Passionate about making a difference

From simple roots

As a lecturer in mathematics, Mark Dixon had always been aware of the social and commercial impact of low levels of maths attainment, both nationally and around the world.

This came into sharp focus through his experience as a parent – providing him with a clear understanding about the level of challenge faced by many students in acquiring even the most basic maths’ skills and by parents looking to help their children.

In 2010, Mark started investigating ways to tackle some of these issues, creating in the first instance a simple series of tutorial videos to be shared amongst friends.
The spark of an idea.

#Ed5M

All about impact

Everything we do is informed by our mission; to transform the way young people learn and improve outcomes for all learners.

A spirit of challenge and passion for what we do is part of our culture – as individuals and as a community.

Our Team

Dan Sandhu

Chief Executive

Dr Mark Dixon

Founder and Sparx Discovery

Dr Georgie Hart

Education Director

Dr Tanya Morton

Chief Operating Officer

Spencer Thompson

Product Director

Simon Lebus

Simon Lebus has had a diverse career that has included investment banking, food manufacturing and education. Simon originally studied history at Oxford University, staying on for three years as a research student after finishing his undergraduate degree before going to work in the City, where he specialised first in capital markets and then corporate finance. Following this he joined his family’s food manufacturing business, where he worked for fourteen years. This was eventually sold to a large US food company at which stage he decided it was time for a change of direction and was recruited by Cambridge University as Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment, the business responsible for running its exam boards. These included OCR in the UK, and internationally Cambridge International Examinations and Cambridge English Language Assessment. The Group trebled in size during Simon’s fifteen year tenure, and the Group’s exams were taken each year by approximately 8 million candidates in 170 different countries. The Group also had a substantial research operation which carried out innovative research on assessment and curriculum and worked with governments and education systems around the world to support curriculum reform programmes. Simon left Cambridge Assessment in April 2018 to develop a portfolio of non-executive and advisory roles, specialising mainly in the education and edtech sectors. Simon, who continues to live in Cambridge, is married with three adult children and expects shortly to become a Grandfather.

Joe Ludlow

Joe is Managing Partner at Bethnal Green Ventures where he invests in and advises ventures using technology for social and environmental impact. He has 15 years of experience in impact investing and entrepreneurship, previously managing investment funds at Nesta and CAF Venturesome. He began his career with TeachFirst, teaching in a London secondary school.

Julian Huppert

Dr Julian Huppert is the Director of the Intellectual Forum at Jesus College, Cambridge, a new centre aimed at fostering discussion on crucial interdisciplinary issues. He was the Member of Parliament for Cambridge 2010-5, and was particularly noted for his work on data privacy, being named the 2013 ISPA Internet Hero of the Year for combating intrusive state surveillance. He is a Director of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, Vice-Chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, and one of the Independent Reviewers of DeepMind Health, having served as the initial Chair. He has very wide-ranging interests including technology, ethics, the use of evidence in policy making, civil liberties, the environment and more.

Eleanor Adams

Finance Director

Eleanor qualified with PwC and spent 20 years in their London Corporate Finance business before relocating to Devon with her family. Eleanor helps ensure that Sparx most efficiently delivers impact.

Matthew Gingell

General Counsel

Matthew has extensive knowledge in data and technology law, having previously worked in intellectual property, data protection and private equity. Matthew supports Sparx to ensure that data protection and ethical oversight of data usage is at the forefront of everything we do.

Gemma Johnson

Human Resources Director

Gemma is a CIPD qualified HR Professional with over 20 years’ commercial HR experience across a variety of sectors including finance, retail and hospitality. Gemma is passionate about developing teams and is supporting Sparx in building a great place to work.

Spencer Thompson

Product Director

Spencer has a passion for mathematics and analytics. Having spent eight years in the retail analytics sector he joined Sparx to oversee product strategy as well as guiding the product roadmap development and evolution.

Dr Tanya Morton

Chief Operating Officer

Tanya has developed a wealth of experience in software engineering since gaining a PhD in Maths and Computer Science. With more than 20 years’ cross-industry experience, Tanya oversees the content, creative and development teams.

Dr Georgie Hart

Education Director

As one of the founding team members at Sparx, Georgie has been involved in building the proposition from inception. Georgie has a PhD in Operational Research, and extensive experience in both commercial and academic fields. Georgie ensures that Sparx’s products are impactful, support educators and improve outcomes for students.

Dr Mark Dixon

Founder

Mark is a recognised leader in innovation in academia and statistical modelling. Having set up Oxygen House in 2008, Mark proactively supports technology-driven businesses within the education, social and environment sectors. Mark founded Sparx to make a difference in the learning experience for students and continues to lead the innovation of new products.

Dan Sandhu

Chief Executive

Dan has an extensive career in the Education sector both in the UK and internationally. Dan sets the strategic direction for Sparx. Passionate about education and the impact that we can make to the lives of learners, Dan has been involved in leading and guiding numerous education teams. Dan has been a regular author in Education publications.