The SKIPS Team
Author and Founder
I am not a teacher. Like you, I’m just a parent who wants the best for my children. That’s why I first developed these puzzles – to help my daughter Nicole overcome the frustrations she was experiencing while revising and to encourage her to learn. When other parents started asking about the puzzles for their own children, I decided to turn them into books.
Through imaginative and innovative books that made learning fun, I want to inspire children and their families and put a spark into home education. Because I’m so proud of what Nicole and I have achieved together I believe that if we support them, all children can do well. The quality time you spend together will create magnificent memories along the way. And that’s all a parent can wish for.
Sam has been with SKIPS since the very beginning. He has many years of experience of parental engagement tutoring his 3 children so when it comes to translating SKIPS mission statement, there’s nobody more qualified. Sam has built a solid and trustworthy foundation with schools all over England working together to bridge the gap between parent and child through education.
Shizana recently joined the team, following a career transition after 16 years in the property industry, to develop the SKIPS Funding Programme and establish opportunities with sponsors and partners, develop fund strategies and manage project campaigns. A business and media graduate with extensive years volunteering in the charity field including 6 years as a volunteer listener and member of the Management Committee for Samaritans, a Board Executive and Trustee for her local Arts Council and a Member of the CNWL NHS Foundation Trust, Shizana has a great passion for working in the third sector and brings experience of successful fund and grant applications and operational skills to take projects forward. Shizana holds a BA in Business, an MA in Media Studies from the Institute of Education and a Diploma in ‘Creative Writing and Freelance Journalism’ from the London School of Journalism.
Peter McDonough MA ACP Cert Ed (Lond.) FRGS
Peter has worked in education for over 40 years, unusually serving as a senior manager in both Primary and Secondary Sectors. In addition to management responsibilities and teaching History, he has also been a governor in a variety of schools, both State and Independent. He has worked as an education consultant for SKIPS since 2014. Research interests include Military and Design History. Peter has conducted over 40 tours of Great War sites with both adults and children and is currently employed as Historian and Education Advisor to a major fashion house.
Richard has been involved with SKIPS since 2010, assisting Ash with the first SKIPS books and is now responsible for the design of the entire portfolio. He works closely with the SKIPS team providing valuable support with branding, the website and any design work.
Richard runs a graphic and web design company, providing services for a wide range of clients around the UK. The company was established in 2008 following a previous career as a software designer and developer. As a firm believer in the benefits of education, Richard returned to study as a mature student and graduated in 2010 with a First Class BA(Hons) in Creative Digital Media, specialising in graphic design and photography.
From a background in production of TV music, documentaries and children’s programming, Jamie recently formed a children’s educational publishing company to explore a new approach he authored for the teaching of time to young children that is now being adopted by primary schools across the country.
Executive Principal of the Durham Trust, Head Teacher Elmridge Primary School
Jo Appleyard is a primary school teacher who has worked in the sector for thirty five years. She is extremely passionate about primary education offering wide and balanced experiences for young people. Jo has been the Headteacher at Elmridge Primary for nineteen years; in 2013 Elmridge Primary became an academy sponsor.
As a cohort one Teaching School, Elmridge has been a t the forefront of educational change ensuring that the child is at the centre of everything they do. They have been privileged to support a number of schools as a National Support School and have learnt so much in their association with others.
Mike went into the advertising agency world straight from Oxford, and did not emerge until the day of his retirement in February 2006. For about half of that time, he specialized in international account management, and spent much of the last six years in the Far East, ending up as CEO of the Singapore office of Publicis, part of the fourth largest communications company in the world.
He is now firmly committed to the charitable sector, and works professionally as a fully accredited family mediator, most of the time. However, he is delighted to be called on occasionally to exercise his communication skills, and especially with as laudable a social enterprise as SKIPS.
Director of Development, Place2Be
Kate has over 17 years leadership experience in business engagement with education, training and children’s services and of working across large private, public and 3rd sector organizations. Since 2011, Kate has been responsible for both the training activity at Place2Be and the overarching strategic development and growth of the organization. Kate has an MBA, BSc, PGCE and GDL.
Place2Be is a shareholder of Skips Educational Limited and Kate leads on this relationship for Place2Be.