Meet our new partner!

Over the next few months our team will be working closely with the Innovation Unit in the setup of The Corner School, the development of our broader outcomes frameworks and embedding our model of systems mapping.  IU bring deep experience of working with innovative provision in the UK and internationally, including: iZone in New York and Australia; Big Picture Learning; TBAP on the MOPAC-funded REAL Alternatives programme. They are working alongside our team to design the detail of the model, using innovative person-centred approaches, and advise sustainability and scaling.  Our colleagues from IU for this work include David Jackson, Julie Temperley, Jan McKenley-Simpson, Tom Beresford & Sarah Ward.  You can see more about their experience and expertise in the biographies below.

In recent weeks our community and outreach teams have begun to share our collective knowledge of the local area around our new school. We have been speaking to members of the local community, getting a sense of other provisions in the local area and hearing how people feel about the support that is currently available. This listening exercise is a crucial aspect of our approach, as we take the time to understand the needs of children and their families, as well as the assets already available within the local area.

Innovation Unit are delighted to be working with a charity as ambitious and community-focused as Unlocking Potential. We share a commitment to help all young people to thrive, and are driven by the opportunity to establish innovative, new school designs that meet the needs and aspirations of some of the most underserved young people in London” – Tom Beresford, Project Lead 

David Jackson, Senior Associate

David’s primary expertise is in education, particularly leadership, school (re)design and system change. Currently he is leading Innovation Unit’s endeavour to create a multi-academy trust (MAT) of new school models. Previously he has been a Leadership Coach for the Education Endowment Fund supported REAL Projects programme; a consultant for 10 years to the Global Education Leaders Programme (GELP); and an Innovation Coach for the DFE’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme. He actively supported the design and establishment of New York City’s iZone initiative in 2010, and then for three years acted as coach to programme leads and school principals in the generation of new models of schooling and learning. He was a member of Innovation Unit’s team supporting Learning Frontiers in Australia between 2013 and 2015.  David holds the unfailing belief that, through bold and radical innovation, public services (and education in particular) can achieve transformative outcomes for users (young people).

Julie Temperley, Director for Quality and Impact

Julie leads the development of practice across IU to make sure we are always at our best and can secure maximum impact with partners and for clients. Connecting with evidence from research and practice, she leads evaluation, generating data and insights that tell powerful stories and benchmark and quality assure our work. Julie is currently developing coaching in education and early years settings with AISNSW and Goodstart in Australia and leading research into outcomes frameworks and edutech for Aga Khan Education Services internationally. Previously she led research and learning in Innovation Unit’s Global Education Leaders’ Programme (GELP), People Powered Health and Transforming Early Years (with Nesta) and the European Mayors Challenge (with Bloomberg Philanthropies).

Dr Jan McKenley-Simpson, Senior Associate

Jan is a Senior Associate and Leadership Coach at Innovation Unit with an interest in widening access and participation, raising aspirations and educational achievement. She believes in the transformative power of education, music and sport, particularly in the community.  Most recently, Jan’s main focus has been on supporting innovation in children’s social care, in particular the ​Department for Education’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme​ which seeks to redesign support to adolescents on the edge of care and the leadership role of social workers. As an experienced facilitator and leadership coach, Jan has previously worked on some of Innovation Unit’s education projects (REAL Projects, Next Practice in System Leadership) and supported Networked Learning Communities across the country.

Tom Beresford, Project Lead

Tom leads projects across Innovation Unit’s portfolio of work, bringing his particular passion for new school design to a range of education programmes. Tom is currently co-leading Innovation Unit’s School Design Lab – working with new and existing schools internationally to (re)design schools for extraordinary learning. He is also a part of the research team working with the Aga Khan Development Network to renew and transform their Education Services’ Outcome Charter and Education Technology Strategy. Previously, Tom coordinated Innovation Unit’s flagship education programme REAL Projects – the UK’s first randomised control trial of project based learning – leading on the programme’s learning strategy and convening it’s emerging REAL Projects Network.  He was recently awarded a travelling research fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to explore how student-centred learning approaches can scale and spread beyond their site of origin. ​Human-scale at Scale​ was published in November 2017.

Sarah Ward, Researcher

Sarah is a Researcher with a keen interest in how innovation can be used to create sustainable impact for people and partners. Sarah works alongside the quality and impact, and engagement and communication functions – generating insights about impact from Innovation Unit’s extensive project work, with a focus on how these can be best shared as stories that create the impetus for change. Sarah is currently part of the team working with the Aga Khan Development Network to renew their Learning Outcomes Charter and create an Educational Technology Strategy, both of which will be scaled across their education services. She is also conducting research on children’s social care to support our work in achieving demonstrably better outcomes for children, young people and families.