What differentiates and motivates us

We are a team of likeminded people with complementary skills who understand that your school’s needs are bespoke. Our desire is to bring a fresh approach to the process of talent transfer and to be innovative in order to achieve the best outcome. As a result, we have the professional services to support and develop individuals and schools, from pre-appointment to post-appointment and beyond. Our team has a wealth of experience, both inside and outside of independent education. We bring a new perspective to the process of finding outstanding leaders and nurturing talent. We are passionate about independent education and we exist to help schools and individuals to grow. We will establish a full understanding of your needs and create a programme of training, talent transfer, strategic planning and mentoring to suit. Therefore, making a difference to the school and the young children whose lives will be changed forever as a result. In short – we care.

We operate on a ‘feels fair’ project investment basis which covers all our professional services, there are no hidden extras or unexpected charges. In exchange, schools receive excellent value for money and full support before, during and after an appointment is made.

Our approach is unique, bespoke and personal. We would be delighted find out more about your school’s needs and to discuss how we might tailor our offering to suit.


Richard Stevenson Headspace Academics


Richard has worked in a variety of schools, including day and boarding, single sex and co-educational, prep and senior school, tied prep and stand-alone. After completing his degree in politics, economics and philosophy, Richard headed the science, IT and DT departments in a large independent school. He moved to the position of Academic Deputy Head at Holmwood House before being appointed to headship at Kelly College Prep, then subsequently, Castle Court School in Dorset. During 15 years of headship, Richard re-positioned the schools and restructured the businesses and curriculum, leading to growth in pupil numbers, finances, development and academic achievement. He has been an ISI inspector, taken a lead role in training and has an outstanding track record of mentoring, coaching and appraising for success. Richard is a people person; his ability lies in strategic thinking, the building of teams, growing a business and appointing outstanding people. His excellent understanding of building construction and development as well as his extensive experience in bringing development projects to fruition, on budget and on time, is a worthy addition.

Tiffany Fleming Headspace Academics


Tiffany began her career in sales and marketing, working for a major national housebuilder. At the age of twenty-two, she became the Sales and Marketing Director for the company and in preparation, worked in every department of the business in order to understand the impact her decisions would have. The experience she gained helped her throughout her 30 years in the industry. This was evident on the client side, then latterly on the agency side of the business, where she worked for the OLIVER Group as a Senior Account Director.

Tiffany’s love of people and unique insight into how to achieve the very best from and for people, led her to coach and mentor numerous leaders entering the industry. Many of her mentees went on to achieve notable and significant success in their own right. Tiffany regularly planned and led successful marketing strategies, during which she forged valuable relationships with her clients, some spanning 15 years. More recently, Tiffany headed the admin team of a large independent school. Excited by the similarities and opportunities between independent education and her previous role, Tiffany brings an important commercial perspective to the business supporting school leaders and governors to realise the very best for their schools.

Mark Beach Headspace Academics


Mark has an Advanced Diploma in Educational Management and an MA in Leadership and Management. After 10 years as a Deputy Head at Barfield School, at the age of 35, he was appointed to his first Headship at Longacre. He went on to be the Head at the City of London Freemen’s Junior School and then Parkside School.

He is an active member of IAPS and has organised numerous courses for the association including ‘Preparation for Headship’. He has been a member the Education Committee, Membership Committee and the Curriculum Review Committee. Mark was a member of the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate.

He has extensive experience as a recruiter both in educational and commercial sectors. He is an experienced coach, mentor and counsellor. He has extensive experience of planning, implementing and leading vigorous change management programmes. Mark’s understanding of the sector stems from the varied experience he has had in day, boarding, co-ed and single sex schools in the sector.

Alastair Ramsay Headspace Academics


Alastair, an IAPS Head for 19 years, led two very successful independent Prep Schools and has been an active ISI inspector since 2004. He ran a successful boarding house before becoming a Headmaster in 2001.

He guided his schools through seven outstanding/excellent inspection reports, one through a successful merger and led both schools out of perilous financial positions. From falling pupil numbers, when he took over, he transformed the schools to profitable and thriving businesses. He has piloted successful training sessions in industry and education, on subjects as wide ranging as planning for a crisis, managing a school as a business, marketing, and safeguarding children.

Alastair has appraised Heads and sat as an independent member on parental complaints and staff grievance panels. As a Governor at one of the country’s leading FE colleges and having sat on the Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board, he has extensive and varied boardroom and committee experience. Alastair has travelled extensively in China, recruiting pupils and lecturing on the benefits of a British independent boarding education for foreign pupils.

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Cath is a proficient and successful school leader with over twenty years of experience in state, independent, single sex and co-educational schools. She is a strategic thinker with an eye for detail and high standards. She is passionate about staff development and has enjoyed coaching and shaping teachers and leaders to be their very best. She aims to inspire, challenge and empower those that she works with, to make a positive difference for themselves, their schools and their pupils.

After just 10 years in education, Cath secured her first Headship at Surbiton Junior Girls’ School, leading the school through an excellent ISI inspection in her first year. Three years later, she was appointed into the dual role as Head of both Surbiton Junior Girls’ School and Surbiton Boys’ Preparatory School. During her 6 years in this role she successfully brought each school’s teaching and learning practices together, created an Executive Leadership Team, grew the school roll and led the schools through three excellent ISI inspections. Cath’s third Headship was at Chandlings School where she restructured the middle leadership model, redesigned the curriculum, introduced a digital strategy, developed outdoor learning, and steered the school through an excellent inspection.

Cath is a people person; she is approachable and empathetic and believes in a collaborative and authentic style of leadership and school development.

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Mike has worked in independent education for much of his career; he has extensive experience of boarding schools and school leadership. At the age of 30, he was promoted to Headmaster at King’s Junior and Housemaster of the chorister boarding house.

He went on to be the Founding Headmaster at Yarm Prep School, growing the school from 0 to 340 pupils, after which he was appointed as Head to three further Prep Schools. He is a former ISI Inspector, now a Governor at four schools and is the longest serving member on the steering committee of the cross association, national independent junior school conference.

Mike retired as a Head in April 2010 and has worked as an Educational Consultant offering advice and support to schools on recruitment, mentoring and appraisal, inspection compliance and marketing.

He has worked specifically in leadership recruitment in independent education since 2011 when he joined TES Prime in London. There he worked in a wide variety of schools from The Hall in Hampstead to the British School in Nicosia. Over the course of the past eight years, he has successfully completed over 90 headship recruitment processes.

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Phil has worked in both state and independent schools in the UK and in the USA. As a headteacher for 15 years and an Ofsted and ISI inspector, Phil has a wide range of experience in a variety of school settings. More recently he has undertaken a number of interim positions as headteacher, assisting schools in navigating complex challenges.

He was head at King Edward's School in Bath leading the transformation to full co-education. In 2000 he took over at Ascham House Prep School in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne and, through a merger, became the founding head of Newcastle School for Boys, a very successful 3-18 day school. He was one of the founding directors of the West Newcastle Academy Free School and is now a director of the Queen's Hall Arts Centre in Hexham and Chief Executive of the Independent Schools Portal.

Phil has run a number of Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and other senior staff recruitment processes and is regularly invited to speak at leadership conferences.

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Alison has been a school leader since 2000 with over 12 years of headship experience in the independent sector in junior and senior schools. She was the Headmistress of Buchan School (King William’s College) for ten years, during which time she was an active member of the Independent Association of Prep Schools. She served as Chair of the North West Heads group and was a member of the IAPS National Council and their Education Committee for a number of years.

During her extensive career, she has worked as an education adviser and consultant successfully supporting headteachers and schools with school improvement and raising standards in all aspects of educational provision. She has led a range of professional development courses to encourage reflective practice and inspire ongoing innovation.

She is a qualified reporting inspector of schools both in the UK independent sector and internationally (including British Schools Overseas inspection), with specific experience of working in the Middle East area. This work has included rigorous review of school provision with sharply focussed analysis of evidence available and the evaluation of individual school performance against nationally agreed inspection frameworks.

She is regarded as a people person and believes strongly in supporting others by recognising and nurturing individual talents building capacity within the whole school team. One of her key strengths is the ability to be a creative thinker; generating ideas and developing new opportunities in response to school leadership priorities.

We would be delighted to hear from you

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