Local Leaders of Education

The Outwood Institute of Education are delighted to have a team of over 20 Local Leaders of Education (LLEs), and also recruits on behalf of The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

Please see below the information of our current LLEs, and how to apply.

Outwood Institute Local Leaders of Education


Emma Jones has been a head teacher for 6 years. She is currently the head at Ryhill J&I School.
She specialises in Curriculum, Data and Developing learning and teaching.

Ryhill is an average sized primary school set in a semi rural location in Wakefield. Most pupils are from White British backgrounds but a small proportion of pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds. Hence the proportion speaking English as an additional language is well below average. The proportion of pupils who are known to be eligible for pupil premium funding is average but as a school we are narrowing the gap between our disadvantaged pupils and others successfully. The proportion of pupils who have SEND is broadly average and these children make good progress due to well targeted intervention groups. As a school we focus on a fun and practical curriculum with outdoor learning underpinning our children’s learning experience.


Julie Mills has been a head teacher for 8 years. She is currently the head at Pinders Primary School. Julie specialises in Inclusion, Reading, Phonics, Foundation stage practice and Closing the Gap.

Pinders Primary school is a culturally diverse school with over 85% of pupils speaking English as an Additional Language. The vast majority of pupils (60%) have a South Asian heritage (coming from northern Punjab region of Pakistan) and a further 25% of pupils coming from Eastern European countries; as a result we have a rich and varied range of languages spoken at the school. The school also has a high level of pupils with a Statement of Special Educational needs (11%) mainly children with complex needs eg severe Autism. The percentage of children receiving free school meals is just above national average at 28%, however this does not reflect the socio-economic challenges of the area.


Mark Taylor has ben a head teacher for 6 years. He is currently the head at St Mary’s (VA) Primary School. Mark specialises in Achievement, Closing the Gap and Curriculum.

St. Mary’s is a church school, at the heart of its community, with a strong Christian ethos which weaves throughout all aspects of school life. There is a strong belief that all members of our school community are unique and have diverse gifts and talents which are nurtured and celebrated.
St Mary’s provides a safe learning environment for pupils and challenges and supports them to make progress, ensuring every achievement is recognised. Together these give children a strong sense of care, respect and faith to create a harmonious multi-faith community.
We serve a socially and ethnically diverse community, embracing and celebrating our increasing diversity. St. Mary’s is in the lowest 20% with some deprivation indicators suggesting we could be in the lowest 10%.
Our school has a very high percentage of children and families from different ethnic groups resulting in a large percentage of families who do not have English as their first language.


Glyn Bishop – Headteacher, Normanton Common Primary Academy
Glyn has been Headteacher at Normanton Common for 10 years and within Wakefield for 25 years in different leadership roles in a range of schools. He has supported schools across the region as the Primary Headteacher Consultant for Yorkshire and Humberside for the SSAT, and also engaged in national policy advice as a member of the National Primary Steering Group. He has presented locally, nationally and internationally on a range of issues including Pupil Engagement with Assessment, Developing Aspiring Leaders, Primary Enterprise and most recently in Assessment within the New Curriculum. Glyn worked within a small group of leaders to develop the blueprint for the ‘school to school’ accountability models currently being used within Wakefield. Currently, he is developing Wakefield’s first Primary Multi Academy Trust which is supporting one school out of Special Measures.
As an LLE, Glyn has supported schools in Wakefield to move their performance indicators to Good and better. He is an experienced coach and has expertise in improving teaching, developing leadership accountability and improving the performance of key members of staff.


Martin Fenton has been a head teacher for 5 years. He is currently the head at Greenhill Primary School.
He specialises in strategic planning, teaching and learning, standards of attainment and inclusion. Martin has supported head teachers and acted as a mentor for new head teachers throughout the region.
Wakefield Greenhill Primary is an average-sized primary school, situated close to the city of Wakefield where there are high levels of social deprivation in the catchment area. There is a higher than average number of children entitled to free school meals and the percentage of pupils with English as an additional language is well above average. The school is ethnically diverse, with children from white British, Pakistani and Eastern European backgrounds. The number of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is average.


Cath Hindmarch has been a head teacher for 8 years. She is currently the Principal at Hob Moor Federation of Schools, York.
Prior to 2014, Cath was the Head teacher at Parklands Primary School in Leeds for 6 years.

Hob Moor Federation are 2 schools in the same building-a unique set up with a Primary and a Special school in the same building. Both are very popular and highly inclusive schools. Restorative Practice is fully embedded.
Hob Moor Oaks has 90 children with a wide range of SEND and some children come from North Yorkshire and East Riding.

Cath has proven ability to shift a school in very challenging circumstances (85% FSM) through a relentless focus on quality teaching and leadership.
She is an experienced coach and passionate about growing and developing leadership at all levels. Equally, she has great knowledge and experience around inclusion and SEND.


Sarah Beveridge trained originally in Early Years and has been a head teacher for 6 years. She has held a number of leadership roles in a variety of different of schools, ranging from being assistant head teacher in a large school in a socially deprived area, to head teacher of a small church school . She is currently the head at Leyburn Community Primary School in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire.

Leyburn Community Primary School is an average sized primary school, serving the town of Leyburn and surrounding villages and farms. The majority of pupils are from White British background with a small proportion from minority ethnic backgrounds. The proportion of children who are known to be eligible for free school meals is below average, as is the proportion of pupils with SEND, and these children make better than expected progress in all areas. The school has a long history of supporting and developing both students of initial teacher training and newly qualified teachers. We see curriculum development as integral to our school, supported by strengthening leadership, including governance, at all levels.

Sarah specialises in the development of writing, behaviour, particularly Restorative Practice, and developing staff.


Larissa Thorpe has been a head teacher for over 7 years. She is currently the head at The Grange Primary School, Scunthorpe.

The school is an above average sized primary school located in an area of significant deprivation. The percentage of pupils eligible for Free School Meals is significantly above the national average as is the percentage of pupils identified as SEND. Having said this, the progress of all groups of pupils is significantly above national average. Almost all pupils are of White British heritage, with a few from other minority ethnic backgrounds. The school has gained many external accreditations and is the only primary school in North Lincolnshire that has been awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark.

The headteacher is inspirational in her leadership and has been the driving force in bringing about recent improvements. She is well supported by the staff, governors and parents. Safeguarding arrangements are outstanding.

Larissa specialises in Middle Leadership, Pastoral Leadership, Management and Support including Safeguarding and succession planning. She is passionate about exploring new/innovative learning approaches and currently is introducing Immersive Learning Environments in the school.


Jo Buckle has been a head teacher for 12 years. She is currently the head at West Butterwick C of E Primary School (Voluntary Controlled) and St Martin’s C of E Primary School (Voluntary Aided). These schools are small rural church schools with nursery provision age 3 to 11, Federated.

Both schools within the Federation (Trentside Federation) currently hold ‘outstanding’ Section 48 Inspection judgments.
Jo has worked for two local authorities – Wiltshire and North Lincolnshire, to date.
Jo has extensive experience in Church Of England Primary Schools (18 years’ experience) and Headship in C of E Primary Schools (12 years).
She has knowledge of small schools and ‘rurality’, of teaching and learning in mixed age classes (Foundation 1 – Year 6). As well as knowledge & experience of Section 48 Inspections (Statutory Inspection for Anglican and Methodist Schools).

Jo specialises in developing Middle Leadership & assessment, SMSC provision, curriculum development, strengthening, school self-evaluation (Section 5 and Section 48) and team building.
Enhancing outdoor learning in the Foundation Stage


Claire Constantopoulos has been the head teacher at William Barcroft Junior School for 5 years.

William Barcroft Junior School is a larger than the average-sized primary school. The proportion of pupils supported through school action is higher than average. Children who are supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is much higher than average. The proportion of pupils supported by the pupil premium is very high. Since 2009 the school has been on an incredible journey from rapidly declining results and pupils numbers we have a 5 year incline in standards and pupils on role. We are a celebrated environment for learning and have a strong team of dedicated professionals building on success.

The school is celebrated for strength in spending Pupil Premium to ensure progress of all children. Strong action planning and investment in targeted CPD has secured and ensured that the school has a Good judgement. We have strength in systems, accountability and e-systems to facilitate transparency and team involvement.


Tracey Ralph has been a head teacher for over 14 Years. She is currently the head at Westfield Community Primary School.
The school is larger than average (580) and serving an area of high deprivation (IMD) with % of children living in poverty above both the national and regional average figures. Both this and Tracey’s previous school had longstanding “stuck satisfactory” Ofsted judgements, identified as “schools causing concern” by their LAs and both subsequently moved to “good”. Tracey worked as a SIP before taking on her third headship and is now working with a Teaching School locally and her team is really enjoying training student teachers through the School Direct programme.
100% of the children with FSM achieved level 4 or above at Key Stage 2 in 2014 and David Laws MP wrote to the school to celebrate their outstanding work / high impact strategies with pupil premium funding. The results are also outstanding in key stage 1 phonics (school 83%, nat 74% / pupil premium school 79% nat 63%) and they have an outstanding inclusion / pastoral team, with all SEND pupils achieving level 4+ in 2014.

Tracey’s particular strength is identifying leadership potential, developing leadership skills and fast tracking leaders, with the number of her SLT colleagues who have gone on to headship / Deputy Headship well into double figures. She has a wealth of experience across a range of HR issues including tackling underperformance effectively, developing middle leaders to coach and support – moving teachers to good +. Tracy is also a Pupil Premium Reviewer.


Christopher Holder has been a head teacher for over 3 years. He is currently the head at Lowfield Primary School in Sheffield.

Lowfield Primary is a rapidly developing, 2 form entry, inner city school serving a diverse ethnic community, with high unemployment and social disadvantage. Although the school primarily serves the community of Lowfield and its immediate neighbourhood, many children travel from the other side of the city because of the value ethnic minority families place on the school.
Pupils enter the school significantly below national expectations. The school has a high number of FSM pupils (22.5% above national), a high number of pupils from ethnic minorities (64.3% above national), a high number of pupils with English as an additional language (65.7% above national; this is four times the national figure. The school population has risen in recent years from 206 in 2009 to 350 2015. Though the school is in the least stable 20% of schools nationally, increasingly families are choosing the school for their children as its reputation continues to improve. The school was inspected by Ofsted in February 2012 and was graded as a “good” school, in all areas.
In 2014 the school achieved 82% L4+ for reading writing and maths combined with APS of 28.2.
Christopher’s particular strengths lie in improving pupil out comes, particularly for KS2. In 2009 the school achieved: 41% L4+ in English with an APS of 22.4 and 62% L4+ in maths with an APS of 24.0


Simon McCarthy has been a head teacher for 3 years. He is currently the head at Thorpe Primary School.

Thorpe Primary is an average sized, one form entry school serving a predominantly English speaking, white British community. The percentage of disadvantaged children is higher than national as is the percentage of SEN children.

Simon has held significant leadership positions for the past six years and specialise in data; curriculum development and improving the quality of teaching to raise achievement.
Since 2012, when the Local Authority judged the school to be ‘vulnerable’ due to a decline in standards, improvements to the quality of provision have ensured that Thorpe is now in the top 100 schools in the country based on sustained improvement. The school is effective in narrowing the attainment gap between gender, SEND pupils and disadvantaged pupils.
Using data to inform all aspects of the school’s work, leaders identify areas for targeted improvement and strategically plan to ensure pupils achieve the very best outcomes.


Trish Gavins has been a head teacher for over 12 years. She is currently the head at Whetley Primary Academy.

Whetley Primary Academy is a deprived city school with a three form entry. The majority of pupils are EAL and NTE pupils with 30% Roma Slovak pupils. There is an unusually high mobility.

The academy’s particular strengths are curriculum transformation to meet the needs of learners and distributed leadership of curriculum change.

Progress of all pupils, outstanding progress of Roma pupils.
KS2 2014 expected progress in reading, writing and maths above national for all pupils.

Roma expected progress KS2 maths/reading/writing 100%
Roma exceeding expected progress KS2 maths 75%, reading 38%, writing 63%.


Melissa is an experienced head teacher who has been recognised both nationally and internationally for her leadership and work on research and development in education. As a successful head since 2006 leading Thoresby Primary, Melissa has been recognised through the national NCSL programme as a professional partner to new head teachers and worked on a consultancy basis supporting local schools. Melissa is an accredited Local Leader of Education.
Under her leadership Thoresby has been identified as a flagship school for “open futures” and endorsed as a centre of excellence for P4 C, Lets Get Cooking and RHS.

Melissa`s success in supporting leadership led her to be elected as a member of the HCTS Executive Board helping shape the strategic direction and system leadership across the city.
Internationally Melissa has worked with the OECD to help develop international policy on entrepreneurship education. A founding member and Director of HCAT. Melissa leads on research and development across the trust and has proactively instigated and overseen a number of research projects to ensure the trust is able to access cutting edge educational practice.

The Local Leader of Education Programme is at the heart of a school led system where schools take responsibility for improving pupil outcomes through school to school support. LLEs are successful headteachers who work alongside other school leaders to drive forward improvements and build capacity to ensure that improvements can be sustained.

The role of the LLE is to work outside their own school, providing support to another headteacher and their school with the aim of school improvement. The role is flexible and based on context and may involve:

  • Coaching and supporting a new Headteacher who would benefit from assistance in the transition period to maintain momentum in their school’s improvement
  • Offering peer challenge and support to a Headteacher to ensure impact in school improvement strategies
  • Conducting a diagnostic assessment to gain understanding of the extent of a school needs
  • Providing focused support to a school identified through the inspection framework as ‘requires improvement’ or vulnerable to under-performance

Deployment as an LLE may involve offering individual support, a partnership with another system leader (SLE, NLE, NLG) and could involve staff from the LLE’s school.

To become an LLE you must be a serving Headteacher with a minimum of three years experience, good outcomes in school attainment and Ofsted measures, and a successful track record of school improvement. LLEs must work in schools with high pupil achievement, and a strong senior leadership team that won’t be at risk when the school becomes involved in school to school support. Approval must be given by the Governing Body and a supportive reference will be required from a Senior Educational Professional.

LLEs designated by OIE will associate with this Teaching School Alliance and will become part of a wide network of system leaders. Following successful assessment, induction, training and resources will be provided.

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

We will update the website when applications re-open.

If you require any further information, or would like to register your interest, please email oie@outwood.com

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