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Emma Hughes



+44 (0)330 045 2338


Emma Hughes, Chartered Fellow of the CIPD​ - Head of HR Services, Emma has over 15 years’ experience in generalist HR in both the private sector and the public sector. Emma has worked as HR director and regional HR business partner for two large, national school trusts and regularly networks with other HR leaders in the education sector. This enables Emma to keep abreast of the challenges that schools, academies and school trusts are facing today. Emma hosts a number of our collaborative forums for clients and non-clients including the Confederation of School Trusts (CST) endorsed Large MAT HRD forum and the Browne Jacobson regional HR forums held across 5 of our offices. Well networked, Emma is able to bring insights and great practice from organisations across the sector to help inspire new approaches to HR and organisational development and design.  

Emma has led the HR practice at Browne Jacobson since 2017 and during this time she has carved out expertise in executive pay setting and school trust reward re-design resulting in her support of the of the sector’s first executive salary benchmarking survey in October 2021 by CST. Emma has also utilised her past experience as a Chair of Trustees to contribute to several knowledge pieces for CST including, executive pay setting, executive performance review and she has also contributed to CST’s Chair Development Programme and their masterclass series.  

Emma has led on several business transformation projects, including a national restructure that involved HR/finance/estates functions across the whole organisation. Emma has also worked with trade unions at a national level covering everything from policy negotiation to terms and conditions through to more tricky industrial disputes involving ACAS conciliation. More recently Emma has supported several clients manage contentious trade union disputes including coaching and advising a Headteacher in order to help stave off strike action.   

Emma became a qualified Executive Coach in 2021 and this year became a TRiM Practitioner. Both of these qualifications enable Emma to broaden her advisory skills and offer wider value to clients beyond the traditional realms of HR. 



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