Meet the Crystal Education Services Team

Ian Rowbory

Ian Rowbory is Managing Director and owner of Crystal Education. Ian is an Economics (Honours) Graduate of London University, and has a Teaching qualification from Bristol University and an MA in Education. He also has a variety of vocational assessor qualifications such as D32 and D33 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Ian has over 30 years’ experience in vocational education and has led nationally on key vocational initiatives in the UK. As Head of Business Development for Vocational Education for Pearson UK, Ian led on high stakes vocational programmes. He had sector responsibilities for a number of sectors including Business, Hospitability and Engineering and represented Pearson UK in NOS sector reviews.

Ian has also considerable experience of writing vocational qualifications including apprenticeship programmes. He has contributed to books on vocational education and in the last two years has managed projects in Azerbaijan, Colombia, China, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia Turkey and Romania. Ian has a management and mentoring role for the rest of the Crystal Team.

James Coyle

James Coyle is Operations Director for Crystal Education Services. Jim was Qualifications Manager for the Financial Services Skills Council – an employer-led organisation that provided leadership for education, training and skills development across the financial services industry across the UK. He was tasked to implement those aspects of the Council’s SQS Action Plan requiring management of the interface between the sector’s qualifications and regulatory bodies, awarding and professional bodies as well as devising systems to support approval of content for the QCF.

Prior to this Jim was Director for Standards and Qualifications at Lifelong Learning UK. Lifelong Learning UK – the Sector Skills Council for workforce development and planning for employers and employees in the lifelong learning sector. The Council’s scope included teachers in FE, trainers, community workers and library staff. Its purpose was to ensure that sector employers recruit, retain and develop highly skilled and effective staff so they can access the skills and knowledge needed for a prosperous economy and inclusive society.

Jim led the development of a framework of standards, qualifications and accreditation targets as well as managing change through a planned transformation agenda. He led teams working with training providers, FE, HE and other key partners and stakeholders across the UK to promote qualifications for the sector. He had line responsibility for 20 people in five teams with budgets totalling £10m.

Jim has an MA in Education from London University. He is a Vocational Education Capacity Consultant and specialises in auditing TVET provision. He has undertaken audits of Vocational Education in Colombia and Romania. Jim has in-depth experience of reviewing NQF framework best practice, developing credit-based systems, quality assurance and risk policies, development of full guidelines for implementation of NQF systems (e.g. Colombia), and development of implementation strategies.

Jim has extensive experience as a curriculum development specialist, including leading and training teams, working in a consultancy capacity. He is an experienced trainer, including training trainers in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, the Middle East and the UAE. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the the Society of Education and Learning and a member of the Institute of Management. He is also an expert reviewer for the UK Government regulator, Ofqual. He holds the L3 Award Assessing Candidates Using a Range of Methods and internally verifies on a range of BTEC Professional Development programmes.

Jeremy Curtis

Jeremy Curtis is Curriculum Director at Crystal Education Services and has 40 years experience in education. He has extensive experience of developing National Occupational Standards, as well as setting up and developing NQF frameworks, developing credit-based systems, quality assurance and risk policies. Jeremy has developed full guidelines for the implementation of NQF systems. He has led development of VET occupational standards nationally and internationally in a number of vocational sectors. He has led workshops and work groups on developing and operating quality assurance systems, and provided advisory services for implementing reforms in the VET sector.

Jeremy is a curriculum development specialist, including leading and training teams and working in a consultancy capacity. He is an experienced trainer including training trainers in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, the Middle East and the UAE. He has been engaged in a major programme of teacher training in China. He is also an expert reviewer for the UK Government regulator, Ofqual and has worked as Strategic Manager, Regulation and Accreditation for QCA.

Jeremy has provided international consultancy support and workshop management for capacity-building workshops in Iraq (including travel and tourism L1 to L5), Libya (hospitality, travel and tourism L2 and L3) and Colombia (agro-food at L2, ICT at L3, and Banking and Finance at L4). His work also includes current development of curriculum and assessment materials for Saudi Arabia, including hospitality, retail cashiering and pharmacy retail, airline ticketing and reservations, and customer service.

Jeremy has a thorough understanding of the challenges and implications of working internationally, supported by deep respect for local cultures. His work specialises in supporting education in fragile and post-conflict states.

Jeremy has a Ph.D. (in education) and a Master of Education Degree. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors and a Member of the Association for Management Education and Development. He holds D32/D33 (A1), D34 (V1), V2.

Maureen Emmett

Maureen Emmett is a Chartered Manager with an MBA and a PRINCE 2 Practitioner. She is a senior educational professional with over 25 years’ experience in the education sector as a policy advisor, business manager, senior leader and practitioner, with a comprehensive understanding of schools, post 16 and work based education sectors. Maureen is an experienced educator in English skills with significant experience in delivering training to practitioners and senior managers in the UK and abroad. She has extensive experience in delivering interactive teaching programmes using active learning techniques.

Maureen is experienced in qualification development and testing, working with Ofqual to develop high stakes qualifications. She is an assessment expert in the production and delivery of assessment instruments as well as an industry expert in writing resources for high profile publishers such as Hodder Education, Pearson and the Oxford University Press.

Maureen is considered an authority on core and basic skills, functional skills, ESOL and often receives requests to speak at high profile events. Her work is underpinned by an extensive knowledge of the curriculum from both a strategic and practitioner perspective. She holds D32, 33, 34, 36.

Liz Pattison

Liz Pattison is a highly experienced learning and skills specialist project manager with proven experience managing various business improvement programmes for sectors. She is a creative problem solver with a strong ability to translate complex and multi-layered policies into accessible, relevant, high quality solutions.

Liz has worked with a range of key government agencies in the UK and abroad, bringing sectoral solution approaches to drive growth and economic performance improvements. Her key experience includes the agriculture and food processing and manufacturing, as well as the automotive, aerospace, hospitality and creative sectors.

Liz’s recent work includes working with the Food Manufacturing sector reviewing NOS for supply chain Professionals and developing the Professional Standards for the Food Supply Chain Trailblazers. She was Head of Skills Solutions for the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink. Liz championed the wider training needs of specific sub sectors, such as dairy or bakery and maintained strong links with government agencies as well as key industry groups and individual in the food and drink businesses. A key part of her role was to manage relationships and projects with international governments, most notably working across India and Pakistan to support their qualification reform programmes and to set up and integrate fit-for-purpose skills systems and sector bodies.

Liz’s skills include extensive project management experience, qualification development and occupational Standard development. She has excellent communication skills, creative problem solving ability and good organisational skills.

Gordon Leach

Gordon Leach has significant experience of academic leadership, programme management and the delivery of effective and successful teaching and learning. A former academic director, Gordon is recognised by Ofqual as a subject, qualification and assessment expert and has conducted numerous reviews of assessment and performance standards on behalf of the regulator.

Gordon’s expert knowledge and understanding of curriculum design has enabled him to lead the review and revalidation of a MBA, the creation of a MA in Strategic Leadership and a range of undergraduate qualifications. As an experienced project manager, Gordon developed and delivered a university’s strategy for the provision of teaching and learning to members of the UK armed forces. As academic director Gordon re-wrote the teaching and learning strategy for a major, private, UK based business school, as well as restructuring the school’s faculty, introducing enhanced learning facilities and refocusing the range of qualification pathways offered by the school.

Gordon’s experience also includes the mapping of qualifications to subject benchmarks such as the NOS, QCF, NQF, FHEQ and professional bodies. He has recently been the lead consultant in the design and development of business related HNDs which are for delivery from September 2016. Gordon wrote the teaching, learning and assessment strategy which forms a significant part of the qualification specifications for these HNDs. Gordon is also a mapping specialist for a major awarding organisation where the focus is on management and leadership.

Gordon is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors, has an Honours Degree in International Business Management, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and a MA in Educational Leadership. Gordon is currently researching for his Doctor of Education. A significant focus of the thesis is curriculum design and assessment, and their relationship to the self-efficacy perceptions of learners. He has carried out internal verification in college and at university and externally verifies for an AO.

John Fincham

John Fincham has 40 years of experience in education and training, leading and motivating teams to be creative, visionary and successful. As a senior project development manager in science working for an awarding body leading teams of qualification development project managers, a national and international trainer, a director of a charity and as a senior manager in an FE/HE college. John has worked alongside people from a variety of science and related institutions and organisations and at all levels developing the science curriculum and in core, key and functional skills development . Employing excellent communication, project management and rapport skills and having the ability to be flexible, diplomatic and committed John has led other professionals through periods of rapid change in education. He also has nine years of working in the science industry as an apprentice, technician and graduate scientist.

John has a doctorate in Chemistry and a Professional Diploma in Management Development and is a Chartered Chemist and a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. His Major Achievements include:

  • Successfully developing and maintaining science and related qualifications development within Edexcel/Pearson,
  • Producing high quality products to time to ensure growth and customer satisfaction.
  • Working as a successful science trainer in schools and colleges.
  • Leading teams of science and related qualification leaders in the development of GCEs, GCSEs, BTEC Foundation and level 1, BTEC First and Nationals, BTEC Foundation degrees, Higher Nationals, Level 4 – 7 short courses.
  • Achieving the introduction of core/key skills and flexible learning workshops in schools and colleges.
  • Successfully producing and gaining approval for the BTEC Foundation degree handbook in liaison with colleagues from Pearson and NVC/UVAC.
  • Efficiently and cost-effectively shaping and managing three Schools/Departments in an FE/HE college.
  • Successfully procuring funding for and co-ordinating DfID training courses in UK and overseas. Running repair and maintenance courses in Africa.
  • Chairman and trustee of Sound Seekers charity for 20 years.