Our People


SHiFT Board

rebecca-cramer.jpgRebecca Cramer (co-founder): Co-founder and Executive Headteacher at Reach Academy Feltham, an all-through school in Hounslow which she set up with other teachers in 2012. Its complex intake prioritises children from poorer backgrounds and includes those who have been excluded from previous schools. Reach Academy is rated as “outstanding” by Ofsted and consistently achieves some of the best GCSE results anywhere in the country. In 2018, she was voted one of the 50 best teachers in the world.

sophie-humphreys.jpgPam Parkes: an experienced senior executive, with an extensive track record of delivering measurable success at some of the most challenging and ambitious local authorities in Central and Greater London. After a successful interim consultancy career supporting the achievement of business priorities in a range of public sector, SME and not-for-profit organisations, she is currently based at Essex County Council as their Director Organisation Development & People and Service Transformation since 2017.  

sophie-humphreys.jpgSophie Humphreys OBE (co-founder and chair): child protection expert and the founder of Pause, a national charity that has saved millions of pounds by preventing more children being taken into care and has enabled vulnerable women to take control of their lives.  Pause has grown to work across 30 local authorities in the UK. She is the creator of the Breaking Cycles Model for public service provision which shows how entrenched patterns of harm can be changed for good.  

sophie-humphreys.jpgNick Pendry: Director of Children's Social Care in the London Borough of Croydon. He is a social worker and a family and systemic psychotherapist who has worked across local authority and CAMHS settings. He is passionate about using systemic ideas and practices to support change with children, young people and families. He is married to a woman, has two teenage children and lives in South East London.  

michael-clark.jpgMichael Clark (co-founder): deputy chief executive of Ark which runs a network of 37 schools across the UK and now supports a range of other social enterprise ventures designed to improve education systems or children’s lives. He was previously a junior partner at McKinsey and co-led its education practice which helped reform the public sector. He has been responsible for Ark’s growth and raising more than £100m over the past eight years.

Former Trustees

josh-macalister.jpgJosh MacAlister (co-founder): founder and former chief executive of Frontline, a charity that has brought more than 1,400 people into social work and made the profession one of the most sought-after careers with 10 applicants for every place on the programme. The former secondary school teacher was Third Sector CEO of the year in 2018. Josh is currently leading the Independent Review of Children's Social Care in England, meaning he has stepped down from his Trustee role at SHiFT.


SHiFT Team

michael-steel.jpgMichael Steel - Chief Executive

Michael joined as Chief Executive of SHiFT in August 2020. Prior to joining SHiFT, Michael founded and was Chief Exec of a healthcare business that provides urgent treatment centres to support busy NHS A&E departments across London. With a reputation for high quality services, the organisation grew rapidly to 11 centres treating more than 750,000 patients per year.  Before that, Michael worked in strategy consulting with Booz Allen & Hamilton and founded and grew a spin off consulting firm with 3 colleagues. Michael has an MBA from INSEAD and a master’s degree in Economics from Oxford University.


Jenny Couper - Head of Operations

Jenny Couper joined the SHiFT team as the Head of Operations in January 2021. Prior to joining SHiFT she worked for the New Cross Gate Trust for ten years, leading the finance, fundraising, HR and strategic development functions of this growing charity.  Jenny has previously worked in various programme management roles in central government, as a social regeneration manager in Southwark and as a government social researcher.  Jenny has recently completed an MSC in Voluntary Sector Management with City University Business School and a Diploma in Charity Accounting with the ICEAW.

Jenny's happy place is a day spent outdoors, running, cycling, kayaking, or hiking (preferably in mountains) and finished with a glass of wine around a campfire with friends (and cake).


Rachel Kinnock - Head of Communications

Before joining SHiFT in February 2021, Rachel worked as a television producer for ITN Productions, producing a broad variety of programmes, including live television debates and a nightly news programme. Prior to this, Rachel worked for the former Leader of the Opposition, Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, as his Head of Events and as Head of Political Events to the former Prime Minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown, in No10 Downing Street.

Rachel is a committed and skilled individual, with broad communications & strategy experience and an extensive knowledge of the media, campaigns and government.

Rachel loves Manchester United football club, Dime Bars, Doris Day films and running… in that order.


Lucy Knell-Taylor -Head of Practice Development

Lucy is a Youth Worker by training and has worked with young people in statutory and community settings for more than a decade. She has a wealth of frontline and managerial experience spanning alternative education, custodial and criminal justice systems, and social care settings. For the past 5 years Lucy has focussed her attention on working in the third sector with vulnerable adolescents and young adults. In addition to her work at SHiFT Lucy is a trustee at a leading Restorative Justice charity. Lucy is passionate about creating opportunities for all voices to be heard; striving for inclusivity and co-creation. She believes that children and young people are the experts in their own lives and should always be regarded as such. Lucy’s practice is guided by the understanding that human beings exist within intersectional, contextual and relational systems, and have often had difficult experiences of the services set up to provide support, resulting in a paucity of trust. Untangling these experiences and identities takes patience, humility and tenacity. A lifelong advocate of trauma-informed pathways, Lucy is ambitious about holistic healing for all. “Remaining teachable, acknowledging that we frequently do not have all the answers and are willing to journey alongside, learning as we go, is one of our greatest acts of courage.”


Antonia Ogundayisi - Practice Development Lead

Antonia is Practice Development Lead for SHiFT. With extensive experience with children within Youth Justice and Social Care setting, Antonia is a skilled and passionate individual who motivated to challenge the status quo, in order to improve outcomes for Children and Young People.  Antonia believes in the value of each individual and is devoted to the growth and development of others. With her understanding of child and adolescent development, Antonia strives to shift the way that children are depicted, by embodying an empowering approach.



Ella Armstrong - Development Officer

Prior to joining SHiFT in September 2020, Ella has worked in a number of Business Development roles with start-ups and small charities both in the UK and in Paris. She holds a First-Class BSc in Business and Management with French from the University of Exeter, where she also competed nationally and internationally for the university women’s rowing team. Ella is particularly passionate about challenging the current design and delivery of young people’s services in the UK, and championing the voices of people with lived experience throughout this process.