Our School Support Experts
Kirsty Jones - Head of School Support, Services For Education
Kirsty has over 20-years’ experience in school leadership spanning mainstream, special schools and alternative provision settings working with schools with both disadvantaged children and high attaining pupils.
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.
Marsha Blissett - Adviser, Former Services For Education
Marsha has over 18 years’ experience of teaching and senior leadership in schools within the West Midlands. She is passionate about the power of education to create knowledge, build confidence, and break down barriers to opportunity. She works with senior leaders, middle leaders, and governors to develop capacity and bring about rapid improvement through supporting them in effective self-evaluation, evaluating the impact of the curriculum and conducting quality assurance across the school.
Her particular areas of focus are Personal Development and Culture and Ethos, including Safeguarding.
Marsha works closely with SEND – the platinum thread, providing advice and guidance on the most effective ways to promote desirable outcomes. She helps to develop an understanding of best practices and processes, as well as appropriate tools and resources.
Helen Grundy - Adviser, Services For Education
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.
Denise Harris - Adviser, Services For Education
Denise has over 30 years of experience as a qualified teacher (B.Ed., (Hons), MA) working in schools and an Education Action Zone. She became a local authority primary consultant in 2003 with a focus on mathematics and assessment. From 2009 she worked with Edge Hill University as an Every Child Counts (ECC) Teacher leader to deliver a suite of early maths intervention programmes through which she gained an MA in Early Mathematics. Denise also gained accreditation from NCETM as a Primary Professional Development Lead. She continues to work with Edge Hill University to manage the delivery of the very successful mathematics intervention programmes: Success@Arithmetic and 1stClass@Number.
Denise successfully delivers the primary statutory assessment contract for moderation and monitoring on behalf of Birmingham LA. Through this role she works closely with other moderation managers both locally and nationally. She recruits, trains and accredits both KS1 and KS2 pool moderators.
Emma Mudge - Adviser, Services For Education
Emma Mudge has over 20 years of experience working in primary education. Throughout this time, she has become a leader in a wide variety of areas throughout the school including Assessment, Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Management and Lead DSL, to name but a few. As Deputy Head Teacher and Acting Head Teacher, she has been at the forefront of school leadership and improvement.
During her role as English leader, she successfully introduced new approaches which significantly raised attainment. This led her to be approached to support other English coordinators across Birmingham, make presentations to school leaders and become a member of a small group of specialist teachers and leaders, tasked with improving the reading attainment in a number of schools across the city.
Emma now works as the Educational Adviser for English at Services for Education, sharing her experience and knowledge of working in primary schools to continually promote and improve the standard of teaching and learning in English, and in school improvement.
Jo Perrin - Adviser, Services For Education
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 Welch – Adviser, Services For Education
Lucie Welch taught in primary schools for over 13 years, holding the roles of Assistant Head of School, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, Attendance Lead as well as many subject lead roles.
Through the role of DSL, Lucie has garnered huge experience and knowledge of safeguarding which she is passionate about sharing with schools both across Birmingham and nationwide. With a strong understanding of policies and procedures, as well as safeguarding in schools at a day-to-day operational level, Lucie can provide bespoke consultancy and training on a host of safeguarding related topics.
Lucie also leads on PSHE and RSE and has a focused interest in children's emotional health and wellbeing, understanding how trauma and adverse childhood experiences can impact children, as well as educating staff and pupils on Sexual Violence, Sexual Harassment and Harmful Sexual Behaviour in schools.
Lucie is also a part of our Health for Life team and helps deliver the Early Career Framework on behalf of the Best Practice Network.
Dr Simone Whitehouse-James - Adviser, Services For Education
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!