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Julia McWilliam graduated from Leeds University in 1987 with a degree in English. She moved to Cheshire in 1987 and joined the Careers Service in Northwich where she worked as an advisor for three years. In 1990, she moved to begin her career for the Education Department of Cheshire County Council where she has worked as a project manager securing funding for, and briefing on, school buildings and school improvement. She was seconded to work with the Economic Development Unit within the County Council to work on a project to attract business development to Cheshire. She returned to Education as Area Education Manager for West Cheshire for four years. As Area Education Manager, she managed a large team delivering support services for all schools across Chester and Ellesmere Port. During this time she was also heavily involved in the review of services for the education of pupils with special needs.
A major career change came in April 2005 when she took the difficult decision to leave Cheshire County Council after 17 years to try something else – and decided to join Music for Life! Her background in, and knowledge of, education in Cheshire has proved to be an invaluable asset in the further development of MfL.