Pilotlight People: Tara Flood
CEO, The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), London
The main aim of ALLFIE is to secure the right to a properly resourced mainstream education for all disabled learners, regardless of impairments or health condition, social, emotional or educational needs, background or community. Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s CEO, shares some of her perspective on the charity sector and her experience in working with Pilotlight London.
PL: Have you always been interested in the charity sector?
TF: "No not at all – I dislike the word ‘charitable’ because of its link to a traditional approach to disabled people where we were seen as passive receivers of ‘charity’. I see the sector I work in as more about social and political change – being a charity is a means to an end, that’s all."
PL: What is the first charity you can remember supporting?
TF: "I don’t think I’ve supported a charity that I haven’t worked for! I suppose the ‘charity’ I continue to support but don’t work for now is Disability Awareness in Action – an international disability and human rights network."
PL: What motivated you to get involved with Pilotlight?
TF: "ALLFIE was at a stage in its development as an organisation where our capacity had grown enormously in a very short period of time – we had gone from two to eight staff in less than 12 months. This can have many disadvantages as well as advantages and we thought that Pilotlight could give us the external support, experience and headspace we needed to think and plan beyond the ‘now’."
PL: Do you think working for/with a charity has altered your perspective in your own life?
TF: "Hugely – prior to working in this sector I worked in the City. Since leaving my view of the world and what individuals can achieve has changed completely for the better – understanding the need for social and political change and feeling you have a role to play in that change is incredible and terrifying all at the same time."
PL: Which cause do you feel most passionately about?
TF: "Not surprisingly the cause I currently work on – inclusive education as a right for all disabled learners. It’s hugely contentious for many people but that’s the challenge."
PL: If you could have any dream job, what would it be?
TF: "Secretary of State for Education in the UK… and if I couldn’t have that I would run an international travel company where I could spend all of my time traveling the globe and beyond!"