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Who We Are

We are teachers who wanted to create a space for students to talk about current issues that affect them the most and who are passionate about promoting the impact of student voice

The Team

photograph of Kate


CEO and Co-Founder

Kate taught for a number of years in the secondary sector during which she was a school senior leader heading up the community cohesion strategy. Kate has a passion for student voice and making politics relevant to young people.

Favourite VoteTopic - Are young people interested in politics?

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Business Manager

Sue has 20 years of experience working in office management, accounts and administration. New to VfS, she is excited to support the team and make a positive contribution. She is a keen sportswoman and a lover of dogs.

Favourite VoteTopic - Should celebrities get involved in political issues?

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Head of Operations and Data

Lara supports the daily running of VotesforSchools and is passionate about bringing the students' voices to life. Lara produces our impact to get the voice of young people into the wider world and to ensure they are heard.

Favourite VoteTopic - Should we approach boys' and girls' mental health differently?

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Head of Marketing

Amy came across VotesforSchools when she was working as a primary school teacher and liked it so much she decided to join us in August 2019! She's in charge of getting the word out about VotesforSchools.

Favourite VoteTopic - Is fake news always bad?

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Head of Educational Content

Georgie has taught as an English language teacher in India, has a Master’s in Children’s Literature and was the resident Book Doctor at her previous school. She joined VotesforSchools in 2017 and is now our resident grammar expert!

Favorite VoteTopic - Do bestselling books encourage sexism?

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Head of Partnerships

Penny joined VotesforSchools in Spring 2016. She has taught English all across the world and worked in the charity sector before becoming a secondary school Citizenship teacher. She was previously an Independent School trustee.

Favourite VoteTopic - Do social media companies listen enough to young people?

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Head of Student Programmes

Aisling was an English secondary school teacher for three years before joining VotesforSchools and is passionate about tackling misinformation. She's the proud owner of our office dog, Ginny!

Favourite VoteTopic - Is gaming good for you?

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Head of Sales and School Relationships

Michelle joined Votes for Schools in July 2019. She has 30 years' experience working in both the private and public sector in accounts, administration, recruitment and office management.

Favourite VoteTopic - Do we need more female villains in books?

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Marketing Executive

Rachael taught in Italy for 5 years before she joined VotesforSchools. She has a degree in Philosophy and a qualification in children’s counselling. She is passionate about providing young people with the opportunity to formulate their own thoughts and ideas!

Favourite VoteTopic - Are we getting better at recognising burnout?

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Sales and Schools Relationship Manager

Juliet has a wealth of experience in administration and account management in both the private and public sector. Juliet is passionate about equality and fairness and striving for excellent Customer Support.

Favourite VoteTopic - Should every country follow the same Coronavirus advice?

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Sales and Schools Relationship Manager

After working as a teacher at Secondary level, Chris moved into SEN, teaching Creative Media Production and Computing before joining VotesforSchools in 2021. He has a background in the Media industry where he worked as a motion graphics designer and animator.

Favourite VoteTopic - Do superhero films create unrealistic expectations about body shape?

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Data Manager

Melanie has previously taught as a primary school teacher, where she worked as the writing lead and leader of her year group. She has a master’s degree in English Literature and is passionate about amplifying student voices and ensuring they are heard.

Favourite VoteTopic - Does our news reflect the world we live in?

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Commissions Manager

Jude has taught in UK schools for the last 21 years. She has taught in primary and secondary schools and is passionate about outstanding teaching of PSHCE. She has worked with schools and local authorities to promote pupil wellbeing.

Favourite VoteTopic - Do aliens exist?

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Senior Content Developer

Abdul has worked in education for over five years. His experiences range from teaching at a pupil referral unit to teaching Greek philosophy. Abdul is passionate about the spiritual and ethical education of students.

Favourite VoteTopic - Can money buy happiness?

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Senior Content Developer

Sophie worked as a primary educator for a number of years before joining VotesforSchools. She has a degree in English Literature and is passionate about fostering young leaders as well as amplifying pupil voice. In her spare time, Sophie is a keen calligrapher and baker!

Favourite VoteTopic - Can banter be bullying?

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Senior Content Developer

Simon has a scientific background and enjoyed being a secondary school head of year. For the past few years, he has worked in digital education and is passionate about equipping learners to make informed decisions.

Favourite VoteTopic - Is the world becoming a better place?

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Content Developer

Eleanor has been a primary teacher for a decade, has an MA in Museology and an AEA in Critical Thinking. She was a Unicef Rights Respecting School Lead and Chair of Amnesty International at The University of York.

Favourite VoteTopic - Is it okay to ban a book?

Education Advisory Board

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Ben Spinks


As Chief Executive Ben leads BDSIP’s relationship with all key customers primarily local schools and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Ben reports to BDSIP’s chair. Ben chairs the VotesforSchools Educational Advisory Board.

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Shelina Khatun

Prevent Education Officer

Shelina is the PEO for the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. Previously she was an RE teacher working in secondary schools and sixth forms. Shelina's passion is to help young people have a voice.

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Helen Keevil

Assistant Headteacher

Helen Keevil is in charge of Pupil Welfare at Epsom College with a particular focus on e-safety & wellbeing. As a multi-linguist she uses IT in the classroom to deliver interactive lessons in French, German & Spanish.

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Dominic Mulholland


Dominic has been in the education profession for over 21 years and currently the headteacher of a junior school in Essex. He has had the pleasure of working with VotesforSchools in two schools at both primary and secondary level.

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Dave Moran

Executive Headteacher

Dave is Executive Headteacher at The Ashwood Academy which is part of the Catch22 Multi Acadamies Trust. Dave has worked with VotesforSchools since it's launch.

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Nick Morley


Nick is Head of School for two schools that are part of the TBAP Multi Academy Trust in Cambridgeshire. Prior to working for the TBAP Trust, Nick was an Assistant Principal at a large secondary school in Cambridge.

Founding Members

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Kate Harris

CEO and Co-Founder

Kate has worked in the education and charity sector focusing on education for her whole career. She has worked on a assessment nationally for citizenship for QCDA and is a board advisor for a teacher training college.

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Vivienne Creevey


Vivienne’s experience in educational and children’s book publishing with HarperCollins and Penguin convinced her of the need to involve young people in the decisions that affect them. She is a Director of Polka Children’s Theatre and Turner’s House Trust.

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Natasha Oppenheim

Chairman and Director

Natasha is an experienced entrepreneur, advisor and angel investor in early stage companies. Natasha is a Business Mentor with the Princes Trust, a barrister and holds an MBA. In 2018 Natasha was the recipient of the Eisenhower Fellowship for Innovation.

Youth Advisory Board Logo | VotesforSchools

In September 2020 we launched our Youth Advisory Board:

  • To advise on the interests and needs of young people in all matters to do with student voice.
  • To support young people to influence, shape and directly be involved in making positive change.
  • To ensure the voice of young people is heard by supporting a broad range of initiatives.

We invited our schools to nominate representatives and the board meets online three times a year. We are always looking for more schools to join and make their voices heard.

Youth Advisory Board

We welcome students from the following schools in 2020-21:

school logos
Certificate for Kettering Buccleuch

Kettering Buccleuch

“Student Voice is really part of the fabric of the school. […] The school is making a safe, supportive place for students to speak up.”

To say Kettering Buccleuch’s application was extensive would be an understatement! They have worked hard to make sure student voice is heard in all aspects of their school and celebrate both staff and students who are helping to make this happen. Their students clearly see that their voices can and do make a difference.

Certificate for Goldolphin Junior Academy

Goldolphin Junior Academy

“Love their emphasis on relaying quieter voices up the chain, so they are heard at the higher level. The benefits to student confidence are clear.”

The Godolphin Junior Academy’s dedication to gathering pupil feedback shows how powerful student voice can be when accessible to everyone. Their hard work to embed and celebrate student voice in their school has profoundly impacted their pupils’ confidence and oracy skills, both inside and outside the classroom.

Certificate for Cozzie

Cozzie, West Sussex

“This person really is a massive game changer to our country, honestly.“

Cozzie’s application, submitted by her teacher, stood out to our judges immediately. She has worked hard, both in and out of school, to raise awareness for Neurodiversity, LGBTQ+ issues, environmental causes, and women in STEM. Her work on each of these projects is impressive on its own – combined, it is truly awe-inspiring.

Certificate for Diya

Diya, London

“I feel like they’ve used their voice in an impactful way that is not only beneficial for themselves but for others.”

Diya’s caring and generous nature really comes out in her application. From her efforts in the school council to her commitment to supporting local food banks and donating to charities, Diya is using her voice to positively impact the world around her!

Outwood Grange Academy won our Silver Award for Secondary Schools

Boundary Oak School won our Silver Award for Primary Schools

Outwood Academy Hemsworth won our Bronze Award for Secondary Schools

New Valley Primary School won our Bronze Award for Primary Schools

Thomas from Essex won our Silver Award for Secondary Students

Toniloba from London won our Silver Award for Primary Students

Maddie from West Sussex won our Bronze Award for Secondary Students

Rieyen from London won our Bronze Award for Primary Students

Special mention

Special mention certificate to Shenley Fields Daycare

Shenley Fields Daycare & Nursery School

Our youngest application ever! Shenley Fields truly shows that you’re never too young for your voice to make a difference. It warms our hearts to see the dedication that goes into empowering our children right from the start of their educational journey.

A massive thank you to our 2023 judges!

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Kim Leadbeater

Member of Parliament

Kim Leadbeater, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, grew up in the constituency, graduated with a First Class degree, and was an Ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation before being elected to Parliament.

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Vanessa Harriss

The Week Junior

Vanessa Harriss is the editor of The Week Junior, a multi-award-winning news magazine for young and curious readers. She joined the team as production editor in 2015 and played a key role in setting the magazine's tone of voice. With 25 years of experience, Vanessa has worked for top publications like TIME, Vogue, and Wired.

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Rico-Thai Richards

I Have A Voice CIC

Rico is a Youth Ambassador and former Deputy Chair of the London Youth Assembly. He's currently taking his gap year, but this September he's going to study law at Bloomsbury Institute.

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Helen Carroll

The Co-operative

Helen is the Head of Community Strategy and Engagement at The Co-operative Group, responsible for developing community strategy across all business divisions, and a Chair of Governors for Co-op Academy Belle View, one of 29 schools in the Co-op Academies Trust.

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Save The Children YAB

Olga is a 19-year-old student who has been a member of Save The Children's Youth Advisory Board for the past two years. The Board is made up of 18 young people from across the UK and ensures that young people's voices are heard within the charity. She is particularly interested in education and climate justice.

photograph of Kate

Kate Harris


Kate is the co-founder and CEO of VotesforSchools. She taught for a number of years in the secondary sector during which she was a school senior leader heading up the community cohesion strategy. Kate has a passion for student voice and making politics relevant to young people.