Our Team 2019-10-15T16:05:16+00:00

Board of Trustees

Sarah Driver
Sarah DriverFounder and Chair of Trustees
As a parent of four children, three of whom are dyslexic and one fundamentally so, Sarah has spent the past 23 years

struggling with the education system. Her motivation in the development of DYT has been to ensure that no child goes through what her children did.
Sarah is a Patron Governor at Ark William Parker Academy in Hastings, has worked as a Solicitor in the City, taught Women Back to Business, and lectured law for the Open University. Sarah has completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Kingston University and now divides her time between running Rathfinny Wine Estate with her husband, Mark, and leading on strategy at DYT.
Sarah is committed to ensuring that all learners are able to access the curriculum, take responsibility for their learning and learn strategies so that they are able to leave education and continue their working lives knowing what it means to be able to succeed.

Read More

Mark Driver
Mark DriverTreasurer
From February 2001 until December 2009, Mark was a founding partner of the hedge fund management group

Horseman Capital Management.
Prior to Horseman, he had more than eleven years experience covering the Asian markets. He set up and managed the Asian Equity desk in London for Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette.
His passion for wine developed whilst visiting New Zealand in 1990. Ever since it has been his dream to start up and run his own vineyard. This dream is now becoming a reality at Rathfinny Wine Estate in Sussex, where the Drivers are producing English sparkling wine.

Read More

Elaine Parrish
Elaine ParrishTrustee
Elaine has had a varied and extensive career in the public sector. Her interest in literacy and education began

when she became a Magistrate, where
she noticed that many young people who had been failed by the education system too often landed up in court. At roughly the same time Elaine became one of the newly appointed lay Ofsted inspectors, seeing first hand the number of children who struggled with reading and writing.
Elaine was until recently Chair of Governors of a primary academy, which has moved from special measures to being the best school in the area within two years.

Read More

Giles Paxman
Giles PaxmanTrustee
Giles was the British ambassador to Spain and, before that, Mexico, until his retirement from the British

Diplomatic Service in 2013. Prior to that, much of his diplomatic career had been spent dealing with Britain’s relations with the European Union in Brussels, Paris and Rome, as well as in the Foreign Office in London.
Giles’ earlier career included a spell in the Department of the Environment, having also served in the Department of Transport and the Cabinet Office, he has an extensive experience of policy making and the workings of government.
Giles retains a keen interest in international affairs and advises a number of not for profit organisations.

Read More

Sophy Blakeway
Sophy BlakewayTrustee
Previously as Director of Education for Ark Schools for four years, Sophy’s role involved curriculum

design and support and school leadership training for 31 schools.
Before joining Ark in 2010 Sophy was a headteacher and SENCo in Hampshire, having begun her career as a teacher in London in 1977.
Since 2014, Sophy has been working with Peepul setting up and establishing three schools for some of the poorest children in South Delhi. Sophy is also chair of governors of Ark Elvin Academy in Wembley.
Sophy’s areas of expertise include SEND, school improvement, developing leadership and management.

Read More

Senior Leadership

Chris Rossiter
Chris RossiterChief Executive
Chris is DYT’s CEO and has responsibility for ensuring that the charity produces high quality, evidenced programmes of work.

Chris started his career training as an occupational psychologist, and has experience of working in research, policy and as a practitioner.
As well as overseeing the implementation of the charity’s strategy, Chris works alongside the DYT team and network of partners to ensure the design, delivery and development of projects, such as Drive for Literacy.
Aside from his DYT role, Chris is also Chair of Governors at an infant school in Berkshire, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the British Psychological Society and sits on the Executive Board of the Division of Occupational Psychology.

Read More

Karen Wespieser
Karen WespieserDirector of Operations
Karen is Director of Operations at Driver Youth Trust. She is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Trust.

Karen’s background is as a social researcher and she led research in the education sector for over ten years. Most recently, she was Head of Impact at the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and Director of the Centre for Education Economics (CfEE).
She is skilled in qualitative and quantitative research and has a passion for increasing and communicating the use of evidence in education with an aim of impacting on the lives and outcomes of young people. She is the founder of #UKEdResChat, a regular Twitter chat for those interested in all aspects of educational research. Karen is also a school governor and a mum to two minipiesers.

Read More

Nicola Podd
Nicola PoddDirector of Programmes
Nicola is DYTs Director of Programmes. She is responsible for the education offer in schools and delivery of the flagship programme ‘Drive for Literacy’.

Nicola has a wealth of expertise in supporting schools to remove barriers to engagement and attainment. She is passionate about improving outcomes for children within an educational context and has dedicated her career to this working for SELT, NCTL and NAHT. Recently, Nicola has been involved in the design and delivery of NPQs (National Professional Qualifications) for school leaders and governors and whole school improvement programmes.

Read More

Education Team

Kenny Wheeler
Kenny WheelerSenior Consultant Teacher
Kenny became a SENCo in 2002 and worked in senior leadership roles for over ten years.

He has led SEN and Inclusion departments to Outstanding and was recognised as a lead SEND practitioner. Through consultancy, raising leadership capability and improving provision for SEND, he has delivered support to schools across the country. Articles on provision management, SENCO leadership, effective deployment of TAs, Quality First Teaching written by Kenny have featured in publications such as SEN Leader, School Business Manager and Education Executive. He is currently the Senior Consultant Teacher at Driver Youth Trust.

Read More

Kelly Challis
Kelly ChallisConsultant Teacher
Inspired by working at a special school Kelly completed a specialist qualification in teaching learners

with literacy difficulties. Since then, she has worked in Primary and Secondary mainstream as a teaching assistant, Further Education as a manager, and Higher Education as a specialist one-to-one teacher. She has been a SENDCo in two preparatory schools.
Having delivered training to whole school groups in Preparatory and Primary schools Kelly utilised these skills and shared her knowledge one-to-one with a newly appointed SENDCo.
She is passionate about reintroducing the magic of literacy to all learners regardless of their level of ability. Kelly also has a passion for dyslexia being a difference not a difficulty, and literacy not being an insurmountable challenge.

Read More

Richard Selfridge
Richard SelfridgeConsultant Teacher
Richard is an experienced primary school teacher and data specialist.

Leeds and North Yorkshire. He has also worked as an intervention teacher, focusing on supporting individuals and small groups across the primary age range.
Since 2014, Richard has written about education for The Guardian, The Times Educational Supplement and Schools Week, and has spoken at national education conferences including Northern Rocks and ResearchEd. Richard is part of ASCL’s Expert Panel on Primary Assessment and has worked closely with bodies responsible for education at a national level.
His first book, Databusting for Schools, published by Sage Publications, is due for release in 2018.

Read More

Wendy Lee
Wendy LeeConsultant
Wendy has worked as a speech and language therapist for 30 years, in clinical practice, higher education

and the third sector. She was Professional Director at The Communication Trust until 2015 where she led on a number of projects, as well as inputting on national policy and research.
Wendy is currently the Director of Lingo, which provides consultancy, professional development, resources and speech and language therapy into schools and settings. She works in partnership with local and national organisations such as Cambridge University, DYT, Voice Bradford, I CAN and The Communication Trust on all things speech, language and communication.

Read More

Julie Stewart
Julie StewartConsultant Teacher
Julie is an experienced primary school teacher who has worked across a range of schools in Brighton and Hove.

She has also worked with secondary aged pupils, young adults, and adults in the workplace. This has included being a governor in a secondary school. Therefore she knows the requirements and challenges of different demographics and how to tailor her work accordingly.
She has extensive experience delivering training and was previously a placement tutor for trainee teachers at Brighton University. Until recently she was a specialist literacy teacher for Brighton and Hove Support Service.
Julie has also worked in education management and has developed leadership skills through these roles.

Read More

Anna Taylor
Anna TaylorConsultant Teacher
Anna became a SENCo in 2004 and has 14 years’ experience in leadership roles in both primary and secondary schools.

She is a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for SEND and a trained London Leadership Strategy SEND Reviewer. In these capacities she has experience assessing, recommending and implementing change across schools. In 2017 a year 7 SALT screening initiative which Anna had co-designed won nasen’s ‘Excellent Practice in Secondary School’ national award.
Anna has guest lectured on BEd and PGCE courses at London South Bank University (LSBU) and provided 1:1 support to individual teachers and trainee SENCos. She previously worked in inner London schools and is now based on the South Coast.

Read More

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.