Meet the Team

Val Barnes



Founder & CEO


Mobile Phone: 07977 052424

Office: 0330 2230651



Val has over thirty years’ experience of education, including inspection and compliance. She believes that high quality care and standards are essential for promoting the very best in educational guardianship.


Through Quality Guardianship UK Ltd, Val is committed to ensuring that all international students studying here in the UK, a group she has identified as being particularly vulnerable, receive the highest standards of care, support and guidance.


She is of the firm belief that effective delivery of high-quality safeguarding by educational establishments and educational guardianship organisations, working in close partnership with one another, is the major contributory factor to securing and thereby enhancing each international student’s health, well-being and happiness.

Martin Ayres

BSc(Hons), CQSW, Dip Adv. SW (Children & Families), Dip Management, Cert Management, HMI


QegUK Consultant


Office: 0330 2230651


Martin is one of the UK’s most respected authorities on safeguarding and well-being. He is a recognised expert in child protection, having spent his entire career working in Children's Services in a range of operational, policy and senior management roles. With HMI status, he has also been heavily involved in policy development, inspection and service improvement. He has also worked overseas on behalf of the UK Government and inspection agencies.


In 2013, Martin was invited to become Head of Inspection for the Independent Schools Inspectorate with a particular focus on strengthening inspection arrangements. In this role, he was responsible for all inspection activity in relation to independent schools and colleges in England and overseas.


Martin helps local authorities, schools and colleges prepare for inspection and advises on quality assurance arrangements, measuring outcomes and auditing both in the UK and overseas. He is commissioned by school associations and groups of schools to provide independent help and support including the development of new inspection methodologies based on improvement.


Martin is passionate about good outcomes for children and young people and increasing life opportunities through education and building their resilience.

Gerry Holden



QegUK Consultant


Office: 0330 2230651


Gerry has been head of three independent boarding schools. His most recent appointment was as head of a UK-based international college, which is exclusively boarding and recruits from over 95 nations. He has inspected for ISI for over 15 years and works as educational consultant, sharing his wealth of knowledge and expertise with a range of professional bodies. He is former Chair of The Professional Development Committee of The Society of Heads.

QegUK's Validators

QegUK prides itself on the calibre and quality of its team of validators. Our QegUK validators are highly experienced, well-qualified educational professionals all of whom are either Ofsted or ISI-trained.


Importantly, we work collaboratively as a team, sharing and promoting best practice in all aspects of educational guardianship provision, namely the safeguarding and well-being of international students.  

Our Team's Shared Values

Quality in the delivery of our services to all our clients. 
Care in our diligent approach to ensuring that our clients - schools, colleges, further and higher educational establishments and educational guardianship organisations - working with overseas parents and international students, receive the requisite level of advice, support and guidance. 

Standards that are maintained consistently high, through a challenging programme of training and professional development courses - so that the needs of international students – of which safeguarding and well-being are paramount – are fully met by educational guardianship organisations, working in association with schools, colleges, further and higher educational establishments.  



All materials including this website © 2017 Quality Guardianship UK Ltd. The QEGUK quality mark is a trademark.


Quality Guardianship UK Ltd is a company registered in England, No. 10350592

Registered Office: East House, Hedley, Stocksfield, Northumberland. NE43 7SW

VAT Registration: GB 249 680 272

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© 2017 Quality Guardianship UK Ltd