Area Director

Sarah Frend

Area Director North, East and Wales

Sarah has taught adults in Further Education Colleges, been Head of Careers in an independent school and worked in careers services for Solihull, Wiltshire, Kent and Dorset LEAs. She has specialised with both special needs and academically able students. Sarah has a degree in Philosophy and Psychology, a diploma in Careers Guidance and a Further Education Teaching Certificate. Sarah has worked for Inspiring Futures since 2002.

Regional Directors

Jonathan Hardwick

Professional Development Manager

Jonathan has taught in maintained and independent schools. He was head of sixth form in an ISCO Careers Service member school, where he taught Economics and Critical Thinking, and co-ordinated the school’s life skills programme. Jonathan has been an inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate and an examiner for AS Level Critical Thinking. He has a degree in Economics and Economic/Social History, Post-Graduate Certificates in Education and Careers Guidance, and joined Inspiring Futures in 2007.

Kate Coles

Regional Director, East

After 3 years of general school careers work with Solihull Careers Service, Kate joined Worcestershire and Herefordshire Careers Service to specialise in Post 16 Careers Guidance. Kate immigrated to Queensland for 2 years to enter Fundraising Management for Save the Children before returning to the UK and working within Marketing for Save the Children UK and Deafblind UK as an events manager. Kate has a Degree in Social Policy and a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance returning to careers guidance in 2011 when she joined Inspiring Futures.

Michael Parker-Cook

Regional Director, North West & Yorkshire

Mike has experience of careers work throughout years 7 – 13, competitive university entry and working with undergraduates while he has been a careers adviser. He has 12 year’s experience of teaching business and economics in state and independent schools. He has also been a deputy headship overseas, and a head of careers in an independent girl’s school. He has a degree in Business and Law, a PGCE in business and economics, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Career Guidance. Mike joined Inspiring Futures in 2016.

Sally Hayward

Regional Director, Shropshire/Midlands

Sally worked for the BBC and NHS before changing careers to work with young people where she co-ordinated two youth projects in the South East of London, working in a multi-agency setting. In 2001, Sally went to work for Connexions, mainly with young people not in education, training or employment. In 2004, Sally moved to an FE setting to expand her experience of working in education with young people and adults. Sally has a Post Graduate Diploma in Career Guidance and joined Inspiring Futures in 2009. 

Assistant Regional Directors

Jane Johns

Assistant Regional Director, Wales

Jane has over 30 years' experience of Careers Advice and Guidance working across the north of England and Wales. She also spent 12 years as a manager within careers companies, with wide-ranging responsibilities. Jane was self-employed for 8 years doing a mixture of careers consultancy, inspecting, helping schools and colleges prepare for careers quality awards, as well as assessing them. She also worked for 2 years as Head of Careers at Llandovery College. Jane has a degree in Social Administration and    a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance joining Inspiring Futures in 2012.

Rowena James

Assistant Regional Director

Rowena has over 20 years’ experience as a Careers Adviser providing career education and guidance predominantly with the 13-19 age range, but also with adults. She has worked in colleges of further education, community settings, city and rural based schools in the state as well as the independent sector. Rowena has the Post Graduate Diploma in Career guidance along with qualifications in Psychometric testing and joined Inspiring Futures in 2014.

Regional Advisers

Jane Lancaster

Regional Adviser

Jane is an Information, Advice and Guidance specialist with over 28 years’ experience as a careers guidance practitioner in schools and colleges.  In this role she has developed careers education and guidance (CEG) training courses and CEG networks for schools in the North West. During this period she worked for Derbyshire County Council and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.  Combining work with study throughout her employment history Jane has an HNC in Public Administration and a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance and joined Inspiring Futures in 2011.

Kim Newman

Regional Adviser

As well as several years working as a Careers Adviser in schools, Kim has worked for an Education Business Partnership and the construction industry. These roles involved delivering a range of educational challenge events and curriculum related projects in schools, in partnership with employers and Higher Education Institutions. Kim has a degree in Sociology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance and has worked for Inspiring Futures since 2013.

Martin Palmer

Regional Adviser

Martin has worked extensively in career guidance in schools, FE and with adult clients in the Cambridgeshire, Sheffield, Coventry & Warwickshire areas. In addition he has led on initiatives such as a regional Learning Partnership, an Employee Development Scheme within Peugeot Motor Company and a regional Post-16 Area Prospectus/Common Online Application project. He has a degree in English and Latin Literature, a Diploma in Careers Guidance and a Post-graduate Certificate in Management Studies and joined Inspiring Futures in 2012.

Nicola Tolhurst

Regional Adviser

Niki has worked in marketing, business management and finance for blue chip companies and has further experience in voluntary and charity posts. Niki has worked in a wide variety of school, college and university situations in the region within the independent and state sector, conducting guidance interviews and undertaking careers workshops and work fairs. Niki has postgraduate diploma in Careers Guidance and is qualified in psychometric test assessments. Following a career change into careers guidance three years ago Niki joined Inspiring Futures in 2016.

Paul Bennett

Regional Adviser

Paul has over 34 years’ experience in Careers. He worked in the Careers Service and Connexions for over 20 years and was part of the senior management team specialising in Business Development, Psychometric Testing and Careers Information. He has worked in schools, colleges and higher education and also manages his own business helping organisations to recruit employees using psychometric tests. He has an Arts degree, a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Applications of Psychology, a Diploma in Careers Guidance and a teaching qualification. Paul joined Inspiring Futures in 2011. 

Sajda Rauf

Regional Adviser

Sajda has over 10 years of experience of Career Education, Advice and Guidance working across the West Midlands and East of England area. She also spent several years as a manager within the Connexions Service, with wide-ranging responsibilities. Sajda has a degree in Humanities and a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance joining Inspiring Futures in 2016.