Our Team



Colin Short

Colin is an ex-headteacher in Greater Manchester with over 25 years of teaching and school leadership experience. After completing a degree at Salford University Colin went on to gain the National Professional Qualification for Headship and a Master’s Degree from Manchester University in Educational Leadership. Working with many education professionals and schools from across the country Colin is keen to develop the school improvement arm of Castles. He is working with a number of academies to apply for grant funding and condition improvement fund submissions via the Education Funding Agency.

07460541103 colin@castleseducation.co.uk LinkedIn


James Tipping

James is an ex-deputy headteacher of a large secondary school. He has significant expertise in academy conversion, HR, performance management, self-evaluation, quality assurance, whole school action plans, data analysis, governance and leadership development at all levels. He is particularly keen to support schools in challenging circumstances and has a wealth of experience supporting schools to move out of special measures. When he is not writing whole school action plans, James is on a one man mission to eat in every restaurant in Manchester.

07473649022 james@castleseducation.co.uk LinkedIn


Dean Thomas-Lowde

Dean was previously an assistant headteacher in a school that was placed in special measures. Here Dean led on projects involving pupil voice, stakeholder involvement, equality and middle management. It was this in depth experience that encouraged Dean to establish his own consultancy group, The Thomas-Lowde Group. Dean was then appointed a Partner of Castles Education in July 2017. Dean has a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management and is a ’Teaching Leaders’ (Ambition School Leadership) Fellow. Dean enjoys sharing his leadership journey and encouraging others to find the leader within, as well as promoting parental involvement within education. Now in charge of our graduate training programme Dean is on a one man mission to solve the perceived teacher shortage crisis. If he is not working in schools or with graduates, you’ll probably find him taking part in the human science dissection event that is Anatomy Lab Live.

07473646805 dean@castleseducation.co.uk LinkedIn

International Recruitment

Michael Jakubowski

With over 12 years of international teaching experience in Thailand, Kuwait and Turkey, Michael was most recently a department coordinator for a group of 17 private schools in Istanbul. Michael has a degree in Psychology and is a qualified English teacher through Cambridge. Now responsible for the International Teacher Recruitment department at Castles, he is helping schools all over the world secure the teaching talent they are looking for. If he isn’t at his desk, he’s probably locked himself out of the building (again).

07378422265 mike@castleseducation.co.uk LinkedIn

Office Manager

Sarah Kettlestring

Sarah is the do-everything Office Manager and the all-in-one administrator for Castles Education. Her responsibilities include finance management, human resources, payroll, accounts receivable, compliance and administrative support to the owners and staff. With over 12 years’ experience in the corporate world, she is the glue that holds everything together.

Castles education was the right choice for me to start my teaching career. The team are so supportive, it’s really helpful to have a company that have been in the industry for years behind you. They are always there for any queries, looking over lesson plans and really putting my mind at ease.
Julie Phelps
Performing Arts and English Graduate