Co-Directors

Liz Robinson

Liz used values as a key driver in her role as head at Surrey Square, from January 2006 until August 2018. Following an outstanding Ofsted in November 2009, she was asked to lead the amalgamation with the linked Infant School, and the newly formed Primary School was judged outstanding in November 2016. She and Nicola Noble developed a model of co-headship from 2014 onwards. As a National Leader of Education, Liz worked with many schools to develop practice and raise standards. She was a founder of IAG, motivated to be part of creating a forward thinking secondary school.

Liz has a particular interest in developing values-led leadership, and has worked extensively as a speaker, trainer and coach. She is passionate about asking bigger questions about what school can or should be about and finding new ways of working. Liz is a Trustee for the National Literacy Trust. As mum to two young girls, Liz works flexibly to manage her roles.

Peter Hyman

Peter is the co-founder and the first headteacher of School 21, a pioneering 4 to 18 school that opened in Stratford, East London in 2012. The school has a growing reputation for developing oracy (speaking) skills having set up Voice 21, a charity working with more than 400 schools across the country. It has also developed sophisticated programmes for real world learning and wellbeing.

For nine years to 2003, Peter worked as a strategist and speechwriter to the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. He left to become a teaching assistant in a challenging Islington school, before training as a history teacher and working his way up to become a headteacher. He is author of 1 out of 10, from Downing Street Vision to Classroom Reality.

Heads of Schools

Oli de Botton
Headteacher of School 21

Oli de Botton is an English teacher who has also worked in education policy and strategy. He was a member of the first cohort of Teach First teachers in 2003 and has been a Head of Sixth and Assistant Headteacher at previous schools.

From 2008 to 2012, Oli worked as a government education advisor in the UK and around the world, specialising in teacher development and curriculum. In 2012 he co-founded School 21 where he is the Headteacher.

Nicola Noble
Co-Headteacher of Surrey Square Primary School

Nicola is the head of Surrey Square Primary School, having worked as co-head with Liz Robinson since 2014. Nicola is a passionate teacher, rooted in the potential of every child, and always looking for engaging and meaningful contexts for learning. Among many things, she has lead the development of Surrey Square’s approach to ‘REAL’ project based learning, and brought the values to life with the design of the values characters.

Nicola has worked extensively as a coach and trainer, notably devising and running a DfE funded programme for women leaders, with the Southwark Teaching School Alliance in 2016-18. She is Trustee for the food poverty charity Magic Breakfast. Nicola is mum to two young children and works flexibly in her role.

Matt Morden
Co-Headteacher of Surrey Square Primary School

Matt joined Surrey Square back in 2015 as Deputy Head Teacher and moved into the role of Co-Head Teacher in 2019 alongside Nicola Noble. Matt is passionate about the education of children in the primary phase. He has worked in a number of schools and has developed curriculum content which is relevant to the context of the schools he has worked in.

Matt believes that it is our responsibility as educators to give all children the tools to be able to thrive in life. At SSQ, we call this personal and academic excellence; ensuring that there is a high focus on the personal excellence – developing the character traits that we believe and know make successful citizens of the future – is essential.

Matt is currently part of the Big Leadership Adventure, working with other leaders in the profession who are passionate about changing the story of education – offering a richer curriculum and “bigger” education for all children.

Chris Steed
Principal of International Academy of Greenwich

Chris Steed has worked in education for over 20 years, with the last 14 years holding senior leadership positions such as Vice Principal, Principal and Executive Principal. Chris has also held the position of Regional Director with a large multi academy trust working with a group of schools to improve the quality of education and outcomes.

Chris is a graduate of French linguistics from the University of Leeds an Advanced Skills Teacher and was awarded the NPQH in 2005.
Chris’s leadership roles have led him to work in a wide variety of schools from primary schools to secondary schools including six forms and whilst Principal and Executive Principal moved a school from inadequate to good over three years.