Education recruitment firm undergoes management buyout

Class People, a specialist in education recruitment in the South West, has undergone a management buyout led by daughter and managing director Naomi Howells, for an undisclosed sum.

Howells has acquired the majority share of the company, which boasts a turnover of £5m.

After over 20 years of chief executive Lynis Bassett is stepping back from her role, having founded the business in 2002.

Having joined the family business in 2011, Howells initially worked as a recruitment consultant and later established the first regional branch in Bristol.

After a brief period away from gaining corporate experience, she returned in 2014, bringing new skills and ideas and actively participating in the family succession planning.

She then assumed the role of managing director in September 2019, just before the company faced challenges posed by COVID-19.

Bassett will continue to serve on the board and as a trustee of the Class People Foundation, the company’s charitable arm.

The transition also facilitates the introduction of an EMI share scheme, supporting the Class People team in acquiring shares and becoming part owners of the business.

Bassett commented: “Handing over the reins of the 21-year-old family business to Naomi is a natural progression for the business. It was never the plan to be a family business, but it is certainly very rewarding to pass it on in this way. The transition heralds an exciting new phase for Class People, as it continues its work for the greater good of employment and recruitment in the education sector.

Howells said, “I am delighted to take the lead for this next chapter in Class People’s business development and relish the many exciting opportunities ahead. Alongside our talented and experienced team, we’ll continue to build on the strong foundations that Lynis has worked so hard to establish for the business over the past two decades. With a growing client and candidate base, I could not be more positive about the future of Class People.

“Lynis and I will continue to work closely together to ensure the success of Class People, which in turn provides the funding for the Class People Foundation, whose purpose is to provide funding to support the welfare, well-being and aspirations of children and young people in early foundation stage, primary and secondary education.”