I am a microbiologist who has worked in academia (Universities of Newcastle, Cologne, Milan), the public sector (Public Health Service) and the private sector. I have authored a large number of scientific publications including chapters in two of the standard microbiological texts. Latterly I was a senior manager with Unilever plc becoming global Head of Regulatory Affairs Foods R&D. I have been an adviser to the UK Government on genetic modification, and health and safety and, to the EU Commission on risk and food safety. Until 2013 I was a visiting Professor at the University of Exeter and a Non-Executive Director of Milton Keynes Community Health Services. I am a Trustee of the Society for Experimental Biology and a Magistrate. I was awarded an MBE for services to the biotechnology industry.
I have worked for Northampton college as a lecturer in the Engineering department since 2003. I have delivered both theory and practical to level 1, 2 and 3 students in my career as well as apprentices in the electrical trade at my time at the college. Prior to joining Northampton College, I was a Manager in a Northampton based electrical installation company using my skills and knowledge gained throughout my career to run projects around the country.
A teacher first and foremost, I have been working in schools throughout my adult life. The early part of my career brought together two passions: the pedagogy of science teaching and teacher continuing professional development. Through this I worked on national initiatives including the development of the new National Curriculum for Science, GCSE Science Assessment and the assessment of student progression. I moved into school Senior Leadership in 2001 with responsibilities including staff and curriculum development, and Special Educational Needs. I have worked directly with schools on specific areas of school improvement, as well as supporting schools through the delivery of training on a local, national and international level. This work has included mentoring and coaching colleagues on programmes ranging from LftM to NPQH. I was appointed as the Headteacher of Northampton School for Girls in 2009. A large comprehensive school (over 1700 students) in the middle of England, the school is graded outstanding by Ofsted and has a national reputation for its achievements in music, sport and inclusion. At the heart of my work is the importance of each and every child in education, and the impact that the best in teaching brings to them.
Educated at Cambridge and Liverpool Universities, I have a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry. My career has been in the plastics and packaging industries, initially in operations and then in running businesses. I was a director of RPC Group Plc, Europe’s leading manufacturer of rigid plastics packaging (headquartered in Rushden). Latterly I was based in Germany, with responsibility for a division with eleven businesses across Europe. I served as a member of the Council of the British Plastics Federation.
Following retirement, I spent three months teaching at a tribal school in south India. My current activities include being vice-chair of Langley House Trust, an organisation for the resettlement of ex-offenders, and involvement in business start-ups. I am a member of the Horners' Livery Company – with a special interest in education, training and apprenticeships in the plastics industry. I was formerly a member of the Independent Monitoring Board at Wellingborough Prison.