We support the UK’s schools with expert communication and management advice.


From traditional public relations services to strategic support for your leadership team, our role is to keep you firmly on the front foot while easing the pressure on individuals and enhancing the quality of your decision-making.

Alder started life as a crisis PR specialist – but has grown in response to client feedback and now offers a full range of services designed to protect and enhance schools’ reputations.


Crisis handling and PR
We can act swiftly to help you retain control and protect your school’s reputation when trouble strikes out of the blue.
News house
We will build your profile by engaging with journalists; writing copy for letters, websites and brochures; highlighting opportunities in the education press; and building media relationships.
Outsourced press office
Ensure you are always ready for media inquiries by subscribing to our low-cost outsourced press office service.  It’s free to set up – you only pay for what you use.  And the office is manned 7 days a week so there is always someone on hand to advise on breaking news stories.
Social and digital media monitoring
An essential reputation management tool in the 24-hour media age. We will monitor your school’s online reputation and advise on rapid action and counter measures that can be applied if necessary.
Training for governors
Alder offers a range of bespoke workshops, presentations and simulations to help improve governors’ awareness of threats and opportunities and improve the quality of the decision-making.


Tim Toulmin

Tim Toulmin

Managing Director
Education PR Lead
 Tim has worked in the media for 20 years, and founded Alder (previously Alder Media) in 2010. Before that he was Director of the Press Complaints Commission. He has been involved in some of the highest-profile media stories in the last decade, has a wide network of contacts throughout the media and the law, and now personally represents a number of leading businesses, charities, schools and individuals.

He has an MA in History from Cambridge University and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.

Anthony Longden

Anthony Longden

Specialist Partner
Anthony Longden
Specialist Partner for Crisis Communications
 Anthony was a newspaper editor for 20 years until 2012, and has a total of 30 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and senior editorial executive in the regional press. He is a consultant to the Society of Editors, and is uniquely well placed to advise our clients on a wide range of public relations issues: how best to craft messages at times of crisis; how to build good relations with key editorial figures; how to minimise the risks of bad publicity; and how to draw up and implement robust PR plans.
Alison Brace

Alison Brace

Specialist Partner
Alison Brace
Specialist Partner for Proactive Education PR
Alison has more than 20 years’ experience covering all aspects of education for print and broadcast media. She has served as education correspondent for national and local newspapers, worked on the BBC’s first education consumer programme and was a feature writer and columnist on the Times Educational Supplement. With her extensive knowledge of schools, she is well placed to help clients build a positive profile.
Durell Barnes

Durell Barnes

Specialist Partner
Durell Barnes
Specialist Education Partner
Durell advises on governance, compliance and issues management.. He works mostly with governing bodies especially in the areas of inspection readiness, effective governance and safeguarding. He is governor of both independent and maintained schools and has worked in both charity and for profit sectors of independent education. Previously as a school leader he specialised in curriculum development, appraisal, performance management, professional development and strategic planning.



You never know when a crisis is going to hit you. An ordinary day can turn into a very stressful one in our line of work, rapidly and without warning. It is excellent to know that you can turn to someone for expert advice but also a calm and friendly supportive team who know precisely what you are going through.



Alder were highly responsive from the first call and throughout the process. They were highly professional, very thorough, covered all angles, gave excellent advice and were quick to respond when we needed answers.


Director of Marketing and Communications

Based on our 2017 Customer Satisfacion Survey…


of clients said we were very responsive.


of schools said our advice was great value for money.


of clients would recommend us to a fellow colleague.


of respondents were very satisfied with the service provided.

Our clients in the education sector rely on us to manage a wide range of sensitive issues such as parent disputes, staff problems, pupil exclusions, legal actions, and accidents involving pupils or staffs. For a free, no obligation conversation please  phone us on 020 76925675 or fill the form and we will contact you back. 

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