Find out about the First Class team below, who they are, what they do and more importantly what they look like!
Lesley Robinson (Managing Director) is MD of First Class, and together with co-Director Steph, responsible for founding First Class Supply way back in early 2004! With a background in sales and national account management, Lesley’s area of expertise is the finance and management side of the business. With over 20 years’ experience in educational recruitment alone, she is a mainstay of First Class, and always available for our many teachers, TAs and schools. Lesley is also on the fundraising committee of one of partner middle schools, and a volunteer reader with Year 5 pupils at the same outstanding school.
Steph Boulton (Director) is a Director of First Class Supply, responsible with MD Lesley for founding First Class way back in early 2004! Steph’s background is HR and customer service management, working for many years in patient liaison management within the NHS. Steph too has over 20 years’ experience within educational recruitment and is responsible for the HR, Compliance and Safeguarding side of the business. Another mainstay of First Class, Steph is also on the fundraising committee of one of our partner middle schools, and a volunteer reader with Year 1 and Year 2 pupils in one of our partner primary schools.
Dionne Clark(Director and Finance Manager) is First Class Supply’s fantastic Finance Manager,as well as a Director of the company, and is responsible for all things financial at First Class. With over 25 years working within the accounts sector, and over six years’ experience with us here at First Class, Dionne is our go-to person for all things payroll and invoice related, as well as being an invaluable member of the management team. She also has a wicked sense of humour!
Jonny Carr (IT & Accounts Consultant) joined First Class back in 2010 as an apprentice to help with the admin side of things. Since being offered a permanent job shortly after, he has not only progressed to take over all things IT related, but also excels at upgrading and maintaining our bespoke software system. He is also Dionne’s right-hand man in the accounts department and an integral part of the First Class team, with unending patience answering our many questions! Nothing is ever a problem for him and he’s always happy to help his colleagues.
Fran Hale (Director and Senior Education Specialist: Primary). A Director of First Class, Fran is also a fully qualified primary teacher, with over twelve years in educational recruitment. Fran’s knowledge of primary education and primary supply is second to none. After joining First Class in 2011, Fran very quickly established herself as a leading light in the primary education sector throughout the North East, with an unrivalled reputation for finding her teachers the perfect long term or permanent job. She has an equally well-deserved reputation for finding the perfect assignment for those who prefer day to day and short term assignments, from NQTs through to more experienced primary teachers. She is often complimented on the expert advice she gives to our primary teachers and schools alike. Fran is also a Governor at one of our North Tyneside partner primary schools with overall responsibility for STEM.
Amy Cosgrove (Education Specialist: Primary) joined First Class as an admin apprentice in 2010 and we were delighted to offer her a full time job soon after. Initially working within the admin team, Amy has a great knowledge of all aspects of the business and has gradually progressed to the position of education specialist. She is a hugely knowledgeable about educational recruitment and primary supply in particular, and plays an essential role in the primary team, particularly in relation to day to day and short term assignments. Her ever-cheerful and always helpful personality has endeared her both to her colleagues and her primary teachers alike.
Kate Hall (Education Specialist: Secondary) has been with us at First Class for almost four years, and in educational recruitment for over six years. She has an excellent understanding of all aspects of supply, having worked previously with our primary and TA teams, before finding her perfect niche in the secondary sector. Kate has established excellent relationships with our secondary and middle schools as well as our secondary teachers, and can be guaranteed to find the ideal assignments for our many secondary teachers. She is also a Governor at a central Newcastle middle school.
Julia Pollock (Team Leader and Senior Education Specialist: TA & SEN) joined First Class in early 2008, and is an invaluable member of the First Class team. She has been a consultant on all our teams in her time, finally settling into her niche as an expert on all there is to know about being a Teaching Assistant on supply, whether in mainstream or SEN settings. She was young, free and single when she joined us, and is now a full time working Mum to three children – including twins born on Christmas Day 2011! She looks after us all in the office too, as well as always being available for words of advice and encouragement for our Teaching Assistants, Nursery Nurses and Learning Support Assistants. Julia is also a Governor at one of our local partner middle schools.
Hannah Lynn (Education Specialist: TA & SEN) is a fully qualified Nursery Nurse herself and has been with First Class for over three years. In that time, she has been a boon on the TA & SEN team, with an in-depth knowledge and real knack for finding the ideal assignments for our TAs, whether for half a day or a full academic year. Her background as a Nursery Nurse gives her a real insight into all TA assignments and she is very popular with all the TAs she works with, who all appreciate her bubbly personality and caring nature. Hannah is a Governor at a local partner primary school.
Jemma Jobson-Muir (Admin Manager) has been with First Class since 2012, and is integral to the smooth running of everything to do with the office admin, resourcing, training and events management side of things. She also keeps a firm hold of the ever-changing safeguarding and compliance legislation within the educational supply sector and education in general. With a solid background in recruitment going back 16 years, nine in educational recruitment, Jemma brings a wide depth of knowledge to the many, many different tasks she juggles on a daily basis! Always cheerful and always helpful, she is also the most organised person any of us have ever met!
Megan O’Kane (Compliance and Admin Specialist) joined us in 2015, bringing her previous experience in recruitment to her role within the admin team. Megan is an invaluable member of the Compliance and Admin team, and is always a cheery voice for the many enquirers who call every day. She is our go-to person for all things Compliance related, as well as assisting on the Registration side of things. She brings her unique Irish charm to everything she does.
Pam Heron (Finance & Admin Support) joined us in the summer of 2017, bringing a wealth of knowledge from her previous career as school admin & finance support in local secondary and primary schools. Pam splits her time between assisting Jemma and the Registration Co-Ordinators to assisting Dionne and Jonny in the finance team. She has quickly learned how hectic and ever-changing the world of educational recruitment can be and has quickly adapted to her new role.
Emma Horton (Registration Coordinator). A graduate of Sunderland University with a 2:1 in Broadcast Media Production, Emma has already made an impact as the newest member of our Admin team! She has worked in recruitment for around two years and to quote her, has loved every minute of it! Emma works with our exceedingly busy Primary Team and enjoys meeting new candidates when they join us, as well as helping with any registration queries from all our primary teachers.
Lana Wood (Registration Coordinator). Lana left Sixth Form knowing she wanted to go straight into work, and joined a recruiter as an apprentice receptionist/administrator. She then moved on to become a temporary member of the Compliance Team for an educational recruiter before joining the team as a Registration Coordinator here at First Class. Lana is responsible for helping our exceptionally busy and growing TA Team and to quote her ‘loves being part of this amazing team!’ She would love to help anybody joining us to work within SEN or as a TA.
Mavis Lowery is the former Assistant Headteacher of Marden High School, North Tyneside. She has worked closely with First Class Supply in her capacity as Education Advisor since 2005, and with her humour and knowledge is an integral and invaluable part of our team.
Carol Jewitt is the former Headteacher of St Joseph’s RC Primary School, North Shields. She has worked with us since 2016, and like Mavis and before her, liked us so much when dealing with us in her capacity as a Headteacher ‘on the other side of the fence’ she wanted to join us when she left school!
Ann Thornton is the former Head Teacher of Wallsend Jubilee Primary School, Wallsend. She has worked with us since 2017, and like her contemporaries, Mavis and Carol, Ann liked our ethos, and the team so much she couldn’t wait to join us on leaving school.