Team Talk with Our Head of Partnerships – Belinda Holley, March 2019

Team Talk with Our Head of Partnerships – Belinda Holley – March 2019

Our UKVI approved partnerships with over 160 partner schools in the UK means Tier 4 students going on to a partner school can apply for a single visa to cover our course and their onward study!  To ensure we have great relationships with these schools, our Head of Partnerships – Belinda, works hard all year liaising with partner schools and potential partner schools.  Read on to find out more about Belinda (and her dog – Wes):

Can you tell us something about your career, Belinda?  I started off in the oil Industry, working for the Chief Geologist at BP, then moved to sales for national magazines such as Autocar, Camera Weekly and What Car?  After that I became an account handler for a London advertising agency, where I became really interested in print and production, before moving into marketing communications at Lloyds Bank for a short time.  I moved down to the West Country when I got married and worked for a mobile phone service provider before having a career break to have children.  It was after this that I joined Westonbirt School in Gloucestershire, where I was Registrar for over twelve years, before moving to Dean Close School in Cheltenham for a further four years, thus gaining my experience in Admissions, schools’ marketing and Tier 4 immigration.  I became Head of Partnerships here at Etherton Education in April 2016.

What is your personal philosophy?  Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself and pay attention to detail.  I never forgot that every child who joined the schools that I worked for is precious to the parents and agents with whom I liaised, and I felt personally responsible for every one until the day that they left the school.  I was so proud of them.

What is the best place you have travelled to and why?  My degree is in Geography and I spent two field seasons out in Norway working on glacial environments in the Jutenheimen mountains and further north in the Rondane.  Both are now national parks and are breathtakingly beautiful.  I would love to go back one day to visit the glaciers, and I still have my maps!

What is the weirdest job you have ever had?  I gave up my job to have three children and stayed at home with them for six years – after my youngest was born a friend introduced me to a micro-brewer who needed help selling his beers and so I spent two hours on the phone each morning for a couple of years selling beer to local pubs, which was great fun.  Landlords and ladies love to talk – and so do I!

What is the one food you cannot resist?  Cheese – I love it!

What sports do you participate in?  I rode horses and played hockey until I was 30 and started to have my children.  Now I walk my friendly dog Wesley and pound out the miles on my exercise bike.  I love playing Scrabble and Rummikub, which I feel ought to be classed as sports!

To find out more about our School Partnerships – please visit our Partner Schools Page where you can also view our full list of Partner Schools.  You can also contact Belinda directly on