we're Oriel Square - Publishing and Strategy

Oriel Square lends you breadth and strength: to develop strategy, and publish.

We turn opportunities into publishing

What we do

Oriel Square turns opportunities into publishing. Like you, we are immersed in the policy and the market. Like you, we follow and contribute to the conversation. We’ll help you find opportunities to grow your list, and we’ll use our three-phase model to develop concepts into proposals, and proposals through to publication.

We also offer in-house, bespoke training courses across a variety of themes.

Get in touch and from our very first meeting, you’ll see the impact Oriel Square can have.

We bring breadth to your publishing team

Our work

Oriel Square offers three tiers of service to our customers.

Analysis and strategy

We work with customers to identify and develop opportunities. Typically we’ll deliver proposals with their business case or the business case against, with recommendations for anything they might look at next.

Research and concept development

We take proposals and rigorously research them, providing a deep understanding of the audience, customer or user needs and how your organisation can best meet them.


We can handle all aspects of project delivery for print and digital publishing, product trialling and research or event production and training.

Research, Strategy and Publishing

Across the curriculum and through the age range

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Lending you space and time to achieve more

Our team

What’s most important to you is your customer; so at Oriel Square that’s where we start. From opportunity to publication, our experienced team will be working for you at every step. Just as we can lead or facilitate strategic discussions, our publishers and editors are there to add breadth and strength to your team’s capacity, giving you and them the space and time you need to achieve more.

From customer insight and strategic understanding we identify opportunity, then research and develop the concept for commissioning. Finally, we take the project through until it’s ready to go to press or for switch-on.

Oriel Square is led by John Deans and Sam Derby. John and Sam have between them four decades of experience in the UK and international schools education markets, with leadership roles in a range of education companies, from digital startups to market leaders.

  • John Deans


    John has 20 years of experience in UK and international educational publishing as editor, publisher and author.

    He keeps in touch with the classroom through volunteering as an English teacher, teaching newly arrived workers in Oxford.
  • Sam Derby


    Sam has 20 years of experience in educational publishing as editor, publisher and strategist. He has an active interest in education policy, is Chair of Governors at an Oxford primary school, and former Chair of the EPC's Primary Maths Panel.

    Sam served on the Board of the consortium delivering the Global Learning Programme for DfID.
  • Sally Bolton

    Editorial Manager

    Sally is an experienced editorial project manager and senior editor, in arange of publishing roles at Macmillan, OUP and Oxfam. She's worked on numerous complex projects across UK Education, ELT, and international development publishing.

    Previously Sally worked as a Guardian journalist and an ELT teacher in Spain.

  • Hannie Kirkham

    Editorial Manager

    Hannie is an experienced publisher and editorial manager, working with publishing teams across the industry on a variety of outsourced UK education projects.

    She's worked on inhouse teams delivering printed and digital resources for UK education, ELT and vocational markets.

  • Esmé Lear

    Research Editor

    Esmé worked as an editor for a range of digital and print publications before making the move into schools publishing.

    She has worked as a volunteer at heritage sites, creating and developing learning resources to engage and educate young visitors.

Be part of our team

Work with us

Applications have now closed for these two roles:

As a growing company, we're keen to hear from you if you think you might have something to bring to our team in Oxford. Please do drop us a line even if we're not advertising for the role you have in mind.

From our first conversation, you’ll see the impact Oriel Square can have


Get in touch today and find out how Oriel Square can help your team.

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