Wild ReSearch

Developing our market knowledge and breadth of sector understanding


Wild ReSearch is the thought leadership and advisory division of Wild Search. Our main contributors are Clive Aslet and Dr Graham Stewart.


We launched our first report in May 2011, sponsored by Cambridge Information Group. Subsequent reports have been commissioned by clients or sponsored by them on historical or more contemporary subjects. These include:

‘United and Valued: Reflections on Military Charities today’ (2017) was launched in March 2017.

The military charity sector plays a vital role in supporting those who have served their country in the armed forces. United and Valued seeks to address the issues facing the sector as well as discussing the ways in which military charities make a real difference to people’s lives, whether it be in terms of health (physical and mental), education and research, housing, welfare delivery or a plethora of other areas.

In the course of the compilation of the essays, Wild Search and Rathbones spoke to dozens of charity, and specifically military charity, executives and trustees as well as serving and retired service personnel.

‘Sharing Resources, Securing Success’ was launched on 28th February this year.

Sharing Resources, Securing Success features a range of contributions from chief executives of leading MATs, Regional Schools Commissioner Tim Coulson and Education Select Committee Chair Neil Carmichael. The essays consider the challenges and benefits of sharing services to benefits students across groups – both those state funded and other models.

Supported by GL Assessment, the publication addresses some of the key issues being discussed within the sector and offers insights from those at the frontline of leadership. Speaking at the launch, the essays’ editor Edward Wild said:

“There are several reports and research is published which assesses the evidence to inform policy. This publication offers a different perspective which we hope will be of benefit to those forming MATs, governing bodies and trustees. As such, we hope it will be a useful addition to the context”.


‘Laws for the Land: Commemorating the 1917 Corn Production Act & 1947 Agriculture Act’ (2017) was launched in February 2017.

Laws for the Land commemorates two crucial pieces of twentieth century British agricultural legislation, drawing on contributions from leaders and specialists across the sector. As Britain reorients and reconfigures its agricultural policy in light of the Brexit vote, this timely series of essays provides insight into the past, present and future of this vital industry.

‘Building Better Boards: An Opportunity for Education’ (2015) was launched in October 2015.

The third in our education series, ‘Building Better Boards’ considers school governance in modern Britain and suggests how the system can be improved.

Its authors are: Chair of the Education Select Committee, Neil Carmichael MP; the Director of Education at the Academies Enterprise Trust, Libby Nicholas; the Founder of GKP consultancy, Gerard Kelly; and the Director of Wild Search, Edward Wild.

Building Better Board was cited in Sir Gerry Grimstone’s report, Better Public Appointments, which can be read here.

‘Agricultural Societies & Shows: Past, Present & Future’ (2015) was launched in September 2015.

‘Agricultural Societies & Shows: Past, Present & Future’ explores the genesis and evolution of country shows and agricultural societies, with the key contribution by former Country Life Editor Clive Aslet.

It also includes contribution from RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon BT OBE DL and Edward Wild, who examines how societies and associations might thrive in the future.

‘Lessons from Leaders’ (2015) was launched in September 2015.

‘Lessons from Leaders: Preparing, Planning & Managing a Portfolio Career’, is our second publication which focuses on how to build a portfolio career. Compiled by Edward Wild and Annunziata Rees-Mogg, it features interviews with fourteen leaders across a variety of sectors, including business, education, charities, housing and Whitehall.

It provides key advice and recommendations about how to build, maintain and develop a portfolio career, with insight and ideas from both the authors, as well as the contributors.

Lessons from Leaders was cited in Sir Gerry Grimstone’s report, Better Public Appointments, which can be read here.

‘Foresight, Tenacity, Vision: Essays to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the 1974 Housing Act’ (2014)  was produced in partnership with Peabody and was launched on 1st December 2014.

Strands of History: Northbank Revealed (2014), examines the history of the Northbank area of London, from Trafalgar Square along the Strand and the Victoria Embankment as far as the Royal Courts of Justice.

The area encompasses countless landmarks, and the report unpicks the stories of the palaces, theatres, churches and hotels that give the Northbank its distinctive feel.

‘Standards, Freedom, Choice: Essays to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of 1988 Education Reform Act’ (2013), assesses the legislation and impact of this reform programme, which remains influential today.

It draws together essays by a broad range of experts in the education field, including politicians, head teachers, civil servants and others. The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP contributed a foreword.

Time and Tide: The History of the Harwich Haven Authority (2013), we were commissioned by the Harwich Haven Authority to produce Time & Tide, a fully illustrated 130 page history to commemorate its 150th anniversary.

The hardback, full-colour book features a wealth of research from the Authority’s archives.

‘Time and Chance: Preparing and Planning for a Portfolio Career’ (2012), draws on Edward’s considerable experience in headhunting to offer advice for those preparing to embark on a portfolio career.

The publication draws on interviews with a range of individuals who have adopted portfolio careers, resulting in a wealth of information for those just starting out. We are currently in the process of producing a revised, expanded and updated version, which will be published later in 2014.

‘Stronger Boards, Better Education’ (2012), the second edition of the report by Edward Wild and Neil Carmichael MP on education, governance and leadership, including a message from the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove and sponsored by the Cambridge Information Group.

The report builds on the work of its predecessor, following the establishment of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Education, Governance and Leadership. The report makes a number of recommendations as to how school governance might be improved going forwards.

‘London Victoria SW1: Past, Present and Future’ (2012), commissioned by the Victoria Business Improvement District, London Victoria SW1 charts the recent rejuvenation and newfound vibrancy of what was previously — if inexplicably — an “unfashionable and soulless”, area of London.

Beginning with “Victoria before Victoria” the book examines the varied history of the area, before moving on to the recent transformation and the possibilities for the future.

The book is perfect bound and contains colour illustrations throughout.

‘Robin Hood Gardens, Blackwall Reach: A search for a sense of place’ (2011), commissioned by Swan Housing Group, Robin Hood Gardens charts the rise of the titular housing development at Blackwall Reach, and the reasons that led to a promising area of London becoming such an undesirable place to live. The report documents the battle of wills between admirers of the Brutalist tenement block, designed by architects Alison and Peter Smithson, and those (including both owners and residents) who preferred to see it demolished.

Despite an attempt to have the building listed, the area is now being redeveloped, and the publication studies how plans submitted by the Swan Housing Group will avoid the mistakes of the past. The new Robin Hood Gardens will be well connected, attractive and close to important amenities, rediscovering its sense of place.

‘Education: A Great British Export?’ (2011), commissioned by Dulwich College Management, emphasises education as a major export market for the UK, already contributing around £18 billion a year to the UK economy and showing significant potential for growth.

The report led to the formation of ExEd (Exporting Education UK), a broad-based group of companies that support UK education as an export. According to the group’s website: “The founding members believe there is a need for all parts of the sector to work more closely together to promote the contribution of education exports to politicians, policy makers and the media.”

‘Who Governs the Governors? School Governance in the Twenty First Century’ (2011), our first report, launched in thespring of 2011. The report underscores the essential role of school governors and suggests ways in which governance could be improved. The report recommended that schools seek out a diverse set of skills among their governors, and suggested it would be worth considering remuneration for the chairman and other key board members.

Described by the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP as “superb”, the report led to the formation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Education Governance and Leadership.