Michael Speranza (Chair)
Michael and his family are members of Potential Plus UK and have regularly attended our Big Family Weekends as well as being active on our Facebook Group, Parenting High Potential.
Michael himself is a solicitor with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, an international law firm based in St Paul’s, London. Michael’s daughter is home educated, and Michael runs workshops at some of our events to share his experiences of home education with other parents.
Stewart Bailey (Vice-Chair)
Stewart Bailey has been managing director of Virtual Viewing for the past 15 years. During this time Virtual Viewing has grown to become a market-leading solutions provider specialising in the Construction sector, with an award winning programme of innovation focussed around the exploitation of BIM.
Virtual Viewing operates in a number of areas of work including military (both UK and abroad), counter terrorism (NaCTSO), high-end engineering (Sisk/Mace), Formula 1 (Red Bull Racing), the energy sector (e.on, Western Power Distribution, Central Networks), construction (Barratt Homes, ISG, Willmott Dixon), Facilities Management (AMB/Prologis), large scale infrastructure projects (East West Rail/HCA/Crossrail) and has even been the official supplier of graphics for HM The Queen’s city visit to Milton Keynes.
Stewart created the methodology known as SlimBIM™, is an industry expert on BIM Beyond Build™ and “Smart” technology regularly advising some of the country’s top construction companies on innovation.
Stewart was the chosen expert for the discussion of BIM in the Built Environment at the India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO)
Stewart has supported the charity for a number of years as a Trustee and latterly as Vice-Chair and has proven to give great insight into the commercial realities of our activities.
Joy is the Professional Development leader at Parliament Hill School and has extensive experience of leadership in a range of inner-London schools and of supporting UK and international schools in setting up policies and practices for the most able.
Joy’s current role at Parliament Hill School includes responsibility for professional development for teachers and support staff at all stages in their careers, student leadership, and leading on all aspects of provision for students with high learning potential (HLP). This includes the identification processes, in-class provision, parents’ workshops and an enrichment programme designed to close the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students, as well as ensuring that all HLP students have equal opportunities for securing a place at a Russell Group university, and creating a fulfilling, challenging and supportive experience at school for each and every student.
Joy has presented at a number of national conferences on innovative student leadership initiatives aimed at the most able and on provision for students with high learning potential.
In addition, she has published a range of articles in professional journals and text books.
Jason runs GIFT, the organisation which runs activity programmes for gifted young people. He is also known as The Philosophy Man and runs philosophy based activities in schools and in the community.
Jason himself was a product of the gifted education programme in the UK, educating himself at A level before going on to study philosophy at Cambridge.
Steve and his family have been members and actively involved with Potential Plus UK for 20 years and over this period attended two local Explorer groups whilst his children were growing up.
Steve was a Board member from 2004 to 2012 and has also been a long-term volunteer at the Big Family Weekend, running the second-hand book stall and raffle. His wife Hilary volunteers one day a week at head office.
Steve is Chief Information Officer at The MDU, a membership organisation which provides medico-legal support and indemnity to the healthcare professions.
Jay is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and an associate member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. He is Chief Financial Officer at Commercial Estates Group with over 20 years of experience in finance. Prior to joining the Potential Plus UK board, he was a trustee with a charity for 6 years – Parity for Disability.
Jay is a father of three boys and passionate about educating children. He is hoping to add value to Potential Plus UK using the skills he has in terms of finance and treasury.
Lee left Secondary Education as a failure, leaving school with few to no qualifications and no clear view as to who he was or what the future held in store. Knowing nothing of giftedness or high learning potential he struggled to understand his perplexing withdrawal from formal education and established social circles. On leaving school a raft of intellectually undemanding jobs followed and it seemed life would always be a mass of confusion and frustration. A spell in the Royal Marines offered Lee the opportunity to reverse some of his earlier academic failings and he obtained several GCSE qualifications, which served to reignite his passion for learning.
At age 28 Lee passed the Mensa test and took up the opportunity to join the organisation but the greater impact of the test was the insight it provided, which also gave rise to some answers he had been asking himself of his school experiences. Lee has since gone on to obtain both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and is a confirmed lifelong learner. He is an education advocate, believing that it really does hold the keys to your future, and is passionate that no child should ever experience the devastating effects of a failed education and the devastating impact to one’s quality and enjoyment of life this brings.
As many children with high learning potential are at increased risk of educational and social withdrawal, Lee is keen that Potential Plus UK extend its reach as far as possible, in order for the charity to help as many children as possible. He is determined that the charity is not seen as elitist and believes that the greatest measure of its success would be gained by the number of low income and disadvantaged children it is able to help. Lee spends his spare time sourcing corporate sponsors to support the charity and is conscious that there is a mass of misunderstanding as to what it means to have high learning potential therefore he works to dispel this myth to as many as possible.
Lee continues his educational journey but constantly struggles to contain the amount of subjects he wants to learn about and at times has been in danger of overreaching himself…