Berni Pearce - Teaching School Director

English / CPD/ School Improvement/Pupil Premium/SEND

In February 2012, I was awarded the status of Specialist Leader of Education (SLE). The role of SLE is very specific, it provides the individual the opportunity to work alongside colleagues in another school setting or context. Having been an Advanced Skills Teacher from 2004-2010, I felt I had a great deal of experience having worked alongside colleagues in over 20 other schools.

As an SLE, you are asked to identify what you believe are your key skills and those that you are willing to over in other contexts. I believe mine include: the English curriculum, teaching and learning, leadership and management and CPD. These skills were applicable to my teaching specialism and my previous role as Assistant Headteacher at Madeley High School and are also relevant to my current role as Blackfriars Teaching School Director.

I see the role of Specialist Leader of Education as being a privilege to be invited in to other schools and to work alongside my colleagues in education. Key to being an SLE is being respectful, ability to communicate at all levels, a good listener, coach and mentor, researcher, flexible, adaptive and committed to the moral purpose in education.

Will Woodvine


Will is a mathematics teacher with 20 years teaching experience. He has successfully led a number of department and pastoral teams in various schools, both within primary and secondary phases. He has been subject leader for mathematics at Madeley High School since 2008 making significant improvements with attainment in mathematics being judged as outstanding by OfSTED in 2013.

Will was designated as an SLE in 2014 having previously worked as a Lead Teacher for mathematics with the Staffordshire Local Education Authority working alongside mathematics advisors to support secondary maths departments and has a proven track record of supporting maths departments in diffcult circumstances.

He has also been a Lead Practitioner for mathematics for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, working and supporting primary and secondary colleagues. Through this role he has delivered mathematics CPD sessions and has continued this work delivering mathematics seminars to primary education undergraduates at Manchester Metropolitan University..

Carmel Martin


As Literacy Lead at Blackfriars Academy delivering a curriculum that offers the full range of qualifications at year 11, I have also worked in mainstream secondary schools. During my time at Blackfriars I have obtained a PGCE in Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia) and am qualified to undertake assessment for Special Considerations for exams in Year 11. I am a Specialist Leader in Education (LSE) and advise primary and secondary schools throughout Staffordshire on provision for Dyslexia, ASD, ADHD, ADD and SEND in the classroom as well as the delivery of English. This is a coaching and mentoring role which adds to the quality of my teaching and enriches my classroom delivery here at Blackfriars. Recently appointed a Professional Advocate for Shaw Education Trust, this mirrors my SLE work but within our Academy Schools. In addition, I have successfully completed training in Multi-Sensory Teaching for pupils with Visual Impairments,. I am privileged, through my role as a Teacher Educator, to mentor and coach trainee teachers while on placement here at school. As an elected serving Academy I passionately believe that every child deserves the best education, whatever their challenges, such that they can realise their full potential.

I have promoted and enhanced literacy provision both in school and cross federation, delivering training to staff at all levels. I have also been involved in delivering bespoke training to Associate teachers and NQTs. Topics have included: Literacy Across the Curriculum, Preparing pupils to use a scribe, Dyslexia awareness and Autism awareness. I teach a wide range of qualifications form Personal Progress through to GCSE and differentiate for a wide variety of needs in classes; for example from pupils targeted A* - C to Entry 1. My PGCE in Specific Learning Difficulties has enabled me to build expertise in delivering bespoke interventions for pupils with dyslexia, or dyslexic tendencies. My vision is that all children, regardless of ability or background, should have their lives enriched by the written and spoken word.

I feel privileged to work as an SLE to work in partnership with colleagues to achieve their potential in their setting.

Jodie Cope


In July 2017, I was awarded the status of Specialist Leader of Education (SLE). I have been fortunate in having the opportunity to support colleagues from inside and outside of my own context, in both a formal and informal capacity. Teaching and learning has always been my passion, through valuable experience, I have been able to develop my own philosophy, gaining an extensive understanding of school improvement. I have an unshakeable belief that all children have an entitlement to the best opportunities regardless of background.

My current role is as Deputy Headteacher at Ash Green Primary School. Since joining Ash Green Primary I have worked across key stages, this has allowed me to gain a whole school overview in terms of the curriculum and assessment whilst learning. My role since September 2016 however has been non-class based, taking on a more strategic role in coaching teachers, which I believe allows professionals to evaluate their own capabilities, resulting in focused CPD. Since introducing this coaching model, our teaching profile dramatically improved. Coachee questionnaires found that all practitioners improved their practice and they valued the ‘high challenge, high support’ approach. Another part of my non-class based role is to lead and manage whole school assessment; this role ranges from devising / reviewing our assessment framework to leading Pupil Progress Meetings. I regularly contribute to the strategic overview for Ash Green Primary School in supporting the writing of both the SEF and the SDP. My accuracy in SEF judgements were recently praised during an LA review.

Before joining Ash Green Primary School in January 2015, I was Assistant Headteacher and later Acting Headteacher at a single form entry School in Staffordshire. During my time here, we relentlessly raised the achievement for all children; this was evident by our children making the most progress in Staffordshire between the ages of seven and eleven. Nationally we were in the top 1% of schools for Value Added. This outcome came about by a range of school initiatives. One of the initiatives was implementing an ‘Intervention Marking’ Policy, which I devised and rolled out across the school. This had a highly significant impact in assessment whilst learning, accelerating pupil progress and upskilling teachers. I have also delivered training, in implementing this Policy, to Primary, Middle and Secondary schools. Secondary School Leaders were overwhelmed by the immediate impact that it made to their students, this Policy saw a dramatic increase in students’ grades. In 2014, I was seconded to an ‘inadequate’ Primary School, which was in a coaching and mentoring capacity in order to support staff in their drive to improve the quality of teaching and learning in key stages 1 and 2. This was a fantastic opportunity as it allowed me to support, through personalised action plans, in raising the quality of teaching which greatly impacted on children. I thrived on supporting colleagues and working in challenging circumstances.

Matthew Mason


I am currently Deputy Headteacher for Teaching and Learning and the Curriculum at Sir Graham Balfour School in Stafford. I have been in post since September 2016. Prior to this I was Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Teaching and Learning at Sir Graham Balfour School from 2012-2016. I spent the first 9 years of my career working at All Saints Catholic High School in Kirkby as a Geography Teacher, Head of Geography and Head of Humanities. I also have a Master’s Degree from Warwick University in Educational Leadership and Innovation.

I see the role of an SLE as working closely with teachers in schools to ensure a sustainable and long-term improvement in the quality of provision. I focus on building working relationships based on mutual trust, where change is done with people rather than to people. Due to the hugely differing contexts of the two schools I have worked in I can offer a broad perspective, as well as a proven track record in working with people to improve the quality of exam results by strengthening the subject curriculum and improving the quality of teaching and learning.

Lorna Sykes

English/Teaching and Learning/CPD

Since starting at The King’s School in 2012 I have taken on numerous roles, the most recent being Science Faculty Coordinator. As the Leader of the Science Faculty I have taken responsibility for the Science department as well as 5 other subjects including: Computer Science and ICT, Business Studies, Geography, Childcare and Health and Social care. I have worked closely with each department to understand the specification and assessment in order to equip myself with the necessary skills to support the development of each of these subjects.

Taking over the Science department in 2013 has been extremely successful with result improving year on year. The most recent results were ‘outstanding’ and exceeded national data. Through close collaboration with fellow colleagues in the Science faculty, we have seen great improvements in Teaching and Learning and this has been reflected in the results achieved.

Working closely with the local primary schools in developing teaching and learning resources and rigorous assessment regimes has helped to support students in the seamless transition between KS2 and KS3 and I hope that I am able to extend this offer of support to other schools in developing Science at KS2.

I started my NPQML at Blackfriars’s Teaching School in 2015 and have developed my skills to effectively coach colleagues in order to achieve excellence. I was designated as an SLE in 2015 and since then I have co-leading CPDT training courses alongside other SLE’s. The SLE role offers exciting opportunities to work with other departments implementing new strategies to support their development.

Ian Verow

PE/Teaching and Learning

I was appointed as head of PE at Wolstanton High School in 2004. The department saw record results annually and was quickly identi?ed as a lead department in the county. As such, I was involved with the local authority, supporting the AST for PE with the development of planning and assessment models.

In 2010 I was appointed as an Assistant Headteacher with the responsibility for teaching and learning. I have led many whole school initiatives and worked with a number of departments to secure excellent outcomes for students. I have completed the Teaching leaders 'leading from the middle' quali?cation and I am currently in the ?nal stage of completing an NPQH. The whole school project work has focussed on moving teaching from 'good to outstanding' and developing a teaching and learning model which pivots on sharing good practice.

Jade Slater

Business Studies/Teaching and Learning

I have been teaching Economics and Business Studies at Walton High School for 6 years. I am also a Head of House. I have been involved in school to school support in a variety of capacities: Business Studies, BTEC quali?cations, and Behaviour for learning, and have always forged successful relationships with sta? and students alike. I recently completed my MA in education and am currently completing my NPQSL. I also work as the MLDP facilitator at my school. I view my role as SLE as an exciting opportunity to work with other schools.

Vickie Keeling

Behaviour Management

Having worked in the construction industry as a finance manager for a number of years I made the decision to move into education in 2006. My first post was Finance Manager within Haywood High School.

I then moved to Staffordshire in 2008 and became the Support Services Manager of NCHS - The Science College. As the education landscape changed, I am now proud to be the Trust Director for United Endeavour Trust. (Alongside my role of governor at a Langdale Primary School)

I am a strong believer that fully integrated systems working alongside clear lines of ownership, responsibility and accountability are key to success within all educational settings. Having a well written and articulated plan is essential in ensuring team outcomes are achieved. Focusing on these four key elements you can achieve outstanding core service delivery. In recent years I have secured external funding support in excess of £3m for estates capital projects across our multi academy trust and am passionate in ensuring that our young people have the best possible environment we can provide for their learning experience.

Support and guidance I am able to offer includes:

  • Strategic and operational financial management (including deficit budget recovery and management),
  • Support and academy conversions,
  • Compliance and quality assurance of governance and company secretary duties,
  • Management of estates and H&S across multiple settings
  • Support Services guidance for MATs in centralising core services.

Deborah Poole

English/ITT/Teaching and Learning

I am currently Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Teaching and Learning at Sir Graham Balfour School in Stafford. I have been in post since September 2012. Prior to this I was Head of English from 2005 until 2012 at another school in Staffordshire as well as being an Advanced Skills Teacher for English from 2008-2012. I lead the provision of CPD in my own school and I regularly lead CPD sessions for Trainee Teachers in education providers across Staffordshire.

I am passionate about the importance of CPD for all, especially in an educational climate where money is scarce and time is short. I am privileged to work with Trainees and NQTs and relish the opportunity to be part of ensuring the quality of education for our young people for many years in to the future.

I see the role of an SLE as working closely with teachers in schools to be the best that they, and the school, can be, so that our young people receive the best possible education in the time they are in our care.

Tracey Condliff

Business Manager

I am proud to be Business Manager at Biddulph High School. I am a keen advocate for the role of School Business Managers and the impact we have on school leadership and management. One of my most recent deployments as an SLE was presenting to a team of Teachers on a Fast Track to Leadership, explaining the role of a Business Manager and how, as Leaders of the future they may access the services of a successful SBM even in the smallest schools.
I trained in the first Co-hort for CSBM with the National College back in 2004, I am a member of the Institute of Leadership and Management and more recently completed the CIPFA qualification.
I am able to offer support and guidance in strategic financial planning, budget setting, HR issues and staff restructuring as well as advice on policies and procedures, health and safety legislature and developing governance.
School budgets are so restricted in these uncertain times, the recently published White Paper states, “schools must make savings on procurement and back office spending in order to invest in teaching and learning.” This is something I feel passionate about, as the children in our schools and the learning experiences they have should be at the forefront of school leadership thinking. As an aid to this I have become very proactive in funding bids, over recent years I have secured over £350,000 in bids to my schools and am able to support in developing bids for a range of external funding.
More recently I have been working closely with other schools as primary lead through the Academy conversion process I thoroughly enjoy my role as an SLE and supporting colleagues in both Primary and Secondary schools and academies.

Aimee Williams

English/Teaching and Learning/CPD

I am currently Head of the English Faculty at The King’s and support the coordination of Teaching and Learning within the school. I have over 6 years teaching experience, working in both pastoral and curriculum roles teaching and leading in both Advanced and GCSE levels.

Leading a faculty of seven subjects, including PE, History, RE and Media has given me a vast array of experience of managing colleagues and leading staff towards excellent results; indeed, the English department at The King’s has received ‘outstanding’ results for the past four years. Notably, I received The Pearsons Impact Award in 2015 for improving student outcomes at GCSE.

Throughout my time at The King’s, I have enacted signifficant change with a view to promote and enhance literacy provision. This has resulted in positive gains in student engagement and attainment, achieved through innovative processes and dissemination of good practice.

I have also delivered numerous staff training sessions for colleagues at school as well as in other institutions, with the focus typically being on quality assurance, marking, feedback, assessment and peer mentoring.

As well as recently completing the NPQML qualification, I have also achieved Level 5 in CMI Coaching which has enabled me to lead on a coaching program I introduced to the school for fellow colleagues.

These roles have all helped to equip me with the skills needed to be an inspiring leader. I believe at the core of a successful leader is the ability to lead and manage change effectively: to determine an agreed starting point, to inspire others through values and vision, and then to manage the change in measurable and acceptable steps. This way of working is something I have developed throughout my professional career.

Since being designated as an SLE, I have provided CPD for NQTs in the county as well as for Heads of department regarding the new English GCSE reforms.

Shaun Smith


My current role is the Director of Improvement for Maths and Science at United Endeavour Trust. This role gives me the opportunity to teach in both Newcastle Academy and Clayton Hall Academy, working with pupils and staff to drive improvement in Science and Maths. Since joining in 2018 we have seen continual improvement in both Science and Maths built on solid principles of high quality curriculum, teaching and learning and leadership. I regularly coach both middle leaders and individual teachers and have supported many teachers in successfully developing their skills and practice. I also coordinate collaborative work across the Academies within the Trust.

I have extensive experience of supporting schools from my previous role as school improvement advisor for Staffordshire. This was both specialist Science support as well as working with school leaders to develop and implement both short and long term improvement plans. As such, I have seen individual teachers and departments develop and flourish. Many of those who I have worked with have gone on to senior leadership. I also have experience of work with KS2 teachers developing Science knowledge and skills for teaching and ran network meetings for both High school and Primary Science teachers.

I have held many roles in such as Lead for KS3 Science, Head of Science and assistant headteacher in schools that delivered positive progress for their students. I have also been a school governor for many years and was the Chair of Governors at a local High School for 4 years.

Fiona Hartley

Behaviour Management and Attendance

I am currently Senior Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for behaviour, attendance and all aspects of student support at Sir Graham Balfour School. I am also the Designated Safeguarding Lead. I have been in post since January 2009. Prior to this I spent the ?rst 14 years as an Assistant Headteacher, Head of Year, Head of Department and teacher of Religious Education and English in two high schools in Stoke on Trent. I also have a Master’s Degree from Keele University in Education Management, with a focus on the management of special educational needs. I see the role of an SLE as working closely with all staff in schools to ensure a learning culture that allows the whole school community to achieve success and to reach its true potential. My philosophy has inclusion at its centre where barriers to learning are removed and students are supported in order to achieve their potential which changes lives and enables students to access the skills and knowledge to become independent learners and challenges them to have high expectations of themselves and others. Modern school life must stimulate enjoyment in learning, build upon individual strengths and ensure con?dent, independent and responsible adults. School must equip young people to be self- reflective and disciplined, whilst allowing them to develop emotionally, socially and intellectually in a safe and secure environment.

Emma Kuffour

Maths Primary

My name is Emma Osei-Ku?our. I am the Senior teacher at The Meadows Primary School, where I teach full time in Year Five and Six. I am currently the lead in Maths, Behaviour and Welfare, PE and Music. I have a passion for learning and endeavour to ensure that the pupils I work with have high aspirations for their futures and have been provided with the best possible education to enable them to exceed their potential. As a new SLE, I am excited about the opportunity of having a positive impact upon the members of staff that I work with so that they are able to be con?dent and empowered in order to improve the outcomes for children within their care. I recognise the importance of working effectively alongside members of staff to ensure that our pupils have incredibly positive learning experiences. I believe that my varied roles within my own school have prepared me for this position. Part of my role as a leader has been to lead by example, modelling effective teaching and leadership in order to inspire others and empower them to grow in confidence, recognising their capability as a leader. Moreover, I regularly analyse data and use it as a tool to drive school improvement. I rigorously audit the provision through: lesson observations, learning walks, book and planning scrutiny, moderation, standardisation and pupil and parental voice. I introduce new strategies, where necessary, in order to improve teaching and learning so that pupils thrive, irrespective of their starting points and backgrounds. I provided detailed feedback to all members of staff identifying strengths and areas of improvement meaning they have grown in confidence, developed as practitioners and improved the achievement of pupils across the school with a vast majority making not only expected progress but accelerated against their starting point.

Sarah Henshall


In February 2018, I was awarded the status of Specialist Leader of Education (SLE). I have also retrained in 2019 to become a SEND reviewer. I am a strong believer in the value of high-quality Education, as a foundation for a child’s success in life, no matter their starting point. I am keen to support this, through my role as an SLE.

I have been a Head of Department for fifteen years. During this time, I have led each of my Departments to be Outstanding and this has been maintained, by working closely with my Team, through quality first teaching and ensuring that expectations always remain high.

I feel very proud of the results that have been produced by my Department over the years, and these are both consistently and significantly above the School and National attainment by around 20%.

I also view myself as a highly successful classroom practitioner, skilled in managing pupils with behavioural, social, SEN and EAL needs; and I am an effective communicator who can work in partnership with a range of audiences. I also confidently use data, to identify and track student attainment, allowing pupils to make sustained progress regardless of their starting point.

I have given several INSET sessions to individual teachers and new staff and I am regularly asked by Senior Management to showcase my initiatives as a Teaching and Learning tool across the School.

I also held the post of Associate Member of SLT in 2016, looking at Primary Transition. Where I was able to focus on KS2-KS3 Transition Curriculum. The programme included, working with galleries, theatres and artists, to provide students with the cultural context and critical thinking skills, which are needed to engage and develop students’ artistic abilities. Working in partnership with our local Primary Schools, forging new relationships and sharing learning, which I am keen to continue.

Recently I have been appointed a Professional Advocate for Shaw Education Trust, this mirrors my SLE work but within our Academy Schools.

I believe that it is an honour to hold the position of SLE and welcome the opportunity to play an active part in the improvement of education for all. To do this, I believe it is key to support the shaping and growth of children in a holistic way, by Increasing their exposure to Capital Culture and by building a sense of community, openness and genuine support for both staff and students.

Rachel Clews

Primary leadership/SEND/Pupil Premium

Since joining Brewood CE Middle Academy in 2007, I have taken on numerous roles, including leader of Religious Education, SENDCo and Leader of Humanities. My most recent role as Assistant Principal has given me responsibility for Teaching and Learning, curriculum developments, assessment and behaviour within our Key Stage 2 department. I work closely with all colleagues to ensure consistency and quality of teaching across school and lead staff training and CPD where necessary. I am also a mentor for trainee teachers and NQTs.

In 2016, I completed my NPSML and in 2019 I completed my NPQSL at Blackfriar’s Teaching school. Both of these qualifications have developed my skills to effectively lead and manage my team in order to achieve excellence. >br>
I was designated an Specialist Leader of Education in 2019 and have since supported colleagues within my own setting as well as other schools in the local area. As part of this role, I have also completed my Pupil Premium Reviewer Training and SEND review training. I consider it a privilege to be able to utilise my skills and expertise to work in partnership with colleagues to achieve potential in their own setting.

Nicola Tapley


I qualified in 2001 having worked and trained in schools based in Liverpool and Oxfordshire. I currently work at Endon High school where I have undertaken a variety of roles and responsibilities including Girls Welfare Coordinator, Head of Year, Pupil Premium Coordinator, Second in Science and also now Director of Teaching and Learning for PSHE. Over the last 7 years whilst DTL for PSHE (including RSE) I have been able to completely re-brand and revolutionise our teaching of the subject. Pupils now enjoy a broad , balanced and robust curriculum and one which has recently been nominated for and won awards nationally. I have a team of 40 staff who deliver PSHE across all age ranges and I have effective and relevant connections with external agencies, who are the experts within their fields.

I am really passionate about all pupils getting the education they need in order to help become citizens in Modern Britain who can make a positive impact in their communities. We achieve this by embedding the skills set and knowledge that PSHE and other subjects can offer. PSHE offers pupils so much additional knowledge and life skill and it is vital that we get the delivery of this right so that they can make informed choices as they move through different stages of their development. I also host and coordinate network meetings for PSHE in our area which help bring together colleagues from a range of different settings, all at different stages of development with their PSHE journey. It has been rewarding to bring together teachers, Governors and leadership, all of whom appreciate the relevance of PSHE.

In my role within the Science team and also as the DTL of PSHE I have been mentoring trainee teachers, NQTs and RQTs, helping then to develop their understanding of the importance of PSHE, sometimes through the context of their own subject. I am also a Governor in a Staffordshire first school where I have been part of the process as it went through academisation. I have taken on the responsibilities of chairing committees, taking part in regular meetings, and learning visits. This has given me the chance to get a different perspective of schools and MATs and has taught me about the importance of effective connections and communications within school organisations in order to get the best outcomes for pupils.

Recently appointed as an SLE in October 2019 I really look forward to my role and having the opportunities to work with more schools, helping us all to reach our potential for ourselves as teachers , and also for stakeholders within the school community.

Victoria Cadwallader


I became a designated SLE in 2019 and my two areas of expertise are Early Years and Special Educational Needs.

Early Years
I am Early Years teacher with, more than ten years, experience of teaching Nursery and Reception. I have been an Early Years Leader in several schools and I have a secure understanding of effective Early Years pedagogy. I am passionate about creating an enabling environment which helps children to learn through their natural sense of curiosity. I understand the importance of meaningful interactions for young children and how to build successful relationships with families and staff. I can support the development of all areas of learning and I have a good understanding of early reading, phonics and how to develop key mathematical skills.

I have been an Early Years moderator, working with schools to ensure that teacher’s judgements are accurate and consistent. I have a good understanding of a range of online learning journeys, assessment tools and the current and new curriculum.

I currently facilitate the Early Years Hub for local schools at Blackfriars and enjoy the experience of providing training and leading professional discussions with colleagues from a wide variety of settings. I also have experience of supporting and developing early years provision both internally and externally to my school. Helping to develop effective teaching in Early Years is very rewarding as it results in children having the best possible start to their educational journey. I have a natural thirst for learning and I am also constantly continuing to develop my knowledge of research and good practice.

Special Educational Needs
I have been a SENCO since 2004. I have worked in Nottingham, London, Cheshire East and most recently Staffordshire. These experiences have helped me to develop a wide range of approaches to supporting children with additional needs. I have experience of identifying needs and planning how to use existing support effectively to achieve positive outcomes for all children. I strongly believe every child deserves a high quality education to give them the best chances in life.

I can support schools to organise special educational needs provision effectively, by working with them to review, edit and improve current practice. I have trained as a SEND Reviewer in 2019 and this tool helps to effectively assess current practice and action plan for future.

The two roles complement each other, as being a SENCO working in Reception allows early identification of needs and quick, consistent intervention to ensure optimum progress. Also my understanding of child development and my experience across early years, KS1 and KS2 have enhanced my ability to empower staff to support a wide range of needs. I look forward to the opportunity as an SLE to work with colleagues from other schools and settings to develop their SEND and Early Years teaching.

George Turner

SEND/Teaching and Learning

I have worked in the Shaw Education Trust at Saxon Hill Academy since September 2017 and I have the role of Assistant Principal. Saxon Hill Academy is a Specialist Provision for Children and Young People with complex medical needs, physical disabilities and learning difficulties. I became an SLE in July 2019, it is a privilege to support other schools develop their skills and knowledge whist improving outcomes for children and young people. My passion lies in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and I aim to break the glass ceiling for everyone whom I am lucky enough to work with.

I lead Data and Assessment, Behaviour and Inclusion and Operational Management, I believe effective coaching and mentoring is key to supporting Teachers and Leaders to develop their skills to their fullest potential and inspire them to be the best they can be.

Julie Harrison

English Primary/Leadership/Teaching and Learning

I am the headteacher at Seabridge Primary School, where I have previously held numerous roles. Since becoming an SLE, I have been fortunate to have a variety of experiences supporting colleagues not only within my own setting, but beyond – after all, all children deserve the very best experiences and opportunities, regardless of the setting they attend. I believe school development is something which is a mutual responsibility which we as practitioners share, and by having an accountable yet collegiate approach to securing the very best outcomes and opportunities for each and every child, both academic and beyond, we can ensure every child has access to exactly what they deserve – high quality teaching and learning, rich and diverse experiences, and the opportunity to thrive. By enabling the colleagues with whom I work, through careful analysis, planning, monitoring, challenge and support, I believe a legacy for improvement can be established, impacting both on staff capabilities, teacher profiles and of course, the quality of education for children.

Sarah Lomax

Phonics/Early reading and writing

Sarah is a Primary School teacher with over 11 years experience across Early Years and Key Stages 1 and 2. She has successfully led English in a two-form entry school for the past six years and was designated as an SLE in 2018. Her predominant interest is in improving early reading decoding skills by continually enhancing a phonics system that is a whole-school approach. In addition, Sarah has delivered CPD sessions on enabling greater depth comprehension and inference skills. More recently, she has become part of the Laurel Trust Research Project that shall evaluate the effectiveness of using P4C in improving reading progress. Sarah regularly supports training at the KNSTE (Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education) in the English department.

Amy Dale


I was thrilled to become a Specialist Leader of Education, with my expertise in special needs. I am currently the SENDCO at Seabridge Primary School as well as a class teacher in a key assessment year. I have over 9 years experience of working and supporting within a mainstream setting and feel passionate about ensuring that everybody can fulfil their potential, in a supportive and nurturing environment.

I have supported colleagues both internally and externally to develop their SEND practice whilst providing guidance on the development of Individual Support Plans, Provision Maps and data and attendance analysis. I have also delivered whole staff training to promote and enhance the provision across the school whilst providing peer to peer support.

Having the experience of being a full time class teacher means that I understand the challenges teachers face in the classroom on a day to day basis. This involves providing support that is purposeful and relevant to the demanding needs of a class whilst also ensuring appropriate stretch and challenge where needed.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my role as SENCO over the years and have enjoyed developing as a leader, being on a continuous learning curve to help staff and pupils achieve their full potential. I am committed to delivering the best support to staff to inspire and nurture the pupils around them.

Sue Rhodes

Design and Technology

We are currently awaiting information about our new SLE. Please check back soon. If you require any further information then please contact us.

Sebastian Stuart


I am currently responsible for the Science department in two academies, and have had significant improvements in Science GSCE results since I started. I was a founding member of the Physics Partners network in the West Midlands that offers school to school support and training for free, and I delivered a number of the training sessions myself. I qualified as an Apple teacher, and as a Microsoft Innovative Educator. I believe that effective teaching is underpinned by an effective support team outside of the classroom, and this allows for continual development of skills for all staff involved.

Lisa Shoreman

Maths, Support for most able, Closing the Gap

At present I am a Senior Assistant Headteacher, and one of my main responsibilities is leading on groups of learners, that largest being those in receipt of the pupil premium grant. I am currently studying for a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Management.

The ambition and determination I hold for supporting groups of learners and ensuring they have access to quality education is immeasurable. It truly is a privilege to be a Specialist Leader of Education and having the opportunity to impact upon the provision for pupils across countless learning organisations.

I completed my NPQSL in 2014 and have transformed the provision for disadvantaged pupils since being promoted into senior leadership. Being the strategic and operational lead on this is an area of great passion for me and brings together several of my strengths including galvanising a team of professionals towards shared goals, giving staff the tools to achieve these goals, being relentless in the pursuit of widening the life experiences for our disadvantaged students and analysis of key metrics.

My leadership approach to assuring better outcomes for more able pupils has resulted in developing numerous leaders through collaboration and coaching, who have gone on to secure promotions. A ‘teach to top’ philosophy now lives and breathes as part of the school culture and has resulted in strong outcomes for all pupils.

David Forshaw

Geography, History, RE, PSHE

I am currently Senior Assistant Headteacher at Cansfield High School with responsibility for progress and attainment, I took up this role in April 2020. My previous leadership role was as Head of Humanities also at Cansfield High School, I became Head of Humanities in September 2018. Prior to that I was Head of History for 8 years.

I was thrilled to become a Specialist Leader in Education in January 2021, I am passionate about young people being given the opportunity to succeed no matter their background. I am excited to help colleagues in other settings ensure children in their communities leave school with positive experiences and the best outcomes possible. My expertise lies in leading curriculum design and change management processes in the Humanities disciplines. I have experience of implementing curriculum reform to ensure it is ‘fit for purpose’ and is the best fit for the students in school.

I have supported colleagues in becoming specialists in their curriculum area, I have worked with curriculum experts, and discussed curriculum design, the work colleagues did as a result of this inspired them to go away and look differently at how the curriculum has now become the progression model. The curriculum in Humanities has developed into a beacon of excellence within the school, each of the Humanities subjects have now implemented a sequential curriculum with interleaved concepts. The new curriculum design has led to innovative working practices within Humanities.

The impact of this has been that Humanities has become the champion area around curriculum design, colleagues within Humanities have delivered specific training to other colleagues in school, our Religion, Worldviews and Philosophy curriculum has been highlighted as an example of best practice about how to sequence a curriculum with a clear rationale

In 2018 I completed the NPQML qualification and I am currently studying for a Masters Level Qualification in Educational Leadership and Management. I am also currently a senior examiner for AQA working on the GCSE History specification, specialising in the unit on Germany 1890 – 1945, and I am the vice-chair of governors at a local primary school.

Philip Swain

Behaviour and discipline, Attendance

I am currently a Senior Assistant Headteacher in charge of behaviour and attendance I am also the DSL. I am currently studying to be a qualified SENCO, which will support me in my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Management. I have also completed my NPQSL. I have been at my current school for 4 years and in my previous school I was a pastoral leader, head of humanities and an Assistant Headteacher in charge of behaviour and attendance. I am extremely excited about being an SLE and see this as a pivotal role in the development of others, myself, and an opportunity for us all as leaders to support in the development, future, and inclusion of all pupils we work with. My philosophy has inclusion at its heart, and I believe we need to do all we can to support our young people grow to be moral, adaptable young adults who can go out and be successful in the wider world. Removing barriers to learning is crucial in this if we want to see our young people be positive individuals who are ready to be successful when they leave school.

As a teacher and a leader, I have been able to secure better futures for many pupils by working and coaching pastoral teams to champion our young people, building positive relationships which enable pupils to access the curriculum. I have transformed behaviour and attendance in my current role through teamwork, rigour and relationship building. I feel it a privilege to be an SLE as it will develop my leadership skills further, enable me to learn from other professionals but most importantly support other schools and their pupils.

Edward Siddall

MfL, Leadership of curriculum

I am currently Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Cansfield High School in Aston-in-Makerfield, Wigan. I am a German specialist, but also teach French and Spanish. I have been in my current role since 2015 and whilst now well established, I am driven by a determination to continue to develop and improve as both a teacher and as a leader. I achieved my Masters in Educational leadership in 2015 and completed the NPQSL in 2019. In 2020 I embarked upon an EdD which is proving to be an incredible experience.

I work closely with the other Heads of Faculty and SLT in our school to contribute to ever-improving performance across the departments, in particular with relation to the design and implementation of cutting-edge curricula across Key stage 3.

I have worked closely with local primary schools to help to improve their languages provision and am resolute in my determination to provide languages for all. They should not be the preserve of the high ability and the privileged, as they are in danger of becoming in some localities. My vision with regards MFL is “Learn a language, share a culture and change the world!” I look forward to working with passionate practitioners in other schools and helping them to deliver to all their students the amazing opportunities which arise through language learning.

Could this be you?

Your Specialisms

I'm a specialist in.........

Social Share: