Who we are

The Cultural Learning Alliance is a collective of passionate and engaged individuals and organisations working right across the arts, cultural, creative, education, youth and learning sectors.

You can browse the full list of our members here.

The Cultural Learning Alliance is chaired by Lord Puttnam and is run by Lizzie Crump and Sam Cairns. 

Strategy Group meets to oversee the work and direction of the Alliance, and an Advisory Panel offers expertise and strategic support to all aspects of the CLA activities.

The CLA Strategy Group

Jacqui O’Hanlon, Director of Education, Royal Shakespeare Company (Chair)

Originally an actor and drama practitioner, Jacqui joined the RSC in 2003 and has been Director of Education since 2008.  She is responsible for the strategic development of the RSC’s work with primary, secondary, special schools, universities and partner theatres. She has an interest in research, particularly finding accessible ways to share and disseminate it to inform real world decision making.  She is on the Steering Group for the Midlands HE Cutlure Forum and a primary school governor. In 2018 she was appointed as a Commissioner for the Durham Commission.


Derri Burdon, Chief Executive, Curious Minds 

Derri is the Chief Executive of creative education charity Curious Minds. As the Arts Council England Appointed Bridge organisation for the North West, Curious Minds works to place creativity and culture at the heart of schools and other services for children and young people.

She originally trained as a teacher and taught English in further education colleges. She went on to work for ten years as part of Bolton Council’s Educational Improvement Service where she was responsible for leading several high-profile education and regeneration initiatives including: Find Your Talent, Inspiring Communities, Bolton UFA and Sunflower Clubs.

School wasn’t her favourite place as a child but despite this (or likely because of it) Derri is passionate about improving learning outcomes for all children, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. In her current role, she is driven by the passionate belief that rather than attempting to ‘close the gap’, we should be filling it brim-full with enriching and inspirational cultural and collective experiences that the most fortunate families take for granted.

A proud Blackpudlian with Irish roots, she graduated from the University College of St Martin where she studied English Literature and Drama.  She is a Governor of a secondary school in Wigan and is Chair of the newly formed CIO ‘Blaze Arts’.


Matt Griffiths, CEO, Youth Music

Matt Griffiths is the CEO of Youth Music, a national charity investing in music-making projects for children and young people experiencing challenging circumstances. Matt originally trained as a percussionist and was a professional musician and music educator for ten years. This work included leading workshops and projects in prisons, young offender institutions, special schools and mental health settings. It was this work in particular where Matt saw first-hand the significant personal, social and musical benefits of music-making particularly for people facing challenges in their lives. It has been the focus of his career ever since.

Matt’s previous roles include founding Director of Plymouth Music Zone, Director of Arts for the Dartington Hall Trust and founder of the Devon School for Social Entrepreneurs. He is a member of the Music Education Council forum, Cultural Learning Alliance Strategy Group and a speaker for Speakers For Schools.


Wayne Norrie, Chief Executive, Greenwood Academies Trust

Wayne Norrie is a qualified teacher with 20 years of senior management experience in the education sector holding roles such as Headship, LA Advisory Work, DfE consultant and Senior HMI for Ofsted.

Wayne was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Greenwood Academies Trust (GAT) in 2016, the 11th largest multi-academy trust in the country. GAT currently has 34 academies in the East Midlands and East of England: 23 primary academies; 8 secondary academies; and 3 special schools all located in areas with the highest levels of social deprivation.


Ray Oudkerk, Assistant Principal for Performing Arts, The BRIT School

Ray Oudkerk studied Dance & Philosophy at Middlesex University followed by a year at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. After completing a PGCE he went into mainstream education and has 20 years experience of teaching Dance in secondary schools, predominantly in South London.

Over the years Ray has worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher, mentored beginning dance teachers, delivered professional training courses and worked with many arts companies and professional artists. He has focused on boys’ dance for a number of years and created a range of teaching resources. 

In 2013 he completed a Masters in Teaching through the Royal Academy of Dance. His dissertation focused on the relationship between Ofsted and pedagogy. 

Ray is currently Assistant Principal for Performing Arts at The BRIT School of Performing Arts and Technology, based in Croydon. Alongside national curriculum subjects, the school offers specialists courses in Dance, Film & Media Production, Interactive Digital Design, Community Arts Practice, Music, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre Arts, Theatre & Visual Art & Design for young people between 14 and 19 years old. The BRIT School’s mission is to nurture original, responsible and ambitious young people. 

Ray is passionate about creative education for all young people and enjoys Arts advocacy, debate and discussion. In addition, Ray is a director on the board of Rambert Dance Company and is Chair of AQA GCSE Dance.


You can see the members of our Advisory Panel here.