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

Dame 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 strategy consultant at BCG and previously qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte.


Neil Ehrenzweig
Neil is TalentEd’s Treasurer; he 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 for NPC, helping charities and funders to measure 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.

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.



Matthew Roberts
Matthew recently took up the reigns as Chief Executive Officer to help TalentEd through our next stage of development. Having previously acted as a Chief Executive and Commercial and Operations Director at a number of growing organisations, Matthew brings a wealth of experience and passion for improving the life chances of disadvantaged young people.


Anood Al-Samerai
Anood is TalentEd’s Director and has 14 years’ experience leading organisations. Most recently, she has been tackling educational inequality and developing policy as the Leader of a Council group. Anood oversees our financial sustainability, expanding our depth and breadth of impact and all strategic and operational aspects of TalentEd.


Emily Kell
As Tutor Relations Manager, Emily line-manages our expert teachers to ensure the smooth running of our programmes. Emily also leads on marketing and impact measurement and is TalentEd’s Safeguarding Lead. 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
As a TalentEd School Relations Manager, Aileen works closely with the central team to engage with key stakeholders, managing our relationships with schools and programme suppliers. This follows roles as a seasoned secondary school teacher and manager.

Kady Mingoes TalentEd Recruitment Consultant

Kady Mingoes
As TalentEd’s Recruitment Consultant, Kady 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
A recent BSc Accounting and Finance graduate, Nichole supports the central team as our Bookkeeper and Administrator. Nichole previously completed an internship with TalentEd and was a representative for the Enactus Essex society overseas project, supporting disadvantaged students.

Ashley Maycock TalentEd Sales Manager

Ashley Maycock
Ashley is TalentEd’s Partnerships Manager. Ashley brings a wealth of experience from over 10 years of sales and account management to the charity. His main responsibilities include developing and implementing the partnerships strategy, as well as developing our brand on social media.

Frances Burton-Lynch TalentEd School Relations Manager

Frances Burton-Lynch
Frances has over ten years’ experience coordinating educational projects across London; and she is also an experienced teacher (primary, secondary and adult education). She has recently joined TalentEd as a School Relations Manager and will be working with Aileen to further develop, expand and ensure the smooth running of school partnerships.

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:

  • Children in Need
  • Santander
  • National Lottery Awards for All
  • EY Beyond Me
  • Deloitte Beyond Me
  • John Lyon’s Charity
  • 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
  • The Boston Consulting Group
  • Trusthouse Charitable Foundation
  • Make Happen – Essex Collaborative Outreach Network
  • Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust
  • Tallow Chandlers Benevolent Fund
  • Newby Trust
  • Clothworkers’ Foundation
  • St James’s Place Foundation
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • British and Foreign School Society
  • Allen & Overy
  • Google Giving

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.