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Introducing our Trustees

Our highly accomplished board of Trustees contribute expertise from across the sectors of education, business, media and finance.

Our Trustees are responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of SHINE. They uphold the charity’s vision and values and monitor the delivery of our objectives.

Raksha Pattni


Raksha Pattni is the National Partnerships Director at the education charity Ambition Institute. She was previously the Head of Race and Equality at Preston City Council and later joined Business in the Community, where she led on the implementation of significant regeneration programmes. Raksha has been a Trustee of SHINE since 2018. She became Chair in 2022.

If we want to make a profound impact on education outcomes for disadvantaged children, we need to support teachers. They are the experts who truly understand the challenges that children face at school each day. I’m delighted to support SHINE, a charity that helps teachers to develop innovative new approaches to tackle some of the most significant challenges in education.

Lorna Fitzsimons

Lorna Fitzsimons is the co-founder of The Pipeline. She is a Board member of the UK Fashion Textiles Association and the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership. Lorna is the founder and former Director of The Alliance Project, the former CEO of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre and a former MP for Rochdale. She has been a Trustee of SHINE since 2018.

I am committed to making sure that all children growing up in the North of England have the same if not better outcomes at school than the rest of the country. We need raise our ambition and this is the way we pay tribute to those before us. We innovated and created global industries in the North, and we can unlock that ambition again.

Mark Heffernan

Mark Heffernan is the CEO of Alwyne Management. He was previously a proprietary trader at Goldman Sachs and the Tudor Investment Corporation, and he ran Sotoha Trading LP from 2003 to 2004. Mark is a co-founder of SHINE.

Since inception SHINE has been dedicated to helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is a topic close to my heart and I am proud to be able to assist in these efforts. In this country there is so much human potential that is being wasted. On a personal and national level that is a tragedy that must be addressed.

Sarah Loftus

Sarah Loftus is Technical Innovation Lead at Microsoft Consulting. She was previously Engineering Director (Digital) at Unilever and Head of Strategy and Architecture at Seadrill in Liverpool. Sarah has been a Trustee of SHINE since 2018.

As a Trustee I am proud to help shape the environment in which young people can make real choices for their future. With a focus on my native North West and across the Northern Powerhouse, SHINE is seeking to enable all children to achieve their best, build skills and experience success.

Ann Mroz MBE

Ann Mroz is a journalist, former editor of Times Higher Education and former editor and digital publishing director of TES. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and serves on the advisory boards of the Sutton Trust, the Education Endowment Foundation and the Education Policy Institute. Ann has been a Trustee of SHINE since 2015.

Lord O’Neill

Lord Jim O’Neill is a British economist and vice-chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. He is a former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and previously worked at the Swiss Bank Corporation, Marine Midland Bank and Bank of America. Lord O’Neill is a former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury. He is a co-founder of SHINE.

As an economist I believe in the importance of productivity and amongst the many variables that drive productivity, one of the most important is definitely education. Trying to help the most disadvantaged get a chance to reach their potential is what SHINE was set up for and remains our aim. Moving North where the productivity challenge is even bigger adds to our purpose and brings fresh excitement to our mission.

Cameron Ogden

Cameron Ogden began his career in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs in London and he has worked in senior leadership roles in the aviation, finance and charitable sectors. Cameron co-founded the air taxi service Blink in 2008 and he is the Managing Director of Blackbushe Airport. He has been Chair of the Ogden Trust since 2017. Cameron was the Chair of SHINE from 2014 to 2022.

At our core we believe that an education should be about the ability to learn and not the ability to pay. A great education has a huge impact, not only on a child’s prospects, but on the economy and wider society too. SHINE intervenes at critical points in children’s lives, helping them to use education as a passport to a brighter future. We have demonstrated great success over the last 20 years and have big ambitions going forward in the North, to ensure more children have access to a fantastic education.

Professor Samantha Twiselton OBE

Professor Samantha Twiselton OBE is an Emeritus Professor at Sheffield Hallam University and was the founding Director of its Sheffield Institute of Education. She is also a visiting professor at the University of Sunderland and an independent education consultant and advisor for the government and many other organisations. Sam has been heavily involved in shaping and advising Government policy on teacher education.  She sits on many government advisory groups and chaired the Department for Education’s Core Content in Initial Teacher Training group. Sam is a Founding Fellow and former Vice President (external) of the Chartered College of Teaching. She is also a Trustee for Teach First, several multi-academy trusts, a teaching school hub and Now Teach. In June 2018 she was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours as a recipient of an OBE for services to Higher Education.

As someone who has worked in education in the North of England for her whole career, I am delighted to be a Trustee at SHINE and to support the charity’s vital mission in the North. The single most important thing you can do to transform children’s lives is to give them an excellent education. The most important thing you can do to make education excellent is focus on the quality of teaching, and to provide teachers with the support to achieve this. SHINE’s focus on both of these priorities, in a part of the country that needs it the most, is something I’m proud to be associated with.

Kavita Gupta

Kavita began her career within the investment banking industry, having worked at UBS, JPMorgan and Rothschild for over 14 years. She has since held several senior leadership positions in the finance industry and is currently working for a family office looking at finance and investments. Kavita has been a Trustee of SHINE since 2021.

Education is one of the most valuable gifts we can give our children, and I believe every child should have the opportunity to see and achieve their potential. I am delighted to join SHINE as a Trustee and look forward to working with the team to help improve the opportunities available to the next generation.

Jonny Uttley

Jonny Uttley is CEO of The Education Alliance Multi-Academy Trust (TEAL), made up of eight schools in East Yorkshire, Hull, and York. Jonny was previously Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher at South Hunsley School and Assistant Headteacher at Huntington School in York. As a National Leader of Education, he has worked with schools in many contexts and is also an elected member of the DfE Advisory Board for Yorkshire and the Humber. Jonny is also the co-author, with John Tomsett, of Putting Staff First: A Blueprint for Revitalising Our Schools.

I am very, very passionate about the idea of creating a country where opportunities are there, regardless of geography. The system doesn’t recognise that challenges are different in different parts of the country and so the work that SHINE has been doing, focusing on disadvantage in northern communities, is something that I feel strongly about.

Paul Green

Paul Green works for the Department for Education in the North East. Having started his career as a maths teacher in the North East and, for a while, in Eritrea, Paul went on to become the North East Director for Teach First. Most recently, he was Head of Opportunity North East, a three-year government initiative aimed at improving educational outcomes in the region. He is chair of governors at a nursery school in Gateshead and has also previously run a charity, One World Network North East, which created partnerships between schools in the UK and overseas.

For years, we have had a disparity in the UK, where family background is a high predictor of educational outcomes – but it doesn’t have to be. As I saw first-hand in Eritrea, it can shift and change.