Find more about our current and retiring trustees, and our executive team.
Mark Neale CB (Chair) Mark Neale is currently Chief Executive of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). He has a long and successful career across many government departments having served in the Cabinet Office; the Department for Education and Science; the Treasury; the Employment Service and the Department for Work and Pensions, before becoming a Director General at the Home Office and then returning to the Treasury to be Director General for Budget, Tax and Welfare.
His considerable educational experience within government included responsibility for the establishment of polytechnics as independent institutions, and authorship of the report which set up the universal regular inspection of schools and the establishment of OFSTED. Mark is also a trustee and director of the University of Roehampton, and lives in Putney with his wife and two children.
Franciska Bayliss Froebel Cert Ed, FRSA Fran has been Headmistress of London primary and secondary schools for over thirty years including sixteen of them as Headmistress of Ibstock Place, the Froebel School.
She has served on national committees, governing bodies and trusts and continues to be involved in a number of charities and trusts that benefit young people’s education. She served as the Chairman of the National Froebel Foundation and founded the International Froebel Society. Fran is now an educational advisor to a large group that owns twenty independent schools and colleges mostly in central London. She also runs MTC, an educational consultancy to assist students moving predominantly from maintained school backgrounds, and helping them to access bursaries and scholarships in independent schools. She is an ISI inspector of independent schools in this country and overseas.
Penny Chapman Penny Chapman is a Partner and head of the charity law team at Bircham Dyson Bell solicitors. A graduate of Somerville College Oxford, she has particular expertise in advising charity trustees on their roles and responsibilities and on all aspects of charity governance.
Penny is a trustee of the College of Radiographers, the Marjorie Deane Financial Journalism Foundation and World Book Night.
Bernadette Duffy OBE MA BEd Bernadette Duffy is Head of the Thomas Coram Children Centre in Camden which has been identified as a particularly successful school by Ofsted.
She is a member of a number of Department of Education advisory committees and contributed to the development of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
Bernadette is the author of 'Supporting Creativity and Imagination in the Early Years' and co-editor with Dame Gillian Pugh of 'Contemporary Issues in the Early Years'.
Bernadette is a Vice President of the British Association for Early Childhood Education, and was made an OBE in 2005.
Dr Peter Elfer PhD Dr Peter Elfer is Principal Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies and Convenor of the Masters Programme in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Roehampton, London where he has been for the last 13 years. Prior to this, he worked for ten years in the Early Childhood Unit of the National Children's Bureau in London.
He has a long standing interest in the wellbeing of babies and children under three and has published a number of general media (Siren Films; magazine articles) as well as academic papers on this theme.
He is a member of the Editorial Board of Early Years: An International Journal of Research and Development, Chair of the Froebel Research Committee and a Vice President of Early Education.
Professor Paul O'Prey PhD Professor Paul O'Prey took up his post as Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Roehampton on 1 September 2004.
He was formerly Director of Academic Affairs at the University of Bristol and is on the UK Council and Board of Universities UK and chairs the UUK Longer Term Strategy Network. He is also a member of the Sport England HE Stakeholder Group and the Council of the Imperial War Museum.
Paul studied English Language & Literature at Keble College, Oxford and gained his PhD from Bristol in 1993. His publications include several books and articles on writers of the nineteenth and twentieth century, notably Graham Greene and Robert Graves and his circle, as well as translations of Spanish literature.
Dr Sue Robson MA BA PGCE FHEA Sue Robson is Principal Lecturer and Subject Leader for Early Childhood at the University of Roehampton. Her research interests include young children's self-regulation and metacognition, the development of creative thinking, children's voice and children's perspectives in research and practice, and the contribution of the physical environment to young children's wellbeing and development. She has published extensively in these areas.
She is a member of the Froebel Research Fellowship Research Project, 'The Voice of the Child: Ownership and Autonomy in Early Learning'. Sue is also interested in the development of teaching and learning in Higher Education, and is a National Teaching Fellow.
Before moving into higher education, Sue worked in early years and primary schools, including as Deputy Head of a large infant and nursery school, and leader of a 102-place nursery.
Jane Whinnett MA (Hons) PGDE Jane is head teacher of two maintained nursery schools in Edinburgh. After studying in Edinburgh, she completed her PGDE at the University of Christchurch in Canterbury. She taught throughout the primary school before specialising in the early years. While studying for a Diploma in Professional Studies in Early Education at The University of Edinburgh, she met a Froebelian and was inspired to continue her studies at the University of Roehampton. Most recently, she is a founder member of the Edinburgh Froebel Network and a tutor on the Froebel course at The University of Edinburgh.
Gillian Morris FRSA Chief Executive
Gillian took up the post of Chief Executive in May 2015. She has had a career leading education charities and specialises in creating environments in which individuals and organisations can flourish.
Gillian brings expertise in developing effective charities backed by more than 20 years as a charity chief executive.
Gillian has held many governance roles including chairing consortia and peer support bodies. She is a trustee of Anti-Slavery International.
Oksana Lissovets, Finance/ Grants Manager
Oksana joined the Froebel Trust in February 2012 and was appointed as Finance and Grants Manager in May 2015. She brings more than 18 years of experience, previously holding various financial roles for leading UK companies.
Ritwiza Asthana, Communication Executive
Ritwiza joined the Froebel Trust in November 2016 as a Communication Executive. She has a background in journalism and publishing, having oreviously worked as a reporter and an Associate Editor.