Our People

We are a dedicated team who are passionate about what we do. Find out more about us, where we’ve come from and what we do at Future First.

Our Advisory Council

Chloe Smith

Conservative MP for Norwich North


Fiona Millar

Education Campaigner and Journalist


David Laws

Former Schools' Minister


Baroness Estelle Morris

Former Secretary of State for Education


Dr Sarabajaya Kumar

Teaching Fellow at LSE


Lorraine Langham

CEO


lorraine.langham@futurefirst.org.uk

Lorraine joins Future First having worked with us as an interim.

Her career spans the private and public sectors, including local and central government, where she held Board level positions in 4 London Boroughs and spent 7 years working at Ofsted, including as the Chief Operating Officer and right hand person to Her Majesty's Chief Inspector. In the private sector she established a successful Joint Venture Company providing communications and management consultancy support to a wide range of clients, including charities. 

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Laura Underwood

Business Services Director


laura.underwood@futurefirst.org.uk

Laura joined Future First in August 2015 to work with schools and colleges across London and the South West and lead a team of Alumni Programme Officers. In 2017, Laura moved into Future First's operations team as Head of Digital, working with the tech team on the development of the alumni portal to ensure it meets user needs. In 2019, Laura became Business Services Director.

Prior to joining Future First, she worked for an education trade body in various roles, from finance and HR through to marketing and events. She has a Master’s in Education, Gender and International Development from the Institute of Education and a BA in French and Linguistics from the University of Manchester.

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Beth Goddard

Programme Director


beth.goddard@futurefirst.org.uk

Beth joined Future First in January 2017 to work with schools and colleges across the North and Midlands and to lead a team of Alumni Programme Officers. In September 2018, she took on the role of Programme Director at Future First.

Beth has a background in education, having worked in schools in Sussex, Surrey and Greater Manchester for 10 years as both an English teacher and department lead. She has also worked as a team leader for a national examination board and volunteered as a mentor for young people with a social justice charity. Beth has an MA in English Language from the University of Lancaster, a PGCE from the University of Brighton and a degree in English Literature from the University of Sheffield.

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Joy Upchurch

Programme Director


joy.upchurch@futurefirst.org.uk

Joy joined Future First in January 2017 to work with schools and colleges across the South East and lead a team of Alumni Programme officers in this region.

Joy has a background in volunteer recruitment and management. She has previously worked for Raleigh International, recruiting young people for overseas voluntary programmes, as well as Oxfam where she managed a team of volunteers organising events for the national Oxjam Music Festival. She spent most of 2016 working abroad with the YMCA, which developed her interest in working with young people from various backgrounds. Joy has a degree in Geography from the University of Bristol.

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Charlie Ledley

Partnerships Director


charlie.ledley@futurefirst.org.uk

Charlie joined Future First in October 2018 to work with schools and colleges across the North and Midlands and to lead a team of Alumni Programme Officers in this region.

Having taught English for three years as part of the Teach First Leadership Development Programme, Charlie developed an interest in social mobility and widening participation. Before joining Future First, Charlie worked at The Brilliant Club developing their teacher training and widening access programmes and has also worked with The Girls’ Network delivering mentoring programmes and encouraging employer engagement in education. Charlie has a degree in History and Politics from Lancaster University.

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Katy Harrison

Partnerships Manager


katy.harrison@futurefirst.org.uk

Katy joined Future First in September 2018 after graduating from the University of Manchester with a degree in Politics and International Relations. Prior to joining us, Katy worked in primary and secondary schools (both SEND and mainstream) and developed a passion for improving the life chances of young people across the country.

After two busy years and a countless number of workshops as an Alumni Programme Officer, Katy is now excited to move into our partnerships team from September 2020 where she will help to move forward new and existing partnerships and oversee our work in primary schools.

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Alexandra Kiami

Regional Programme Manager


alexandra.kiami@futurefirst.org.uk

Alex joined Future First in 2018 as an Alumni Programme Officer for the North and Central team.

Alex studied Combined Arts at Durham University before going on to gain a PGCE at the University of Manchester. Over the years, Alex has worked in schools throughout the Greater Manchester area, initially as a Teaching Assistant with a focus on Special Educational Needs and then later as a Primary School Teacher.

More recently Alex has worked as a Customer Services Team Leader for Dogs Trust Manchester where she specialised in customer relations as well as the implementation and delivery of volunteer and staff training.

Alex is passionate about the benefits of building alumni communities in state schools and colleges and strives to raise aspiration through her role as Regional Programme Manager.

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Natalie Grindey

Regional Programme Manager


natalie.grindey@futurefirst.org.uk

Before joining Future First in 2018 Natalie was living in Australia working at a variety of arts festivals. She gained experience managing and developing volunteer programmes.

She has previously worked as a Science Communicator, leading workshops in Scotland and the U.A.E. Natalie would both train and deliver workshops to young people aged 5 – 16 years. She recently toured a chemistry workshop across Scotland which further developed her interest in informal learning programmes. Natalie has a degree in History from the University of Edinburgh.

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Charlotte Austin

Alumni Programme Manager


charlotte.austin@futurefirst.org.uk

Before joining Future First Charlotte developed her interest in issues concerning social mobility, earning a first class degree in Sociology from the University of Warwick.

From there, her work as an Engagement Coordinator promoting apprenticeships in schools, along with her employment by the Deliberately Developmental Organisation Next Jump in 2017; led her to realize her passion for helping others grow and catalysed her decision to begin to train as a Personal Performance Coach.

Charlotte\'s passion for working with young people was further developed by her role as a Community Connector, recruiting and engaging volunteers for a local charity in Barnet. She currently volunteers as a Mentor for youth charity Safer London.

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Danny O'Sullivan

Alumni Programme Manager


daniel.osullivan@futurefirst.org.uk

Danny has a BA in English and a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature, both from Goldsmiths College. Danny's dissertation focused on queer history, culture and art, and they took that research into voluntary work with the Good Lad Initiative, who work with groups of boys in schools to engage in conversations around gender inequality, and the negative impact of gender stereotypes and hierarchies in society. As a volunteer, Danny seeks to inspire young people to make changes for the better, and they joined Future First to continue working with schools and communities to inspire and empower young people.

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Naomi Barker

Alumni Programme Manager


naomi.barker@futurefirst.org.uk

Naomi studied Religion, Philosophy and Ethics at King’s College London before gaining a PGCE at the University of Exeter and teaching on the Isle of Wight. As a member of the Teach First Leadership Development Programme she particularly focused on supporting students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and is passionate about improving the life outcomes of young people. Most recently she has completed an MA in Sociology at the University of Warwick, including a dissertation on the impact of the Fundamental British Values policy in schools.

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Edina Ely

Alumni Programme Manager


edina.ely@futurefirst.org.uk

Before joining Future First, Edina was a Projects Assistant at vInspired, having gained a passion for volunteering at a number of community groups. She volunteers annually at a night shelter. Edina studied Politics at Queen Mary University of London. After initially going to work for a corporate company, Edina realised that she wanted to work in the not for profit sector. Since then she has worked in the House of Commons before going on to work in the charity sector.

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David Knoll

Developer


david.knoll@futurefirst.org.uk

Dave joined the team in April 2014 as a Developer. He works on all aspects of Future First’s tech offering, particularly Meteor and Salesforce, preferring ‘back-end’ aspects such as database work.

He has previously worked in IT support and IT recycling/refurbishment, and has volunteered for a charity which sends refurbished computers to schools and community projects in Africa. In his spare time, David designs, builds and programs small computers based on 1980s-era processors.

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Harry Pritchard

Office Administrator


harry.pritchard@futurefirst.org.uk

Harry joined Future First in 2017 to assist the alumni department. Harry left Sixth Form in 2015 to go travelling. He returned with the determination to help improve the lives of young people after the experiences he encountered.

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Christine Gilbert

Chair


christine.gilbert@futurefirst.org.uk

As Chair, Christine leads the Future First board and supports the senior leadership team to ensure Future First has maximum impact on schools and colleges across the country. Christine is probably best known for her role as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector at Ofsted. However, she has also been a teacher, headteacher, director of education and local authority chief executive. Christine received a CBE in 2006 for services to education and local government.

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Deji Davies

Trustee


Deji is the Executive Director at J.P. Morgan, working on the European Loan Trading desk. A supporter of Future First since he joined the alumni network at in his old school in 2008, Deji joined the board in 2010. Deji is the founder of a mentoring programme between J.P. Morgan and South Camden Community School, encouraging City workers to engage with and support young people at the school. He has a degree from Oxford University in Economics and Management.

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Michael Ter-berg

Trustee


Michael’s background is managing and investing in global education services (careers information, international schools and colleges) and risk based information software businesses. He is actively involved in the commercialisation of University technologies. He chairs the Commercial Board at the University of Liverpool and manages two spin out companies at City University London. Prior to this he was CEO of an investment group investing in education and CEO of one of the UK’s most successful University spin outs (UCL). Michael has an MSc and Sloan Fellowship from London Business School.

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Lindsey McMurray

Trustee


Lindsey founded Pollen Street Capital in 2013 after leading the spin out from RBS. She has been a private equity investor for more than 15 years with a particular focus on the financial services sector. Since 2005 she has led the team managing the RBS Special Opportunities Fund. Prior to RBS, Lindsey spent six years at Cabot Square Capital, Ltd., a London-based private equity firm where she was a Partner, focusing on operating investments in real estate and other asset backed investments, together with investments in the financial services sector. Lindsey has a First Class Honours degree in Accounting and Finance and studied for an MPhil in Finance from Strathclyde University.

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Sally Nelson

Trustee


Sally is Chief People Office at Fidelity International (FIL) with responsibility for global human resources and corporate affairs. She has been with the firm for 19 years. Prior to this, Sally worked at PwC in Human Resources for 12 years. Sally is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and is also a qualified secondary school teacher of English language and literature.

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Amy Finch

Trustee


Amy Finch is Head of Learning and Impact at Spirit of 2012, a Big Lottery devolved trust that funds projects across the UK. She is particularly interested well-being, connectedness and social capital. Amy was a staff member at Future First between 2013-2016. She applied to be a Trustee in 2018 because she believes the organisation offers a rare opportunity to level the playing field by delivering system-wide change. Amy is a former History teacher and has previously served as a Vice-chair of governors and Girl Guide leader.

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Chloe Smith

Conservative MP for Norwich North


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Fiona Millar

Education Campaigner and Journalist


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David Laws

Former Schools' Minister


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Baroness Estelle Morris

Former Secretary of State for Education


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Dr Sarabajaya Kumar

Teaching Fellow at LSE


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