Our Governance

The Adult Literacy Trust obtained its registration as a charity in England and Wales in early 2021. It is governed by a Board of Trustees who collectively are responsible for developing strategy, providing governance and directing the charity towards achieving its mission.

Our Patrons


Nigel Higgins

Chairman, Barclays Bank


"Being a patron of ALT is not just about supporting education; it's about helping to empower individuals to break free from the cycle of limited opportunities. Together, we have the power to unlock the potential of those who have been held back by poor literacy – giving them the tools to create a better future for themselves and their families – and, not least, to help the country to deepen its employment pool."

Farmida Bi

Farmida Bi, CBE

Global Chair, Norton Rose Fulbright

“I share the Adult Literacy Trust’s belief that literacy is a right, not a privilege, and that every adult should have the chance to gain this critical skill. Together, we can create a world where everyone has access to the fundamental reading abilities needed to thrive. I am proud to be part of an organisation whose vital mission and ambition I share.”

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Julian Fellowes

Oscar-winning writer

“Reading is the gateway to a limitless world of knowledge and opportunity. It is through reading that we become the architects of our own growth, expanding our horizons and exploring our potential to make our lives what we want them to be. The Adult Literacy Trust is changing people's future for the better, and I consider it a privilege to be allowed to help with their important work, as they open up new possibilities for so many men and women, one chapter at a time.”

Jason Arday

Prof. Jason Arday

University of Cambridge Professor of Sociology of Education

“Unable to read or write until I was 18, I know from my own experience how hard it can be to learn how to read as an adult, for various reasons – for example, if your education has been disrupted, your learning differences were not properly identified, or because you didn’t have the necessary support available. It’s vital that everyone gets the kind of support ALT provides to become a capable reader, to unlock their personal potential and enable them to improve their life chances.”

Our Trustees

Robert Glick OBE

Robert Glick OBE

Founder & Chair of the Board

Robert Glick leads International Public Affairs at American Express, having held various senior communications and advocacy roles in both the corporate sector and at the United Nations. He serves currently as Vice President at Save the Children, Vice Chair of the Barbican Centre Trust, and as Trustee of Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Open For Business. His previous non-executive roles include as Trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Chair of the Terrence Higgins Trust and founding Chair of Save the Children's Global Malnutrition Initiative. A graduate of the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics and Emory University (USA), he is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction.

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Dinah McLeod


Dinah is a social and environmental sustainability advisor with over 20 years of policy, business and international development experience. Most recently she served as CEO of the GCCA, a trade association for the cement industry, where she led efforts to achieve sector-wide commitment to net-zero carbon emissions. Her previous roles include senior appointments with the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, the Overseas Development Institute, The B Team, Novartis, BT, and the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (UK). Dinah began her career as a social protection specialist at the World Bank. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Princeton University and a BA (Hons) from Columbia University. She is also a proud trustee of Open For Business.

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Sharla-Jaye Duncan


Sharla-Jaye Duncan is the founder and CEO of The Intrapreneurs Club, whose mission is to empower people to live purposeful lives, by creating a community of diverse and high-performing tech professionals. She founded and ran the social enterprise Team Up, using volunteer tutors to help disadvantaged pupils progress in English and Maths. She holds an MSc from Oxford University and a BSc from King’s College London.

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Dr Nafisah Graham-Brown


Nafisah is an experienced adult education teacher, specialising in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), English Literacy and Basic Skills, and Business Studies. She is former Co-Chair for NATECLA (National Association of Teaching English and Community Languages) and Head of Life Skills and Community at ELATT, an education charity. She recently gained her Doctor in Education from UCL Institute of Education, basing her research on the experiences of migrant women settling in UK.

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Stephanie Brewer


An enthusiastic reader and committed visitor of bookstores and public libraries, Stephanie studied law and was called to the bar by Middle Temple. She continues to practise law in the financial services industry based in London.

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Alex Stevenson


Alex Stevenson has over 20 years’ experience in adult learning and skills. For over 13 years, he taught, managed and developed adult basic skills and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision, working in Further Education, local authority adult education and for an independent training provider. He is Head of Essential and Life Skills at Learning and Work Institute, an independent policy and research organisation dedicated to lifelong learning, leading national research and development projects on adult basic skills for Government departments and others. Alex is an executive board member at the European Association for the Education of Adults and an executive committee member at the European Basic Skills Network.

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Kevin Walker


A lifelong avid reader, Kevin Walker received his degree in English literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA). He practiced law in New York City before moving to London where he worked in the Lloyd’s insurance market in the City.

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Sean Maguire


Sean Maguire leads the development of strategic partnerships for the Clean Air Fund. He has held senior leadership positions in the international development and humanitarian sector, having previously worked as a reporter, foreign correspondent and news editor. His first love was books. He read English at Oxford and undertook postgraduate literature studies at Yale. He has written for the London Review of Books and volunteers as an English tutor for secondary school students.

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Sue Southwood


Starting her career as an adult literacy tutor, Sue Southwood has worked in Further Education for over 30 years. Previous roles include Head of English and Maths at the Education and Training Foundation and Head of Basic Skills at NIACE (now the Learning and Work Institute). She holds a Masters in Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy from the Institute of Education, UCL.

Our Governing Constitution and Policies

We are governed by a founding Constitution and have in place fully articulated policies which govern the management of the charity and the recruitment of volunteers. This includes, inter alia, formal policies on: Safeguarding; Data Protection; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Reserves; Volunteer Management; and Whistleblowing & Complaints.

All volunteers/Reading Coaches are subject to a DBS criminal record check, irrespective of their role with the charity, the cost of which is borne by the Adult Literacy Trust.