About Us

Ed-WISE is a charitable community benefits society, led by a team of professionals from across education and business sectors.

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to support our Island communities in improving the life chances of our young people. That need is even greater now because of Covid-19.

It is already a well-established fact that the Isle of Wight is a place with surprisingly high levels of child poverty, which leads to low aspirations and expectations among our young people.

The current pandemic is expected to have a major impact on career opportunities for young people as the economic situation looks bleak.

The recent report from Institute of Fiscal Studies, funded by the Turing Institute, predicts that due to Covid-19, the Isle of Wight will be one of the very worst economically affected regions of the UK with young people starting out on careers being the most affected. The influential Resolution Foundation think tank has drawn the same conclusion, with a call for urgent intervention.

Ed-WISE aims to makes the most of its unique position in championing creative solutions to these prospect challenges, using a broad range of skills and connections within the core team and broader support network.

Ed-WISE sees its role as bringing the Island’s business and education sectors closer together. This involves promoting exciting, emerging and less obvious career opportunities that could well prove to be the best stepping-stones for our young people and be essential as a recovery strategy against the likely impacts of Covid-19.

We believe in concepts like circular learning, which take the skills and experiences from our employed or volunteer community and connect them with younger people. Ed-WISE is the facilitator of this new and innovative thinking. Using our greatest Island assets – its people.

Meet The Ed-WISE Leadership Team

Our Board has a wide range of skills and experience across education and business sectors

David Thornton

David Thornton

David is Chief Executive Officer of Ed-WISE. David’s professional background is in Sales and Marketing, having worked at a senior level in regional press for most of his career. This included 8 years as Advertising Director of Isle of Wight County Press, prior to launching a business consultancy.

He has been a school governor since 2010, taking various leading committee roles and helping to facilitate the formation of a federation. In 2015 he was elected as a primary schools governor representative on the IOW Schools Forum, and became Vice Chair in 2017. In February 2018 he became an advisory board member of Young Enterprise IOW.

dianne butler

Dianne Butler

Dianne is Secretary of Ed-WISE. Dianne has spent all her working life in Finance, including long term employment with the Halifax gaining experience in customer services, mortgage advice, external audit and compliance.

Dianne has worked in the education sector, supporting a local primary school in its business management, reporting to the Charity Commission, and was later Clerk to the Governors.  

Since moving to IOW she worked initially with Hose Rhodes Dickson before establishing her own business, Vectis Administration Services. Dianne has recent experience as a school governor in Shanklin. She is also a volunteer panel member on the Start Up 50+ Young Persons Mentor Scheme which is run and managed by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Isle of Wight Lottery. The panel considers applications for business loans and provides one to one business mentoring.

Carla Bradshaw​

Carla Bradshaw

Carla’s professional background is in international hotel management and finance. She has a general interest in children’s early years and was extensively involved with the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) before her children went to school.

She became a parent governor in 2008 and has been a Local Authority governor since 2013. She has been a Chair of Governors since 2009 and provided support to several other governing bodies, including leading a full governance review, attending development days as an advisor, and acting as mentor to other Chairs of Governors. She is a school business manager, secretary to the Headteachers Forum, a prominent member of the IOW Chairs of Governors network and a leading member of the island’s school business managers’ collaborative group.

Eric Hemming

Eric Hemming

Eric is Chair of Ed-WISE. Eric’s career was in healthcare management and development in both public and private sectors. His experience in corporate governance began when he became a director of BUPA Hospitals in 1981 and has continued ever since, initially with BUPA and its other subsidiaries, and subsequently with a number of companies, some of which were involved in public/private collaboration, in executive and non-executive positions. He has acted as client leading various corporate transactions, including the promotion of a management buy-out and successful exit.  

When Eric retired to IOW he became a school governor and later Chair of Governors. He has experience as an academy trustee and membership of the Schools Forum. He is a non-executive director of Healthwatch Isle of Wight.

Martine Raby

Martine is an Islander who studied History of Art with History, and took a post-graduate year in antique valuation. She worked in Cowes at an information service which traced art, antiques and collectables for dealers and collectors, and then as a PA / Events manager and subsequently in logistics.

Through her children she developed an interest in the running of schools, Martine chaired the local PTA and subsequently moved into school administration. She was an experienced Clerk to Governors before becoming a School Business Manager. Martine knows what it takes to keep school finances under tight control, while at the same time supporting ambitious and progressive headteachers to develop their school’s curriculum. With her children at secondary school she now concentrates on running her own long-established family business.


Reuben Loake

Reuben leads a successful local recruitment agency, Isle Of Wight Jobs. Reuben has a passion for education and to develop career opportunities for young people.

Reuben worked professionally in the education sector prior to launching his own business. Reuben has also been involved with the Young Enterprise Company Programme over many years, as a Business Advisor, given students a real-life experience of launching and running a business. Reuben has worked with the student teams from Ryde Academy, and helped the team to reach the South East Regional Final this year after winning the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Area Final.

Colin Haley

Colin is an experienced head teacher. Colin is currently an Executive Headteacher working across a primary school federation on the Island. Colin has a wealth of experience in the education sector, having worked in a variety of different school settings and brings a broad range of experience to the Ed-WISE leadership team.