Our System Leaders

Name SLE Profile
Amanda Johnson

Amanda’s SLE designation is in Inclusion and SEN provision.

Amanda is passionate that children should be given the best possible start in their educational journey which will lead them to become independent, confident and successful learners. Her philosophy is based on the desire that ‘nobody gets left behind’ and ensuring that all children, regardless of their starting point, have the belief that they can achieve, belong and are seen.
Amanda is currently the SENCO at 2 schools in Northamptonshire. She has extensive experience of working with primary aged pupils with a wide range of needs. As well as holding senior leadership roles within the primary phase, she has also worked in an advisory capacity working collaboratively with schools to ensure pupils are able to close the gap with their peers and reach their full potential.

Amanda is committed to building strong relationships and values the opportunity to work alongside a range of practitioners. She continues to provide support and training to SENCOs. Amanda is keen to develop others professionally enabling them to feel valued, respected and confident in their abilities.

Barbara Yeo

Profile to follow.

Becky Knight

Having taught in two schools in Special Measure, my belief as Inclusion Leader is that all students should have access to the curriculum and are given every opportunity to succeed.

My experience ranges from Head of English and Creative Arts to Director of Sixth form, KS4 and Year 7. Currently I lead on Pupil Premium, Attendance and EAL, and mentoring of TeachDirect students.

As an Accredited Pupil Premium Reviewer I have carried out Reviews in schools, as well as supporting two Secondary Schools in Closing the Gap.
Currently I am involved with the planning of the Attachment Awareness programme across Northamptonshire.

Caroline Colledge

Caroline at The Grange School in Daventry where her current responsibilities include leading English across school, managing reading and phonics and she is a member of the middle management team. Caroline is currently teaching intervention groups in Year 6. She has experience of teaching pupils across the primary age range and has led the development of the school’s new thematic, pupil-centred curriculum.

Passionate about exploring creative ways of teaching, Caroline has experience of working alongside other teachers to improve teaching and learning. Her SLE designation is in English and whole school curriculum development. She has also been an LA Leading Teacher with a focus on improving writing.

Catherine Jackson

After qualifying in 2010 at Nottingham Trent University on the Teach First Leadership Development Programme, Catherine started her career in secondary Mathematics education. She spent the first five years of her career working in secondary schools which built a strong foundation in the teaching and learning of Maths. During this time, Catherine completed a Masters in Educational Leadership at Warwick University. She also progressed to be the Deputy Curriculum Leader for ‘Opening Minds’. Catherine then moved into primary education and built a wealth of knowledge in primary Mathematics as the Mathematics Subject Leader at Hall Meadow Primary School where she is currently Joint Acting Assistant Head Teacher on the Senior Leadership Team.  In her role as Mathematics Subject Leader, Catherine has been involved in developing Maths policies, data analysis and assessment. She has also been developing an ethos of reasoning and problem solving across the school.

Catherine is passionate about the teaching and learning of Mathematics as she believes a strong foundation in Maths is an essential life skill in which every child should be given the best possible start.

Cathy Paramore

As an experienced primary school class teacher of almost twenty years, Catherine has taught all year groups from Y1 to Y6 the she has a thorough knowledge of the National Curriculum, age related expectations.  Catherine is currently am employed as an art specialist with responsibility for teaching art throughout the primary phase and for providing ongoing CPD for staff.

Since taking up post, the profile of Art and Design in the school has risen with the addition of vibrant displays and a newly constructed art gallery prompting positive feedback from Ofsted.  Children are excited, engaged and proud of their achievements and this has had a positive effect on morale and wellbeing.  Teachers express greater confidence in their delivery of Art and Design and it has become embedded in the wider curriculum.

Catherine is passionate about teaching Art and Design and is committed to conveying enthusiasm to children and staff.  Catherine believes that art can underpin and enhance all curriculum areas and can contribute to raising standards and developing children’s potential.

Chris Scanlan

I have worked in education for 30 years, starting in Kenya where I ran an orphanage for over 100 children who were victims of the AIDS virus. It was this early experience that has inspired me to ensure that I gave all children I worked with a global perspective of life. At my last school we were an expert school in global learning and won the British Council award for having the most effective and exciting international project in the UK.

Since returning to the UK I have worked in a great variety of schools including rural villages, inner city schools, faith schools and lastly a rural primary school where I was fortunate to be the head teacher for 16 years and able to be a strategic partner in the setting up of two teaching schools.

Before I took over the role as head teacher I led English, mathematics and special needs in schools and was a leading mathematics teacher. I then became a headteacher and worked in the role for 16 years at a very successful school.

Whilst a head teacher at The Bliss Charity School in Northants, I was privileged to be asked to support other schools in a variety of ways. This included as a National Leader of Education and as a Local leader of Education. This involved working with schools and particularly other heads in a coaching role, enabling them to come to terms with the huge demands of headship as well as prioritise effectively and increase confidence in their own abilities. Within this role I supported five schools in a category and all moved to good in the following Ofsted inspection.

I am a founder member of Inspire Teaching School and work on the strategic board as well as leading Teaching and Learning reviews and being responsible for the school to school support and leadership element of teaching schools.

Another area of support is working as a National College facilitator on leadership programmes. I have been so fortunate to work with so many wonderful young leaders on middle, senior and aspiring head teacher courses and I am looking forward to developing more in the future.

Although I have officially retired I do have a passion for education and enjoy supporting colleagues. I use my coaching skills as the main tool to develop the leadership of others and ownership in improvement and development.

Claire Yarland

Profile to follow.

Dawn Childs

Dawn is currently the Mathematics and Literacy subject leader at Mawsley Community Primary school as well as being a member of the Senior Leadership team. She also spent over ten years as the Science subject leader both in her current and previous school. Dawn is a mathematics specialist, a PD lead accredited by the NCETM and a county moderator. Her SLE designation is to develop teaching and learning in Mathematics, Literacy and Science. She is currently developing a mastery approach to the teaching, learning and assessment of Mathematics and Literacy ( and eventually the whole curriculum) in her own school and hopes to inspire others with her enthusiasm and her belief that every child can achieve when provided with carefully planned and rich learning experiences.

Elaine Wagg

Elaine is Director of Teaching and Learning at The Grange School, Daventry, with a wide range of responsibilities, which include curriculum responsibility for Science, Foundation Stage Leader and leadership of Initial Teacher Training and NQT induction. She is part of a Senior Leadership Team which is continuously involved in a rigorous system of school development. She has taught across the Primary phase, specialising in Early Years and Key Stage One. Her SLE designation is in the Leadership of Primary Curriculum Development, but she has supported schools in a range of different areas. Elaine has experience of working alongside other teachers to improve teaching and learning. She passionately believes that in our profession we have a shared responsibility to ensure the best life chances for all children.

Gaynor Yates

Gaynor is the Principal at The Grange School, Daventry.  She has held this position for twelve years.  During this time she has raised standards and aspirations at the school as well as amalgamating the Infant and Junior schools to become a primary school. The Grange School is a leading school for the arts and ICT.  In recognition for her work, she was nominated for, and awarded, Head Teacher of the Year for the East of England. She also assists the LA in the role of a Consultant Leader and a Professional Partner for new head teachers. She is a Local Leader of Education (LLE).  This role involves the support of schools in challenging circumstances or Ofsted categories.  She is also a designated System Leader for Pupil Premium and is able to carry out Pupil Premium reviews.  Gaynor is passionate about teaching and learning and ensuring that every child has the best chance to succeed.  She believes that every school has the capacity to be a great school and is committed to working with other schools and head teachers to achieve this.

Helen Pearce

Helen's area of expertise is in the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children.  With a career spanning almost 20 years she has supported children across a wide range of settings including a specialist provision for children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.  Helen has now transferred much of this knowledge and expertise into a mainstream setting.  Here, we now successfully identify, intervene and monitor children exhibiting wellbeing concerns using a comprehensive tracking system that enables us to support them (and their families) swiftly and effectively.  Both tracking and outcome data from this system clearly demonstrates that emotional wellbeing is a strong indicator of academic success.  Helen believes that with her appropriate training, support and guidance, all schools can be equipped to provide effective interventions which will help to ensure the children in their care can go on to reach their true potential.

Jayne Clancy

For the last 12 years I have been the Headteacher of Hartwell Primary School. During this time the school achieved consistent success not only academically but also in the range of broader opportunities offered to all children. My mantra in school is “what you expect is what you will get” as a school we therefore expected the very best in all aspects of school life.

My previous experiences include leading in a school with a special provision for children with severe learning difficulties, observing the power of inclusion on a daily basis. I strongly believe that it is our duty as educators to find ways to enable every child to shine. I am therefore passionate about the consideration and use of a wide range of approaches relevant to each individual. Equally my passion extends to ensuring a central place for areas such as the arts and sport within our schools in order to identify and nurture the talents of all of our young people.

I have always worked hard to ensure an environment conducive to learning for adults as well as children and strongly believe that it is our duty as strategic leaders in school to facilitate the growth and development of all staff. Having stepped away from Headship I am now looking to use my expertise to help others in their journey to enable staff and children to be the best they can be.

Jen Tedore

Profile to follow.

Joanne Sanchez-Thompson

Joanne is Director of Achievement at The Grange School, Daventry, and her responsibilities include ensuring that the school’s assessment practices underpin high quality teaching and learning. She has a particular focus on the achievement of Pupil Premium/Disadvantaged Pupils and work with parents to ensure that children get the best possible start in life. Joanne is part of the Strategy Team which is continuously involved in a rigorous system of school development at The Grange. She has taught across the entire school age range from nursery to sixth form in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and the USA as well as having been a School Improvement Partner and Headteacher. Joanne is currently a Lead Inspector, working for SERCo on behalf of OfSTED. Her SLE designations are Closing the Gap and Assessment.

Karen Bailey

Karen trained at the Laban Centre gaining a Degree in Dance and QTS from the University of London, Goldsmith’s College. She gained her MA in Education from the University of Northampton. She has taught a wide range of courses in Higher and Further Education as well as Primary and Secondary schools including GCSE/ A level Dance, Btec First/ National Diplomas in Dance, PGCE Dance and undergraduate PE (Dance).

Karen was the Learning Advisor for Dance for Northamptonshire, developing INSET provision both central and school based for teachers across the Key Stages. She has been an A level Dance examiner for the past 10 years and is a senior examiner on the practical team and currently works at The Grange School, Daventry in a dance specialist role developing dance alongside the class teachers and she also works at the Universities of Northampton and Bedfordshire in Initial Teacher Training.

Karen has a passion for the development of high quality dance as part of an integrated creative curriculum.

Kate Coleman

Kate has worked in a variety of roles over the last 25yrs including teaching and senior leadership in pre-school, primary and middle schools, local authority advisory and initial teacher training.

Having taught across the primary age range, held middle leadership in a host of subjects, including English and supported schools across Northants, Bedfordshire and Bucks through English advisory, Kate has developed INSET provision across KS1, 2 and 3. She has worked with teachers to develop planning and delivery, identify gaps in understanding and target support through passion for her subject and a wish to purposefully engage children. Kate has worked with schools to review provision in core subjects, supporting middle and senior leaders in reviewing data, planning intervention to address pupil progress and deliver whole school intervention to enhance classroom practice.

In her recent role in initial teacher training, Kate has lectured in Primary English, managing and developing the specialism English provision at Northampton University. She has supported students and NQTs in professional practice, working with mentors in partnership with local schools. Kate has a particular interest in the development of writing through the use of grammar in context and the value of talk in supporting meta cognitive processes and resilience in learning.

Katie Green

Profile to follow.

Leanne McGinty

Profile to follow.

Lorraine Cullen

Formerly the Head of Hall Meadow Primary School that she opened as a new establishment in 2002, Lorraine now works with the school in its role as National Support School.  Lorraine also works as a National Leader of Education and is the Development Lead for the Inspire Teaching School.  She originally began working with young people in Hertfordshire with ‘Looked After Children’ and subsequently trained as a teacher in her mid-twenties. Since taking up her first teaching post in Paddington, London, she has had the opportunity to learn alongside many outstanding professionals and worked in a number of schools considered to be in challenging circumstances or requiring ‘special measures’. 

Lorraine is a Doctor of Education in Leadership Development; she has particular interest in child initiated inquiry and in developing a cross-phase primary curriculum premised on pupil choice. Her concern for education is not only informed by her work and desire to give every child the best possible start in life but also as a parent a primary aged son.

Louise Hunt

Profile to follow.

Lynn Johnston

Lynn’s area of expertise is in the field of Attachment Disorder and Early Childhood Trauma.  As a practicing Year 6 teacher and an adopter, Lynn is able to offer practical, hands on training and advice to staff on the effects of all areas of Attachment and Early childhood trauma, from the perspective of both Teacher and parent. She can offer insight into identifying, monitoring and supporting children within your classroom and advice on how children can be scaffold within the learning environment. Lynn firmly believes in educating the whole child, and facilitating ‘readiness to learn’ for all children through ensuring that social and emotional wellbeing are treated with the utmost priority, whilst ensuring that the practical elements of support are in place, not only for the children affected, but applying the principles to the benefit of all children.  Lynn is available for whole staff or small group training on the neurological principles of Attachment and Early Childhood Trauma , Emotion Coaching and also advice on support and classroom strategies.  Lynn is a career change teacher, with 15 years leadership and management experience in the Finance and Commercial sector before making the change into teaching 8 years ago. Lynn is passionate about raising awareness and the profile  of Attachment Difficulties in education within the UK,  and its positive management and support to ensure positive outcomes for all children within our  school settings.

Mary Tulley

Profile to follow.

Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson is an experienced teacher, headteacher, education adviser and university lecturer, now retired and operating as a sole trader (education consultant).  Michael has specialist knowledge of SEND and Inclusion, having been headteacher of an Ofsted outstanding special school in Leicester City and a school improvement adviser (Inclusion) for Leicester City LA and Northamptonshire LA. 

Michael has a degree in English Language and Literature and a Masters Degree in Education.  Michael completed the National Leadership Programme for Serving Headteachers in 2003. Most recently, from 2014 -2017, Michael was Teaching School Lead at Fairfields Teaching School Alliance (102 member schools across Northamptonshire).

Rachel Edkins SLE


As an experienced primary school class teacher of ten years, Rachel has taught in both Key Stage 1 and 2. She has a secure knowledge of the national curriculum, assessment and the moderation process. Rachel also has knowledge of leading a curriculum area and has been responsible for Computing and Literacy. She has led many school initiative and CPD sessions and taken part in small scale educational research projects.
Rachel has been a SENCo for six years and has completed the National Accreditation for SEN Coordination and now mentors students enrolled on the programme. Rachel is a Specialist Leader of Education and is also a Leading SENCo for Northamptonshire. She has supported and coached schools and SENCo’s across the county in a broad range of things including Provision Maps, Interventions, Monitoring and Evaluating your SEN provision and leading courses for new to role SENCo’s. Her school has recently been awarded the TAMHS Gold Mark for the broad and specialist support offered to pupils and families at her school.
Rachel is a Pupil Premium Reviewer and has conducted several Pupil Premium Reviews in schools across the county. Her interests are the quality of provision offered for Pupil Premium pupils/disadvantaged pupils and the regularity and effectiveness of evaluating their progress.
Rachel has also been a Deputy Headteacher for five years so has experience of leadership and management within a school.

Richard Colton

Richard is an SLE in Physical Education. He is currently School Sports Co-ordinator at Standens Barn Primary and recently helped the school achieve the Northamptonshire Sport Sports Premium Impact award. He can support schools in a range of ways including how to spend their PE and Sports Premium funding in a sustainable way.

Sarah Dickens

After qualifying in 1997 and teaching across Key Stage One, Sarah subsequently moved into Foundation Stage and enjoyed it immensely. Sarah has 11 years teaching experience in EYFS.

Sarah feels very strongly about facilitating the very best provision for all young children which is why she elected to specialise in this area. As an Advisory Teacher, Sarah has previously worked in pre-schools and nurseries and worked collaboratively with practitioners to facilitate improvements in Early Years practice. She has a range of interpersonal skills and knowledge to enable her to work effectively with fellow practitioners.

Research demonstrates thatthe development of language needs to be a key focus in order to secure high standards for young children. This is an area in which Sarah can offer specific support. The implementation of a formal on-entry baseline assessment, curriculum planning, Early Years assessment and classroom organisation are other areas in which Sarah can support and advise.

Sarah Meeks

Sarah has worked in education since graduating from King Alfred's College, Winchester in 2000.  Having worked in a range of settings, her main post has been at Hall Meadow Primary School in Kettering, where she has worked for a large part of her career. Over her time at Hall Meadow, Sarah has facilitated the school in helping it grow and develop to be a successful school, which has been rated as Outstanding by Ofsted over a period of 12 years.

Her specialisms lie in creating a Global Curriculum that suits the ever changing and developing needs of the school and in using assessment effectively, primarily at end of Key Stage 1, but also across the whole of the Primary Curriculum. Most recently, Sarah has been involved in a project which has looked at "The Whole Child" and ways of delivering wellbeing and safeguarding through the curriculum.

Sarah has helped to lead the school forward in many initiatives over the years and has worked collaboratively to lead a team of staff and ensure positive outcomes for children.

Sarah Powell

Sarah started her teaching career in 2001 teaching across the primary school becoming SENCo in 2007.  Building positive relationships with children, parents/carers and staff has enabled Sarah to embed her knowledge and practice and she looks forward to sharing this knowledge with others.  In 2012 Sarah's school achieved the Inclusion Quality Mark which was a rigorous assessment of SEN.  It was a whole school approach and led Sarah to feel that she could now support other schools to achieve this and therefore improve their SEN understanding and provision.  She looks closely at the data for SEN children and works with others to find ways to impact the child’s progress academically, socially and emotionally.  Helen looks forward to being able to share the knowledge that she has gained to enable you to develop SEN in your school, impacting on the progress and support for the children, interventions used and support for everyone.

Vicki Masters

Vicki is Director of Teaching and Learning at The Grange School, Daventry, with a wide range of responsibilities, which include curriculum responsibility for Mathematics as well as the leadership of the school’s Performance Management and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) systems. She is part of a Senior Leadership Team which is continuously involved in a rigorous system of school development at The Grange. She has taught across the entire Primary phase, in a range of different schools in Northamptonshire, leading most curriculum areas at some point in her career. Her SLE designation is in the Leadership of Continuous Professional Development, but she has supported schools in a range of different areas. Her current focus concerns the recent statutory changes to Teacher Pay and Performance Management and has supported a range of schools in establishing rigorous systems. Above all else, Vicki is passionate about teaching and learning and ensuring that schools optimise the life chances of every single pupil.

Wendy Orton

Wendy has worked at Bliss Charity School for four years and, as science coordinator, has striven to promote and support a varied, meaningful and engaging curriculum. Having been a science coordinator at two other schools throughout her career, she has demonstrated that she understands that teaching and learning is underpinned by stimulating and engaging lessons.

Science needs to be relevant and practical and Wendy has a particular interest in science outdoors, where she believes that children can make the necessary links to put their learning into context whilst enjoying a positive and motivating experience.

Wendy is passionate about science and the teaching of science and especially to the lower ability within the classroom. Science is accessible to all and Wendy is excited about the role that technology has in supporting all members of the class to achieve and excel within the science lesson.

Wendy lectures ITT students about the teaching of science and how to engage pupils in an exciting lesson where deep learning takes place within the frame of the National Curriculum.

Zoe Richards

Profile to follow.

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