Rachel has over 20 years experience as a public sector policy official, and for the past decade has worked for the Department for Education. Her current lead in 16 to 19 funding policy, follows previous leads in 16 to 19 student financial support, Traineeship policy and Adult Skills funding. Rachel was the Business Change and Communications Manager for the Enabling the Future programme in the Insolvency Service and has held management roles within offices of both the Official Receiver and Small Business Service in Sheffield. Before joining the civil service in 2001, Rachel had a varied career including working in the mobility industry, banking and retail.
Growing up in Sheffield, Rachel sang in school choirs and was a keen recorder player. After gaining her honours degree in Psychology and Public Media, she returned to Sheffield, and volunteered for many years with the Hospital Radio Service. Full time work has always been accompanied by performances of some kind; whether presenting the hospital jazz programme, ensemble work in The Company with Mark Langley or singing in Hallam Choral Society under Vivien Pike. Since 1998, Rachel has sung with Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, with whom she regularly performs at the City Hall as part of the Sheffield International Concert Season each year. Always up for a challenge, during the pandemic lockdowns she took up the cornet and is now a novice with Oughtibridge Brass Band.
Rachel created and produced “Alight!”, Sheffield’s 2012 Cultural Olympiad event. This featured over 1,000 amateur performers, commissioned and included two world premieres, and was included in two undergraduate courses for Sheffield Hallam University, where the Alight! brand was developed. Over just 8 hours, the event featured more than 30 separate performances from groups as diverse as the Sheffield Giants, Sheffield City Morris, and indeed the Sheffield Music Academy.
She lives in Sheffield with her husband and daughter, who is studying trumpet at the Academy