Back to Top


James Croft founded, in late 2011, and directed the Centre for Education Economics (previously known as CMRE think tank) until 2017, establishing it as an authority in education economics and leading its development into a leading contributor to education policy formation in England and internationally. James is now Editor of EducationInvestor Global magazine. EducationInvestor Global provides a portfolio of specialist business information services and events to advisors, investors and operators globally, from early years, through schools, post-16 and vocational, to higher and professional education. James remains CfEE's Chair and convenor of its Education Executives' Policy Forum. He speaks and chairs frequently on matters relating to education economics and reform, and writes and comments regularly in the press.


Deborah Eyre is the Founder of High Performance Learning, an advanced pedagogy that helps schools become world class through systematically developing superior cognitive performance in all students. Prior to founding this new venture, Deborah held a variety of senior executive roles both 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 Education Director for Nord Anglia Education. Formerly she served as Director of the UK government’s innovative National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY), based at the University of Warwick. She is a Freeman of the Guild of Educators and has served on a number of national and international boards including the UK TDA (Training and Development Agency for teachers), NCSL (National College for School Leadership), WCGTC (World Council for Gifted and Talented Children), Council for British International Schools (COBIS) and Centre for Talented Youth Ireland (CTYI). A widely published author, Able Children in Ordinary Schools (1997) is a seminal text still in publication. Her most recent policy publication was 'Room at the Top' (Policy Exchange, 2010). A new book for teachers on High Performance Learning: How to Build a World Class School was published in January 2016.

Neil McIntosh, CBE, is the former CEO of the CfBT Education Trust, a charity he describes as a ‘social business’, which he led from being a one service EFL provider in two or three countries to become a worldwide provider of education services. He has been at the forefront of significant education policy developments, including the growth of free schools and academies, and was the driving force behind the development of the CfBT Schools Trust multi-academy chain. Prior to joining CfBT, Neil was director of Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, and before that Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), a UK charity providing skilled fieldworkers to developing countries around the world. He is currently chair of The Access Project, an initiative to ensure that young people with high potential but limited means have access to one-to-one tutors to ensure they reach their potential. He is also an Honorary Norham Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Department of Education. Neil was appointed CBE in 2013 for services to education.

Company secretary

Chris Lenton fulfils the duties of Treasurer and Company Secretary for CfEE through his consultancy Lenton & Associates. Chris is a former Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (2008-13) and was previously COO and then CEO of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators. His career as a director has focused on strategic planning, marketing and corporate governance, with ethics and corporate social responsibility being guiding aspects of his business framework. Chris’s interest in education is reflected in his co-directorship of The Tutors’ Association, an organisation he has led through a period of rapid growth in membership. He is also a consultant at Wild Search executive recruitment consultancy, which specialises in appointments to the education sector, and was formerly chair of the London Academy of Professional Education (LAPRO).