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Management team

Meet the team

Meet our management team

Led by Jo Spencer, the team at Schools’ Choice of education management experts who have worked in the education sector for decades, with a wealth of experience supporting schools and academies across the country.

Jo Spencer

Head of Schools' Choice

Jo has worked with schools and academies over the last two decades, leading service innovation and development to create solutions to meet the ever changing needs of schools. In her career she has formed and led business partner teams supporting the navigation of the Academies Act 2010, large scale systems implementation, transformation and change management projects across finance, HR, payroll and governance functions.


Catherine Barratt

Head of Governor Services and Safeguarding

Catherine became Head of Governor Services in July 2018 having successfully developed the clerking service. She has a wealth of experience in providing training and advice in all areas of governance to all types of governing board. Catherine was designated as a National Leader of Governance (NLG) by the DfE in October 2021.


Julie Dorling

Finance Manager

Julie has worked with schools for over two decades, is our school funding expert leads the team to support customers through every budget and year end accounts season. 


Anna Cooksey

Business Services and Development Manager

Anna started her career working with the Schools’ Choice finance team in 2008 before working as a successful School Business Manager and Executive Business Manager for ten years. Anna re-joined our Schools’ Choice team to lead our business services teams in 2021.


Ebony Lynton

Systems and HR Transactions Manager

Since joining Schools’ choice as a Customer Service Advisor nine years ago, Ebony has progressed through several positions to reach her current title of Systems and HR Transactions Manager. Over her nine-year journey Ebony has built up extensive experience and led on a variety of projects, for example the administration of all of Schools’ choice’s major applications including iTrent, eforms, marketplace, and Anycomms+.


Matthew Hennessey

Payroll and Pensions Manager

Matthew joined Schools’ choice in May 2022. Within nine months Matthew successfully became the Payroll and Pensions Manager having displayed his wealth of technical and payroll knowledge. Matthew now manages the team leaders for payroll and pensions, and carries out in-depth reporting to help improve the service delivery in these areas.


Shelly Cornish

HR Consultancy Services Manager

Shelly joined Schools’ Choice in 2015 as an HR Consultant and has been HR Manager since 2021. Shelly has decades of Human Resources knowledge and experience having previously worked within local government.


Sarah Beeston

Safeguarding and Training Manager

Sarah has a background of over 10 years working in HR with various school types and dealing with complex employee relations matters, including many safeguarding related disciplinary issues, Sarah moved departments to lead on developing and delivering our safeguarding training offer in 2020. She also leads on specific HR related projects across Schools’ choice.


Jack Amy

Business Solutions Architect

Jack is responsible for delivering the Schools' Choice total systems integration solution, working across Finance, Payroll, HR, and MIS. He works with schools to develop practical solutions to overcome the different challenges they face.


Sarah Ingram

Data Protection Service Lead

Following 19 years in various roles within the Insurance industry, Sarah has worked with schools and academies for five years, predominantly focussing on data protection. Sarah leads our GDPR service and is a fully qualified Data Protection Officer. Sarah’s interest and expertise in areas such as Privacy, Data Subject Access, and Freedom of Information has proven invaluable to schools.


Abbi Thorpe

Internal Audit Service Lead

Abbi has been working with schools and academies in Primary, Secondary, and Sixth Forms for over 20 years, as well as being a Chair of Governors for 7 years. She is an experienced School Business Manager and heads up the Assurance Team covering Internal Audit, SFVS, SIC, and Finance Assurance Services.


Philippa Oxborrow

Governance Services Operations Manager

Since 2010 Philippa has been part of the Governor services central team which supports governance professional services, governor panel clerking, and governor training for schools.


Natalie Humphris

Group Payroll and Pensions Manager

Natalie joined Schools’ choice in January 2024. Natalie manages the payroll, pensions and helpdesk teams within Schools’ Choice as well as managing the payroll team in Vertas. Natalie has worked in the payroll sector for 12 years and is CIPP qualified. She specialises in process improvement and improving customer experiences.

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