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.

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.

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.


Leo Wax

Programme Officer

Leo joined the RIS team in January 2019 as a Programme Officer. He studied Politics and Spanish at the University of Leeds and graduated in 2015. Whilst at university, he was the social secretary for the Spanish, Latin American and Portuguese Society and volunteered at Nightline, a non-advisory phone line for students. He trained as a teacher through the TeachFirst programme, teaching Spanish and French at school in Bradford. He went on to teach at a school in East London where he helped to plan and deliver school wide CPD on LGBT issues surrounding staff and students. Outside of work, Leo likes to attend life drawing classes and is learning how to play the drums. He also enjoys disco music, podcasts, documentaries and politics.

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.


Gil Brandt

Curriculum and Development Manager

Gil joined The Brilliant Club as a member of the Curriculum and Development team for Researchers in Schools in January 2017 and again in July 2019. During this time, Gil was attaining a master’s in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The masters focused on evaluation of teacher education programmes and researching teacher diagnosis and decision making in uncertain situations. Prior to this, Gil taught mathematics for five years in schools in London and Leeds, where he completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. Outside of work Gil is an ineffectual but passionate rock-climber and an avid fan of the greatest football team of all time – Leicester City.


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.


Beth Williams

Programme Administrator

Beth joined the RIS team in August 2019 as the Programme Administrator. She studied History at the University of Nottingham and graduated in 2018. At university she was a student ambassador and volunteered to deliver netball coaching at primary schools around Nottingham. During the summers of her university degree, Beth worked at children’s summer camps both in Cincinnati and Spain. Before joining The Brilliant Club, Beth completed an internship with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, engaging with children across Wales about children’s rights and developing lesson plans to help counter issues such as childhood poverty and cyberbullying. Outside of work, Beth enjoys playing netball, travelling, watching documentaries, and supporting the Welsh rugby team.