Leadership team

Our leadership team at National Star have a wealth of experience and expertise across the charity and education sectors.

Lynette Barrett smiling portrait photo

Lynette Barrett

Chief Executive

Lynette was originally a care and support worker and has never lost sight of this. She has moved through the ranks at National Star and gained many qualifications along the way, including an MBA. Lynette was previously Chief Operations Officer before becoming Chief Executive in 2022. She is also Chair of Natspec.

Peter Horne smiling portrait photo

Peter Horne

Deputy Chief Executive

Peter worked in fundraising, finance and management with national charities before joining National Star. He handles the financial, facilities and infrastructure aspects of the charity. Peter holds a Master’s Degree in Charity Accounting and Financial Management. Outside work, he’s a trustee and finance committee Chair of a local multi-academy trust.

Rachel Harber smiling portrait photo

Rachel Harber

Chief People Officer

Rachel Harber is a Fellow of the CIPD with a professional passion for strategy. She loves nothing more than a problem to solve, or a process to improve. Rachel supported National Star as a consultant over many years before taking on the role of Chief People Officer.

Simon Welch smiling portrait photo

Simon Welch

Chief Operating Officer / Principal

Simon joined National Star in 2008, working with the Personalised Learning team, becoming Principal in 2019 and Chief Operating Officer in 2022. He’s passionate about putting young people at the centre of everything National Star does. He believes multi-disciplinary teams should work to find the right solution for every learner.

Jojo Kingsbury-Elia photo

Jojo Kingsbury-Elia

Director of Learning and Support

Jojo Kingsbury-Elia joined National Star more than a decade ago as a member of the personalised learning team. She has over 20 years’ experience of working with young adults in a variety of education setting in the UK and abroad.

John Mann smiling portrait photo

John Mann

Director of Services

John oversees the operations of long-term living at National Star. He managed the opening of National Star in Wales and introduced Team Teach to help staff support students with behaviours that challenge. John also represents Wales’ specialist further education colleges as regional director on the board of Natspec.

Meg Rogers smiling portrait photo

Meg Rogers

Director of Services

Megan joined National Star in 2018 as Head of Community and Work Programmes and appointed Director of Services in 2019. She has experience working with young people with disabilities and learning difficulties in care and educational settings.

Zoe Barnett smiling portrait photo

Zoe Barnett

Director of Services

Zoe has worked at National Star for more than 20 years joining the charity as a care and support worker. Now as Director of Services Zoe liaises with the Care Quality Commission as she oversees Ullenwood residential services and the Ullenwood day team.

Claire Paine smiling portrait photo

Claire Paine

Director of Finance

Claire has over 20 years’ experience in finance management, leading the National Star finance team since 2019. She ensures the charity uses its resources efficiently and effectively, as well as supporting overall financial decision-making. Claire is a Chartered Management Accountant and holds a Master’s Degree in Business and Management.

Dave Dalby smiling portrait photo

David Dalby

Director of Funding and Management Information Systems

For over 30 years David has worked in specialist education and long-term living for people with disabilities. David and his teams have close working relationships with families, stakeholders and commissioners. This is to ensure the best interests of students and residents.

Simon Bridgnell smiling portrait photo

Simon Bridgnell

Director of Business Improvement

Simon Bridgnell has worked in the education sector since 1996 focusing on technology services, strategy and leadership. His vision is for National Star to embrace change and use all aspects of technology to benefit students, residents and staff.