Meet the Founders

Kirstin Coughtrie

Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Gaia Learning

Teacher & Tech lover passionate about SEN, accessible learning and creating scalable solutions to global challenges. As an ambassador for teaching the UN SDGs and as a mum of children with additional needs and challenges I have seen first hand how important personalised learning is to their wellbeing and how vital flexible learning is to supporting families.

Kate and I are passionate about human centred learning that prepares learners with 21st century skills to be successful in their future learning and work life. We support schools to create bespoke online learning programmes for their hardest to reach students to reengage them into education.


Kate Carney

Co-Founder and CEO of Hybrid School

Experienced 'startup' tech entrepreneur and Marketeer. Passionate about education and in particularly working with SEN primary school learners.

Marketing entrepreneur on a mission to help children around the world learn what they love and love what they learn.

I founded Hybrid School Limited with Kirstin Coughtrie over a shared love of seeing children thrive when education and learning tools are applied to them, with their super powers and their special needs. As parents of children with additional needs and challenges we have seen first hand how important personalised learning is to helping them love learning and making it last.


Work with us

We are always looking for savvy, passionate individuals with experience from all walks of life to be a part of Hybrid School Limited. If you're interested in tech, education and solving a global problem, email us

Our Advisors

Alan Greenberg

Alan Greenberg joined Hybrid School Ltd as an Advisor in December 2022.

Previously Director Apple Education EMEA, then Asia between 2004-2009. Led the team who built Education Podcasting, launched iTunes U in the UK and Europe, developed Apple Education mobile engagement and iOS Education APP’s.

Currently; Director, Advisor, Consultant and VC to a portfolio of education and healthtech impact driven businesses. Portfolio includes companies in London, Dubai, Delhi, New York and Tulsa.

Leila Khouja Walker

An edtech expert and ex-teacher focused on social issues. A thought leader in online learning with wide experience of R&D in technology for social benefit, I bring over 25 years experience in teaching, educational research, business development and startups.

As the Co-Founder of Persona Education, I am on a mission to boost the wellbeing and employability of young people through developing their social-emotional skills. I am also a Senior Lecturer in Education and Childhood at the University of the West of England, focusing my research on skill development needed for successful social, learning and work outcomes.

I jumped at the chance of acting as an Advisor for the Hybrid School on my first meeting with Kirstin and Kate. Two like-minded women who I
share an educational goal with - to provide for all students through understanding how pedagogy can steer the development of learning technologies to help democratize our current education system.

David Hughes MBE, MBA, CEng, FIET


David started his career in the electricity industry in 1983, undertaking an apprenticeship with the Merseyside and North Wales Electricity Board (MANWEB).  
In 1991, David joined East Midlands Electricity and during a career of over 27 years undertook various engineering and leadership roles, before agreeing in 2012 to become the Head of the Uniper Engineering Academy based at Ratcliffe-On-Soar Power Station.

In 2019, David joined the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) in Coventry initially as Deputy Director of delivery and subsequently Managing Director.

David has an MBA from Nottingham Trent University, he is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IET.

In the 2018 New Year Honours, David was awarded an MBE for Services to Education. 


We are small, but purpose driven and feeling mighty. Our “small” business of leaders, board of advisors and 30 x Gaia Learning educators from around the world is anything but small. We are passionate about the future of education, of embracing personalisation and addressing inequalities in access to education around the world.