About Us

Our team

Brad Johnson

After more than a decade of experience at leading education recruitment consultancies across Birmingham, in 2014, Brad decided to take his knowledge and passion for the industry to the next level by launching Zest Education.

Brad is, and always has been, a secondary school and academy specialist, having now provided staff to the majority of secondary level schools across the West Midlands.

He may have a penchant for brightly coloured shirts and bad jokes, but by always being honest, professional and consistent in his approach, he continues to receive outstanding feedback and unwavering loyalty from his clients and candidates.If you are a secondary school with a particular requirement, or somebody who is looking to work within a secondary setting, he is most definitely your man.

Outside of the office, Brad can be found either training tirelessly for yet another ludicrously demanding endurance event (IronMan), or enjoying visiting new places with his wife and young son and daughter. Suffice to say, he never has time to get bored!

Tanya Aston

Tanya is our brilliantly bubbly Senior Primary Consultant, who, after spending several years servicing primary schools in Essex, relocated back to the Midlands to join the Zest Education team.

She prides herself on being able to build honest, trustworthy and long-lasting relationships with both schools and candidates, and believes that being a good listener is key to her ongoing success.

Prior to working in recruitment, Tanya worked in a school as a cover supervisor, giving her first-hand knowledge of how the school system works and the importance of good quality teachers and support staff.

When she’s not eating super healthy protein-packed ready meals at the office, she has a rather interesting penchant for eating cheese & onion crisps and Twix’s (simultaneously) – sounds strange, we know, but then, we are all about diversity here at Zest!

Outside of the office Tanya is kept on her toes with two young boys (and hubby), and spends a good deal of her time finding fun and enjoyable ways to wear them out (not easy but she enjoys a challenge) With country walks, playing football and swimming to mention just a few of their regular activities!

In her spare time Tanya enjoys hitting people, or boxing, as it is more commonly known as (nothing to do with having two young children), and indulging in a box set, nice bottle of wine and a takeaway at the weekend.

Scott Barker

Scott is an education guru of over 10 years and has an exceptional reputation across the West Midlands due to the level of service he provides – a refreshing change in the industry with his non-stop work ethic, transparency and dedication for all things education.

Priding himself on his approach, there isn’t much that Scott doesn’t know about the Primary education sector, working tirelessly to ensure that schools are provided with the right person whenever a need arises. Scott is well known for arriving into the office every morning with a Costa Coffee, something that certainly allows him to hit the ground running at 7am.

Outside of work, Scott loves nothing more than spending time at home with his wife and daughter. If he isn’t at home or on an adventure with them, you can find him enjoying a nice glass of red wine, cooking up a fancy meal (watch out Master Chef) or getting a chicken bhuna (madras hot) from his favourite Indian takeaway.

Mike Talbot

Mike is an Education Specialist who hails from Australia and has now made the Midlands his home.

With a passion for Education recruitment and over 12 years’ experience in the industry, Mike loves to help people find their first, or next teaching opportunity. Using his experience as a qualified teacher to advantage, Mike is able to offer a professional an high level service to both schools and candidates.

In a previous life Mike played cricket to a semi-professional level playing for a number of prestigious Midlands clubs. He was once famous for batting twice on the Adelaide Oval, but failing to score a single run.

Now happily retired from competitive sport, he enjoys time with his two young sons (Freddie and Lachie) and wife Laura.

Scott Daly

Scott is our resident Zimbabwean and an ex cricketing professional. An initial period of working as a cover supervisor allowed him valuable insight into the day to day running of many local establishments from both a candidate and a school’s perspective.

Now having dealt with secondary schools in the West Midlands for several years, Scott has found a passion in recruiting and placing candidates of a high standard within schools. Scott, along with all Zest Education employees, is dedicated to providing an efficient and reliable recruitment service for
all schools and candidates.

This fun-loving African made the life changing decision to relocate to the UK to pursue a professional cricket career (this was obviously very short lived), however he is a true team player both on and off the field. When he is not wearing his whites, he enjoys watching/suffering the Red Devil’s and spending time with his friends and fiancé.

Liam Fitzpatrick

Liam is our Principal Primary Consultant who at the tender age of 22 decided to take the plunge into the world of education recruitment. Now, after several academic years in the industry, he has worked with numerous schools and candidates across the West Midlands.

Before entering the recruitment sector, Liam could be found in the library studying for his first class honours degree from a top university (such a book worm). Running along side his degree, he was traveling across Europe competing in Tenpin Bowling tournaments for big money!

In his spare time he loves nothing more than buying awfully patterned suits in the day and listening to classical music in the evening, specifically Wolfgang Amadeus and Chopin (each to their own!) He is our resident country boy, peace and quiet is his domain (we still can’t explain why he talks so
much.)

Favourite Quote –  If you believe you can then you’re halfway there – Theodore Roosevelt

Favourite food – Baklava (Cypriot Sweet desert)

Megan Jones

Megan is another of Zest’s Senior Primary consultants, who, after a highly successful career in another sector of sales has since made a seamless transition into education recruitment providing an honest, conscientious and transparent approach with schools and candidates.

In the office Megan is bubbly, loves a chat with her colleagues but refuses to make the cuppas as she does not drink hot drinks but she loves a good hobnob!

Outside of work Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her favourite thing to do is eat out at different restaurants and try different foods. Megan loves to travel and experience different cultures, her most recent and favourite place visited was Bali.

Beth Mercer

As our Head of Compliance and Safeguarding Beth has excelled in her career so far, from starting out as a Compliance Assistant in 2018 to now being the office’s ‘go to girl’ for all things Compliance.

With a strong administration background and a keen eye for detail Beth relishes in her role and loves seeing the candidates come full circle and out working for Zest.
When she isn’t hard at work clearing candidates, Beth is more than likely fussing Lenny (the office dog) or giggling about something or other!

In her spare time Beth spends time with her partner, friends, family and most importantly her fur-baby ‘Gigi the Frenchie.’

Outside the office Beth loves watching a good series, with Son’s of Anarchy being her number 1!, going for walks or some retail therapy.

Charlie Tims

Charlie is our Head of Business Recruitment and has worked in education recruitment for the past 4 and a half years and has great experience across all areas of the business. Prior to working in recruitment for education, Charlie worked in recruitment for the military and has excellent
knowledge of how the industry works.

Charlie is renowned for her dirty laugh which can be heard across the office on a daily basis and she is always hard working and willing to help.

When she’s not at work, Charlie is either out socialising with her close friends and family, normally with a glass of wine in hand, nose deep in a good book or spending time with her fiancé and new addition to the family, Charlie four legs (Charlie four legs is a labradoodle that needed re-homing, it just so happens they share the same wonderful name!)

Lenny

Lenny is a fox-red Labrador ‘teenager’, and our official Zest Education mascot.

His tail could almost be classified as a weapon of mass destruction, and when he’s not busy sleeping (producing unique snoring noises) in his office bed, he likes nothing more than chasing sticks and balls, for hour, upon hour, upon hour.

Our values

Personable

Our consultants are always friendly and approachable and will do everything they can to put you at ease. We’re ‘people people’ that love working in partnership with schools and the best teaching talent from across the Midlands.

We believe that every day should be a fulfilling adventure for pupils, candidates and our schools – full of new opportunities, challenges and living life to the fullest.

Professional

What drives us is the knowledge
that with every placement, we’re changing people’s lives. So, whilst we enjoy being lighthearted from time to time, such a big responsibility means that we take our work very seriously. We are always fully committed to safeguarding and attention to detail, and pride ourselves on being professional in all possible situations.

Honest

We believe in pure honesty at all times. Schools need the right person for the job, and candidates want honest feedback in order to perform at their best. By being completely transparent, everybody knows exactly what they’re getting, and students are more likely to get the quality education they need.