Laura was the first Trust Administrator at the Sutton Trust; joining in 1997 and helping Sir Peter Lampl to establish the Trust which aims to promote social mobility equality of opportunity through education. Between 1997 and 2015 she combined raising a family with a range of roles at the Trust, most recently taking the lead in Early years. Laura remains involved as a consultant for the Sutton Trust/ Esmee Fairbairn Parental Engagement fund.
Prior to joining the Sutton Trust she was part of the management team at the national youth work charity “UK Youth” and started her career in fundraising for Cancer Research UK and the Mental Health foundation
Dr John Coleman is a clinical and developmental psychologist. He was for many years the Director of the Trust for the Study of Adolescence (TSA), and he has been a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Education at Oxford University (2006-2015). He is the author of many books, including “The nature of adolescence: 4th Edition” (Routledge, 2011) and “Why won’t my teenager talk to me?” (Routledge, 2014).
He has served as a Policy Advisor in the Department of Health, and is currently Chair of the Association for Young People’s Health (AYPH). He is also a Trustee of Family Lives, and is a strong believer in parent education and support. It is for this reason he is pleased to act as an advisor to Family Links.
Naomi is an independent social research consultant who supports organisations to design, deliver, commission and communicate research.
Naomi has over 20 years’ experience as a mixed-method researcher but she specialises in high-quality qualitative research and the use of qualitative research in evaluation. She works across policy areas but much of her work is centred on the area of children, families and young people.
Before setting up as a consultant in 2016, Naomi held a number of roles at NatCen Social Research, including as Head of the Children and Young People team, and before that was Head of Qualitative Research at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
We want children to leave school reading and writing and with basic number skills, ready for secondary school. Family Links gives them the opportunities, self-belief and confidence to do that. It creates an arena where it’s safe to learn. Family Links is different to any other programme; it focuses on the adult as well as the child.
Francis is Head Teacher at Sir Thomas Fremantle School. He has a passion for developing emotional health in schools and developing staff well-being. He has been the keynote speaker at conferences including, NHS Bradford, Hertfordshire Public Health and the Association of Educational Psychologists.
Previously he has been the Chair of the Trust’s Head Teachers’ group for a small multi academy Trust in Oxford. He has chaired the South Oxford City School Partnership. Before university, Francis volunteered in Scotswood, Newcastle on a housing estate supporting the local community.
He studied Art and Teaching Studies at Bishop Grosseteste University College, training in schools in Scunthorpe, Doncaster and Nottinghamshire. He has worked in schools in Manchester, Oxford and Bedfordshire. Francis and his partner have six children between them who keep their parenting toolkit open at all times!
Dr Kathryn Lester
Dr Kathryn Lester, BSc, D.Phil (Oxon), is a Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology and Director of the Childhood, Attachment, Play and Emotions Lab (CAPELab) at the University of Sussex.
Dr Lester is interested in children’s social and emotional development and wellbeing. Her research focuses on the impact of early play experiences (including playdates, and opportunities for adventurous play), family and peer relationships, and school and community factors on child development and emotional health and wellbeing. Dr Lester is also involved in intervention work including the development of digital interventions focused on preventing the intergenerational transmission of mental health difficulties.