Specialist Leaders in Education

The Outwood Institute of Education is delighted to have a team of over eighty Specialist Leaders of Education.

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE) are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar roles in other schools. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of expertise looks like and are skilled in helping others to achieve it in their own context.

The Outwood Institute of Education will help broker the support you need, and SLEs can be requested by name or we can advise who is best suited for your context.

They undertake a range of activities; delivering workshops, school to school support work, delivering professional development, audits, diagnostics, working one on one with staff - speak with us and we can design a bespoke service to meet your needs.

Cost: From £350 per day.

If you are interested in deploying an SLE, please contact us on oie@outwood.com


Abigail Sayers – Associate Director of Maths, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

The purpose of Abigail’s role is to support departments and ultimately improve attainment and progress, particularly at KS4, so that every student achieves their full potential. Abigail qualified as an AST in June 2011, has been a head of year and was a Lead Teacher for APP within the Leeds Education Authority. These array of roles and experiences have given a comprehensive view of departments and schools.

She is an experienced head of department and recently led the mathematics department at Outwood Academy Acklam in Middlesbrough. She set up personalised intervention, invigorated the department and worked closely with SLT to improve the results. This had a significant impact and, from a cohort with an average point score of 24, managed to increase maths results by 11% to 51% within a year.

Abigail’s passion is teaching maths and her belief is that all students, in all circumstances, deserve the opportunity to be successful. It is just a matter of finding the right approach that helps engage and excite them. She especially enjoys supporting other teachers with this and shares practice wherever possible.


Adele Ghai – Deputy Head, The Castle Nursery School

Adele is currently Deputy Head of The Castle Nursery school, part of the Federation of Crigglestone and The Castle Nursery schools in Wakefield.

Adele has worked with Early Years children for over twenty years in various roles and across a range of catchments and diverse communities.

As Foundation Stage Coordinator within a large Primary School in an area of high deprivation Adele led a team of practitioners to develop quality areas of Continuous Provision and to improve attainment in early reading and writing. During this role the Early Years Improvement Team requested her support as CLLD Lead Practitioner where she supported another school to raise standards in early reading and writing through coaching and delivery of training on Letters and Sounds

During her time as Children’s Centre Teacher Adele supported the Children’s Centre Manager and other key members of staff to understand the relevance of Early Years Education within the Core Offer and its impact on Children Centre KPIs. This role combined with being Lead ECAT practitioner, required Adele to support a wide range of practitioners and leaders linked to the Children’s Centre; Managers of PVI settings and Foundation Stage staff in the three Primary Schools in the reach area. The main focus of the support was coaching on use of the ECAT materials to develop early language, improving transition and narrowing the gap for the most disadvantaged children.

In her current role she is committed to raising standards and attainment for the most disadvantaged children in the catchment through the introduction of 2 year offer provision at The Castle Nursery School. Adele has been instrumental in creating a safe, inviting and high quality learning environment where children are encouraged to develop their independence and feel confident to learn.

As Deputy Head Adele has planned and led training sessions for both Nursery and Pre-school staff to improve interactions and develop the learning environment. She currently teaches in both Pre-school and Nursery actively coaching and modelling high quality interactions and provision for the team of Nursery Nurses and Teaching Assistants. More recently she has supported the Qualified Teacher to develop their middle leader role as the school has expanded to include 2 year olds.


Alison Jackson – Art – Advanced Skills Teacher, Outwood Grange Academy

Alison became an Advanced Skills Teacher in 2002 to enable her to fully concentrate her passion for teaching art both in the classroom and to the wider community. She has always found art teaching to be invigorating, stimulating and deeply enjoyable. In addition, achieving outstanding results and seeing the progress and breath-taking work of the young people is reward in itself. The reaction of visitors to the art gallery at OGA is usually of amazement – surely this is work of graduates and not school age children?

Alison has been proud to work with dozens of fellow art teachers who have been offered training and support in their own centres or “hands on” back at OGA. Placements have ranged from a day to a year and all are different.

Art continues to evolve in many ways, and we have to evolve with it. Alison is deeply immersed in the art world, a manic consumer of modern art and a voracious gallery visitor. With the SLE role her hope is to keep communicating this passion.


Andrew Cannings – Maths, Data Analysis – Director of Maths, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Andrew has worked for the Outwood Grange Family of Schools for 24 years, starting in 1994 as a Teacher of Maths and has spent the past seven years working across the Family of Schools as Director of Maths. All of the Outwood Academies in which he has worked have improved their Maths GCSE results since last year by between 5% and 28% with one Academy exceeding FFTD by 20%.

Prior to his current role, Andrew worked at Outwood Grange Academy as Head of Maths and Assistant Principal. In his role as Head of Department, he delivered CPD for the SSAT at a national level on Using ICT to Engage Students in Maths. As Assistant Principal for Deep Experience, Andrew led the transformation of the options process from a paper-based to a web-based system, working with students, parents, staff and web-designers to create www.outwoodoptions.com.

Andrew is passionate about Maths and helping all students at all levels to achieve their potential and believes all students have the right to an outstanding mathematical education and deserve to aspire, be inspired and be excited by Maths. Maths classrooms should be places of awe, wonder, excitement and enjoyment.

Andy Dean – Teaching and Learning, QA, Coaching, Behaviour – Assistant Principal, Airedale Academy

Andy began teaching at Airedale Academy Castleford West Yorkshire in 2005 as a PE Teacher, was promoted to Year Progress Leader in 2006 and then Assistant Principal in 2010. He has been Assistant Principal at Airedale Academy for the past three years in charge of Teaching and Learning and has been responsible for leading whole school inset related to a variety of lesson pedagogy. Andy has led whole school coaching which has seen a transformation in lesson observations judgements (currently 75% of lessons observed are judged as good-outstanding).

Andy’s previous role was Year Progress Leader, taking a year group through school from Year 7-11; this enabled him to lead and manage the year group through Key Stage 3 and4 and deal with the challenges and transitions that each year group faces. The year group achieved the Academy’s best ever results in 2011 with 59% of the cohort achieving 5A*-C grades including Eng-Maths (FFTD prediction was 35%, previous year group achieved 41%).

Andy has also been involved in school improvement work at Yewlands Technology College in Sheffield in 2009, working alongside the Head of Year 11 in which whole school results improved by 15% following intervention and collaboration of strategies and ideas.

Andy has delivered numerous inset and CPD to all types of staff at Airedale Academy, Hemsworth Arts and Community College and delivered training sessions to Wakefield GTP on a variety of areas related to lesson pedagogy.


Candice Phillips – Maths – Director of Maths, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Candice’s role involves working collaboratively and strategically with a number of Leadership teams and maths departments to raise achievement and increase students’ progress, particularly in Key Stage 4. She has worked with Heads of Department to help develop challenging yet appropriate Key Stage 3/4 and 5 curriculums that have benefited both staff and students within the classroom. The intervention that is put into place can greatly improve the achievement of pupils and Candice works closely with SLT to strategies and ensure the correct intervention is in place for students to fully achieve their potential.

As an AST and Co-Learning Leader prior to this current role, Candice worked closely with staff to raise standards of teaching and learning by inspiring teachers to develop their subject knowledge and pedagogy, and to implement policies that will raise standards and improve student progress. Ultimately, Candice aims to inspire teachers to plan, execute, reflect and share their outstanding lessons in order to improve students’ learning experiences and enable students to be inspired by Mathematics.


Carole Sharp – Deputy Head, Crigglestone Nursery School

Carole is currently Deputy Head of Crigglestone Nursery school, part of the Federation of Crigglestone and the Castle Nursery schools in Wakefield.

Carole has worked with Early Years children for over twenty years, she has led a variety of teams across Lower and Upper Foundation in developing understanding and practice to ensure the very best outcomes for children.
Carole has experience of teaching across a wide range of catchment areas and has proven success in raising outcomes for all children, including children living in areas of high social deprivation.

Carole has particular expertise in developing children’s learning through their self interests and fascinations. Carole was a former CLLD lead in a large Primary school with an above average percentage of children with special educational needs and where children entered Nursery displaying skills well below age appropriate. Carole’s creative approach to the teaching of Literacy and phonics ensured that children made significant progress in Foundation Stage.

Carole’s success in involving families in supporting their child’s learning has been recognised by the Local Authority who invited her to deliver a presentation to Head Teachers and Foundation Stage Coordinators which was positively received and acted upon by Head Teachers.

Carole has been part of a Senior Leadership team for the last eleven years during which she has had experience of steering teams through amalgamation and change. In recent years she has made significant improvements to her current Nursery environment resulting in children exploring and developing their full potential through adventurous and independent learning. Whilst on deployment as an SLE Carole has supported practitioners in PVI and Early Years Foundation Stage settings in developing high quality continuous provision areas both indoors and outdoors.
Carole has successfully developed and led training across the Federation of Crigglestone and the Castle Nursery schools, Castle Pre school and Castle Children’s Centre, resulting in sustained improvements to open ended high quality provision for both the indoor and the outdoor environment.

Since the introduction of the Government’s 30 hour Childcare offer in September 2017, at Crigglestone Nursery school Carole has been instrumental in developing enhanced and alternative provision areas resulting in the continuation of high quality learning opportunities for all children. Carole has ensured that a high focus on the well being of the child has established seamless transitions throughout the Nursery day that have helped to determine positive outcomes for all children.


Caroline Parkin – Primary – Nursery Teacher, Outwood Primary Academy Ledger Lane

Caroline has been a Primary teacher for the last twenty years and has taught across both Foundation Stage and Key stage one, where she has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. Over the last five years Caroline has worked in Lower Foundation Stage and has developed a greater understanding about the absolute need for excellent early years provision.

Early years settings are children’s first experience of school life, Caroline feels it is vitally important that we as practitioners get it correct right from the start. If you give children a good start to their education (strong Foundations! ) it is easier to build from there.

She has worked with colleagues within school to develop Early Years provision and practice and continues to monitor progress. Caroline manages staff effectively to ensure that they provide the best possible practice for each child and adapt their strategies to help ensure this is achieved.

At Outwood Primary Academy Ledger Lane we have an outstanding team of teachers, who work hard and always put ‘children first ‘ – one of the best tools to help with teachers professional development is to share outstanding practice and gather information from colleagues. As an experienced teacher Caroline feels that she can share good practice not only with her own school but within other Early Years settings to help improve education for all.

Cathryn Scarffe – MFL – Teacher, Kettlethorpe High School

Cathryn joined the teaching profession over 20 years ago and has a proven track record in securing excellent outcomes at GCSE. During her career, she has led the MFL team and is now engaged in a wider role which allows her to work collaboratively with colleagues from other schools and over the last six years has worked to develop a highly effective programme of transition which ensures pupils’ transition to Key Stage 3 is as smooth as possible.

Raising attainment, engagement and enjoyment for children and young people in both Primary and Secondary MFL is of course at the heart of everything Cathryn works towards as a MFL teacher.
Alongside her work with primary colleagues in Kettlethorpe’s family of schools, Cathryn has also been involved in coaching and mentoring Secondary teachers in MFL and other subject areas, with a particular emphasis upon teacher presence, creating a positive learning environment and Behaviour for Learning, delivering MFL “Securing Good” and “From Good to Outstanding” CPD sessions for Secondary MFL colleagues from other Wakefield schools.

Chris Robertson – IT and NQT – Assistant Headteacher, Scalby School

Chris has been Head of the Global Communication faculty (incorporating ICT, Business and MFL) at Scalby School in Scarborough for the past 5 years and has recently been appointed to the role of Assistant Headteacher. During his time at Scalby, Chris has also been an Associate member of the SLT and has led projects involving Student voice, coaching and developing teaching and learning through the use of ICT.

Chris’ teaching areas are business and ICT and he has experience in delivering a variety of qualifications in these subject areas.


Chris Wood – Science – Head of Chemistry, Hall Cross Academy

In September 2014 Chris took on the role of Head of Chemistry at Hall Cross Academy in Doncaster.

Chris’ strengths lie in data analysis, intervention techniques and making impact at both KS4 and KS5. Using a variety of strategies which involves tracking and monitoring of students and including them in their own progress monitoring. This has allowed many of the schools he has worked in to increasing both A*-C, 4 Levels of Progress and A*-A based around the needs of that particular establishment both within science as well as other core subjects. This is fundamentally what schools are all judged on after all.

In conjunction to this he has delivered CPD sessions based on new technologies, behaviour strategies and “Teaching Outstanding Lessons.” As technology progresses at an exponential rate it is imperative to remain relevant. Chris has been involved in the delivery of Middle Leader training, ITT & GTP teacher training and also Teacher Improvement schemes.

In 2012 Chris completed his Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning with particular emphasis on Leadership Strategies.


Claire Gordon – Assistant Headteacher, Glasshoughton Infant Academy

Currently employed as an Assistant Headteacher at Glasshoughton Infant Academy, Claire’s role entails improving standards across Early Years and KS1 by monitoring coaching and mentoring teachers including NQT’s and ITT students. She is also responsible for leading Literacy across the school and monitors teaching and learning and implements new schemes and strategies to improve the standard of achievement.

During her career Claire has experienced leading a team of teachers and support staff in Reception to ensure continuous provision and adult led activities were of an outstanding quality. Furthermore, Claire has worked effectively with a neighbouring school in order to improve standards in their Early Years unit through coaching and mentoring.


Debbie Lindley – Early Year Leader, Outwood Primary Academy Littleworth Grange

Debbie is currently an Early Years Leader for OPA Lofthouse Gate and has been an Early Years teacher for nine years. Previously she worked in Further Education as a lecturer, teaching across several ages ranging from fourteen to mature adults.

Debbie became a primary school teacher because of a passion and drive to give children the best possible start in life. Children’s early life experiences can have a profound effect on their future outcomes in later life. This is why she believes it is essential that we continuously strive to provide an outstanding Early Years Education.

Planning rich, varied and imaginative experiences for children, delivered by practitioners who have very high expectations of themselves and the children and who have expert knowledge of the areas of learning and development alongside a clear understanding of how children learn is the way to dive the Early Years Foundation Stage towards excellence.


Diane Kershaw – Regional Lead Director for Science (Central), Outwood Grange Academies Trust

In the ever changing economy STEM subjects are more important than ever, as teachers it is our responsibility to enthuse and develop students natural curiosity of STEM based subjects and prepare them for the challenges they will face. To do this it is vital that we ensure that students are given the best quality science teaching in the classroom enabling to develop a passion for Science. As an AST Diane has systematically improved the attainment of students through the improvement of teaching and learning in the classroom, monitoring and evaluation, accurate and thorough intervention, and the coaching and challenging of staff. As a Regional Lead Science Director with OGAT she leads a team of Directors who work collaboratively across a number of schools developing leadership and systems to meet the demand of the new curriculum, and delivering intervention to improvement at grades 7-9 and 4/5 at KS4. As a teacher, in addition to a proven track record at KS4 Diane also has 15 years’ experience of delivering high quality A level Chemistry.


Elizabeth English – ITT & NQT, D&T – Head of Design & Technology, Outwood Grange Academy

An outstanding teacher, currently working at Outwood Grange Academy as Head of Design and Technology and is Associate Assistant Principal within Teaching School. For the last two years Elizabeth has specifically focussed on the DT department leading on change to improve teaching and learning and therefore results, which will ultimately improve the life chances of students. She has a proven track record of developing staff and this year departmental results improved by over 16% on the previous year.


Garath Rawson – Science, Teaching and Learning, Curriculum and Data – School Leader

Currently Vice Principal at the UTC Olympic Legacy Park in charge of Curriculum, Data and Teaching and Learning. Garath is responsible for ensuring all students have access to a broad curriculum, that provides opportunities to work with quality employers, allowing students to develop skills, which prepare them for the workplace. He is also responsible for the quality of teaching and learning, regularly delivering CPD training to staff to ensure teaching is the best it can be. CPD delivery has heavily focused on differentiation, questioning and AFL to name but a few. Previously at the Meden School Garath was Assistant Principal is charge of behaviour and inclusion, with a focus on developing an outstanding climate for learning, and prior to this Assistant Principal at Outwood Academy Valley across Deep Experience and Deep Support.


Godsway Dzoboku – Maths – Associate Director of Maths, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

My belief that every student, irrespective of their background or circumstance should be given the support to learn and achieve their full potential has been fundamental in shaping both my teaching and leadership career. My passion for Maths and my ability to inspire both students and staff to achieve results has led to the transformation of a failing department (bottom 10% of schools nationally) to an outstanding department (top 2% of schools nationally) within a three year period. In the past 4 years, I have led the Maths department at Outwood Academy Portland. During this period the department moved from 35% A* – C to 82% A* – C (FFT rank 5 – 74%) with 83% 3LOP (FFT rank 5 – 77%) and 53% 4LOP. This was achieved through the establishment of a departmental ethos based on inspiring students, having high expectations, team work, praise culture, use of positive language with both staff and students and working collaboratively with other departments and SLT. The departmental ethos contributed to shaping the ethos of the Academy which resulted in the Academy being judged outstanding in all categories in March 2014.

I have on several occasions shared my passion with primary school pupils through Maths Master Classes both at Outwood Academy Portland and in the individual primary schools. I recently led the department to organise and deliver sessions to primary school teachers on the teaching of level 5/6 Maths topics and the challenges that the new primary Maths curriculum brings.

I was also adjudged the 2013 Guardian best teacher in the Bassetlaw district for my consistent impact on the quality of teaching and learning within the district.

As a member of the Outwood Grange Family of schools, I have contributed towards the leadership and teaching of Maths in the family of schools. I worked for two years as an Associate Director of Maths across the family of schools. The role enabled me to work collaboratively with other Maths departments and senior leadership teams to rapidly raise and sustain students’ achievement and progress in Maths. The role also involved the development of resources, intervention strategies, schemes of work and building capacity. After two years as an Associate Director, I am currently working as a vice principal within the Outwood Grange Academies Trust.
I hope to share my passion and love of Maths with other teachers and students; and also inspire and support them to achieve outstanding results through my role as an SLE.


Heather Holmes – English, Literacy – Director of English, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Heather has previously worked at Scalby School, Scarborough, where she became Head of Department in 2007, while still an NQT. On joining Scalby, the English Department’s results were 42% A* to C; by 2011 the results had risen to 81% A* to C. Heather has experience leading and managing effectively during times of change and challenge, having led the department during Scalby’s period in special measures. Relentless in high expectations of both staff and students, she has a rigorous approach to monitoring and evaluation.

At Scalby, Heather also worked as an Associate Assistant Head in Deep Support and as part of that role led the No Student Left Behind project, an initiative to raise reading and writing standards and introduce a Whole School Literacy Policy. This project significantly boosted literacy standards across the school and allowed staff to work diagnostically, targeting students with weaker literacy schools.

Heather has presented on this to school leaders from across the country on behalf of the SSAT and can advise on strategies to raise attainment in all aspects of WJEC GCSE English/English Language specifications.

Helen Phillips – MFL – Head of MFL, Outwood Academy Portland

Currently Head of MFL at Outwood Academy Portland, Helen has also led the languages department through the school’s journey from special measures to outstanding. Raising attainment through curriculum engagement is a particular area of interest for Helen and during her time as Head of Department, she has led a complete overhaul of the curriculum, including implementing a skills-based approach which exploits authentic and cross-curricular resources. This has seen a dramatic improvement in the outcomes for KS3 and KS4 pupils. Additionally, Helen is a facilitator for the CPD sector of AQA and has been involved in delivering a variety of CPD within school, throughout Nottinghamshire and nationwide. Naturally, Helen is passionate about the supporting of colleagues to develop as practitioners, and is proud of the fact that every member of the MFL department has received at least one an outstanding judgement over the last year.


Ian Cooper – Science – Director of Science, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Science has all the components needed to excite, enthuse and develop students’ natural curiosity. The key challenge for any teacher is the relentless pursuit of opening up the ‘world of science’ whilst delivering excellence in the classroom. Over the past four years Ian has worked with a number of schools under various contracts (NLE, Gaining Grounds and OGAT) and fully appreciates the challenges that are inherent in large teams and also those that lay ahead specifically for science faculties.

Ian’s key role within these contracts has been to contribute to the relevant SLTs and provide leadership and support to the science teams. This has included teaching, leading numerous meetings, setting expectations, support plans, Ofsted inspections and developing resources. For every school, he has achieved the resulting judgement that was needed to demonstrate improved practice in science. As a member of the OGAT team, Ian works collaboratively and strategically with a number of leadership teams to strive towards academic excellence through pupils’ achievements and uses every opportunity to use effective assessment methods to track pupils’ progress including RAISE and Praising Stars©.

Through his intervention in science he has contributed significantly to exceeding FFT targets, improving CVA, and ensuring the high percentage of 5A*-C grades in a number of schools, changing the culture of departments by focusing intervention on A*-A grades as well as A*-C. Looking ahead, science departments are facing significant changes. Whilst working to make the best opportunities from these changes, Ian has a number of other initiatives working across the Outwood Family of Schools, for example literacy drives, numeracy strategies, continuing work with Leeds University and closer collaboration with Sheffield Hallam SLC.


James Broad – Sixth Form – Vice Principal, Outwood Academy Adwick

Prior to being a Vice Principal, James was Assistant Principal and Director of Post-16 at Outwood Academy Adwick and, before working with the Outwood Family, was the Lead Geography Lecturer and a PGCE / PCET tutor at a further education college for nine years. During this period, he studied part time for an MA (by research) at the University of York, researching independent learning within the post-16 context and was also involved with the Geographical Association as a teaching consultant with a focus upon independent learning and action research in post-16 education.

James has published in peer-reviewed journals, written a book focussed upon A Level Geography key skills and currently peer reviews for an international education journal. James is particularly interested in post-16 education as a ‘gateway phase’ and how the needs of the learner can be met through IAG, curriculum design and partnerships.


James Whitworth – History – Director of Humanities, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Since qualifying as a History teacher in 2004, James has taught at Outwood Grange Academy and been Head of History there for five years before recently being appointed as Director of Humanities across Outwood Grange Academies Trust. During his time as Head of History the department saw a huge improvement in results and achieved highs of 88% A* – C at GCSE and 94% A* – B at Advanced Level. In 2013/14 James combined the role of Head of Department with a new role of Assistant Principal in Deep Learning & Deep Experience.

As a Director of Humanities James has now worked across Outwood Grange Academies Trust for the last four years supporting History teaching and students studying GCSE. Since the implementation of the new 9-1 GCSE this has included planning lessons and preparing resources for the Edexcel History GCSE covering units including Medicine in Britain c1250 – present, Early Elizabethan England 1558 – 88, The American West c1835 – 1895 and Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918 – 39. As well as being able to develop revision materials for the new course that are also used across the trust.

Through work in Deep Learning James has been deployed as a Learning Coach in the area of starters and plenaries and have led training on differentiation with other departments in the Academy.


Jo Richmond – English, Director of School Improvement, Northern Ambition Academies Trust

Jo began teaching in 2000, after completing a PGCE in Secondary English at Trinity and All Saints. She has taught English at an 11-16 school in Grimsby, before becoming an Assistant Head of English at a challenging inner city Leeds school; Jo proceeded to gain promotion to Gifted and Talented Coordinator, before joining Trinity Academy in Doncaster for its opening year.

Jo became Head of English at Airedale High School, now Airedale Academy, in 2006, being fortunate to join the school at the start of its recent journey of rapid school improvement. In 2006, the school and the English department achieved 46%, whereas from 2011 onwards the English department has attained consistently in the region of 76% A*-C grades with 3 Levels of Progress being consistently in the region of 86% 3LP and this year (2013) 4LP hit a high of 51%.

Promoted to Assistant Principal in 2010 and then promoted to Vice Principal level, with the role of Director of Partnerships, Jo was responsible for partnerships, building capacity in the newly formed Airedale Multi-Academies Trust, building leadership capacity, maintaining links with Outwood TSA and for raising the attainment of pupils in both English and Maths.

Since April 2016, Jo has been employed as the Director of School Improvement for the Northern Ambition Academies Trust. Jo oversees the performance of each primary school in the Trust and ensure the best possible outcomes for the children in our care.

Jo’s SLE deployments to date have been extremely varied and extremely enjoyable – the first deployment was at Outwood Academy Adwick, during which time she mentored non-specialist English teachers and equipped them to be able to confidently teach Year 10 English. Alongside this, Jo has been deployed to facilitate sessions of the NPQML and the NPQSL. In addition, she has spent a great deal of time training new SLEs from across the Yorkshire and the Humber region on behalf of Outwood TSA and Jo is now the Lead Facilitator for the Teaching School.


Jonathan Morgan – Senior Direct of the Arts – Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Jonathan has been a Director of the Arts for OGAT for 7 years. Previously he was the Head of the Performing Arts faculty at Scalby School in Scarborough for 10 years, and Head of Music at Hornsea School

He is passionate about teaching in the Arts as a whole, with a particular interest in creativity and innovation within (and beyond) the Arts, believing in “Arts for all” and constantly striving to find ways to engage and excite students no matter what their experience or background.


Julia Pinder – Julia Pinder – Personal Development, Behaviour & Welfare

Currently leads a team of people to ensure behaviour and safety measures are implemented according to the outstanding criteria outlined by Ofsted at Outwood Academy City. Throughout her career Julia has supported many academies within the Outwood Family of Schools and her commitment to school improvement is both innovative and progressive, removes any barrier to learning and provides children with ‘equal life chances’ to guarantee their success.

As a leader within OGAT Julia leads by example and with integrity, the most fundamental part of supporting both staff and students alike.

Karen Sankey – Faculty Leader, Art and DT, Kettlethorpe High School

Karen started teaching 28 years ago as a middle school teacher, delivering the whole curriculum to year 6 pupils, and after the reorganisation of the authority moved to Kettlethorpe High school to work in the highly successful art department. The department has consistently high results and high uptake for the subject. In 2013 66% A/A* grades and 94% A*-C grades with 93% +3 and above levels of progress. The results reflect the detailed planning for the GCSE and BTEC portfolios of work and a well established Keystage3 art and design curriculum that creates a foundation on skills, techniques, self -evaluation and independent learning. Karen also established detailed tracking of pupils learning, using reports and individual target setting based on pupils art ability. The department’s intervention is designed to meet pupils’ individual learning needs, monitoring and communicating with parents about pupils’ progress and a regular basis.

For the past three years Karen has been the art coordinator employed by the LEA to give art training to Primary GTPs and NQTs, covering skills, techniques, AFL, teaching and learning strategy and classroom management. This has led to working with primary schools in developing their art curriculum, AFL, skills and techniques through workshops and leading inset and staff meetings.

As part of her responsibility she aids in QA within the school SLT, taking learning walks throughout school focusing on different areas linked to the whole school improvement plan. Staff and pupils are observed and feedback and advice given to established consistency in the school environment.

Karen has developed the school LSA policy providing and arranging appropriate CPD for the LSA and teaching staff and delivers the LSA policy to NQTs and ITTs within the school and with QA learning walks and observations, ensure that the LSAs are being used effectively within the classroom.


Kathryn Greenhalgh – Maths – Director of Maths, Outwood Grange Acadmies Trust

Kathryn has been Director of Maths since 2009 and over this time has worked closely with Maths departments – and as part of maths department leadership – in improving outcomes for all students in mathematics. Kathryn has worked with schools in National Challenge, Notice to Improve and Special Measures – supporting them in raising attainment, implementing policies and procedures, improving monitoring and tracking and preparing them for OFSTED.

Kathryn’s classroom experience and in-depth research into how children learn maths, have anxiety of maths and/or have difficulty recalling algorithm if not a ‘top’ mathematician, means she has developed empathy for the students and a knowledge of how to ensure different types of learner succeed in maths.

She has experience of what works in different types of schools, with widely varying maths teams and students. There are structures and systems that can be put in place in any maths department and school and have impact very quickly. In addition to this, Kathryn strongly believes in bespoke support – through team-teaching, coaching, intervention with students, working on specific skills and training needs within the department to improve results and build capacity.


Katy Bradford – Teams, Restructures, Performance Management – Chief Operating Officer, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

As part of the Trust’s Executive Team, Katy leads the business support functions of the Trust and business management at an academy level. Prior roles include Director of Human Resources and Business Manager within the Outwood Grange Family of Schools and along with education human resources for over 10 years for local authority and further education. Katy recently gained her Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management in Education and is CIPD qualified.

Throughout her career, Katy has supported schools to address their staffing structures and also the performance management of staff. Creating efficient but effective teams and staffing structures within schools has enabled them, in some cases, to save millions of pounds per year on their staffing budgets whilst also improving standards. Alongside these structures there must also be support and development for staff using performance management to affect change, improve the quality of learning and teaching and address underperformance.

Katy is also qualified to deliver Safer Recruitment training on behalf of the National College.

Laura Reader – English – Head of English, Airedale Academy

Laura has worked at Airedale Academy since 2008 and prior to this worked in the FE sector teaching MFL classes and was also centre moderator.

In 2010, Laura became Head of Key Stage 3 English and launched APP, redesigning schemes of work and assessment to suit the changing curriculum. The number of students achieving 2 levels of progress and level 5 indicators rose by 20% under her leadership.

After two years in post, Laura was appointed as Head of English, a role which she finds to be inspiring and enjoyable every single day. The academy results are currently at an all-time high, with 52% of students achieving 4 levels of progress, putting the department in the ‘outstanding’ achievement bracket.

To date, Laura has been involved in various school-to-school support projects, including hosting best practice visits and delivering INSET, with her longest deployment supporting the English department at Manor College in Hartlepool, where she has been contracted to offer on-going support and challenge over the academic year.

Lauren McCarthy – Primary, Literacy – Teacher, Stanley Grove Primary and Nursery School

Lauren qualified to teach through the PGCE programme at Bradford College in 2001 and has taught in several schools, ranging from a private primary school, an inner city school and now a rapidly expanding primary school. Lauren completed the Leading from the Middle and Leadership Pathways courses and this has led her to be more confident in leading teams through school.

She has a keen interest in Literacy and Drama skills, both personally and professionally and has completed training with Integrate Education through the Chrysalis project.

During the last few years, Lauren has organised and managed a phonics group across Key Stage 1 and 2 completing assessments and supporting colleagues.


Linda Pegg – Assistant Head, Early Years, Kingsland School

Early Intervention , EYFS & SEN specialist, B.Ed 3-9yrs , Ad Dip SEN, M.Ed Family collaboration ad SEN.
Wealth of experience in developing and enhancing EYFS policy, environments, curriculum, assessment and recording systems along with team building, family collaboration and multi-agency working.
Teaching experience 25 + years for a range of LA and in a variety of different types of settings.
Integrated Nurseries / Special Schools – Head of EYFS in present setting for over 8 years along with NQT & ITT mentor. Work for LA to support teachers / setting with IEP’s/ILT, differentiation , target setting , assessment, support for settings in special measures and teachers requiring improvement.
Also Arts background – Multi-sensory environments / curriculums – AAC (Augmentative Communication) specialist – Visual & Hearing Impairment experience – ASD & challenging behaviour a special interest.


Liz Hunter – SEND, Assistant Headteacher, Kingsland Primary School

Liz is an Assistant Headteacher at Kingsland Primary School, a larger than average special school for pupils aged 2 – 11 with severe and profound learning difficulties, including pupils with ASD. Her qualifications include an Advanced Diploma in Special Educational Needs and NPQH. Liz has taught in primary and all age special schools (2-19) and has taught pupils across the special needs spectrum including Autistic Spectrum Disorder, severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties and complex needs. Liz has also delivered INSET to teachers and teaching assistants in teaching literacy to pupils with severe learning difficulties.
Liz has also worked as an outreach teacher, working with mainstream school SENCos, headteachers, class teachers, teaching assistants, parents and multi-agency professionals to enable schools to meet the needs of their more complex pupils.
Liz believes that children with SEN should be valued as highly as their peers and challenged to achieve their full potential both academically and socially. This is not always an easy task within a mainstream school and schools need a support system in place to help them meet this challenge. Liz is skilled in supporting mainstream schools in meeting the needs of complex pupils, motivating and helping staff to develop appropriate provision, tailoring support to meet the needs of each mainstream school, for example modelling teaching, providing resources and activities, developing assessment systems, developing an appropriate curriculum and providing INSET.

Luke McNamara – Primary, English, Literacy – Lead Teacher of English, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Since April 2014, Luke has been working across the Outwood Primary academies as Lead teacher of English with a large majority of his daily timetable consisting of classroom based support for both teachers and children. This can range from team teaching with colleagues, sharing best practice and planning focused interventions. Luke’s role also provides strategic support for each of the three Outwood Primary academies which focus on raising standards through consistent approaches to both reading and writing. This is a massively diverse and exciting role that allows him to not only tap into the shared, cross phase knowledge of the Outwood academies but also gain invaluable local, national and international CPD.

A huge passion and research focus of his is harnessing the power of hand held technology in relation to children’s writing. During Luke’s career as a teacher, and now as a lead teacher, he has implemented such ideas that have been consistently rated outstanding and have provided excitement and inspiration for young writers. Luke has also delivered training on the impact of IPads, social media and a range of apps on a local and national level (Outwood Primary Conference – York 2014).

Marc Loftus – Maths – Head of Maths, Airedale Academy

Marc has worked at Airedale Academy since 2008 and was promoted to Head of Maths in 2011, after previously only having held a relatively innocuous role of responsibility, securing this promotion due to the consistently good outcomes achieved by the pupils taught by him.

Taking on the role with limited prior leadership experience provided numerous challenges at a time when staffing within the department was undergoing a transitional phase. This enabled Marc to gain a wealth of knowledge and grow as a middle leader.

In 2013, under his direction, the department achieved its best ever results of 70% A*-C. Improving students outcomes is Marc’s main motivation and is an area where he has a proven track record.
Marc believes differentiation within lessons coupled with high quality teaching and learning is fundamental to pupil progress. As a result of this belief and its implementation, he has been judged to be ‘outstanding’ in all lesson observations during the past two years, most notably in a recent Ofsted inspection in November 2013.


Michaela Sill – CPD, PE, Subject Leadership – Assistant Principal, Ossett Academy

In her current role, Michaela’s key responsibilities include; SENDCO, Educational Visits Coordinator, Enrichment, and National Support School work as a Consultant Leader. She has been teaching Physical Education for nineteen years and has experienced a wide range of senior leadership, learning leader level, and departmental leadership roles, which have developed her leadership skills and understanding of whole school leadership significantly. Michaela has experience of a range of roles including; acting Director of Sixth Form, Assistant Head teacher, an Associate SLT member, Post 16 Learning Leader, Head of Girls’ P.E.

Michaela enjoys identifying potential future leaders and working with them to help them grow and has coached and mentored staff at all levels of their career.


Nicky Thomas – PE, Teaching and Learning – Vice Principal, Outwood Grange Academy

Currently Vice Principal in charge of teaching and learning at Outwood Grange Academy, Nicky is responsible for the quality of teaching and learning across the academy, regularly delivering CPD training to internal and external staff on AFL, planning, assessment, outcomes and questioning to name a few. This was highlighted by OFSTED (2012) where quality of teaching was judged “Outstanding” due to “the academies systematic approach to continuous professional development of teachers.”

Nicky has delivered the Outstanding Teacher Programme and is currently facilitating the Improving Teacher Programme to colleagues across the Yorkshire region.

Nicola Fareham – Maths – Associate Director of Maths, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Nicola was appointed to the role of Associate Director of Maths in 2016, having been a Head of Maths at Outwood Grange Academy since 2010. She accrued considerable expertise in maths teaching and departmental leadership as HOD and is now in a position to share her expertise to support other departments. In her role of Head of Department, GCSE results improved considerably. The percentage of students achieving expected progress in maths went from 64% in 2010 to 93%; GCSE A*-C go from 73% to 93% and GCSE A*-A go from 11% to 30%. The improvements in the results have been the impact of strategic intervention at all levels. In her current role she works closely with Maths departments across the Outwood Grange Academies Trust to implement strategic interventions to raise achievement.

Nicola has delivered a range of training on teaching and learning strategies, transition, leadership and raising attainment in maths. She has led training regularly to ensure her teams are up to date with the latest developments and practices in maths; supporting staff on support plans, NQTs, and also staff who really want to make the jump between Good and Outstanding. Nicola gained her PDLead qualification with the NCETM in 2015 which has supported her delivery of many professional development programmes. Nicola led the Shanghai exchange project in 2014 and has since planned and facilitated many programmes for the YHMathsHub on Teaching for Mastery and holds to title of Secondary Mastery Lead for the YHMathsHub.

Nicola is currently an examiner for Edexcel GCSE Maths, enabling her to advise on strategies to raise attainment in GCSE Maths, as well as at A level. As a SLE for Maths, Nicola looks forward to further developing her outreach work and using her experience to help more students to reach their potential.


Paul Sorby – Executive Director of Curriculum, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Having begun his curriculum leadership pathway as Head of Maths at a school in North Yorkshire, Paul moved to Outwood Grange, Wakefield in September 2003 as Assistant Head leading on the school’s specialism at the time, of Technology. Two years later, he was appointed to Vice Principal Deep Experience (inc curriculum). When the school started working to support other schools, mainly through the National Leader of Education initiative, curriculum design and curriculum led financial planning were deemed to be some of the key components of school improvement; Paul was subsequently appointed as an Associate Principal, Director of Curriculum working across all our schools in what became the Outwood Grange Family of Schools.

Paul holds the NPQH qualification and has worked closely with the SSAT in the past, having been an SSAT Curriculum Design Lead Practitioner for two years, and delivered curriculum presentations and workshops at regional and national conferences. Through the Outwood Institute of Education, over the last six years, Paul has delivered 30+ curriculum design and curriculum led financial planning workshops at various venues.

As of September 2018, Outwood Grange Academies Trust will contain 21 secondary and 10 primary schools; spread across the Yorkshire and Humber, North Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Teesside regions. Paul’s role as Executive Director of Curriculum has been, and still is, a mix of both strategic and hands-on; and has always been, and will continue to be, about creating curriculums and timetables in all our academies, which are economically viable, fit for purpose and enable students to achieve life changing outcomes.

Rachel Skirrow – Primary – Assistant Principal, Outwood Primary Academy Ledger Lane.

Rachel is Assistant Principal of Outwood Primary Academy Ledger Lane with the responsibility for inclusion. She has been teaching for 18 years, both within KS1 and KS2, and has held the post of SENCo for 14 years.

Within her role, Rachel monitors and evaluates the progress of all vulnerable children within school; establishing children’s individual needs, both academic and social, then ensuring that interventions are specifically tailored to the children’s needs and monitor the impact carefully. She passionately believes that all children, irrespective of their gender, race, special educational need and disability, should be given the help and support needed to realise their full potential. Rachel continually strives to ensure that school is following the best practice and through hard work and commitment.

Recent OFSTED noted "The school provides effective additional support for those at risk of falling behind. Pupils with special educational needs make particularly good progress. Some achieve outstandingly well. This is due to the very well-targeted support they receive


Richard Miller – Modern Foreign Languages – Associate Director of MFL, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Richard is currently has a split role between Outwood Grange Academy and Outwood Academy Ripon. At the latter, he also leads the Global Studies faculty (MFL and Humanities).

Richard’s teaching has been described as being “inspirational” by Ofsted; he is passionate about language-learning – c’est fantastique – and is equally enthusiastic about sharing this with others, both students and colleagues alike. Richard’s experience to date has been incredibly wide-ranging and has enabled him to gain a massive insight into the best methods in MFL teaching. Having spent over ten years as an Advanced Skills Teacher he has been able to share expertise and to devise, develop and implement projects on a county-wide level, leading change in both primary and secondary settings. To this end, Richard has worked with whole MFL departments on curricular issues as well as with individual colleagues, devising bespoke support and training programmes and has also worked closely with those who are newer to the profession, as he is currently ITE and NQT Co-ordinator at Outwood Academy Ripon.

Richard can advise on a range of MFL-related issues, ranging from creativity in the curriculum and inspiration in the classroom to developing performance, departmental reviews and Key Stage 2-3 transition.


Robert Pratt – Science – Director of Science, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Science above all other subjects can open up a world of excitement, awe and opportunity. This can only happen through excellent delivery in the classroom. Robert is currently working as a Director of Science across six schools. This role means working collaboratively and strategically with a number of leadership teams to strive towards academic excellence through pupils’ achievements. Through his current work he has contributed towards science departments exceeding FFT targets, improving CVA and ensuring a higher percentage of students attain A*-C.

Robert was a successful Head of Science for 11 years and is skilled in the use of data and assessment to secure consistent progress across a science department with a record of delivering exam success for students. Robert is a proven leader, motivator and skilled practitioner in the classroom across all the sciences to GCSE and Physics to A Level. As science departments look ahead for changes around literacy, numeracy, a move away from vocational subjects for some students and changes to the primary curriculum he has a great deal of experience in delivering CPD across a wide range of areas including some experience at primary level.


Rupert Burgess – Regional Director of English, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Rupert is Regional Director of English for OGAT and prior to that was Head of English at Outwood Grange Academy for 14 years. He has accumulated a strong track record of transforming departments and raising attainment. An impact of his work has been improvements in GCSE results of between 9 and 34 percentage points in the first year, as well as guiding other higher-achieving departments to exceed 90% A*-C for the first time.

Rupert has delivered a range of training on middle leadership and raising attainment in English from Key Stage 2 to A level. He is able to advise on strategies to raise attainment in all aspects of WJEC/Eduqas GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature specifications, as well as A Level, especially AQA Language, AQA Literature B, AQA Language and Literature. Many of his teaching resources for all three A Level specifications have been published and one of his practice examination papers has been used by WJEC/Eduqas in recent CPD materials.

Rupert offers support in all aspects of department leadership but has particular expertise in using data for student monitoring and intervention, in strategic planning, and in monitoring and managing staff performance. As a SLE for Data Analysis, he can provide bespoke systems for managing data in departments and train staff in their use, as well as work with Heads of Department in analysing examination results and current student performance data.


Ruth Ward – Behaviour – Assistant Headteacher, North Huddersfield Trust School

Ruth is an acting Headteacher at North Huddersfield Trust School (NHTS) and prior to that worked at Fartown High School (FHS). NHTS is a multi-cultural school with many vulnerable groups in an area of high deprivation which opened in September 2011.

FHS closed due to challenging circumstances around behaviour and safety in August 2011 and NHTS, a new school opened in its place. During this transition Ruth led the development of a new pastoral structure with the responsibility of overseeing pupil behaviour and behaviour systems.

Ruth’s work has been fundamental to the progress of the current school to date and in the school’s recent Ofsted inspection (April 2017) the school was graded GOOD with outstanding for safety.

In conjunction with Kirklees Local Authority (LA), Ruth chairs the South Kirklees Behaviours and Admissions Collaborative, as a network for senior staff in south Kirklees secondary schools in the LA.


Sally Stewart – Early Years – Teacher, St Pauls

Foundation Stage is Sally’s main area of expertise and interest and she relishes the opportunities there to raise standards of teaching and learning for children using innovative approaches.

Sally enjoys using all the skills and experience gained through her role as an AST and going forward as SLE to support colleagues in other settings which includes the following:
• Identifying need for change and identify barriers to change.
• Building bridges between team members, working to the strengths of the client first.
• Impacting positively on the learning environments in these settings by supporting practitioners.
• Action planning and target setting.
• Providing successful programmes of outreach support according to the client’s needs.
• Help and encourage others to create partnerships.
• Gradually transferring responsibility for monitoring developments to leaders at the school itself, so that they become responsible for change.


Suzie Day – Sixth Form

My name is Suzie Day and I am designated as an SLE for Sixth Form. As the senior leader in charge of the Sixth Form at Outwood Grange Academy, I very much look forward to supporting other leaders in their own journey to outstanding.

I have held a number of roles in my career including Head of English, Senior Middle Leader for whole school literacy, Head of 16-19 Education and Training (all at Minsthorpe Community College, Pontefract) and since 2010 I have been Assistant Principal and Director of Post 16 Learning at Outwood Grange Academy.

I am passionate about student success, staff development and school improvement – all of which I believe will be at the core of the work of the SLE.


Ted Snell – Executive Director of English, Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Ted’s current role is leading a team of specialist English Directors who work with English departments to raise attainment, accelerate rates of student progress and support and develop subject leadership. He also works extensively with Principals and leadership teams in school improvement initiatives, including preparation for inspections. His past roles have included working in two LAs as a senior School Improvement Adviser, a School Improvement Partner, accredited National Challenge Adviser and having an active role in inspections.

Tim-Tim Chambers – MFL, Transition, Skills Based Curriculum – Assistant Principal, Airedale Academy

Tim-Tim is currently Assistant Principal at Airedale Academy; previous to this she was Head of Faculty MFL for five years. As line manager of MFL, she maintains an active role within the department. The languages dept at Airedale has long been a very successful one and recent challenges have been not only to maintain past successes but to continue to improve. The data has reflected the hard work of the department under her leadership: Since 2007, the A*-C success rate has never been below 90%, FFT never below 75%. In 2013, 91.3% of entries (138) gained A*-C, 80% of the 56 entries at GCSE gained A*-C. 80% of all pupils equal or exceed FFT expectations.

Success in MFL at Airedale has been achieved, firstly, by building a committed and motivated team working towards clear goals and sharing good practice; by encouraging a culture of success, fostering a positive working environment and creating a high profile for languages within school and lastly, by using pupil data to target, monitor and mentor students at various stages of their progress. Key to this success is avoiding complacency, constantly striving for higher achievement, clear vision and inspirational teaching.

Tim-Tim’s role as Assistant Principal in charge of transition has enabled her to work with schools from across the pyramid and completely transform the transition programme. Over recent years, Tim-Tim has led the introduction of ‘Discover’. This is a skills driven, theme based, immersive approach to learning and was cited as offering ‘outstanding opportunities‘ in 2011 by Ofsted.

Tim-Tim strives to apply her vision and work ethic to all professional duties; she is passionate about improving the life chances of all students and about developing others and would welcome the opportunity to do this.

How to apply to be an SLE

Applications are now closed.

We will update the website when applications re-open.

If you require any further information, please read the guidance below, or email oie@outwood.com to register your interest.

To read our GDPR Privacy Notice, please click here