Schoolzone: research management team

Our research management team

There are many very good reasons to use Schoolzone for education research, but the best one is simply that we have the strongest team of research managers in the sector.

Helen Burks: community manager

Helen looks after our community of 80,000 teachers. No mean feat, and perhaps the most important role in our research. More than anything we want our teachers to take part in our activities, as without them we obviously can't do anything! Helen keeps our teachers informed about education policy reforms and other issues, but also invites them to take part in research and manages their involvement in our many projects. She also coordinates the way our various activities dovetail - which is where her PRINCE 2 training comes in useful. Helen undertakes aspects of our qualitative research too, including interviewing and data analysis, in which she is MRS trained. Her degree is in English.

Nick Baldwin: data manager

We like to think we're all pretty clever here at Schoolzone Towers, but Nick is actually our only MENSA member. You may have guessed from the job role that he's a maths wizard (officially, at masters level) but he also builds our surveys and analyses the quantitative responses. This is a great strength of our quant research: when you know you're going to have to analyse the data you make sure you build the survey well! Also, Nick previously taught maths at secondary level, so he understands what we're asking questions about.

Laura Cassidy: secondary phase research manager

Another former secondary maths teacher - as well as senior leader, Laura is now the brains behind our research among teachers of 11-19 year olds. While not officially as brainy as Nick (at least she hasn't joined MENSA), Laura does also have a masters in maths and is completing another masters in Educational Leadership, Policy and Development, oh, and is writing a book. As you can imagine, Laura is fantastic at understanding what clients are looking for in research and brilliant at delivering projects all the way through from design to reporting. After joining Schoolzone, Laura undertook even more training, specifically relating to market research, courtesy of the MRS. She also helps keep our secondary teachers well informed via our regular updates based on in-house research.

Jenny Winstanley: primary phase research manager

Having started her teaching career in a challenging (requires improvement) primary school, Jenny knows about working under pressure and understands what drives success in primary schools, having been responsible for pupil attainment at KS2. The school had moved to good when she left. While Jenny wouldn't take all the credit, her background in teaching makes her very well placed to provide insights in what makes primary schools tick and into teachers' thinking: she manages our regular communication with these teachers. Jenny holds a PGCE Masters in Education and a BA (Hons) in Psychology: what more could you ask for in a research manager?

Melissa Mackinlay: research director

You simply won't find anyone else in research with the wealth of experience and depth of understanding of educational publishing as Melissa. Prior to joining Schoolzone, she worked in the educational publishing industry for 12 years as a publisher and then on a freelance basis for many of the leading education publishers. This allowed her to develop both a thorough insight into the issues and challenges facing the education industry, and an excellent awareness of the products and services available to schools. After eight years leading research at Schoolzone, Melissa knows the industry better than anyone: she has a very hands-on approach and has a complete understanding of the benefits each methodology can bring to meet the client's objectives, whether related to publishing resources or other aspects of education. If you are considering working with teachers in any capacity - Melissa will guide you through the design of the consultation and lead the project all the way through to making the best-informed recommendations you're ever likely to get!

Philip Collie: managing director

Having spent 15 years as secondary teacher (to senior leadership level) and another 15 conducting research at Schoolzone, Philip knows schools better than anyone. He leads Schoolzone's in-house research and provides his many LinkedIn followers and our previous clients with regular, vital insights into the school market, from responses to policy to teachers' use of social media. People have said very nice things about this service. Philip has a BSc in chemistry, a masters in education and is a full member of the MRS. He's also chair of governors at one of the country's most successful non-selective state schools.

Libby Adiga: accounts and office manager

While not strictly part of the research delivery team, we've included Libby here because you may well need to be in contact with her, whether to pay for a project or to be paid for a project. Libby is a qualified accountant and she has an incredible eye for detail as well as being superbly well organised. We can guarantee that whether you're on the giving or the receiving end - Libby will look after you extremely well!

Alex Turton: marketing services manager

Having advised hundreds of clients on marketing strategies over the years, we also now offer access to our own community for marketing purposes, managed by Alex. While he's not a full time research person, he can help you to understand your marketing response data. As you'd imagine from a research agency, we take this data very seriously, whether it's web traffic analysis or email responses, we measure and analyse it very carefully. Talk to Alex if you'd like to (for example) run split tests to compare responses to different marketing messages, schedules or audience profiles. He is adept at using our very sophisticated email software to run and monitor campaigns and works with our data analysis team to help you make well informed decisions about future campaigns.He's also a very nice chap, and worth phoning if you'd like some advice about how to grab teachers' attention.


We're all contactable via or on 01242 262906


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