Meet the team

Meet our executive team

Nick Hurn, OBE
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Nick Hurn, OBE

Chief Executive Officer

Nick has dedicated his entire career to the education sector. A former head teacher, Nick not only understands the challenges and pressures that today’s school leadership teams face, but he is also committed to helping you overcome them.

Nick believes in unlocking the potential of every individual and every school he is involved with, improving standards, and creating opportunities. He is an entrepreneur and innovator. He is a founder member and Chairman of Education Mutual and Schools Mutual Services, and his strategic vision led to the launch of Bishop Wilkinson Commercial Services and several innovative initiatives designed to support schools, improve services, and optimise educational budgets. Education Commercial Services (ECS) is an example of this. He also serves on two strategic Boards for the North East.

In 2017, Nick was given the opportunity to combine his twin passion for football and education, as a Premier league Education Advisor. Nick’s services to education were recognised with an OBE in 2015.

Jonathan Parkinson
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Jonathan Parkinson

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Lucie Stephenson
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Lucie Stephenson

Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Primary)

Louise Levy
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Louise Levy

Chief Operating Officer

Louise has worked in education for 12 years following almost 20 years in the Financial Services Sector, rising through the ranks to executive positions.  Switching to Education was the right move – working within the fact-paced Business and Finance team and using her vast financial and management experience to drive improvements, compliance, and operational practice.

Louise is a Specialist Leader of Education and a member of the DfE School Business Professional Advisory Panel and an accredited School Resource Management Advisor.

Louise is the Company Secretary of Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust and actively serves as Chair of Governors of an Outstanding Primary School and Chair of Members at a Secondary Academy.

Barbara Reilly-O’Donnell
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Barbara Reilly-O’Donnell

Director of Ethos

Martine Murphy
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Martine Murphy

Teaching, Learning and Training Director

Jacqui Ridley
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Jacqui Ridley

Director of Governance

Jacqui worked in Governance for 25 years as a clerk in Newcastle, in Gateshead as Governor Support Service Lead and as Training and Development Lead in County Durham where she developed and delivered training for Governors and Senior Leaders across 260 schools, across all phases. 

She has also worked as a school business manager in a two form entry primary school in Sunderland so has sound knowledge of school finance and operation and accountability to Governors.   She is a qualified assessor and internal verifier for NVQ and an accredited Safer Recruitment trainer and has served as a judge for the Teaching Awards. 

Jacqui serves as a Co-opted Governor at Dunston Hill Primary School in Gateshead and sits on the Finance Committee and is a Co-opted Governor, Vice Chair of the Governing Body and Chair of the Resources Committee at Bede Primary School, Gateshead.  She works as a facilitator for the National Governance Association (NGA) leadership programmes and sits on Gateshead’s Schools Forum. 

Andrea Riley
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Andrea Riley

Safeguarding, SEND, Student Support Director

Julie Collins
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Julie Collins

Commercial Improvement Director

Julie’s experience within the education sector and public procurement more widely is extensive, spanning three decades. During her career she has been instrumental in education development across the public and private sector covering numerous categories, driving improvement, compliance, efficiency, and savings. 

During that time Julie has remained a School Governor and is currently Chair for a Primary Academy, her knowledge and understanding firmly rooted in education. Julie’s background includes time with NEPO, YPO and CCS – giving her a unique insight into the procurement landscape and the variety of options available to schools.  

Umer Chughtai
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Umer Chughtai

Chief Technical Officer

Lisa Smith
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Lisa Smith

Chief Finance Officer

Meet our central team

Gemma Miller
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Gemma Miller

HR Advisor

Glynis Caris
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Glynis Caris

Finance

Jenna Bianchi
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Jenna Bianchi

HR Apprentice

Jessica Levy
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Jessica Levy

HR Apprentice

Jo Stoddart
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Jo Stoddart

Lead Cluster Manager

Joanne Nicholson
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Joanne Nicholson

Governance

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