Kay is a founding director of The Education Group. Prior to that she worked for many years as a consultant, adviser and researcher to the large corporate businesses while completing post graduate qualifications in education. Kay was a founding director of the Heylen Research Centre. For the last 18 years she has worked in primary, intermediate and secondary schools throughout New Zealand in a wide range of capacities. Twelve of these years were as a lecturer and consultant with Massey University, based on the Albany Campus. She has chaired intermediate and secondary school boards of trustees. Most activities involve knowledge of current research and the ability to translate this into practical strategies for trustees, school leaders and teachers, as well as ensuring students’ learning needs take priority and that the school is a well functioning learning community. She has directed and facilitated Ministry of Education research and development contracts over many years.
Current areas of expertise and interest include research and evaluation, leadership training, strategic planning, effective classroom teaching and learning partnerships, school assessment (especially secondary and including NCEA), school and department review, professional development, coaching, encouraging student voice and engagement, preventing and resolving conflict and working in schools having difficulties. Her doctoral research is on school decline and failure and how to prevent these.