AchieveAbility Board members

Barry Sheerman MP

Barry Sheerman has extensive experience in educational issues and has played a key role in education policy and debates. Chair of the Education Select Committee for ten years.
He is an energetic social and political entrepreneur having initiated over 30 different social enterprises over 20 years. He is currently actively involved in Policy Connect, the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety, Urban Mines and the John Clare Education and Environment Trust.

Dr Ross Cooper

Ross was Director of the Dyslexia, Literacy and Learning Styles Division at the LLU+, London South Bank University, UK. He has been involved in making sense of how different people learn, through his own experiences, academically and professionally, and through his work in special schools, FE and HE. Dr Cooper has argued that it is time to reframe the debates about learning styles in terms of meaning-based learning. He is Chair of the AchieveAbility network of experts and leads on Super Reading courses.

Kevin Maskell
Vice Chair

Kevin Maskell set up AimHigher London South. As Director he was responsible for strategic direction of AimHigher London South and he has been instrumental in supporting the new AchieveAbility training sessions to teachers in schools and colleges in London. Kevin was a Deputy Head teacher at a large London School prior to being Director. Kevin is now the Deputy Portfolio Holder for Economic and Community Development for Sevenoaks District Council

Jo Emmerson

Jo Emmerson is an innovative senior leader with drive and ambition. Jo has substantive experience in working across non-profit, public and private organisations. Uses influencing and fund raising skills to develop strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships to improve outcomes for young people and the wider community. A reputation for service growth, business development, change management and income generation. Jo was previously Head of ELBA’s high impact Education Works programmes which raise the aspirations of young people, develop employability skills, linking to employment destinations and support the leadership and governance of educational institutions across East London.

Katherine Hewlett
Founder and CEO

Katherine Hewlett is the founder and a Director of the AchieveAbility charity formed in 2014. AchieveAbility successes are due to the high calibre of people who have worked as a team with AchieveAbility. All the projects were devised in collaboration and as a team effort.

Katherine is an expert within development work particularly for the partnership context. She has managed local, regional and national projects to improve the potential of Neurodivergent adults. Katherine has lectured at numerous educational institutions such as the Royal College of Art and National College of Art and Design Dublin. For six years, following the RCA, she set up and developed several high profile projects within an interior glass design setting, such as a major project at the Ritz Hotel Paris. Katherine has lectured in three-dimensional design both at degree and postgraduate level. Katherine transferred her learning and teaching skills to development and progression work at the University of Westminster where she headed up the Education Development Office up to 2010.

A member of the Dyslexia Guild, Trustee of Waltham Forest Dyslexia Association and Thomas Wall Trust
Katherine set up the Westminster AchieveAbility Commission with colleagues from AchieveAbility and the Dyslexia Adult Network (DAN). More recently she has gained a PhD in a Socio-cultural investigation of visual dyslexic cognition. (2018). She has delivered talks for the BDA and Dyspraxia Foundation Conferences (2018)

Professor Debra Kelly
Co-Director of the Routes into Languages

Debra Kelly was Professor of French and Francophone Literary and Cultural Studies in the Department of Modern and Applied Languages at the University of Westminster. She has published widely in the fields of Text and Image Studies, War and Culture Studies, Cultural Memory and Franco-British Cultural Relations. She is Director of the international research network the Group for War and Culture Studies, and an editor of the Journal of War and Culture Studies. In 2005 she was made a Chevalier dans Ordre des Palmes Acadamiques by the French Government in recognition of her services to French language, literature and culture. Her current research focuses on the history of the French presence in London from the seventeenth century to the present day.

She is Co-Director of the Routes into Languages Capital L London Consortium and the author of the Routes Research Report Languages and International Events. Are we ready to talk to the world in 2012? She is also Co-Director of Network for Languages London which provides professional development and support for all those working in the languages community across primary, secondary and further education institutions.

Melanie Thorely
Accessability Project Co-ordinator

Working with the *AccessAbility Project from the beginning in August 2007 at the University of Greenwich.

The idea for the work was a result of the Access and Widening Participation Unit (AWPU) and Aspire ? Aimhigher SE London deciding to focus on supporting prospective disabled students. I work with a dedicated team who are as committed as I am to widening participation; this also includes the specialist *AccessAbility Ambassadors who make up the *AccessAbility team. The staff and ambassadors are a joy to work with and I realise I am very lucky to co-ordinate such an innovative team. The team also works with different departments across the university and our success is testament to all of the people who have worked with us to make this project so successful.

Craig Kennaedy
Advocate for Neurodivergence

Craig worked on the Autism Commission in Barry Sheerman's office with great success. He is an advocate for the Neurodivergent and an expert in technology. Craig sits on several groups and committees to raise the profile of Neurodiverence.

John Pike legal Adviser
Career: Law

Educated: QEGS Wakefield and Keighley School. Jesus College, Cambridge. De Montfort University
Partner, Addleshaw Goddard LLP from 1976 to 2009.
Consultant from 2009 to 2011.
Management/leadership responsibilities have included:
Establishing the firm's Environmental Department, and obtaining a master's degree in environmental law from De Montfort University.
Head of the nationally regarded Real Estate Division for eleven years.

A leading role in relation to the firm's strategy for its own premises for over twenty years until retirement. The firm has premises in Leeds, London and Manchester, and the role has involved representing the partnership in relation to acquisitions, lettings,fit-outs, refurbishments and disposals. For example, the firm acquired, developed, funded, pre let and pre-sold its offices in Leeds, and more recently fitted out its new headquarters offices in London when the design brief had to be worked up, the project tendered, the fit out completed and staff relocated against a challenging fourteen month time frame.

Member of the Partnership's Executive Board at Booth & Co (a legacy firm) including at the time of negotiations with Addleshaw Sons & Latham to create the merged firm of Addleshaw Booth & Co.
Member of the Partnership's Executive Board at Addleshaw Booth & Co (a legacy firm) including at the time of negotiations with Theodore Goddard to create the merged national firm of Addleshaw Goddard.
A member of the firm's Professional Conflicts Committee.
Externally trained in relationship audits and management in order to carry out independent audits of key clients of the firm to evaluate the firm's performance and relationship from their perspective.
Retains trusteeships for clients of the firm.

Voluntary Appointments:
Former governor, former chairman of governors, Moorlands Preparatory School, Leeds 1992 - 2005.
Former governor, former chairman of governors, St Peter's School York 1999 - 2010. Elected an honorary Fellow of St Peter's 2010.
Director and Trustee, Urban Mines Limited, an environmental charity finding innovative solutions for waste materials and waste management.
Director, AchieveAbility Limited, a not for profit company assisting the education of people who might have a specific learning difference.
Director and Trustee, The John Clare Trust, an educational charity advancing educational experience outside the classroom.
Trustee, the Wade's Charity, a charity providing parks, open spaces and other facilities for the general welfare of the more deprived areas in Leeds.
Honorary legal adviser, The Purey Cust Trust, a charity supporting health and healing in and around York.