TalentEd (formerly known as Spire Hub) was set up in 2012 by a TeachFirst Ambassador, frustrated that his brightest pupils from low income backgrounds were not being stretched and challenged to realise their full potential. Rafi also understood the potential of qualified teachers who were retired or on sabbaticals and founded a charity which nurtures the talent of both bright students and expert teachers.

Our team


Christine Ryan - TalentEd chair of trustees

Christine Ryan
Christine is the chair of TalentEd’s trustee board. Previously Chief Inspector and CEO of the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), she is an experienced leader at board level and is also currently a Board Member for Ofqual.


Rafi Cohen
Rafi founded TalentEd in 2012 whilst teaching science at Westminster Academy. He is now a strategic consultant at BCG and previously qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte.


Neil Ehrenzweig
Neil, TalentEd’s Treasurer, qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC and has built and managed teams in Consulting and Operational roles across various industries. He now works as a Director of Finance at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch.

Sarah Handley edited 280x280

Sarah Handley
Sarah has worked in the charity sector for a decade and is currently a senior consultant in NPC’s evaluation team, helping charities and funders to understand, measure and communicate their impact. Previously, she worked in fundraising and project management roles including for the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Ruth Ballett

Ruth Ballett
Ruth is an Industry Manager at Google, where she advises high-growth retail businesses on digital and ecommerce strategies. She has a background in customer strategy, proposition development and advertising, and holds an MBA from INSEAD.


Martyn Caddick
Martyn is Head of Supporter Engagement at Teach First, responsible for managing and improving the quality and effectiveness of prospect and supporter engagement within Corporate Partnerships, Trusts and Foundations, and with Individual Philanthropists. This follows other fundraising third sector roles.

Simon King TalentEd trustee

Simon King
Simon is a scientist turned venture capitalist working as a Principal at Octopus Ventures. At Octopus, Simon is responsible for new investments and also sits on five portfolio company boards. Before joining Octopus, Simon was an academic at Imperial College London.

Rowenna Abel TalentEd trustee

Rowena Abel
Rowenna works with a range of charitable and educational organisations on governance matters, project delivery and regulatory change. She is also Clerk to the Governing Body of an Academy Trust in London. Rowenna is the most recent trustee to join the board and is the trustee Safeguarding lead.



Anood Al-Samerai
Anood has ten years’ experience leading organisations. Most recently, she has been the Leader of a Council group, helping to tackle educational inequality and develop policy. Her TalentEd Director (Business Development) role involves new school partnerships, managing budgets and developing a sustainable business model.

Joseph Kimmelman
Joe leads the team as Director (Programme & Operations). His responsibilities include managing staff, developing the programme and measuring impact. He started supporting TalentEd’s students as a volunteer and has held various positions within the organisation. Prior to this, he worked on projects at UCL to improve access for students from low income backgrounds.


Emily Kell
In her role as Tutor Relations Manager, Emily line-manages our expert teachers throughout their time with TalentEd. She also provides training and CPD support to ensure the best possible experience for our tutors. Before joining TalentEd, Emily provided incubation support for charitable ventures and set up a student tutoring project with national charity, Student Hubs.

Aileen Garland TalentEd School Relations Manager

Aileen Garland
Aileen is TalentEd’s School Relations Manager. She works closely with the team to manage the relationships with schools, ensure the smooth running of the programmes and relations with programme suppliers. A seasoned secondary school teacher and manager, Aileen’s focus is on improving the life chances for bright students from low income areas.

Kady Mingoes TalentEd Recruitment Consultant

Kady Mingoes
Kady Mingoes is TalentEd’s Recruitment Consultant. She manages the recruitment of our expert teachers. She has over six years’ experience in recruitment and specialises in education recruitment. Kady has previously worked for organisations such as the City and Guilds Group and Financial Conduct Authority.

Nichole Ama TalentEd Bookkeeper & Administrator

Nichole Ama
Nichole supports the central team as our Bookkeeper and Administrator. She is a recent BSc Accounting and Finance graduate from the University of Essex. Previously, Nichole completed an internship with TalentEd as an Administrative Programme Officer. She was also the financial representative for an overseas project within the Enactus Essex society, empowering those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

TalentEd data analyst intern Zaffia Hussain

Zaffia Hussain

Zaffia is TalentEd’s data analyst intern. She is a 3rd year Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research at the University of Kent. She is evaluating the effectiveness of TalentEd’s programmes. She feels strongly about social mobility and is enthusiastic about working for a charity with the aim of unlocking children’s potential no matter their background.

Vikki Teasedale TalentEd Administrative Programme Officer

Vikki Teasdale

Vikki is TalentEd’s Administrative Programme Officer. She has recently graduated from the University of Essex with a BA in Sociology and Human Rights, and now wishes to use her education and knowledge to help empower others. Vikki has also previously completed an internship as the PA to the CEO with Signpost, as well as having volunteered in Kenya at a street children’s shelter.

Our supporters

Since 2012, TalentEd has helped hundreds of bright young people from low income backgrounds. This would not have been possible without support from:

  • John Lyon’s Charity
  • Basilico Pizza
  • Sutton Trust
  • UnLtd
  • William Wates Memorial Trust
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • TeachFirst
  • Young Foundation
  • New Philanthropy Capital
  • British Foreign School Society
  • The Leathersellers’ Company
  • G C Gibson Charitable Trust
  • National Lottery Awards for All
  • EY Beyond Me
  • Deloitte Beyond Me
  • The Boston Consulting Group

Please get in touch if you would like to support our work.


TalentEd plans to be the first choice for teachers who leave the profession but wish to stay involved in education and for schools seeking to stretch and challenge their brightest pupils.