BESA’s new Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer announced following the appointment of a new Executive Council during last week’s AGM

The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) today unveiled that Chris Ratcliffe has been elected as Chair of the Association for 2016/17.

A substantial majority of BESA’s Executive Council voted for Ratcliffe, who works as Sales Director at Scholastic Education, where he has worked for 13 years. Ceri Stone, Managing Director of Smart Kids, remains Vice Chair and John Doherty, Managing Director of ESPO, has been appointed BESA’s Treasurer.

The full BESA Executive Council for 2016/17 is as follows:

  • Chris Ratcliffe, Scholastic Education (Chair)
  • Ceri Stone, Smart Kids (Vice Chair)
  • John Doherty, ESPO (Treasurer)
  • Stuart Abrahams, Groupcall
  • Jane Harley, Oxford University Press
  • Louise Benstead, Learning Resources
  • Lewis Bronze, Discovery Education
  • Maria Brosnan, Day Two Productions
  • Andrea Carr, Rising Stars
  • Steve Emery, IDS
  • Jayne Garner, Axis Education
  • Simon Hill, YPO
  • Will Hinks, Demco Europe
  • Murray Hudson, Gratnells
  • Catherine Jeffrey, tts
  • John Kershaw, The Consortium
  • Carole Mills, Yellow Door
  • Andrew Thraves, Prospects
  • Steve Whitley, Data Harvest

Executive Council members serve a two-year term and provide strategic oversight and guidance to the BESA secretariat, headed by Director General Caroline Wright. A full list of Council members’ profiles can be viewed here.

Chris Ratcliffe, newly appointed Chair of BESA, said:

“I’m delighted and honoured to have been voted Chair of BESA. The work of BESA is incredibly important, both in raising the profile of our members with government and with schools.

“We’re at the start of turbulent times, with school budgets stretched, changes to the school system and even greater pressures on teacher’s time and I look forward to working with all of our partners and members, big and small, to ensure that our members are seen as the gold-standard for school suppliers both in the UK and around the world.”

Caroline Wright, Director General of BESA, said:

“BESA is going through an unprecedented transformation in order to provide our growing membership body of education suppliers – from start-ups to multinationals – with the vital support they need, both in the UK and internationally, during these challenging times for the industry.

“Chris Ratcliffe has the overwhelming support of our members to chair the Association during this crucial period, and the entire BESA team look forward greatly to working closely with him, alongside the wealth of talented individuals joining our Executive Council.

“I would also like to say a heartfelt ‘thanks’ to the outgoing Chair Andrew Thraves, who I look forward to continuing to work with on Executive Council, and Treasurer Jeremy Eves who stepped down after many years of dedicated service. Their support and guidance has been essential and we, as an industry, are in their debt.”


About BESA

BESA, the British Educational Suppliers Association, is the trade association representing over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, materials, books, consumables, furniture, technology, ICT hardware and digital-content related services to the education market.

With over 80 years of experience, BESA offers unparalleled support, research, events and advice on both UK and International markets, and the future of the education supplies industry.  BESA is focused on promoting and providing support and advice to their members, the industry and to schools.

For more information, please visit www.besa.org.uk

For further press information contact:

Mark Rosser
Communications and Website Manager
T: 020 7537 4997