Who We Are

STEP-A’s three directors bring a range of complementary skills and experience together.  We have detailed working understanding of governments, education systems and the technology industry.

We have built on our experience in the UK where we were instrumental in establishing England as a global lead in the use of technology in education. Our experience ranges from policy decisions at the highest level, detailed senior policy advice, strategy delivery, technology innovation and international consultancy.

Doug Brown

Doug Brown

Doug Brown has been in educational computing since starting as a teacher in the 1970s. He has developed curricula, been an examiner, led inservice training and headed the advisory team of Birmingham’s Educational Support Services. In 1991, as ICT adviser, he developed one of the first area wide intranets - the Birmingham Grid for Learning.

In 1998, as a Government adviser he developed the Virtual College of School Leadership, and then moved to lead on England’s ICT in schools’ policies, being responsible for infrastructure, connectivity, content, skill development, teacher professional development and embedding good practice. In 2007, he commissioned the Beyond Current Horizons programme looking at the future of technology and education.

Internationally, Doug is well respected, frequently keynoting at conferences and advising Governments. He organised the 1995 IFIP World Conference, and was education keynote at the 1998 World Computer Congress in China. He is asked to speak on diverse topics – such as taking policy initiatives to scale (OECD conference) and links with the private sector (launch of the European Commission’s e-skills week). Doug advised the OECD’s New Millennium Learners Project and is vice-chair of European Schoolnet - a consortium of 31 ministries. He is Director of the Learning and Technology World Forum (the largest gathering of education ministers in the world) which in 2010 was attended by 1200 senior representatives from over 100 countries with more than 70 ministers of education.

Lord Jim Knight

Lord Jim Knight

Lord Jim Knight served nine years as the Member of Parliament for South Dorset from 2001, after four years on Mendip District Council and a year as Mayor of Frome in Somerset.

During five years as a UK Government minister he held portfolios covering environment, education, employment and digital technology. He saw through the instigation of the policy and the legislation to raise the education leaving age to 18, was responsible for the implementation of the 14-19 diploma reforms, the Building Schools of the Future and Academy programmes, and devised the computer Home Access Scheme. He led the work across government on integrating employment and skills training, and on the digital transformation of public services.

Outside of politics, Jim Knight has worked in the arts and as a company director in small business. He set up a theatre company before working as an arts centre manager in Basingstoke and Wiltshire. Jim Knight also has a strong interest in sport from the Olympic sailing events to football, as a member of the Arsenal and Weymouth Supporters Trusts. Jim is now leading on the relationship with Apple Europe and a number of other STEP-A clients.  He is also working with TSL Education on the development of TES Connect, and is an Associate Director of Innovate CV.  He is a trustee of the E-Learning Foundation, and the Institute for Education Business Excellence.

Stephanie Walker

Stephanie Parsons

Stephanie Walker  worked in central government for over 12 years. She had a number of policy and project management roles including establishing a number of Sure Start Centres in Local Authorities aimed at providing a range of services to children under the age of five.

In 2003 she joined the Technology Directorate where she began to develop knowledge of technology policy in education. Her policy and project management roles have included assessing and managing the future role of City Learning Centres throughout England, British Broadcasting Policy in terms of technology in education, delivery and development of the Moving Young Minds worldwide ministerial seminar and project management of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme where she influenced ICT proposals through her role as a member of the BSF ICT Management Board.

In 2007 she was seconded to Becta where she led on UK government stakeholder liaison, working closely with ministers on all aspects of the Learning and Technology World Forum.She was also a key member in developing and establishing Becta’s International Strategy and is the UK representative on European Schoolnet (A consortium of 31 ministries across Europe). Her international role has brought her into contact with many different government ministries and agencies which support technology in education.

In 2010 she became the Business Development and Operations Director at Futurelab which then merged with the  National Foundation for Educational Research in  2011 where she was the Head of Business Development and Integration leading on developing enquiry based programmes of support primary and secondary schools as well as developing a range of CPD offerings.  Currently she is working independently leading on the Ingenious and Living School Lab European Projects as UK lead.