Until his sudden death in April 2008, NUT General Secretary Steve Sinnott devoted his life and career to the great cause of Education.
As a teacher in Liverpool and Preston, as an NUT committee chair, as it's national president, as Deputy General Secretary and ultimately as General Secretary, Steve's story was one of a commitment to education that grew to encompass ever greater spheres. From his Toxteth classroom to the Addis Ababa prison that held the president of the Ethiopian Teachers' Association to the halls of the United Nations and the Commonwealth secretariat where he pushed tirelessly for international cooperation to broaden access to education across the world - Steve's vision was that teachers, educators, local initiatives and international agencies could unite around a common goal: Education for All.
As he said at the Hugh Gaitskell Memorial Lecture in 2007, “I think there are those who are hopeful supporters and activists for justice, human rights and equality; and there is the rest. Those who exude hope and optimism generate the energy and stimulate the progress that we in education and progressive teacher trade unionism, for example, work for. I find such people are as fascinated as I think I am by the liberating power of education in this country and across the world.”
The Steve Sinnott Foundation was established to continue his work.
David Puttnam first became well known as an Academy Award winning film producer. In 1997, he retired from the film industry to join the then Secretary of State, David Blunkett M.P., at the Department for Education, and became Labour life peer, Lord Puttnam of Queensgate. He subsequently served as chairman of the Education Standards Task Force and then the General Teaching Council for England.
In 1998, he founded the National Teaching Awards. David was knighted in 2005 and has been Deputy Chairman of Channel Four since the same year. He was the founding chair of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. In 2002, he became the UK President of UNICEF. David Puttnam expresses himself very proud to have been a close friend of Steve Sinnott and very pleased now to be associated with the Foundation as its patron.
Jerry is the Chair and a Founding Director of the Steve Sinnott Foundation. Jerry was a member of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) National Executive for over 30 years. In January 2019 Jerry was elected to the the National Education Union (NEU) National Executive. The new education union is an amalgamation of NUT and ATL. Jerry continues to be a serving teacher in Essex.
Mary Sinnott is a founding Director of the Steve Sinnott Foundation. Mary, like Steve, is a native Liverpudlian; she began her career as a primary teacher in Preston in 1991 upon encouragement from Steve.
Following Steve’s death, together with the other founding Directors Graham & Jerry, she wanted Steve’s legacy in striving to ensure that all children everywhere could access a quality education to continue. So the Steve Sinnott Foundation came into being.
Mary is mother to Stephen & Kate, and proud Nana to Isabella, Robbie and Freddie. Much of her time is divided between her family and the Foundation. She also enjoys reading, trying to draw and travelling with friends.
Graham developed the original concept of the Steve Sinnott Foundation and is a founding Director. He had a long career as Senior Solicitor at the National Union of Teachers, working closely with Steve. They were good friends.
In addition to his Foundation work Graham blogs on education law and politics. He is a member of the UK education policy pressure group, New Visions for Education and a trustee of the National Education Museum.
Ema Jackson is Campaign Manager of the Send My Friend to School coalition which brings together young people, politicians, teachers, civil society and the media in joint campaigning to demand quality education for all children across the globe. The Steve Sinnott Foundation is a member of the coalition. Ema is passionate about campaigning for social justice, especially the achievement of SDG 4, and working with young people.
Nicky Anastasiou is an education consultant who has worked with the Foundation for many years as a leading member of the Education Team and as key trainer in the Foundation’s teacher development project for Sierra Leonean teachers in partnership with EducAid. She became a Director/Trustee in February 2019 and remains a member of the Education Team.
Ann has worked in a variety of roles at an operational and strategic level in the public and charity sector for over 25 years. Ann has a special interest in the provision of quality holistic education and supporting the development of people and communities, especially women and girls. Ann has worked internationally as a volunteer and consultant and was proud to be an olympic torch bearer in the 2012 Olympics, having been nominated for her charity work. Ann enjoys travelling and spending time with her family.
Billy Jean was born on 10th October 1988 in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. At the age of 3 years, due to difficult family circumstances he joined the NPH (Nuestros pequenos hermanos) family which is a non profit organisation who take care of orphans and disadvantaged children in the Caribbean and Latin America. He is working toward a Masters Degree in International Law, is still involved with NPH and continues to work as a volunteer.
A keen traveller, Billy Jean used to travel to the USA to work as a volunteer at a YMCA summer camp. In 2013 he was awarded the Made a difference award at YMCA Deer Valley Family Camp and in 2016 he won the big heart award at Camp Soles. His aspiration for the future is to stay involved in humanitarian work to support to children having the same second chances in their lives as he had. He also wants to contribute as far as he can to change the situation of his country by making a difference in the lives of people through education, as the Steve Sinnott Foundation is currently doing and he is proud to be part of the team in Haiti.
Penny is a consultant member of the Steve Sinnott Foundation’s Education Team. After eighteen years as a primary headteacher of two schools, she became an independent education consultant, an associate of Cambridge University’s ‘Leadership for Learning’ network, a specialist in performance management and a personal and professional coach. With other education team members she wrote the Educating for Education guidelines adopted by the Foundation to support its work. Penny has had several articles published. Committed to supporting working mothers, she has run a support group for thirty years and co-authored the book, ‘Spinning Plates’.
Will Thomas makes up part of the Steve Sinnott Foundation's Education Team as a consultant specialising in training and coaching. He is the director of Vision for Learning Ltd, a published author in the fields of coaching and leadership and works with people to support their development.
Will’s passion for positive change is infectious and evident from the first time you meet him. His training and coaching is described as “gently challenging the comfort zones and enthusing people to achieve new levels of professional performance”. He is a trustee of Manisha UK and works with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award supporting young people to develop expedition skills.
Hayley has worked in education for many years and took some time out to raise her family. Hayley is keen to get back into education and is currently training for her Certificate in Education and Training whilst working with the Foundation part-time as Personal Assistant to our CE.
Luis is the Foundation's Business Development Associate working in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire. Luis graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2018 with a degree in Business Administration with Spanish. Luis set up the Enactus Hertfordshire society which ran a consultancy project with the Foundation in 2017. Aside from an interest in business, Luis enjoys watching and playing many sports such as Athletics, American Football, Basketball and European Football.
Evadne Bygrave is an educator, life coach and innovator. Her passion to make education inclusive to all learners has been the driving force behind all her enterprises. She founded Sing a book in 2014 to engage children in reading through song, based on books read in primary schools. As a singer/song writer Evadne has been able to capture the essence books and infuse them with catchy rhythms that are enjoyed by all.
Not satisfied with writing one song for a book, in 2015, she wrote 7 for Anthony Browne’s Into The Forest, this became her first musical playscript. The second, Kate Meets Dido Elizabeth Belle based on the book by David Gleave, was completed in 2016. Evadne is in full support of the Steve Sinnott Foundation’s Education for All Campaign and was honoured when given the opportunity to write their campaign song, A Better Place to Be.
Her work in primary and secondary schools was the inspiration for the SCIP-School Career Intervention Programme; which has been designed to raise the learning aspirations and career prospects of disadvantaged underachieving pupils entering secondary school. The programme is fuelled with Evadne’s determination to give learners the opportunity to an education that is accessible, challenging and life-changing.
A senior leader with significant experience managing behavior and inclusive practices across education, Malcolm has worked in mainstream, special, secure and community education settings, in urban, suburban and rural locations. He specializes in the development of inclusive education services for young people aged 11-18.
He has been invited to speak on access to equality, inclusive education for many organisations including Goldsmiths University, Newman University, Hip Hop Education UK at UCL, the Royal Society of Arts, the National Union of Teachers, the Steve Sinnott Foundation and in many other places. He has also written about Inclusion and Education for interviews and articles published in The Guardian, Engage 13, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowships and others. He has held strategic roles within schools, unions and advisory groups including as school governor, local community interest companies as well as several academic research groups.
Lara has a first-class honours degree in youth and community studies from Bedfordshire University. She spent three years working as a youth leader with a leading charity organisation supporting young people up to the age of 18 offering a wide curriculum of activities whilst at university and afterwards. She has also volunteered in schools helping young people with anger management, self-esteem and behavioural concerns. Additionally, Lara has supported and worked with LGBT people taking them to meetings and signposting them to other support agencies. Lara enjoys spending time with her young children.
Bringing their long experience from numerous internet ventures, Simon and Julia are working with the Foundation to ensure that our stories are told effectively and that the benefits of our work are communicated succinctly to the world.
Farazan has been living in the UK, for just over a year, and has come to love the country she has been introduced to through her love of old historical novels and English literature. Her fascination with the English way of life is insatiable. A teacher by profession, originally in Karachi, she knows the importance of facilitating a learning experience which provides children with the opportunity to achieve their individual potential, contributes to raising standards of student attainment and helps in their personal and academic growth.
The Steve Sinnott Foundation was Founded in May, 2009.
Registered Charity no. 1130814 (England), SC046031 (Scotland)
Company limited by guarantee no. 6696272
Our Accounts are available on the website of the Charity Commission for England and Wales
The Steve Sinnott Foundation
15 Clarendon Road
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