NAEE began its Fellows scheme in 2017 to recognise the significant contribution that individuals are making to environmental education through their work and so that the Association can work closely with them to further support and encourage environmental education in the UK.

The current NAEE Fellows are:

  • Tim Baker, Charlton Manor School, Greenwich
  • Ben Ballin, Independent consultant 
  • Melissa Glackin, King’s College London
  • Lee Jowett, Leicester City Council
  • Elsa Lee, University of Cambridge
  • Phillip Murphy, University of Leeds

Tim Baker has been Head teacher of Charlton Manor primary school for 12 years. He is a board member of the School Food Plan Alliance, the National Childhood Measurement Programme, the RHS Education Committee, and the London Food Board.  He passionately believes that children learn best when they are engaged and enjoying what they are doing, and has found that, through gardening and cooking, behaviour is much improved and this impacts greatly on attainment.

Charlton Manor includes gardening and cooking throughout the curriculum and children have hugely benefited from this.  Added to this they are both great activities for encouraging community engagement, and parents as well as the local community are frequently supporting the school in these areas.  The school works with European schools and is helping a German school develop a garden. It also works with others in India, China, Africa and Nepal where it leads in food growing projects.  Charlton Manor has also started working with a charity in Malawi where it is developing a community garden.  The school also works with a local farm educating children in farming as well as growing food there on one of the schools’ three community gardens to increase its yield for its teaching kitchen and to sell to a local restaurant.  The school keeps bees and produces its own honey and keeps chickens for their eggs.  Tim and two members of staff have formed a charity called Roots4life which aims to connect people and particularly children with the outdoors.

Ben Ballin is a freelance educator, trainer and writer who specialises in global learning, ESD, Drama and primary Geography.  He is chair of the West Midlands Sustainable Schools Network and an occasional blogger for NAEE.  As a project worker for the Birmingham-based teachers’ network Tide~ Global Learning he has worked alongside teachers to produce scores of high quality teaching materials on sustainability and global themes, most recently Global learning- Lenses on the world (2016), which takes a critical and international perspective on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ben is a consultant to the Geographical Association, a member of the editorial board of Primary Geography magazine and CPD associate for primary Geography in Shropshire.  A co-authored research report on the impacts of global learning on the mental health and wellbeing of young people with autism is due out in early 2018. He is also helping evaluate the impact on young people of the innovative Theatre in Education Company Big Brum, who use theatre to explore questions of humanity and justice.  In the meantime, he has been planting orchards with young people for the Fruit-Full Communities project and writing new teaching materials on plastic, waste and the circular economy for Hubbub UK.

Dr Melissa Glackin is lecturer in science education in the School of Education, Communication and Society at King’s College London. Melissa’s research and teaching interests include teaching and learning science outside the classroom, teachers’ beliefs and self-efficacy, in-service and pre-service teacher professional development and outdoor science and environmental education curriculum development.  She teaches on the Master’s Science Education programme, the secondary Post Graduate Certification in Education programme (PGCE) where she ensures all science trainees experience a residential field course, she is subject director for the Biology secondary science programme and supervises PhD candidates in topics relating to learning inside and outside the classroom.

Over the past decade Melissa has worked on several outdoor learning projects including: the Field Studies Council’s (FSC) London Outdoor Science project (, the FSC’s Schools in the Park project, and the Primary Science Teaching Trust funded Thinking Outside the Classroom programme. She is currently working on a British Academy / Leverhulme funded project mapping environmental education in English secondary, is looking forward to sharing these findings with NAEE members.

Lee Jowett has been Environmental Education Coordinator at Leicester City Council since 2014.  He previously worked as a Science Teacher for 10 years in Sheffield, and was responsible for coordinating Sustainability & Eco-Schools in 2 of these schools for over 6 years.  Under his leadership Wisewood Secondary School was awarded the Green Flag Eco-Schools Award, Jane Goodall’s ‘Roots and Shoots’ Gold Award, Fairtrade Schools Award, and Full International Schools Award.

Before joining Leicester City Council Lee completed his MA in Teaching and Learning focusing on the impact of environmental education and completed an MSc in Conservation Genetics.  He is a Chartered Science Teacher (CSCiTeach) with the ASE and a member of the ASE North and East Midlands regional committee, and chairs the environment, health and wellbeing group in Leicester – which brings together individuals who work to improve the health and wellbeing of students and raise their awareness of environmental issues in Leicester City.  He is chair of governors at Sparkenhoe Community Primary School in Leicester City and also chairs of the Regional Centre for Excellence – East Midlands RCE-EM.  Lee works closely with teachers, governors and trainee teachers and with students in Leicester on multiple projects.  In his spare time he enjoys getting outdoors in his allotment and tending to his chickens. He has a real passion for engaging students in real life challenges around climate change and the environment by ensuring schools are able to offer quality teaching and learning in these areas.

Dr Elsa Lee is an educationalist with a longstanding interest and expertise in environmental issues and connections to place.  Elsa started her working life as a secondary school science teacher, teaching in the UK and Mexico and this experience continues to inspire and guide her work as an academic.  She has worked on academic research projects with children in the UK, seeking to understand how they perceive and articulate their connections to place and whether climate change features in these understandings.  She has also worked on community-based waterway projects, seeking to develop an understanding of the way in which such projects evolve.  Elsa has an interest in the way that art can be used to express children’s connections to nature and she has worked on a project that explores these links.  In 2019, Elsa will commence a project that develops her work on community-based waterway rehabilitation projects at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, funded by the ESRC.  She will also take up a Bye-Fellowship at Homerton College, Cambridge.

Dr Phil Murphy is a lecturer and admissions tutor in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds.  His role includes responsibility for schools outreach and engagement with a particular focus on widening participation in the environmental sciences sector.  One of the best parts of the job is working with final year students who have chosen the module: environment and geology into schools.  In this module they undertake a placement in a school or other educational institution working on an aspect of environmental education.  Over the years Phil has placed students with the urban farm, in nursery, primary and high schools, and in environmental charities all promoting environmental understanding. Many students have progressed on to careers in environmental education.  As a geologist Phil researches Ice Age environmental change records as preserved in caves, and as an educator he has a particular interest in understanding young people’s misconceptions and misunderstandings in science and environmental education.  He is a regular contributor to practitioner journals and work closely with colleagues in Malawi and Egypt to support geo-environmental education.