Learning Advisory Panel


There are five members of the Learning Advisory Panel at the moment, who between them have wealth of knowledge and expertise in both formal and informal education as well as a passion to support better public engagement with the heritage sector. They are all volunteers; however they endeavour to meet Historic Houses members’ requests as soon as possible.

Learning Advisors

Ian Baxter

Ian originally trained as an archaeologist at the University of Edinburgh and his University of Cambridge PhD investigated strategic management within heritage and conservation organisations. At Heriot-Watt University he is a Professor of Historic Environment Management in the School of Social Sciences and also Director of the Scottish Confucius Institute for Business & Communication. He is Vice-Chair of the Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) – the national representative body for heritage NGOs in Scotland. He has recently completed two terms as a Trustee of The Heritage Alliance, and now co-chairs its Skills, Education and Engagement Advisory Group (SEEAG).

Ian is a member of the Institute for Historic Building Conservation’s Education, Training & Standards Committee, and has previously served on the National Trust for Scotland’s Economic & Community Development Advisory Panel, English Heritage’s Research Advisory Panel, and the ICOMOS UK Cultural Tourism Committee. He teaches various aspects of heritage management, tourism and visitor experience development at undergraduate and postgraduate level. His applied research and consultancy is focused on knowledge management and strategy within heritage and conservation organisations, and enhancement of the visitor experience at historic sites.

Dr Sharon Goddard

Dr Sharon Goddard is currently Director of Oakmere Solutions consultancy. Sharon has undertaken a mix of professional roles including 15 years in arts and humanities further and higher education; six years as national policy and research lead on learning, skills and youth strategies for the Heritage Lottery Fund; as strategic educational planner and commissioner with the Learning and Skills Council in Norfolk; as East of England regional advisor on 14 – 19 education for the UK Government’s Department for Education; as Deputy Director for Children and Learners at the Government Office for the East of England, and as national advisor within the UK Government’s Department for Education on careers guidance. She has worked with the Heritage Lottery Fund as a national monitor and mentor for HLF projects since 2000.

David Souden

David Souden is a heritage, media and learning consultant, and was previously until 2014 Head of Access & Learning at Historic Royal Palaces. David’s career has embraced independent television production and authorship, principally in heritage and history, and lecturing and research in history and historical demography. He is an adviser and producer on a range of current HLF-funded heritage and museum projects.

Gillian Wolfe CBE

Gillian experienced 30 years as a former Director of Learning and Public Affairs at Dulwich Picture Gallery, Specialist Advisor to the Clore Duffield Foundation and adviser to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Royal Collection and others. She advised and assessed for funding numerous UK museums, galleries, palaces and gardens education programmes and spaces for creative learning. She devised and developed multi-award-winning inclusive learning and engagement programmes and has written eight art books for children published worldwide. Gillian is currently Specialist Advisor to the Helen Hamlyn Trust working with the Bodleian Library Public Learning Programme.

Karen Wiseman

Karen’s work in education has covered Pencarrow House, Prideaux Place and Blenheim Palace. She has created exhibitions, specialist talks and tours for the wider public.  Throughout her career, she worked on the De Gaulle exhibition at Les Invalides in Paris 2015 and also co-authored a book on the life of of the 9th Duke of Marlborough, published in 2018. Karen graduated from Cambridge with a History degree and then a PGCE from Nottingham. She is currently a volunteer assistant librarian at Wells Cathedral and a Historic Houses Education Advisor.

Amy Stocker

Amy is currently Access and Inclusion Manager for Royal Collection Trust where she works with the team to make the Official Residences of The King as accessible as possible to people with disabilities and those who don’t find it easy to visit. Twenty years with Royal Collection have seen Amy gain experience in a range of learning audiences, from families, to adult learners as well as the more general visitor experience across royal palaces, castles and art galleries. To ensure that everyone should be able to engage with art and history Amy has created a network of people with lived experience of disability and inclusion, having worked with the RNIB, National Autistic Society, Age UK and the Refugee Council and is particularly interested in accessible interpretation, whether through visual, audio or sensory experiences. During the Covid pandemic, working with a colleague in Edinburgh, Amy developed a free programme of digital talks aimed at those who were particularly isolated and care home residents, which continues today with regular monthly sessions. 

Craig Thomas

Craig is currently in the final stages of completing his Northern Bridge AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD between Newcastle University and Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust. His PhD titled ‘Peer Power: the 5th Duke of Buccleuch, land, industry and paternalism, c.1820-c.1884’ examines the industrial history of the Scottish Buccleuch estates incorporating paternalism, politics and religion. Central to his work is working with communities in outreach and knowledge exchange, building dialogue on the history of not only the estates, but the local communities and the impact the estates have had. Upon completion he will be joining as Assistant Archivist based in Scotland. Craig has experience working in public, commercial and private archives over several years.   

 He is a passionate believer in harnessing traditional learning and research methods but utilising modern ones attracting new audiences. With a track record in engaging academic and non-academic audiences, Craig believes strongly in the positive impact and benefits that this outreach work in particular can have for all involved.  

Henry Wilkinson

Henry is currently the Education Manager at Benjamin Franklin House, a Grade I listed Georgian townhouse and the world’s only remaining Franklin Residence. Henry has a PGCE in Secondary History and has worked in a variety of educational settings from Primary to Higher Education as well as in a Pupil Referral Unit in Central London. Having worked with young people of all ages and abilities, Henry uses his experiences to create outstanding learning opportunities that are both engaging and accessible. He has previously worked on introducing SEND and Home School provisions at a heritage site and is an expert in developing successful outreach programming that reaches wider audiences in schools and the local community. Working in a Grade I listed site, Henry is no stranger to overcoming the limitations that many small historic houses face when it comes to space, resources, staffing and conservation restrictions. Henry’s successes at Benjamin Franklin House were often built on strong existing offers and he is keen to share his experience with other Historic Houses on how to transform an education programme to reach a wider audience. 

Sarah McMillan

Sarah has over 16 years experience teaching History across Key Stages 3, 4, 5 and undergraduate level at the University of York.  She has been an examiner for OCR, AQA and Edexcel exam boards and has more recently been developing her practice in EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.  As well previously being an established Head of History, she has been responsible for training new History teachers across one of the largest teacher training providers in the country and has supported in SEND schools for children with additional needs.  

Sarah has always had a love of country houses, completing the ‘Country Houses’ unit at Masters level, exploring issues such including architecture, landscapes, collections and encouraging community engagement.  For her postgraduate research she focused on the lives of the British aristocracy in the 18th and 19th centuries, analysing the rich archival resources of Castle Howard, Temple Newsam, Burton Constable and Nostell Priory amongst others.  More recently she has worked with Temple Newsam as the focus of a site study for GCSE assessment. She is excited to be able to bring together her broad education expertise alongside her knowledge and passion for country houses, to support the work already carried out by member properties and to seek new ways to help engage diverse audiences with the rich heritage these properties have to offer. 

Will Graham

An MA in ‘Heritage Education and Interpretation’ from Newcastle University led Will to the role of the Education Officer on the SiteLines Project, for Tyne and Wear Museums in 2003. With that project completed, Will returned to the East Midlands as one of the East Midlands Museums Libraries and Archives Council’s (EMMLAC) Museum Education Workers. Funded by the Strategic Commissioning Programme the role led Will to work alongside a number of small, independent museums across the region, providing advice and guidance on how these organisations could engage with different audiences within an educational capacity.  In 2006 Will took time out to travel across Central and South America, exploring a huge variety of cultural and heritage sites across the continent. Returning in 2007 Will took on a role with the Wallace Collection as Learning Officer for their Regional Partnerships Programmes, working with a number of partners, including Waddesdon Manor and The Bowes Museum, to assist in further developing their formal education programmes and additional partnership options. An opportunity in 2011 led to Will joining Royal Collection Trust as the Learning Manager, tasked with creation and development of the Learning programmes across the Buckingham Palace sites, where he continues in that role. 

Clare Clinton

Clare Clinton is the Arts, Heritage & Learning Manager at West Horsley Place. This historic house and estate opened its doors to the public for the first time in 2017 with a mission to have community engagement and learning at the heart of its offer. Clare has developed learning and volunteer programmes from scratch with a focus on finding ways that the estate can benefit and attract its local community; creating tours, talks and exhibitions. West Horsley Place now has nearly 500 volunteers and welcomes people of all ages and from all backgrounds. She continues to strive to find more ways for people to access, discover, be creative and feel comfortable in historic houses. Before moving into heritage, Clare worked at Christie’s and various art dealers. In 2009 she wrote Metamorphosis not Metaphor, a retrospective on the work of Donald Hamilton Fraser RA, published by Lund Humphries. Clare graduated from the University of St. Andrews with an MA in History and History of Art.

Tia Shah

Tia graduated from Durham University with a BA in History and Geography and a MA in Early Modern History. She has followed her passion for working in education and heritage by becoming a museum educator. This work has taken her across the country, working in numerous different historic buildings and museums, and working on different funded projects as a freelancer. Most recently Tia spent 4 years working in learning and then as the Heritage Engagement Officer at Selly Manor Museum. Tia is currently the Learning Officer at the Migration Museum and the Facilitator for the Heritage Training Academy. 

Tia is particularly passionate about proving young people belong in museums and diversifying the stories that are told there. In her spare time Tia is a Contributing Writer for Girl Museum, helping to share untold stories about girls throughout history. 

Professor Luca Csepely-Knorr

Professor Luca Csepely-Knorr is a landscape architect and art and architecture historian, currently working as Chair in Architecture at the University of Liverpool School of Architecture. She has been leading major research projects funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, that but public engagement into the focus of the research. Luca is passionate to learn more about the role designed landscapes will play in tackling the climate and biodiversity emergency, and to share the results of her research with a broad range of audiences. She is a mother of two young children and loves to spend time with them in historic houses and gardens.

Michael Maddison

Dr Michael Maddison has particular expertise in history and heritage education. He is director of Maddison Education, an independent educational consultancy which supports learning in education and heritage. He is Chair of Trustees of the Heritage Education Trust which runs the Sandford Award, the quality mark for heritage learning. Michael is also an assessor for the Sandford Award.

Michaels’ background is teaching history and politics, and he has extensive experience as a senior examiner and moderator at GCSE and A level. From 2006-2015 he served as one of Her Late Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools and, for most of that period, he was also Ofsted’s National Lead for history. He was the author of ‘History for All’, Ofsted’s highly regarded national report on history in schools published in 2011. As an inspector of schools and now as a consultant, Michael has extensive links with heritage education. He was, for example, the author of ‘Planning Outstanding Local History and Heritage Projects’, first published by Historic England in May 2016 and updated twice since.

Michael is associate vice president and honorary fellow of the Historical Association (HA), a former Deputy President of the HA, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (RHS). For the last fifteen years Michael has advised the government in this country on history, cultural and heritage learning. He has also provided advice to governments, advisory organisations and teachers beyond the UK on how to achieve high-quality learning in history and how to evaluate that learning. This has involved, for example, on-site support in Poland, Macedonia and South Korea and at-a-distance support for Jordan.