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inspiring learning through technology

Our Trustees

Our Patrons

The charity is delighted to have the patronage of four senior people in education including two of our former Chairman.

Rt Hon Baroness Morris

Patron, Estelle MorrisRt 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 & 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 a Patron of the charity.

Rt Hon Lord Knight

Trustee, Jim KnightRt 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.

Rt Hon Lord Mitchell

Patron, Lord MitchellRt Hon 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

Patron, Phil WillisLord 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.


Our Trustees

The main governing body of the charity is made up of our 6 Trustees who bring a wealth of experience in a variety of specialist areas, all of great value to the Foundation.


Chairman - Niel McLean

Niel-McLean-web150Niel McLean

Managing Director Niel McLean Associates Ltd
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 led the Futurelab Research Centre at NFER and the education team at e-skills UK. His current projects include working with Nesta to increase corporate volunteering to help young people develop digital skills, the Publishers Association and Besa on the quality of computing teaching resources, and Computing At Schools to support the new curriculum.

Jenny Bailey

pic-Jenny-BaileyJenny 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

Trustee, David BurrowsDavid Burrows

Managing Director – International Organizations Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft Corporation
David is Managing Director – International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector division at Microsoft Corporation leading the global team responsible for engagement with multi-national governmental organisations and agencies. Previously he was Managing Director – EMEA Government, WW Public Sector. Prior roles include Senior Director for business strategy and marketing of the UK Public Sector division; and Director of UK Education/Voluntary markets.

With over 25 years’ experience in the IT industry, David joined Microsoft in 1991 holding a range of management positions covering Channel Partners, Consulting and Support Services, Skills and Training and the Small Business segment.  David also spent time at the company’s European HQ working on European Service and Support programmes. Previously, David was with Digital Equipment Corporation in sales management roles; and prior to that, with Olivetti, in a variety of technical, pre-sales and sales roles.

David is a past serving member on a number of UK Government advisory boards.  From 2003-2011, David was a non-executive director of UKERNA/Ja.Net (the provider of the SuperJANET UK education and research high speed network), he is a past Chair of Trustees of the Learning Lab and is a current trustee of the e-Learning Foundation. He is a past 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. In recognition for ITC related services to UK Education, Learning and Skills development, David was made an Honorary Doctor at Sheffield Hallam University (2006) and Wolverhampton University (2008).

David Doherty

Trustee, David DohertyDavid 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 had 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.

Dominic Norrish

Dominic Norrish

Dominic Norrish (@domnorrish) is a former history teacher, school leader and educational technology consultant and is currently the Group Director of Technology at United Learning, a national group of over 60 maintained and independent schools. He has written extensively on the intersection of learning and technology for the press, in the book ‘Educate 1-to-1’ , on his blog at and regularly advises start-ups in the edtech space. His current interests include the potential for AI to impact on teacher workload and on our analyses of data about learning.

Martin Sandford

pic-MartinSandford-web Martin Sandford

Martin has enjoyed a twenty-five year career spent in secondary education and more recently in careers and educational advisory roles. Currently Martin is a council Education Officer for children in care where he is focussed on improving outcomes for some of the most disadvantaged young people.

In his early career, having achieved a Master’s in Education, Martin became interested in Computer Aided Learning.  Later, as Director of Studies he was in part responsible for IT direction and policy in that school; both in IT itself and cross curricular use. When Head of Sixth Form in Swindon at a comprehensive Martin was fully engaged in the big move for UCAS from paper to electronic applications. In 2003  moving to front line careers work took him into educational advisory work for the Council, conducting audits with Wiltshire schools around Careers Education provision.