Appointments to ISI’s new Educational Advisory Forum

We are delighted to now announce the first four appointments to ISI’s recently established Educational Advisory Forum (EAF). The purpose of the EAF is to support the Chief Inspector and Board in the continuous development of our inspection services and delivery of our educational mission.  The forum will draw on the breadth and depth of knowledge, skills and understanding of education and inspection, both within and outside the independent sector, in order to inform discussion and debate and offer advice and guidance to the ISI Board. It is intended that the EAF have up to ten members, including individuals drawn from the associations comprising the membership of the Independent Schools Council.

 The appointments are as follows:  

  • Maxine Shaw is Head of St Paul’s Junior School, and a member of the whole school executive team.  She’s an early years specialist, and an experienced prep and pre-prep school head. Maxine is also an ISI team inspector and a governor of two maintained schools, one primary and one secondary.  She has previously been a member of the IAPS education committee and the NAHT primary committee.
  • Dr Angie Cook is a former science teacher at primary and secondary level in the maintained sector, and also worked on SEN at local authority level. She spent many years as an Ofsted inspector, working for Cambridge Education, and has a wealth of experience in educational consultancy and inspection overseas, including with education ministries and groups of schools.
  • Dr David James is Deputy Head Academic at Bryanston School, an HMC boarding school in Dorset. He has previously worked in a number of high profile public schools including Wellington College, and was seconded to the DfE to work on an independent/state schools partnership project. David is a team inspector for ISI and has also published widely, contributing regularly to the TES and has recently co-edited a book on the challenges facing the independent sector.
  • David Gajadharsingh is Academic and Pastoral Principal at the Royal Ballet School, London.  His experience includes Head at Bedstone College, a co-ed boarding school in Shropshire and working in both co-ed and single-sex in the independent and maintained sectors.  He has been a longstanding member of the Futures Group of the Society of Heads and is an ISI team inspector.


The forum will be co-chaired by Simon Camby, a board director at ISI, and Kate Richards, ISI’s Chief Inspector.  Further appointments will be made to the forum following a second recruitment round to be completed later this year.

Christine Swabey, Chair of the ISI board, said:

“The Board is pleased to see this initiative begin to take shape. There is a wealth of expertise in our sector and beyond and we value the ability to hear from a wide range of views so that we can keep abreast of developments in education and inspection."

Kate Richards, ISI Chief Inspector, said:

“The forum will act as a stimulus for high-quality strategic thinking, helping ISI deliver world-class inspections and contribute to the development of education in the UK and internationally.”