About Us

Zest Education was founded in 2014 and has become one of the market leading supply teaching agencies across the West Midlands and Staffordshire.

We are a specialist education agency, supplying teachers and support staff to nurseries, schools and alternative provisions across Staffordshire and the West Midlands.

With over 50 years’ of dedicated education recruitment experience, we understand everything that you go through on a daily basis when working in schools, nurseries and other provisions.

Get to know our team a little better below…

Scott Barker

Scott is an education guru of over 12 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 passion for all things education.

Scott is well known for arriving into the office every morning with a Costa Coffee latte – 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 daughters. If he isn’t out enjoying an adventure with them, you can find him enjoying a nice glass of red wine or preparing for his Master Chef audition.

Mike Talbot

With a passion for Education recruitment and over 15 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 and high level of service to both schools and candidates.

Mike hails from Australia and has now made Lichfield his home. Previously, 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.

Brad Johnson

After more than a decade at leading education agencies across Birmingham, providing staff to the majority of secondary schools across Birmingham and surrounding areas, Brad decided to take his knowledge and passion for the industry to the next level by launching Zest Education in 2014.

He now holds the pivotal dual role of Strategic Partnership Director within the company, which uses his experience to build and develop relationships with universities, colleges and teacher training providers, to attract and recruit the very best future talent for our schools. This, in addition to his drive to maintain Zest Education’s position of being the preferred agency for Multi Academy Trusts across the Midlands, ensures that we are the brightest beacon in the world of education recruitment and the most respected agency in our field.

Outside of the office, Brad can be found exploring new places with his wife and young children, putting the world to rights with his best mates, running, scuba diving, indulging in Asian cuisine on an all-too-frequent basis, and supporting his boyhood football club, Aston Villa FC (UTV!). Suffice to say, he never has time to get bored!

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 areas of the business.

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.

Beth is often found motivating the team (or giving them banter) and is also responsible for helping to organise the all important team nights out.

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

Scott Daly

Scott is our resident Zimbabwean who used to work as a Cover Supervisor, so understands all areas of working within secondary schools. This allows him valuable insight into the day to day running of many of the local Staffordshire schools from both a candidate and a school’s perspective.

Now, having dealt with secondary schools in Staffordshire and the West Midlands for several years, Scott has found a passion in recruiting and placing candidates of a high standard within schools.

A fun-loving African, Scott 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 Devils and spending time with his friends and family.

Liam Fitzpatrick

Liam is one of our Principal Primary Consultants 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 built a great reputation by working 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. Running alongside his degree, he was traveling across Europe competing in tenpin bowling tournaments as a professional tenpin bowler.

In his spare time he loves nothing more than buying awfully patterned suits and listening to classical music. He is our resident country boy – peace and quiet is his domain.

Megan Jones

Megan is another of Zest’s Senior Primary Consultants, who after a highly successful career in another sector of sales, made a seamless transition into education recruitment several years ago. Megan has now established herself as a highly regarded consultant across Staffordshire thanks to the relationships she builds with her candidates and schools alike and her passion for providing an amazing service to everybody that she works with.

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.

Mitch Joss

Mitch is our Specialist SEND consultant, with over five years of dedicated SEND experience, working with special needs schools across Staffordshire and the West Midlands. Having worked within SEND schools himself, he has an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the needs of our special needs environments and the ability to match candidates to each provision.

As a Bachelor of Science and with an Autistic brother, Mitch was naturally drawn to special educational needs. In 2018, he became a Team Teach tutor, which allows him to provide invaluable training to his staff within the SEND sector, as well as developing the understanding of special needs for mainstream staff.

Outside of work, he is a devoted father who can be found at the local train stations waving at the drivers (occasionally taking his son along with him). When he is not at the train station, he can be found at soft plays and local parks chasing after, what can only be described as, the Usain Bolt of toddlers.

Charlie Tims

Charlie is our Head of Business Recruitment and has worked in education recruitment for over five years, with vast experience across all areas of the business. Charlie is passionate about recruiting the right people for the right roles and is always eager to go that extra mile.

When she’s not at work, Charlie is either out socialising with her close friends and family, nose deep in a good book or spending time with the other Charlie (a spirited Labradoodle that needed re-homing, and it just so happens they share the same wonderful name).

Becky Nicholas

Becky is our Secondary Education Resourcer. Becky has worked in various customer service roles, so is easily approachable, happy to help and always goes the extra mile to provide the best level of service around. Becky has always had a keen interest in recruitment, as she enjoys helping others and the fulfillment of getting them their dream school or working environment.

When Becky is not at work, she enjoys spending her time taking her very active Collie for walks (although 10 miles is never enough for him), catching up on the latest shows and films on Netflix and trying to perfect her hand in the kitchen.

Steph Guy

Steph is our SEND Resourcer, who recruits specialist SEND staff for schools across Staffordshire and the West Midlands. Having graduated from University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies and Early Years, Steph went on to become a Learning Support Assistant within an SEND school. Due to Steph’s SEND experience, she has extensive knowledge of special need environments and the specific needs of the children that our staff support.

Outside of the office, Steph enjoys spending time with her friends and family and taking her dog Bertie out for long walks around Cannock Chase. Her favourite things to do are go to a good festival and eat out at restaurants.

Faye Hunt

After starting her career in the housing sector, Faye has joined the Primary team as an Education Resourcer, to develop her knowledge and skills further within the working world. Faye is always willing to learn and improve on her skills within recruitment and education.

Faye enjoys spending time with her family and friends outside of work, especially her Border Terrier, Elvis (her favourite) who really does think he is a human rather than a dog. She also enjoys eating out in local restaurants and trying out new foods.

Laura Thompson

Laura is part of our Compliance team and is personable and professional with all who work alongside her. As well as experience in the recruitment world, Laura has a background in customer service and aims to provide all candidates with the same easy-going and approachable attitude.

Laura loves social occasions, either celebrating with her colleagues at Zest or going to various music events with friends. She also values the importance of her health and wellbeing and has always had an interest in personal development, looking after herself through weekly exercise classes, long mindful walks, herbal teas and loves nothing more than a self-care Sunday to reset for the week ahead.

Bethany Wood

Bethany is another part of our highly important Compliance team and previously trained as a primary school teacher. After deciding the classroom wasn’t for her, she turned her hand to recruitment and quickly found her feet within the company.

Outside of work, Bethany loves nothing more than spending time with her friends, family and her two Bichon Frises, Marley and Minnie. In her spare time, you are likely to find her watching a good TV series or film, walking the dogs or eating out with her family.

Jennie Ivey

Jennie has over 15 years’ administration experience and quickly settled into her role as our Finance Assistant and Administrator when she joined in 2020.

Although Jennie was born and raised in Costa Rica, she has lived in London, Bristol, Brighton, Chichester and now Lichfield.

A mother of three quirky children, Jennie enjoys spending time with her family, friends and colleagues. She also loves nature walks, movies, painting and crochet.

Work for us...

As well as working with teachers and support staff in schools and other provisions, we want to have the best talent working for us.

If you believe you have the same passion for education that we do and you would like to work in a fun, fast paced and highly rewarding environment, get in touch today.

You can email your CV and covering letter to hello@zesteducation.co.uk.

Our values

Personable

Our team are always friendly and approachable and will do everything they can to put you at ease in your search for work. We’re ‘people people’ that love working in partnership with the best talent and schools, nurseries and other provisions from across Staffordshire and the West Midlands.

We will get to know you as an individual as we believe that every day should be fulfilling for our candidates, pupils and our schools and provisions.

Professional

What drives us is the knowledge that with every placement, we’re changing young 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.

With a dedicated compliance and safeguarding team, 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.