Kikelomo Agunbiade

National Programme Director

Kike joined The Brilliant Club as National Programme Director for Researchers in Schools in October 2017. Prior to this, Kike was a Senior Education Lead at SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers Network, where she led on a number of high profile projects including middle and senior leadership programmes, Teaching Schools and their school improvement framework. Kike spent five years working at Teach First, where she was North London Manager, and has also worked for a range of charities in roles to support and develop teachers. Kike completed the Teach First Programme as Science Teacher in North London. She holds an MBA (Education) from Keele University and a post graduate certificate in Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education from the University of Edinburgh. Kike graduated from Merton College, University of Oxford, with an MChem in Chemistry.


Nicholas Cater

Recruitment Director

Nicholas is responsible for all aspects of the programme’s recruitment processes, from initial attraction and advertising, through to assessment and placement. Since graduating from Durham University with a degree in Modern Languages and a Masters in Translation, Nicholas worked initially as an Accountant, then freelance translator, before finally settling on recruitment. He worked at a boutique recruitment firm in Central London where he was responsible for the delivery of several national graduate schemes. Outside of work, Nicholas enjoys keeping his languages up to scratch and is a keen traveller, particularly around Europe and Russia. He is also Researchers in Schools’ biggest/only Huddersfield Town fan.


Rachel Lawrence

Curriculum and Development Director

Rachel read Theology at Trinity College Oxford, before doing a PGCE at St. Mary’s University College Twickenham. She later completed a Masters in Teaching at the Institute of Education, and is currently in her second year of an Educational Doctorate at Kings College London. Rachel worked as an Advanced Skills teacher for Hounslow LEA and London Challenge. She worked with primary and secondary teachers and in various subject areas including Humanities, Maths and Science. As part of her work as an AST she also worked as a visiting lecturer at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham. She became Head of Religious Studies at Lampton School in 2011 and in 2012 led the department in their application to be one of the pilot schools for the national RE Quality Mark. The department was awarded the Gold Award which recognised the work of the department as consistently outstanding. Rachel is an Associate Senior Leader at Lampton School.


Jenny Paterson

School Programme Director

Jenny joined The Brilliant Club as School Programme Director in March 2018, where she oversees the Researchers in Schools programme participants and their progress on the programme. Before joining the charity, she was a teacher for over 20 years, as a Head of Department for Drama and Media, Assistant Headteacher for teaching and learning and Head of Sixth Form. She recently graduated from the University of York with a Masters in Social Justice and Education where her studies included Higher Education access and the impact of gender on educational choices. Outside of work, she is a keen playwright and traveller.


Amy Emery

School Partnerships Manager

Amy is driven by a desire to increase the number of subject experts teaching in non-selective schools. Having completed her Masters in Engineering at the University of Cambridge in 2008, she undertook teacher training in South East London through the Graduate Teacher Programme. As Head of Physics at a new build academy Amy focussed on developing metacognitive approaches and promoting practical and thinking skills in science through evidence-based strategies. Prior to joining Researchers in Schools Amy was Director of STEM at a UTC in Kent, overseeing an enhanced curriculum in Engineering and Construction, employer engagement and CEIAG. Outside of work Amy is a keen equestrienne.


Jessica Ahluwalia

Recruitment and Assessment Officer

Jessy joined The Brilliant Club as Recruitment and Assessment Officer in January 2018, where she works to advertise and market the Researchers in Schools Programme, and recruit participants for the upcoming year. Before joining the charity she worked at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, as the Schools Liaison Officer working in outreach and widening participation with target state schools. Jessy graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2016 with a BA in Education and Religious Studies. Outside of work Jessy enjoys dog walking, international travel and listening to feminist podcasts. Jessy moved to London for her current role, and is enjoying exploring all the city has to offer.


Joanna Clark

Programme Officer

Joanna joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in October 2017. In 2008, she spent the summer working in California as a Camp Counsellor with 9-17 year olds, and it was here that she decided she wanted to pursue a career working with young people. After graduating from Queen Mary, University of London with a BA in English, Jo worked as a Teaching Assistant, before training as an English teacher through the Graduate Teaching Programme in 2011. She joined the English department at Morpeth Secondary School in Bethnal Green as an NQT, and later became the Deputy Head of English and KS3 Coordinator. Outside of work, Jo enjoys travel, live music and keeping fit.

Fabienne Crocket 1

Fabienne Crocket

Programme Officer

Fabienne joined the RIS team in October 2018 as a Programme Officer. She studied Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge and graduated in 2013. During this time she was a student ambassador and developed an interest in university access and social mobility. She trained through the Teach First programme, teaching Religious Studies and Philosophy at a school in west London and co-ordinating KS3 R.S. She went on to teach in a north London school, and wrote content for BBC Bitesize. Outside of work, Fabienne is passionate about community arts and is participating in the National Theatre’s Public Acts initiative. She also enjoys writing, reading and running.

Rosa Smith

Rosa Smith

Programme Officer

Rosa joined the RIS team as Programme Officer in September 2017. She studied English (BA) at the University of Exeter, and became interested in Widening Participation whilst working in local schools as part of their student ambassador programme. She then worked for CRUK before completing the Teach First programme as part of the 2012 cohort. She taught English for five years, progressing to become KS5 lead and then Head of 6th Form at a secondary school in South-East London. Whilst there, she also mentored trainee teachers and NQTs. She remains committed to improving access to selective universities and raising student aspirations.


Alexandra Tanner

Programme Officer

Alex joined as one of the first RIS Programme Officers in August 2016. Alex joined the Teach First Programme in 2013, which involved teaching science in Manchester and following this was a Year 8 science teacher at a school in South London. Alex graduated with a Bachelors degree in bioveterinary sciences from the University of Liverpool and is particularly interested in STEM education and extra-curricular opportunities for students. In her spare time, she enjoys attending science lectures and events, fencing and running.

Carys Taylor 1

Carys Taylor

Curriculum & Development Officer

Carys joined the RIS team as Curriculum & Development Officer in October 2018. She studied Education (BEd) at the University of Auckland. Carys taught in New Zealand for over 7 years and was also part of the leadership team at her school. As part of her leadership responsibilities she researched and implemented innovative teaching practices and focused on teacher development through coaching and mentoring programmes. Outside of work, Carys is interested in travel, food and reading.


Elizabeth Collier

Team Administrator

Beth joined the Researchers in Schools team in September 2017 as the Programme Administrator. Prior to this Beth completed a Linguistics degree at University College London, where she gained an interest in sign language and completed a level one BSL qualification. Following this, Beth worked as the Assistant Director of a children’s maths and English tuition centre. Working within a low socio-economic area, Beth gained experience of the difficulties children can face throughout their primary education and is excited to continue improving their success through to a university level. Outside of work Beth enjoys running and baking.


Elena Tucker

Recruitment Administrator

Elena joined the RIS team in November 2018 as a Recruitment Administrator. Her interest in education began during her gap year, when she worked as a teaching assistant in local primary schools. She graduated from the University of Oxford in 2016, where she read History, before spending a year working in the education sector as an unqualified teacher, teaching assistant, tutor and research assistant. Prior to joining the charity, Elena completed an MPhil in Modern British History at the University of Cambridge, researching sibling relationships in Edwardian families. Having observed first-hand the lack of diversity in highly-selective universities, Elena is passionately committed to the charity’s mission of widening access for pupils from under-represented groups. Outside of work, Elena’s interests include travelling, cooking, taking photos of her dog sleeping and binge-watching series on Netflix. 


Dr Richard Branch

Curriculum and Development Consultant

Richard joined The Brilliant Club in September 2017 as a member of the Researchers in Schools team, where he serves as Curriculum and Development Consultant. Before joining the charity he was a physics teacher on the Researchers in Schools programme at Lampton School in west London, where he continues teaching three days a week. Prior to training on the programme, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in biophysics at Harvard University.