Who We Are
LKMco is an education and youth ‘think and action-tank’. We believe society should ensure all children and young people receive the support they need to make a fulfilling transition to adulthood.
We provide the evidence and support policy makers and practitioners need to support young people.
We use our timely and rigorous research to get under the skin of issues affecting young people in order to shape the public debate, advise the sector and campaign on topical issues. We have a particular interest in issues affecting marginalised young people
What We Do
We carry out policy research and campaigning as well as working directly with schools, teachers, and education and youth organisations.
- We research, write and publish in order to influence policy makers, those working in the sector and the public as a whole.
- We work with education and youth organisations by developing and managing new projects, assessing impact and improving quality.
- We generate our income from the work we do and use it to fund more work on the issues which our experience and research tell us make a difference to young people.
Our social impact reports tell us we are good at:
- Pinning down the crux of a problem and finding a solution.
- Building strong and fun relationships.
- Working quickly, rigorously and without fuss.
- Relating everything we do back to our experience of working with young people and our understanding of the sector.
We’re always keen to hear from new talent so if you’re committed to our mission and would like to find out more about working for us, do get in touch!
Given that we frequently work with vulnerable young people and personal data, safeguarding and data security/protection are very important to us. You can therefore download our safeguarding policy here and our data security/protection policy here.
Loic Menzies is Director of LKMco. He specialises in education policy and research, youth development and social enterprise. He was previously a tutor for Canterbury Christ Church’s Faculty of Education, an Associate Senior Manager and Head of History and Social Sciences at St. George’s R.C. School in North West London and a youth worker. He holds a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford. He is a trustee of The Kite Trust which supports LGBT+ young people and a volunteer with the homeless charity Jimmy’s Cambridge.
Anna Trethewey is Deputy Director of LKMco. She is an experienced teacher and manager and has extensive youthwork experience. Anna specialises in helping organisations at a strategic level, increasing the impact they have on disadvantaged young people. Previously, Anna taught in Lewisham and Norwich and was a learning Associate for Teach First and Christ Church University College. She is on Osfted's Curriculum advisory board, a trustee of FSSE, and on Apples and Pears advisory board.
Head of Engagement
Eleanor Bernardes is an Associate at LKMco and draws together a broad base of education, research, arts and business experience. She has over ten years experience in education, most recently at the RSA Academy in Tipton where she was Literacy Coordinator and a Team Leader for the RSA Curriculum ‘Opening Minds’. She was also closely involved with the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) in developing the Approaches to Learning strand of the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC). She was awarded a distinction for her MA in Educational Leadership from Warwick University.
Director of Research
Sam Baars is Director of Research at LKMco. He has particular interests in youth research, area-based inequalities and social science impact, and has experience using a range of quantitative and qualitative methods, from film-based work in schools to rapid research reviews and large-scale survey analysis. Sam believes that robust, innovative social research is the key to tackling the barriers that prevent some young people from making fulfilling transitions to adulthood, and he channels this belief into a range of research projects at LKMco. Sam holds a PhD in Social Change from the University of Manchester.
Head of Policy Development
Bart Shaw is an Associate at LKMco and combines experience of policy making at the heart of central government with hands-on experience as a teacher and middle leader in school. Bart joined the Department for Education and Skills as part of the Civil Service Fast Stream in 2006. There he developed, delivered and evaluated national policies including the £13 million subsidy pathfinder which helped disadvantaged students access after-school activities. He left in 2011 to work directly in schools. Bart holds an MA in Governance and Development from the University of Sussex and has been a trustee and advisor for the charity Development Nepal.
Head of Research
Ellie has a background in Psychology research and the Early Years and previously worked as a reception teacher in a school in Ramsgate, Kent.
She believes that the Foundation Stage plays a crucially important role in education as it shapes children’s attitudes to education and lays the foundation for them to achieve their potential. Ellie has worked alongside Teach First to develop the Early Years Programme and support programme participants, and, as a freelance researcher for Teach First and the Behavioural Insights Team.
Head of Policy Advocacy
Will Millard is Head of Policy Advocacy at LKMco, working to ensure LKMco’s research leads to action that will improve the lives of young people. He has extensive experience designing and implementing research projects. Will has worked with a wide range of organisations, helping them develop and enhance their strategy and impact. Recently he led the development of the GLA’s strategy for supporting boys’ achievement across London. He has authored ground-breaking research on oracy, enterprise education, and assessment, and has presented at events across the country. He began his career as a teacher. Will lives in Hackney, and is a Clore6 Fellow.
Kate Bowen-Viner is a Senior Associate at LKMco. She is passionate about social justice. Kate recognises the power education has to create a fair society and believes that social research should always inform education policy. She is particularly interested in the relationship between gender and educational opportunities and the structure of the education system.
Lisa Pollitt has worked with children and young people for over 20 years. Lisa started her career as a Youth Participation Worker supporting young people’s involvement in decision making within local authorities and with central government. Lisa won an IPPR/Guardian award for her work in this area and was a key player in setting up the Participation Network for England (now called Participation Works). During this time she was also a Designated Child Protection Officer at Cambridge City Council. Lisa went on to become a Safeguarding Lead within a large FE College and set up the first Safeguarding Conference for FE and Higher Education in Cambridgeshire. Lisa now runs her own successful Safeguarding Consultancy and Training business, helping organisations to understand their safeguarding responsibilities within their specific areas of work. Lisa feels strongly that safeguarding issues can affect any one at any time so it is best for organisations to be proactive rather than reactive.
Alix Robertson is a junior researcher at LKMco. She qualified as an English teacher after studying at Oxford, and went on to teach at a secondary school in Watford where she mentored vulnerable pupils and ran a student magazine.
A desire to better understand and question some of the challenges in the education system led her to leave the classroom to take masters degree in journalism at City University in London.
She won a ‘30 to Watch’ young journalist award during a brief stint covering finance before moving into education journalism, where she won awards for her investigations in sister papers Schools Week and FE Week. She has reported on subjects including college finances, the expansion of multi-academy trusts, the work of the government’s regional schools commissioners and the experiences of women and LGBT people in education.
Alix has also volunteered with the charity Keen London for the past three years, helping to organise and run activities for young people with a range of disabilities. She is particularly interested in autism and mental health.
Abi Angus is a trainee researcher at LKMco. Abi brings years of experience working with marginalised groups of young people and their families and is excited to use this alongside the research skills she will gain during her traineeship.
Previous roles include supporting young people with challenging behaviour accessing play and youth projects, running a national education support project for Gypsy, Traveller and Roma families and designing support plans for young people displaying challenging and high-risk behaviour in care and youth work settings.
Her experiences in these roles have fuelled a passion for inclusion, alongside a belief that education is key in creating a more equal and inclusive society. Abi has a BA in Community Development and Youth Work and is currently studying towards an MA in Education Policy and Society, aiming to use her experience on the ground to contribute to change at policy level.
Phil Yeeles is a Junior Researcher at LKMco. He has been working and volunteering in education since 2007. He read Computer Science at the University of Cambridge, and undertook a dissertation to explore educational software, developing a novel means of visualising calculation for young children. Following that, he became a teaching assistant, then studied for his PGCE at the Institute of Education, after which he was a primary school teacher for five years.
He is currently the President of the National Education Union (NUT Section) in Cambridgeshire, and has been an active trade unionist for his entire career. He has taken part in the STEP4SEAs project, implementing Dialogic Literary Gatherings in his classroom to encourage children to engage critically with classic literature, using it as a springboard from which to explore philosophical issues. He has also recently visited Cuba as part of an NEU delegation to learn about the Cuban education system.
Phil is especially interested in social movement unionism, critical pedagogy and computing education.
Mary Myatt is a Non-executive Director on LKMco’s board. She is an education adviser, writer, speaker and keen walker. She trained as an RE teacher and taught English, history, maths and Latin in Ipswich. She entered the education sector after a career in PR and a five years founding and running an ice-cream business.
A former local authority adviser and inspector, she works in schools talking to pupils, teachers and leaders about learning, leadership and the curriculum. She maintains that there are no quick fixes and that great outcomes for pupils are not achieved through tick boxes. Mary has written extensively about leadership, school improvement and the curriculum. Her book “High Challenge Low Threat” has been described as “a cult must-have for education professionals”.
Samantha Kakati is a Non-executive Director on LKMco’s board. She is an experienced dispute resolution lawyer at law firm Mishcon de Reya, specialising in finance and banking disputes. She provides her clients with technical and strategic advice. Samantha also works with legal technology providers to optimise working practices and client experiences and is involved in developing education initiatives within Mishcon de Reya.
Samantha has experience mentoring young people and working with vulnerable women and in promoting discussions on equality. She has also been involved with a number of organisations focusing on social justice and social mobility. She is passionate about helping to build a kinder and more compassionate society. Having benefited from scholarships herself, Samantha believes that access to education and opportunities is key to preparing young people for a fulfilling future.
Mary Curnock Cook is a Non-executive Director on LKMco’s board.
From 2010-2017, Mary was Chief Executive of UCAS. Earlier in her career she held executive and non-executive positions in the education, hospitality, food and biotech sectors.
Mary is a Council member at the Open University, a non-exec Director at the Student Loans Company and a Trustee at multi-academy trust, United Learning, Founders4Schools and National Numeracy. She also Chairs the Access Project which helps students from disadvantaged backgrounds progress to top-tier universities. She is an investor and/or mentor to a number of edtech entrepreneurs and on the advisory boards of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Cairneagle Associates.
Mary has an MSc from London Business School and was awarded an OBE in 2000. She is an honorary Fellow of Birkbeck and Goldsmiths, and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire.
Anil Valsan is a Non-executive Director on LKMco’s board. Anil is a Knowledge Leader for the Advanced Manufacturing & Mobility Industry Market group at EY. He is also EY’s Lead Analyst for Automotive & Transportation sector. He was introduced to LKMco through the EY Foundation initiative in 2015 and has been working with LKMco as a business coach ever since.
Anil has over twenty year experience covering global industry research, analysis and consulting. He has been with EY for eight years and has held various positions within EY’s Knowledge organisation including leading a cluster of sector knowledge teams. He currently leads a global team of Analysts and Knowledge Managers that supports a community of over 40,000 practitioners within EY. He has led initiatives to transform the EY Knowledge organisations’ products and services, including the wide adoption of analytics and digital tools for research & analysis. He has also authored multiple thought leading studies on the trends in the automotive industry and on the evolution of the future of mobility. Anil holds an MSc (Finance) with merit from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, a CFA (icfai) and an MBA specialising in Information Technology from ICFAI business school.
Gemma Stevenson is LKMco’s Office Manager. She joined the team from the retail sector, where she worked in customer care and operations management for over 15 years. Gemma started working for the ethical cosmetics brand Lush Cosmetics in New Zealand, eventually moving within the company to London. There she went on to work with other well-known brands, specialising in improving the systems and processes of online operations. As LKMco's office manager she now focuses on optimising efficiency and administration of the organisation. Gemma came to LKMco with an interest in moving away from retail, and focusing on improving social wellbeing in a different sector.
Development of a theory of change to underpin the charity’s future planning, tracking and evaluation for its conflict-resolution work.
A research report analysing the success of London Schools, commissioned by CfBT and carried out with the Centre for London (2014).
A report for 3FF (The Three Faiths Forum) examining the lessons policymakers and practitioners can draw from successful intercultural projects, (2015).
Our Latest Blogs
My time on work experience was thoroughly enjoyable. A school mate and I spent a week working half days in a nursery school. At the end of the week I was told that while it had been “fun” having me around, if they had to pick between us, they’d pick… Read more
By Abi Angus & Ellie Mulcahy Part one of this blog explored what ADHD looks like, debunking misconceptions around diagnosis and showing how research on brain structure helps us to understand differences. In part two, we explore some of the brain differences linked to ADHD and unpick further misconceptions around… Read more
With reforms to Relationships and Sex Education, LKMco has been at the heart of a tricky and sensitive debate. Whilst the debate is frequently characterised as a battle between school, parents and communities, our Chief Exec Loic pleaded for calm on BBC Radio 5 Live and in the TES. He… Read more