Executive Board

The Executive Board is made up of the Directors of Education from each of the six Local Authorities within the consortum, and external members.

The Board meets monthly to:

  • Monitor progress against the Business Plan
  • Hold Delivery Board to account against the Business Plan
  • Financial planning and accountability


Aled Evans

ERW Lead Director

Aled Evans

Aled was appointed Director of Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning at Neath Port Talbot local authority in May 2013. He was previously an Assistant Director with responsibility for school improvement, lifelong learning and inclusion. Aled is a fluent Welsh speaker. 

He has worked in Neath Port Talbot since 2000 having previously been a head teacher of two primary schools in West Wales. He has worked for Estyn as a registered inspector within the primary sector and as a peer inspector within the local authority sector. 

In 2011, he was seconded to work on a part time basis with Welsh Government to support the development of the School Standards Unit. He also supported improvement in education services at Blaenau Gwent Borough Council, assuming the Director of Recovery role for six months. 

He is currently a member of Welsh Government’s Welsh 2nd Language Advisory Group. 

Rob Sully

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Corporate Director of Education and Children’s Services

Rob Sully

Robert has been a Chief Officer with the Authority since its inception at local government reorganisation in 1996 and has held a number of Director positions over this period. Prior to this he successfully led the largest and most successful local authority direct labour organisation in Wales under the then compulsory competitive tendering regime.

Robert is a chartered civil engineer by profession and is also a chartered environmentalist. His professional experience spans a broad range of public services, including highways, transportation, municipal engineering, waste management, planning, regeneration, housing and most recently education and children’s services. He began his career with a period working in the private sector for a large international construction contractor.

Since 2010 he has led the Council’s Department for Education and Children and has directed its services through a series of successful external inspections. Under his leadership Carmarthenshire County Council secured in 2012 a positive outcome to the inspection by Estyn of its local authority education services for children and young people, which were judged to be “Good”, both for current performance and for prospects for improvement. Since that time outcomes for learners have continued to improve. The Council’s children’s social services have been consistently acknowledged by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales to be amongst the best performing in Wales.

Robert has been the principal architect of the Council’s Modernising Education Programme which is delivering a major transformation of the schools system in the county. Over £180 million has already been invested in the rationalisation of schools and school places and the improvement of school buildings, with another £260 million planned for the coming years. Central to this programme has been the Dinefwr transformation project which has seen three new secondary schools established to take the place of five former schools, with approaching £70 million being invested in the creation of new school premises and the modernisation of existing facilities.

Robert has served as a peer inspector with Estyn and as a member of a Ministerial Recovery Board for education services.

Kate Evan Hughes

Director for Children and Schools, Pembrokeshire County Council

Kate Evan Hughes

Kate Evan-Hughes was appointed as director for Children and Schools for Pembrokeshire County Council in March 2016 having previously held the post of Head of Education in Pembrokeshire since September 2013.

Kate taught for 15 years in both English and Welsh schools, and was a Headteacher in Monmouthshire prior to joining the school improvement service in Newport Gwent as a school improvement officer.

During her time in Newport Kate had responsibility for Inclusion alongside her school improvement officer role.

In 2012 Kate was appointed to the post of Deputy Chief Education Officer for Newport and Blaenau Gwent jointly.

In her current role Kate has overall responsibility for School Improvement, ALN and Inclusion, School Organisation and Infrastructure issues such as Admissions, Home to School Transport and 21st Century Capital programmes as well as youth offending and children with disabilities.  

Nick Williams

Chief Education Officer for the City and County of Swansea

Nick Williams

Nick Williams is the Chief Education Officer for the City and County of Swansea. He was appointed in March 2017 following his appointment as Head of Learner Support, in Swansea, in February 2016.

Nick’s professional career is focused strongly in education. Having gained his honours degree from Bangor University in 1985 and aspiring towards an early leadership role, he was appointed deputy headteacher in 1990. He has been a successful headteacher of two primary schools in his career.

Nick has worked alongside a number of educational establishments including Welsh Assembly government since 2011, actively supporting development of learner support services and lifelong learning development.

He is passionate about securing equality and supporting schools and settings to optimise the life chances and the well-being of young people and aspires to be an active member of school development to achieve this. As a Welsh speaker he is a proud advocate in promotion of Welsh language development and the Welsh culture across all learning establishments.

Nick lives in Swansea with his partner, Sue and he has 2 daughters, Ellen 24 and Beth 22. When he’s not working Nick enjoys watching and supporting the Ospreys and, of course, Wales.

Ian Roberts

Senior Education Officer, Powys County Council

Ian Roberts

Ian began his teaching career in Powys in 1985 having graduated from Bangor Normal College. 

Ian taught in four primary schools ranging from 80 to 350 in size prior to being appointed as Headteacher of Maesyrhandir CP School in Newtown, Powys in 1993.

Ian joined Powys Local Authority as a Link Advisor to primary schools in 1999 and has held various posts of responsibility including Principal School Improvement Officer. 

Ian was appointed as Head of Schools Service in June 2014. His current role includes overall responsibility for School Improvement, ALN and Inclusion, School Organisation and Infrastructure issues such as Admissions, Home to School Transport and 21st Century Capital programmes.

Ian has inspected primary schools and local authorities on behalf of Estyn and has contributed to national policy such as the review of professional standards for Headteachers and Teachers and guidance documents for More Able and Talented Learners. 

Ian represents Powys on the ERW Executive and Delivery Board and also is a member of ADEW.

Barry Rees

Director of Learning and Partnership

Barry Rees

Educated at Ysgol Gynradd Penparc and Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi

Studied physiology and immunology at Aberystwyth University

PGCE at Aberystwyth University

Science teacher, head of department and assistant head over a period of 16 years. Holds NPQH.

Her Majesty’s Inspector with Estyn for three years

Worked with Ceredigion County Council for the past 7 years as Head of Educational Improvement, Head of Learning Services and now Strategic Director for Learning and Partnerships.

Member of ERW Executive, Strategic Implementation Board and chair of Teaching and Learning Priority Board

Interests: sports fanatic, particularly rugby and football.

Betsan O'Connor

ERW Managing Director

Betsan O'Connor

Betsan was appointed as the first Managing Director of ERW in May 2014. Betsan has come to the ERW region from Estyn via a secondment with the Welsh Government.

As HMI for 9 years Betsan worked primarily in the field of Local Authority inspections but has also worked across the range of Estyn’s responsibilities in inspecting FE, WBL, secure estate, careers and Youth support services.

In 2010-11, Betsan was successfully appointed on secondment as the first Strategic Manager for the Joint Inspectorate Programme – a partnership between Estyn, The Wales Audit Office, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales and Health Inspectorate Wales.

As Manager of Local Authority Intervention and Support in Welsh Government, Betsan’s role focussed on providing support and building capacity in local authorities and regional consortia. Specifically, Betsan was responsible for developing an approach to supporting local authorities in need of external intervention.

Key responsibilities and professional interests include strategic planning; improvement strategies; and programme management. In her new role as Managing Director Betsan will be instrumental in driving the regional strategy forward.


Jonathan Haswell

Section 151 Officer

Jonathan Haswell

Jon is the Director of Finance and S151 Officer for Pembrokeshire County Council, responsible for the Finance & Business Service, Revenues & Benefits Service, Audit, Risk and Information Service, Procurement Service, ICT Service and Transformation Service.  Jon is also the Acting SIRO for the Council and SRO for its 21st Century Schools Programme. 

Karen Lawrence

Headteacher - Llanfaes Primary School

Karen Lawrence

I am currently headteacher at Llanfaes C P School in Brecon. I began teaching in 1987 and have taught in 3 different counties in Wales in 3 very different schools. In 2005 I was appointed into my current role. I hold an MA in Leadership and Management and enjoying undertaking mentoring roles for Powys, working with new or acting headteachers. During recent years I have been lucky enough to be invited to undertake core visits with Challenge Advisors also, which has provided good professional development.  I sit on Powys Primary Catchment Headteacher Committee and I am the Powys representative on and current Chair of the Headteacher Reference Board at ERW.

Sally Speedy

Headteacher - Ysgol Maesydderwen

Sally Speedy

Sally Speedy has been Headteacher of Ysgol Maesydderwen since September 2007.
She started her teaching career in 1981, as an English Teacher at Llandrindod High School. She left in 1983 to work in schools in London and Leeds before returning to Wales in 1990.
On her return, she was appointed to a post at Birchgrove Comprehensive School, Swansea. Over the next 8 years she was promoted to Head of English and also given a whole school responsibility for leading the development of teaching and learning.
In 1999 she moved to Olchfa School, Swansea as Assistant Head.
In 2003 she returned to Birchgrove Comprehensive School as Deputy Headteacher. She spent the next four years at the school before taking up her post at Ysgol Maesydderwen.

Independent Member

Alun Charles

Former HMI

Mererid Stone

Independent Member

Mererid Stone

Mererid is an independent member of ERW's Executive Board.

Mererid is a former HMI and has extensive experience of inspecting in Local Authorities, school improvement and schools.

She has taught mathematics across England and Wales.

Independent Member

Alan Tudor Jones

Alan is currently a schools Challenge Cymru Champion, supporting schools in the scheme to improve.

He is formerly Headteacher of Ysgol Cwmtawe in Pontardawe.

He is a keen supporter of and volunteers with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.

Local Authorites Swansea-Abertawe Neath Port Talbot - Castell Nedd Port-Talbot Ceredigion Carmarthenshire - Sir Gaerfyrddin Pembrokeshire-Sir Benfro Powys

ERW is an alliance of 6 local authorities governed by a legally constituted joint committee. Its aim is to implement the agreed regional strategy and business plan to support school improvement.