Nicola Axford

Nicola is an experienced and highly skilled education manager and trainer with thorough knowledge of teaching and learning and excellent inter-personal skills.

She has led the development and implementation of learning pathways and developed successful partnerships, in particular, to support vulnerable children and young adults. Nicola's most recent employment has been as the Head of the Virtual School for Children in Care in Cheshire East, which she sees as a vital primary corporate parenting role. This followed a successful secondary school teaching and school leadership career, after a decade working in a hospital as a medical scientist. Nicola is a confident, knowledgeable and clear-thinking trainer and a powerful advocate and champion for the educational needs of children in care. Much of her leisure time is also devoted to working with young people in charitable and community settings and serving on school Governing Bodies.


  • 2014–2018: Virtual School Head Teacher, Cheshire East Council
  • 2011–2014: 14-19 Curriculum Officer/Partnership Manager, Cheshire East
  • 2006–2011: Deputy Manager, Excellence in Crewe
  • 2003–2011: Assistant Head Teacher, Coppenhall High School, Crewe
  • 1992–2003: Asst Teacher/ Head of Science, Sandon High School, Stoke
  • 1981–1991: Medical Laboratory Scientist, North Staffs Infirmary


  • Diploma in Attachment Theory, Open College, 2018
  • Foundation Level Coaching, European Mentoring and Coaching Council, 2015
  • Assessing Candidates Level 3, Oxford Cambridge and RSA, 2011
  • Training the Trainer, Liverpool Excellence Partnership, 2006
  • MA, Education, University of York, 1999
  • PGCE, Keele University, 1992
  • Fellow (degree equivalent), Institute of Medical Laboratory Science, Manchester, 1986
  • HNC, Medical Laboratory Science, Wolverhampton, 1984