Executive team

Ed Hyslop

Ed Hyslop

Chief Executive

Ed has 20 years’ experience running and growing businesses in a number of different sectors, but most recently focused on Education. Prior to joining First Class Learning in June 2016 he was CEO Europe for Cognita Schools, a leading global group of Independent Schools with a portfolio of 66 schools across Europe, Asia and Latin America. At Cognita, Ed was responsible for 47 schools in the UK and Spain and the education of around 20,000 pupils where the focus was on improving educational standards and inspiring every child to exceed expectations. He has previously run businesses in consumer goods, food manufacturing, restaurants & hospitality, retail and distribution. Ed spent the first six years of his career with Bain & Company, a leading global consulting firm, working across many sectors both in the UK and international markets. He has a BSc degree from Bristol University and a Corporate Finance qualification from Wharton Business School in the USA.
David Taylor

David Taylor

Co-founder and Operations Director

During a career in the telecommunications industry David taught key skills in maths and English and ran a training organisation responsible for conducting BTEC examinations in telecommunications. After a brief spell working on famine relief programmes in East Africa, he worked as a mentor for children with specific learning needs as well as teaching psychology and running a successful teacher training programme. He ran three successful tuition centres in the North East. David is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Training and Development and a graduate of the University of Durham. A qualified mountaineering Instructor, David enjoys mountain walking and motorcycling.
David Ritchie

David Ritchie

Financial Controller

David is responsible for management accounting and reporting processes, as well as aspects of Marketing and IT. Born and educated in Aberdeen, a graduate of Business Studies at The Robert Gordon University, David is a Financial Controller with over 20 years’ experience in finance roles. Beginning in the Oil industry in Aberdeen, a move south to London to work in the domestic energy supply sector was followed by a decade long placement as VP, Group Financial Controller for a global Financial Technology business. He has latterly settled in Buckinghamshire with his partner and two young daughters.

Advisors

Stacey Derrick

Stacey Derrick

Centre Manager

Stacey has spent her entire career in education following the completion of her BA (Hons) at Exeter University and subsequent qualification as a teacher with a PGCE in English, Media and Drama. She is also an alumnus of Teaching Leaders. Stacey has taught in both state and grammar schools for a number of years, latterly as Head of Media. She has been a GCSE English and media examiner for the past three years. She is also a First Class Learning centre manager and co-owns three centres in West London. Stacey leads a team of qualified English teachers and practitioners in the continuous development and renewal of the First Class Learning English programme, as it adapts to the changing National Curriculum.
Pat Jones

Pat Jones

Co-founder

Pat is a co-founder at First Class Learning and helped develop and implement the FCL English Programme. As a Modern Languages graduate, she recognises the importance of strong basic grammar and vocabulary skills in mastering language and using it effectively and creatively. Following her degree, she qualified as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language - her experience in this field gave her a valuable insight into how students acquire and use language in everyday situations. Pat has worked for many years as a tutor of English and other languages, as well as gaining extensive experience supporting literacy in mainstream education.
Chris Jones

Chris Jones

Co-founder

Chris is a co-founder at First Class Learning and helped develop and implement the FCL Maths Programme. He began his teaching career after leaving University when he joined Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) working in Fiji as a teacher of Science and Mathematics. Here he became convinced that secure arithmetical skills are fundamental to success in Maths. Chris has over 25 years' experience as a tutor, and ran a highly successful tuition centre for 17 years.
Celia Stone

Celia Stone

Trained Teacher of Dyslexics

Celia Stone is a trained teacher of dyslexics and co-author of the Beat Dyslexia Activity Packs. She has a wealth of experience and has become a recognised authority in the field of learning. Driven by an appreciation of the significance of highly structured multi-sensory teaching as a basic requirement for concept building she was encouraged to develop her successful Addacus programme. Celia is Director, Irlen Centre North East and has been a member of our Advisory Board since 2005.
Madeleine Portwood

Madeleine Portwood

Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist

Dr. Madeleine Portwood is a Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist who has more than 20 years experience in the field. She has produced movement programmes for children with co-ordination problems. Her specific area of specialism is "Dyspraxia" and as well as her movement programme, she has written several books on the subject. An internationally known speaker, Madeleine is an Hon. Fellow of the University of Durham and has been a member of our Advisory Board since 2005.
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