Our team

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Prof. Deborah Eyre
Founder and CEO

Deborah is Founder and CEO of High Performance Learning. Her career has focused on helping students reach high levels of cognitive performance. She created the High Performance Learning organisation to engineer a system-change in educational thinking so that we start to accept that most people could be high performers and structure schools accordingly.  

A global educational leader, academic researcher, writer and influencer Deborah has previously held senior roles globally and in UK as well as advising governments and educational foundations in UK, Hong Kong, South Africa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, USA and Singapore. From 2010-2014 she was Global Education Director for Nord Anglia Education and prior to that Director of the UK government's innovative National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY), based at the University of Warwick. A widely published author, her works cover books and articles and also think-tank pieces. Professor Eyre is a Freeman of the City of London and holds a range of board positions.

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Maxine Evans
Chief Operating Officer

Maxine is HPL’s Chief Operating Officer, responsible for the daily operations of the organisation and developing the various business functions, so we can continue to successfully expand HPL.  

Throughout her career, Maxine has remained passionate that children and young people should experience daily a rich and inspiring learning environment, underpinned by high expectations. She believes the work of HPL is important and courageous in its mission for our young people and educational professionals, and as such, feels it is a privilege to be part of this social enterprise and inspirational team. 

Maxine is a unique education and business professional, with significant leadership experience in both the education sector (as Headteacher and CEO of Academy Trusts) as well as in a business capacity. She has skills and experience in start-up businesses, expanding small businesses and change management projects, as well as managing £100M+ revenues within the education ICT industry.

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Anne Howells
Director of Programmes

Anne was immediately inspired by HPL’s research and framework and her own school, BISS Norway, achieved the HPL World Class School Award in 2018. She now works across the suite of HPL leadership programmes and brings to them her first-hand experience of  implementing HPL in a school. She believes that where teaching and learning practices are already highly regarded, HPL provides a vehicle for expanding opportunities to promote a first class and sustainable learning environment for every child.

Anne brings over 20 years leadership experience gained in the UK state and international private sectors, including the establishment of an IB World School. She has supported headteachers and schools both in the UK and abroad, with a particular interest in promoting school improvement whilst recognising the value of supportive governance. Anne’s main driver is the promotion of creativity in our schools and embedding joy and enthusiasm in teaching and learning where, every child of school age will have the opportunity to be inspired and succeed.


Aggie deBurca
Executive Assistant and Business Support Lead

Aggie is Executive Assistant to the CEO and COO, and Business Support Lead. A key point of contact in the team, she works from the office in Witney, UK, and engages with schools, associates and the HPL core team.

Aggie is a firm believer in a philosophical education for all and was inspired by HPL’s mission to grow great minds. When the opportunity came to join the team, she realised her experience as a PA and events manager could be used to aid HPL’s journey forward and she could be part of a passionate team of likeminded individuals in exciting times.

Aggie is a client focused administrator who for over ten years has worked in charity, business and education. When time allows, she volunteers for her local wildlife rescue and continues to improve her spoken Greek.

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Melanie Saunders
Associate Director

Melanie joined HPL during its inception and worked alongside the first cohort of Award schools, beginning their HPL journey in 2016. She has been key in the evolution of the Award programme and coached several of the pioneer schools through to successful accreditation. As well as inducting and coaching Award Schools, Melanie has been instrumental in the development of the organisation and the creation of new materials, approaches and programmes of work. She frequently presents both nationally and internationally, on the power and impact of High Performance Learning.

Prior to joining HPL, Melanie enjoyed a successful career in school leadership culminating in the headship of an 11-18 school in Cumbria. She then moved to Hampshire County Council as head of school improvement, responsible for the standards in over 500 schools. HPL has allowed Melanie to reflect upon her wide experience and bring new insight and determination to support schools and school leaders as they implement effective organisational change and make high performance for all their children a reality.

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Jeremy Reynolds
Associate Director

Jeremy joined HPL at its inception and is involved in all aspects of HPL's work in delivery and development. He has played a leading role in the development and delivery of the Foundation Programme, working in schools in challenging circumstances in the UK. Jeremy is an HPL coach for Award schools in the UK and abroad - including a group of GEMS schools in Dubai - and he accredited two of the very first schools with the HPL Award in 2018. 

Jeremy has had extensive and varied teaching, leadership and advisory experience over his career and is passionate about communicating and engaging with teachers and students alike, to enable them to discover a love of learning and perform at the very highest levels.


David Rowsell
Associate Director

David joined HPL after having implemented in two of the schools where he was the principal. He supports schools undertaking a variety of HPL programmes and also contributes to the development of the organisation’s resources and materials which will inspire, challenge and support schools at different stages in their development of an HPL culture.

David is passionate about HPL because it foregrounds the idea that high performance is achievable by all, that education is about developing young people who are totally ready for change, college, career and citizenship and because it is based on a belief that we can trust our self-improving schools to be at the forefront of transformational change in outcomes for learners.

David has led four schools in three countries over the last 20 years. In each of these very different schools, he has maximised the academic outcomes for young people while being ever mindful that truly great schools add so much more in terms of personal development for young people and outstanding continual development for their teachers and leaders.

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Dr Angharad Eyre
Assistant Director

As an experienced academic researcher and university teacher, Angharad was inspired by the power of High Performance Learning to make the conditions for success explicit for learners. Having helped establish the organisation’s infrastructure and programmes from its early days she now enjoys her role working with our World Class Schools to support them as they continue to prove that high performance is possible for the majority of students.

Angharad is an experienced project manager and educator. She began her career at a government agency, funding masters’ level CPD programmes for teachers. She moved on to work in a variety of roles for the London Institute of Education and University of London. And for a short time in the US she found herself tutoring 11-15-year-olds in English, literature, ancient history, and Latin.

Alongside her work for HPL, Angharad currently teaches English literature at the University of London and is completing a Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

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Matt Daly
Online Community and Teacher Engagement Manager

Matt is HPL’s Online Community and Teacher Engagement Manager who, inspired by the HPL mission and being a firm believer that High Performance is an attainable target for everyone, is relishing the opportunity to create and build a vibrant, thriving Global Community of practitioners and senior leaders within Schools, who in turn are passionate about the HPL philosophy and educating children and young people within it.

Matt’s background is in events management and he has worked within the Education Sector for the past 20 years. He has worked all across Europe and the Middle East and spent 4 years in Australia where he built his own events management company. It was during his time in Australia that Matt saw a need for smarter, more social and vibrant events embracing new technologies and is where he began creating online systems, online communities, implementing social media use and smart phone apps.

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Alan Lane

Alan leads on finance for HPL and brings exceptionally wide-ranging experience in financial management, school leadership and governance, including the application of information technology to school administration. 

Following 21 years of secondary headship in Oxford, he worked as a consultant on a major financial software project with the County Council and with individual schools and trusts. He has project managed the conversion of secondary schools to academies and the expansion of a multi-academy trust. He has also advised on budget planning and assisted with the installation of new financial processing systems in several academy trusts.  

Alan was Chair of the Board of Oxfordshire’s first primary school to convert to multi-academy trust status and been interim Group Business Manager and Financial Consultant to other academy trusts. He is also Treasurer of a national medical charity and Finance Director of its associated Limited Company.  

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Kat de Polo
Marketing Communications Manager

Kat leads on HPL’s marketing and communications work and believes passionately in the organisation’s mission to make high performance a reality for the many not the few. She is the face behind HPL's Twitter account @HPLedu and loves hearing from schools about their fantastic HPL practice.

As an education marketing and communications specialist, Kat has worked with a range of leading education organisations to create and implement marketing strategies. She has experience of articulating key messages and producing relevant, engaging and stimulating collateral in mediums including print, digital and film. She also has a background in events management, from organising awards ceremonies and dinners for in excess of 800 people through to residential trips.

An experienced project manager, Kat has led on the implementation of several large-scale educational programmes to enhance the educational experience and learning outcomes for students. 

Kat was awarded Chartered Marketer status in 2009 and first became a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in 2002.


High Performance Learning
Belsyre Court
57 Woodstock Road
United Kingdom
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phone book 2 +44 (0)1993 222408