Our Management

Greg Watson  Chief Executive
Greg is the Chief Executive of GL Assessment. He has been involved in the education sector since 1998, having spent his early career in marketing and IT in the oil industry. Prior to GL Assessment, Greg was the Chief Executive of OCR, the UK public examinations and qualifications division of Cambridge Assessment. He then led Bell, a leading, internationally recognised provider of English language learning and teaching, particularly to children of school age from around the world.

Greg graduated in Modern and Medieval Languages from Queens’ College, Cambridge. Greg is also a Fellow of the RSA and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Educators.

Sarah Haythornthwaite  Sales and Marketing Director
Sales and Marketing Director at GL Assessment since 2014, Sarah has extensive consumer and business markets experience from a number of household name brands, having held senior roles at Rank Group, General Motors, Orange and 3 Mobile. She was also responsible for successful rebranding at Superdrug and Grosvenor Casinos. As Marketing Director at Staples, Sarah launched the first multichannel loyalty programme for business and retail customers and introduced 'Click and Collect'.

Her particular passion is driving high growth in competitive markets through better understanding of the customer and the purchase process. Prior to working in commercial environments Sarah was a lecturer in Engineering at UWE Bristol.

Sarah lives with her family in Marlow.  She enjoys sailing, skiing and is often found at sports events at weekends. She admits to being a Queens Park Rangers supporter.
Rob Dargue – Chief Finance & Operating Officer
Since 2007, Rob has been GL Assessment’s Chief Finance & Operating Officer, responsible for day-to-day operations and finance, corporate finance and long term, strategic planning.

Rob is a Chartered Accountant, having qualified with Deloitte, and has amassed 18 years of experience in finance and operations, mostly working with high growth small and medium enterprises. 

Outside of work, Rob is a fan of travel, 5-a-side football and golf. He is a lifelong supporter of English football team Ipswich Town.

David Glover – Product Director
David has recently been appointed Product Director; a new senior executive position that combines product and technology development for our UK and international businesses.

David joined GL Assessment in 2013 as the Digital Programme Director, overseeing the development of the digital assessment platform, Testwise, and the delivery of all digital content and maintenance. David’s wealth of project and programme knowledge includes 14 years at  Cambridge Assessment working within marketing, assessment development and technology across their UK, international and English language assessment businesses. David was also responsible for the delivery of the first fully-online assessed GCSE in 2007 and the first online assessed A level unit in 2008.
James Neill  International Director
James works with international schools, stakeholders and Ministries of Education to support their use of GL Education's portfolio in British, bilingual and international schools.

James has worked in education since graduating from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Physics and a PGCE in 1997. He has taught both physics and science at schools in Nottingham, Thailand and London. James then joined Pearson Edexcel where he worked with schools and stakeholders in England and in the Middle East to support curriculum development, as well as supporting teachers in using data and technology to raise attainment. James has also worked with organisations to develop admissions tests for university courses, as well as developing online assessment solutions for professional organisations.

Jim Kell – Director of International Partnerships
Jim has worked in education for over twenty-five years – as a teacher, trainer, writer, manager and consultant. He has focused for much of his career on cross-border educational co-operation, with particular success in implementing large scale educational projects with ministries and agencies overseas. Jim joined GL Education from Bell, a leading provider of English language training and consultancy, where he was Director of Education.

Prior to that he worked for British Council in China on teacher training projects – he is a fluent Mandarin speaker.

Jim graduated from Edinburgh University, before embarking on a PGCE at Oxford University and an MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Essex.


Our Experts

Alastair Durno – Head of Professional Development Services

Alastair has worked in education for over 30 years – as a primary teacher, education consultant, trainer and contract manager. Since 2003, he has been our Head of Professional Development Services, responsible for delivering professional development programmes (which have included NPQH, NPQSL and NPQML) and training courses that support good use of data.

Outside work, Alastair has 12 years’ experience as a school governor in both primary and secondary schools. He has been a Watford FC supporter for nearly 40 years and is also a season ticket holder at Saracens RFC.

Alison Chapman – International Schools Consultant

Alison is an international education consultant with over 30 years’ experience within the education sector. Her work focuses on supporting schools in their use of assessment data and improving teaching and learning, in India and the Middle East.

Alison began her career as a classroom teacher and taught at secondary and tertiary levels. She has acted as an examiner, moderator and verifier for a number of awarding bodies.

She was a governor at her local high school for 13 years, latterly as chair, and carries out training for governors and conducts external reviews of governance.

Claire Dunn – International Manager

Claire’s main focus is working with schools in South East Asia and with school groups globally, advising on assessment best practice. After a career in marketing she became a teacher and taught economics, ICT and business studies in UK schools for a number of years.

Claire joined Pearson Edexcel after leaving teaching where she worked with schools and stakeholders to support them in interpreting government policy related to the school curriculum and shaping their curriculum accordingly.

Claire then moved to GL Assessment to work with UK schools on developing their assessment strategies before joining the International team.  Claire has also worked as an external verifier and an examiner for various awarding bodies including AQA, Edexcel and the IFS.

Sue Thompson – Senior Publisher

Since 1993 Sue Thompson has worked in a number of roles in educational publishing including as a contracts and rights manager and the manager of a list of tests and assessments for the post-16 sector.  Sue has worked for CfBT managing Information Advice and Guidance services for Berkshire. During this time Sue set up and ran a large EU-funded project to bring effective training to SMEs.

As Senior Publisher at GL Assessment Sue has responsibility for the Cognitive Abilities Test: 4th Edition, the New Group Reading Test, the York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension as well as the recently published Baseline and Progress Test in English.

Cres Fernandes – Head of Statistics

Cres has over 20 years’ experience in analysing assessment data.  He has been involved in the psychometric aspects and statistical analysis of most of our assessments.  This includes the popular Progress Test Series in English, science and maths, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT), and the computer adaptive version of New Group Reading Test. He has worked on producing CAT indicators for the UK national and Indian CBSE examinations.

Prior to GL Assessment, Cres worked at the National Foundation for Educational Research on numerous educational research projects.   Not least he was the national project statistician for the analysis of England’s contribution to the Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) involving over 50 countries.

Tilaye Yeshanew - Statistician

Tilaye is a Senior Chartered Statistician with more than 14 years’ experience in analysing educational data. Since joining GL Assessment from the National Foundation for Educational Research he has worked on a variety of tasks including devising tools to assist in collation of data, secondary analysis of existing and examination data and advising on data collection methods to obtain the most meaningful data, all in order to answer educational research questions.

As a Statistician and Psychometrician he works closely with test developers and oversees and implements psychometric procedures for educational testing programmes.

Tom Guy - Publisher

Tom joined GL Assessment in November 2015, having worked in editorial roles in educational publishing for a decade, most recently commissioning primary literacy resources for Harper Collins. Tom has a degree in Psychology from Royal Holloway, University of London and is publisher for Special Educational Needs and Health and Psychology.

Dee Currier - Training Operations Manager

Dee is GL Assessment’s Training Operations Manager, responsible for the strategic planning of training workshops that support customers in understanding the data from our assessments to better inform teaching and learning. Dee also supports our Centres of Assessment Excellence, looking for new establishments to partner with to support the delivery of training around the UK, and encourage networking and sharing of best practice among local schools.

Outside work Dee is passionate about sports, films and particularly food, and you will often find her experimenting with new recipes.

Norman Hayes - Key Accounts & Training Support Executive

Since 2013, Norman has been responsible for the co-ordination of external training – previously within our Professional Development Services department for Leadership Development Programmes licensed by the National College, and now within our Training department, arranging external product training. Norman’s biggest achievements with us to date have included running conferences in Northern Ireland on Progress in English and Progress in Maths, and annual Schedule of Growing Skills ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions for the Welsh Government’s Flying Start programme.

Norman also provides support on behalf of our Business Development Managers for Key Accounts such as multi-academy trusts, middle schools and independent schools.