Meet the team


If you manage a school you will know that the past decade has seen an explosion in legislation affecting schools. With schools subject to formal inspection and monitoring you will also know that meeting these new compliance requirements, combined with all the other things necessary to run a successful school, can be difficult.  Add to this the current economic climate, which poses yet another challenge for schools, and you may want to seek some practical advice, share ideas with someone in a similar position or simply locate a listening ear.

Despite our name it is the school, not the bursar, who is the member of the ISBA.  This means that our dedicated team here is available to provide specialist advice and support to anyone at an ISBA member school - whether it is the bursar, head, governor, catering or maintenance manager or the office clerk. We can also open the door for you to a supportive community of hundreds of bursars who meet online and in person at ISBA regional group meetings, professional development events and at our ever-popular annual conference.

This means that every ISBA event, every post on our daily discussion forum, every phone call, every email and every online webinar will take you straight to someone who understands the issues you face and who can offer you real and practical solutions to help you manage them. If you are not a member of the ISBA, can you afford not to be?

Chief Executive - David Woodgate

The Chief Executive leads a small but highly capable staff team in advocating the work of the ISBA and in promoting best practice in school leadership and management.

The Chief Executive is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the effective running of the Association and is be the ISBA's principal spokesperson and point of contact with the Independent Schools Council (ISC) and other associations as well as with government policy makers within education, the media and the Association's UK and international membership.

Professional Development Director - Paul Simpson

Paul leads the organisation of the ISBA's annual conference and professional development programme.  He is responsible for ensuring that members are provided with tailored training and services suitable for bursary management staff at all levels.  

Paul also provides advice, help and support to member schools on financial and operational matters.

Business Manager - Barbara Jackson

Barbara's role encompasses managing the ISBA office together with management of trade exhibitions and corporate and sponsorship opportunities at the ISBA's annual conference and professional development events.  She works closely with Paul and the professional development team on the planning, organisation and administration of those events.

Events Manager - Alma McKellar

Alma provides administrative support to the Professional Development team and also deals with all the delegate administrative arrangements for the ISBA's professional development courses and the ISBA conferences.

Membership Secretary and PA to Chief Executive - Alison Wood

Alison is the Membership Secretary and PA to the Chief Executive.  In her role as the Membership Secretary she promotes the benefits of ISBA membership, dealing with all queries regarding school membership and welcoming new bursars.  She is also the focal point for ISBA regional group secretaries and supports the smooth running of their regional groups. 

Professional Development Co-ordinator - Tessa Newton

Tessa provides administrative and strategic support to the Professional Development programme and the annual conference. She works closely with Paul and Alma to ensure that members' specific training needs are met.