Meet the people behind the Accelerate & Access Foundation


Debbie Hannam

Co-founder and Trustee

Debbie co-founded the Accelerate and Access Foundation, in 2013.  In 2015 Debbie designed and implemented its current structure during her year as an Advanced Leadership Fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University.

The Foundation was created with the view to providing a platform for innovative education access programmes in the UK.

Previously, Debbie spent 26 years in executive search in Europe.  She also plays an active role with a select number of other charities.

Ceri Jones

Ceri Jones

Headmaster at Caterham School

Ceri is Headmaster of Caterham School in Surrey, a co-educational independent school. Previously he was Executive Principal of The Marsh Academy in Kent (a non-selective academy) and Deputy Head of Tonbridge School. He is also a Governor at The London Academy of Excellence, a 16+ Free School in the London Borough of Newham.
Ceri was a founding member of the programme in 2013 and has co-ordinated the programme’s development in Kent.

Alistair Summers

Alistair Summers

Trustee of the Prince’s Trust

Alistair is a Chartered Accountant and has extensive experience running businesses.   He is a Trustee of the Prince’s Trust and Prince’s Trust International.   He was Deputy Chair of Governors at St Paul’s School London and a Governor and Chair of the Finance Committee at Henrietta Barnett School, Barnet (a State School Academy).   He was Deputy Chair of the National Youth Theatre where he say on their Finance Committee.

Paul Dixon

Recently Chief Investment Officer, Guardian Assurance

Paul was most recently the Chief Investment Officer of Guardian Assurance Limited, looking after £17 billion for around 1 million policyholders. Paul has worked in Insurance and Investment Banking in a variety of roles for the last 25 years. He has been a mentor for the Social Mobility Foundation for the past 5 years and has been involved in the A&AF since January 2014. Paul has a keen interest in promoting social mobility through education.

Paul is undertaking an MSc in Philosophy and Economics at LSE in 2019/20.


Jan Shadick

Jan is Regional Director for Academies (South Secondary) for United Learning.

Jan is Regional Director for Academies (South Secondary) for United Learning. Previous to this role she had been a head teacher for 14 years leading three schools, including one in central London. She has also been an Executive Head teacher of two United Learning London Academies. As part of her executive leadership responsibility within the Group she leads on the leadership development programmes (United Leadership).

Jan is also a qualified Executive Coach, having completed the ILM7 Executive Coaching qualification and is a coach for the Women’s Leadership Pledge (NCTL). She has experience of being an Ofsted Inspector.

Jan originally trained as a teacher of PE with History, at the University of Warwick and gained a Masters in Education Leadership from the University of London and NPQH from IoE.

Ellie Decamp


Ellie was most recently Director of Development at the Sutton Trust where she worked from 2012. She currently advises a number of charities, especially on their fundraising practices. Having completed her doctorate in English Literature at Oxford University, Ellie continues her research as an independent scholar. She published her first book, Civic and Medical Worlds, in 2016, and her co-edited collection, Blood Matters, in 2018.


Sian Carr

Recent Trustee

Sian is Executive Principal at Skinners’ Kent Academy in Tunbridge Wells, as well as President of the Association of School and College Leaders, a member of the International Baccalaureate Governing Council, and a Governor at Sevenoaks School. Passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people, Sian believes that strong, positive and focused leadership at all levels in a school is essential to its success and improvement.

Sian boasts a wealth of experience across a range of roles, including as Operational Director, Stakeholders and Networks at the National College for School Leadership, Director of the Eastern Leadership Centre in Cambridge and an earlier teaching career spent in four London Schools before spending seven years as Head of the Sandon School in Chelmsford, Essex.