Get to know The Independent Education Consultants & how we work.

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Our Story

Founded by Catherine Stoker in 2011, the concept of The Independent Education Consultants arose from her passion for British education, as well as supporting children and their parents when making crucial, often life-changing education decisions. Understanding the individual needs of children and how to marry these with other commitments such as work, siblings or location, is a puzzle she loves to help parents solve. Catherine believes that successful outcomes and realistic solutions should always be at the heart of everything we do to advise and guide our client families.

Having worked as a Director of a London office-based consultancy for seven years, Catherine’s vision was to create a consultancy that worked equally well for parents from both the UK and overseas, and facilitated close regular contact with schools and universities country-wide, keeping knowledge current and up-to-date.

Originally located in Buckinghamshire, Catherine now works from her home in North Yorkshire, with her two black Labradors often to be found sleeping at her feet. Her husband David is a Director and supports the marketing and commercial side of the business development, working closely with our referring partners.

Claire Coker joined the team in 2014 and is the Director responsible for talking to families when they first approach us for assistance. Her own personal knowledge and experience is extensive, particularly in the areas of boarding schools and helping those who need some additional support for their learning needs. Her friendly, approachable manner reflects our ethos as a whole team.

Having built an extensive team of associate consultants over the past 9 years, we are able to match each family with an experienced professional, whatever their education query. From choosing a boarding school, relocating back to the UK, to making a strong UCAS application, we’ve got you covered.

The consultancy team talk to clients via phone, Skype or face-to-face from their home office bases or by hopping on a train to London. Our team live countrywide from Bath to Bedale, enabling us to share knowledge that is truly extensive. When not advising clients, the team are out and about visiting schools and universities, keeping our knowledge and contacts up to date.

Our team & their expertise

Catherine Stoker

Catherine Stoker

Managing Director

David Marx

David Marx



Sasha Wellings

Senior Associate Consultant

Claire Coker

Associate Consultant


Brian McGee

Associate Consultant (Sixth form and Higher Education)

Lucy Watts

Associate Consultant (London Day and Boarding Schools)


Paul Brewster

Associate Consultant (Schools advice and relocation)

Mark Stoker

Mark Stoker

Associate Consultant (Medicine applications)

Phil Garner

Associate Consultant (US University Applications)


Steve Martin

Associate Consultant

Jasmine Rocks

Digital Marketing Apprentice

Anna McAndrews

Consultancy Business Manager

Kate King

Specialist Educational Consultant

Mark Hall

Global Education Partnerships Manager

Philip Hallworth

Associate Consultant

Our Partners

The Independent Education Consultants values highly its relationships with trusted partner companies in both the UK and overseas. Some of these companies offer services related to education, which we believe will be of interest to our valued clients. However with some we work in partnership to offer bespoke, joint-services, to advise parents on their education choices.

The Watanabe Office has been supporting Japanese families with their British Boarding School choices for over 30 years. We are proud to work as their UK-based consultancy partner, advising and supporting Japanese families applying to UK boarding schools.

For more information contact:

Mrs Kazuko Watanabe
W | www.woffice.jp
  | +81 3 3336 0591
E   | info@woffice.jp

Providing trustworthy, professional guardianship support and guidance to international children in British boarding schools.

For more information contact:

Mrs Siobhan Skaife

W | www.guardianfamilynetwork.com
T   | +44 (0)1865 522005
E   | head@guardianfamily.co.uk

How we help

The Independent Education Consultants offers timely advice for parents on all aspects of education. From choosing a school, assessment of special needs, transition at 7+, 11+, 13+ and 16+ to career planning and applying to university, we have a team of education experts who collectively have years of experience in offering advice and guidance to parents.

Whether you need face-to-face, telephone, Skype or email advice, we have an education consultancy service to meet your requirements.

Our education e- books and factsheets, which can be downloaded via our website Consultancy Downloads, give cost-effective advice to parents from both the UK and overseas on all aspects of British education. From making the right school, college and/or university choices, to tips on managing your child’s education, our expert advice offers support and guidance to enable your child to succeed.

Choosing the right school

Choosing a school for sixth form

Applying to UK Universities

UCAS & Career Planning

Interview preparation & mentoring

Guiding International Families

Relocating and expat families

Working with clients of corporate partners

Interested to see how we can help?

Connect with one of our consultants to talk about how we can help with finding the right education solution for your child.

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