The Schools & Academies Shows are run by GovNet Communications, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of events for the public sector. To ensure our events tackle the biggest challenges within the sectors that we serve, we have an expert advisory board. The GovNet Education Advisory Board consists of the below members.

Andrew is CEO of South Farnham School Educational Trust, an Academy trust which has over 1700 pupils in a range of primary schools. South Farnham Primary School has achieved many awards and accolades and has been named as Sunday Times Primary School of the Year twice. It has achieved success in both the National Training and National Business Awards and featured in the DfE publication ‘Making Great Progress’ as one of the 20 highest achieving schools nationally. South Farnham was selected as one of the first ‘Teaching Schools’; it is also a National Support School. Andrew has been featured in educational DVDs and featured in the BBC2 programme ‘Turning the Tables’ in which roles were exchanged with the Headteacher of a challenging school in Birmingham. Andrew is a National Leader of Education and has contributed articles and features in educational journals; his publication, ‘Financial Management in Schools’, has been widely used by Headteachers and Governors to support them in school improvement. Most recently, Andrew chaired the Independent Review of Initial Teacher Training, which published its report in January 2015, and is currently the Chair of the Employers Group for Teacher Apprenticeships. Andrew sits on a range of national strategic policy groups including the Teaching School Council and the Regional Headteacher Board for the South East England. He has recently written ‘School to Academy’ a detailed publication to guide schools going through the conversion process. In 2003 Andrew received an O.B.E. for services to education and a knighthood in 2014.
Debbie is CEO of the Academy Transformation Trust (ATT) – a large 3 to 19 multi-academy trust of special, primary and secondary academies along with an FE arm in Nottinghamshire. ATT is an approved DfE sponsor operating in the West Midlands, East Midlands and East and South East England. Debbie joined ATT in September 2018. Prior to this, she was the Deputy and Acting CEO at the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership (DALP) based in the East Midlands. Debbie is a former HMI and was, before that, the Principal of Nunthorpe Academy in Middlesbrough – a high performing 11-19 converter academy judged outstanding by Ofsted in all S5 aspects. Nunthorpe received much ministerial accolade and Debbie was invited to a Downing Street reception for ‘Inspirational Women Leaders’ in 2014 as a result of her work at Nunthorpe. She has been a qualified teacher for 33 years, working in a range of schools and organisations across a number of local authorities. She has wide regional and national experience in leadership development and school to school improvement, and has supported national projects, conferences and working parties/groups for the DfE, the Institute of Education (London) and Roehampton.
Rowena is Chief Executive Office of Astrea Academy Trust. She has significant experience in leading high-profile organisations across the public, not-for-profit and private sectors. Before joining Astrea, Rowena was CEO at David Ross Education Trust (DRET) where from 2017, she embedded performance improvements, introduced a core knowledge curriculum, and led the trust in providing inspirational opportunities and educational excellence. Rowena provides strong and visionary leadership to those she works with. She drives energetic change to ensure an organisation is the best it can be. Rowena is also a passionate advocate of building capacity within the sector and works with the Ambition Institute as a trainer on their Executive Educators Programme, mentoring CEOs of growing academy trusts. She is part of the MAT Review Programme and is an active member on a range of advisory groups, including with the Department for Education. She has also served as a trustee with one of the largest academy trusts in the country. Prior to joining the education sector, Rowena was the Chief Executive of a not-for-profit start-up in the regeneration sector, where she established and ran a £60 million regeneration project on the national stage.
David joined the EPI as Executive Chairman in September 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, David served in the Coalition Government as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Schools Minister, and Cabinet Office Minister. Whilst Schools Minister he was responsible for policy areas including all capital and revenue funding, the Pupil Premium, accountability and policy on teachers and leadership. David was Member of Parliament for Yeovil from 2001 until 2015. David graduated from King’s College, Cambridge, with a double first class honours degree in economics and worked at J.P. Morgan and Barclays de Zoete Wedd.
Stephen has a 20-year career history in operations and finance, working at a senior level in the public and private sectors, both in the UK and abroad. Stephen presided over the development and implementation of nationally recognised school business leadership professional standards and led the transition from the National Association of School Business Management to the Institute of School Business Leadership. Stephen works closely with the Department for Education in areas of policy reform, and his commitment to research to aid our self-improving system includes ongoing engagement with international jurisdictions including Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the US. Additionally, Stephen is an Academy Ambassador and serves as a trustee and member for two multi-academy trusts.
Steve Rollett is Deputy Chief Executive of the Confederation of School Trusts (CST), the national organisation and sector body for school trusts in England. Before joining CST, he was Curriculum and Inspection Specialist for the Association of School and College Leaders. Steve has sat on a range of advisory bodies, including Ofsted’s curriculum advisory group. Most recently he has supported Oak National Academy and the Department for Education’s remote learning advisory group. Originally trained as a history teacher, Steve was a Vice Principal of one of England’s most improved secondary schools before moving into a career in education policy.