FOUNDATION YEARS TRUST - Key Persons


Anne Parker

Job Titles:
  • Local Director
I have spent over thirty years working with young children and their families and have an NNEB, BSc(Hons) in Management and an NPQICL (equivalent to headteacher qualification). I believe that all parents can support their children's learning effectively if given the right encouragement and support, that's why the work at FYT is so vital. I am keen to develop secure partnerships between parents and their child's formal educator, to enhance children's outcomes.

Dermot Coleman

Dermot Coleman was born in Merseyside and educated at St Edward's College, Liverpool. After graduating from Oxford University he worked as an analyst and investment manager at a number of leading financial institutions before co-founding SISU Capital, a London-based investment company, in 1998. In recent years he has balanced his financial career with academic work, completing a PhD in nineteenth-century literature and writing a book, George Eliot and Money: Economics, Ethics, and Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2014). He has been a visiting scholar at New York University and a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. Dermot has a long-standing interest in educational issues, has served as a school governor and has supported charities involved in various research and policy-related areas of education, including the Sutton Trust. He is a board member of three North West-based institutions: Shakespeare North Trust, St Helens Rugby League Football Club, and The St Helens Economy Board. In addition to a number of investment-related directorships, he is a member of the Finance Committee of St George's College and Chapel in Windsor.

EDWARD CHARLES MELHUISH

Job Titles:
  • Director
  • PROFESSOR

ELIZABETH HARTLEY

Job Titles:
  • ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, WIRRAL COUNCIL
  • Director

JANICE DARKES-SUTCLIFFE

Job Titles:
  • Director
  • INDEPENDENT EARLY YEARS CONSULTANT
Janice worked for 17 years as a teacher and Senior Leader in mainstream and SEND provision. In 2004 she became a LA advisory teacher for the EYFS, a role she held for 11 years as part of the School Improvement Team in Liverpool, gaining valuable experience by working closely with childminders, teachers, leaders and early years practitioners across the range of provision in the Early Years Sector. Janice was the strategic lead for the team of Area Sencos in Liverpool, providing training, support and advice on all aspects of SEND provision. She planned, organised and delivered a new accredited award for Early Years Sencos in order to equip them with the skills, understanding and confidence to undertake their important role. As the Lead Officer for developing provision for two year olds in Liverpool, Janice organised action learning networks, training events and conferences with the aim of developing collaborative working approaches across PVI settings and schools in order to ensure quality provision and practice for young children and their families. Working with Tate Gallery Liverpool and Anni McTavish, she was instrumental in developing ‘Building a Bridge of Books', a creative project funded by ‘Liverpool City of Readers'. This initiative promoted partnership working with parents by utilising their interests and skills, building on their ‘funds of knowledge' about their children. The overall aim of the project was to foster a love of books in young children and encourage parents and carers to become involved in supporting their child by reading and making books with them. Janice is studying for her PhD and has a particular interest in developing collaborative working practices across services and as a practitioner researcher, supporting groups of schools and settings to undertake action research through practitioner led inquiry. Janice currently works an Independent Early Years Consultant and is an Associate Tutor at Edgehill University. She is an active School Governor at a large Primary School in Liverpool and an Advisory Board Member for a Children's Centre.

Jemma Hardy

Job Titles:
  • Community Engagement Co - Ordinator
I am a mum of three and have been working and volunteering within the early years sector for many years. I am particularly passionate about supporting children's communication and language and also mentoring and coaching volunteers. I am a qualified Peep practitioner and trainer and have an extensive background in early years. I am also qualified to teach and train adults . I have been with FYT for a number of years in varied roles. I love working with our families and I really believe the work we do can make a real and lasting difference.

Jennifer Allison

Job Titles:
  • Parent Partnership Worker
Since gaining my Level 3 diploma in Childcare and Education in 2006, I have worked within early years settings in a variety of roles. I have always been intrigued into how children learn and what we can do to support this. Now I am a parent of two, my understanding of how important my role is as their primary educator has grown, particularly how the fun learning opportunities I provide at home can make a difference to their education. This is the message I hope to spread to others in my role as a Parent Partnership Worker at FYT.

Jennifer Blair

Job Titles:
  • Parent Partnership Worker
I gained my Diploma in Nursery Nursing, and have worked and volunteered in the early years sector for nearly twenty years, taking some time out during this period to raise my own two children. I'm really excited about my role as Parent Partnership Worker at Foundation Years Trust as I feel it's a chance to help parents understand and build on the amazing and hugely valuable job they do in supporting their child's development.

JOANNA HEALEY

Job Titles:
  • Director
  • LAWYER
Joanna is a corporate lawyer at Linklaters during which she has had secondments to Vodafone, BP and Old Mutual. She is a trustee of the Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust, which manages The Rise School, a special needs free school, based in Feltham, West London. The school supports children and young people with autism, working in collaboration with two national organisations, Ambitious about Autism and Dimensions. She is also involved in an outreach programme with a number of schools in the London Borough of Hackney both helping in early years and acting as a "mentor" for school leavers. Prior to Linklaters she worked at David Chipperfield Architects. In her spare time Joanna enjoys theatre, architecture and reading.

LUCY MARIA POWELL

Job Titles:
  • Director
  • MP

MARCUS BELL

Job Titles:
  • Chairman of the Executive Committee
  • Director
  • SENIOR CIVIL SERVANT
Marcus Bell is a senior official in the Cabinet Office, where he is leading a cross-Government project looking at how ethnicity affects outcomes across the public services. He has a background mainly in education and social reform and has worked in the past for the UK Government on projects to address teenage pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, children in care, unemployment and prison reform. He is Chair of Governors of a primary school, which he helped lead out of special measures. Married with four children, he lives in Kent.

Prof Edward Melhuish - Chairman

Job Titles:
  • Chairman
  • Professor of Human Development at the University of Oxford & Birkbeck
  • Trustee of the WAVE Trust
Edward Melhuish is Professor of Human Development at the University of Oxford & Birkbeck, University of London. He was the Executive Director of the National Evaluation of Sure Start from 2001-2012. He has also been involved in the Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE) and Effective Pre-School Provision in Northern Ireland (EPPNI). These studies contributed to the formulation of social policy in the UK in the area of families with young children, early years services and education, such as the universal provision of a pre-school place for all 3 & 4 year olds and the establishment of 3500 Children's Centres, the government's Every Child Matters and 10-Year Childcare strategies, the 2004 Children Act and the 2006 Chilldcare Bill. He has undertaken research in 12 countries. His research in the 1980s influenced the 1989 Children Act and later research has influenced the 2005 Children Act, 2006 Childcare Bill and policy on childcare, early education, child poverty and parental support in the UK and other countries. He has conducted research for the Medical Research Council, Economics and Social Research Council, Save the Children Fund, DCSF, DoH and several other government and voluntary sector agencies. Professor Melhuish has acted as a consultant for design for children, children's organisations (e.g. Save the Children Fund), government departments (e.g. DfE, DWP, DoH), Treasury, Prime Minister's Office and film, television and radio companies.

Sharon Ainscough

Job Titles:
  • Parent Partnership Worker
I am a single parent of one and have worked in the early years sector for 17 years. I have a Foundation Degree in Early Years Practice and a BA (Hons) in Teaching, Learning and Mentoring. I firmly believe that all children deserve the very best start in life and this begins within the home environment. Parents/ carers play such a huge part in the development of their child and by working together we can hopefully provide the best opportunities for all our children.

Simon Fuller - Treasurer

Job Titles:
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Treasurer
Simon is a Chartered Accountant with more than 15 years listed company experience. Having spent the past 10 years spent working as a finance director at divisional or main board level, Simon's broad experience enables him to contribute operationally and strategically, whilst also setting high standards of financial management and discipline. Since March 2019, Simon has been Chief Financial Officer at Reach PLC. ​Prior to joining Reach, Simon was Chief Financial Officer of McColl's Retail Group PLC, having joined in 2015 after seven years at Tesco in a variety of divisional finance director roles. Earlier in his career Simon also held senior commercial finance roles at BT and COLT, having qualified as a chartered accountant with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in 2001. Simon's broad experience enables him to contribute operationally and strategically, whilst also setting high standards of financial management and discipline. Outside of work, Simon is a devoted father of 3 young children and an active member and Trustee of a local Christian group "Laindon Ecclesia". He enjoys past-times such as digital photography, travelling and reading.

SIMON JEREMY IAN FULLER

Job Titles:
  • CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT
  • Director

SUSAN ROBB, OBE

Job Titles:
  • Director
  • EARLY YEARS SENIOR LEADER FOR ACTION FOR

TERENCE PATRICK LEAHY

Job Titles:
  • COMPANY DIRECTOR

Tracy Taylor

Job Titles:
  • Office Manager & Hungry Little Minds Coordinator, Wirral
I moved ‘up north' from Taunton in Somerset to live in Wirral 8 years ago, joining FYT shortly after. I enjoy the variety this job gives me, one day dressed as an elf giving out leaflets, the next hobnobbing with royalty at the House of Lords, the audit of our accounts or sorting our payroll … there's never a dull moment! It's also great working as part of our team, everyone really cares about what they do and just happen to be lovely too! My work as Hungry Little Minds Coordinator for Wirral since Sep 2019 has been really interesting and kept me busy … wouldn't have it any other way though!