Meet the Board

Pallab Sarker

Chairman of Trustees

Pallab Sarker is an indie acoustic singer-songwriter from Walthamstow, East London. Having performed in indie bands for over a decade, Pallab is now developing his sound as a solo artist.   

Since the release of his debut album ‘Grey Day‘, Pallab’s music took flight on underground college radio stations in the USA, receiving critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Vents magazine describe him as “a genuine songbird, whose arresting voice and touching melodies swell with emotion and speak to the heart” whilst The Music Site said that he is a “charismatic poet for the modern age”.  

Pallab has since featured on BBC radio and performed at The Assembly: Global Teacher Prize Concert, alongside Rita Ora, Liam Payne and Little Mix. Pallab is currently writing his follow up solo album, once again choosing to record locally, tapping into the borough of Walthamstow’s talented and eclectic music scene. Pallab is himself an Artist in Residence, having taught music lessons at a secondary school in East London.

Pallab is also the Founding Director of global communications agency Apollo Strategic Communications, a role which sees him work with some of the world’s most prominent political leaders, CEOs, thinkers and celebrities.

VIjita PaTel


Vijita Patel is the Principal of Swiss Cottage School, Development & Research Centre, a special needs school for children aged 2 to 19 in London. The school is a designated National Teaching School working with key partners to push for systemic improvements in the school system for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

As a National Leader of Education, Vijita supports Headteachers, Senior and Middle Leaders, SENCOs, and Local Authority teams on leading locality and provision developments as the complexity of need increases with this new generation of children with SEN. She has contributed to the development of programmes for teacher training and leadership development, and also worked with Post-Graduate students on personalised learning through research on cognitive processing.

Vijita is passionate about the role of the creative arts in unlocking the potential and talents of children and young people with additional needs. She works with strategic partners to support underperforming schools in redesigning their school curriculum around ‘the arts’ to promote the holistic development of children and young people. Swiss Cottage School Development and Research Centre is one of eight schools in the country to have six consecutive ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted Inspections. Vijita is also a Trustee for Special Olympics Great Britain, Varkey Foundation, and the Swiss Cottage School Charity.



Vikas Pota is a globally respected leader and driving force for much good in the education, international development, philanthropy and technology sectors. His achievements include creating global awareness of the importance of education and specifically about the centrality of teachers and their profession.

His passion for dialogue, cooperation and creating collaborative projects that further the causes he supports mark him out from a field that is normally bound by national boundaries and often by ideology. As an example, what he has achieved through the Global Education & Skills Forum is truly unique and special, convening a vast range of people of all backgrounds and disciplines, shepherding the conversation to achieve a consensus on the inclusion of the teacher workforce in determining the strategies of education organisations. The way in which he approaches coalition building has resulted in successful partnerships, engaging organisations such as Education International – the international alliance of teacher unions – to the opposite spectrum of for-profit providers in education, bringing them onto a shared platform for dialogue, supporting and strengthening public education systems.

As a result of him driving conversations about teachers, several globally renowned organisations have added the teacher workforce to their considerations, whether they be bilateral and multilateral donor organisations, philanthropic institutions, bodies such as the  United Nations or organisations further afield including private sector organisations focused on human capital development. His advocacy has resulted in more investment in capacity building programmes.

Not only has he been an ardent champion and advocate but has also invested in and built institutions that will long outlive him and those associated with them. Equally, we are already seeing the positive results from his commitment to good governance, ethics and long termism, that will continue to experience the benefit of these in all parts of the world as his work resonates and speaks volumes in some of the most challenging contexts.

On his departure, he posted the following leadership lessons he had learnt in the last ten years, which received positive acclaim.

lois stonock


Lois Stonock is the founder of Associates and of the Jennie Lee Institute. She is a researcher, programming curator and strategist interested in culture in the broadest sense. Her work centres on thinking around the role of the institution in the community and looks for new business models and ways of working which support art, community and enquiry. Most recently she developed the programme and bid for the London Borough of Brent which successfully secured them as London Borough of Culture in 2020 and secured £1.5 Million from the Great Place scheme for the OPDC culture programme.She has worked on strategies for among others the Nine Elms Management Committee, Royal Mail Group, Ballymore, British Council, Bold Tendencies, Create London, AHRC, Lewisham Arthouse Folkestone Triennial, Eastbourne County Council, Herefordshire Cultural Partnership, A New Direction and Brent Council. Previously she was responsible for the Arts programme for Bloomberg Philanthropy in Europe, Middle East and Asia and curated Bloomberg SPACE.