Our People

neil strowger

Neil Strowger – CEO Bohunt Education Trust

The driving force behind the inception of the Trust, Neil is absolutely clear that we must have the highest expectations for all; an impoverished background is no reason for an impoverished future. Neil was appointed Headteacher of Bohunt School in 2009 and led it to Ofsted Outstanding in 2013 and the Times Educational Supplement’s Overall School of the Year in 2014. As a National Leader of Education and chair of the TESLA Teaching School Alliance, Neil has worked on numerous school improvement projects mainly supporting schools in challenging circumstances and in areas of deprivation. Prior to joining Bohunt School, Neil held a variety of senior leadership roles in schools across the South East.

Neil was shortlisted as Headteacher of the year in 2014, is a former member of the National Steering Group for Languages and is currently a governor at schools in both the primary and secondary sectors. Influenced by thinkers from Kurt Hahn to Kierkegaard, Neil is ambitious for state education and its beneficiaries.

Neil is a regular contributor to the national debate on education issues; his main areas of interest include:

  • Systems leadership at inter and intra-school levels, including the development of eponymous Change Teams which provide teachers with whole school leadership.
  • Embedding innovation in everyday education to secure whole school improvement and opportunity. Global citizenship including producing students with the skills, attributes and mindset to be self-motivated, resilient and ready to be game-changers and leaders of the future. The development of a global education brand with a strong emphasis on learning beyond the classroom. Closing the gap and maximising the use of Pupil Premium funding (this work was turned in to an Ofsted Case Study).
  • Father to three young children and avid winter sports fan, Neil is an enthusiastic, if limited, parent and skier who is occasionally found racing down slopes and mountains at home and abroad, preferably the latter!

Philip Avery – Director of Learning & Strategy for BET

Phil arrived at Bohunt in 2010 via a circuitous route involving the BBC, Boots and Spain. Phil’s passion is for building an education system that builds students who are game-changers, innovators and leaders; not only do they achieve outstanding grades, but they are never afraid to throw themselves into something new. He has been instrumental in BET’s major education projects including enabling Challenge Based Learning through classroom design and the use of technology, and building career aspirations, developing students learning habits and impacting positively on the individual STEM subjects through a STEM curriculum designed in partnership with industry.

Phil is as likely to be found up a hill with students as he is in the classroom. Phil has led student expeditions to Greenland and the remote Himalayas, which are focused on scientific fieldwork, media communication and the development of personal attributes. He is currently planning expeditions to Svalbard and Kyrgyzstan. He has also taken part in a number of teacher expeditions (Belarus, Iceland, South Africa and Antarctica), is a Mountain and Mountain Bike Leader, loves cycle touring and runs an Outdoor Programme that sees over 600 students a year spending two or more nights under canvas. He and BET believe that the outdoors is central to student development.

Phil was STEM Leader of the Year 2013, is a Sinnott Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and is currently completing research in the following areas:

  • Engineering Habits of Mind in conjunction with Bill Lucas and Janet Hanson at the University of Winchester.
  • STEM and Challenge Based Learning with the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (Phil’s fellowship sees him travelling to the US, Holland and Sweden).
  • Chinese methods of education with the BBC and the Institute of Education.

David Riley – Director of Finance & Resources

University educated and qualified as an accountant with Ernst &Young. David joined The Trust in April last year. An experienced commercial Director of Finance with a demonstrable track record of delivering improvements to cash flow, process efficiency and financial control. He has worked in the Food, IT and office equipment industries with responsibilities for site operations, HR and IT in addition to finance with extensive involvement in managing organisational change.