Free Flow Info

Meet the Exec Team

Chief Executive Officer

Alan Cowley TCert BA

Alan was a successful teacher and school leader within maintained secondary schools for more than 35 years, earning a national reputation for delivering innovative projects that aided learning. His entrepreneurial approach to business links led to his appointment as the first SSAT lead practitioner for Community Cohesion and then Parental Engagement. His role as member of both the expert and advisory panels, key note speaker and consultant for the Engaging Parents in Raising Achievement campaign led to his secondment to Becta to lead the national introduction of Online Reporting to Parents. Upon the successful completion of that initiative, Alan was offered consultancy by ASCL and the NAHT, so resigned his post to found Engagement in Education Ltd in 2008. Alan is now recognised as a leading authority on Parental Engagement, and Stakeholder Engagement. He writes widely on educational matters for various professional publications and provides most of our keynote addresses.

One of the two founders of Engagement in Education Ltd in 2008, Alan is our CEO and has overall responsibility for the creative direction, quality and integrity of the service we deliver.

Alan’s research was cited in Policy Exchange’s hard-hitting report on Ofsted, ‘Watching the watchmen’, and lauded by leading academics. Working with his wife Delia, he has dedicated the last 6 years to school-based action research into the development of Free Flow Info

Away from work Alan continues to enjoy his interest in the arts where he has experienced national success as a writer, director and producer for stage and television (including the production of three Gotchas! for ‘Noel’s House Party’). He is passionate about family and loves hosting and cooking for extended family events.

Development Director

Delia Cowley BA (Hons) PGCE

Delia, also a trained teacher with years of experience, lived and worked abroad for 20 years gaining knowledge of the education systems in Trinidad, Jamaica and Florida. Delia, who had also enjoyed a career as a successful PA working for the European Manager of Air Canada, increased her knowledge and experience of the business/commerce sector whilst in the USA, as a partner in a successful business within the fitness industry. On returning to England she rediscovered her passion for teaching, using her skills in a variety of roles within secondary schools.

One of the two founders of Engagement in Education Ltd in 2008, Delia is our Development Director. Her responsibilities include talking to clients to explore how we can improve the services we already offer schools, and enhance the scope of the services we deliver in a meaningful and realistic way.

Delia’s research was also cited in Policy Exchange’s hard-hitting report on Ofsted ‘Watching the watchmen’. Working with her husband Alan, she has dedicated the last 6 years to school-based action research into the development of Free Flow Info

Her interests away from work are many and include: family, yoga, folk music, and most things fitness related.

Managing Director

Steve Leigh BA (Hons), ACIS

Joining Engagement in Education Ltd (EiE) in 2015 as the company’s Managing Director, Steve has the responsibility for the strategic management and day to day operation of the company and its activities.

With 25 years of working in the Education Sector, Steve provides a wealth of knowledge, experience, expertise and perspective across the sector, having held senior positions in local government, national government bodies and private practice…. And his passion for the sector continues.

In his previous role as Head of Education for Mouchel Business Services(MBS), Steve provided the market lead for the development and delivery of a £35m+ business, providing for a wide range of Education Advisory, HR, Payroll, Finance, ICT, and Property Support Services to schools, academies, local authorities and central government.  Other senior roles that Steve has been appointed to include:

  • Schools Projects Director with the Public Private Partnership Programme (4ps), a then central body of the Local Government Association, supporting and advising Councils and Schools across the country on the project development and procurement of Schools PFI and BSF programmes.
  •  Director of Planning & Resources with Gateshead MBCs Learning & Culture Directorate
  •  Interim Strategic Leader for Resources & Information (a secondment to the DFE LEA intervention team supporting Rotherham MBC)
  • Head of Local Management for Schools and Contracted Services with Newcastle City Council

His experience also extends internationally where he has contributed to research projects undertaken by the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships.

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