Our associates

We work with a loyal network of associates – a talented team of experts in the field who are aligned with our mission and our values. Meet just some of them here.


Maggie Farrar


Maggie has more than 30 years' experience in the education sector working with ministries, districts, schools and the voluntary and government sectors. She was the previous Director of Leadership Development, Policy and Research and interim Chief Executive at the National College for School Leadership and a former senior civil servant. She has wide experience of working closely with ministers, and senior leaders internationally to support improvement across the early years and school sector. Her recent assignments for Education Development Trust include support to the start-up phase of our change programme in Rwanda and development of system leadership approaches to school improvement in Kenya and India. In the UK, Maggie led our development of a school-led cluster based model for school improvement based on peer review and the building of a coaching culture with over 500 schools in England: the Schools Partnership Programme (SPP).

Lesley Traves


With more than 30 years of working in education under her belt, Lesley is passionate about improving schools and, in particular, their leadership. Lesley has served as deputy headteacher and headteacher in primary schools and she is also expert in inspections having headed up our inspections work in the UK on behalf of Ofsted. As one of our associates, today, Lesley carries out training and support for our Schools Partnership Programme (SPP) and provides consultancy support to our international inspections work with the International School Quality Mark (ISQM) programme and our remit to inspect British schools overseas on behalf of the Department for Education.

Digby Swift


As an independent consultant, Digby provides strategic support to national education sector policy and planning as well as to programme design, development, management and evaluation. Working with major donors in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, he is a valued associate. With 40 years' experience of education in a development context, his previous roles include a 20-year stint as education adviser for Africa and the Middle East for the UK government. Committed to raising standards of education around the world, Digby has also dedicated his time to educational research including a role as Visiting Professor in Japan researching education and population growth.

John Rutayisire


Dr John Rutayisire was the first Director General of Rwanda Education Board (2011-2015). John was also the Executive Secretary of Rwanda National Examinations Council (2005-2011); Director of the National Curriculum Development Centre (2001-2005); and the Director of Higher Education (2000-2001). Prior to that, John was Senior lecturer in Education at Tonota College of Education in Botswana and had taught in secondary schools in Lesotho and Uganda. From 2001-2015, John led teams of education reform initiatives in curriculum, assessment, teacher training and school leadership. This process culminated into the curriculum and assessment policy, the text book policy, teacher development and management policy, and language of education policy, resulting into the competence-based curriculum, innovations in the National Assessment System, introduction of school-based teacher professional development, and capacity development for school leaders. John also planned and coordinated various literacy and numeracy studies, and is an author of journal articles and book chapters in international publications. John’s research interests are in curriculum and assessment, school-based teacher professional development and school leadership for learning.

Lucy Crehan


Lucy is an education explorer and international education consultant. She taught science and psychology at a secondary school in London before completing a masters in education at Cambridge. She then spent time working in schools and living with teachers in six 'top-performing' education systems: the basis for her book, Cleverlands: the secrets behind the success of the world's education superpowers, one of The Economist's books of the year 2016. On her return, Lucy wrote a book on teacher career structures for IIEP UNESCO, and spent a year as part of a team advising foreign governments on education reform at Education Development Trust. She is now conducting research for another book, and still works closely with Education Development Trust as an Associate.

Alan Howe


Alan has worked at the forefront of educational change and improvement for more than 30 years – as local authority adviser and inspector, and with the National Strategies where he was a Senior Director, leading initiatives for both primary and secondary phases in literacy and English teaching, assessment, and teaching and learning. Now an independent consultant, Alan and has recently returned from a period working with Education Development Trust advising the Ministry of Education in Brunei Darassalam on the establishment of large-scale literacy and numeracy reform programme. He has specialist expertise in supporting whole school approaches to improve teaching and learning, developing literacy across the curriculum, and English teaching, curriculum and assessment, and has written, published and presented widely about English, and language and learning in education. 

Andy Smart


Andy is an education, textbooks and publishing consultant with more than 30 years' experience in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. His expertise is mainly in primary education, specialising in textbook development and policy, curriculum, learning materials and reading. His main area of focus is the Arab world, but also sub-Saharan Africa and Asia – Andy works in English, Arabic and French. His recent Education Development Trust assignments include leadership of a large primary textbooks revision in Bangladesh and development of Rwanda's teaching and learning materials policy.

Clare Buntic


Clare specialises in school improvement, organisational capacity building, leadership learning, teacher professional development and professional standards development. Her most recent work with Education Development Trust has been in Brunei where she has taken a lead role in literacy and numeracy capacity building with the Ministry of Education. In 2015 Clare led our team working with the UAE Ministry of Education to develop the national standards for leaders and teachers, and she has since played other key roles for us including a capacity building leadership project for government schools in Abu Dhabi and quality assuring technical and vocational college provision in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Clare has had extensive experience in the UK at senior level in higher education specialising in teacher education and professional development and learning.

Mike Hewlett


Mike is a specialist in school inspections and school improvement. He has been a headteacher of two schools and a registered Ofsted inspector for the UK government since 1994. Over the same period he has had extensive experience of leading inspections and reviews of international schools as well as delivering training to school leaders around the world. In 2010 we appointed Mike as our Chief Inspector for the Inspection of British Schools Overseas (BSO). This role involves recruiting inspectors and training them to the required standards, as well as quality assuring inspection reports. In addition, Mike works as our Assigned Consultant to a group of schools in Thailand that are enrolled on our ISQM programme and he regularly supports our quality assurance teams in Dubai and Bahrain. Mike continues to lead inspections for Ofsted in the UK and is a school improvement partner for a number of schools in the north of England.

Cornelia Lucey


Cornelia is an experienced senior leadership development consultant and coaching psychologist. She works with and trains individuals, groups and organisations on their stakeholder engagement, leadership development, wellbeing and business development strategies specialising in improving partnerships and relationships. She joined Education Development Trust as an Education Consultant in 2013 supporting key projects in the UK and in the Middle East. Now freelance, Cornelia's recent assignments include supporting the Welsh Government with the development of a National Academy for Educational Leadership, designing solutions for a new Level 3 national maths programme in England; and most recently designing the orientation training programme for the new National Leaders of Learning and Local Leaders of Learning in the DFID-funded Building Learning Foundations programme in Rwanda.

Cornelia has an MA in leadership with a focus on mindsets and change management and a scholarship-awarded MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology from the University of East London.