Team

Meet the Governors for Schools team.

Louise Cooper
Louise Cooper
CEO

Louise became CEO of Governors for Schools in April 2017. She brings a rich and diverse set of skills and experiences from more than 20 years in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Most recently, she was Business Development Director at the social enterprise London Early Years Foundation, where she grew their nursery portfolio from 24 to 38 nurseries. Her private sector experience was with LEK Consulting, a strategy consulting firm, and the global retailer Tesco. She has also led UnLtd South Africa in Cape Town, a non-profit organisation which supports local entrepreneurs. Louise is currently a Governor of a primary school in north London. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MChem from Oxford University.

Adam Balzano
Adam Balzano
National Team Leader

Adam has been with Governors for Schools for 6 years. When Adam realised he was not going to play professional Rugby for Gloucester and Wales he committed himself to a career in education (his other burning passion). Adam has been a school governor for 5 years and is currently serving at a primary school in East London. 

Annwen Bates
Annwen Bates
Fundraising Manager

In early 2018 Annwen joined Governors for Schools. She moved from a government role to fundraising in 2009 and subsequently specialised in trusts and foundations. Originally from Cape Town, where she worked briefly as a music and English teacher, Annwen has also lectured in art history and published on visual representations of HIV/AIDS.

Gabrielle Brown
Gabrielle Brown
Area Manager, National Team

Gabrielle graduated from the University of Reading with a Bsc (Hons) in Psychology with a Professional Placement. Before joining Governors for Schools Gabrielle was employed by the NHS working as an Honorary Assistant Psychologist at a children’s mental health clinic.

William Durham
William Durham
London Team Leader

In addition to managing the London team, William leads our work on promoting the role school governors can play in driving employability outcomes in schools. William joined the charity in November 2015 and was previously in the National Team. He is currently a Co-Chair of Governors at a large primary school in Islington. He has a degree in History as well as an MA in Heritage Resource Management.

Gemma Exelby
Gemma Exelby
Area Manager, London Team

Gemma joined Governors for Schools in August 2017, after graduating from Loughborough University with BA (Hons) in History and International Relations. Gemma spent a year working for Intel Corporation, helping to run their education programmes across Europe in the Corporate Affairs Team. With a passion for social mobility, Gemma has run educational after school clubs for disadvantaged pupils.

Emma Hawker
Emma Hawker
Multi Academy Trust Account Manager

Emma joined Governors for Schools in November 2017 and brings a range of experience in the education sector. Emma taught in in Essex for several years before joining EES for Schools as an Education Adviser, specialising in assessment. She has also developed assessment software used in schools across the country. Emma has a BA (Hons) from Brunel University and achieved QTS after completing a Primary PGCE at the University of Greenwich. She is a governor at a large infant school in Southend-on-Sea.

Vanessa Johnson
Vanessa Johnson
Area Manager, National Team

Vanessa has been working at Governors for Schools for just over 3 years. Starting out with the charity as an apprentice, Vanessa has now worked her way up from Area Co-ordinator to Area Manager for the National team. Vanessa is a self-taught Graphic designer and also has a comedy YouTube channel.

Oliver Kean
Oliver Kean
Service Development Manager

In his role as Service Development Manager, Oliver works to enhance our offer of services and resources for volunteers. Oliver has seven years’ experience supporting governors and school leaders with The Key and Governors for Schools. He has a degree in history from the University of Manchester.

Jill McAusland
Jill McAusland
Area Manager, London Team

Jill started work at Governors for Schools two years ago as an Area Manager on the national team and now works on the London team. Having attended Rose Bruford College in London where she graduated with a BA (Hons) in Acting, Jill continues to pursue a professional acting career in theatre and television, whilst working at Governors for Schools.

Craig Perryman
Craig Perryman
Area Administrator, London Team

Craig joined Governors For Schools in 2017 and has been the good luck charm to the London Team ever since. Craig graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology but always longed to direct films for the big screen in Hollywood. If he isn’t handling and liaising with volunteers, he’s filming and editing videos for the company website.

Raheem Pillay
Raheem Pillay
Area Administrator, National Team

Before joining Governors for Schools, Raheem was an administration volunteer for CEN (Communities Empowerment Network), a charity that supports, advises and represents parents and helps reintegrate pupils excluded from school back into education. Raheem holds a degree in Psychosocial Studies from Anglia Ruskin University and in his spare time does Parkour.

Katie Punter
Katie Punter
Area Manager, London Team

Katie started working for Governors for Schools in 2016 in a temporary role and has subsequently been appointed permanently. Before Governors for Schools, and since graduating from the University of Cambridge, she has run a preschool group and acquired a CELTA qualification to teach English to adults.

Christina Reed
Christina Reed
Area Manager, National Team

Chrissie has a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Queen Mary University in East London and has lived in London for a number of years. She came to Governors for Schools in March 2017 having worked previously as Assistant Director at an education centre and as an educational leader for International students.

Sara Siddiqi
Sara Siddiqi
Marketing Manager

Sara joined Governors for Schools in August 2017, after spending a year as Communications Manager at Academy Ambassadors, a service set up to recruit trustees to multi-academy trusts. Prior to that she has worked in similar marketing related roles across the not-for profit, education and youth sector, namely with The Challenge, a charity providing young people the opportunity to take part in the National Citizen Service programme. Passionate about social justice and working in the third sector, Sara also has a BA (Hons) in Business Management and an MSC in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London.

Hannah Stolton
Hannah Stolton
Systems, Impact and Finance Manager

Hannah has a background in recruitment as manager of an internal agency and is using her experience in this field to ensure that our operations are as efficient as possible. She has a degree in English Literature from Roehampton University, with QTS. Hannah is currently chair of governors at a village primary school in Essex.