Executive Committee

Meet our executive committee

The Executive Committee meets regularly throughout the year, meeting dates are shown on the Calendar Dates page.

Current Executive Committee Members

Sally Varley (Co-Chair and South West Region) – sally.varley@n-somerset.gov.uk

Sally joined the Executive Committee to host the November 2015 National EBDOG conference and is now Co-Chair of EBDOG and Chair for the South West Region.  She works for North Somerset Council as the Head of Strategic Place Planning, Capital Programmes and School Organisation/Admissions Service.  In this role she is responsible for Mainstream and SEND Place Planning and Commissioning, developer negotiations, the delivery of her directorate’s Capital Programme for Schools and other Children’s Services buildings, Academy Transfers and the Admissions and School Organisation functions. Partnership is key to any service delivery, whether with local schools or academies.  Sally and her team work closely with local education providers, contractors and other key players with the aim of creating sustainable school structures and new school places that enhance pupil outcomes as well as establishing North Somerset as a good place to live. Sally has just over 40 years’ experience in the public sector, starting her career as a clerical officer before working in personnel and social care.  She has been in the children’s services field for over 40 years managing the Student Grants and the Admissions and Transport Teams before taking a senior Service Leader role in 2006 and becoming a Head of Service in 2016.  

Rob Thomas (Co-Chair and Midlands Region) – Rob.Thomas@walsall.gov.uk

To follow  

Pete Mumford (Co-Chair and South East Region) – pete.mumford@suffolk.gov.uk

Pete joined the executive committee in 2019 and is the Co-Chair of EBDOG and Chair of the South East Region group.  He has worked at Suffolk County Council since 2010, and in his current role as Head of Schools Infrastructure since 2022. In this role he oversees School Place Planning, the School Capital Programme, Estate Management and Academisation. His previous place planning role focussed on responses to numerous district authority local plans and the discussions with housing developers about the impact of new housing and the education infrastructure required. This is an expanding area for Suffolk with significant investment needed to meet the Council’s statutory duty for providing school places over the next 10 to 15 years. Alongside this, Pete has also been involved in the development of a new SEND capital programme to deliver approximately £45m+ of additional infrastructure across the county. Prior to working at Suffolk County Council, Pete worked at the Learning and Skills Council in a Partnership Manager role and overseeing post-16 funding and capital projects.  

Clare Medland (Secretary and South West Region) -Clare.Medland@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Clare is Secretary of the EBDOG National Executive Committee. She joined the Committee over 20 years ago in 2002 as a Unitary LA representative and became secretary in 2007.  As the longest serving member, Clare will be ‘celebrating’ 40 years of public sector service in 2023, both in local government Education and Treasury services and for the MOD HQ Service Children’s Education Service serving overseas for 4 years.

Clare is currently Head of Education Planning and Infrastructure (jobshare) at Gloucestershire County Council with lead responsibility for strategic school place planning and commissioning, capital and infrastructure development of schools and early years, admissions, mainstream and SEN transport and the commissioning of high needs SEND placements. Prior to working at Gloucestershire she carried out similar roles in Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire and before that in Bracknell Forest. Her role of Secretary involves the coordination of meetings and regular liaison and meetings with colleagues at the DfE and ESFA.

Ged Kelly (North West Region) – ged.kelly@bolton.gov.uk

Ged is the Capital Programme and Pupil Place Planning Manager at Bolton Council.  Ged joined the Executive Committee in December 2018 as a representative for the North West Region.  He has spent over 30 years working in local government starting out as a Town Planner.  After a period of undertaking a variety of different project development roles he moved into the Education and Children’s Services Department at Bolton in 2002 with responsibility for estate management and building maintenance.  Over the last 10 years he has been responsible for preparing and delivering the Council’s successful pupil place planning strategy against a period of unprecedented pupil growth within an ever changing and challenging diverse educational estate.  

Steven Jenks (North East Region) – steven.jenks@bradford.gov.uk

Steven has spent much of his working life in the private sector as an Architect.  Whilst working for a well-known international consultancy he managed numerous frameworks for local authorities many of which involved the delivery of school building projects. At the inception of BSF he was seconded to the DFE as a design advisor for the Department in rolling out the programme.  He was also involved in the work for the Secure Children’s Homes programme, and also worked with local authorities in developing their school programme strategies for BSF.

In 2009 Steven joined Bradford MDC in a role that was leading the School Expansion Programme, PCP and financial operations with schools.  He also oversees the Place Planning aspect coordinating the allocation of Basic Need and consultation process in expanding schools including the design development.  He recently completed the implementation of over 60 new school kitchens as part of UIFSM programme, and continues to work closely with catering.

Steven joined the Executive Committee in 2014 and represents the North East region.

David Martin (North East Region) – david.martin@kirklees.gov.uk

David is the Head of Corporate Landlord and Capital at Kirklees Council, where he has worked for 23 years. Prior to that he worked for the Funding Agency for Schools dealing with the early waves of grant maintained schools. At Kirklees David has had responsibility for Schools Asset Management and its capital programme since 1998, though in recent years his remit has extended to all the Council’s land and property assets as well as leading the delivery of the Council’s extensive capital programme. David has been involved in the EBDOG network for many years, being active in the regional Yorkshire & Humberside EBDOG and moving onto the National Executive in 2017.  

Robert Bollen (London Region)  – robert.bollen@bromley.gov.uk

Rob is Head of Strategic Place Planning at the London of Bromley, a role that encompasses planning for school places, school organisation and capital delivery. He has 16 years’ experience working in the public sector encompassing policy and project delivery roles in education, regeneration, capital delivery, corporate strategy and economic development. Prior to Bromley Rob was responsible for the client side delivery of PFI projects including education and social care and spent a time working in the private sector on public private partnerships including Building Schools For The Future (BSF).  Rob is also a governor of his local school and previously a director of a community credit union.

Matt Clayton (East Midlands Region) – matthew.clayton@lincolnshire.gov.uk

Matt joined the Executive Committee in 2019 to represent the East Midlands region. Matt has worked for Lincolnshire County Council for the last 18 years in various roles within Children’s Services and Corporate Property in information management, school place planning and capital programme management, and has been Admissions and Education Provision Manager for the last three years. He is responsible for ensuring that Lincolnshire County Council meet their statutory duty for providing sufficient school places through planning and commissioning the delivery of capital projects across one of the largest counties in the country. This has recently included significant involvement in the development and implementation of a new special school strategy resulting in a five year £50m capital programme. Matt is also a governor of a local primary school.  

Mick McManus (North West Region) – mick.mcmanus@manchester.gov.uk

Mick is a Chartered Surveyor with 43 years’ experience in construction design and management and maintenance working for Manchester City Council in a variety of technical and strategic roles. His current position is within the Capital Programme and Procurement team as the Programme lead for Education, leading on the procurement and delivery of new schools and extensions to meet increasing demand for school places in Manchester. Mick got involved with EBDOG in 2018 when he helped refresh the NW regional EBDOG group. Mick is Chair of Governors at a local primary school where he has served on the Governing body for the last 16 years.  

Joanne Prophet (North West Region) – joanne.prophet@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Joanne Prophet joined the EBDOG executive in 2020 as representative for the North West Region. Since 2018, Joanne has been the School Organisation and Capital Manager for Cheshire East Council and is currently responsible for managing and developing the overarching strategy for education provision within the Borough, including strategic planning, capital investment and commissioning, and ensuring the sufficiency of school places. Joanne has been working in the public sector since 1997 moving into the Education Team in 2001 as a Capital Programme Officer at Stockport Council. During her 17 years at Stockport Joanne took on a number of roles including Building Development Officer and then later as the Education Asset Manager, this was a strategic role and she was responsible for the management and implementation of capital and infrastructure programmes.  

Emily Heaton (South West Region) – eheaton@swindon.gov.uk

Emily Heaton is the Service Lead for Access and Provision at Swindon borough Council, overseeing School Admissions, Education Place Planning, Free School Meals Eligibility Service, SENDIAS and Mainstream Home to School Transport Policy. Emily has been working for Swindon Borough Council for 19 years in total, with 14 of those in Education. In her current role, Emily is responsible for the strategic planning of Education sufficiency for the Borough, and the Education Capital Programme. With Swindon as one of the fastest growing Towns in the Country, the Council has been successful over the last 5 years in securing Free School bids, with 20 % of all the free schools in the South West being in the local area. In all her roles, Emily has been heavily involved in influencing and shaping policy, lobbying Government and then implementing changes locally, with a wealth of experience of working across the South West with all Local Authorities through various networks, along with working in the political arena of Local Government for many years.  

Sally Lowe (North East Region) – sally.lowe@leeds.gov.uk

Sally has worked in the education sector for 25 years.  She joined Leeds City Council in 2010 from the Learning and Skills Council, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge of the 14-19 education sector. During her time at Leeds City Council she has led on a variety of strategies to support the engagement and attainment of children and young people in education, including leading on the implementation of the Raising of the Participation Age. In 2018 Sally became the lead for The Built Environment Service, leading on the Children and Families Asset and Capital strategy, including the planned maintenance programme and accessibility works for schools, with the ambition to ensure fit for purpose and inclusive learning environments for all. Recently the remit of Sally’s service expanded to incorporate Children’s Transport and SEND Place Planning, with her now being the Assets & Access Lead for Children and Families.  Sally joined the EBDOG Committee in 2019 and will be hosting the 2023 National EBDOG Conference in Leeds.  

Tanya Smith (South West Region) – Tanya.Smith@southglos.gov.uk

Tanya works as part of the BCP Council’s Education and Skills leadership team and I has a track-record of leading the commissioning and delivery of high-profile, complex strategic projects to create new pathways for learning and help sustain existing and growing new communities. Tanya is responsible for planning and commissioning the department’s capital programme and working in partnership with local school leaders and stakeholders, delivers key statutory functions of the Local Authority including school place planning, home to school transport, school admissions and early years sufficiency and funding.  

Isabel Horner (South East Region) – isabel.horner@norfolk.gov.uk 

Isabel is Sufficiency Delivery Manager at Norfolk County Council and has been a member of the committee since 2022 and part of the South East group since 2014 when she came into post to lead the schools’ capital programme in Norfolk, overseeing a programme of mainstream school expansion and new schools in response to growth. More recently, her role in Children’s Services has expanded to include responsibility for Place Planning, Norfolk maintained school estate, a schools’ PFI contract, and a £120M expansion programme for SEND places.  

Jane Lawley (London Region) – jane.lawley@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

Jane has been an EBDOG member representing the South East London region for several years and joined the Executive Committee in December 2022.  Jane is the Strategic Lead for Inclusion and Place Planning in the Royal Borough of Greenwich responsible for school admissions and appeals; place planning; capital projects; school organisation and academy conversions, as well as attendance; education other than at school (EOTAS); primary and secondary inclusion services, youth justice education and the Virtual School for children and young people in the local authority’s care. Jane has worked in local government since 1996, starting in education funding and placements, before taking on responsibility for school place sufficiency and school capital projects in 2016.  In November 2022, Jane became a governor of a local SEMH secondary school.