Meet the leadership team
Lynette has worked in Education, Health and Social Care for 24 years, joining National Star in 2001. Holding over 18 years’ management experience, 12 years in senior leadership, Lynette has never lost sight of the invaluable foundation that starting her career as a facilitator provided.
Appointed as Chief Operations Officer in 2019, Lynette led the way in building and sustaining quality. She is committed to ensure young people with disabilities receive quality education and care across the UK and have the freedom to choose the education and care that suits their needs and aspirations.
Elected Chair of Natspec in February 2021 after being a board member for four years, this furthers her commitment to young people with special educational needs. Lynette describes the opportunity to work with and represent young people with disabilities as a privilege, one that she will never take for granted.
Lynette has recently completed a Master of Business Administration at the University of Gloucestershire.
Deputy Chief Executive
Peter joined National Star in 2003 and has over 30 years’ experience in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Originally, from a retail commercial management background Peter has worked in fundraising, finance and management roles with national charities before coming to National Star.
He is responsible for the financial, facilities and infrastructure aspects of the organisation and he has led several major capital development projects to provide specialist resources at National Star.
Peter holds a Master’s Degree in Charity Accounting and Financial Management from Cass Business School. Outside work, he has contributed to other community organisations in voluntary roles and is currently a trustee and finance committee Chair of a local multi-academy trust.
Principal and Interim Chief Operations Officer
Simon’s first encounter with National Star was as a 14-year-old when he visited Ullenwood with a friend who was a student at National Star. That visit and his friendship with a young person with disabilities led him to his career. He completed a degree in Conductive Education, specialising in neurological disorders, and later qualified as a teacher. Simon joined National Star in 2008, working with the Personalised Learning team and was appointed Principal in 2019.
He is passionate about putting young people at the centre of everything National Star does and for multi-disciplinary teams to work in an integrated way to find the right solution for the individual.
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 25 years’ experience working with young people with disabilities and learning difficulties in both care/support organisations and within educational settings.
Meg is passionate about ensuring young people have control over their care and that their voices are heard and responded to. Her background in working across settings enables sound joint working across the National Star portfolio.
Director of Services
Since joining National Star in 2007 John has worked as residential manager, head of residential services and is now Director of Services. He has overseen the operations of National Star in Hereford, Foundation House, MatrixCare and the opening of National Star’s first college in Wales.
John introduced Team Teach into National Star to help staff supporting a more complex student cohort, where he is now the lead instructor for the organisation. He is responsible for maintaining the quality of our Welsh provision and growing services in Wales for young adults with physical disabilities and learning difficulties. John also represents Wales’ specialist further education colleges as regional director on the board of Natspec.
Director of Funding and Management Information Systems
David, who joined National Star in 1997, has worked in specialist education and residential provision for people with disabilities for over 30 years. He has a wealth of firsthand experience of enabling people to meet their potential and providing high quality services.
David is passionate about ensuring the young people and adults who would benefit from National Star’s services receive their entitlement and funding. It is important to David to have close working relationships with families, stakeholders and commissioners of services to ensure we are always thinking in the best interest of clients and ensuring they have the opportunity to meet their potential and enjoy life.
Director of Business Improvement
Simon Bridgnell has worked in the education sector since 1996 primarily focusing on technology services, strategy and leadership. Promoted to the Board as Director of Business Improvement in 2021 Simon’s vision is for National Star students and staff to have access to all manner of current technology facilities to provide them with rich and rewarding experiences for all.
He is enthusiastic about student and staff technology needs and believes these can be met by focusing on core organisational priorities such as strategy, process review, business intelligence, organisational change management, business continuity and information security to ensure National Star continues to move with the times.
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. Following a career in recruitment and HR, Rachel moved into consultancy, specialising in aligning people strategy to organisational strategy. Rachel supported National Star as a consultant over a number of years before taking on the role of Chief People Officer.
Additionally, Rachel continues to provide executive board strategic support to businesses through Consultancy services. Ahe is also a trustee for a small charity visitor attraction, and also a public speaker advising businesses around subjects where she is a subject matter expert.
Interim 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. Jojo is passionate about innovative learning opportunities and the importance of maintaining quality learning opportunities for all National Star students.