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The National Academy for Educational Leadership (NAEL) was established in May 2018.

First published:
3 May 2022
Last updated:

The Board plays a vital role in ensuring that the NAEL meets its aim of securing and nurturing both current and future leaders across the entire educational system, ensuring that leaders have access to coherent high-quality leadership development opportunities that meet their needs regardless of their career stage and ambitions.

Yusuf Ibrahim is an Assistant Principal at Cardiff and Vale College. A member of the Black Leadership Group, he is passionate about enhancing the leadership prospects for people from all walks of life, particularly those from under-represented and under-privileged backgrounds. Yusuf began as a Religious Education and Psychology teacher and quickly progressed to take on curriculum and pastoral leadership positions. With over fifteen years’ experience, Yusuf’s career has seen him work as a middle, senior and executive leader in London, Bristol and Cardiff. Working within the schools and FE sectors, Yusuf has extensive curriculum, pastoral, operational and strategic experience. 

Dr Deborah (Debbie) Nash is an academic with expertise in animal science. Debbie spent several years teaching in FE, before completing a PhD at the Royal Veterinary College, followed by a Lectureship and Senior Lectureship at Aberystwyth University. Debbie has experience of teaching at the coalface and a real view of the skills and knowledge base young people bring from mainstream education.

Katie Phillips is the current elected President, Trustee, and Director of Swansea University Students’ Union. After graduating with a 2:1 in Geography in 2020 she was elected to the role of Welsh Affairs Officer at Swansea University Students’ Union.

These will be the first Ministerial appointment for the 3 new Board members who will take up their 4-year appointments from 1 May 2022. 

In addition, Dr Sue Davies has been reappointed as the Chair of the Board for a further 4 year term commencing from 1 May 2022. 

Mike James, Paul Marshall, Dr Martin Price and John Graystone have been reappointed as Board members for a further 3 year term commencing from 1 May 2022. 

John Graystone is also a member of the Independent Welsh Pay Review Body (remuneration of £300 a day for a time commitment of up to 25 days per year, plus travel and reasonable expenses) and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (an annual payment of £5,076 plus expenses, based on a minimum time commitment of 18 days per annum).

Board members of the National Academy for Educational Leadership are paid a fee of £80 per day for a time commitment of 1 day per month. The Chair is paid a fee of £100 per day based on a time commitment of 1 day per week.

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language said:

I am pleased to appoint Yusuf Ibrahim, Dr Debbie Nash and Katie Phillips as members of the Board of the National Academy for Educational Leadership. I am also pleased to reappoint Dr Sue Davies as Chair and to reappoint Mike James, Paul Marshall, Dr Martin Price and John Graystone as Board members. This is an exciting time in the further development of the National Academy for Educational Leadership and the Board, through knowledge, experience, support and challenge, is crucial to the strategic oversight and direction of leadership capacity to meet the needs of the education system in Wales.

The appointments have been made in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for the political activity of appointees (if any declared) to be published. No political activity has been declared by the Board members.