Trustees and Strategy Team


The MTPT Project is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (registered charity number 1192218), governed by a Board of Trustees who ensure we adhere to our charitable objectives of advancing education for public benefit by maintaining high standards in teaching by ensuring the continued professional development of teachers during or on their return from parental leave, including assisting in the re-training of teachers who have taken a caring-related

Bridget Clay, @bridget89ec
Chair of Trustees

Bridget is Director of School Leadership at Teach First, previously Director of Schools Programmes at the Teacher Development Trust.

She trained as a Maths Teacher with Teach First in 2010, and co-authored Unleashing Great Teaching in 2018.  

Bridget has provided support in the design of The MTPT Project’s professional development coaching and programmes since 2016.

Madeleine Fresko-Brown, @m_x_f

Madeleine is a Vice Principal with responsibility for Teaching and Learning and Outcomes at a secondary academy in London.

She trained as an English Teacher through Teach First in 2011 and has been actively involved with The MTPT Project since her first maternity leave in 2017, acting as blogger, North London Advocate and representing the Jewish community in education as part of our Diversity and Inclusion team.


Jennifer Webb, @funkypedgagogy
Trustee (Safeguarding)

Jennifer is an Assistant Head of Teaching and Learning in Wakefield, and author of Teach Like a Writer, How to Teach English Literature and The Metacognition Handbook.  

She is the mother to two boys and acted as The MTPT Project’s Leeds Advocate before we became a charity in 2020.

On her second maternity leave, Jennifer began running online CPD sessions (Funky Pedagogy) for English teachers, raising money for a variety of charities.

She was The MTPT Project’s inaugural Chair of Trustees from 2020-22.


Kathleen Cushnie, @VoicingEd
Trustee (Coaching)

Kathleen is a Deputy Headteacher in a large primary school in London with 15 years experience in education.

She is a qualified coach and an experienced trainer; she supports schools through her role as a SLE and a Consultant Lead Teacher.

In 2020, Kathleen founded Voicing Education to support middle leaders on their leadership journey.  She has subsequently launched a podcast of the same name (Voicing Education – The Podcast). 

Claire Neaves, @claireneaves
Trustee (Inclusion)

After 15 years as a teacher and SENDCo across Primary and Secondary in mainstream and special schools, Claire now works across a Multi-Academy Trust supporting schools with SEND and inclusion.

She lives in Bristol where she became the MTPT representative whilst pregnant with her son in 2016-17.

Claire is dedicated to opening up conversations about equity and diversity and is a strong advocate for LGBT+ family representation.  

Helen Philpott, @PE_Pott
Trustee (Multi Academy Trusts)

Following 9 years as a PE teacher, including time spent in middle and senior leadership positions, Helen now works for the Department for Education. 

Helen is the mother to two (soon to be three!) children, and first became involved in the MTPT project on her second maternity leave.

Despite having left the profession herself, Helen recognises the importance of retaining great teachers and is keen to do all she can to ensure teaching is a profession that can exist in harmony with a busy and fulfilling family life.

Rosie Kelly-Smith, @teachermumdone
Trustee (Unions)

Rosie has been a secondary English teacher for 11 years in south London, with seven years’ experience as a pastoral middle leader.  Rosie is preparing to return from her second maternity leave to a curriculum-based role, and is looking forward to the new skills and challenges it will bring.  She is currently completing her NPQSL, which she started whilst on leave.

Rosie discovered The MTPT Project on her second maternity leave and, as well as acting as a Trustee, is also a member of the Communications and Marketing team, volunteering to maintain our social media presence.


Jenna Crittenden, @jenjen1985

Jenna has been a primary teacher for over 16 years, working as a classroom teacher, senior leader and head.

She first became interested in The MTPT Project when on maternity leave with her daughter and has supported our growth since then.

Jenna is a huge advocate for flexible working and now works flexibly as a Curriculum Design Lead for the Chartered College of Teachers.

Meera Gupta-Chaudhary
Trustee (Treasurer and Social Media)

Meera is the Head of Finance at Executive Channel Network Ltd., and a CIMA qualified accountant, with over 10 years’ experience working in finance for media companies.

As a longstanding friend of Emma’s, Meera is familiar with the work of The MTPT Project, and has supported with the charity’s accounting since 2020.  Having been on maternity leave recently with her daughter, she is invested in the work of The MTPT Project and excited to work with other Trustees to achieve our objectives.

Strategy Team

The MTPT Project undertakes campaigning and policy work to create more family- and life-friendly working conditions for teachers and school leaders.

Emma Sheppard, @mtptproject
Founding Director

Emma is The MTPT Project’s Founder and Strategic Director, overseeing the work of The MTPT Project.

This includes deciding – with the support of the Trustees – on the direction of the charity and leading wider campaigning work  to make teaching a more sustainable career choice for parents-teachers.

Jenny McCloskey
Policy Officer

Jenny works flexibly as a History and Politics teacher dividing her time between school, podcasting and freelance journalism. 

She has experience in both pastoral and academic leadership roles in the state and independent sector and has worked as a Development Lead for Teach First.

Jenny acted as The MTPT Project’s Kent Regional Representative during her second maternity leave and authored a chapter of The MTPT Project’s book, Your Guide to Teaching, Parenting and Creating Family Friendly Schools.

As Policy Offer, Jenny supports with The MTPT Project’s wider campaigning work.