice system.

Sal Jarvis

Sal Jarvis

Vice President

Sal is Dean of the School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire. She has worked in the Early Years’, Primary and Further Education sectors and was a Special Needs Co-ordinator in a mainstream primary school for 11 years. Sal led the establishment of the Mathematics Specialist Teachers’ programme at the University. She currently on the governing bodies of a children’s centre and a primary school and is also a district councillor.

Clare Campion-Smith

Clare Campion-Smith

Executive member

Clare is a councillor in Bristol.

Pash Nandhra

Pash Nandhra

Executive member

Qualified teacher taught in Kenya and the UK. Spent over 30 years teaching in state schools holding positions of responsibility. As a local councilor chaired the Harrow Council education committee. A committed community politician, she believes that all children should have equal opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Lee Dargue

Lee Dargue

Vice Chair

Lee has been involved in teaching and training for 15 years, and has taught every age group from 14+. He has worked in private training establishments as well as FE colleges in subjects ranging from psychology to environmental management, and IT to occupational health. Lee's primary areas of focus are on the journey from secondary to FE, HE and apprenticeships, reforming assessment, increasing the student voice and ensuring teachers are given proper support for personal and professional development.

Simon de Deney

Simon de Deney

Vice Chair

Simon trains teachers in cross curriculum storytelling, is on the board of LEAD, a not for profit educational coaching organisation and has been a school governor for longer than he cares to remember.

Paul Porgess

Paul Porgess

Executive member

Paul is a councillor in Stockport and sits on the Children & Young People's Scrutiny Committee. He is also a member of the Schools Forum, the Admissions Panel and School Monitoring Panel. Before retiring he was a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University in the Materials Technology Dept and then in the Chemistry Dept.

Cara Jenkinson

Cara Jenkinson

Executive member

Cara Jenkinson has been a governor for over 6 years and is currently Vice-Chair of governors at a large comprehensive school in North London. She is currently Chair of Haringey Liberal Democrats and stood as parliamentary candidate for Enfield North in 2015. Cara edits the LDEA website.

Mathew Hulbert

Mathew Hulbert

Executive member

From 2011 to 2015 Mathew was a Borough Councillor in Hinckley and Bosworth in Leicestershire and was the authority's elected member Children and Young People's Champion. He's a governor at a primary school in his village and is its Anti-Bullying Lead Governor. Mathew's passion is to see out-of-school youth services, which have seen severe cuts to them in recent years, refunded and revitalised to ensure the needs of all young people and, especially, the least well-off and most vulnerable in our society are met.