The Board of Management

Philip Blackburn
(Board member since May 2018)

Phil has been a Naace member for 25 years, and recently stepped up to join the Board of Management. Phil’s support has long underpinned all that Naace has sought to achieve, and his development into one of the most sagacious members on the Board is to the credit of the association.
Having spent nearly 20 years working in a local authority capacity, Phil has a perceptive knowledge of the support that can really make a difference to schools. He has championed a pragmatic approach to edtech progress throughout his career, and continues to do so for Naace.
Phil has also been instrumental in helping Naace to sharpen the effectiveness of the Self Review Framework and NaaceMark Award – his belief in the potential of Naace to help schools is truly admirable.
Often the first to bring new ideas and strategies to the table, Phil’s position on the Board helps to drive the association forwards every day.

Laurence Boulter
Vice Chair
(Board member since Jun 2018)

Laurence began his career by training as an art teacher, but never quite got around to teaching the subject in the 35 years he spent as an educator! Coupling his lengthy teaching tenure with 20 years of experience in school leadership roles, Laurence joins the Naace Board of Management well-versed in the practitioner’s perspective on education.
In the latter half of his career, Laurence has driven himself to become a specialist in ICT and computing, and is able to directly support schools with their IT strategies. Laurence’s teaching background has left him keenly aware of the benefits technology can bring, both in terms of student engagement and in reducing teacher workload.
Committed to keeping his finger on the pulse when it comes to education and edtech, Laurence regularly publishes articles on contemporary issues and trends in the sector.
As a member of the Board, Laurence regularly weighs in with his experience as a practitioner, and is incredibly good at keeping grounded a group often prone to pontificating.

Ji Li
Vice Chair
(Board member since April 2017)

Ji joins the Naace Board of Management with a tremendous track record for edtech entrepreneurship. Ji has experience in communicating edtech to individuals and organisations throughout the education sector which, coupled with his businesses management experience, is extremely beneficial to Naace.
An invaluable member of the Board, Ji is always happy to pitch in and offer his expertise wherever it may be of use. Whether he’s debating the direction of Naace or managing some of the association’s key projects, you can be certain that Ji is thinking of what’s best for education practitioners.
Ji is as dedicated to edtech as anybody you could hope to meet, and Naace is privileged to call him one of our own.

Dr. Christina Preston
(Board member since Jan 2019)

Christina joins the Naace Board of Management from an academic background, offering the association a great deal of insight into research about education technology and also effective professional development programmes for teachers. As a professor of education innovation she brings an international slant to Naace as she has worked with teachers and researchers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Syria. This led her to create a professional organisation, MirandaNet, which seeks to explore the integration between edtech learning and practice through practice-based research.Christina has plenty of experience in providing advice – both academic and practical – to curious education practitioners. Her ability to deliver such advice is to her credit, and she has consistently offered a similar level of wisdom to Naace itself.
As the Editor of Naace’s Advancing Education Journal, Christina plays a pivotal role for the association in organising, collecting and reviewing relevant academic material which will benefit the association’s membership. Having been a member of Naace for nearly 25 years, Christina is well-placed to sit on the association’s Board of Management. Often approaching discussions from a different perspective to her fellow Board members, Christina’s input is nothing short of indispensable.

Ed Fairfield
(Board member since Jan 2019)

Ed joins the Naace Board of Management armed with a wealth of commercial experience in the education sector, as leader of the marketing arm of an edtech company. Ed works with the big edtech brands to support education professionals on a daily basis. He knows the challenges involved and the benefits technology brings to education.
As a father of two and husband to a busy headteacher, Ed is intimately aware of what technology has to offer to young people and teachers alike. His children keep him up to date with all the latest in the digital world – whether he likes it or not!
Ed is committed to ensuring schools receive accurate information about edtech, that they make informed choices and have access to the right training and advice.
Ed leads on Naace’s relationships with Sponsoring Partners to bring together members and suppliers. The result is more access, better understanding and improved outcomes. A driven and enthusiastic member of the Board, Ed is representative of all things Naace.

Andrew Murden
(Board member since January 2020)

Joining Naace’s Board of Management, Andrew brings 20 years’ experience working in schools and the best part of a decade running an edtech consultancy firm. Andrew specialises in supporting schools with strategic implementation and adoption of education technologies, and has plied his trade in both school leadership and local authority roles.
Andrew first joined Naace as a member in 2002, and has enjoyed working with edtech professionals from across the UK (and beyond) to encourage edtech best practice and facilitate the sharing of knowledge.
Understanding the importance of Naace’s position as an independent voice in the education landscape, Andrew joins the Board with a great deal of passion to pour into edtech advocacy, and all the knowledge he needs to make a tangible difference.

Andrew Davis
(Board member since January 2020)

Andrew joins the Board of Management with over 30 years’ experience in teaching roles, from classroom level all the way through to multiple headteacher positions. Through his teaching career, Andrew developed an interest in technology and how best to implement progressive solutions on a school level.
Andrew brings a keen awareness of the changing nature of education, and an experienced practitioner’s perspective on the challenges that schools face in keeping up.
Having completed the NaaceMark and Third Millennium Learning awards at several schools, Andrew is extremely passionate about the Self Review Framework, and will champion its improvement and promotion as a newly-elected Board member.

Gavin Hawkins
(Board member since December 2019)

Gavin brings a diverse range of experience to the Board of Management, having spent a varied career working in roles throughout the education sector. Beginning as a teacher, Gavin also took on ICT coordinator roles before plying his trade in a local authority capacity. Most recently, he has helped to found a consultancy firm offering advice to schools on strategic improvement and edtech best practice.
As a trained NaaceMark assessor, Gavin has hands-on experience supporting schools in a Naace capacity. During his tenure as a Naace member, he has attended conferences and been a committed spokesman for the betterment of edtech provisions.
Gavin’s passion for education and experience in a variety of roles qualifies him as an excellent addition to the Board, which is better equipped than ever with dedicated individuals looking to make a difference.

Gary Talbot
(Board member since July 2019)

Gary joins the Board of Management with a wealth of experience from a practitioner’s perspective. Gary cut his teeth in the education sector as a teacher, specialising in science before becoming enamoured of education technology.
Infatuated with the innovation on offer through edtech, Gary has championed the integration and use of effective technologies throughout his career. From 1:1 Google device schemes through to teacher training and excellence in data management, he has never hesitated to get involved.
Having spent the vast majority of his career working with and around teachers, Gary brings an intimate understanding of the challenges teachers are facing to the Board. Gary’s experience, eye for tracking edtech trends and ability to start making a difference all come together to represent everything Naace is striving to achieve.