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David Strudley CBE

After a successful career in the British Army spanning thirty years as a professional soldier,  David left Northern Ireland in 2003 to join the children’s hospice movement.  Initially fulfilling the role of CEO of Naomi House in Winchester, David moved to become the CEO of Acorns Children’s Hospice in the West Midlands in 2006. In February 2017 he was asked to provide consultancy support to Rainbows Hospice in the East Midlands a task that soon led to his becoming the full-time interim CEO, a role he has recently relinquished.

Qualified as a Leadership and Professional Development Coach at the Tavistock Institute, David has over ten years’ experience as a business mentor and executive coach, across a range of sectors, focusing on the importance of personal and professional development, vision and values based undertakings, the development and implementation of strategy, governance and execution, and the leadership and management of change.


Mandy Coalter LLB, FCIPD

2018.From 2012 to 2019 Mandy was Director of People at United Learning, responsible for HR, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Marketing and Communications. Mandy built the group’s reputation as an employer, taking forward key priorities such as developing leaders, talent management, employee engagement, well-being, recruitment, pay and performance management.

The United Learning HR team won the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development ‘HR Team of the Year’ in 2016.    HR Magazine listed Mandy in the top 10 ‘HR Most Influential’ in both 2018 and 2019 – where she was ranked the 7th most influential HR Director in the UK.  Mandy was also shortlisted for the HR Excellence Awards ‘HR Director of the Year’ 2018.

Mandy has previously worked in the NHS, Local Government, the Charity sector and with schools.  She is also a very experienced Board Director and advisor on aspects of corporate governance.   She is a Trustee/Director of the Diocese of Coventry MAT. Mandy’s successful book ‘Talent Architects; how to make your school a great place to work’ was published in


Jane Creasy

jane creasy

Jane Creasy brings experience of educational and public sector leadership at local and national level. She works with leaders across public, private and third sectors on leadership; on innovation and improvement; and on strategic development.

She is known as a designer and facilitator of large-scale conferences and smaller strategic events, across a range of sectors both here and abroad. She has worked with leaders in several countries on reform, innovation, and leadership challenges.

Formerly an Operational Director at the National College for School Leadership for five years and a successful headteacher for ten years, she has led the design and delivery of some major leadership programmes for educational leaders. She is currently working with the UCL Institute of Education and Deloitte on a programme for MAT leadership teams.


Diane Heritage

Diane has experience of educational leadership at school, regional and national level. She specialises in leadership learning, collaboration and school improvement. She is an educational innovator and creative thinker committed to building capacity for a school led system.

Formerly Lead Associate for the National College for School Leadership and a successful headteacher, Diane has worked with system leaders to inspire and facilitate local solutions with a relentless focus on children’s learning and well-being. She is currently working with the Education Endowment Foundation to bring the use of evidence based practice closer to schools.  Diane is Chair of the New Collaborative Learning Trust a family of 16-19 colleges located in areas of historical and persistent underachievement across Yorkshire and the Humber.


Phil Crompton

Phil led schools in Nottinghamshire for 20 years and for 6 years was a member of the Department for Education’s Headteachers’ Reference Group. He guided one 11-18 school from special measures to ‘good’, and another from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’.

Phil then set up Trent Academies Group, where he was CEO. He recently managed the merger of the trust with a larger neighbour.

Phil works with Forum Strategy as a coach and adviser to CEOs and executive leaders, and is committed to helping leaders maximise their potential. You can read Phil’s recent article, ‘View from the other side’, here: View from the other side: reflections of a retired MAT CEO


Ros McMullen

Ros has been a local authority headteacher, a founding principal of one of the early academy schools, and a founding Chief Executive of an academy trust. She has been designated and has served as a National Leader of Education, and is a founding member of Headteachers Roundtable. Most recently she has been Executive Principal of Midland Academies Trust, supporting significant improvements across the trust. Ros has worked as an external adviser for performance management and will support Forum Strategy in advising boards on the performance management of CEOs and executive leaders.