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
Christine Ryan is the chair of TalentEd’s trustee board. Previously, she was Chief Inspector and CEO of the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), the largest independent inspectorate in the UK. She is an experienced leader at board level, and is also currently a Board Member for Ofqual, the government regulator for qualifications and examinations in England.


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 measurement and evaluation team, helping charities and funders to understand, measure and communicate their impact. She has previously worked in various 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.



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
As Tutor Relations Manager, Emily oversees tutor and volunteer recruitment and training. Emily is also responsible for line-managing our tutors and volunteers throughout the year. Before joining the TalentEd Team, Emily worked for Student Hubs, organising local community projects and events including a student tutoring project.

Aileen Garland TalentEd School Relations Manager

Aileen Garland

Aileen is TalentEd’s Schools 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. 

Claudia Chirila - TalentEd Administrative Project Officer - expert teachers for bright students

Claudia Chirila

As Administrative Project Officer, Claudia supports the central team with marketing, recruitment and financial processes. She also administers our social media presence. In the past she has been a Social Media and Marketing Intern at University of Essex and has volunteered with various NGOs, including the Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse as well as local orphanages. 

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.