meet the team

At Services For Education, we take pride in only hiring the very best people for our team, many of whom have previous experience as teachers, headteachers, senior leaders and governors. Find out more about our wonderful team below.

Kirsty Jones - Head of School Support, Services For EducationKirsty Jones

Most recently, she was Executive Principal at Shaw Education Trust - which has 26 academies including two Institutes of Education. Prior to that, Kirsty was Executive School Improvement Advisor at Wolverhampton University Trust.

As Principal at Willenhall E-ACT Academy, from 2017 to 2019, she is credited with implementing a multi-faceted approach that enabled the Academy to go from being a school in special measures to one where Ofsted praised her energy and enthusiasm and acknowledged the dramatic rise in pupil attendance.

Stuart BirnieStuart Birnie - Head of the Music Service, Services For Education

Stuart joined Birmingham Music Service in 1991 – prior it to becoming the charity Services For Education – as a brass teacher, then Advanced Skills teacher and following that Assistant Head to the Music Service. He became Head of the Music service in 2018 and is responsible for leading the Birmingham Music Education Partnership Music Education Hub. This is a pivotal role in disseminating DfE funding through partner organisations in the city and delivering on Arts Council core and extension roles as set out in the National Plan for Music Education.

Stuart has a passion to reach as many areas of the city as possible and works closely with external partner organisations to reach children and young people with additional needs and those living in areas of disadvantage through project led activity. Stuart is also vice chair of Birmingham Creates – Birmingham Cultural Education Partnership.

Adam HickmanAdam Hickman - Deputy Head of Music Service, Services For Education

Adam graduated from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (formerly Birmingham Conservatoire) in 2008 with a BMus (Hons) degree, where he studied classical guitar with Mark Ashford and Mark Eden. Upon graduation, Adam completed a PGCE in Primary Education at Birmingham City University and has since worked as a peripatetic music teacher. He is currently Deputy Head of Music Service at Services For Education.

In the past, Adam has worked as an External Examiner at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and coordinated and lectured on music education modules at both Birmingham City University and The University of Birmingham.

In June 2019, Adam was awarded Honorary Membership of Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in recognition for his work in music education. Adam is also active as a conductor and ensemble director through his work with the Birmingham Schools’ Training Guitar Ensemble and the National Youth Guitar Ensemble.

Charlotte BuxtonCharlotte Buxton - Deputy Head of Music Service, Services For Education

Charlotte began her teaching career in 2003 working for Bromley Youth Music Trust as a Licenced teacher. After graduating with a BMus(Hons) degree in 2005, Charlotte was appointed as a full-time member of staff at BYMT. Over 11 years Charlotte progressed through the ranks and ultimately held the post of Wider Opportunities Coordinator and Assistant Head of Woodwind for the borough.

Charlotte joined Services For Education in September 2014 as Head of Woodwind and enjoyed five years leading a vibrant department and teaching across the city. She was appointed Deputy Head of Music Service and Head of Ensembles in September 2019 and has since spearheaded exciting collaborations with international artists Nicola Benedetti and Jess Gillam whilst leading the ensemble system into the digital age to maintain provision throughout the pandemic.

She was the inaugural recipient of the Music and Drama Education Awards Gold Star Award in March 2021 for ‘formidable impact and reach, with a remarkable ambition and vision’.

Denise Harris - Adviser, Services For EducationDenise Harris

Denise has more than 25 years of experience as a qualified teacher (B.Ed, Hons) working in schools and an Education Action Zone. She became a local authority primary consultant in 2003 with a focus on mathematics and assessment. In this role she gained accreditation as an Every Child Counts (ECC) Teacher leader and was awarded an MA in Early Mathematics from Edge Hill University. She has also successfully completed the NCETM Primary Professional Development Lead Support Programme gaining recognition as being accredited and up-to-date on current thinking on national mathematics priorities.

The focus of her current role is the management and delivery of the statutory assessment contract for moderation and monitoring on behalf of Birmingham LA. Through this role, and as an active member of AAIA, she works closely with other moderation managers both locally and nationally.

Helen Grundy - Adviser, Services For EducationHelen Grundy

Helen qualified with a first class honours degree in English and Education Studies in 1998. A significant amount of her degree was spent studying in Amsterdam under the Hogeschool Holland, adding a TESOL element to her degree and enabling study and understanding of international approaches to education. Helen’s teaching career then took place across Staffordshire in infant, first and primary schools, taking on various roles in subject leadership, as SENCo and SLT, and achieving the NCTL Leadership Pathways award.

Noted successful practice resulted in Helen becoming a Leading Maths Teacher, supporting colleagues across the county. This became a role that she increasingly enjoyed and led naturally to a role in consultancy and advising.

Helen joined Services For Education in 2015 as an Education Adviser. Her role was primarily as a Maths Adviser however since joining the company has also become manager of the highly successful Health for Life in Primary Schools programme, NQT Manager as part of the LA approved Appropriate Body for NQT Induction and a member of the Statutory Assessment team.

Jo Perrin - Adviser, Services For EducationJo Perrin

Jo Perrin taught PSHE in schools for over a decade and held the role of Designated Safeguarding Lead and pastoral lead. She currently works as an Education Adviser for Services For Education which allows her to combine her experience in schools with a personal knowledge of childhood trauma as a former foster carer.

In addition, Jo worked as a West Midlands’ Adviser for a national PSHE resource, has delivered a presentation to the Sex Education Forum National Members’ Event and has created a variety of RSE resources as part of her role for Services For Education.

Jo’s advisory experience is not limited to training school staff as she works with non-education based organisations to support them in safeguarding and emotional health and well-being aims and is an affiliated trainer for Mental Health At Work.

Lucie WelchLucie Welch – Adviser, Services For Education

Lucie Welch taught in primary schools for over 13 years, holding the roles of Assistant Head, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, Attendance Lead and many subject lead roles.

She currently works as an Education Adviser at Services For Education, working in the Safeguarding, PSHE and SCITT teams. Through these roles she is able to share her experience and knowledge of teaching in primary schools, leading in a range of subjects and overseeing safeguarding within the primary setting.

Lucie has an interest in understanding how trauma and adverse childhood experiences can impact children and their future lives as well as educating staff and pupils on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in schools.

Natasha Lawson-Hollingsworth - Course and Contract Manager, Services For Education

Natasha graduated with a BA Childhood Studies and after a decade as a Senior Recruiter in the Health and Social Care sector, started an engagement role in Higher Education.

Working in a busy careers department, Natasha delivered lectures on careers development and getting ready for the world of work. As well as being responsible for events and employer engagement, Natasha managed Masters students in-house internships.

Natasha joined Services For Education in 2017 and has since completed her Masters in Learning and Teaching.

Natasha manages many of our NQT processes.

Paul Douglas - Head of SFE Music School, Deputy Head of Music Service, Services For Education Paul Douglas

Paul studied music at the University of Hull before embarking on a varied portfolio career, including projects management, songwriting, performing, studio recording, and conducting at venues all over the UK, as well as many parts of Europe and the USA.

Paul joined the Music Service in 2006 as a brass, piano and keyboard teacher, as well as obtaining his PGCE. Paul was Head of Ensembles from 2014-2019, and has been the Head of the highly successful and growing SFE Music School since its inception in 2018.

Simone Whitehouse - Adviser, Services For EducationSimone Whitehouse

Simone qualified with a PGCE in Religious Education following a Bachelors degree in Theology. Simone went onto lead RE in two demographically differently schools in Birmingham before working for the city’s advisory service.

Simone works in two areas: Religious Education and Early Career Teachers. Working in Religious Education Simone engages with faith groups and advises the Standing Advisory Council for RE (SACRE) on RE and Collective Worship. She has worked with others to design lesson plans for the Faith Makes a Difference website to support schools to implement the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus. She has worked on drafting the new Agreed Syllabus.

Simone also works with primary and secondary teachers and school governors. Working on behalf of the City Council as the Appropriate Body for ECTs Simone works with senior leaders and tutors to support their ECTs through induction.

Simone has recently been awarded her PhD – demonstrating her love of learning and Religious Education!

Page Last Modified:  25/05/2022 11:29