Captain AK Burki joined the Royal Corps of Signals in December 2005, prior to which he was employed as the Operations Manager for the largest event security company in the UK. Captain Burki has been posted to Germany and also commanded an Army Recruiting Team with the responsibility of non-combat recruitment throughout the East of England.
He deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 where he commanded a team which was responsible for training the Afghan National Army (ANA). Upon his return to the UK, he was posted to the British Army’s Counterinsurgency Centre as an analyst, educator and cultural advisor. He first proposed the Phoenix concept in May 2011 after talking to Tom Burkard about the Troops to Teachers programme and the New Schools Network.
Captain Burki was born in Pakistan and raised in Manchester. It is his aim to build bridges and enhance understanding between the different ethnicities in British society, all of which combine to give Great Britain its unique identity within a global society.
Tom Burkard is a Professor of Education Policy at the University of Derby. He is co-author of the Sound Foundations reading and spelling programmes, which are rapidly gaining recognition as the most cost-effective means of preventing reading failure. Education Secretary Michael Gove has commented that he has “done more than anyone living in the fight against illiteracy in this country”.
Mr Burkard is the author of Inside the Secret Garden: the progressive decay of liberal education (University of Buckingham Press, 2007). He is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies, and has written extensively for academic journals, think-tanks, and the popular press. Many of his education proposals, including the introduction of synthetic phonics and the retraining ex-service personnel as teachers, are now official policy.
He served for nine years as an instructor in the Royal Pioneer Corps (TAVR), and taught special needs for three years in a Norwich comprehensive: the contrast between these experiences convinced him that our education system is desperately in need of the skills possessed by officers and senior NCOs in our armed forces. He is a member of the NASUWT.
Rick Hodge flew Tornado F3 fighters in the RAF prior to spending 11 years as a secondary science teacher. He rose to Head of Science, helping to improve every aspect of the departments he worked in, especially girls’ numbers and progress in STEM subjects. His work has always been the subject of praise in school Inspection Reports. As well as science, he has taught hockey, flying, scuba diving, offshore sailing, orienteering and juggling. He currently lectures at Prince Edward Island University in Engineering and Physics.
Dennis Hayes is Professor of Education at the University of Derby and a visiting professor in the Westminster Institute of Education at Oxford Brooks University. He was made a National Teaching Fellow in 2010. He has been a columnist for FE Focus in the Times Educational Supplement and writes regularly for the national press on educational issues. He is also a member of Editorial Board of the Times Higher Education magazine.
He is the Hon. Secretary of the Standing Committee for the Education and Training of Teachers (SCETT) and since 2004 he has been the convener of the Institute of Ideas Education Forum. He is well-known throghout higher education as the founder of Academics for Academic Freedom.
The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education, which he co-authored with Kathryn Ecclestone, documents the extent to which the Government’s Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) agenda has changed the focus of schools towards social engineering and away from serious academic study.
Alison Hardman qualified as an 11-18 English teacher 20 years ago. Since then, she has had responsibility for both curriculum leadership and pastoral management within the maintained secondary schools where she was employed.
She was awarded a Masters in Education degree from the Open University in 2003, where she studied modules such as Language and Literacy in a Social Context, Effective Leadership and Management in Education, and Adult Learners: Training and Education. She was then appointed to her current post as a senior lecturer at the University of Derby on both undergraduate and postgraduate Primary Intitial Teacher Education programmes.
Alison also has responsibility for a Masters in Education module: Advanced Professional Practice – Mentoring and Coaching, and she supervises Masters Independent Studies students. She is currently studying for her Doctor of Education at the University of Derby where her research focuses upon the future of Initial Teacher Education.