Meet the Board
Ray Moore, Chair, Non-Executive Director
Ray has a wealth of experience of providing the widest possible range of support services for schools, having worked at a senior level for two local authorities, and also for a national educational charity. He has worked in every phase of education in one capacity or another, including being the Chair of Governors of a primary school for several years. Starting life as a teacher of science and maths in a Birmingham secondary school he quickly became interested in the potential of computers in education, and he has maintained that interest ever since. However, ICT is by no means his only area of interest and expertise, he has been responsible for local authority Education Officer duties, for Governor Support Services, Outdoor Education, Performing Arts Services, School Library Services, Education Business Partnership Services, amongst others.
Ray believes that every young person should have access to a very broad but balanced curriculum which includes a minimum entitlement to a wide range of experiences and learning contexts. It is essential that young people leave schools well prepared for the world outside.
Eric Clewer, Vice Chair, Non-Executive Director
Eric has for the past 5 years been a member of the Link2ict team supporting Primary assessment and Parental access. He was also a director of the Aston Pride IWB project in 2005. This involved monitoring the installation and support training programs for school using Promethean and Smart equipment.
Before joining Link2ict he was a head teacher in Birmingham for 27 years. From 1983 when the ICT programme began in schools, he has always been very supportive and saw from the very beginning the potential of this new learning. As chair of the primary lead group for ICT which was called the Umbrella Group he was always trying to keep up and see how the schools in Birmingham could be informed and helped in developing this rapidly growing new set of skills.
He hopes his involvement with BeLF will help extend these skills to parents and ultimately the pupils themselves. Eric was elected Vice Chairman of BeLF in May 2010.
Jean Maund, Non-Executive Director
Jean runs her own successful web-design and online marketing company in the Midlands, Just Ask Jean Ltd. She previously worked for 15 years as a teacher, advisor and trainer in e-learning across the local authorities in the West Midlands. During that time she was heavily involved in all aspects of e-learning across the region with special emphasis on collaborative projects.
She is passionate about the use of technology to empower students and improve their chances in life.
Jean was part of the original team setting up and managing the City Learning Centres in Birmingham and was part of the initial advisory panel for the Birmingham e-learning Foundation before being invited in 2005 to join the board.
Caroline Cooban, Non-Executive Director
Dr Caroline Cooban was previously Director of Development at the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Nottingham. She leads on funding and partnership developments to aid research into how people learn. Over the past 10 years, she has worked closely with academic teams involved in various projects investigating the design and evaluation of learning technologies, including a national study into young people’s use of Web 2.0 or “social networked” technologies at home and in the classroom, as well as innovations and likely future trends in technology-enhanced learning. She collaborates with schools, City Learning Centres and other organisations to initiate and sustain joint research activities.
Caroline is also a regular contributor to a Masters degree programme on technology and learning run by the School of Education at the University of Nottingham. She helps teachers to understand Intellectual Property, especially copyright, and digital rights management issues.
Bren Taylor, Non-Executive Director
Bren Taylor joined BeLF in the Summer of 2011. Bren’s career in teaching saw him become interested in, and passionate for, the potential of mobile learning. In 1999 he became a founding member of PortabilITy, a self-help group for teachers exploring the possibilities of mobile learning, growing from the “The World in Your Pocket” project. The passion for mobile learning followed through Bren’s career as he moved into the local authority supporting schools’ use of ICT across the curriculum. He then joined the LA e-development team, continuing his enjoyment for exploring new ways to provide learning benefits for young people. As a member of the ICT support service’s senior management team, he became responsible for the Birmingham Grid for Learning portals and Head of Learning Strategy, during which time he was a founding member of SIFA. A brief spell as Director for Interactive Education for a Birmingham SME was followed by Bren taking up a consultancy position within Service Birmingham’s Link2ICT. Bren was an inaugural organising member and panel chair of mLearn and continues to review papers for this internationally acclaimed annual conference. He has also been a member of the UNESCO OER group, mapping resources across the globe.
Bren has recently become Senior Education Advisor for Link2ICT changing from his role as head of the Birmingham CLC Service in May 2013.
In his spare time Bren has been member of a small group bringing the inaugural TED X to Birmingham in 2012, and in a moment of madness has became committed to a motoring adventure with http://viviennevolvo.weebly.com/
Paul Shoesmith, Non-Executive Director
Paul Shoesmith has a wide range of experience of working with schools, suppliers, local authorities and government departments covering all aspects of the use of Information and Communications technology.
In October 2010, following the announcement of Becta’s closure by the coalition government, he set up a new company IET Associates Limited with former Becta colleagues Mike Briscoe and Nick Shacklock. IET Associates is a not for profit company, operating as a social enterprise, specialising in advice on the effective use and deployment of technology solutions in education. The company also undertakes project commissions, consultancy and conference or training activities.
Before joining Becta Paul worked for Birmingham Education Service for 18 years. He installed the first computerised management information systems in Birmingham schools in the late 1980s, and was a key part of the project team which subsequently delivered these systems into all 450 Birmingham schools over a four year period. He had lead responsibility for the implementation of financial systems in schools, and later was responsible for support and technical ICT services for schools. He subsequently led the design, implementation and management of the Birmingham Grid for Learning network, providing a wide area network including internet access to all of Birmingham’s schools, one of the pathfinder local authorities in the governments National Grid for Learning programme. He was also involved with the West Midlands Regional Broadband Consortium (WMnet), a collaborative group operating across 14 local authorities with over 2,000 schools, and chaired the WMnet Technical Group for 4 years.
Ian McCall, Chief Executive Officer
Ian has been the CEO of the Birmingham e-Learning Foundation since April 2006. He was born in Scotland and emigrated to Canada at the age of 17, completing high school in Toronto. At University he studied French linguistics and revolutionary literature and also co-enrolled in the B.Ed. programme.
In the early 80s, Ian became an early entrant into the computer industry and spent almost 20 years building his career; ultimately working internationally in large-scale outsourcing and Business Process Re-engineering, supply-chain, and in automotive design and manufacturing working for a number of companies including Epson, CSC, and Manugistics.
During this time Ian returned to the UK, where he has settled with his family and in 2004 redirected his career into Education. He obtained a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages from the University of Wolverhampton and taught French and ICT as a newly qualified teacher (NQT) in a school in Bilston.
His move to BeLF has enabled him to combine his passions for IT and Education in a role he describes as a challenge and a privilege. He is in constant touch with schools, parents and pupils so he never loses sight of the impact that the charity is having on the lives of children in Birmingham.
David Wimpress, Patron
David is former Chair of BeLF before retiring in 2010. David joined the board in 2003 and played a significant role in leading the Foundation’s strategic direction. Hewas Chief Executive of Netmedia Education, the UK’s leading supplier of learning platforms, and was also a member of the Board of Espresso and a Board member of Systems Interoperability Framework UK (SIFa) and member of the SIFa Business and Teaching and Learning Groups.
He has been involved in education for many years and in 1997 became Chair of UK NetYear a public-private partnership whose objective was to get all schools connected to the Internet.
He was previously CEO of ICL-Fujitsu Autonomous Businesses Group and was Chairman and Founder of Workplace Technologies, Workplace Management, Peritas and Knowledgepool.
The Birmingham eLearning Foundation feels honoured that David has remained an Advisor to the Board following his retirement in 2010.
David Brodie, Advisor to the Board
David is Education Associate to the Core Skills partnership in Birmingham. He currently project manages the school remit of the Aston Pride NDC, “The pupil guarantee” through the Titan Partnership and the “Computers in the Home” learning package. The CITH programme was the winner of the national egovernment award in 2009.
David was previously Head teacher of Prince Albert school in Aston, a very large primary school which was the winner of the prestigious BECTA ICT award, (overall national best Primary school). He was a member of the Primary reference group in Westmininster and also a member of the successful Bristol Partnership board which supported the running of the Local Education Authority. He led a “soft” federation of two schools. This linkage led the target school out of special measures.
David is an ex director and trustee of the Titan Partnership and is currently a Director of the Birmingham eLearning Foundation.
Professor Don Passey, Advisor to the Board
Professor Don Passey, Lancaster University. My main areas of research focus on: Teaching and learning outcomes arising from uses of leading edge technologies, principally in primary and secondary schools; Implementation and management of leading edge technologies at local authority and individual institution levels; Uses of data and development of data systems to support curriculum and educational practices; How home and out-of-school practices can enhance and support learning at an individual pupil level; How technologies support young people who are at risk of learning exclusion or who are hard to reach; How evaluation and research can be undertaken to support policy and practice.
Ruth Garner, Advisor to the Board
Ruth is the founder of Learn Net Advisors & Research and has a background in Occupational Therapy (practitioner and senior leader) in the NHS. After acquiring an MSc from Greenwich University, delivered entirely online, she worked with local and European partners to develop and deliver pre-vocational services, through eLearning, to people with disabilities and from disadvantaged groups. She left the NHS in 1998 after experiencing the potential of eLearning for vulnerable adults and set up Learn Net. Since 1998, Ruth has been working with a wide range of statutory, voluntary and private sector organisations in the UK and in Europe, helping to make technology work for them and their users. In addition, she is part of the eLearning Team at Greenwich University training tutors, lecturers and teachers from schools, Higher Education and Further Education how to deliver services online.
Learn Net is focused on using technology to support inclusive practices by removing barriers to learning and teaching, for both adults and young people. Ruth was a founder member of BeLF and was Chair of BeLF from May 2010 to 2015.