Meet the new members of the English UK board of trustees
22 May 2024

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Meet the new members of the English UK Board of Trustees

We are delighted to welcome five new trustees to our board after one of the biggest elections in English UK's history.

Our largest group of candidates and our highest voter turnout

Chief executive Jodie Gray said: 'I'm so proud that we had what I believe to be our largest and most diverse group of candidates and our highest voter turnout ever at nearly 50%. Thank you so much to all the brilliant candidates. It really does gladden my heart that so many people are committed to English UK and UK ELT.'

Outgoing chair Mark Rendell said: 'Trustees have ultimate responsibility for the association, scrutinising the performance of the executive team and not remunerated. We do appreciate their valuable contribution of expertise and time.'

He encouraged members to apply by reminding them that there would be six seats available on the board next year.'

Twenty candidates stood for four elected places—our biggest group of volunteers ever. To broaden representation, the Representation, Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement Committee (RIDEC) can co-opt two seats. This year, the committee thought it important to have a state sector member, so added Victoria Paterson. This also meant that all nations would be represented on the board.

Farewell to our retiring trustees

We are grateful to retiring board members Jago Brown of UKLC, Tim Cooke of ELAC Study Vacations, Richard Simpson of the University of Sheffield, and Leon Zhang of KKCL.

Richard Simpson is retiring from the ELTC at the University of Sheffield. We wish him all the best for his retirement and the next chapter. Richard has made a huge contribution to English UK and UK ELT, and we thank him for his hard work and dedication, and his support and friendship. 

Our successful candidates are:

Shoko Doherty2 80x80

Shoko Doherty, a returning board member who has served as vice-chair for the past two years and under the association's rules, has now become Chair. Shoko, CEO of Celtic English Academy and a mother of three, champions a more inclusive ELT sector. In recent years she helped to expand the Youth Mobility Scheme quota for Japan, was recognised as the Welsh Government's Export Exemplar and the UK Export Champion and won her school the Fair Play Employer Gold award. 'I'd like us to celebrate what we do every day: teaching English, providing communication tools, and bridging gaps for our students—a life-changing opportunity. Our core mission is inspiring, yet somehow overshadowed by the issues and challenges we face. I want our sector to take pride in our accomplishments and collaborate more effectively to thrive for future generations.'

Fiona Dunlop 80x80

Fiona Dunlop, principal of Wimbledon School of English, has been joint chair of BEUK, vice chair of LONDOSA and worked closely with the British Council on projects including co-authoring the initial CPD framework for teachers and managers. 'I believe strongly in ELT for all and was involved in the introduction of RefuAid to English UK with the aim of providing support and scholarships to refugees. As a member of the board, I would bring profound knowledge of quality improvement and school development. I am collaborative, realistic and good at identifying opportunities and building networks. I love the industry and, if successful, I will be able to direct my skills and experience for the benefit of members as we move into a challenging and even more competitive environment.'

James Herbertson 80x80

James Herbertson, co-founder of Bayswater Education, a social enterprise in international education comprises 10 year-round colleges and 7 summer camps in the UK, France, Cyprus, Canada and South Africa. For every student Bayswater teaches, they teach another from a disadvantaged background. He co-founded accommodation agency London Nest, is a former Chair of English UK London and is on the BETA board. 'The ELT sector faces stiff competition from global destinations, rising costs, and the challenge of recruiting staff and host families. Yet within these challenges lie opportunities for growth and innovation, notably through schemes like Youth Mobility that bring work rights, shifts away from pure English language to soft skill development and the formation of partnerships internationally.'

Justin Quinn 80x80

Justin Quinn, CEO of Centre of English Studies with five UK year-round schools, two in Canada and one in Dublin, Ireland. Justin is vice president of membership of IALC, has been a past chair and board member of EAQUALS (9 years) and has served on the boards of MEI and ACELS in Ireland. 'I would very much like to contribute to the strategy and direction of English UK over the next few years. I have been involved with the EFL sector for over 35 years and have a wealth of experience in all areas of the sector. I feel that I can bring my experience and knowledge to the board and help the association to grow and develop. Over the years I have had many dealings with government at the highest levels and am comfortable dealing with difficult situations.'

Victoria Paterson 80x80

Victoria Paterson, International Business Manager at Edinburgh College. Originally from New Zealand, Victoria has worked in the international education sector for over a decade and has leadership and operational management experience in recruitment, marketing, business development, strategy development, policy, compliance and student support. 'I believe I can bring a unique voice to the board with my FE sector background, and positively contribute to growing English UK membership so that we can provide an even stronger voice for the sector and advocate for the change we need to grow and succeed.'

> More on English UK's board and advisory groups

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