Our Team

Below we outline the background of those who make up the Breslin team. We work together on different projects and in differing combinations so as to ensure that we are bringing the right skill and experience set to each assignment. Should you engage us to work with you, our first task will be to work together in assembling the right team for your project. Where we do not have a particular skill set in-house, we will source it externally to your specification.

A number of the individuals presented here also undertake independent freelance work.  In this context, we will be happy to broker an introduction, and provide a reference, where that is your desired outcome.  We do not take any ‘cut’ for making such an introduction, either from you or from the Team Member concerned.  Any planning and preparation charges will be kept to a minimum, agreed in advance, and fixed and transparent.  The delivery contract will be between you and the colleague concerned.

As the biographies offered here outline, each member of the Breslin team combines rich practitioner experience, usually with a senior leadership dimension, with a grasp of how public policy works and an understanding of where the current policy agenda is heading.

Tony Breslin is a public policy analyst and writer, specialising in education, participation and the third sector. He is also Chair at Bushey Primary Education Federation and a Trustee at Adoption UK. His latest book, Lessons From Lockdown: the educational legacy of COVID-19 (Routledge, 2021) has been critically acclaimed and his policy reports, Who Governs Our Schools? Trends, Tensions and Opportunities (RSA, 2017) and A Place for Learning: putting learning at the heart of citizenship, civic identity and community life (RSA, 2016) have been influential in shaping the evolving landscapes of educational governance and lifelong learning respectively.

Tony is a former Chair of Human Scale Education and the Association for the Teaching of the Social Sciences and has held various other governance roles across a range of education-focused organisations. In addition, he has served as a Chief Examiner at GCSE and a Chair of Examiners at A level and has worked in a range of school improvement, curriculum development and governor training roles. A teacher by profession, he has taught and held management and leadership responsibilities, including Head of Department and Director of Sixth Form Studies, at schools in Haringey and Hertfordshire.

Between September 2001 and August 2010, Tony was Chief Executive at the Citizenship Foundation (now Young Citizens), the leading education and participation charity. Prior to this, he was General Adviser, 14-19 Education, in Enfield, North London, where he led on vocational education, widening participation and cross-borough sixth from arrangements, and produced the council’s first lifelong learning strategy.

Tony has published and spoken widely in the UK and overseas on education, participation, poverty and inclusion, and is credited, in particular, with the development of the concept of the citizenship-rich school. He is the co-editor, with Barry Dufour, of Developing Citizens, published by Hodder Education (2006), co-author (with Ian Davies and a team based at the University of York) of Creating Citizenship Communities: education, young people and the role of schools, published by Palgrave Macmillan (2014), and co-author, with Mike Moores, of 40@40: a portrait of 40 years of educational research through 40 studies, published by the British Educational Research Association and Breslin Public Policy (2014). He is also the co-author, with Mike Moores, of three newly published guides to the government’s recently announced changes to the 14-19 qualifications landscape – two for parents and students (Starting A levels: your guide to exam success and Starting GCSEs: your guide to exam success) and one for teachers, curriculum and pastoral managers, and school and college leaders (Curriculum 2015: your guide to the new qualifications landscape). All three booklets are published by Cambridge University Press (2015).

Over the past decade, Breslin Public Policy has established a strong client list including Adoption UK, the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations, the British Educational Research Association, Cambridge University Press, the Local Government Association, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Ofqual, Oasis Community Learning and the RSA.

Kevin Harris is Senior Research Associate (Participation) at Breslin Public Policy and has twenty-five years’ experience in community development with a particular emphasis on how people communicate, share information and interact at local level. He has worked with community groups at neighbourhood level, carried out research for a wide range of agencies and contributed advice to government on various issues including community online networks, social inclusion, public libraries and communities, and citizen participation.

Kevin is an experienced facilitator and has developed creative workshop techniques for various clients. He has published several books, chapters and articles, online articles for The Guardian, and reports to government. Kevin established the Local Level consultancy in 2005. He is an associate consultant to the Community Development Foundation, an associate of the Centre for Intergenerational Practice, and co-founder of Networked Neighbourhoods. He was previously a British Library Research Fellow.

Nick Johnson is Chief Executive at the British Educational Research Association (BERA). A leading policy-maker, writer and commentator on issues across public policy, specialising in integration, equality and cohesion, Nick has advised government centrally, locally and internationally and has written extensively on citizenship, social capital, extremism, immigration and other related areas of policy and practice.

Nick is a Senior Research Fellow at the Smith Institute where he contributes to their publications and seminars and is the programme lead for their race, cohesion and migration work. He has worked recently for the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Local Government Leadership, the Office of Public Management and Chatham House as well as chairing and speaking at a number of high-level seminars and conferences.

Between 2004-7, he was the Director of Policy and Public Sector for the Commission for Racial Equality. In 2007, he joined the Institute of Community Cohesion as Director of Policy, later becoming a Principal Associate. He subsequently started his own consultancy working across public policy and research.

Previously, he was at the Association of London Government, where he was responsible for corporate and strategic policy. Nick is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and a member of the Ethnicity Advisory Group for the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study. He is also the Treasurer of the Citizenship Foundation.

Anne McHardy is a journalist with fifteen years experience as a freelance writing for a number of national newspapers. Before becoming freelance, she was on the staff of The Guardian for twenty-three years. She was the Northern Ireland correspondent in the 1970s and then Night News Editor for ten years. She has also edited Guardian Education. She continues to write on Irish affairs and on a range of social and educational issues.
Anne is founder and Director of McHardy Farrell Media, through which she advises charities and socially responsible businesses on media contacts. She is a trustee of Why me?, a charity promoting the benefits of Restorative Justice Conferences for victims of crime and also a Trustee of Invisible Disabilities, a new charity which aims to raise public awareness of disabilities like epilepsy, which are not seen but can seriously curtail lives.

Mike Moores is Senior Research Associate (Education) at Breslin Public Policy. Until August 2011, when he retired after thirty-five years in the teaching profession, he led on the teaching of Sociology and Politics to A level students at St. Albans Girls’ School in Hertfordshire. He has extensive experience as a teacher, trainer and manager in secondary and further education in Hertfordshire and in North West London. In addition, he has worked with all of the major exam boards in various capacities, including Principal Examiner at A level, and for a range of leading educational publishers.

Mike has a particular expertise in the teaching of Sociology (in which he has a national profile as a writer and speaker), in delivering CPD to teachers and in study skills and family learning. He has a special interest in equal opportunities issues, including access to higher education and disability awareness.

Mike was, for many years, a Vice-president of the Association for the Teaching of the Social Sciences (ATSS) and runs a consultancy that stages conferences for teachers of Sociology and Politics. For many years he organised the ATSS Annual Conference and has served as the warden of a Teachers’ Centre.

Chris Rowe is Director at Navigation Learning, who speciaiise in providing innovative products and services that help young people to build the skills that they need for success in education, life and work. Navigation’s latest product, the Navigate Online Self-Assessment, is used by educators to support learners in setting and achieving high impact personal goals.

Chris is an experienced trainer and consultant, specialising in citizenship education, community action and personal development, and has worked with thousands of people in hundreds of organisations across the education, voluntary and private sectors. He has written nationally recognised papers, articles and resources for a number of organisations, including Carnegie, Department for Education, Citizenship Foundation, LSN and LSIS. He has appeared as a guest speaker on a number of TV programmes discussing youth issues, including This Morning, Dispatches, MTV, BBC News and Friday Night Live.

Passionate about education in all forms, Chris believes that, given appropriate structures and objectives, every young person can achieve their personal goals. He is driven to develop the thinking, models and resources to support this aim.

Tony Thorpe is project consultant to the Citizenship Foundation, for whom he has worked since its inception. At the Foundation his responsibilities have focused on the development of teaching materials and teacher education. A leading author in the citizenship and law related education fields, he has written/co-written over twenty books on a range of topics in these and related areas, mainly for students aged 11-19. These include textbooks for students in Key Stages 3 and 4, the Young Citizen’s Passport (co-winner of the TES information book of the year and of which more than a million copies are now in circulation), Life and Law in Britain (a guide for young asylum seekers and refugees), and My Money, My Rights, a nationally distributed personal finance guide.

Tony has also written/co-written a number of articles and chapters on citizenship education in journals and readers, and has acted as an adviser for several education-focused TV and radio programmes. He has also written materials for the Parliamentary Education Unit, Immersive Education, a specialist education software publisher, and acted as consultant to Espresso Education, producer of broadband teaching resources and student activities.

Although Tony is best known as an author, he has worked as a citizenship education trainer at both post-graduate and CPD level, and as has been a trainer for the OCR examining board for their short-course GCSE in Citizenship Studies. He has run workshops and courses in many parts of Britain and has worked overseas for Amnesty International, the Council of Europe, the Office of the European Union and the British Council, particularly in Russia, Eastern Europe and countries that were formally part of the Soviet Union.

Lessons From Lockdown
In this incisive and timely piece of research and analysis Tony Breslin makes a powerful case for us to use the experience of crisis to pursue reform
Matthew Taylor
Chief Executive, Royal Society of Arts