TalentEd (formerly known as Spire Hub) was set up in 2012 by a TeachFirst Ambassador, Rafi Cohen, 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.
With the help of support grants from a number of agencies and schools providing an element of funding through their local Pupil Premium funding, in 2015, TalentEd extended the availability of its programmes beyond London supporting schools in Hastings, East Sussex and by 2018 stretched as far as Greater Manchester, Cheshire, East Yorkshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Essex. In London, TalentEd has now worked with six London Boroughs including Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Enfield, Southwark, Kensington and Chelsea and Brent. From our pilot in 2012 when we supported 4 bright students TalentEd’s programmes has supported over 1,000 young people. Our current strategy identifies that there is increasing need and opportunities for TalentEd and with donor and funding support it is our hope that we could extend our reach to supporting over 1,350 disadvantaged, bright children each year.
We are delighted to have a team of Trustees who are passionate about the role TalentEd can and does play in improving the lives of young people. If you feel you have the skills or a contribution to make in support of TalentEd as a Trustee TalentEd would be pleased to hear from you. Please contact our Chief Executive to arrange an informal conversation.
Dame Christine RyanChristine 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 CohenRafi 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 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.
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.
Ruth is a product marketeer at Google, where she leads Retail Ads Marketing for EMEA. She has a background in sales, customer strategy and marketing communications, and holds an MBA from INSEAD.
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 trustee Safeguarding lead.
Claudia is an Associate Director in the Education, Children and Families team within Public Affairs at Ipsos MORI. She specialises in research and evaluation with vulnerable children and families, predominantly for government clients. Before this role Claudia held academic and private sector research positions in Australia and completed her PhD in Social Psychology at the London School of Economics.
Jessica is an experienced fundraiser, currently working for the education charity Teach First, where she is responsible for leading the Corporate Partnership Management team. Prior to this, Jessica worked in strategic partnership management positions in London and New York, gaining experience across third and private sector organisations.
David is a partner at the law firm Allen & Overy, specialising in restructuring and corporate finance. Aside from his client work, David has been involved in many of the firm’s initiatives about social mobility and widening opportunities. He was previously a trustee of The Brokerage Citylink.
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.
Marketing and Administrative Assistant
Chloe originally joined us on a three month internship as a graduate from the University of Essex . She has recently moved into the position of Marketing and Administrative Assistant and is now leading the charity’s marketing and activities.
School Relations Manager
As a TalentEd School Relations Manager, Jessica works closely with our schools, tutors and key stakeholders to ensure the smooth running and delivery of programmes. Jessica manages existing relationships and focuses on student engagement, impact and consistency. She has been a teacher and tutor for a number of years.
Business Development Partner
Zaffia joined us in 2017 as a Data Analyst Intern and has returned as our Development Partner. After graduating from the University of Kent she spent a year working for an MP developing her skills further. Her focus at TalentEd is still impact measurement however she is now also responsible for data collection and management and oversees the systems we use. She believes social mobility is incredibly important in order for all people to have access to the same opportunities and is passionate about this.
School Relations Manager
Abigail is a Schools Relations Manager working alongside Jess on TalentEd’s expanding network of schools. She manages relationships between schools, tutors, and students to ensure a meaningful delivery of the programme, as well as reflecting and analysing the programme’s impact. Abigail is a former teacher, having studied at the Institute of Education, and has taught in both London and Sheffield. She champions the ethos of ending educational inequality and believes that all young people should feel empowered to pursue their aspirations.
Advisers and Ambassadors
TalentEd are currently building up a bank of specialist Advisors and Ambassadors. Our Advisors are typically subject or educational experts whilst our Ambassadors are often individuals with experience relevant to the charities purpose, interested in volunteering to support the development and promotion of local programmes. If you feel you have a contribution to make in support of TalentEd as an Advisor or an Ambassodor TalentEd would be pleased to hear from you.
Julie originally joined TalentEd as a tutor and is also the Regional Ambassador (East Midlands). While still focused on delivering essential courses to disadvantaged students Julie is also keen to support the tutors in her area and assist in growing the school and funding base. She has been a teacher and tutor for a number of years.
Cathy enjoys working closely with young people and helping them to achieve their personal and academic potential. She says ‘Tutoring small groups is a brilliant way to establish a positive rapport and to help youngsters to build the confidence, motivation and self-belief necessary to help them succeed.’ Cathy is excited and proud to be representing TalentEd and to be contributing to closing the attainment gap in this way.
Nta Ita Nta
Nta is currently studying for a Masters in Commercial Law at the University of Derby. Assisting us with the East Midlands Area. Nta Intends to increase TalentEd’s Funding base as well as the participating schools within the East Midlands Area while pursuing TalentEd’s overall goals and objectives.
TalentEd is most grateful for all of those agencies and individuals that have supported us though the provision of time, resources or funding some of whom are identified below. We continue to seek support as a way of increasing our impact whether this comes from the simple recognition as a charity of choice, through volunteering roles or simple cash donations. Please contact us if you feel you would like to help support TalentEd make a difference.