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.

Andria Zafirakou MBE, 2018 Global Teacher of the Year & Associate Deputy Headteacher, Alperton Community School

Andria Zafirakou, a teacher at Alperton Community School in Brent, won $1 million when she was crowned the 2018 Global prize winner of Best teacher in the world.

Andria was born in north-west London to Greek-Cypriot parents and state-educated in Brent and Camden. She is an art and textiles teacher in Brent on the outskirts of London, one of the world’s most ethnically diverse places. She is passionate about education and changing the lives of young people and underserved communities through creativity.

She has worked her entire teaching career of 14 years at Alperton Community School and was promoted to Deputy Head of Art within a year of her arrival. She is now Associate Deputy Headteacher leading on staff professional development.

Using the prize money awarded by the Global Teacher prize, Andria founded a charity called Artists in Residence (AiR) with an aim to improve arts education in schools.

Andria has also been named in the top ten of The Evening Standard’s 1000 Londoners List, a list of the most influential people in London. She also sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Leaders Council.