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Our people

Lord Baker, Chair

Lord Baker was a Conservative Member of Parliament from 1968 to 1997. He held a number of senior positions in Margaret Thatcher's Government, including Secretary of State for Education and Science when he introduced the National Curriculum, Tests, City Technology Colleges and Grant-Maintained Schools. He became a member of the House of Lords in 1997. As co-founder of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, Lord Baker is leading the introduction of University Technical Colleges. He firmly believes 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, CEO

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.

Matt Bogle, Office Manager and CRM Administrator

Matt is the first person you meet when you arrive at the Edge Foundation. Matt’s main job is to keep the office running; he takes care of office admin, IT issues, room bookings and meeting arrangements and refreshments. Matt also maintains our CRM. When Edge takes on work experience students, Matt acts as their mentor. He also volunteers at school careers events where he talks about running a fashion business – something which he does very successfully in his free time. Contact Matt on

Nicolas Heslop, Head of Public Affairs

Nicolas Heslop leads on the development and implementation of Edge’s public affairs strategy. He looks for opportunities to engage parliamentarians in our campaign to raise the profile of, and support for, technical, practical and professional learning. Nicolas has previously worked at the Department for Education, as a research assistant in the House of Commons and at the Science, Engineering, Manufacturing Technologies Alliance (SEMTA). Contact Nicolas on

Jane Samuels, Head of Projects and Partnerships

Jane is the point of contact for the majority of projects that Edge supports, making sure that everything is running smoothly and that we are doing all we can to support them. This involves, among many other things, visiting all our projects and partner organisations to see what’s happening on the ground. Jane also sits on a number of the governing bodies and boards of our projects to ensure our support continues even after our initial financial contribution has ended. Contact Jane on

Marissa Jennings, Executive PA

Marissa works very closely with the Chief Executive, arranging meetings, booking travel arrangements - including overseas trips, and organising events. Marissa also provides admin support to the rest of the team including cover for the Chair’s secretary and the Office Manager when they are absent. Marissa has over twenty years of experience across several different sectors including education, finance and media. She has worked at the Edge Foundation for five years. In her free time Marissa volunteers at Battersea Dogs and Cats home. Contact Marissa on

Olly Newton, Director of Policy and Research

Olly’s job is to find out what works in technical, practical and professional learning, both here in the UK and worldwide. Drawing on a wide range of facts, figures, research and empirical evidence, he works with colleagues to present accurate and up to date information to policy makers, practitioners and the media. Olly has worked for ten years in the Department for Education, most recently as Head of Apprenticeship Strategy. Olly is based in Sheffield and outside work, he volunteers with the Scout Association. Contact Olly on

Jayne Phenton, PR and Communications Manager

Jayne has worked in the charity sector for over 15 years putting good causes on the front pages and in the headlines. Her job is to tell the world about the work Edge does, why it’s important and why they should care, in print, on the airwaves, on the telly and online. Away from the Edge office, Jayne edits her own online women’s magazine and finds time to enjoy her favourite things which include the seaside, ice-cream and fireworks. Contact Jayne on

James Husband, Finance Manager

James looks after the finances at Edge. He also loves to bake bread and will often treat the office to a freshly made loaf. Contact James on

Dexter Hutchings, Marketing and Digital Communications Executive

Dexter takes care of the website and social media. He is an apprentice at Edge and is currently studying towards a Level 3 in Digital Marketing. Outside of Edge; Dexter can be found working at the local adventure play farm. Contact Dexter on

Trustees, Edge Foundation

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