About Can Do Cubes for synthetic phonics.  Click Here 

About Can Do Cubes for English grammar and EFL/ESL.  Click Here

About Can Do Education Limited

Can Do Education Limited is owned and managed by teachers and education professionals.

We exist to put innovative, enjoyable and effective resources in the hands of parents, teachers and students.


Tim Gilroy

As the inventor of the original Gilroy’s Grammar Cubes, on which Can Do Cubes for English grammar is based, Tim was wholly responsible for the expansion and revision of his original inspiration which resulted in our current Can Do Cubes for EFL/ESL.

Raised in Newcastle, awarded his BA in Canterbury and his TEFL qualifications in Barcelona, Tim lived in the French countryside forty  miles north of Toulouse.  Until his untimely death,  he led a team teaching English to undergraduates at the Ecole de Mines, one of France’s top engineering colleges, located in Albi, south west France.

If you meet a French engineer who speaks perfect English, with the suggestion of a Geordie accent, you might guess the identity of her or his teacher.

Helen Backhouse

Helen  lives in Somerset in the south west of England. She has extensive teaching experience in junior, middle and secondary schools in both rural and inner city environments. She is a senior examiner and has produced a range of material for a number of the major UK publishers including Can Do Education Limited.

Helen has taken Tim’s original concept and developed it for UK schools. She is mindful of the requirements of the NLS Frameworks, but determined, also, to let a little of that creative anarchy, encouraged by the cubes, to flourish.

Helen still has copies of every lesson plan she has ever produced, including those from her days at college. We would hope to publish these before the end of the century.

Debbie Hepplewhite

Debbie is an independent, Synthetics Phonics consultant. She is a practicing trainer-teacher and editor of the syntheticphonics.com and The Reading Reform Foundation websites.

Syntheticphonics.com exists to encourage an understanding of synthetic phonics. It offers advice, support and information on all aspects of the practical and theoretical concerns of synthetic phonics.

‘The governing principles of the Reading Reform Foundation include raising public awareness about the need for evidence-based teaching practices – particularly the need to look at what the evidence clearly tells us to date are the most effective teaching practices for beginning reading instruction.’*

An indefatigable campaigner for synthetic phonics, Debbie’s motivation comes from her many years experience as a headteacher, classroom practitioner, consultant and trainer.

Debbie was awarded an MBE for ‘services to education’ in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List.


Michael Hughes

Michael spent a number of years working for national newspapers when they were still based in Fleet Street, London. During his subsequent teaching career, he has worked as Head of English, Head of House,  as a Literacy Consultant for a number of inner London schools and as a Teacher of English in a range of independent schools teaching high achieving (including Oxbridge potential) students.

Michael is an examiner for Cambridge International Examinations and is the founder of the Alive Poets Society.