Who we are

Services For Education (Charity no. 1148848) uses the power of learning and of music to create and build confidence amongst children, young people, adults and communities across the city of Birmingham.  Our mission is to bring music and learning to life.

We believe that every young person should be able to grow up to be the very best that they can be, regardless of their background.

To this end the charity was formed in 2012 to provide more opportunities for children of all ages and abilities in Birmingham to reach their full potential.

Find out more about our
three main offers:





Services For Education Limited

CE: Sharon Bell

Senior Leadership Team: Lindsay Allen, Stuart Birnie, Carl Black, Tracy Carlton, Kirsty Jones and Sarah Marshall

Registered Number: 07739831
Registered Charity in England and Wales: 1148848

Registered Address:
Unit 3 Holt Court
Holt Street
Birmingham Science Park Aston
B7 4AX

Key contacts

Sharon Bell

sharon bell
chief executive

Sharon recently took over the role of CE, she was previously Group Vice Principal (Commercial and International) at WCG (Warwickshire College Group).

Send Sharon an email.

Tracy Carlton - Marketing and Development Director

tracy carlton
Director of Marketing & Business Development

Tracy is responsible for establishing, developing and growing our marketing and business development function, together with managing the fundraising team.

Send Tracy an email.

Stuart birnie
head of the music service

Formerly an Advanced Skills Teacher, Assistant Head of Service and Head of Whole Class Instrumental Teaching, Stuart is now Head of the Music Service.

Send Stuart an email.


Kirsty Jones
Head of School SUpport

With 20-years’ experience in school leadership spanning mainstream, special schools and alternative provision settings, Kirsty is now Head of School Support.

Send Kirsty an email.


Our Governance

As a charity, our executive leadership team are overseen by a Board of Trustees, the current trustees are:

Sarah Smith (Chair) – Director of Education for the Diocese of Birmingham and a former head teacher

David Bolton (Deputy Chair) – trained with a Birmingham accountancy practice and now works for the world’s largest cash machine deployer with internationally based teams. David’s three children have learned brass instruments through Services For Education

Clive Stone DL – Clive is currently CEO of Professional Services company and former  Chairman and CEO of a leading Midlands’ catering and events company. Clive is also a Deputy Lieutenant for the West Midlands

Joanna Cooney – Joanna who grew up in the West Midlands and is a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell. Since joining Irwin Mitchell, first as a paralegal, Joanna has worked for several years within the employment team where she developed my interest in employment law issues in the education sector. During this time she supported numerous educational clients on a range of employment issues

Martin Hall – Martin has 33 years in the corporate insurance broking sector, Martin now runs a consultancy which works directly with clients to leverage their broker/insurer relationships.  Martin sits on the board of small tech based businesses, is Chair of Governors for a Primary School and an Enterprise Adviser to secondary schools in Tamworth

Jamie Barry – Jamie is Head Teacher of Yew Tree Primary School in Walsall. Mr Barry started his teaching career in Birmingham and has more than ten years of headship experience in academy and maintained schools in three different local authorities. He is a former Branch Secretary of the National Association of Headteachers and has gained an NPQH (national professional qualification for headship) as well as currently studying for NPQEL (the national professional qualification for executive leadership).

Dr Peter Borg-Bartolo – Peter is the current Chair of The Lunar Society. After a wide-ranging career in medicine, including 34-years as a general practitioner in Birmingham, he is now Senior Clinical Mentor with NHS Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board (ICB) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Dr Jory Debenham – Jury has worked in music education for more than 25 years as a private instrumental teacher, examiner and university lecturer, alongside roles in corporate communications, investor relations and government policy. She is currently a Senior Policy Advisor for Defra – The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – as well as being a committed instrumental teacher and assessor.

Shimri Vachter – Shimri is an experienced Strategy Board Member and a Senior Director in the realms of Cyber,AI and Automation. Cloud, SASE and AI Platforms Global Sales Executive setting the Strategy, Go-To-Market, Aliiances ,Partners and Route to Market.

Awards we have won for our services

During the past few years, we have been honoured with several major accolades, both regionally and nationally, in recognition of our work, approach and achievements.

2024 Award Winner

2024 Winner
Training Provider or educational establishment of the year

music & drama awards

2023 Winner
Excellence in SEND

In partnership with Soundabout


2022 Winner
the Arts, culture and heritage award

2022 Winner
Outstanding Charity of the Year

music & drama awards

2021 Winner

music & drama awards



2021 Winner
Innovation in Education Award

Birmingham chambers logo

2021 Winner
Excellence in Training and Education

2019 Winner
Excellence in Training and Education

2019 Winner
Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community

Music Teacher Awards For Excellence Logo - Services For Education

2018 Winner
Music Education Council Major Award

Birmingham Awards - Services For Education - Music Service

2018 Winner
Contribution to Education

Brass bands england award logo, won by services for education

2018 Silver winner
Birmingham schools' brass band championship sections

Our values are extremely important to us

Our mission is to provide services in support of excellence in the teaching, learning, and wellbeing of young people and adults. We do this by applying these principles:


I just wanted to email you to thank you personally for today’s KS2 course – it was great! You jam packed it full, with excellent content and a perfect balance of going through content and then looking at the writing pieces at the end to moderate.

Sarah Richards, Head of Department – BEST Academies

What our customer and students say about us…


After training in DSL across three local authorities and different providers, this is by far the best training I’ve been to! 

It is excellent. The trainers are not regurgitating the legal documents. It’s hands on and practical with real on the ground “walk-through” advice of processes and forms.

Excellent. Absolutely excellent.

Beverley Walker-Gordon – Headteacher – The Orchards Primary Academy, Greenheart Learning Partnership

One of the best updates I have attended, the training will support the critical reflection of the DSLs in my school

Sukhbinder Gosal – World’s End Junior School

Great opportunities for an honest discussion across schools and to see successes from other schools and to see and compare and share good practise tips.

Assistant head teacher

Course leader was absolutely fabulous. So nice to have someone relatable, not being out of the classroom long, delivering courses. Message of the course was received well due to the level of empathy and understanding of our role. Thank you very much!

Sophie O’Neill Class TEacher – St Bernards Catholic Primary School

RE COURSE: Simone was very knowledgeable in the field of RE and was able to answer many of my questions based around Special Education.

Lori Hake, SUBJECT LEADER – Victoria Special School

ENGLISH COURSE: Emma was lovely and incredibly personable. Her delivery was clear, calm and concise and it was very reassuring how she went through all the stages of the training leaving plenty of room for reflection and discussion. I really enjoyed the session with Emma and have taken back lots of pointers to include in my wider teaching practise.

Huma Khan, class teacher

MATHS COURSE: Useful session, lots to think about that relate to more than just a Maths setting when considering TAs roles. 

Edward Tierney, Teaching Assistant – Archway School 

I just wanted to email you to thank you personally for today’s KS2 course – it was great! You jam packed it full, with excellent content and a perfect balance of going through content and then looking at the writing pieces at the end to moderate.

Sarah Richards, Head of Department – BEST Academies

Denise was very thorough and informative as always and gave time for delegates to ask questions. She was able to provide all the necessary information needed to ensure the PSC is administered correctly within schools.

Jessica Sparkes, Assistant Headteacher – Yarnfield Primary School

Denise was a fantastic presenter and was extremely knowledgeable in all areas of the screening check. All our questions were answered with ease.

Helen Griffin, Classroom Teacher – Arden Primary School

A great day – lots of opportunities to share ideas and learn from others

NPQLTD delegate

Helen is an excellent facilitator. She supportive and informative.

NPQLTD delegate

The presentations we did in small groups were really effective”, “A good and engaging session

NPQLBC delegate

Many thanks for the resources which you have sent through. Thank you for organising such a valuable course – the presenters and content were exceptional. (Let’s Cook event)

Claire Peart – Lozells Junior and Infant

Services For Education has worked with us since the inception of our Health for Life® programme, helping to develop and deliver a successful healthy lifestyle programme for Birmingham schools, focusing on healthy eating and cookery, growing food and physical activity. We are proud of the partnership, particularly valuing Services For Education’s experience and understanding of the school environment with its multiple priorities and demands. The team’s flexibility, commitment and enthusiasm to support and guide schools in adopting the Health for Life programme has led to long-lasting impact on participating schools’ curriculum and culture, encouraging and enabling pupils, families and school staff to lead healthier lifestyles. We are delighted to see the positive changes which have been achieved in primary, nursery and secondary schools over the last 12 years and are pleased to have now reached half the primary schools in the city. We look forward to continuing our partnership to involve more schools in Health for Life.

Kelly Farrell, Community Affairs and Sustainability Manager – Mondelez International

I’ve been able to improve my playing immensely thanks to orchestra peers and tutors pushing me, I have made a number of friends and have had amazing opportunities throughout the year to play some great music in some of the UK’s most renowned concert halls.

lucas houldcroft – trumpet student

Our students do not easily collaborate so to work together, editing and improving to make music, has been a positive challenge and they are visibly learning and enjoying the experience. It’s the layering of their combined efforts which is lovely to witness.

debbie poole, class teacher – baskerville schoo

I wanted to quickly drop an email and share some lovely news. One of our year 11 students who takes lessons is a looked after child so there was a meeting last week with social workers etc.

The feedback from the meeting is that the student is only engaging in music and he has said music is what is keeping him going at the minute, in particular his instrumental lessons.

I just want to thank SFE for all your hard work with this student and congratulate you on being such a positive influence to what can be a difficult child. Thanks for all your hard work

Anonymous talking about our Music cares project

Our involvement has been so beneficial for E. We joined during lockdown and we looked forward to the sessions hugely, they were so cheering and uplifting. E found it wonderful to be part of a group where she felt accepted and celebrated. Her confidence in her ability to sing and perform has increased and she has since started having singing lessons and joined another choir as well!

Parent of Inclusive choir Member

I just wanted to send you a message to say how amazing M and my dad found Tiger Tiger – when I called my dad after work he was absolutely buzzing about it and it sounded incredible!! Both M and the other service user who went got so much from it. I had a tear in my eye when my dad was talking to me about it all and how much M communicated non verbally. I really hope it is successful for you all because it is such a wonderful opportunity you are giving to adults like M. I really hope there is one session in a half term so that I can go with M!!! Congratulations on this amazing project. Best wishes, E x

Emily, Tiger Tiger family member

Page Last Modified:  18/06/2024 12:57