About us

Who We Are

Kindred² is a charitable foundation working collaboratively with partner organisations to improve early education and early child development.

Solid foundations developed in the early years are the basis of later achievement. A child’s development by 22 months serves as a strong predictor of educational outcomes at age 26.

Almost half of the attainment gap at GSCEs is there to see before children start school, and more than a quarter of children start year one of their education already at a huge developmental disadvantage to their peers.

We know that intervening early saves money. Research shows that for every £1 invested in pre-school education, £7 would be required in adolescence to have the same impact. And every £1 invested in the early years saves £13 in later interventions.

We will work to ensure that there is the widest possible understanding of the science of early development and the long-term impact strong early years outcomes can have on the life chances of every child.

Public definitions of educational success focus on key assessment points at 11, 16 and 18 years of age. We believe that ensuring every child is ready for school at 4 is not only important to success at these later ages but is also critical to giving every child an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential.

Our Aims

We are aiming to do three things:


Increase public awareness of the importance to us all of ensuring every child gets the best start in their early years.


Build a cross-party, independent, expert-led coalition to shift the emphasis of public policy and funding from late intervention to early prevention.


Work with politicians and policymakers to bring the new emphasis to life by restructuring the quality and quantity of early years support for children and families.

We want organisations to work with us to create and co-own the changes we seek. We believe that united together with a shared vision, the sector (charities, practitioners, private and public sector nursery providers, academics, policymakers) will have a greater impact than any single organisation can achieve alone.

The Evidence

Why early years? Because the research is clear: disadvantage starts early.

Almost half of the attainment gap at age 16 is already in place before children start school and a child’s development by 22 months serves as a strong predictor of educational outcomes at age 26.

This is because of the rate and scale of growth that takes place in the first few years of life: most of a baby’s brain is developed before they start speaking.


We know that, as an education system, the later we intervene in meeting the unmet development needs of our children, the harder it is to close the attainment gap.

There is also broad consensus on the social and economic value of investing in the early years. We know that for every £1 invested in pre-school education, £7 would be required in adolescence to have the same impact. And every £1 invested in early years saves £13 in later interventions.

Our Trustees


Ian Armitage


Ian is the chairman of Kindred². He is an experienced venture capitalist and private equity investor. He was founder, CEO and then chairman of HgCapital, a European mid-market private equity and infrastructure asset manager. He now manages his family office funds. He is the major shareholder and chairman of The Key, a company that provides services to over 12,500 school leadership teams and boards in the UK

Ian was a director of Arbor Education Partners, a school MIS data analytics firm working with 8,000 schools globally. He is chairman of Odyssean Capital LLP and an advisor to Tenzing Private Equity. He spends 50% of his time on pro bono work for the UK school’s system, including having served as chairman and now a trustee of Governors for Schools. Ian’s interests include art, sport, music, and politics. He embraces new innovative ideas and change.


Jocelyn Stevenson


Jocelyn Stevenson has worked for over 40 years in children’s media as a writer, creator, producer, and executive producer, devoting her career to delighting and entertaining children. In 2015 she received the BAFTA Special Award for her outstanding contribution to children’s media. Jocelyn started her career on Sesame Street and worked for many years as a writer and producer for the Jim Henson Company.

She was also Chief Creative Officer at HIT Entertainment, Creative Director at TT Animation and Executive Creative Producer for film and television projects at Mind Candy. Her credits include Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Charlie Chalk, Jim Henson’s Ghost of Faffner Hall, Jim Henson’s Secret Life of Toys, The Magic Schoolbus, Brambley Hedge, Mopatop’s Shop, Bob the Builder, Thomas and Friends, Barney and Friends, Rubbadubbers, Pingu, What’s Your News? and Moshi Monsters: The Movie.


Frances Jacob


Frances graduated in Engineering from Durham University in the late 1970s, followed by postgraduate study of production engineering at Cambridge. She then worked for several years in industry before joining the London office of 3i plc, at the forefront of the private equity business in the UK, where she commenced learning about business strategy, planning and management across a wide range of sectors and many businesses.

In the late 1980s Frances joined the private equity division of Mercury Asset Management, then part of the investment bank SG Warburg. Together with her business partner, Ian Armitage, they set about building the business and in 2000 they bought it out and renamed it HgCapital which they continued to grow until retirement. Frances has always focused on the investment side of the business and had the role of Chief Investment Officer and Chair of Investment Committee.

She has worked with the management of many companies over the years, having a board and ownership position, helping them to build teams, develop strategy and drive business growth and success. Frances has also been Treasurer of I CAN, the children’s communication charity, and continues to work closely with other charities.

Kindred2 Team


Felicity Gillespie


Felicity has been an advisor to public and private sector organisations for over 20 years, working with lobbying groups, FTSE 100 businesses and ministers and officials across Labour, coalition, and Conservative administrations.

Previously, Felicity was the founding executive director of the Broadcast Training and Skills Regulator and The National Teaching Awards. A former associate of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and of the National College of School Leadership, Felicity has served as a national judge of the UK National Training Awards and speaks globally on the British education system.


Louise Aukland

SEEN Programme Lead

Louise is leading the SEEN Programme for Kindred². She has a background in education, policy, research, and public engagement. During her 15 years as a science teacher, Louise led on science curriculum development, wellbeing, and personal, social and health education. Louise continues to work for the University of Oxford on public engagement with research in neuroscience.

Previously she led the SEEN pilot project, researched social and emotional learning as part of the MYRIAD project (Mindfulness in schools) and developed interactive activities on the teenage brain and mental health. She is an author and trainer for Oxford University Press’ International Wellbeing Curriculum and Director of Mindcraft Consulting. Louise believes that all young people should learn about the brain and its link to health and wellbeing.

Ella Lloyd Newman

Ella Lloyd Newman

Research Lead

Ella is the Research Lead on the SEEN Programme. She has an academic background in Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology with a focus on neurodevelopment, memory, and mental health. She has worked in both academic and clinical research at the University of Oxford, University of Bristol and in the NHS.

Within the NHS, Ella has worked clinically in maternity services, where she engaged with families about the importance of brain development in the early years. Ella worked on the SEEN project in its pilot phase at the University of Oxford. Following the success of the pilot project, Ella is continuing to work on the SEEN programme helping implement the roll out of the SEEN curriculum to schools nationwide.

Join our SEEN Community

The SEEN Programme teaches students about early brain development and the importance of the caregiver. To find out more and to access the free lesson resources, please join the SEEN Community.