Nicole Ponsford

Nicole Ponsford portrait

Award-winning Founder of the Global Equality Collective (GEC)


Nic is a specialist leader and speaker: Improving diversity and inclusion in education.

Nic’s specialist topics: 

  • The challenges of diversity and inclusion in today’s world
  • The barriers that prevent equality and inclusion in the classroom
  • The impact of lack of diversity and inclusion on young people
  • DEI at scale – how to create an effective and inclusive culture
  • How to build a truly diverse and inclusive classroom
  • How schools can close the learning and access gaps for the most vulnerable
  • Privilege and education
  • Intersectionality in education made easy
  • Self-belief: The critical importance of diverse positive role models plays in top professions to inspire young people
  • I don’t belong here: Creating a sense of belonging and inclusion in the classroom
  • The importance of EdTech for levelling the playing field in the classroom (affordable, easy to use and accessible?)

After working in education for over 20 years as a teacher, school leader, trainer, and coach, Nic wanted to find an accessible means to make ordinary classrooms extraordinarily inclusive. Nic is passionate about creating a level playing field for everyone in education, but especially those from underserved groups. In 2018, Nic set up the Global Equality Collective (GEC) to address ‘one of the biggest issues in education’ – diversity and inclusion.

The Global Equality Collective (GEC) – a global multi-award-winning grassroots movement of over 13,000 changemakers and a collective of 300-plus DEI subject matter experts.  The GEC also created the world’s first D&I platform for schools and educational organisations, which is a knowledge-based, benchmarking tool to audit and improve D&I progress. Following a leadership-led Self-Assessment process, ‘GEC Platform’ members then access 360, academically tested surveys for both Staff and Students, capturing their unique perspectives and needs like never before. Analytical results are provided alongside QAed recommendations, for every question and statement, together with an action plan to drive improvement for their very own DE&I ecosystem. 

All data quality is assured by the Global Equality Collective. The GEC platform recently won the ‘DEI Platform of the Year’ – Women in IT (UK) – where the judges were blown away by the simplicity and success of the DEI technology.  The GEC Platform was also runner-up in the Global Edtech Startup Awards 2023.

Nic is dedicated to transforming the lives of underrepresented young people and ‘usualising’ difference.  She is an experienced interviewee and speaker, a Doctorate Researcher #CEMPDOC, a Fellow of the RSA for work in education and inclusion, Award-winning ed-tech leader with a demonstrated history both in the classroom and in the e-learning industry.

Nic is also a Harvard-published author and a Director of EdtechUK as well as a Judge for UK EdTech50.  Nic was nominated for National Diversity and Inclusion award 2020.  Nic was headhunted to work on the DfE Edtech Demonstrator Programme onboarding 11k schools to get online during the pandemic lockdown.  Nic is currently working with the DfE on their Assistive Technology Pilot and Programme.

Nic is recognised as one of Europe’s top 50 women in tech through the #InspiringFiftyEurope2022 award, gained a Rising Star Award for Education and Academia, and a finalist for  BETT 2023 ‘Innovator of the Year’. 

#SmashingStereotypes Top50 Inspiring Women in Tech Europe | Rising Star – Education & Academia Winner | Edtech50 UK | Doctoral Researcher – edtech & DEI

  • Access to our Monthly Newsletter
  • Online access to our “Equity in Education & Society” journal (SAGE)
  • Invitation to our annual Fellows’ Roundtable (Available only to members)
  • 7.5% discounted rate at our “Equity in Education & Society” conferences
  • 5% discounted rate on any of our training programmes and/or workshops

About Us

Institute for Educational & Social Equity provides consultancy services on anti-racism and other inclusion, diversity and equity issues. Our USP is that our approach combines research with practice. Our services are built on three pillars: research, capacity development and institutional support.


Office Address: 3M Buckley Innovation Centre Firth St, Huddersfield, HD1 3BD. Tel: 44-01484505670

Company number: 12718201

Registered Company Address: 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N17GU

UK Register of Learning Providers Number: 10092202