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.
Jan Hodges OBECEO
My career has been spent working in education starting as a
teacher in secondary schools abroad and in the UK and then working
as a lecturer and manager in Further Education. Prior to joining
the Edge Foundation I was Principal of a large College of Further
and Higher Education for 9 years. Having championed the importance
and benefits of high quality vocational and technical
education throughout my career, I am delighted to have the
opportunity and challenge of heading up Edge which is dedicated to
doing just that.
David HarbourneDirector 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.
Rachel KellettDirector of Finance and Administration
As a chartered accountant I worked for Deloitte and Touche, for
a Finnish paper company and for Edexcel before joining Edge. I am
responsible for all its financial, IT, personnel and legal matters.
I joined Edge in search of a new challenge and love the range of
opportunities and ideas that have been developed to influence the
Nicolas HeslopPublic Affairs Manager
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.
Andi NeophytouHead of Marketing
With a background in Marketing & PR, I have worked on a
number of high profile campaigns over the years. I joined Edge in
November 2007 as I believe 'learning by doing' is crucial to
realising your individual potential, skill and talent.
Jane SamuelsProject and Operations Manager
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.
Susan Higgins Press Officer (Wednesday - Friday)
I joined Edge in January 2011. I have worked in media
relations for over a decade, specialising in PR and celebrity
management. Prior to joining Edge I worked as an
agent representing celebrities and experts in food and
wine. Before that I directed PR campaigns for global
hair & beauty brands. Working for such a unique organisation
has given me the opportunity to work with some inspirational
individuals who are changing our education system and creating
positive opportunities for young people.
Nikki SaundersPress Officer (Monday - Tuesday)
I have had the opportunity to work with many different charities
and educational organisations having spent 8 years working in the
not-for-profit division of a leading London PR agency and most
recently, leading an events team at an educational charity in
Westminster. I have witnessed firsthand the enormous benefits
of 'learning by doing' - inspiring young people to develop a keen
interest and commitment in their future careers. I am delighted to
have joined the Edge team to help even more young people follow
their path of choosing and reach their full potential.
Anna RibenforsMarketing & 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
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 BogleOffice Manager and CRM Administrator
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.
Lord Adonis, Neil Bates, Pauline Daniyan, Sir Garry Hawkes
CBE, Marion Plant OBE, Professor Colin Riordan, Sir Kevin
Satchwell, Andrew Stevens and Toby Peyton-Jones.
HRH The Duke of Kent, KG
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