Our people

Lord Baker

Lord Baker

I was a Conservative Member of Parliament from 1968 to 1997. I held a number of senior positions in Margaret Thatcher's Government, including Secretary of State for Education and Science when I introduced the National Curriculum, Tests, City Technology Colleges and Grant-Maintained Schools. I became a member of the House of Lords in 1997. As co-founder of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, we are leading the introduction of University Technical Colleges. I firmly believe that young people should have access to high quality education combining academic, practical and vocational learning - vital both for our students and for our economy.

Alice Barnard

Fresh from her role heading up the Peter Jones Foundation, Alice has enjoyed considerable public profile notably as Chief Executive of rural campaign group, the Countryside Alliance. After graduating from Cambridge University with an MA in history, Alice pursued a career in journalism working for Sporting Life editor Mike Gallimore and on the Metropolitan Police newspaper,The Job, before moving into publishing.

David Harbourne

David Harbourne
Director of Policy and Research

David Harbourne is Director of Policy and Research. His role includes commissioning, collating and summarising research evidence and using it to support evidence-based policy making. David has previously worked for the Ministry of Agriculture, National Association of Master Bakers, Hospitality Training Foundation, North Yorkshire Training and Enterprise Council and the Learning and Skills Council. 


Olly Newton
Director of Policy and Research

My recent work on traineeships and apprenticeships has given me the opportunity to meet inspirational young people from around the country, who are the best ambassadors for high quality vocational and practical education. Every day their experiences show the value of this kind of learning to build the skills and knowledge they need to accelerate their careers. I am very excited by the opportunity that my new role at Edge brings to develop further our collective evidence base for technical education and share the benefits of vocational and technical education with more young people.

Nicolas Heslop

Nicolas Heslop
Head of Public Affairs

I joined Edge as its first public affairs manager in February 2006. I was previously public affairs manager at SEMTA (Science, Engineering, Manufacturing Technologies Alliance), a Sector Skills Council. Before SEMTA I worked as special adviser to the then education secretary Gillian Shephard and also have experience of working in the House of Commons.

Jane Samuels

Jane Samuels
Head of Projects and Partnerships

I joined Edge in 2005 from local government. Before that I spent more than 15 years in the music and broadcast industries, licensing music videos to television companies. I'm responsible for Edge's project management system as well as specific projects. I think Edge is a great chance to work somewhere that can really make a difference to the education system.

Jayne Phenton
PR & Comms Manager

I've been managing media and PR campaigns in the charity sector for over 15 years, raising the profile of causes and organisations ranging from single parenthood to heritage to mental health. I am a great supporter of Edge's advocacy of the benefits of technical, practical and vocational learning. As a former polytechnic student I think there should be options available to everyone to ensure we can all make the most of our skills and talent. 

Anna Ribenfors
Marketing & PR Executive

My degree in Educational Studies gave me a huge insight into the disparity between vocational and academic routes through education. As someone who learns much better by doing I think it is so important that young people are made aware of the many paths available to them. Having a keen interest in PR and Marketing alongside this, meant that the Edge Foundation was the perfect fit for me.

Marissa Jennings
Executive PA

I have worked in the Media sales Industry for over 10 years and joined Edge in March 2011. I work for the CEO of Edge and the President as their Executive PA. Since being at Edge I myself have learnt a great deal about the concept of "learning by doing" and I have seen it put into practice and how it can inspire and enthuse young people and make them believe in not only themselves but their futures.

Matthew Bogle
Office Manager and CRM Administrator

Joining Edge has been an inspiring experience, especially as its message promoting practical and vocational learning correlates with how I have gained my achievements. I didn't enter my career through the university route. I have previously worked in many local council authorities and entered Edge to work specifically on our large database as well as managing the Edge office. I believe Apprenticeships and work based learning should be valued as highly as other education routes, they can give young people an advantage as they learn top class practical skills and can gain degree level knowledge.    


Edge Trustees

Lord Adonis, Neil Bates, Pauline Daniyan, Sir Garry Hawkes CBE, Professor Colin Riordan, Sir Kevin Satchwell, Andrew Stevens and Toby Peyton-Jones.

Edge Patron

HRH The Duke of Kent, KG

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