Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are a team of outstanding middle and senior leaders who support individuals or teams in other schools. SLEs build leadership capacity in order to improve outcomes for students, and are:

  • Excellent professionals in leadership positions below the headteacher, with the capacity, capability and commitment to work beyond their own school.
  • Outstanding in a particular area, for example: a subject specialism, inclusion, ITT mentoring, performance management, behaviour, school business management.
  • Designated and brokered by teaching schools, but may be from any school.

Our outstanding SLEs come from different schools across the Group and will be happy to help you develop successful leadership capacity. 
Please read the Carter Community School case study below to find out how our SLEs can help your school.​​

Below you will find profiles of all our SLEs. 

SLEs Working with Carter Community School - Case Study

Please read this article to find out how our SLEs can help your school. Enclosed case study presents the support provided to Carter Community School and their Humanities department in 2014.

How To Apply & Contact Us

Please contact Marta Bednarek if you have any questions, would like to invite one of our SLEs to your school, or are interested in becoming an SLE.


Jim  Attridge

Specialism: History

Phase: Seconday

Position: Head of Humanities, Glenmoor & Winton Academies


I have been teaching since 2000, and have taught in a variety of establishments from a leading International School to an Independent School in South-East London, and in state schools ranging from 'requires improvement' to 'outstanding'. I am proud that wherever I have worked the standards and achievements have improved significantly. For example, when I arrived at Glenmoor & Winton Academies (in Bournemouth) the GCSE History results were 36% A*-C (and the school was 'RI'), but within 3 years we reached 100% (and have averaged at over 82% ever since my arrival in 2013). In 2017 G&W were amongst the top 50 schools in the country for Progress 8.

My approach to education and the teaching of History is based on relevant knowledge, exam understanding, and knowing your students. Those simple strategies can be applied throughout Key Stages 3 & 4.


Claire  Bailey

Specialism: KS4 Ensuring Attainment, Curriculum and Timetabling, Post-16 Provision

Phase: Seconday

Position: Deputy Headteacher, Sheffield Park Academy


I have been an Assistant Headteacher at Sheffield Park Academy since 2011 and a Deputy Headteacher since June 2015. My first responsibility was that of Director of Specialism.  The key was to establish new working practices to ensure employers engaged with the Academy in meaningful activities and events that inspired young people but also brought the idea of business and enterprise to the forefront of the Academy’s day.

Another key role was the implementation of the SMSC initiative and CEIAG.  As the Academy moved away from delivering bespoke ‘Citizenship’ and ‘Careers’ lessons it was imperative that this this part of the pastoral curriculum was handled sensitively and effectively.  The transition to this new approach proved seamless.

I have also implemented strategies to establish, review and monitor practices on a whole school level. As Director of Specialism I initiated a number of approaches to attract businesses and organisations to work with the Academy.

From January 2012 my remit expanded to include Sixth Form, an area of the Academy which I have invigorated through new and innovative working practices.  The impact of which has been the best ever results in the Academy’s history and the best in the country for vocational education.  

Most recently, I was given the opportunity to lead on Curriculum development for the whole Academy.  My initiatives and invented ideas have resulted in a curriculum that meets the needs of all our students.

My multifaceted role within school has given me the unique experience of leading new developments and promoting student achievement from a curriculum point of view. I have a detailed knowledge of the wider context in which the school operates.


Alex  Blackman

Specialism: Assessment and Computing (ICT)

Phase: Primary

Position: Vice Principal, Southway Primary School


I currently work as Vice Principal with responsibility for Assessment and Teaching and Learning at Southway Primary School in Bognor Regis. I have attained the NPQH and have previously been seconded as associate advisor for ICT to West Sussex. More recently, I was supporting another school within the Group, through leading CPD and providing external moderation services, on its journey to ‘good’.

Within my current role, I have responsibility for CPD and provide a large amount of the in-house training for teachers and support staff. I also lead a highly successful mobile learning project, which provides iPads for use by pupils at school and home on a 1:1 basis.

I am highly motivated by SLE work and greatly enjoy the opportunities I currently have to work with colleagues across my locality and within the Group. 


Caroline  Bond

Specialism: CPD - All Staff & Teacher Training

Phase: Primary

Position: Deputy Headteacher, Hanwell Fields Community School


I am passionate about the key role that continuing professional development plays in school improvement. Developing individuals and teams is pivotal in ensuring a culture of high expectations and professional standards.

In order to impact fully this has to matter to all members of our school community, being relevant and appropriate to career stage and school role, including all our support staff. When professional development is well planned it not only enthuses and empowers, creating a momentum for change but most importantly impacts on pupil outcomes.

I am interested in exploring different models of professional development and embedding a climate where colleagues feel valued and keen to reflect and challenge themselves. I have thoroughly enjoyed supporting colleagues at the earliest stages of their careers, as well as helping to develop our school leadership team.

I am excited about the role of SLE, particularly working with colleagues in other schools to share good practice and learn from each other.


Nicholas  Boot

Specialism: History and the EPQ

Phase: Seconday

Position: Head of History, EPQ Co-ordinator, Lincoln Minster School


I have been a teacher for nearly 15 years – mainly in London and now in Lincolnshire – and a head of department for over 10 years. I have a real passion for history and its teaching which I have developed through my experience of a wide range of topics at all secondary key stages, involvement in various United Learning history projects and as an A Level examiner. I have also successfully supervised and co-ordinated my school’s EPQ for around five years.

I believe that dialogue, collaboration and sharing is the best way for all parties to develop and improve their practice and leadership, and I am keen to offer my experience to facilitate this and to give support when needed. Overall, I am very excited to become an SLE because it presents such a great opportunity to create working relationships that can ultimately enable our students to benefit.


John  Bridges

Specialism: English, ITT

Phase: Seconday

Position: Head of English, AKS Lytham


Working alongside a range of committed practitioners who possess diverse and enriching teaching styles at AKS for over ten years has helped foster a team ethic centred upon helping pupils achieve, maximising levels of involvement in the learning process and raising standards across KS3-KS5. 

As a Head of English and Drama at a previous school, I am fully aware of the demands and attendant issues associated with introducing new subjects and styles of practice into the curriculum and establishing their foothold and accessibility for pupils.  During my time as Professional Mentor, I gleaned particular satisfaction through helping nurture colleagues new to the profession: building confidence, discussing best practice with continuous improvement in mind and sequential planning for success.

As an SLE, I hope to be able to offer a level of support within the group which helps establish a holistic approach to learning and enables colleagues’ personal development, as well as benefiting pupil engagement and enjoyment.  


Val  Callaghan

Specialism: MFL

Phase: Seconday

Position: Head of French, Guildford High School


I am Head of French at Guildford High School – an independent girls’ school which is currently Sunday Times School of the year and ranked 5th nationally for GCSE results. Since moving into teaching from the wine trade in 1987, I have also worked in two Surrey comprehensives as Head of MFL and a teacher of French. I am a 6th form tutor and I have also worked with PGCE students. I run 3 successful trips to France a year for Years 8, 9 and 12, and encourage our students to act in plays, participate in debates and see French plays at the theatre to enhance their language learning experience.  I am looking forward to sharing my passion for languages with staff and students alike. I enjoy working with colleagues of all levels of experience, whether trying something new or developing skills. 


Caroline  Carson

Specialism: CPD, ITT, Art and Design

Phase: Seconday

Position: Assistant Principal: Teaching and Learning, Richard Rose Central Academy


Although I am relatively new to the SLE role, my position as Assistant Principal has enabled me to totally rebuild the approach to CPD within our Academy, alongside leading the improvements in Art and Design, particularly at KS5. This is to make it effective, have impact on outcomes in order to create the right culture for everyone to thrive. I have been in the fortunate position of collaborating and sharing good practice with other Academies in United Learning along the way.

A key part of my job has been breaking down fears and barriers that staff have about changing their practice, tackling attitude to enable staff to see that it only requires ‘tweaks’ and not necessarily an increase in workload. The most enjoyable part of my role is implementing strategies which improve teaching by sharing and discussing best practice, showing that we are ‘better together’.

Key opportunities for me involve forging good relationships in order to share the journey, improve the quality of teaching practice and see improved pupil outcomes as a result.


Neil  Champelovier

Specialism: PE

Phase: Secondary

Position: Head of PE, Northampton Academy


I am currently Head of PE at Northampton Academy, where I have been in post for 5 years. Prior to my time as a subject leader, I was a Head of Year, where my responsibilities included leading on the attainment of a Year 9 cohort, as well as driving improvement in behaviour and addressing pastoral issues. I have also completed the NPQML qualification, which required a good understanding of, and ability to use, coaching and facilitation methods throughout. These skills have been further enhanced while working on and successfully completing the Outstanding Teacher Program.

I am extremely excited to be working as an SLE within a subject I have an extreme passion for.  I believe that working within a trust gives unique opportunities to spread the best practice and ideas between schools.  As such, I see the SLE role as an excellent way to find areas of expertise and success and share these, as well as help provide a level of consistency between schools in the Group. Striving for improvement, whilst working collaboratively is something that is extremely rewarding and more importantly, is key in improving students’ success and outcomes.


Rachel  Clayden

Specialism: PE

Phase: Secondary

Position: Subject Lead PE, William Hulme's Grammar School


I am currently the Subject Lead at William Hulme’s Grammar School, where I have a whole school responsibility for PE and Sport across all key stages 1-5. I lead the faculty which currently has 8 members of staff, including two School Games Organisers who run an extensive program within Manchester. 

Prior to this role, I was Head of Girls PE. During this time my focus was fully on the girls’ active programme that we were developing at WHGS. We now have a fully thriving programme that offers a range of extra-curricular opportunities for the girls within our school including skateboarding, girls’ fitness and girls’ rugby.

I am really looking forward to working alongside Scott, Neil and Shaun to improve our provision for young people in PE and Sport.


Simon  Davies

Specialism: Achieving Standards in Primary Education

Phase: Primary

Position: Deputy Headteacher, Silverdale Primary Academy


I am currently Deputy Headteacher, Year 6 teacher and Writing Lead at Silverdale Primary Academy. I am now in my 16th year of teaching (N-Y6) and still get that adrenaline rush whenever I stand in front of a class. As a leader, I have previously held the position of Assistant Headteacher, Foundation Stage Leader and SENCo (8+ years). Over the years, I have lead many subjects including PE, PSE and, more recently, Maths and Writing.

During my time as a leader, I have had many opportunities to support and coach staff in identifying aspects of their role they do well, in identifying aspects for improvement, in creating visions, in establishing milestones and in providing opportunities to develop.

I am a huge believer in instilling confidence in people and enabling them to take ownership over their development – a belief I carry enthusiastically into my role of SLE. 


Samia  El-Hakam

Specialism: Samia

Phase: Seconday

Position: Outstanding Teaching, Science, Mathematics, Leadership of CPD


I am an Associate Senior Leader at Sheffield Park Academy, with responsibility for whole school Teaching Standards. Prior to this, I was a Head of Year for 5 years. I am a teacher of Science, Mathematics and A Level Chemistry. In 2013, I completed the MTL in Teaching and Learning at the University Of Sheffield.

For me, school-to-school support is the best platform for raising standards by improving the learning of both pupils and staff. Also, to develop leadership by harnessing the potential of people whilst building capacity for growth and continuous improvement.

Throughout my own professional journey, I have had the privilege of working with a number of outstanding leaders in education. Both within the academy and externally. I look forward to providing others, as an SLE, with a similar experience of bespoke support, guidance and empowerment to lead.


Adam  Elias

Specialism: Art and Design

Phase: Secondary

Position: Head of Art, Paddington Academy


I have been at Paddington Academy since 2012, leading an excellent Art, Design and Technology department.  I am the United Learning co-Subject Network Lead for Art and in 2018 held the first United Learning Art Conference in order to celebrate and drive best practice across the group.  I am also a GCSE Edexcel Moderator.  I am a Teaching Leaders’ alumnus and have worked with the PTI on excellence in Art and Design for a number of years.

I believe that Art is about visual communication and as educational institutions, we have a duty to ensure that all children leave school visually literate.  I am excited to visit schools to share great practice amongst staff and departments. I am also really looking forward to helping schools develop a high quality curriculum.


Stephanie  Gilby

Specialism: Mathematics

Phase: Seconday

Position: United Learning Northern SLE Mathematics, Richard Rose Central Academy


Currently I am employed at Central Academy in Carlisle four days a week and spend one day a week working in the Northern United Learning Schools. I have previously worked in Cornwall, Birmingham and the Western Lakes areas. I have always taught in secondary schools and very much enjoy the moments when students make a breakthrough in their learning. I decided teaching was for me during my last year at university where I studied for a degree in Maths and computing. I didn’t relish the idea of working in an office and thought that teaching would mean meeting a variety of people and forever being challenged; my choice hasn’t let me down.

I love the opportunities that being an SLE offers such as visiting different schools, working with Maths teachers in many schools and supporting students from all over the North, sharing my experience while gaining experience from others at the same time.


Gemma  Goodier

Specialism: Music

Phase: Seconday

Position: Head of Music, William Hulme’s Grammar School


I have been Head of Music at William Hulme’s Grammar School since 2012. I have been teaching since 2005 and prior to my appointment at WHGS I progressed from teacher of music to head of subject at a school in Warrington. I currently lead and deliver KS2 to KS5 music and enjoy teaching a wide range of ages and abilities.

I have been fortunate to make professional links with other schools, exam boards, musical agencies and services which has allowed me to share good practice both in relation to music making within and outside the classroom. Feeling inspired from a recent visit to a United Learning school, I believe no music practitioner should need to feel like a ‘one man band’.

I have always found that a supporting network with like-minded colleagues brings solutions and new ideas. I’m looking forward to forging new links in the future.


Sarah  Graham

Specialism: English

Phase: Primary

Position: Head of English and KS2 Leader, Corngreaves Academy


I have worked at Corngreaves for the past 7 years and currently teach across Upper KS2 and I am the leader of English across the school. I definitely have a passion for reading and writing and have helped to increase the attainment and progress in English across the whole school over the last two years. As well as helping to develop an outstanding learning journey for English, I support class teachers in the planning, delivery and assessment of English and mentor NQTs and student teachers in this area. I have also supported other United Learning schools in this process too.

I thoroughly enjoy working alongside other practitioners, sharing good practice and knowledge, and supporting others in raising standards to impact on pupil progress and outcomes.


Sarah  Green

Specialism: Maths, KS1 Pedagogy (incl. SATs & Phonics), Outstanding Teaching & Learning, Outstanding ITT Mentoring

Phase: Primary

Position: Assistant Head & SENCo, Corngreaves Academy


I have previously supported leaders in various schools in a variety of capacities.  I have supported them with developing their leadership roles in order for them to impact on pupils’ outcomes.  What excites me most about the role is supporting other adults in different roles and impacting wider than just in my school.  I really enjoy meeting new colleagues and I always gain something from their practice/school which I can use in my own school.


Jen  Groom

Specialism: EYFS

Phase: Primary

Position: EYFS Leader / Assistant Headteacher, Victory Primary School


In my current role I lead a large team of Nursery and Reception staff and also support with teaching and learning in Year 1. I have been responsible for improving outcomes for all children through developing the learning environment, training staff and creating a curriculum that challenges and inspires our children. 

I am passionate about developing an engaging and stimulating learning environment to enable children to learn through play based opportunities. I believe that children learn best through first hand experiences so that they can explore and understand the world around them.

I am an outward looking practitioner who is keen to ‘magpie’ new ideas and share best practice with others. I have supported colleagues through coaching, peer to peer observations and moderation activities. I am really looking forward to being an SLE and hope to learn and grow with those that I support. 


Karen  Hirst

Specialism: Maths, Curriculum and Assessment

Phase: Primary

Position: ice-Principal, Head of Teaching and Learning, Cravenwood Primary Academy


I came into teaching because I love being around children learning. I have stayed in teaching because I have an insatiable curiosity to understand what it takes to create and sustain outstanding learning for children and the adults who teach them.

I became a teacher in the early 1990s. Having trained to teach in middle schools I have taught from reception to Year 11, although KS1 and 2 are where I work the most. Since 2000 I have been employed by schools, organisations and local authorities to work in schools alongside teachers and leaders, increasing capacity to support them becoming the best school they can be. I have had significant leadership roles in ITT, NQT and RQT training and development and I am a trained coach.

I have a sustained interest in curriculum design, shaping the curriculum to be unique to the school and its community. I enjoy working with teachers to develop and analyse summative assessments which then inform tweaks and changes to the curriculum and pedagogy. This includes developing formative assessment to be an efficient and effective tool for teachers to maximise children’s learning.

I am currently working with colleagues and organisations across the country to develop Maths Mastery. This is transforming both children’s understanding and attainment and adults’ pedagogy and subject knowledge.

I still teach children, which is, as previously mentioned, the reason I came into teaching.


Catherine  Horton-Hale

Specialism: Behaviour, Leadership of the Curriculum, ITT & NQT

Phase: Primary

Position: Senior Vice Principal, Abbey Hey Primary Academy


I am incredibly excited to join the United Learning SLE community. I am passionate about increasing the life chances of all children by ensuring that they are given every opportunity to shine and achieve their best, regardless of their starting points.

To do this, I believe school leaders must foster a climate of excellence where all have their talents nurtured and developed enabling them to become resilient and independent.

I am proud to have been part of leadership teams that have brought about significant improvements, resulting in schools moving from special measures to good and outstanding in relatively short periods of time: developing the skills and competencies of others at all stages of their career journeys through tailored CPD, coaching, modelling and the implementation of robust and proven systems. This has led to improved outcomes for all within an environment of trust and mutual respect, where continual improvement is at the core of all we do.


Wendy  Jackson

Specialism: English (especially KS2, and SATs), SENCO, Inclusion, Behaviour

Phase: Primary

Position: Assistant Head of Inclusion, English, Timbertree Academy


I am currently Assistant Head of Inclusion at Timbertree Academy. I lead all areas of inclusion, such as SEN, Behaviour, Pupil Voice, Safeguarding and our Nurture provision. I also lead English and I am extremely passionate about both areas! I have supported leaders in other schools in their journey to improve provision, and supported many colleagues through facilitation of the Outstanding Teacher Programme for Teaching School. I love working with other leaders to share new practice and learn from others. I believe that our job is to make the lives of children better and to support people to do the very best they can for the young people in their care. I am always excited to learn from the people I meet and feel energised by the great work people are doing.


Ellie  Jacobs

Specialism: CPD & Teaching and Learning

Phase: Seconday

Position: Acting VP Teaching and Learning, North Oxfordshire Academy


I absolutely believe that leading professional development and teaching and learning is the key to an outstanding school. I love my current role and I am excited to be able to become part of the United Learning SLE community. In the past, I have benefited from the expert advice of others and now I feel I can lead others to develop outstanding teaching and learning in their school communities.

Over the past three years I have worked relentlessly to raise the standards of teaching at North Oxfordshire Academy. This has included the development and embedding of robust accountability cycles, strong middle leaders and an effective CPD cycle.  From my experience as an AST and LEA advisor I have an accurate understanding of what outstanding leadership looks like and I have successfully developed leadership pathways in lots of diverse settings. I am unwavering in my approach and believe that with support comes accountability.


Louise  Jones

Specialism: History

Phase: Seconday

Position: Director of Learning, Kettering Buccleuch Academy


I am currently Director of Learning at Kettering Buccleuch Academy having previously been Subject Leader History and Professional Mentor at Lambeth Academy. I have eight years teaching experience, seven of which have been with United Learning. My current role is part of the Teaching and Learning Team at Kettering Buccleuch Academy. The SLE role presents an opportunity to provide high quality, bespoke training for leaders of History in raising achievement at all levels.  Beyond my additional responsibilities, I consider myself first and foremost to be a teacher of History. I am passionate about every aspect of Teaching and Learning, and enjoy developing exciting, engaging and innovative opportunities for students to make outstanding progress.


John  Keech

Specialism: Inclusion, SEND

Phase: Primary

Position: Vice Principal (Inclusion), Cravenwood Primary Academy


In my current role I am responsible for the Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare of our pupils. This involves being the school's named SENCo and overseeing inclusive provision for all vulnerable groups, including those with Medical needs, EAL and those in receipt of Pupil Premium funding. I also am the school's Designated Person for Safeguarding and lead on whole school Attendance and Punctuality. Previously, I have supported fellow leaders (particularly SENCos) across a number of schools in a variety of Local Education Authorities. 

I find working collaboratively with 'role-matched' peers fascinating and reciprocally beneficial.  As an SLE, I look forward to more opportunities where my skills, knowledge and experience can help further the life chances of United Learning pupils.    


Rachael  Kissock

Specialism: Dance

Phase: Secondary

Position: Subject Leader of Dance and ITT/NQT Professional Mentor, Accrington Academy


Since beginning my NQT year at Accrington Academy in 2009 as a PE Teacher I have been extremely lucky to be involved in many projects within Performing Arts, progressing from NQT to Subject Leader of Dance and now as a professional mentor for developing teachers.
Teaching students aged 11-18 to dance over the KS3 PE curriculum, BTEC Tech Award Level 2 in Performing Arts and A Level Dance has allowed me to develop the breadth of Teaching and Learning tools across the three Key Stages whilst pitching the level of challenge across all three to A Level.
The opportunity of SLE is to collaborate with the expertise of Dance Specialists to develop resources across United Hub, performance opportunities and links with professional companies to allow our students in and out of class unforgettable experiences that will shape their futures.


Zena  Lauer

Specialism: Science

Phase: Primary

Position: Assistant Head (KS2), Grange Primary Academy


I am currently an Assistant Head at Grange Primary Academy. I also lead Science across the school and I am extremely passionate about the subject. I believe that children should be enthused by science and how important it is to us on an everyday basis as well as how science has changed over time and never ceases to stop.

I have supported other leaders to increase the profile of science within their schools ensuring that this core subject is given the time it deserves. I very much enjoy working with other leaders to share new practice and, of course, to learn from others. I strongly believe that children should receive the very best science that we can offer, giving them an insight into the importance of the subject as well as the wide variety of future roles that science can offer them.


Alec  Lindon

Specialism: Mathematics

Phase: Seconday

Position: Director of Mathematics at Accrington Academy and Maths Advisor for the Northern Academies


I am Director of Mathematics at Accrington Academy having been Head of Mathematics for three years prior to that. The new role this year has enabled me to develop the collaborative work taking place across the Northern Academies as one of the Maths Advisors.

The opportunity to work with a variety of departments has been enlightening and this cross academy support network is providing an excellent platform for raising standards. Improving the learning of both pupils and colleagues is always the driving agenda and I have been very fortunate to work with such a number of outstanding teachers and leaders in education to date.

At the heart of everything that I do I am a passionate Mathematics teacher who is constantly adapting and developing new ideas. I am very excited about being an SLE and I look forward to working with other faculties and sharing my experiences and providing them with bespoke support to help improve outcomes.


Damian  McGeehin

Specialism: Behaviour and Safety, ITT

Phase: Seconday

Position: Excellence Practitioner, Northampton Academy


My current role is focused on developing staff expertise and confidence in teaching and learning and behaviour management. I oversee the design and delivery of fortnightly INSET sessions, alongside targeted one-to-one mentoring/coaching meetings on a weekly basis. Having worked as a middle school teacher for 9 years before moving into secondary 10 years ago, I have taught a wide variety of subjects from years 5 to 13, ranging from French to Food Technology. However, my specialist subject is English. My previous positions include being Head of Year 11, CPD leader for the Academy, and Assistant Principal for Behaviour and Safety. As an SLE, I enjoy working with colleagues in other schools to help find solutions to issues that will enable us to achieve greater outcomes for our students.


Rebecca  Molson

Specialism: Special Educational Needs

Phase: Seconday

Position: Associate Senior Leader: Additional Needs, Sheffield Park Academy


In my current role I am responsible for whole Academy SEN, EAL and Gifted and Talented provision and attainment, and whole Academy Numeracy and Literacy programmes. I am also accountable for the attainment of learners in all Vocational subjects including Business Studies, Leisure and Tourism, ICT, Childcare and Health and Social Care. 

Through my role as the Academy’s SENCo I have actively sought and embraced a number of networking opportunities, and as a result have formed very effective working relationships with a number of other schools and external agencies which has positively impacted on the attainment and participation of many students. 

As a leader I embody high quality leadership and direction and strive to instil enthusiasm and team spirit. I lead, manage and collaborate with colleagues, with the aim of helping them to develop independent working skills as individuals as well as the ability to function as a team player, thus maximising their abilities and ultimately impacting positively upon student attainment.


Rachel  Nevins Stanford

Specialism: Assessment, Behaviour, English

Phase: Primary

Position: Writing Leader and Part-Time Teacher, Silverdale Primary Academy


Over the past decade, I have worked as Inclusion Leader and Deputy Headteacher, teaching across the primary phase, in schools of high deprivation or judged inadequate by Ofsted.

After developing the quality of provision as English Leader at Silverdale, 79% of KS2 learners met expected standard in writing (2016 LA moderated), phonic screening results have increased by 76% and have consistently maintained these results over three years with 81% of Year 2 learners achieving the expected reading standard 2016. Other schools have observed the development of reading teachers following Ruth Miskin Training recognising the impact of leadership.

Currently, I am a writing leader and teaching part time. I am excited to be able offer support to other schools and improve pupil outcomes. With a passion to take on challenges, develop curriculum vision and share best practice whilst learning from others, I look forward to sharing this in my role of SLE.


Scott  Pulling

Specialism: Physical Education

Phase: Seconday

Position: Director of Sport, Shoreham Academy


My current role is Director of Sport at Shoreham Academy. I lead a large faculty that includes Physical Education, Dance, PSCHEE and Public Services with 14 staff members delivering on these courses. I also have a whole school responsibility for Healthy Schools and am involved with coaching both teaching and non-teaching staff.

Prior to this role, I worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) in Physical Education. During my time as an AST I was responsible for supporting gifted and talented students, creating a consistent approach to the delivery of learning outcomes and objectives and improving teaching and learning in general.

I enjoy working in a collaborative manner and am excited to have the opportunity to work alongside colleagues from United Learning schools in order to improve student outcomes. 


Anneka  Read

Specialism: Dance, Drama, Performing Arts

Phase: Secondary

Position: Head of Creative and Performing Arts, Barnsley Academy


I currently lead a team of eight members of staff across the Creative and Performing Arts which includes seven options subjects. I also lead on whole school activities based on Education with Character by providing enriching learning experiences and I am also an examiner for GCSE Drama.  Within these roles I have developed and implemented schemes of work, raised attainment and have developed a thriving enrichment culture.

I am excited to visit schools to share good practice and to support the development of curriculum provision within the arts. 



Jo  Saxton

Specialism: ITT and NQT Development

Phase: Seconday

Position: IITT Learning Director, Sheffield Park Academy


I am the IITT Learning Director, with responsibility for inducting and supporting new teachers into our school. In my role I ensure that new teachers are fully supported and given the training and opportunities to facilitate their development and work with different ITT providers.  Additionally, I am part of the Teaching and Learning team and deliver CPD across the school in AFL. Currently, I am working with staff in our sister academy where I am supporting the transition of new staff into the IITT coordinator role.

In 2013, I completed the MTL in Teaching and Learning at the University of Sheffield. I am also a business studies teacher with a wealth of knowledge and experience that I am able to draw on.

As an SLE, I feel school to school support is a way of empowering and supporting schools to improve standards and grow their potential and talent from within.


Cathy  Servonat-Blanc

Specialism: Art and Design, Graphic Design, Photography, Textiles

Phase: Seconday

Position: Head of Art, Graphics, Photography, Textiles, Assistant Head of Sixth form, Lead Practioner, Lincoln Minster School


I have been a Head of Department for 18 years at Lincoln Minster School. I have also taught in inner city comprehensive, selective grammar, and non-selective independent schools. I am a moderator for OCR. I continue to produce and exhibit my own work nationally and internationally.

I decided to become an SLE as I love my job and believe that I have a vast wealth of experience and excellent subject /skills based knowledge to share with colleagues. I firmly believe in leading by example and setting the highest of standards, sharing good practice and embracing teamwork.

I run an incredibly vibrant and popular department that delivers Art, Graphics, Photography and Textiles to A Level. I am able to work across all disciplines. I have mentored and coached new heads of department, NQTs and colleagues wishing to improve upon existing performance. I believe sharing good practice and knowledge, and providing support in order to raising standards will ultimately positively influence pupil progress and outcomes.


Robert  Smith

Specialism: Mathematics

Phase: Seconday

Position: Head of Mathematics, Northampton Academy


I have been Head of Mathematics at Northampton Academy since 2015, having lead the Mathematics Department at the newly formed Bedford Free School for two years prior to that. Under my leadership, the Mathematics GCSE results at Northampton Academy for the proportion of students achieving grades A* - C (4+, 2017) have risen from 59% to 74%.

I have spent the last 2 years completing the Ambition School Leadership Teaching Leaders programme. In this time, I have been challenged on many different facets of leadership. I have learnt about, and participated in, different models of coaching and received an exceptionally high standard of coaching myself. Ambition School Leadership has given me the opportunity to work alongside Heads of Department from across the country, allowing me to share best practice with a wide range of outstanding subject specialists.

I became a teacher because I love teaching Mathematics. I became a leader as I am passionate about empowering those around me to help their students fulfil their potential. I am participating in system leadership as I believe that I can positively affect the experience and outcomes of a much larger group of students.


Sarah  Szafraniec

Specialism: Ensuring Attainment, Teaching and Learning & CPD

Phase: Seconday

Position: Senior Deputy Headteacher, Sheffield Park Academy


As Senior Deputy Headteacher, my remit includes strategic leadership of Pupil Achievement across the Academy (KS3, KS4 & KS5) and Ensuring Attainment. In 2009/10, the Academy recorded 31% 5A*- C including English and Mathematics. This required a root and branch reform to tracking systems and procedures to effect a cultural shift for parents, community, staff and students with regard to the value and importance of education. 65% of students at the Academy achieved 5A*- C including English and Mathematics in academic year 2014/15, compared to a national average (2014) of 55%.

My remit of Senior Deputy Headteacher also includes strategic leadership of Middle Leaders, and strategic leadership of Teaching and Learning. In the 2013 Ofsted report, Teaching and Learning at the Academy was graded as `good'. It was reported that `the majority of teaching is good with elements that are outstanding, which is reflected in the good and better progress that most students make. Staff are enthusiastic, have good subject knowledge and have embraced the opportunities given to them to hone their teaching skills and increase their effectiveness'.

As an SLE, I am looking forward to supporting schools to raise enjoyment and achievement across a variety of departments, enabling teachers to be fully prepared for the performance measures.


Elizabeth  Tait

Specialism: English

Phase: Seconday

Position: Curriculum Leader of English, Lambeth Academy


I have been curriculum leader of English at Lambeth Academy for three years and enjoy developing the teaching and learning skills of my team. I was part of the department when it received ‘Outstanding’ in a subject inspection and last year we had some of our best results at GCSE level.

I love sharing good practice with other schools and working in different contexts. I have moderated work, observed lessons and led walking talking mocks in other schools and really value the opportunity to work with other heads of department, teachers and students to help develop the teaching of English in a wider context. 


Emily  Thompson

Specialism: Special Educational Needs & Closing the Gap

Phase: Primary

Position: Assistant Headteacher – Inclusion, Hanwell Fields Community School


I am passionate about ensuring that schools are accessible and inclusive so that all children can attain and progress to the best of their ability.

Within my current role, I work to ensure that all children, no matter their background or need, have the resources, skills and support needed in order for them to become independent, successful, life long learners. Within our setting I am the school SENCO as well as Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion and oversee provision and support for all vulnerable groups.

I have experience in supporting schools in relation to Pupil Premium and Special Educational Needs provision, and have relished the opportunity to work with colleagues from other settings.

I am extremely excited about the role of SLE, where I hope working with others to share knowledge and practice will improve the outcomes and life chances for our vulnerable learners. 


Amanda  Whitehead

Specialism: Maths

Phase: Seconday

Position: Assistant Principal – STEM, Lambeth Academy


I currently lead a team of over twenty staff across the STEM subjects: Maths, Science, Computing and ICT. I was previously the Curriculum Leader for Maths and worked closely on developing new schemes of work across key stages in line with National changes.

I am excited to visit schools to share good practice amongst staff and departments. I am also particularly keen to help schools develop their curriculum and their teaching and learning to a Maths Mastery style. 


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