Co-CEOs

Chris Vf

Dr Chris Wilson

Co-CEO

Chris is a Co-Founder of Researchers in Schools and has been the National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme, where he oversees recruitment and university relationships. Chris became interested in medieval history at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, where he completed his undergraduate and MPhil degrees, receiving a double first and ‘distinguished performance’ (distinction) respectively. During this time there he was awarded the Taylor Scholarship. After leaving Cambridge he spent two years working as a government lobbyist in London for Keene Public Affairs. During the course of his PhD research at the University of Exeter he taught on the Department of History’s Foundation Course for three years and was a lead tutor on the course for two. During this time he became an Associate of the Higher Education Academy. Chris’ research focused on thirteenth-century ecclesiastical history and was generously funded by a University of Exeter College of Humanities Studentship.

simon-coyle

Simon Coyle

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Simon Coyle is a Co-Founder of The Brilliant Club and Researchers in Schools. He has oversight of the charity leadership, and he also oversees the business operations of the programme and strategic development of the charity. He read Economics and Politics at the University of Warwick, before going on to study for a Masters degree in Political Theory at the University of Sheffield. He joined the Teach First Graduate Scheme in 2008 and taught Citizenship and History at Kingsmead School, Enfield for two years. He left classroom teaching to co-found The Brilliant Club with his colleague Jonny Sobczyk, motivated by his experience of working with talented young people in the state sector and also by the opportunity to promote university-style learning in schools. Simon grew up in Nottinghamshire and outside of work is a keen musician and follower of Nottingham Forest.

Senior Leadership Team

Chris Vf

Dr Chris Wilson

Co-CEO

Chris is a Co-Founder of Researchers in Schools and has been the National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme, where he oversees recruitment and university relationships. Chris became interested in medieval history at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, where he completed his undergraduate and MPhil degrees, receiving a double first and ‘distinguished performance’ (distinction) respectively. During this time there he was awarded the Taylor Scholarship. After leaving Cambridge he spent two years working as a government lobbyist in London for Keene Public Affairs. During the course of his PhD research at the University of Exeter he taught on the Department of History’s Foundation Course for three years and was a lead tutor on the course for two. During this time he became an Associate of the Higher Education Academy. Chris’ research focused on thirteenth-century ecclesiastical history and was generously funded by a University of Exeter College of Humanities Studentship.

simon-coyle

Simon Coyle

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Simon Coyle is a Co-Founder of The Brilliant Club and Researchers in Schools. He has oversight of the charity leadership, and he also oversees the business operations of the programme and strategic development of the charity. He read Economics and Politics at the University of Warwick, before going on to study for a Masters degree in Political Theory at the University of Sheffield. He joined the Teach First Graduate Scheme in 2008 and taught Citizenship and History at Kingsmead School, Enfield for two years. He left classroom teaching to co-found The Brilliant Club with his colleague Jonny Sobczyk, motivated by his experience of working with talented young people in the state sector and also by the opportunity to promote university-style learning in schools. Simon grew up in Nottinghamshire and outside of work is a keen musician and follower of Nottingham Forest.

ciara-lynch

Ciara Lynch

Operations Director

Ciara joined as Operations Director in August 2016, where she oversees Finance, HR, IT, Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining the charity, she was Vice President of Operations at a financial services firm, where she worked for five years. During this time, she managed a team of analysts delivering research to credit investors and was responsible for business change and new strategic initiatives. Ciara graduated with a Master’s Degree in the History of International Relations from University College Dublin and a BA (hons) in History and Politics, also from University College Dublin, with one year spent at Sciences Po in Paris. She also has a Graduate Diploma in Law. Outside of work, she enjoys running and travelling.

IMG_5858

Angela Sammon

Partnerships Director

Angela joined The Brilliant Club in March 2017 and oversees Fundraising and Communications for the organisation. She studied English and History and University College Cork, followed by a Higher Diploma in Applied Communications from University College Galway.

She pursued a career in journalism in Ireland and London before joining the charity sector in 2012. She was previously head of fundraising in the UK for a large international NGO before joining The Brilliant Club.

Richard E Small

Richard Eyre

Chief Programmes Officer

Richard leads the Programmes Division, which encompasses the Brilliant Club’s two programmes for schools and our Research and Impact Department. Before joining the Brilliant Club, Richard worked as a public policy and strategy consultant, advising education system leaders in the UK and internationally. From 2014-2016 he worked in Washington DC as strategy director at the US Education Delivery Institute. A graduate of the Civil Service Fast Steam, Richard spent the first nine years of his career in the Department for Education and then the Home Office, serving in a range of high-profile policy and delivery roles spanning education, children’s policy and policing and security. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, where he studied law. Richard is proud to have attended a state comprehensive school and is passionate about giving more young people fair access to the best that higher education, and life, has to offer.

lauren-bellaera

Dr Lauren Bellaera

Research and Impact Director

Lauren Bellaera is the Director of Research and Impact at The Brilliant Club. She is responsible for evaluating the impact of the charity’s programmes on pupil outcomes. Lauren has also recently been appointed as a part-time Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, and will be teaching a module on ‘Approaches to Applied Research’.

Lauren completed her PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of Warwick, where she investigated the effect of fear and sadness on spatial and temporal attention. She was then awarded an Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study (Warwick), and as part of her fellowship she examined the role of the internet in classroom teaching and the role of open-space learning in master’s level teaching. In 2014 Lauren was appointed as a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, where she oversaw a project evaluating the impact of a set of online educational resources on university students’ conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills.  Through her research, Lauren has worked with a number of educational organisations including IGGY and Macat.

susiewhigham

Susie Whigham

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

As National Programme Director Susie oversees the impact, growth and development of The Scholars Programme. Susie has been committed to tackling educational disadvantage throughout her career and ensuring that young people from deprived backgrounds have the opportunities and support to reach their potential. As part of the first cohort of Teach First Susie taught English in a secondary school in South-West London. During this time she set up a charity, Trust Youth, to support Year 10 pupils to develop the skills and experience to run fundraising campaigns for national charities. She subsequently worked as a Literacy Consultant for the government’s National Strategies programme in schools. As Executive Director of Services at School-Home Support, Susie has more recently had responsibility for a range of programmes tackling the underlying barriers to learning within the home, including the Troubled Families and the Parent Support Advisor initiatives.

leanne-adamson

Leanne Adamson

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

Leanne studied Joint Honours in Chemistry and Physics at Durham University, where she received a First Class BSc and MSci. Upon graduating in 2011, she joined the Teach First programme where she taught Science at Churchill Community College in Newcastle for two years. Leanne has a strong interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and is passionate about helping more pupils progress into STEM related fields. She joined The Brilliant Club as a Programme Officer in 2013 and became National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme in 2017.

maddy-maloney

Maddy Maloney

Executive Assistant to the Co-CEOs

Maddy studied English and Theatre Studies at the University of Warwick, spending a year at the Université Paris-Sorbonne. Whilst at university she acted as a writer, actor and contributor to Radio Warwick, was a member of Warwick Repertory Theatre Company and also acted as Social Secretary for the university’s Shakespeare Society. She worked for the Widening Patricipation Team and was  an English Ambassador for the Warwick Transformations Project. Before joining The Brilliant Club Midlands team as a Programme Administrator, Maddy completed work experience at BBC Radio 4 and worked at Gwyn James Solicitors. She joins The Brilliant Club as Personal Assistant to the Co-CEOs in May 2016.

The Scholars Programme team

Chris Vf

Dr Chris Wilson

Co-CEO

Chris is a Co-Founder of Researchers in Schools and has been the National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme, where he oversees recruitment and university relationships. Chris became interested in medieval history at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, where he completed his undergraduate and MPhil degrees, receiving a double first and ‘distinguished performance’ (distinction) respectively. During this time there he was awarded the Taylor Scholarship. After leaving Cambridge he spent two years working as a government lobbyist in London for Keene Public Affairs. During the course of his PhD research at the University of Exeter he taught on the Department of History’s Foundation Course for three years and was a lead tutor on the course for two. During this time he became an Associate of the Higher Education Academy. Chris’ research focused on thirteenth-century ecclesiastical history and was generously funded by a University of Exeter College of Humanities Studentship.

simon-coyle

Simon Coyle

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Simon Coyle is a Co-Founder of The Brilliant Club and Researchers in Schools. He has oversight of the charity leadership, and he also oversees the business operations of the programme and strategic development of the charity. He read Economics and Politics at the University of Warwick, before going on to study for a Masters degree in Political Theory at the University of Sheffield. He joined the Teach First Graduate Scheme in 2008 and taught Citizenship and History at Kingsmead School, Enfield for two years. He left classroom teaching to co-found The Brilliant Club with his colleague Jonny Sobczyk, motivated by his experience of working with talented young people in the state sector and also by the opportunity to promote university-style learning in schools. Simon grew up in Nottinghamshire and outside of work is a keen musician and follower of Nottingham Forest.

ciara-lynch

Ciara Lynch

Operations Director

Ciara joined as Operations Director in August 2016, where she oversees Finance, HR, IT, Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining the charity, she was Vice President of Operations at a financial services firm, where she worked for five years. During this time, she managed a team of analysts delivering research to credit investors and was responsible for business change and new strategic initiatives. Ciara graduated with a Master’s Degree in the History of International Relations from University College Dublin and a BA (hons) in History and Politics, also from University College Dublin, with one year spent at Sciences Po in Paris. She also has a Graduate Diploma in Law. Outside of work, she enjoys running and travelling.

IMG_5858

Angela Sammon

Partnerships Director

Angela joined The Brilliant Club in March 2017 and oversees Fundraising and Communications for the organisation. She studied English and History and University College Cork, followed by a Higher Diploma in Applied Communications from University College Galway.

She pursued a career in journalism in Ireland and London before joining the charity sector in 2012. She was previously head of fundraising in the UK for a large international NGO before joining The Brilliant Club.

Richard E Small

Richard Eyre

Chief Programmes Officer

Richard leads the Programmes Division, which encompasses the Brilliant Club’s two programmes for schools and our Research and Impact Department. Before joining the Brilliant Club, Richard worked as a public policy and strategy consultant, advising education system leaders in the UK and internationally. From 2014-2016 he worked in Washington DC as strategy director at the US Education Delivery Institute. A graduate of the Civil Service Fast Steam, Richard spent the first nine years of his career in the Department for Education and then the Home Office, serving in a range of high-profile policy and delivery roles spanning education, children’s policy and policing and security. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, where he studied law. Richard is proud to have attended a state comprehensive school and is passionate about giving more young people fair access to the best that higher education, and life, has to offer.

lauren-bellaera

Dr Lauren Bellaera

Research and Impact Director

Lauren Bellaera is the Director of Research and Impact at The Brilliant Club. She is responsible for evaluating the impact of the charity’s programmes on pupil outcomes. Lauren has also recently been appointed as a part-time Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, and will be teaching a module on ‘Approaches to Applied Research’.

Lauren completed her PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of Warwick, where she investigated the effect of fear and sadness on spatial and temporal attention. She was then awarded an Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study (Warwick), and as part of her fellowship she examined the role of the internet in classroom teaching and the role of open-space learning in master’s level teaching. In 2014 Lauren was appointed as a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, where she oversaw a project evaluating the impact of a set of online educational resources on university students’ conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills.  Through her research, Lauren has worked with a number of educational organisations including IGGY and Macat.

susiewhigham

Susie Whigham

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

As National Programme Director Susie oversees the impact, growth and development of The Scholars Programme. Susie has been committed to tackling educational disadvantage throughout her career and ensuring that young people from deprived backgrounds have the opportunities and support to reach their potential. As part of the first cohort of Teach First Susie taught English in a secondary school in South-West London. During this time she set up a charity, Trust Youth, to support Year 10 pupils to develop the skills and experience to run fundraising campaigns for national charities. She subsequently worked as a Literacy Consultant for the government’s National Strategies programme in schools. As Executive Director of Services at School-Home Support, Susie has more recently had responsibility for a range of programmes tackling the underlying barriers to learning within the home, including the Troubled Families and the Parent Support Advisor initiatives.

leanne-adamson

Leanne Adamson

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

Leanne studied Joint Honours in Chemistry and Physics at Durham University, where she received a First Class BSc and MSci. Upon graduating in 2011, she joined the Teach First programme where she taught Science at Churchill Community College in Newcastle for two years. Leanne has a strong interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and is passionate about helping more pupils progress into STEM related fields. She joined The Brilliant Club as a Programme Officer in 2013 and became National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme in 2017.

maddy-maloney

Maddy Maloney

Executive Assistant to the Co-CEOs

Maddy studied English and Theatre Studies at the University of Warwick, spending a year at the Université Paris-Sorbonne. Whilst at university she acted as a writer, actor and contributor to Radio Warwick, was a member of Warwick Repertory Theatre Company and also acted as Social Secretary for the university’s Shakespeare Society. She worked for the Widening Patricipation Team and was  an English Ambassador for the Warwick Transformations Project. Before joining The Brilliant Club Midlands team as a Programme Administrator, Maddy completed work experience at BBC Radio 4 and worked at Gwyn James Solicitors. She joins The Brilliant Club as Personal Assistant to the Co-CEOs in May 2016.

Greg Cropped

Greg Scannell

National Manager for Wales

Greg joined as National Manager for Wales, in January 2017, overseeing the growth and running of The Scholars Programme following its launch in Wales in Autumn 2016. Prior to joining the charity, he was a Leadership Development Officer for Teach First Cymru supporting new teachers entering the profession with both their practice and their well-being. Greg also worked for 5 years as a Humanities teacher at a large South West Wales Comprehensive school and as an Access Assistant Coordinator at the University of Oxford. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Master’s Degree in Education and a BA (Hons) in Theology from the University of Oxford. Outside of work, Greg enjoys spending time with his young family and attending live music and sports events.

joe-loudon

Joe Loudon

Area Director, West of England

Joe joined The Brilliant Club in August 2014 as a Programme Officer, becoming Midlands Regional Director in January 2016. Whilst studying History and Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield, he worked for a Guatemalan NGO – developing the interest in education and teaching which led him to join the Teach First programme in Yorkshire after graduating where he taught History and English in Bradford. Before joining The Brilliant Club. Joe then spent a year teaching in a Japanese high school.

steph-hamilton

Steph Hamilton

Area Director, South of England

Steph joined The Brilliant Club in August 2015 as The East of England Regional Director. She graduated from Durham University in 2012, where she studied Anthropology. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Steph was Head of Biology and Aspirations Coordinator at Dyke House Sports and Technology College, Hartlepool, where she taught for three years, after training with Teach First. As part of her role Steph was also the Lead teacher for The Scholars’ Programme at Dyke House, seeing many of her own pupils through the programme. Steph is passionate about extending access opportunities to rural and coastal communities, an interest which has grown out of her work in the North East and which prompted her to join and lead The Brilliant Club’s expanding of the South of England team.

natalieday

Dr Natalie Day

Area Director, North of England

Natalie joined the Brilliant Club in April 2016 as a Programme Officer for the North of England. Prior to joining the charity, Natalie completed an ESRC-funded PhD in Sociology at Newcastle University, exploring the formal and informal sexual learning processes of young heterosexual women in Northeast Brazil.

lucy-preston

Lucy Preston

Area Director, East of England

Lucy joined The Brilliant Club in March 2016 as Programme Officer for the East of England. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2012. Prior to joining The Brilliant Club Lucy volunteered with City Year London before training as a Maths Teacher through Teach First in the West Midlands.

andrew-fleming

Dr Andrew Fleming

Regional Manager, London

Andy joined the Brilliant Club in March 2016 as a Programme Officer for London and the South East. Prior to joining the charity, Andy completed an AHRC-funded DPhil in History at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, looking at sainthood and politics in medieval England. He has also worked as teacher in Indonesia and the Bahamas.

Katrina Williams cropped JPEG

Dr Katrina Williams

Regional Manager, North of England

Katrina joined as Programme Officer for the North of England in August 2016. Prior to joining the charity, Katrina graduated from The University of Sheffield, where she studied a PhD in Reproductive Biology and Genetics at undergraduate. Katrina’s PhD research project involved investigating the interactions between a common herpesvirus and human sperm.

Annabel Small

Annabel Marcuse

Regional Manager, East of England

Annabel joined The Brilliant Club in February 2017. As Regional Manager, she oversees programme delivery and partnerships for The Scholars Programme in the East of England. Upon graduating from the University of Durham in 2013, where she studied Modern Foreign Languages, Annabel completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. She taught French, Spanish and Latin, and was Head of French in two London secondary schools prior to joining The Brilliant Club.  Outside of work, Annabel is a keen supporter of Watford Football Club.

david-jones

David Jones

Teaching and Learning Director

David joined The Brilliant Club in 2015 as a Programme Officer before becoming the Teaching and Learning Manager for The Scholars Programme in March 2016. David graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2010, where he studied Modern History. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, David worked at an educational charity running supplementary schools before going to complete his PGCE at the University of Bath. David then worked as a Year 5 class teacher at Belleville Primary School in south London.

harriet-parkes

Harriet Parkes

Programme Officer

Harriet joined The Brilliant Club in April 2016 as the Programme Officer for East Midlands. She graduated from University of Warwick in 2012, where she studied French and Italian. She then completed the Teach First programme in Birmingham where she taught Modern Foreign Languages. Since then, Harriet worked in recruitment for Teach First as part of their Assessment Centre team. Outside of work, Harriet is passionate about health and fitness, and an avid yoga practitioner.

lucia-yandoli

Dr Lucia Yandoli

Programme Officer

Lucia joined The Brilliant Club in January 2016 as the Programme Officer for East London. Lucia graduated from the University of Cambridge, where she studied Modern Languages followed by a PhD focusing on Italian cinema. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Lucia worked in film production and development and in film education at the British Film Institute.

Charlie Vf

Charlie Talbot Rice

Programme Officer

Katrina M Vf

Katrina McKinney

Programme Officer

Katrina is a Programme Officer for The Scholars Programme. She is responsible for overseeing the quality delivery of The Scholars Programme in schools across North London. In addition to this, she plans and coordinates university events, runs assessment centres, and delivers pedagogical training to PhD researchers. Last year, Katrina graduated from her full-time MA at King’s College London, during which she studied Contemporary British History. She completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in July 2015, having taught History in schools in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. She also has experience managing projects and supporting sales teams from her experience working for Proctor & Gamble prior to, and throughout her time studying History at the University of Edinburgh.

jordanna-knight

Jordanna Knight

Development Officer

Jordanna joined The Brilliant Club upon leaving Sixth Form in 2015. Although she completed her A-Levels, she believed it was essential to gain experience in the world of work before moving on to higher education. She decided she wanted to push herself out of her comfort zone by doing an apprenticeship programme in Business Administration. Jordanna is passionate about the charity’s mission and therefore committed to increasing access to these amazing opportunities for all pupils, as she too attended a non-selective state school. Increasing her knowledge about highly selective universities and fair access has encouraged her to want to contribute more to the charity to make a difference and she is now the Recruitment and Events Officer. Prior to this, she studied History, Sociology and Philosophy and Ethics.

Maria Cropped

Maria Crawford

Programme Officer

Maria previously worked in Outreach at Aston University, University of Birmingham and with Aimhigher West Midlands, running programmes for schools from disadvantaged backgrounds. Prior to that, she studied Music at University of Southampton where she was involved in the STEM Roadshow, taking researchers work out into the wider community in accessible and interactive formats.

Maryam small

Maryam Akhtar

Team Administrator, West of England

Maryam joined the Brilliant Club in October 2017 as a Programme Administrator for the West of England. As a recent graduate from the University of Birmingham, where she studied BA Policy, Politics and Economics, Maryam has obtained roles as a Campaigns Advisor/committee member for the Black and Ethnic Minority Association, Student Ambassador and course Representative. She has further worked as a Clerical Assistant for the Birmingham International Academy, Inside Sales Support Assistant with a customer experience management company called InMoment and interned with the Institute of Research into Superdiversity. Dedicated to tackling inequality particularly along racial, class and gendered lines, Maryam is passionate about facilitating The Brilliant Club’s vision of supporting students who have often been excluded from participating in higher education culture.

Researchers in Schools

Chris Vf

Dr Chris Wilson

Co-CEO

Chris is a Co-Founder of Researchers in Schools and has been the National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme, where he oversees recruitment and university relationships. Chris became interested in medieval history at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, where he completed his undergraduate and MPhil degrees, receiving a double first and ‘distinguished performance’ (distinction) respectively. During this time there he was awarded the Taylor Scholarship. After leaving Cambridge he spent two years working as a government lobbyist in London for Keene Public Affairs. During the course of his PhD research at the University of Exeter he taught on the Department of History’s Foundation Course for three years and was a lead tutor on the course for two. During this time he became an Associate of the Higher Education Academy. Chris’ research focused on thirteenth-century ecclesiastical history and was generously funded by a University of Exeter College of Humanities Studentship.

simon-coyle

Simon Coyle

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Simon Coyle is a Co-Founder of The Brilliant Club and Researchers in Schools. He has oversight of the charity leadership, and he also oversees the business operations of the programme and strategic development of the charity. He read Economics and Politics at the University of Warwick, before going on to study for a Masters degree in Political Theory at the University of Sheffield. He joined the Teach First Graduate Scheme in 2008 and taught Citizenship and History at Kingsmead School, Enfield for two years. He left classroom teaching to co-found The Brilliant Club with his colleague Jonny Sobczyk, motivated by his experience of working with talented young people in the state sector and also by the opportunity to promote university-style learning in schools. Simon grew up in Nottinghamshire and outside of work is a keen musician and follower of Nottingham Forest.

ciara-lynch

Ciara Lynch

Operations Director

Ciara joined as Operations Director in August 2016, where she oversees Finance, HR, IT, Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining the charity, she was Vice President of Operations at a financial services firm, where she worked for five years. During this time, she managed a team of analysts delivering research to credit investors and was responsible for business change and new strategic initiatives. Ciara graduated with a Master’s Degree in the History of International Relations from University College Dublin and a BA (hons) in History and Politics, also from University College Dublin, with one year spent at Sciences Po in Paris. She also has a Graduate Diploma in Law. Outside of work, she enjoys running and travelling.

IMG_5858

Angela Sammon

Partnerships Director

Angela joined The Brilliant Club in March 2017 and oversees Fundraising and Communications for the organisation. She studied English and History and University College Cork, followed by a Higher Diploma in Applied Communications from University College Galway.

She pursued a career in journalism in Ireland and London before joining the charity sector in 2012. She was previously head of fundraising in the UK for a large international NGO before joining The Brilliant Club.

Richard E Small

Richard Eyre

Chief Programmes Officer

Richard leads the Programmes Division, which encompasses the Brilliant Club’s two programmes for schools and our Research and Impact Department. Before joining the Brilliant Club, Richard worked as a public policy and strategy consultant, advising education system leaders in the UK and internationally. From 2014-2016 he worked in Washington DC as strategy director at the US Education Delivery Institute. A graduate of the Civil Service Fast Steam, Richard spent the first nine years of his career in the Department for Education and then the Home Office, serving in a range of high-profile policy and delivery roles spanning education, children’s policy and policing and security. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, where he studied law. Richard is proud to have attended a state comprehensive school and is passionate about giving more young people fair access to the best that higher education, and life, has to offer.

lauren-bellaera

Dr Lauren Bellaera

Research and Impact Director

Lauren Bellaera is the Director of Research and Impact at The Brilliant Club. She is responsible for evaluating the impact of the charity’s programmes on pupil outcomes. Lauren has also recently been appointed as a part-time Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, and will be teaching a module on ‘Approaches to Applied Research’.

Lauren completed her PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of Warwick, where she investigated the effect of fear and sadness on spatial and temporal attention. She was then awarded an Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study (Warwick), and as part of her fellowship she examined the role of the internet in classroom teaching and the role of open-space learning in master’s level teaching. In 2014 Lauren was appointed as a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, where she oversaw a project evaluating the impact of a set of online educational resources on university students’ conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills.  Through her research, Lauren has worked with a number of educational organisations including IGGY and Macat.

susiewhigham

Susie Whigham

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

As National Programme Director Susie oversees the impact, growth and development of The Scholars Programme. Susie has been committed to tackling educational disadvantage throughout her career and ensuring that young people from deprived backgrounds have the opportunities and support to reach their potential. As part of the first cohort of Teach First Susie taught English in a secondary school in South-West London. During this time she set up a charity, Trust Youth, to support Year 10 pupils to develop the skills and experience to run fundraising campaigns for national charities. She subsequently worked as a Literacy Consultant for the government’s National Strategies programme in schools. As Executive Director of Services at School-Home Support, Susie has more recently had responsibility for a range of programmes tackling the underlying barriers to learning within the home, including the Troubled Families and the Parent Support Advisor initiatives.

leanne-adamson

Leanne Adamson

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

Leanne studied Joint Honours in Chemistry and Physics at Durham University, where she received a First Class BSc and MSci. Upon graduating in 2011, she joined the Teach First programme where she taught Science at Churchill Community College in Newcastle for two years. Leanne has a strong interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and is passionate about helping more pupils progress into STEM related fields. She joined The Brilliant Club as a Programme Officer in 2013 and became National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme in 2017.

maddy-maloney

Maddy Maloney

Executive Assistant to the Co-CEOs

Maddy studied English and Theatre Studies at the University of Warwick, spending a year at the Université Paris-Sorbonne. Whilst at university she acted as a writer, actor and contributor to Radio Warwick, was a member of Warwick Repertory Theatre Company and also acted as Social Secretary for the university’s Shakespeare Society. She worked for the Widening Patricipation Team and was  an English Ambassador for the Warwick Transformations Project. Before joining The Brilliant Club Midlands team as a Programme Administrator, Maddy completed work experience at BBC Radio 4 and worked at Gwyn James Solicitors. She joins The Brilliant Club as Personal Assistant to the Co-CEOs in May 2016.

Greg Cropped

Greg Scannell

National Manager for Wales

Greg joined as National Manager for Wales, in January 2017, overseeing the growth and running of The Scholars Programme following its launch in Wales in Autumn 2016. Prior to joining the charity, he was a Leadership Development Officer for Teach First Cymru supporting new teachers entering the profession with both their practice and their well-being. Greg also worked for 5 years as a Humanities teacher at a large South West Wales Comprehensive school and as an Access Assistant Coordinator at the University of Oxford. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Master’s Degree in Education and a BA (Hons) in Theology from the University of Oxford. Outside of work, Greg enjoys spending time with his young family and attending live music and sports events.

joe-loudon

Joe Loudon

Area Director, West of England

Joe joined The Brilliant Club in August 2014 as a Programme Officer, becoming Midlands Regional Director in January 2016. Whilst studying History and Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield, he worked for a Guatemalan NGO – developing the interest in education and teaching which led him to join the Teach First programme in Yorkshire after graduating where he taught History and English in Bradford. Before joining The Brilliant Club. Joe then spent a year teaching in a Japanese high school.

steph-hamilton

Steph Hamilton

Area Director, South of England

Steph joined The Brilliant Club in August 2015 as The East of England Regional Director. She graduated from Durham University in 2012, where she studied Anthropology. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Steph was Head of Biology and Aspirations Coordinator at Dyke House Sports and Technology College, Hartlepool, where she taught for three years, after training with Teach First. As part of her role Steph was also the Lead teacher for The Scholars’ Programme at Dyke House, seeing many of her own pupils through the programme. Steph is passionate about extending access opportunities to rural and coastal communities, an interest which has grown out of her work in the North East and which prompted her to join and lead The Brilliant Club’s expanding of the South of England team.

natalieday

Dr Natalie Day

Area Director, North of England

Natalie joined the Brilliant Club in April 2016 as a Programme Officer for the North of England. Prior to joining the charity, Natalie completed an ESRC-funded PhD in Sociology at Newcastle University, exploring the formal and informal sexual learning processes of young heterosexual women in Northeast Brazil.

lucy-preston

Lucy Preston

Area Director, East of England

Lucy joined The Brilliant Club in March 2016 as Programme Officer for the East of England. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2012. Prior to joining The Brilliant Club Lucy volunteered with City Year London before training as a Maths Teacher through Teach First in the West Midlands.

andrew-fleming

Dr Andrew Fleming

Regional Manager, London

Andy joined the Brilliant Club in March 2016 as a Programme Officer for London and the South East. Prior to joining the charity, Andy completed an AHRC-funded DPhil in History at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, looking at sainthood and politics in medieval England. He has also worked as teacher in Indonesia and the Bahamas.

Katrina Williams cropped JPEG

Dr Katrina Williams

Regional Manager, North of England

Katrina joined as Programme Officer for the North of England in August 2016. Prior to joining the charity, Katrina graduated from The University of Sheffield, where she studied a PhD in Reproductive Biology and Genetics at undergraduate. Katrina’s PhD research project involved investigating the interactions between a common herpesvirus and human sperm.

Annabel Small

Annabel Marcuse

Regional Manager, East of England

Annabel joined The Brilliant Club in February 2017. As Regional Manager, she oversees programme delivery and partnerships for The Scholars Programme in the East of England. Upon graduating from the University of Durham in 2013, where she studied Modern Foreign Languages, Annabel completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. She taught French, Spanish and Latin, and was Head of French in two London secondary schools prior to joining The Brilliant Club.  Outside of work, Annabel is a keen supporter of Watford Football Club.

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David Jones

Teaching and Learning Director

David joined The Brilliant Club in 2015 as a Programme Officer before becoming the Teaching and Learning Manager for The Scholars Programme in March 2016. David graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2010, where he studied Modern History. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, David worked at an educational charity running supplementary schools before going to complete his PGCE at the University of Bath. David then worked as a Year 5 class teacher at Belleville Primary School in south London.

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Harriet Parkes

Programme Officer

Harriet joined The Brilliant Club in April 2016 as the Programme Officer for East Midlands. She graduated from University of Warwick in 2012, where she studied French and Italian. She then completed the Teach First programme in Birmingham where she taught Modern Foreign Languages. Since then, Harriet worked in recruitment for Teach First as part of their Assessment Centre team. Outside of work, Harriet is passionate about health and fitness, and an avid yoga practitioner.

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Dr Lucia Yandoli

Programme Officer

Lucia joined The Brilliant Club in January 2016 as the Programme Officer for East London. Lucia graduated from the University of Cambridge, where she studied Modern Languages followed by a PhD focusing on Italian cinema. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Lucia worked in film production and development and in film education at the British Film Institute.

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Charlie Talbot Rice

Programme Officer

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Katrina McKinney

Programme Officer

Katrina is a Programme Officer for The Scholars Programme. She is responsible for overseeing the quality delivery of The Scholars Programme in schools across North London. In addition to this, she plans and coordinates university events, runs assessment centres, and delivers pedagogical training to PhD researchers. Last year, Katrina graduated from her full-time MA at King’s College London, during which she studied Contemporary British History. She completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in July 2015, having taught History in schools in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. She also has experience managing projects and supporting sales teams from her experience working for Proctor & Gamble prior to, and throughout her time studying History at the University of Edinburgh.

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Jordanna Knight

Development Officer

Jordanna joined The Brilliant Club upon leaving Sixth Form in 2015. Although she completed her A-Levels, she believed it was essential to gain experience in the world of work before moving on to higher education. She decided she wanted to push herself out of her comfort zone by doing an apprenticeship programme in Business Administration. Jordanna is passionate about the charity’s mission and therefore committed to increasing access to these amazing opportunities for all pupils, as she too attended a non-selective state school. Increasing her knowledge about highly selective universities and fair access has encouraged her to want to contribute more to the charity to make a difference and she is now the Recruitment and Events Officer. Prior to this, she studied History, Sociology and Philosophy and Ethics.

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Maria Crawford

Programme Officer

Maria previously worked in Outreach at Aston University, University of Birmingham and with Aimhigher West Midlands, running programmes for schools from disadvantaged backgrounds. Prior to that, she studied Music at University of Southampton where she was involved in the STEM Roadshow, taking researchers work out into the wider community in accessible and interactive formats.

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Maryam Akhtar

Team Administrator, West of England

Maryam joined the Brilliant Club in October 2017 as a Programme Administrator for the West of England. As a recent graduate from the University of Birmingham, where she studied BA Policy, Politics and Economics, Maryam has obtained roles as a Campaigns Advisor/committee member for the Black and Ethnic Minority Association, Student Ambassador and course Representative. She has further worked as a Clerical Assistant for the Birmingham International Academy, Inside Sales Support Assistant with a customer experience management company called InMoment and interned with the Institute of Research into Superdiversity. Dedicated to tackling inequality particularly along racial, class and gendered lines, Maryam is passionate about facilitating The Brilliant Club’s vision of supporting students who have often been excluded from participating in higher education culture.

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Charlie Ledley

Senior Programme Director

Charlie is a RIS Senior Programme Manager and is passionate about improving opportunities for young people from all backgrounds. After graduating from Lancaster University where she studied History and Politics, Charlie helped to establish a community radio station which had a particular focus on enthusing young people and encouraging them to take a more active role in their local community. In 2012 Charlie joined the Teach First Leadership Development Programme teaching English at Lodge Park Academy in Corby. Since then, Charlie has worked as a Teaching and Learning Associate at Barnwell School in Stevenage where she mentored trainee teachers and provided twilight CPD sessions for more experienced teachers in order to improve pupil progress. Outside of work, Charlie is a keen sports fan.

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Rachel Lawrence

Curriculum and Development Director

Rachel read Theology at Trinity College Oxford, before doing a PGCE at St. Mary’s University College Twickenham. She later completed a Masters in Teaching at the Institute of Education, and is currently in her second year of an Educational Doctorate at Kings College London. Rachel worked as an Advanced Skills teacher for Hounslow LEA and London Challenge. She worked with primary and secondary teachers and in various subject areas including Humanities, Maths and Science. As part of her work as an AST she also worked as a visiting lecturer at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham. She became Head of Religious Studies at Lampton School in 2011 and in 2012 led the department in their application to be one of the pilot schools for the national RE Quality Mark. The department was awarded the Gold Award which recognised the work of the department as consistently outstanding. Rachel is an Associate Senior Leader at Lampton School.

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Nicholas Cater

Recruitment Director

Nicholas is responsible for all aspects of the programme’s recruitment processes, from initial attraction and advertising, through to assessment and placement. Since graduating from Durham University with a degree in Modern Languages and a Masters in Translation, Nicholas worked initially as an Accountant, then freelance translator, before finally settling on recruitment. He worked at a boutique recruitment firm in Central London where he was responsible for the delivery of several national graduate schemes. Outside of work, Nicholas enjoys keeping his languages up to scratch and is a keen traveller, particularly around Europe and Russia.

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Amy Broom

School Partnerships Manager

Amy is driven by a desire to increase the number of subject experts teaching in non-selective schools. Having completed her Masters in Engineering at the University of Cambridge in 2008, she undertook teacher training in South East London through the Graduate Teacher Programme. As Head of Physics at a new build academy Amy focussed on developing metacognitive approaches and promoting practical and thinking skills in science through evidence-based strategies. Prior to joining Researchers in Schools Amy was Director of STEM at a UTC in Kent, overseeing an enhanced curriculum in Engineering and Construction, employer engagement and CEIAG. Outside of work Amy is a keen equestrienne.

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Gil Brandt

Teaching and Learning Officer

Within his role, Gil is responsible for delivering teacher training content for participants on the programme. Gil taught Mathematics in a secondary school in Leeds, Yorkshire for two years as part of the TeachFirst Leadership Development Programme (2012 cohort). He then went on to work as a curriculum coordinator in a South London school . He has also been on the Education Policy Network committee which organised discussions and debates for teachers around contemporary policy issues. Gil read History and Social Sciences at the University of Manchester.

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Alexandra Tanner

Programme Officer

Alex joined as one of the first RIS Programme Officers in August 2016. Alex joined the Teach First Programme in 2013, which involved teaching science in Manchester and following this was a Year 8 science teacher at a school in South London. Alex graduated with a Bachelors degree in bioveterinary sciences from the University of Liverpool and is particularly interested in STEM education and extra-curricular opportunities for students. In her spare time, she enjoys attending science lectures and events, fencing and running.

 

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Sarah Brennan

Programme Officer

Sarah is a Programme Officer for RIS and is passionate about widening participation at highly selective universities. She studied French with Linguistics at the University of York and Université de Nantes. In 2009, Sarah completed a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages in North Yorkshire. She taught MFL for six years and was Head of Department at St Michael’s Catholic School, an all-through school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys theatre and live music, she is also a keen baker.

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Rosa Smith

Programme Officer

Rosa joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in September 2017. She studied English (BA) at the University of Exeter, and became interested in Widening Participation whilst working in local schools as part of their student ambassador programme. She then worked for CRUK before completing the Teach First programme as part of the 2012 cohort. She taught English for five years, progressing to become KS5 lead and then Head of 6th Form at a secondary school in South-East London. Whilst there, she also mentored trainee teachers and NQTs. She remains committed to improving access to selective universities and raising student aspirations.

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Joanna Clark

Programme Officer

Joanna joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in October 2017. In 2008, she spent the summer working in California as a Camp Counsellor with 9-17 year olds, and it was here that she decided she wanted to pursue a career working with young people. After graduating from Queen Mary, University of London with a BA in English, Jo worked as a Teaching Assistant, before training as an English teacher through the Graduate Teaching Programme in 2011. She joined the English department at Morpeth Secondary School in Bethnal Green as an NQT, and later became the Deputy Head of English and KS3 Coordinator. Outside of work, Jo enjoys travel, live music and keeping fit.

Operations Department

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Dr Chris Wilson

Co-CEO

Chris is a Co-Founder of Researchers in Schools and has been the National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme, where he oversees recruitment and university relationships. Chris became interested in medieval history at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, where he completed his undergraduate and MPhil degrees, receiving a double first and ‘distinguished performance’ (distinction) respectively. During this time there he was awarded the Taylor Scholarship. After leaving Cambridge he spent two years working as a government lobbyist in London for Keene Public Affairs. During the course of his PhD research at the University of Exeter he taught on the Department of History’s Foundation Course for three years and was a lead tutor on the course for two. During this time he became an Associate of the Higher Education Academy. Chris’ research focused on thirteenth-century ecclesiastical history and was generously funded by a University of Exeter College of Humanities Studentship.

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Simon Coyle

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Simon Coyle is a Co-Founder of The Brilliant Club and Researchers in Schools. He has oversight of the charity leadership, and he also oversees the business operations of the programme and strategic development of the charity. He read Economics and Politics at the University of Warwick, before going on to study for a Masters degree in Political Theory at the University of Sheffield. He joined the Teach First Graduate Scheme in 2008 and taught Citizenship and History at Kingsmead School, Enfield for two years. He left classroom teaching to co-found The Brilliant Club with his colleague Jonny Sobczyk, motivated by his experience of working with talented young people in the state sector and also by the opportunity to promote university-style learning in schools. Simon grew up in Nottinghamshire and outside of work is a keen musician and follower of Nottingham Forest.

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Ciara Lynch

Operations Director

Ciara joined as Operations Director in August 2016, where she oversees Finance, HR, IT, Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining the charity, she was Vice President of Operations at a financial services firm, where she worked for five years. During this time, she managed a team of analysts delivering research to credit investors and was responsible for business change and new strategic initiatives. Ciara graduated with a Master’s Degree in the History of International Relations from University College Dublin and a BA (hons) in History and Politics, also from University College Dublin, with one year spent at Sciences Po in Paris. She also has a Graduate Diploma in Law. Outside of work, she enjoys running and travelling.

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Angela Sammon

Partnerships Director

Angela joined The Brilliant Club in March 2017 and oversees Fundraising and Communications for the organisation. She studied English and History and University College Cork, followed by a Higher Diploma in Applied Communications from University College Galway.

She pursued a career in journalism in Ireland and London before joining the charity sector in 2012. She was previously head of fundraising in the UK for a large international NGO before joining The Brilliant Club.

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Richard Eyre

Chief Programmes Officer

Richard leads the Programmes Division, which encompasses the Brilliant Club’s two programmes for schools and our Research and Impact Department. Before joining the Brilliant Club, Richard worked as a public policy and strategy consultant, advising education system leaders in the UK and internationally. From 2014-2016 he worked in Washington DC as strategy director at the US Education Delivery Institute. A graduate of the Civil Service Fast Steam, Richard spent the first nine years of his career in the Department for Education and then the Home Office, serving in a range of high-profile policy and delivery roles spanning education, children’s policy and policing and security. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, where he studied law. Richard is proud to have attended a state comprehensive school and is passionate about giving more young people fair access to the best that higher education, and life, has to offer.

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Dr Lauren Bellaera

Research and Impact Director

Lauren Bellaera is the Director of Research and Impact at The Brilliant Club. She is responsible for evaluating the impact of the charity’s programmes on pupil outcomes. Lauren has also recently been appointed as a part-time Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, and will be teaching a module on ‘Approaches to Applied Research’.

Lauren completed her PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of Warwick, where she investigated the effect of fear and sadness on spatial and temporal attention. She was then awarded an Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study (Warwick), and as part of her fellowship she examined the role of the internet in classroom teaching and the role of open-space learning in master’s level teaching. In 2014 Lauren was appointed as a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, where she oversaw a project evaluating the impact of a set of online educational resources on university students’ conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills.  Through her research, Lauren has worked with a number of educational organisations including IGGY and Macat.

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Susie Whigham

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

As National Programme Director Susie oversees the impact, growth and development of The Scholars Programme. Susie has been committed to tackling educational disadvantage throughout her career and ensuring that young people from deprived backgrounds have the opportunities and support to reach their potential. As part of the first cohort of Teach First Susie taught English in a secondary school in South-West London. During this time she set up a charity, Trust Youth, to support Year 10 pupils to develop the skills and experience to run fundraising campaigns for national charities. She subsequently worked as a Literacy Consultant for the government’s National Strategies programme in schools. As Executive Director of Services at School-Home Support, Susie has more recently had responsibility for a range of programmes tackling the underlying barriers to learning within the home, including the Troubled Families and the Parent Support Advisor initiatives.

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Leanne Adamson

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

Leanne studied Joint Honours in Chemistry and Physics at Durham University, where she received a First Class BSc and MSci. Upon graduating in 2011, she joined the Teach First programme where she taught Science at Churchill Community College in Newcastle for two years. Leanne has a strong interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and is passionate about helping more pupils progress into STEM related fields. She joined The Brilliant Club as a Programme Officer in 2013 and became National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme in 2017.

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Maddy Maloney

Executive Assistant to the Co-CEOs

Maddy studied English and Theatre Studies at the University of Warwick, spending a year at the Université Paris-Sorbonne. Whilst at university she acted as a writer, actor and contributor to Radio Warwick, was a member of Warwick Repertory Theatre Company and also acted as Social Secretary for the university’s Shakespeare Society. She worked for the Widening Patricipation Team and was  an English Ambassador for the Warwick Transformations Project. Before joining The Brilliant Club Midlands team as a Programme Administrator, Maddy completed work experience at BBC Radio 4 and worked at Gwyn James Solicitors. She joins The Brilliant Club as Personal Assistant to the Co-CEOs in May 2016.

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Greg Scannell

National Manager for Wales

Greg joined as National Manager for Wales, in January 2017, overseeing the growth and running of The Scholars Programme following its launch in Wales in Autumn 2016. Prior to joining the charity, he was a Leadership Development Officer for Teach First Cymru supporting new teachers entering the profession with both their practice and their well-being. Greg also worked for 5 years as a Humanities teacher at a large South West Wales Comprehensive school and as an Access Assistant Coordinator at the University of Oxford. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Master’s Degree in Education and a BA (Hons) in Theology from the University of Oxford. Outside of work, Greg enjoys spending time with his young family and attending live music and sports events.

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Joe Loudon

Area Director, West of England

Joe joined The Brilliant Club in August 2014 as a Programme Officer, becoming Midlands Regional Director in January 2016. Whilst studying History and Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield, he worked for a Guatemalan NGO – developing the interest in education and teaching which led him to join the Teach First programme in Yorkshire after graduating where he taught History and English in Bradford. Before joining The Brilliant Club. Joe then spent a year teaching in a Japanese high school.

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Steph Hamilton

Area Director, South of England

Steph joined The Brilliant Club in August 2015 as The East of England Regional Director. She graduated from Durham University in 2012, where she studied Anthropology. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Steph was Head of Biology and Aspirations Coordinator at Dyke House Sports and Technology College, Hartlepool, where she taught for three years, after training with Teach First. As part of her role Steph was also the Lead teacher for The Scholars’ Programme at Dyke House, seeing many of her own pupils through the programme. Steph is passionate about extending access opportunities to rural and coastal communities, an interest which has grown out of her work in the North East and which prompted her to join and lead The Brilliant Club’s expanding of the South of England team.

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Dr Natalie Day

Area Director, North of England

Natalie joined the Brilliant Club in April 2016 as a Programme Officer for the North of England. Prior to joining the charity, Natalie completed an ESRC-funded PhD in Sociology at Newcastle University, exploring the formal and informal sexual learning processes of young heterosexual women in Northeast Brazil.

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Lucy Preston

Area Director, East of England

Lucy joined The Brilliant Club in March 2016 as Programme Officer for the East of England. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2012. Prior to joining The Brilliant Club Lucy volunteered with City Year London before training as a Maths Teacher through Teach First in the West Midlands.

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Dr Andrew Fleming

Regional Manager, London

Andy joined the Brilliant Club in March 2016 as a Programme Officer for London and the South East. Prior to joining the charity, Andy completed an AHRC-funded DPhil in History at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, looking at sainthood and politics in medieval England. He has also worked as teacher in Indonesia and the Bahamas.

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Dr Katrina Williams

Regional Manager, North of England

Katrina joined as Programme Officer for the North of England in August 2016. Prior to joining the charity, Katrina graduated from The University of Sheffield, where she studied a PhD in Reproductive Biology and Genetics at undergraduate. Katrina’s PhD research project involved investigating the interactions between a common herpesvirus and human sperm.

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Annabel Marcuse

Regional Manager, East of England

Annabel joined The Brilliant Club in February 2017. As Regional Manager, she oversees programme delivery and partnerships for The Scholars Programme in the East of England. Upon graduating from the University of Durham in 2013, where she studied Modern Foreign Languages, Annabel completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. She taught French, Spanish and Latin, and was Head of French in two London secondary schools prior to joining The Brilliant Club.  Outside of work, Annabel is a keen supporter of Watford Football Club.

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David Jones

Teaching and Learning Director

David joined The Brilliant Club in 2015 as a Programme Officer before becoming the Teaching and Learning Manager for The Scholars Programme in March 2016. David graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2010, where he studied Modern History. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, David worked at an educational charity running supplementary schools before going to complete his PGCE at the University of Bath. David then worked as a Year 5 class teacher at Belleville Primary School in south London.

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Harriet Parkes

Programme Officer

Harriet joined The Brilliant Club in April 2016 as the Programme Officer for East Midlands. She graduated from University of Warwick in 2012, where she studied French and Italian. She then completed the Teach First programme in Birmingham where she taught Modern Foreign Languages. Since then, Harriet worked in recruitment for Teach First as part of their Assessment Centre team. Outside of work, Harriet is passionate about health and fitness, and an avid yoga practitioner.

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Dr Lucia Yandoli

Programme Officer

Lucia joined The Brilliant Club in January 2016 as the Programme Officer for East London. Lucia graduated from the University of Cambridge, where she studied Modern Languages followed by a PhD focusing on Italian cinema. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Lucia worked in film production and development and in film education at the British Film Institute.

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Charlie Talbot Rice

Programme Officer

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Katrina McKinney

Programme Officer

Katrina is a Programme Officer for The Scholars Programme. She is responsible for overseeing the quality delivery of The Scholars Programme in schools across North London. In addition to this, she plans and coordinates university events, runs assessment centres, and delivers pedagogical training to PhD researchers. Last year, Katrina graduated from her full-time MA at King’s College London, during which she studied Contemporary British History. She completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in July 2015, having taught History in schools in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. She also has experience managing projects and supporting sales teams from her experience working for Proctor & Gamble prior to, and throughout her time studying History at the University of Edinburgh.

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Jordanna Knight

Development Officer

Jordanna joined The Brilliant Club upon leaving Sixth Form in 2015. Although she completed her A-Levels, she believed it was essential to gain experience in the world of work before moving on to higher education. She decided she wanted to push herself out of her comfort zone by doing an apprenticeship programme in Business Administration. Jordanna is passionate about the charity’s mission and therefore committed to increasing access to these amazing opportunities for all pupils, as she too attended a non-selective state school. Increasing her knowledge about highly selective universities and fair access has encouraged her to want to contribute more to the charity to make a difference and she is now the Recruitment and Events Officer. Prior to this, she studied History, Sociology and Philosophy and Ethics.

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Maria Crawford

Programme Officer

Maria previously worked in Outreach at Aston University, University of Birmingham and with Aimhigher West Midlands, running programmes for schools from disadvantaged backgrounds. Prior to that, she studied Music at University of Southampton where she was involved in the STEM Roadshow, taking researchers work out into the wider community in accessible and interactive formats.

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Maryam Akhtar

Team Administrator, West of England

Maryam joined the Brilliant Club in October 2017 as a Programme Administrator for the West of England. As a recent graduate from the University of Birmingham, where she studied BA Policy, Politics and Economics, Maryam has obtained roles as a Campaigns Advisor/committee member for the Black and Ethnic Minority Association, Student Ambassador and course Representative. She has further worked as a Clerical Assistant for the Birmingham International Academy, Inside Sales Support Assistant with a customer experience management company called InMoment and interned with the Institute of Research into Superdiversity. Dedicated to tackling inequality particularly along racial, class and gendered lines, Maryam is passionate about facilitating The Brilliant Club’s vision of supporting students who have often been excluded from participating in higher education culture.

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Charlie Ledley

Senior Programme Director

Charlie is a RIS Senior Programme Manager and is passionate about improving opportunities for young people from all backgrounds. After graduating from Lancaster University where she studied History and Politics, Charlie helped to establish a community radio station which had a particular focus on enthusing young people and encouraging them to take a more active role in their local community. In 2012 Charlie joined the Teach First Leadership Development Programme teaching English at Lodge Park Academy in Corby. Since then, Charlie has worked as a Teaching and Learning Associate at Barnwell School in Stevenage where she mentored trainee teachers and provided twilight CPD sessions for more experienced teachers in order to improve pupil progress. Outside of work, Charlie is a keen sports fan.

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Rachel Lawrence

Curriculum and Development Director

Rachel read Theology at Trinity College Oxford, before doing a PGCE at St. Mary’s University College Twickenham. She later completed a Masters in Teaching at the Institute of Education, and is currently in her second year of an Educational Doctorate at Kings College London. Rachel worked as an Advanced Skills teacher for Hounslow LEA and London Challenge. She worked with primary and secondary teachers and in various subject areas including Humanities, Maths and Science. As part of her work as an AST she also worked as a visiting lecturer at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham. She became Head of Religious Studies at Lampton School in 2011 and in 2012 led the department in their application to be one of the pilot schools for the national RE Quality Mark. The department was awarded the Gold Award which recognised the work of the department as consistently outstanding. Rachel is an Associate Senior Leader at Lampton School.

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Nicholas Cater

Recruitment Director

Nicholas is responsible for all aspects of the programme’s recruitment processes, from initial attraction and advertising, through to assessment and placement. Since graduating from Durham University with a degree in Modern Languages and a Masters in Translation, Nicholas worked initially as an Accountant, then freelance translator, before finally settling on recruitment. He worked at a boutique recruitment firm in Central London where he was responsible for the delivery of several national graduate schemes. Outside of work, Nicholas enjoys keeping his languages up to scratch and is a keen traveller, particularly around Europe and Russia.

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Amy Broom

School Partnerships Manager

Amy is driven by a desire to increase the number of subject experts teaching in non-selective schools. Having completed her Masters in Engineering at the University of Cambridge in 2008, she undertook teacher training in South East London through the Graduate Teacher Programme. As Head of Physics at a new build academy Amy focussed on developing metacognitive approaches and promoting practical and thinking skills in science through evidence-based strategies. Prior to joining Researchers in Schools Amy was Director of STEM at a UTC in Kent, overseeing an enhanced curriculum in Engineering and Construction, employer engagement and CEIAG. Outside of work Amy is a keen equestrienne.

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Gil Brandt

Teaching and Learning Officer

Within his role, Gil is responsible for delivering teacher training content for participants on the programme. Gil taught Mathematics in a secondary school in Leeds, Yorkshire for two years as part of the TeachFirst Leadership Development Programme (2012 cohort). He then went on to work as a curriculum coordinator in a South London school . He has also been on the Education Policy Network committee which organised discussions and debates for teachers around contemporary policy issues. Gil read History and Social Sciences at the University of Manchester.

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Alexandra Tanner

Programme Officer

Alex joined as one of the first RIS Programme Officers in August 2016. Alex joined the Teach First Programme in 2013, which involved teaching science in Manchester and following this was a Year 8 science teacher at a school in South London. Alex graduated with a Bachelors degree in bioveterinary sciences from the University of Liverpool and is particularly interested in STEM education and extra-curricular opportunities for students. In her spare time, she enjoys attending science lectures and events, fencing and running.

 

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Sarah Brennan

Programme Officer

Sarah is a Programme Officer for RIS and is passionate about widening participation at highly selective universities. She studied French with Linguistics at the University of York and Université de Nantes. In 2009, Sarah completed a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages in North Yorkshire. She taught MFL for six years and was Head of Department at St Michael’s Catholic School, an all-through school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys theatre and live music, she is also a keen baker.

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Rosa Smith

Programme Officer

Rosa joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in September 2017. She studied English (BA) at the University of Exeter, and became interested in Widening Participation whilst working in local schools as part of their student ambassador programme. She then worked for CRUK before completing the Teach First programme as part of the 2012 cohort. She taught English for five years, progressing to become KS5 lead and then Head of 6th Form at a secondary school in South-East London. Whilst there, she also mentored trainee teachers and NQTs. She remains committed to improving access to selective universities and raising student aspirations.

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Joanna Clark

Programme Officer

Joanna joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in October 2017. In 2008, she spent the summer working in California as a Camp Counsellor with 9-17 year olds, and it was here that she decided she wanted to pursue a career working with young people. After graduating from Queen Mary, University of London with a BA in English, Jo worked as a Teaching Assistant, before training as an English teacher through the Graduate Teaching Programme in 2011. She joined the English department at Morpeth Secondary School in Bethnal Green as an NQT, and later became the Deputy Head of English and KS3 Coordinator. Outside of work, Jo enjoys travel, live music and keeping fit.

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Angel-Ann D’Souza

Finance Director

Angel-Ann joined The Brilliant Club in February 2016 as The Finance Manager. Angel-Ann graduated from Trent university in Canada, where she studied Business and has her CPA, CMA designation in Canada. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Angel-Ann worked at Safran Electronics Canada in the Finance department.

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Claire Ross

Finance Officer

Claire joined The Brilliant Club in September 2016 as The Finance Officer.  Claire graduated with a Bachelor of Business Studies (Finance) from Sligo Institute of Technology before becoming an ACCA affiliate in 2011.  Before joining The Brilliant Club Claire worked for Musica Viva Australia, a not-for-profit performing arts organisation and on her return to the northern hemisphere was keen to continue her career in the charitable sector.  When not crunching numbers, Claire enjoys theatre both as a participant and spectator.

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Ian Deeks

IT Support Officer

Ian joined The Brilliant Club as IT Support Officer in September 2016. Prior to this, Ian worked as an IT Technician at a primary school and has also spent time working in finance. He graduated from Westminster University with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science. Ian enjoys watching stand-up comedy and working his way through a list of exciting and unique places to eat.

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Anna Aleksandrowicz

HR Manager

Anna is the HR Manager at The Brilliant Club and joined in September 2017. Her role is to support all who work for the charity with various initiatives including recruitment and ongoing professional development. Having completed a degree in European Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University, Anna moved into a career in HR in early 2010 and gained much of her experience working across various educational and non-profit organisations. In 2016 Anna completed an MA in Human Resource Management at Westminster Business School, which gained her a professionally recognised CIPD qualification.

Having completed her studies, Anna spends her free time travelling widely and frequently. Having proudly completed a whistle-stop tour of six continents in six months, Anna enjoys documenting her excursions as a keen hobbyist travel photographer.

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Chloe Hayes

Operations Team Administrator

Chloe joined The Brilliant Club in May 2017 as the Operations Team Administrator, after completing a three-month internship with The Scholars Programme. She graduated from the University of Warwick in 2016, where she studied German and History. As part of her degree she lived in Germany for nine months, where she worked as a Foreign Languages Assistant, teaching English in a comprehensive school. Outside of work, Chloe enjoys art, travel and being a tourist in cities around the UK.

Partnerships Department

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Dr Chris Wilson

Co-CEO

Chris is a Co-Founder of Researchers in Schools and has been the National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme, where he oversees recruitment and university relationships. Chris became interested in medieval history at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, where he completed his undergraduate and MPhil degrees, receiving a double first and ‘distinguished performance’ (distinction) respectively. During this time there he was awarded the Taylor Scholarship. After leaving Cambridge he spent two years working as a government lobbyist in London for Keene Public Affairs. During the course of his PhD research at the University of Exeter he taught on the Department of History’s Foundation Course for three years and was a lead tutor on the course for two. During this time he became an Associate of the Higher Education Academy. Chris’ research focused on thirteenth-century ecclesiastical history and was generously funded by a University of Exeter College of Humanities Studentship.

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Simon Coyle

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Simon Coyle is a Co-Founder of The Brilliant Club and Researchers in Schools. He has oversight of the charity leadership, and he also oversees the business operations of the programme and strategic development of the charity. He read Economics and Politics at the University of Warwick, before going on to study for a Masters degree in Political Theory at the University of Sheffield. He joined the Teach First Graduate Scheme in 2008 and taught Citizenship and History at Kingsmead School, Enfield for two years. He left classroom teaching to co-found The Brilliant Club with his colleague Jonny Sobczyk, motivated by his experience of working with talented young people in the state sector and also by the opportunity to promote university-style learning in schools. Simon grew up in Nottinghamshire and outside of work is a keen musician and follower of Nottingham Forest.

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Ciara Lynch

Operations Director

Ciara joined as Operations Director in August 2016, where she oversees Finance, HR, IT, Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining the charity, she was Vice President of Operations at a financial services firm, where she worked for five years. During this time, she managed a team of analysts delivering research to credit investors and was responsible for business change and new strategic initiatives. Ciara graduated with a Master’s Degree in the History of International Relations from University College Dublin and a BA (hons) in History and Politics, also from University College Dublin, with one year spent at Sciences Po in Paris. She also has a Graduate Diploma in Law. Outside of work, she enjoys running and travelling.

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Angela Sammon

Partnerships Director

Angela joined The Brilliant Club in March 2017 and oversees Fundraising and Communications for the organisation. She studied English and History and University College Cork, followed by a Higher Diploma in Applied Communications from University College Galway.

She pursued a career in journalism in Ireland and London before joining the charity sector in 2012. She was previously head of fundraising in the UK for a large international NGO before joining The Brilliant Club.

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Richard Eyre

Chief Programmes Officer

Richard leads the Programmes Division, which encompasses the Brilliant Club’s two programmes for schools and our Research and Impact Department. Before joining the Brilliant Club, Richard worked as a public policy and strategy consultant, advising education system leaders in the UK and internationally. From 2014-2016 he worked in Washington DC as strategy director at the US Education Delivery Institute. A graduate of the Civil Service Fast Steam, Richard spent the first nine years of his career in the Department for Education and then the Home Office, serving in a range of high-profile policy and delivery roles spanning education, children’s policy and policing and security. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, where he studied law. Richard is proud to have attended a state comprehensive school and is passionate about giving more young people fair access to the best that higher education, and life, has to offer.

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Dr Lauren Bellaera

Research and Impact Director

Lauren Bellaera is the Director of Research and Impact at The Brilliant Club. She is responsible for evaluating the impact of the charity’s programmes on pupil outcomes. Lauren has also recently been appointed as a part-time Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, and will be teaching a module on ‘Approaches to Applied Research’.

Lauren completed her PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of Warwick, where she investigated the effect of fear and sadness on spatial and temporal attention. She was then awarded an Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study (Warwick), and as part of her fellowship she examined the role of the internet in classroom teaching and the role of open-space learning in master’s level teaching. In 2014 Lauren was appointed as a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, where she oversaw a project evaluating the impact of a set of online educational resources on university students’ conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills.  Through her research, Lauren has worked with a number of educational organisations including IGGY and Macat.

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Susie Whigham

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

As National Programme Director Susie oversees the impact, growth and development of The Scholars Programme. Susie has been committed to tackling educational disadvantage throughout her career and ensuring that young people from deprived backgrounds have the opportunities and support to reach their potential. As part of the first cohort of Teach First Susie taught English in a secondary school in South-West London. During this time she set up a charity, Trust Youth, to support Year 10 pupils to develop the skills and experience to run fundraising campaigns for national charities. She subsequently worked as a Literacy Consultant for the government’s National Strategies programme in schools. As Executive Director of Services at School-Home Support, Susie has more recently had responsibility for a range of programmes tackling the underlying barriers to learning within the home, including the Troubled Families and the Parent Support Advisor initiatives.

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Leanne Adamson

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

Leanne studied Joint Honours in Chemistry and Physics at Durham University, where she received a First Class BSc and MSci. Upon graduating in 2011, she joined the Teach First programme where she taught Science at Churchill Community College in Newcastle for two years. Leanne has a strong interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and is passionate about helping more pupils progress into STEM related fields. She joined The Brilliant Club as a Programme Officer in 2013 and became National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme in 2017.

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Maddy Maloney

Executive Assistant to the Co-CEOs

Maddy studied English and Theatre Studies at the University of Warwick, spending a year at the Université Paris-Sorbonne. Whilst at university she acted as a writer, actor and contributor to Radio Warwick, was a member of Warwick Repertory Theatre Company and also acted as Social Secretary for the university’s Shakespeare Society. She worked for the Widening Patricipation Team and was  an English Ambassador for the Warwick Transformations Project. Before joining The Brilliant Club Midlands team as a Programme Administrator, Maddy completed work experience at BBC Radio 4 and worked at Gwyn James Solicitors. She joins The Brilliant Club as Personal Assistant to the Co-CEOs in May 2016.

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Greg Scannell

National Manager for Wales

Greg joined as National Manager for Wales, in January 2017, overseeing the growth and running of The Scholars Programme following its launch in Wales in Autumn 2016. Prior to joining the charity, he was a Leadership Development Officer for Teach First Cymru supporting new teachers entering the profession with both their practice and their well-being. Greg also worked for 5 years as a Humanities teacher at a large South West Wales Comprehensive school and as an Access Assistant Coordinator at the University of Oxford. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Master’s Degree in Education and a BA (Hons) in Theology from the University of Oxford. Outside of work, Greg enjoys spending time with his young family and attending live music and sports events.

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Joe Loudon

Area Director, West of England

Joe joined The Brilliant Club in August 2014 as a Programme Officer, becoming Midlands Regional Director in January 2016. Whilst studying History and Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield, he worked for a Guatemalan NGO – developing the interest in education and teaching which led him to join the Teach First programme in Yorkshire after graduating where he taught History and English in Bradford. Before joining The Brilliant Club. Joe then spent a year teaching in a Japanese high school.

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Steph Hamilton

Area Director, South of England

Steph joined The Brilliant Club in August 2015 as The East of England Regional Director. She graduated from Durham University in 2012, where she studied Anthropology. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Steph was Head of Biology and Aspirations Coordinator at Dyke House Sports and Technology College, Hartlepool, where she taught for three years, after training with Teach First. As part of her role Steph was also the Lead teacher for The Scholars’ Programme at Dyke House, seeing many of her own pupils through the programme. Steph is passionate about extending access opportunities to rural and coastal communities, an interest which has grown out of her work in the North East and which prompted her to join and lead The Brilliant Club’s expanding of the South of England team.

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Dr Natalie Day

Area Director, North of England

Natalie joined the Brilliant Club in April 2016 as a Programme Officer for the North of England. Prior to joining the charity, Natalie completed an ESRC-funded PhD in Sociology at Newcastle University, exploring the formal and informal sexual learning processes of young heterosexual women in Northeast Brazil.

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Lucy Preston

Area Director, East of England

Lucy joined The Brilliant Club in March 2016 as Programme Officer for the East of England. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2012. Prior to joining The Brilliant Club Lucy volunteered with City Year London before training as a Maths Teacher through Teach First in the West Midlands.

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Dr Andrew Fleming

Regional Manager, London

Andy joined the Brilliant Club in March 2016 as a Programme Officer for London and the South East. Prior to joining the charity, Andy completed an AHRC-funded DPhil in History at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, looking at sainthood and politics in medieval England. He has also worked as teacher in Indonesia and the Bahamas.

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Dr Katrina Williams

Regional Manager, North of England

Katrina joined as Programme Officer for the North of England in August 2016. Prior to joining the charity, Katrina graduated from The University of Sheffield, where she studied a PhD in Reproductive Biology and Genetics at undergraduate. Katrina’s PhD research project involved investigating the interactions between a common herpesvirus and human sperm.

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Annabel Marcuse

Regional Manager, East of England

Annabel joined The Brilliant Club in February 2017. As Regional Manager, she oversees programme delivery and partnerships for The Scholars Programme in the East of England. Upon graduating from the University of Durham in 2013, where she studied Modern Foreign Languages, Annabel completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. She taught French, Spanish and Latin, and was Head of French in two London secondary schools prior to joining The Brilliant Club.  Outside of work, Annabel is a keen supporter of Watford Football Club.

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David Jones

Teaching and Learning Director

David joined The Brilliant Club in 2015 as a Programme Officer before becoming the Teaching and Learning Manager for The Scholars Programme in March 2016. David graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2010, where he studied Modern History. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, David worked at an educational charity running supplementary schools before going to complete his PGCE at the University of Bath. David then worked as a Year 5 class teacher at Belleville Primary School in south London.

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Harriet Parkes

Programme Officer

Harriet joined The Brilliant Club in April 2016 as the Programme Officer for East Midlands. She graduated from University of Warwick in 2012, where she studied French and Italian. She then completed the Teach First programme in Birmingham where she taught Modern Foreign Languages. Since then, Harriet worked in recruitment for Teach First as part of their Assessment Centre team. Outside of work, Harriet is passionate about health and fitness, and an avid yoga practitioner.

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Dr Lucia Yandoli

Programme Officer

Lucia joined The Brilliant Club in January 2016 as the Programme Officer for East London. Lucia graduated from the University of Cambridge, where she studied Modern Languages followed by a PhD focusing on Italian cinema. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Lucia worked in film production and development and in film education at the British Film Institute.

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Charlie Talbot Rice

Programme Officer

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Katrina McKinney

Programme Officer

Katrina is a Programme Officer for The Scholars Programme. She is responsible for overseeing the quality delivery of The Scholars Programme in schools across North London. In addition to this, she plans and coordinates university events, runs assessment centres, and delivers pedagogical training to PhD researchers. Last year, Katrina graduated from her full-time MA at King’s College London, during which she studied Contemporary British History. She completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in July 2015, having taught History in schools in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. She also has experience managing projects and supporting sales teams from her experience working for Proctor & Gamble prior to, and throughout her time studying History at the University of Edinburgh.

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Jordanna Knight

Development Officer

Jordanna joined The Brilliant Club upon leaving Sixth Form in 2015. Although she completed her A-Levels, she believed it was essential to gain experience in the world of work before moving on to higher education. She decided she wanted to push herself out of her comfort zone by doing an apprenticeship programme in Business Administration. Jordanna is passionate about the charity’s mission and therefore committed to increasing access to these amazing opportunities for all pupils, as she too attended a non-selective state school. Increasing her knowledge about highly selective universities and fair access has encouraged her to want to contribute more to the charity to make a difference and she is now the Recruitment and Events Officer. Prior to this, she studied History, Sociology and Philosophy and Ethics.

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Maria Crawford

Programme Officer

Maria previously worked in Outreach at Aston University, University of Birmingham and with Aimhigher West Midlands, running programmes for schools from disadvantaged backgrounds. Prior to that, she studied Music at University of Southampton where she was involved in the STEM Roadshow, taking researchers work out into the wider community in accessible and interactive formats.

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Maryam Akhtar

Team Administrator, West of England

Maryam joined the Brilliant Club in October 2017 as a Programme Administrator for the West of England. As a recent graduate from the University of Birmingham, where she studied BA Policy, Politics and Economics, Maryam has obtained roles as a Campaigns Advisor/committee member for the Black and Ethnic Minority Association, Student Ambassador and course Representative. She has further worked as a Clerical Assistant for the Birmingham International Academy, Inside Sales Support Assistant with a customer experience management company called InMoment and interned with the Institute of Research into Superdiversity. Dedicated to tackling inequality particularly along racial, class and gendered lines, Maryam is passionate about facilitating The Brilliant Club’s vision of supporting students who have often been excluded from participating in higher education culture.

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Charlie Ledley

Senior Programme Director

Charlie is a RIS Senior Programme Manager and is passionate about improving opportunities for young people from all backgrounds. After graduating from Lancaster University where she studied History and Politics, Charlie helped to establish a community radio station which had a particular focus on enthusing young people and encouraging them to take a more active role in their local community. In 2012 Charlie joined the Teach First Leadership Development Programme teaching English at Lodge Park Academy in Corby. Since then, Charlie has worked as a Teaching and Learning Associate at Barnwell School in Stevenage where she mentored trainee teachers and provided twilight CPD sessions for more experienced teachers in order to improve pupil progress. Outside of work, Charlie is a keen sports fan.

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Rachel Lawrence

Curriculum and Development Director

Rachel read Theology at Trinity College Oxford, before doing a PGCE at St. Mary’s University College Twickenham. She later completed a Masters in Teaching at the Institute of Education, and is currently in her second year of an Educational Doctorate at Kings College London. Rachel worked as an Advanced Skills teacher for Hounslow LEA and London Challenge. She worked with primary and secondary teachers and in various subject areas including Humanities, Maths and Science. As part of her work as an AST she also worked as a visiting lecturer at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham. She became Head of Religious Studies at Lampton School in 2011 and in 2012 led the department in their application to be one of the pilot schools for the national RE Quality Mark. The department was awarded the Gold Award which recognised the work of the department as consistently outstanding. Rachel is an Associate Senior Leader at Lampton School.

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Nicholas Cater

Recruitment Director

Nicholas is responsible for all aspects of the programme’s recruitment processes, from initial attraction and advertising, through to assessment and placement. Since graduating from Durham University with a degree in Modern Languages and a Masters in Translation, Nicholas worked initially as an Accountant, then freelance translator, before finally settling on recruitment. He worked at a boutique recruitment firm in Central London where he was responsible for the delivery of several national graduate schemes. Outside of work, Nicholas enjoys keeping his languages up to scratch and is a keen traveller, particularly around Europe and Russia.

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Amy Broom

School Partnerships Manager

Amy is driven by a desire to increase the number of subject experts teaching in non-selective schools. Having completed her Masters in Engineering at the University of Cambridge in 2008, she undertook teacher training in South East London through the Graduate Teacher Programme. As Head of Physics at a new build academy Amy focussed on developing metacognitive approaches and promoting practical and thinking skills in science through evidence-based strategies. Prior to joining Researchers in Schools Amy was Director of STEM at a UTC in Kent, overseeing an enhanced curriculum in Engineering and Construction, employer engagement and CEIAG. Outside of work Amy is a keen equestrienne.

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Gil Brandt

Teaching and Learning Officer

Within his role, Gil is responsible for delivering teacher training content for participants on the programme. Gil taught Mathematics in a secondary school in Leeds, Yorkshire for two years as part of the TeachFirst Leadership Development Programme (2012 cohort). He then went on to work as a curriculum coordinator in a South London school . He has also been on the Education Policy Network committee which organised discussions and debates for teachers around contemporary policy issues. Gil read History and Social Sciences at the University of Manchester.

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Alexandra Tanner

Programme Officer

Alex joined as one of the first RIS Programme Officers in August 2016. Alex joined the Teach First Programme in 2013, which involved teaching science in Manchester and following this was a Year 8 science teacher at a school in South London. Alex graduated with a Bachelors degree in bioveterinary sciences from the University of Liverpool and is particularly interested in STEM education and extra-curricular opportunities for students. In her spare time, she enjoys attending science lectures and events, fencing and running.

 

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Sarah Brennan

Programme Officer

Sarah is a Programme Officer for RIS and is passionate about widening participation at highly selective universities. She studied French with Linguistics at the University of York and Université de Nantes. In 2009, Sarah completed a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages in North Yorkshire. She taught MFL for six years and was Head of Department at St Michael’s Catholic School, an all-through school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys theatre and live music, she is also a keen baker.

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Rosa Smith

Programme Officer

Rosa joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in September 2017. She studied English (BA) at the University of Exeter, and became interested in Widening Participation whilst working in local schools as part of their student ambassador programme. She then worked for CRUK before completing the Teach First programme as part of the 2012 cohort. She taught English for five years, progressing to become KS5 lead and then Head of 6th Form at a secondary school in South-East London. Whilst there, she also mentored trainee teachers and NQTs. She remains committed to improving access to selective universities and raising student aspirations.

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Joanna Clark

Programme Officer

Joanna joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in October 2017. In 2008, she spent the summer working in California as a Camp Counsellor with 9-17 year olds, and it was here that she decided she wanted to pursue a career working with young people. After graduating from Queen Mary, University of London with a BA in English, Jo worked as a Teaching Assistant, before training as an English teacher through the Graduate Teaching Programme in 2011. She joined the English department at Morpeth Secondary School in Bethnal Green as an NQT, and later became the Deputy Head of English and KS3 Coordinator. Outside of work, Jo enjoys travel, live music and keeping fit.

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Angel-Ann D’Souza

Finance Director

Angel-Ann joined The Brilliant Club in February 2016 as The Finance Manager. Angel-Ann graduated from Trent university in Canada, where she studied Business and has her CPA, CMA designation in Canada. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Angel-Ann worked at Safran Electronics Canada in the Finance department.

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Claire Ross

Finance Officer

Claire joined The Brilliant Club in September 2016 as The Finance Officer.  Claire graduated with a Bachelor of Business Studies (Finance) from Sligo Institute of Technology before becoming an ACCA affiliate in 2011.  Before joining The Brilliant Club Claire worked for Musica Viva Australia, a not-for-profit performing arts organisation and on her return to the northern hemisphere was keen to continue her career in the charitable sector.  When not crunching numbers, Claire enjoys theatre both as a participant and spectator.

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Ian Deeks

IT Support Officer

Ian joined The Brilliant Club as IT Support Officer in September 2016. Prior to this, Ian worked as an IT Technician at a primary school and has also spent time working in finance. He graduated from Westminster University with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science. Ian enjoys watching stand-up comedy and working his way through a list of exciting and unique places to eat.

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Anna Aleksandrowicz

HR Manager

Anna is the HR Manager at The Brilliant Club and joined in September 2017. Her role is to support all who work for the charity with various initiatives including recruitment and ongoing professional development. Having completed a degree in European Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University, Anna moved into a career in HR in early 2010 and gained much of her experience working across various educational and non-profit organisations. In 2016 Anna completed an MA in Human Resource Management at Westminster Business School, which gained her a professionally recognised CIPD qualification.

Having completed her studies, Anna spends her free time travelling widely and frequently. Having proudly completed a whistle-stop tour of six continents in six months, Anna enjoys documenting her excursions as a keen hobbyist travel photographer.

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Chloe Hayes

Operations Team Administrator

Chloe joined The Brilliant Club in May 2017 as the Operations Team Administrator, after completing a three-month internship with The Scholars Programme. She graduated from the University of Warwick in 2016, where she studied German and History. As part of her degree she lived in Germany for nine months, where she worked as a Foreign Languages Assistant, teaching English in a comprehensive school. Outside of work, Chloe enjoys art, travel and being a tourist in cities around the UK.

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Jade Hanley

Communications and Marketing Officer

 

Jade joined The Brilliant Club as Communications and Marketing Officer in October 2016, where she overseas the organisation’s online presence and public profile, as well as editing The Scholar journal. Before joining the charity she was the Brand Manager for boutique decor company in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has also worked as the Learner Support Programmes Manager at a secondary school in Johannesburg. Jade graduated with a BA (hons) in History from the University of Warwick in 2014, during which time she spent a semester studying in Venice. Outside of work Jade enjoys the outdoors, learning languages and dancing.

 

Research and Impact Department

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Dr Chris Wilson

Co-CEO

Chris is a Co-Founder of Researchers in Schools and has been the National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme, where he oversees recruitment and university relationships. Chris became interested in medieval history at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, where he completed his undergraduate and MPhil degrees, receiving a double first and ‘distinguished performance’ (distinction) respectively. During this time there he was awarded the Taylor Scholarship. After leaving Cambridge he spent two years working as a government lobbyist in London for Keene Public Affairs. During the course of his PhD research at the University of Exeter he taught on the Department of History’s Foundation Course for three years and was a lead tutor on the course for two. During this time he became an Associate of the Higher Education Academy. Chris’ research focused on thirteenth-century ecclesiastical history and was generously funded by a University of Exeter College of Humanities Studentship.

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Simon Coyle

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Simon Coyle is a Co-Founder of The Brilliant Club and Researchers in Schools. He has oversight of the charity leadership, and he also oversees the business operations of the programme and strategic development of the charity. He read Economics and Politics at the University of Warwick, before going on to study for a Masters degree in Political Theory at the University of Sheffield. He joined the Teach First Graduate Scheme in 2008 and taught Citizenship and History at Kingsmead School, Enfield for two years. He left classroom teaching to co-found The Brilliant Club with his colleague Jonny Sobczyk, motivated by his experience of working with talented young people in the state sector and also by the opportunity to promote university-style learning in schools. Simon grew up in Nottinghamshire and outside of work is a keen musician and follower of Nottingham Forest.

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Ciara Lynch

Operations Director

Ciara joined as Operations Director in August 2016, where she oversees Finance, HR, IT, Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining the charity, she was Vice President of Operations at a financial services firm, where she worked for five years. During this time, she managed a team of analysts delivering research to credit investors and was responsible for business change and new strategic initiatives. Ciara graduated with a Master’s Degree in the History of International Relations from University College Dublin and a BA (hons) in History and Politics, also from University College Dublin, with one year spent at Sciences Po in Paris. She also has a Graduate Diploma in Law. Outside of work, she enjoys running and travelling.

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Angela Sammon

Partnerships Director

Angela joined The Brilliant Club in March 2017 and oversees Fundraising and Communications for the organisation. She studied English and History and University College Cork, followed by a Higher Diploma in Applied Communications from University College Galway.

She pursued a career in journalism in Ireland and London before joining the charity sector in 2012. She was previously head of fundraising in the UK for a large international NGO before joining The Brilliant Club.

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Richard Eyre

Chief Programmes Officer

Richard leads the Programmes Division, which encompasses the Brilliant Club’s two programmes for schools and our Research and Impact Department. Before joining the Brilliant Club, Richard worked as a public policy and strategy consultant, advising education system leaders in the UK and internationally. From 2014-2016 he worked in Washington DC as strategy director at the US Education Delivery Institute. A graduate of the Civil Service Fast Steam, Richard spent the first nine years of his career in the Department for Education and then the Home Office, serving in a range of high-profile policy and delivery roles spanning education, children’s policy and policing and security. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, where he studied law. Richard is proud to have attended a state comprehensive school and is passionate about giving more young people fair access to the best that higher education, and life, has to offer.

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Dr Lauren Bellaera

Research and Impact Director

Lauren Bellaera is the Director of Research and Impact at The Brilliant Club. She is responsible for evaluating the impact of the charity’s programmes on pupil outcomes. Lauren has also recently been appointed as a part-time Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, and will be teaching a module on ‘Approaches to Applied Research’.

Lauren completed her PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of Warwick, where she investigated the effect of fear and sadness on spatial and temporal attention. She was then awarded an Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study (Warwick), and as part of her fellowship she examined the role of the internet in classroom teaching and the role of open-space learning in master’s level teaching. In 2014 Lauren was appointed as a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, where she oversaw a project evaluating the impact of a set of online educational resources on university students’ conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills.  Through her research, Lauren has worked with a number of educational organisations including IGGY and Macat.

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Susie Whigham

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

As National Programme Director Susie oversees the impact, growth and development of The Scholars Programme. Susie has been committed to tackling educational disadvantage throughout her career and ensuring that young people from deprived backgrounds have the opportunities and support to reach their potential. As part of the first cohort of Teach First Susie taught English in a secondary school in South-West London. During this time she set up a charity, Trust Youth, to support Year 10 pupils to develop the skills and experience to run fundraising campaigns for national charities. She subsequently worked as a Literacy Consultant for the government’s National Strategies programme in schools. As Executive Director of Services at School-Home Support, Susie has more recently had responsibility for a range of programmes tackling the underlying barriers to learning within the home, including the Troubled Families and the Parent Support Advisor initiatives.

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Leanne Adamson

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

Leanne studied Joint Honours in Chemistry and Physics at Durham University, where she received a First Class BSc and MSci. Upon graduating in 2011, she joined the Teach First programme where she taught Science at Churchill Community College in Newcastle for two years. Leanne has a strong interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and is passionate about helping more pupils progress into STEM related fields. She joined The Brilliant Club as a Programme Officer in 2013 and became National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme in 2017.

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Maddy Maloney

Executive Assistant to the Co-CEOs

Maddy studied English and Theatre Studies at the University of Warwick, spending a year at the Université Paris-Sorbonne. Whilst at university she acted as a writer, actor and contributor to Radio Warwick, was a member of Warwick Repertory Theatre Company and also acted as Social Secretary for the university’s Shakespeare Society. She worked for the Widening Patricipation Team and was  an English Ambassador for the Warwick Transformations Project. Before joining The Brilliant Club Midlands team as a Programme Administrator, Maddy completed work experience at BBC Radio 4 and worked at Gwyn James Solicitors. She joins The Brilliant Club as Personal Assistant to the Co-CEOs in May 2016.

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Greg Scannell

National Manager for Wales

Greg joined as National Manager for Wales, in January 2017, overseeing the growth and running of The Scholars Programme following its launch in Wales in Autumn 2016. Prior to joining the charity, he was a Leadership Development Officer for Teach First Cymru supporting new teachers entering the profession with both their practice and their well-being. Greg also worked for 5 years as a Humanities teacher at a large South West Wales Comprehensive school and as an Access Assistant Coordinator at the University of Oxford. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Master’s Degree in Education and a BA (Hons) in Theology from the University of Oxford. Outside of work, Greg enjoys spending time with his young family and attending live music and sports events.

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Joe Loudon

Area Director, West of England

Joe joined The Brilliant Club in August 2014 as a Programme Officer, becoming Midlands Regional Director in January 2016. Whilst studying History and Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield, he worked for a Guatemalan NGO – developing the interest in education and teaching which led him to join the Teach First programme in Yorkshire after graduating where he taught History and English in Bradford. Before joining The Brilliant Club. Joe then spent a year teaching in a Japanese high school.

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Steph Hamilton

Area Director, South of England

Steph joined The Brilliant Club in August 2015 as The East of England Regional Director. She graduated from Durham University in 2012, where she studied Anthropology. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Steph was Head of Biology and Aspirations Coordinator at Dyke House Sports and Technology College, Hartlepool, where she taught for three years, after training with Teach First. As part of her role Steph was also the Lead teacher for The Scholars’ Programme at Dyke House, seeing many of her own pupils through the programme. Steph is passionate about extending access opportunities to rural and coastal communities, an interest which has grown out of her work in the North East and which prompted her to join and lead The Brilliant Club’s expanding of the South of England team.

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Dr Natalie Day

Area Director, North of England

Natalie joined the Brilliant Club in April 2016 as a Programme Officer for the North of England. Prior to joining the charity, Natalie completed an ESRC-funded PhD in Sociology at Newcastle University, exploring the formal and informal sexual learning processes of young heterosexual women in Northeast Brazil.

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Lucy Preston

Area Director, East of England

Lucy joined The Brilliant Club in March 2016 as Programme Officer for the East of England. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2012. Prior to joining The Brilliant Club Lucy volunteered with City Year London before training as a Maths Teacher through Teach First in the West Midlands.

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Dr Andrew Fleming

Regional Manager, London

Andy joined the Brilliant Club in March 2016 as a Programme Officer for London and the South East. Prior to joining the charity, Andy completed an AHRC-funded DPhil in History at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, looking at sainthood and politics in medieval England. He has also worked as teacher in Indonesia and the Bahamas.

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Dr Katrina Williams

Regional Manager, North of England

Katrina joined as Programme Officer for the North of England in August 2016. Prior to joining the charity, Katrina graduated from The University of Sheffield, where she studied a PhD in Reproductive Biology and Genetics at undergraduate. Katrina’s PhD research project involved investigating the interactions between a common herpesvirus and human sperm.

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Annabel Marcuse

Regional Manager, East of England

Annabel joined The Brilliant Club in February 2017. As Regional Manager, she oversees programme delivery and partnerships for The Scholars Programme in the East of England. Upon graduating from the University of Durham in 2013, where she studied Modern Foreign Languages, Annabel completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. She taught French, Spanish and Latin, and was Head of French in two London secondary schools prior to joining The Brilliant Club.  Outside of work, Annabel is a keen supporter of Watford Football Club.

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David Jones

Teaching and Learning Director

David joined The Brilliant Club in 2015 as a Programme Officer before becoming the Teaching and Learning Manager for The Scholars Programme in March 2016. David graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2010, where he studied Modern History. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, David worked at an educational charity running supplementary schools before going to complete his PGCE at the University of Bath. David then worked as a Year 5 class teacher at Belleville Primary School in south London.

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Harriet Parkes

Programme Officer

Harriet joined The Brilliant Club in April 2016 as the Programme Officer for East Midlands. She graduated from University of Warwick in 2012, where she studied French and Italian. She then completed the Teach First programme in Birmingham where she taught Modern Foreign Languages. Since then, Harriet worked in recruitment for Teach First as part of their Assessment Centre team. Outside of work, Harriet is passionate about health and fitness, and an avid yoga practitioner.

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Dr Lucia Yandoli

Programme Officer

Lucia joined The Brilliant Club in January 2016 as the Programme Officer for East London. Lucia graduated from the University of Cambridge, where she studied Modern Languages followed by a PhD focusing on Italian cinema. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Lucia worked in film production and development and in film education at the British Film Institute.

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Charlie Talbot Rice

Programme Officer

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Katrina McKinney

Programme Officer

Katrina is a Programme Officer for The Scholars Programme. She is responsible for overseeing the quality delivery of The Scholars Programme in schools across North London. In addition to this, she plans and coordinates university events, runs assessment centres, and delivers pedagogical training to PhD researchers. Last year, Katrina graduated from her full-time MA at King’s College London, during which she studied Contemporary British History. She completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in July 2015, having taught History in schools in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. She also has experience managing projects and supporting sales teams from her experience working for Proctor & Gamble prior to, and throughout her time studying History at the University of Edinburgh.

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Jordanna Knight

Development Officer

Jordanna joined The Brilliant Club upon leaving Sixth Form in 2015. Although she completed her A-Levels, she believed it was essential to gain experience in the world of work before moving on to higher education. She decided she wanted to push herself out of her comfort zone by doing an apprenticeship programme in Business Administration. Jordanna is passionate about the charity’s mission and therefore committed to increasing access to these amazing opportunities for all pupils, as she too attended a non-selective state school. Increasing her knowledge about highly selective universities and fair access has encouraged her to want to contribute more to the charity to make a difference and she is now the Recruitment and Events Officer. Prior to this, she studied History, Sociology and Philosophy and Ethics.

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Maria Crawford

Programme Officer

Maria previously worked in Outreach at Aston University, University of Birmingham and with Aimhigher West Midlands, running programmes for schools from disadvantaged backgrounds. Prior to that, she studied Music at University of Southampton where she was involved in the STEM Roadshow, taking researchers work out into the wider community in accessible and interactive formats.

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Maryam Akhtar

Team Administrator, West of England

Maryam joined the Brilliant Club in October 2017 as a Programme Administrator for the West of England. As a recent graduate from the University of Birmingham, where she studied BA Policy, Politics and Economics, Maryam has obtained roles as a Campaigns Advisor/committee member for the Black and Ethnic Minority Association, Student Ambassador and course Representative. She has further worked as a Clerical Assistant for the Birmingham International Academy, Inside Sales Support Assistant with a customer experience management company called InMoment and interned with the Institute of Research into Superdiversity. Dedicated to tackling inequality particularly along racial, class and gendered lines, Maryam is passionate about facilitating The Brilliant Club’s vision of supporting students who have often been excluded from participating in higher education culture.

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Charlie Ledley

Senior Programme Director

Charlie is a RIS Senior Programme Manager and is passionate about improving opportunities for young people from all backgrounds. After graduating from Lancaster University where she studied History and Politics, Charlie helped to establish a community radio station which had a particular focus on enthusing young people and encouraging them to take a more active role in their local community. In 2012 Charlie joined the Teach First Leadership Development Programme teaching English at Lodge Park Academy in Corby. Since then, Charlie has worked as a Teaching and Learning Associate at Barnwell School in Stevenage where she mentored trainee teachers and provided twilight CPD sessions for more experienced teachers in order to improve pupil progress. Outside of work, Charlie is a keen sports fan.

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Rachel Lawrence

Curriculum and Development Director

Rachel read Theology at Trinity College Oxford, before doing a PGCE at St. Mary’s University College Twickenham. She later completed a Masters in Teaching at the Institute of Education, and is currently in her second year of an Educational Doctorate at Kings College London. Rachel worked as an Advanced Skills teacher for Hounslow LEA and London Challenge. She worked with primary and secondary teachers and in various subject areas including Humanities, Maths and Science. As part of her work as an AST she also worked as a visiting lecturer at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham. She became Head of Religious Studies at Lampton School in 2011 and in 2012 led the department in their application to be one of the pilot schools for the national RE Quality Mark. The department was awarded the Gold Award which recognised the work of the department as consistently outstanding. Rachel is an Associate Senior Leader at Lampton School.

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Nicholas Cater

Recruitment Director

Nicholas is responsible for all aspects of the programme’s recruitment processes, from initial attraction and advertising, through to assessment and placement. Since graduating from Durham University with a degree in Modern Languages and a Masters in Translation, Nicholas worked initially as an Accountant, then freelance translator, before finally settling on recruitment. He worked at a boutique recruitment firm in Central London where he was responsible for the delivery of several national graduate schemes. Outside of work, Nicholas enjoys keeping his languages up to scratch and is a keen traveller, particularly around Europe and Russia.

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Amy Broom

School Partnerships Manager

Amy is driven by a desire to increase the number of subject experts teaching in non-selective schools. Having completed her Masters in Engineering at the University of Cambridge in 2008, she undertook teacher training in South East London through the Graduate Teacher Programme. As Head of Physics at a new build academy Amy focussed on developing metacognitive approaches and promoting practical and thinking skills in science through evidence-based strategies. Prior to joining Researchers in Schools Amy was Director of STEM at a UTC in Kent, overseeing an enhanced curriculum in Engineering and Construction, employer engagement and CEIAG. Outside of work Amy is a keen equestrienne.

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Gil Brandt

Teaching and Learning Officer

Within his role, Gil is responsible for delivering teacher training content for participants on the programme. Gil taught Mathematics in a secondary school in Leeds, Yorkshire for two years as part of the TeachFirst Leadership Development Programme (2012 cohort). He then went on to work as a curriculum coordinator in a South London school . He has also been on the Education Policy Network committee which organised discussions and debates for teachers around contemporary policy issues. Gil read History and Social Sciences at the University of Manchester.

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Alexandra Tanner

Programme Officer

Alex joined as one of the first RIS Programme Officers in August 2016. Alex joined the Teach First Programme in 2013, which involved teaching science in Manchester and following this was a Year 8 science teacher at a school in South London. Alex graduated with a Bachelors degree in bioveterinary sciences from the University of Liverpool and is particularly interested in STEM education and extra-curricular opportunities for students. In her spare time, she enjoys attending science lectures and events, fencing and running.

 

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Sarah Brennan

Programme Officer

Sarah is a Programme Officer for RIS and is passionate about widening participation at highly selective universities. She studied French with Linguistics at the University of York and Université de Nantes. In 2009, Sarah completed a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages in North Yorkshire. She taught MFL for six years and was Head of Department at St Michael’s Catholic School, an all-through school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys theatre and live music, she is also a keen baker.

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Rosa Smith

Programme Officer

Rosa joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in September 2017. She studied English (BA) at the University of Exeter, and became interested in Widening Participation whilst working in local schools as part of their student ambassador programme. She then worked for CRUK before completing the Teach First programme as part of the 2012 cohort. She taught English for five years, progressing to become KS5 lead and then Head of 6th Form at a secondary school in South-East London. Whilst there, she also mentored trainee teachers and NQTs. She remains committed to improving access to selective universities and raising student aspirations.

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Joanna Clark

Programme Officer

Joanna joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in October 2017. In 2008, she spent the summer working in California as a Camp Counsellor with 9-17 year olds, and it was here that she decided she wanted to pursue a career working with young people. After graduating from Queen Mary, University of London with a BA in English, Jo worked as a Teaching Assistant, before training as an English teacher through the Graduate Teaching Programme in 2011. She joined the English department at Morpeth Secondary School in Bethnal Green as an NQT, and later became the Deputy Head of English and KS3 Coordinator. Outside of work, Jo enjoys travel, live music and keeping fit.

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Angel-Ann D’Souza

Finance Director

Angel-Ann joined The Brilliant Club in February 2016 as The Finance Manager. Angel-Ann graduated from Trent university in Canada, where she studied Business and has her CPA, CMA designation in Canada. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Angel-Ann worked at Safran Electronics Canada in the Finance department.

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Claire Ross

Finance Officer

Claire joined The Brilliant Club in September 2016 as The Finance Officer.  Claire graduated with a Bachelor of Business Studies (Finance) from Sligo Institute of Technology before becoming an ACCA affiliate in 2011.  Before joining The Brilliant Club Claire worked for Musica Viva Australia, a not-for-profit performing arts organisation and on her return to the northern hemisphere was keen to continue her career in the charitable sector.  When not crunching numbers, Claire enjoys theatre both as a participant and spectator.

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Ian Deeks

IT Support Officer

Ian joined The Brilliant Club as IT Support Officer in September 2016. Prior to this, Ian worked as an IT Technician at a primary school and has also spent time working in finance. He graduated from Westminster University with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science. Ian enjoys watching stand-up comedy and working his way through a list of exciting and unique places to eat.

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Anna Aleksandrowicz

HR Manager

Anna is the HR Manager at The Brilliant Club and joined in September 2017. Her role is to support all who work for the charity with various initiatives including recruitment and ongoing professional development. Having completed a degree in European Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University, Anna moved into a career in HR in early 2010 and gained much of her experience working across various educational and non-profit organisations. In 2016 Anna completed an MA in Human Resource Management at Westminster Business School, which gained her a professionally recognised CIPD qualification.

Having completed her studies, Anna spends her free time travelling widely and frequently. Having proudly completed a whistle-stop tour of six continents in six months, Anna enjoys documenting her excursions as a keen hobbyist travel photographer.

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Chloe Hayes

Operations Team Administrator

Chloe joined The Brilliant Club in May 2017 as the Operations Team Administrator, after completing a three-month internship with The Scholars Programme. She graduated from the University of Warwick in 2016, where she studied German and History. As part of her degree she lived in Germany for nine months, where she worked as a Foreign Languages Assistant, teaching English in a comprehensive school. Outside of work, Chloe enjoys art, travel and being a tourist in cities around the UK.

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Jade Hanley

Communications and Marketing Officer

 

Jade joined The Brilliant Club as Communications and Marketing Officer in October 2016, where she overseas the organisation’s online presence and public profile, as well as editing The Scholar journal. Before joining the charity she was the Brand Manager for boutique decor company in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has also worked as the Learner Support Programmes Manager at a secondary school in Johannesburg. Jade graduated with a BA (hons) in History from the University of Warwick in 2014, during which time she spent a semester studying in Venice. Outside of work Jade enjoys the outdoors, learning languages and dancing.

 

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Dr Celeste Cheung

Research and Evaluation Manager

Celeste joined The Brilliant Club in October 2016 as the Research and Evaluation Manager. After completing her PhD in 2013, Celeste continued her research in neurodevelopmental disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. Before arriving at The Brilliant Club, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Birkbeck University of London, leading on a Leverhulme Trust-funded project investigating the impact of touchscreen use on infant cognitive and brain development. She taught as a PhD tutor on the Scholars Programme in 2012, and has since been involved in other widening access initiatives.

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Owen Carter

Teacher Toolkit Project Manager

Owen is Impact Toolkit Project Manager at The Brilliant Club, working on a new platform to effectively evaluate the impact of school-based interventions. Previously, he worked as Content Lead at Optimus Education, connecting a network of over 1000 schools with the expertise of leading researchers and trainers. He has also worked for SAGE and Pearson Publishing, developing apps for primary and secondary school pupils. Owen writes for a number of educational publications, mainly on the application of research evidence to school and classroom practice.

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Paul Rünz

Impact and Reporting Manager

Paul joined The Brilliant Club in September 2016. Prior to being the Impact and Reporting Manager, he was the charity’s Data Analysis Officer. Before joining The Brilliant Club, Paul worked as a researcher in the Department for Research and Development at the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. Paul studied Political Science at the University of Mainz, Germany and holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from UCL. Outside of work Paul has been a long-time member of the Bringing Europeans Together Association (BETA), where he has helped organise educational projects for young Europeans about EU politics.

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Irina Sirbu

Data Analysis Officer

Irina joined The Brilliant Club in September 2017. Prior to this, Irina completed her PhD in Social work, where she explored the separation and reunification experiences of young people reunited from residential care with their families in Moldova. As a Research Associate at the School of Social Work (University of East Anglia), Irina worked on a large-scale project looking at the adoptive families’ experiences. Irina holds an MSc in Early Child Development from the University of Oxford. In her master’s thesis she examined the association between parental involvement and pupils’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in Moldova. Irina has also worked in a variety of secondary and higher education institutions in Moldova, Belarus and the UK. Irina is an Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy in the UK. Her research and professional interests focus on improving the lives of children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds, looked-after children and children in developing countries.

Cross-Organisational Staff

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Dr Chris Wilson

Co-CEO

Chris is a Co-Founder of Researchers in Schools and has been the National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme, where he oversees recruitment and university relationships. Chris became interested in medieval history at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, where he completed his undergraduate and MPhil degrees, receiving a double first and ‘distinguished performance’ (distinction) respectively. During this time there he was awarded the Taylor Scholarship. After leaving Cambridge he spent two years working as a government lobbyist in London for Keene Public Affairs. During the course of his PhD research at the University of Exeter he taught on the Department of History’s Foundation Course for three years and was a lead tutor on the course for two. During this time he became an Associate of the Higher Education Academy. Chris’ research focused on thirteenth-century ecclesiastical history and was generously funded by a University of Exeter College of Humanities Studentship.

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Simon Coyle

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Simon Coyle is a Co-Founder of The Brilliant Club and Researchers in Schools. He has oversight of the charity leadership, and he also oversees the business operations of the programme and strategic development of the charity. He read Economics and Politics at the University of Warwick, before going on to study for a Masters degree in Political Theory at the University of Sheffield. He joined the Teach First Graduate Scheme in 2008 and taught Citizenship and History at Kingsmead School, Enfield for two years. He left classroom teaching to co-found The Brilliant Club with his colleague Jonny Sobczyk, motivated by his experience of working with talented young people in the state sector and also by the opportunity to promote university-style learning in schools. Simon grew up in Nottinghamshire and outside of work is a keen musician and follower of Nottingham Forest.

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Ciara Lynch

Operations Director

Ciara joined as Operations Director in August 2016, where she oversees Finance, HR, IT, Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining the charity, she was Vice President of Operations at a financial services firm, where she worked for five years. During this time, she managed a team of analysts delivering research to credit investors and was responsible for business change and new strategic initiatives. Ciara graduated with a Master’s Degree in the History of International Relations from University College Dublin and a BA (hons) in History and Politics, also from University College Dublin, with one year spent at Sciences Po in Paris. She also has a Graduate Diploma in Law. Outside of work, she enjoys running and travelling.

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Angela Sammon

Partnerships Director

Angela joined The Brilliant Club in March 2017 and oversees Fundraising and Communications for the organisation. She studied English and History and University College Cork, followed by a Higher Diploma in Applied Communications from University College Galway.

She pursued a career in journalism in Ireland and London before joining the charity sector in 2012. She was previously head of fundraising in the UK for a large international NGO before joining The Brilliant Club.

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Richard Eyre

Chief Programmes Officer

Richard leads the Programmes Division, which encompasses the Brilliant Club’s two programmes for schools and our Research and Impact Department. Before joining the Brilliant Club, Richard worked as a public policy and strategy consultant, advising education system leaders in the UK and internationally. From 2014-2016 he worked in Washington DC as strategy director at the US Education Delivery Institute. A graduate of the Civil Service Fast Steam, Richard spent the first nine years of his career in the Department for Education and then the Home Office, serving in a range of high-profile policy and delivery roles spanning education, children’s policy and policing and security. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, where he studied law. Richard is proud to have attended a state comprehensive school and is passionate about giving more young people fair access to the best that higher education, and life, has to offer.

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Dr Lauren Bellaera

Research and Impact Director

Lauren Bellaera is the Director of Research and Impact at The Brilliant Club. She is responsible for evaluating the impact of the charity’s programmes on pupil outcomes. Lauren has also recently been appointed as a part-time Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, and will be teaching a module on ‘Approaches to Applied Research’.

Lauren completed her PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of Warwick, where she investigated the effect of fear and sadness on spatial and temporal attention. She was then awarded an Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study (Warwick), and as part of her fellowship she examined the role of the internet in classroom teaching and the role of open-space learning in master’s level teaching. In 2014 Lauren was appointed as a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, where she oversaw a project evaluating the impact of a set of online educational resources on university students’ conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills.  Through her research, Lauren has worked with a number of educational organisations including IGGY and Macat.

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Susie Whigham

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

As National Programme Director Susie oversees the impact, growth and development of The Scholars Programme. Susie has been committed to tackling educational disadvantage throughout her career and ensuring that young people from deprived backgrounds have the opportunities and support to reach their potential. As part of the first cohort of Teach First Susie taught English in a secondary school in South-West London. During this time she set up a charity, Trust Youth, to support Year 10 pupils to develop the skills and experience to run fundraising campaigns for national charities. She subsequently worked as a Literacy Consultant for the government’s National Strategies programme in schools. As Executive Director of Services at School-Home Support, Susie has more recently had responsibility for a range of programmes tackling the underlying barriers to learning within the home, including the Troubled Families and the Parent Support Advisor initiatives.

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Leanne Adamson

National Programme Director, The Scholars Programme

Leanne studied Joint Honours in Chemistry and Physics at Durham University, where she received a First Class BSc and MSci. Upon graduating in 2011, she joined the Teach First programme where she taught Science at Churchill Community College in Newcastle for two years. Leanne has a strong interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and is passionate about helping more pupils progress into STEM related fields. She joined The Brilliant Club as a Programme Officer in 2013 and became National Programme Director for The Scholars Programme in 2017.

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Maddy Maloney

Executive Assistant to the Co-CEOs

Maddy studied English and Theatre Studies at the University of Warwick, spending a year at the Université Paris-Sorbonne. Whilst at university she acted as a writer, actor and contributor to Radio Warwick, was a member of Warwick Repertory Theatre Company and also acted as Social Secretary for the university’s Shakespeare Society. She worked for the Widening Patricipation Team and was  an English Ambassador for the Warwick Transformations Project. Before joining The Brilliant Club Midlands team as a Programme Administrator, Maddy completed work experience at BBC Radio 4 and worked at Gwyn James Solicitors. She joins The Brilliant Club as Personal Assistant to the Co-CEOs in May 2016.

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Greg Scannell

National Manager for Wales

Greg joined as National Manager for Wales, in January 2017, overseeing the growth and running of The Scholars Programme following its launch in Wales in Autumn 2016. Prior to joining the charity, he was a Leadership Development Officer for Teach First Cymru supporting new teachers entering the profession with both their practice and their well-being. Greg also worked for 5 years as a Humanities teacher at a large South West Wales Comprehensive school and as an Access Assistant Coordinator at the University of Oxford. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Master’s Degree in Education and a BA (Hons) in Theology from the University of Oxford. Outside of work, Greg enjoys spending time with his young family and attending live music and sports events.

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Joe Loudon

Area Director, West of England

Joe joined The Brilliant Club in August 2014 as a Programme Officer, becoming Midlands Regional Director in January 2016. Whilst studying History and Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield, he worked for a Guatemalan NGO – developing the interest in education and teaching which led him to join the Teach First programme in Yorkshire after graduating where he taught History and English in Bradford. Before joining The Brilliant Club. Joe then spent a year teaching in a Japanese high school.

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Steph Hamilton

Area Director, South of England

Steph joined The Brilliant Club in August 2015 as The East of England Regional Director. She graduated from Durham University in 2012, where she studied Anthropology. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Steph was Head of Biology and Aspirations Coordinator at Dyke House Sports and Technology College, Hartlepool, where she taught for three years, after training with Teach First. As part of her role Steph was also the Lead teacher for The Scholars’ Programme at Dyke House, seeing many of her own pupils through the programme. Steph is passionate about extending access opportunities to rural and coastal communities, an interest which has grown out of her work in the North East and which prompted her to join and lead The Brilliant Club’s expanding of the South of England team.

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Dr Natalie Day

Area Director, North of England

Natalie joined the Brilliant Club in April 2016 as a Programme Officer for the North of England. Prior to joining the charity, Natalie completed an ESRC-funded PhD in Sociology at Newcastle University, exploring the formal and informal sexual learning processes of young heterosexual women in Northeast Brazil.

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Lucy Preston

Area Director, East of England

Lucy joined The Brilliant Club in March 2016 as Programme Officer for the East of England. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2012. Prior to joining The Brilliant Club Lucy volunteered with City Year London before training as a Maths Teacher through Teach First in the West Midlands.

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Dr Andrew Fleming

Regional Manager, London

Andy joined the Brilliant Club in March 2016 as a Programme Officer for London and the South East. Prior to joining the charity, Andy completed an AHRC-funded DPhil in History at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, looking at sainthood and politics in medieval England. He has also worked as teacher in Indonesia and the Bahamas.

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Dr Katrina Williams

Regional Manager, North of England

Katrina joined as Programme Officer for the North of England in August 2016. Prior to joining the charity, Katrina graduated from The University of Sheffield, where she studied a PhD in Reproductive Biology and Genetics at undergraduate. Katrina’s PhD research project involved investigating the interactions between a common herpesvirus and human sperm.

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Annabel Marcuse

Regional Manager, East of England

Annabel joined The Brilliant Club in February 2017. As Regional Manager, she oversees programme delivery and partnerships for The Scholars Programme in the East of England. Upon graduating from the University of Durham in 2013, where she studied Modern Foreign Languages, Annabel completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. She taught French, Spanish and Latin, and was Head of French in two London secondary schools prior to joining The Brilliant Club.  Outside of work, Annabel is a keen supporter of Watford Football Club.

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David Jones

Teaching and Learning Director

David joined The Brilliant Club in 2015 as a Programme Officer before becoming the Teaching and Learning Manager for The Scholars Programme in March 2016. David graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2010, where he studied Modern History. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, David worked at an educational charity running supplementary schools before going to complete his PGCE at the University of Bath. David then worked as a Year 5 class teacher at Belleville Primary School in south London.

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Harriet Parkes

Programme Officer

Harriet joined The Brilliant Club in April 2016 as the Programme Officer for East Midlands. She graduated from University of Warwick in 2012, where she studied French and Italian. She then completed the Teach First programme in Birmingham where she taught Modern Foreign Languages. Since then, Harriet worked in recruitment for Teach First as part of their Assessment Centre team. Outside of work, Harriet is passionate about health and fitness, and an avid yoga practitioner.

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Dr Lucia Yandoli

Programme Officer

Lucia joined The Brilliant Club in January 2016 as the Programme Officer for East London. Lucia graduated from the University of Cambridge, where she studied Modern Languages followed by a PhD focusing on Italian cinema. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Lucia worked in film production and development and in film education at the British Film Institute.

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Charlie Talbot Rice

Programme Officer

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Katrina McKinney

Programme Officer

Katrina is a Programme Officer for The Scholars Programme. She is responsible for overseeing the quality delivery of The Scholars Programme in schools across North London. In addition to this, she plans and coordinates university events, runs assessment centres, and delivers pedagogical training to PhD researchers. Last year, Katrina graduated from her full-time MA at King’s College London, during which she studied Contemporary British History. She completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in July 2015, having taught History in schools in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. She also has experience managing projects and supporting sales teams from her experience working for Proctor & Gamble prior to, and throughout her time studying History at the University of Edinburgh.

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Jordanna Knight

Development Officer

Jordanna joined The Brilliant Club upon leaving Sixth Form in 2015. Although she completed her A-Levels, she believed it was essential to gain experience in the world of work before moving on to higher education. She decided she wanted to push herself out of her comfort zone by doing an apprenticeship programme in Business Administration. Jordanna is passionate about the charity’s mission and therefore committed to increasing access to these amazing opportunities for all pupils, as she too attended a non-selective state school. Increasing her knowledge about highly selective universities and fair access has encouraged her to want to contribute more to the charity to make a difference and she is now the Recruitment and Events Officer. Prior to this, she studied History, Sociology and Philosophy and Ethics.

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Maria Crawford

Programme Officer

Maria previously worked in Outreach at Aston University, University of Birmingham and with Aimhigher West Midlands, running programmes for schools from disadvantaged backgrounds. Prior to that, she studied Music at University of Southampton where she was involved in the STEM Roadshow, taking researchers work out into the wider community in accessible and interactive formats.

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Maryam Akhtar

Team Administrator, West of England

Maryam joined the Brilliant Club in October 2017 as a Programme Administrator for the West of England. As a recent graduate from the University of Birmingham, where she studied BA Policy, Politics and Economics, Maryam has obtained roles as a Campaigns Advisor/committee member for the Black and Ethnic Minority Association, Student Ambassador and course Representative. She has further worked as a Clerical Assistant for the Birmingham International Academy, Inside Sales Support Assistant with a customer experience management company called InMoment and interned with the Institute of Research into Superdiversity. Dedicated to tackling inequality particularly along racial, class and gendered lines, Maryam is passionate about facilitating The Brilliant Club’s vision of supporting students who have often been excluded from participating in higher education culture.

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Charlie Ledley

Senior Programme Director

Charlie is a RIS Senior Programme Manager and is passionate about improving opportunities for young people from all backgrounds. After graduating from Lancaster University where she studied History and Politics, Charlie helped to establish a community radio station which had a particular focus on enthusing young people and encouraging them to take a more active role in their local community. In 2012 Charlie joined the Teach First Leadership Development Programme teaching English at Lodge Park Academy in Corby. Since then, Charlie has worked as a Teaching and Learning Associate at Barnwell School in Stevenage where she mentored trainee teachers and provided twilight CPD sessions for more experienced teachers in order to improve pupil progress. Outside of work, Charlie is a keen sports fan.

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Rachel Lawrence

Curriculum and Development Director

Rachel read Theology at Trinity College Oxford, before doing a PGCE at St. Mary’s University College Twickenham. She later completed a Masters in Teaching at the Institute of Education, and is currently in her second year of an Educational Doctorate at Kings College London. Rachel worked as an Advanced Skills teacher for Hounslow LEA and London Challenge. She worked with primary and secondary teachers and in various subject areas including Humanities, Maths and Science. As part of her work as an AST she also worked as a visiting lecturer at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham. She became Head of Religious Studies at Lampton School in 2011 and in 2012 led the department in their application to be one of the pilot schools for the national RE Quality Mark. The department was awarded the Gold Award which recognised the work of the department as consistently outstanding. Rachel is an Associate Senior Leader at Lampton School.

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Nicholas Cater

Recruitment Director

Nicholas is responsible for all aspects of the programme’s recruitment processes, from initial attraction and advertising, through to assessment and placement. Since graduating from Durham University with a degree in Modern Languages and a Masters in Translation, Nicholas worked initially as an Accountant, then freelance translator, before finally settling on recruitment. He worked at a boutique recruitment firm in Central London where he was responsible for the delivery of several national graduate schemes. Outside of work, Nicholas enjoys keeping his languages up to scratch and is a keen traveller, particularly around Europe and Russia.

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Amy Broom

School Partnerships Manager

Amy is driven by a desire to increase the number of subject experts teaching in non-selective schools. Having completed her Masters in Engineering at the University of Cambridge in 2008, she undertook teacher training in South East London through the Graduate Teacher Programme. As Head of Physics at a new build academy Amy focussed on developing metacognitive approaches and promoting practical and thinking skills in science through evidence-based strategies. Prior to joining Researchers in Schools Amy was Director of STEM at a UTC in Kent, overseeing an enhanced curriculum in Engineering and Construction, employer engagement and CEIAG. Outside of work Amy is a keen equestrienne.

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Gil Brandt

Teaching and Learning Officer

Within his role, Gil is responsible for delivering teacher training content for participants on the programme. Gil taught Mathematics in a secondary school in Leeds, Yorkshire for two years as part of the TeachFirst Leadership Development Programme (2012 cohort). He then went on to work as a curriculum coordinator in a South London school . He has also been on the Education Policy Network committee which organised discussions and debates for teachers around contemporary policy issues. Gil read History and Social Sciences at the University of Manchester.

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Alexandra Tanner

Programme Officer

Alex joined as one of the first RIS Programme Officers in August 2016. Alex joined the Teach First Programme in 2013, which involved teaching science in Manchester and following this was a Year 8 science teacher at a school in South London. Alex graduated with a Bachelors degree in bioveterinary sciences from the University of Liverpool and is particularly interested in STEM education and extra-curricular opportunities for students. In her spare time, she enjoys attending science lectures and events, fencing and running.

 

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Sarah Brennan

Programme Officer

Sarah is a Programme Officer for RIS and is passionate about widening participation at highly selective universities. She studied French with Linguistics at the University of York and Université de Nantes. In 2009, Sarah completed a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages in North Yorkshire. She taught MFL for six years and was Head of Department at St Michael’s Catholic School, an all-through school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys theatre and live music, she is also a keen baker.

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Rosa Smith

Programme Officer

Rosa joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in September 2017. She studied English (BA) at the University of Exeter, and became interested in Widening Participation whilst working in local schools as part of their student ambassador programme. She then worked for CRUK before completing the Teach First programme as part of the 2012 cohort. She taught English for five years, progressing to become KS5 lead and then Head of 6th Form at a secondary school in South-East London. Whilst there, she also mentored trainee teachers and NQTs. She remains committed to improving access to selective universities and raising student aspirations.

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Joanna Clark

Programme Officer

Joanna joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in October 2017. In 2008, she spent the summer working in California as a Camp Counsellor with 9-17 year olds, and it was here that she decided she wanted to pursue a career working with young people. After graduating from Queen Mary, University of London with a BA in English, Jo worked as a Teaching Assistant, before training as an English teacher through the Graduate Teaching Programme in 2011. She joined the English department at Morpeth Secondary School in Bethnal Green as an NQT, and later became the Deputy Head of English and KS3 Coordinator. Outside of work, Jo enjoys travel, live music and keeping fit.

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Angel-Ann D’Souza

Finance Director

Angel-Ann joined The Brilliant Club in February 2016 as The Finance Manager. Angel-Ann graduated from Trent university in Canada, where she studied Business and has her CPA, CMA designation in Canada. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Angel-Ann worked at Safran Electronics Canada in the Finance department.

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Claire Ross

Finance Officer

Claire joined The Brilliant Club in September 2016 as The Finance Officer.  Claire graduated with a Bachelor of Business Studies (Finance) from Sligo Institute of Technology before becoming an ACCA affiliate in 2011.  Before joining The Brilliant Club Claire worked for Musica Viva Australia, a not-for-profit performing arts organisation and on her return to the northern hemisphere was keen to continue her career in the charitable sector.  When not crunching numbers, Claire enjoys theatre both as a participant and spectator.

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Ian Deeks

IT Support Officer

Ian joined The Brilliant Club as IT Support Officer in September 2016. Prior to this, Ian worked as an IT Technician at a primary school and has also spent time working in finance. He graduated from Westminster University with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science. Ian enjoys watching stand-up comedy and working his way through a list of exciting and unique places to eat.

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Anna Aleksandrowicz

HR Manager

Anna is the HR Manager at The Brilliant Club and joined in September 2017. Her role is to support all who work for the charity with various initiatives including recruitment and ongoing professional development. Having completed a degree in European Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University, Anna moved into a career in HR in early 2010 and gained much of her experience working across various educational and non-profit organisations. In 2016 Anna completed an MA in Human Resource Management at Westminster Business School, which gained her a professionally recognised CIPD qualification.

Having completed her studies, Anna spends her free time travelling widely and frequently. Having proudly completed a whistle-stop tour of six continents in six months, Anna enjoys documenting her excursions as a keen hobbyist travel photographer.

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Chloe Hayes

Operations Team Administrator

Chloe joined The Brilliant Club in May 2017 as the Operations Team Administrator, after completing a three-month internship with The Scholars Programme. She graduated from the University of Warwick in 2016, where she studied German and History. As part of her degree she lived in Germany for nine months, where she worked as a Foreign Languages Assistant, teaching English in a comprehensive school. Outside of work, Chloe enjoys art, travel and being a tourist in cities around the UK.

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Jade Hanley

Communications and Marketing Officer

 

Jade joined The Brilliant Club as Communications and Marketing Officer in October 2016, where she overseas the organisation’s online presence and public profile, as well as editing The Scholar journal. Before joining the charity she was the Brand Manager for boutique decor company in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has also worked as the Learner Support Programmes Manager at a secondary school in Johannesburg. Jade graduated with a BA (hons) in History from the University of Warwick in 2014, during which time she spent a semester studying in Venice. Outside of work Jade enjoys the outdoors, learning languages and dancing.

 

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Dr Celeste Cheung

Research and Evaluation Manager

Celeste joined The Brilliant Club in October 2016 as the Research and Evaluation Manager. After completing her PhD in 2013, Celeste continued her research in neurodevelopmental disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. Before arriving at The Brilliant Club, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Birkbeck University of London, leading on a Leverhulme Trust-funded project investigating the impact of touchscreen use on infant cognitive and brain development. She taught as a PhD tutor on the Scholars Programme in 2012, and has since been involved in other widening access initiatives.

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Owen Carter

Teacher Toolkit Project Manager

Owen is Impact Toolkit Project Manager at The Brilliant Club, working on a new platform to effectively evaluate the impact of school-based interventions. Previously, he worked as Content Lead at Optimus Education, connecting a network of over 1000 schools with the expertise of leading researchers and trainers. He has also worked for SAGE and Pearson Publishing, developing apps for primary and secondary school pupils. Owen writes for a number of educational publications, mainly on the application of research evidence to school and classroom practice.

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Paul Rünz

Impact and Reporting Manager

Paul joined The Brilliant Club in September 2016. Prior to being the Impact and Reporting Manager, he was the charity’s Data Analysis Officer. Before joining The Brilliant Club, Paul worked as a researcher in the Department for Research and Development at the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. Paul studied Political Science at the University of Mainz, Germany and holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from UCL. Outside of work Paul has been a long-time member of the Bringing Europeans Together Association (BETA), where he has helped organise educational projects for young Europeans about EU politics.

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Irina Sirbu

Data Analysis Officer

Irina joined The Brilliant Club in September 2017. Prior to this, Irina completed her PhD in Social work, where she explored the separation and reunification experiences of young people reunited from residential care with their families in Moldova. As a Research Associate at the School of Social Work (University of East Anglia), Irina worked on a large-scale project looking at the adoptive families’ experiences. Irina holds an MSc in Early Child Development from the University of Oxford. In her master’s thesis she examined the association between parental involvement and pupils’ intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in Moldova. Irina has also worked in a variety of secondary and higher education institutions in Moldova, Belarus and the UK. Irina is an Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy in the UK. Her research and professional interests focus on improving the lives of children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds, looked-after children and children in developing countries.

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Michael Slavinsky

Education Development Director

Michael Slavinsky is the Education Development Director at The Brilliant Club, responsible for internal and external training, education partnerships, and innovation across the charity. He completed the Teach First leadership development programme and taught French for three years full-time at London Academy in north London where he became Head of Modern Languages. He joined The Brilliant Club in 2011 and has worked on researcher development and teacher training in this time, designing and delivering the first RIS programmes before his current role.

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Dr Rajbir Hazelwood

International Programme Development Manager

Rajbir joined The Brilliant Club in 2015. Prior to being the International Programme Development Manager, she was Regional Manager for The Scholars Programme in West London and the South Coast. Rajbir graduated from the University of Warwick with a BA (hons.) in Modern European History. She completed her MA and PhD at Washington University in St. Louis, specialising in the histories of south Asia, empire, and gender. Her research examines decolonisation and the punjabi diaspora in postwar Britain. Prior to working at The Brilliant Club, Rajbir was Assistant Professor of Modern British History at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.