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.