We believe the right analytical tools have the power to help every student aspire to more. Since 2001, this philosophy has driven us to create some of the best insight analysis in the education sector. While our sophistication has multiplied, our purpose has remained the same – to reveal stories, give new perspectives, help teachers make informed decisions and encourage every student to achieve their maximum potential.
Dr Kevin Conway CBE developed the thinking behind Alps during a 25-year career in education. He strongly believed in the power of analytical insight in helping people from all backgrounds to achieve their potential. His techniques were first put into practice at Greenhead College, Huddersfield, while he was principal from 1987 to 2001, a period in which Greenhead was transformed from an average college into one of the top performers in the country.
Kevin founded Alps following his retirement as a way of sharing his vision and ethos: that each person is an individual, an exception, and is to be valued. He applied this to both students and staff. He was renowned for his vision, leadership and strong faith, and was unstinting in his efforts to encourage all teachers to realise the potential of their students.
Kevin sadly passed away in 2012, but he left a powerful legacy. His passion and philosophy still drive us, and Alps now provides analysis and training to hundreds of schools and colleges every year.
Alps’ 3 underlying principles
We’re committed to putting students at the centre of all our endeavours. We believe the way to do this is to set demanding but achievable targets for both staff and students. We also believe in challenging everyone to be aspirational, holding poor performance to account, whilst giving teachers effective tools and support to help their students pupils achieve as much as possible.
Every single student should be encouraged to achieve to the very best of their ability.
We believe every student’s targets should be based on ability, not their social background, ethnicity or whether they’re male or female.
We’re at the forefront of educational innovation and excellence. We’re committed to our partners and provide a service of outstanding quality.
Mary joined Alps in 2004 and has been the Chief Executive since 2009. As the daughter of Dr Kevin Conway, the founder of Alps, Mary ensures the company continues to deliver high quality analysis and training to schools and colleges, whilst the core of the Alps philosophy, which is improving the life chances of students, remains at the heart of what we do.
Interesting fact: Mary was born in Leuven Belgium, so she has a soft spot for Stella Artois beer.
Primarily responsible for the development of Alps within new groups of schools, colleges, academy chains and local authorities, Toby now oversees our growth internationally. Since joining Alps in 2004, Toby has met with teachers, senior leaders and education authorities on a daily basis and counts working together to help students achieve the best that they can as the most enjoyable aspect of his role.
Interesting fact: Toby has scored a goal at Wembley and once met Ricky Villa.
Prior to joining Alps in 2011, Steve worked in schools, GFE and sixth form colleges throughout a long and varied career, latterly as principal for nine years. Due to his background in schools, Steve provides strategic direction to the company, helping drive our mission to empower staff as they support the progress of their students.
Interesting fact: Steve has represented Lancashire at cricket.
Sue joined the Alps team in 2016, having worked as Deputy Head at Windsor Girls’ School. As a Deputy, Sue used Alps extensively to raise standards of attainment across the sixth form and now uses this experience to deliver training to teachers and school leaders. Sue finds helping staff get the most out of their Alps analysis in order to drive aspiration in their students as one of the most enjoyable parts of her role.
Interesting fact: Wearing a hat every day makes Sue’s day.
Jevon has over 20 years’ experience working in education. Prior to joining Alps in 2020, Jevon has worked in a number of senior leadership roles within schools with responsibilities for teaching and learning, curriculum, strategic planning, self-evaluation and student achievement. Central to these roles has been the intelligent use of data to inform school improvement and maximise outcomes for students.
After starting his career as a programmer in a building society, Jon has specialised in scaling innovative technology businesses and has served on the board of several software companies overseeing impressive growth and customer success. With a passion for ‘useful technology’, Jon has great expertise across people and leadership, digital and cloud strategy, security, quality and scalability.
Interesting fact: Despite being 6’4”, Jon enjoys endurance go-karting and regularly takes part in 24-hour races.
Korey joined Alps in 2019, he is a Microsoft certified solutions developer (MCSD) and brings a wide spread of technical knowledge to the team. He is enthusiastic about technology and enjoys overcoming complex tasks to help create intuitive and effective systems. He and the team are continually working hard on improving Connect Interactive and Connect Data, using modern technologies and best practices to ensure they deliver a quality product.
Interesting fact: Korey has a 3ft+ blue tegu lizard called Doby that acts more like a dog/cat, he walks around the house, loves basking in the sun. Korey is trying to train him to walk on a leash for those hot summer days.
John was recruited to work with Alps in 2008, while he was working at Little Heath Comprehensive School. At Little Heath, John used Alps to achieve top 2% performance in value-added terms. He also worked with schools regionally and nationally through the Raising Achievement Partnership Programme. Despite leaving Little Heath in 2012, John works as an associate for seven secondary schools and is the secondary advisor for an academy group.
Interesting fact: In Sixth Form John’s Headmaster told him ‘nobody in this school can think of anything good to say about you in your university reference’. Needless to say, he had no university interviews just straight rejections. The rest, as they say, is history.
Freddie joined the company in 2020 to help grow the Alps brand domestically and overseas. With a wealth of experience in EdTech sales and marketing, Freddie is tasked with delivering a fantastic client experience from the first interaction to Alps super advocate.
Interesting fact: Freddie is (distantly) related to Charles Darwin.
Sally joined Alps in 2021 to help steer Customer Success. She has a background in Marketing and Customer Service and has worked in EdTech for many years. Sally has always been passionate about putting the customer at the heart of a business and will continue to do this at Alps.
Interesting fact: Sally can eat two creme eggs at once.
Mahvish joined Alps in 2018, she is a certified ISTQB Certified Advanced Level, Test Manager and is passionate about understanding user needs to ensure the best user experience. She has an extensive experience of designing and implementing Test plans, Test cases and Test processes to improve quality, quantity and agility of the product. The Testing team liaise with software developers, Product development and Customer Service teams to ensure the finest quality is delivered to the clients.
Interesting fact: Has skied at one of the highest altitude places in Pakistan, 9000 ft above sea level.
Ian Piddington joined the team in 2016. He was previously a Deputy Head at Farlingaye High School, leading a large sixth form. As an Alps consultant, Ian has seen how a training session with engaged staff can provide the catalyst for positive change, with Connect being the tool through which professional conversations can take place.
Interesting fact: Ian sings in a function band called Grace Brothers (named after the department store in ‘Are You Being Served’)
Karen was at Greenhead College, where she was head of one of the largest A level chemistry departments in the country, with well over 800 students and rated an outstanding grade one by Ofsted. Having worked with Dr Kevin Conway at the college, she joined Alps in 2013 and draws on her 33 years of experience to help teachers get the most out of their Alps analysis.
Interesting fact: Born in the North East, a Mackem not a Geordie, Karen plays golf with lots of enthusiasm rather than skill.
Steve has worked with Alps since 2013. Prior to this, he was Deputy Headteacher at Desborough School where he had over 10 years’ experience of using Alps in raising sixth form achievement. He believes that what makes Alps different isn’t just our ability to analyse data, but the provision of educational expertise to then contextualise that analysis and empower staff to implement real change in the lives of their students.
Interesting fact: Steve is a keen fly fisherman and once slipped into his waders and fished the River Dee after visiting a school in Gwynedd.
Dave and his team work hard behind the scenes researching Big Data in order to produce the all-important Alps benchmarks that are used in our reports.
Interesting fact: Dave was once the holder of a world record (admittedly alongside 825 other people).
Nicola joined Alps in 2012. As Compliance Manager, she works closely with the Alps team to comply with ISO27001 and upkeep our GDPR responsibilities. As part of the role, Nicola ensures that our policies and procedures maintain our high level of customer service whilst ensuring our clients’ security. Nicola is committed to the Alps philosophy and core values, through internal analysis, development of products, and innovation.
Interesting fact: Nicola love house renovating, and is constantly looking to move to a new project much to her husband’s dismay.
Mary works closely with new and current clients and enjoys building long-term, successful relationships with schools and colleges, Local Authorities and MATs. Mary joined Alps in 2008 and has watched as the number of schools and colleges taking Alps has grown, whilst our core philosophy remains the same.
Interesting fact: Mary did her blue belt in Taekwondo when she was 8 months pregnant!