Who's who?

ATL's officers and officials, and the senior managers from ATL's professional staff who act as key spokespeople for the union, make up a dedicated team striving to support members in their employment and to secure the best future for education in the UK.

ATL's officers and officials

Photo of Alison Sherratt

Alison Sherratt, president

Alison Sherratt joined ATL in 1986 and has been active in the Bradford branch committee since 1994. Alison has served on the Executive Committee since 2004 as the member for Leeds and Bradford, serving on the policy council, rules and procedures, standing orders and finance committees.

Alison has also chaired specialist task groups (STGs) on access to childcare and political fund, as well as serving on numerous others. Alison is currently a reception teacher and looks after PSHE at a primary school in Bradford.

Mark Baker

Mark Baker, senior vice president

Mark is a teacher with responsibility for inclusion at Redwood Secondary Special School, Rochdale. He is Rochdale branch secretary, chair of the Greater Manchester Committee and executive member for Greater Manchester. He also serves on ATL's policy council, and was formerly lead member for SEN, having joined the union in 1981.

Mark has represented ATL on the Special Education Consortium, and the North West TUC's Activity Group. He also serves on the Schools Safety Action Group and Schools Forum, and has served on the North West Social Partnership and the Schools Organisation Committee.

Kim Knappett

Kim Knappett, junior vice president

Kim is deputy head of science with responsibility for KS3 at Forest Hill School, Lewisham. She is branch secretary and assistant treasurer for Inner London branch. Kim sits on the Executive Committee and has been lead member for appraisal since 2008, and lead member for health and safety since 2010.

Currently a member of the special task group on a professional body for teachers, Kim has chaired the branch relations and awards committees, and was president of the Londonwide committee. Kim joined the Association in 1986.

Hank Roberts

Hank Roberts, immediate past president

Hank Roberts joined ATL in 1996. He became Brent branch secretary and in 2002 he was elected to ATL's governing Executive. He has always been involved in health and safety issues, particularly in the campaign to remove asbestos from school buildings. He has also won two national awards in this field, and organised successful national joint union health and safety conferences at Wembley Stadium.

Hank has taught in Brent, London, for over 30 years, first at Sladebrook High school (now closed) as a geography teacher, and then at Copland Community School where he became head of geography. He is a trustee of the Teacher Support Network and sits on the steering committee of the Anti Academies Alliance. He also has a keen interest in science and is a fellow of the Royal Institution.

Leslie Tipping

Leslie Tipping, AMiE president

Lesley Tipping took up office as president of AMiE on 1 September 2013. She was first elected onto the AMiE National Council in 2010.

Lesley is the curriculum director within the recently formed Grwp Llandrillo Menai (with responsibility for such diverse areas as 14–16 vocational education, Welsh Baccalaureate and higher education). She has also worked as an associate assessor (and is currently a peer inspector) with Estyn (Wales' equivalent to Ofsted) since 1994.

Leslie chairs a pan-Wales group for one of the vocational sectors, and sits on a variety of committees and groups that drive post-16 education within Wales. She works closely with several sector skills councils both in Wales and nationally across the UK.

Shelagh Hirst, Honorary secretary

Shelagh Hirst, honorary secretary

Shelagh Hirst has been honorary secretary since joining the Executive Committee in 2000.

A regular supply teacher throughout Calderdale and Kirklees primary schools, Shelagh has also attended the TUC annual Conferences and has been active in the Women's TUC.

Ralph Surman

Ralph Surman, honorary secretary

Ralph is deputy head teacher of Cantrell Primary School, Nottingham. A member of the senior leadership team, he is inclusion and disabilities officer for the school, and co-ordinates assessment, testing, reporting and evaluation work. He has been joint branch secretary of Nottingham branch since 1995.

Ralph joined the Association in 1983. A member of the Executive Committee since 1993, he sits on ATL's policy council, disciplinary panel and action committee, and has served as TUC co-ordinator since 2008. He has also served as lead member for evaluation and inspection, for pay and conditions, and for behaviour and discipline.

Stephen Buck, Honorary treasurer

Stephen Buck, honorary treasurer

Stephen Buck first became a member of ATL in the 1980s before working his way up through the Humberside branch to take a seat on Executive Committee in 2002, where he has been a member of Policy Council, Finance Committee, Budget Group and Rules and Procedures Committee.

Even with his national ATL commitments, Stephen remains ATL school rep and local secretary for North Lincolnshire. A physics graduate, Stephen has been a full-time teacher for more than 30 years, and will continue to teach two days a week while he fulfills his ATL roles.

Debbie Polwarth

Debbie Polwarth, honorary treasurer

Debbie works as a special needs assistant offering BESD support in a New Beginnings Unit at Kenton School, Newcastle. She works with a wide range of pupils of secondary age, with difficulties including behaviour, attendance, self-esteem and motivation issues.

Debbie is assistant branch secretary, branch president and branch recruitment secretary of Newcastle upon Tyne branch. She is chair of ATL's support staff members' advisory group (SSMAG).

Debbie joined ATL's Executive Committee in 2010, and is currently lead member for defence and awards. She has previously served as lead member for ATL Future.

Mary Bousted, general secretary

Mary Bousted, general secretary

Dr Mary Bousted is general secretary of ATL and AMiE. Mary represents the interests of her members to the government, and to a wide variety of other stakeholders. As the education union, ATL leads the debate on key educational issues with strong policy positions on, for example, assessment and curriculum changes; school accountability and school structures.

Mary contributes regular articles for newspapers and education journals, and appears frequently on national media. She sits on the executive committee of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and is a member of the ACAS board. Mary is also an accomplished public speaker and has debated at the Oxford Union.

Mary previously worked in higher education at York University, Edge Hill University and at Kingston University where she was Head of the School of Education. Prior to this Mary was a Head of English, and English teacher in comprehensive schools in North London.

Peter Pendle

Peter Pendle, deputy general secretary

Peter Pendle was elected as chief executive and general secretary of the Association for College Management (ACM) in 2001 and re-elected in 2006. He retained the position until ACM's merger with ATL in 2011, when he became ATL's deputy general secretary. He is responsible for support and representation for members, resource management including finance, HR and IT, and membership and governance administration.

Before joining ACM Peter was director of resources for the Universities UK (formerly the Committee for Vice Chancellors and Principals (CVCP)) and before that was vice principal of Greenhill College in Harrow. He is a mentor for the Black Leadership Initiative Mentoring Scheme and a recipient of the Network of Black Managers' Award for leadership in race equality in FE.

Mark Langhammer, director of ATL Northern Ireland

Mark Langhammer, director of ATL Northern Ireland

Mark Langhammer is director of ATL Northern Ireland. He is responsible for the staff team, strategic direction, education policy, negotiations, recruitment and organisation. Mark was previously employed as director of the University for Industry's learndirect initiative in Northern Ireland, as CEO of the North Belfast (urban regeneration) Partnership and director of the Dunanney Centre.

Tel: 028 9078 2020 Email Mark Langhammer

Philip Dixon, director of ATL Cymru

Philip Dixon, director of ATL Cymru

Dr Philip Dixon is director of ATL Cymru. He is responsible for the work of the union in Wales. He directs policy in Wales and supervises caseworkers and organisers in the field.

Previously he was director of CAFOD Wales, an international aid agency, and before that special advisor to the then Leader of the Opposition at the National Assembly, Ieuan Wyn Jones (currently Deputy First Minister).

Martin Freedman, head of pay, conditions and pensions

Martin Freedman, director of economic strategy and negotiation

Martin Freedman is director of economic strategy and negotiation. He represents ATL on the Rewards and Incentives Group, the social partnership between employers, teacher unions and government on teachers' pay and conditions.

Martin sits on the Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group, which looks at the deployment of teachers and support staff in schools, and leads negotiations for ATL in further education. He has worked in education and employment for more than 30 years.

Nansi Ellis, head of education policy and research

Nansi Ellis, Assistant general secretary (policy)

Nansi Ellis is ATL's head of education policy and research. She is responsible for the development and implementation of ATL's education policy.

Nansi joined ATL as a primary education adviser, having previously managed the early years team at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Before that, Nansi worked as a primary teacher, first in west Wales and then in London.


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