Mr John Gray: Chairman

John trained as a commercial quantity surveyor with a major national contractor in the 1960s. Prior to setting up his own Building Management, Surveying and Estimating practice, John worked for smaller building companies specialising in the alteration market. At the same time he also started three separate building companies and one of these companies grew in size and John decided to develop this company.  John took control of the operational side of the Company (PJ Diamond) and eventually became the sole owner so in 2001, the Company’s name was changed to Diamond Build Plc to signify the change in standing of the Company.During his involvement with Diamond Group, John has brought in many initiatives to upgrade the management processes including improving the way the company deals with ICT, Building Regulations, Contract Law, Construction Legislation, Company Law, Health & Safety, Marketing, Quality Control (BS 7570, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001), Investors in People, Management Practice and Continuous Professional Development.

His commitment to education and training is reflected in the amount of time he has dedicated to supporting education. He has been the Chair of the Haringey Education Business Partnership where his company consistently offered work experience to local schools, supported enterprise days and engaged in careers talks/visits for young people. Indeed, John was a Board Member of a local training company and sat on the Prospects Board for Careers at regional and local level, eventually becoming Chair of the North London Advisory Panel. John has sat on a west London Record of Achievement Board, was on the London North Business into Education Board, has been part of the Employer’s Consultative Group (for the Department for Education) on vocational education and for modern apprenticeships and has given evidence to the Cross Party Select Inquiry into Construction and Apprenticeships.

He has also been directly involved in training in construction and its allied trades. He has lectured in a Further Education College, served on the CITB Advisory Board for London, chaired the local Chamber of Commerce and the Southern Region National Federation of Builders Contractors Group as well as many local strategic groups.

John combines a real entrepreneurial ethos with expertise in construction and training. He has built schools and supported them. Now he has combined this range of skills to build an educational company.

Dr Linda P M Prince: Managing Director

Linda has taught in primary and secondary schools, trained FE and HE students and worked with disadvantaged and vulnerable learners in PRUs, special schools and those leaving care. She has taught a wide range of subjects across all ability ranges and also assessed and verified many of these subjects.Linda was an assessor for Investors in People and an OfSTED inspector for over ten years, inspecting primary, secondary and post-16 phases being one of the first inspectors to be able to inspect vocational subjects.

She left classroom teaching in 2000 and moved into local authority work and has held inspectorial, advisory and leadership roles and by 2005 became interim director of educational services in a London borough being responsible for the budget and all the staff in the education service (including education finance, HR, special needs, transport and school effectiveness and improvement).

In 2007 she opted to become a private consultant and since then has worked with a number of government departments and international bodies, local authorities, educational establishments and private companies on a mixture of activities including pre- and post-OfSTED preparation and support, interim management, coaching senior leaders, performance management, undertaking reviews and offering solutions, training at all levels, bid writing and policy development. She has qualifications that range from interior design to counselling and has written several novels for adults and children.

Mr Robert Hawker: Director of Marketing and Communications

Robert has worked in marketing and communications roles in higher education for over 20 years and also worked with many clients in the public and private education sectors.

Most recently he was closely involved with raising the profile of Ravensbourne, a university sector college innovating in digital media and design, based in Greenwich, where he managed the admissions, recruitment and marketing processes for the postgraduate portfolio, and helped increase postgraduate recruitment by 120%.

Previously Robert was director of marketing and communications at the University of Roehampton, London, where he led a team of 27, managing the annual cycle of recruitment activities. Prior to this, he spent over a decade at London Metropolitan University where he managed the organisation’s change of identity from City of London Polytechnic to London Guildhall University, and then its merger with the University of North London to London Met and managed the corporate identity changes for both institutions.

He is a highly experienced events organiser. His portfolio includes royal, ministerial and VIP visits, high-level receptions, book launches, student open days, the opening of new buildings and annual series of graduation ceremonies. Robert produces a series of masterclasses and conferences for the FHE sectors and for international delegations.

Robert is a qualified assessor of apprentices studying L3 digital marketing; he is currently studying for the L4 certificate in Teaching and Learning.

For many years, Robert was chair of the Higher Education External Relations Association (London), and a council member of The Publicity Club of London. He holds a Bachelors degree, the CIM and CAM postgraduate diplomas and an MBA in Higher Education Management from UCL Institute of Education. He is a primary school governor, and, in 2015, helped them achieve ‘Outstanding’ status from OfSTED; and is a quality and lay representative for NHS Education, specialising in medical governance and quality.

Ms Judith Jakes: Director of Technology and Curriculum Support

Judith has been working within education for over 35 years. Her experience covers: PE, IT, health and social care, digital media and pastoral responsibilities, including head of sixth form.

From 2000 Judith worked as the Senior Project Developer at the Haringey City Learning Centre were she developed innovative courses for students in key stages 2 to 5. She was also responsible for the development of vocational courses in video production and internal verifier for music technology and was the principle deliverer of a series of enterprise courses offered to all secondary schools in Haringey.

She also planned, developed and delivered a Transformation Teacher’s Programme; this involved staff from each of the secondary schools in the LA, including the post-16 provision and special schools, building confidence and competence in the use of digital technology in the classroom in order to impact on teaching and learning. The Institute of Education tracked a number of the participants recognising the programme’s contribution to good practice.

Judith was a teacher for over 30 years and has been a freelance trainer/consultant since November 2008, operating her own company and has worked pan-London and been involved with all phases of education from primary to FE/HE, including special education. She has been working for Learning Central for the last five years, delivering the London based trainer and assessor training for teachers to students, teachers and centres. Recently she has specialised in delivering the CACHE L2 course, Supporting the Wider Curriculum to unemployed adults and digital media to NEETS within Tottenham.  Judith also offers her expertise in providing ICT audits and support to small businesses.

Ms Lesley Tucker: PA to the Directors

Lesley has over twenty years’ experience of providing PA/Secretarial/Administrative support at the highest level in large organisations, including the Council Democratic Services, Election Services, Mayor’s Office, Children’s Services (including Youth and Connexions Service, School Workforce and Governance and School Improvement) and Social Services. Lesley has been a Clerk to Governing Bodies, acted as a Presiding Officer and been the PA to the Director of Education.

Lesley combines high standards of work, an incisive mind, problem-solving skills and a has the experience of being a parent so she knows all the angles of education from provider to user of the service.

She has a wide range of technical, personal and social skills which are invaluable in an educational environment and is at ease equally dealing with anxious parents or government officials. She understands educational/school environments and the complex and often challenging and pressurised context that all the key stakeholders experience.

Her technical skills cover the whole range of office management and administration tasks. She is proficient in communicating to a wide range of audiences. Lesley combines the skills that are needed to make both the strategic planning and day to day operational functions run smoothly.

Her contribution to the development of educational thinking and delivery cannot be underestimated even though it has often been ‘behind the scenes’. She has led educational development teams, liaised with a wide range of public, voluntary and private groups, scheduled and run meetings, organised and run conferences, led training and acted as a mentor to adults and young people.