John Sewell, CBE, Chairman of Trustees
John Sewell is a Senior Advisor with TechDis with responsibility for Specialist Colleges. TechDis is an organisation funded by JISC and hosted at the Higher Education Academy in York. It provides advice and support for the post 16 education sectors by achieving greater accessibility and inclusion by stimulating innovation and providing expert advice and guidance on disability and technology. John has a background of working with ICT in Special Education. John has played an active role in local government and throughout twelve years on Gloucestershire County Council served on its Education and Social Services Committees and has chaired many sub committees and groups, as well as leading the Council’s work on equal opportunities. In 1990 John was awarded a CBE for public and political service.
Tony McClellan has had a successful corporate career first with Ferranti Limited, as Marketing Research Manager, and then with Geo. Bassett & Co. Ltd, as Group Industrial Engineer with responsibility for five group factories. He then worked as Regional General Manager and Marketing Director for Carryfast Ltd, then a division of Unilever. He led an MBO of Carryfast, purchasing it from Unilever to build it into the largest ambulance manufacturer in the UK, when it was sold to UBS. After leaving Carryfast in 1997 he became part owner and director of Gifa SA, the leading manufacturer of ambulances in France.
Tony has had a long interest in the development and use of modern communication methods and technologies to assist people with learning disabilities. This interest stems from his own experiences as a parent of a daughter who has Downs Syndrome.
Jonathan Rix represents the Rix family on the board of Trustees and has personal experience of learning disabilities as a parent, sibling and practitioner. He is a lecturer in Inclusion, Curriculum and Learning at the Open University. He researches and writes on inclusive pedagogies and policies, parental perspectives and issues of access for people with learning disabilities, and has been an advisor for the Departments for Education and Skills and Department of Health Early Support programme.
Jontathan has worked in education in many different settings. He spent thirteen years as a support teacher in a Hackney Secondary School, as well as working in theatre-in-education, as a writer-in-residence in prisons, and with community arts groups in different parts of the UK. He has also been Academic Advisor on two Open University BBC series, ‘School Day’ and ‘Nobody’s Normal’.
Linda Jordan has been the National Lead for Transition in the Valuing People Team of the Department of Health, as well as the Programme Manager for the Department’s Getting a Life programme since 2008. She previously held post as Head of Special Educational Needs in the London Borough of Hackney. She is the parent of a child with a learning disability and has a background in Education and Special Educational Needs. Linda has been working with people with learning disabilities for more than twenty years, and has played an active role in public service in East London. Linda has been a member of a number of committees, particularly in her local London Borough of Newham, was the founding chair of Newham’s Disability Committee, and has acted as Governor for number of schools and colleges. Linda is also the author of a number of publications on the subject of Special Education and Diversity.
Richard George Banks
Richard Banks’ main focus of expertise is in strategy and management of workforce in adult social care. This work is based on knowledge of the policy, finance and structures used in the sector. Richard was part of the team that provided the means to modernise the social care workforce leading up to the Social Care Act 2000. The focus of Richard’s work over the last three years has been on using the sector networks, systems and structures to promote personalization of care and support delivery. Until 2008 Richard worked for Skills for Care, where he was Head of Workforce Development responsible for sector workforce strategy, policy development, standards and qualification framework and external relations with partner organisations. Since leaving Skills for Care Richard has set up a company that works with social care organisations on workforce issues, has been elected to Chair SCA (Education), and has contributed to Action on Elder Abuse policy work.
Maureen Piggot, OBE
Maureen Piggot has been Director of Mencap’s activities in Northern Ireland since 1990. She has campaigned and successfully lobbied the government to introduce new legislation to protect the rights of people with learning disabilities. Born in South Africa, she has worked with children, adolescents and adults with disabilities in South Africa, England, United States and, since 1980, in Northern Ireland. Maureen has experience of the public, voluntary and business sectors in South Africa, England, the United States and Northern Ireland. As Director of Mencap, Maureen is responsible for all of the organisations activities in Northern Ireland, which include campaigning for rights and services, supporting a membership network of individual and group affiliates and the delivery of a range of services. In 2008 Maureen was recognised on the honours list with an OBE for services to people with a learning disability.