Who We Are

Chair , Richard Gill

Richard Gill Richard has spent more than 20 years as a Teacher, Headteacher, Senior Leader and now MAT leader and has sat on numerous DfE advisory working parties and committees. He has successfully led a number of high profile initiatives, including the creation of one of the country’s first 100 teaching schools.

Richard is a National Leader of Education, Lead Ofsted inspector and Chair of the Teaching Schools Council. He is a former Vice Chair of the Birmingham Education Partnership working alongside Estelle Morris and Steve Munby and currently is the proud Chief Executive of a respected multi-academy trust, the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership. The ATLP runs a learning family of eight primary schools, five secondary schools, a SCITT and one teaching school serving more than 8,000 students and 1,000 staff and governors.

The ATLP is currently celebrating ‘a decade of difference’ having successfully provided school-to-school support since 2008. Prior to his current position, Richard was the joint Headteacher of the outstanding Arthur Terry School, which is consistently ranked highly in local and national league tables.

You can contact Richard here: richard.gill@tscouncil.org.uk


I have been studying and working in the field of Early Years for 29 years and have worked in a variety of different roles, including as a practitioner, Ofsted inspector/team manager and lecturer. Currently I am the Deputy Head of Pen Green Centre for Children and their Families and the operational lead for the Research, Training and Development Base and Teaching School. In 2008 I established an undergraduate degree programme to complement our well established postgraduate degree programme. We are now in our 13th year. The ‘Pen Green Degree’ has been written by a small team of researchers, including myself, and provides opportunities for early years educators to consider; their own values and beliefs, the ways they facilitate and support children’s learning, reflect and deepen their understanding of children’s learning and development, consider how they currently engage with parents and how the engagement can become more equal and active as well as reflecting on their own leadership and their leadership of others. These skills, competencies and opportunities to reflect, bring about shifts and have a direct impact upon practice, improving pedagogy and bringing about positive outcomes for children and their families. We support approximately 3 50 degree students in Nationally and Internationally. For the last five years I have led our Teaching School and have built a successful relationship with a network of schools and developed a successful ITT programme. I have two Masters from two different disciplines, both of which have enabled me to deepen the theoretical underpinning to support my understanding of working and leading within Early Years. My first MA is in Integrated Practice from Leicester University and my second in Psychoanalytical Observational Studies from the Tavistock and Portman Centre. Recently my PhD proposal has been accepted and I am excited to embark on this journey.

Peer Member Sir Andrew Carter, OBE

Sir Andrew Carter, OBE Andrew was the Vice Chair of the Teaching Schools Council from 2011 till 2015 and now serves as Peer Member, supporting the Council

Andrew is the Headteacher of South Farnham School. The school has achieved many awards and accolades and has been named as Sunday Times Primary School of the Year twice. It has achieved success in both the National Training and National Business Awards. South Farnham features in the DfE publication ‘Making Great Progress’ as one of the 20 highest achieving schools nationally. South Farnham was selected as one of the first Teaching Schools; it is also a National Support School, and Andrew is now a National Leader of Education.

Andrew has contributed articles and features in educational journals, and his publication ‘Financial Management in Schools’ has been widely used by Headteachers and Governors to support them in school improvement. He sits on a range of national strategic policy groups including the Teaching Agency’s for ITT, NCETM for Mathematics and the Academies Group with the National College.

In 2003 Andrew received the O.B.E., for services to education.

You can contact Andrew here: andrew.carter@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: Lancashire & West Yorkshire, Amanda Bennett

Sir Andrew Carter, OBE Having previously been Headteacher and senior leader at The Greetland Academy for over 20 years Amanda is currently Executive Principal and CEO of her MAT. Greetland is an outstanding school and has been consistently recognised as a top performing academy. Amanda became an NLE in 2013 and is a Pupil Premium Reviewer. The Academy became a Teaching School (Teamworks TSA) cohort 4, in 2014 and also acts as a National Support School, a SCITT and a MAT. The academy has supported many regional and national initiatives, most recently including ‘Effective use of Teaching Assistants’ EEF project, RQT targeted support, EYFS projects and the National Teaching Service.

You can contact Amanda here: amanda.bennett@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: Lancashire & West Yorkshire, Angela Holdsworth

Angela Holdsworth Angela is the Executive Principal at Tor View School – a Specialist Learning Community and Teaching School and CEO of The View Trust. Tor View is currently the only specialist Teaching School in the Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire (BBL) sub region of Lancashire and West Yorkshire (LWY). Additionally, Angela is the Regional SEND Leader for LWY working with nasen and Whole School SEND.

Angela has worked at Tor View for over 20 years, in a variety of leadership roles including Headteacher, Deputy Head, Head of English and Head of Secondary Department. Prior to moving into the special sector Angela worked as a SENCo in mainstream primary schools. Angela is a Strategic Partner with the Pennine Lancashire SCITT leading the primary and specialist ITT programmes. She is qualified to Masters level in SEND and holds both qualified teacher and lecturer status.

Angela has undertaken many School Improvement commissions across BBL and the North. As a member of the NW&WY Partnership Board she is a passionate advocate for the self-improving school-led system, inclusion and cross-phase collaboration and has been working with NW partners to build the system since 2013. Angela is currently working collaboratively with the local authority and the primary teaching school network to drive up standards in the Secondary sector through strengthening transition. She is highly committed to developing future leaders and supporting the ‘Women in Leadership’ agenda.

You can contact Angela here: angela.holdsworth@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: North (North East), John Hardy

John Hardy John became the headteacher of St. John Vianney Primary School in Hartlepool in January 2004. The school welcomes learners from nought to ninety and beyond through early education, nursery, school, family learning and adult education. It offers opportunities for learning out of school hours and beyond the school day. It cares for children from birth to 11+ from 7.30 a.m. until 6.00 p.m. for 50 weeks of the year. St. John Vianney School was designated as a teaching school in the first cohort.

You can contact John here: john.hardy@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: North (Cumbria), Jonathan Johnson

Jonathan Johnson I became part of the team at West Lakes Academy in January 2016. Now a Multi-Academy Trust we are sponsored by The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Sellafield Ltd. and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Based in West Cumbria the trust welcomes children of all ages up and down the west coast.

West Lakes has always existed to change lives through learning; delivering unrivalled educational career development; reaching every child through adults obsessed with excellence in teaching, learning and leadership practice. We established our Teaching School with the same principle and it’s an honour to serve Northern Teaching Schools on the council.

You can contact Jonathan here: jonathan.johnson@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: East Midlands & The Humber, Chris Wheatley

Chris Wheatley Chris is the Chief Executive Office of Flying High Partnership formed in 2012. This partnership consists of a high performing Multi Academy Trust of 25 schools in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Nottingham City. The trust’s ‘relentless pursuit of excellence’ has led to transformational change in schools across the partnership, with all school making improvement in Ofsted judgements since joining the trust. The partnership includes two Teaching School Alliances; Flying High Teaching and 4 Derbyshire, with a reach across 70 schools. Finally we have recently been designated as an English Hub, with a focus to support the development of synthetic phonics across our region.

In 2013 Chris formed Inspiring Leaders, a partnership led by Flying High, encompassing Trusts and Teaching Schools from across our region. Inspiring Leaders is a licensed provider of NPQs and have successfully delivered across the region for the last six years. This NPQ provision has now reached in excess of 2500 school leaders. Finally Inspiring Leaders also includes a SCITT, recognised as outstanding in November 2017 and successfully trains over 70 teachers each academic year.

Alongside this role, Chris is a long standing NLE, Pupil Premium Reviewer and Ofsted inspector.

Chris has sat on many steering groups (DFE Primary Steering Group and the National College Primary Reference Group to name two) and holds national responsibility for the support of inclusive leadership for the NCTL programme: Achievement for All. In 2008 Chris was awarded the title of ‘East Midlands and East Headteacher of the Year’.

You can contact Chris here: christopher.wheatley@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: East Midlands & The Humber, Chris Abbott

Chris Abbott CEO of The Education Alliance, The Wolds Teaching School Alliance and Yorkshire Wolds Teacher Training (SCITT). A Headteacher/CEO for over 20 years, Chris is an NLE, leading South Hunsley School and Sixth Form College, an outstanding academy and National Support School, before becoming CEO of The Education Alliance.

Over the last decade, Chris has been Executive Lead in a number of “Special Measures” schools and schools in crisis, whilst leading South Hunsley School. In all cases, the schools have come out of category under Chris’ stewardship. Chris was trained by HMI as an Associate Ofsted Inspector and was an accredited School Improvement Partner. Chris is currently on the Headteacher Board for the East Midlands and Humber region.

You can contact Chris here: chris.abbott@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: East of England & North East London, Lesley Birch

Lesley Birch Lesley became a National Leader of Education in 2009, and subsequently, her school was designated as a National Support School. She is currently the Executive Principal of the Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET) comprising Histon and Impington Junior School, Histon and Impington Infant School, Hatton Park Primary School, and Trumpington Park Primary School.

Lesley hopes to develop the Regional Representative role to support Teaching Schools in the East to collaborate to provide professional development, ITT and School to School Support, and to raise attainment across the area for our children. Lesley feels strongly that linking schools is crucial so that all schools feel part of the network.

You can contact Lesley here: lesley.birch@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: East of England & North East London, Jane Robinson

Jane Robinson Jane became a Teaching School Director in 2013 and has lead Teaching School Alliances in North East London & South Essex. She is currently the Director of Wickford TSA & the Local Lead for North East London East Region.

Jane is excited by the opportunity to work across the whole of the East of England & North East London Region as the Teaching Schools Council Representative, feeling it is a role which will support collaborative working across the region’s network of schools.

You can contact Jane here: jane.robinson@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: North West London & South Central England -Teresa Tunnadine, CBE

Teresa Tunnadine From September 2017 Teresa became the CEO of a new multi academy trust, Middlesex Learning Trust, in North London. Previously she was head at The Compton School in Barnet, a successful mixed multi-ethnic comprehensive secondary school for 17 years.

The Compton was an early academy converter and became one of the first 100 National Teaching Schools in 2011 and now leads a cross phase alliance of 25 schools. Teresa has been involved in system leadership extensively since 2003 when she was part of a team of consultant heads supporting failing schools in London as part of the London Challenge. She became an NLE in 2006.

More recently Teresa has worked as an OFSTED inspector, Director for the London Leadership Strategy and senior partner for Challenge Partners, a national network of schools supporting each other. She is the current Chair of the DFE Secondary Heads’ Reference Group, who meet regularly at the DFE to advise on education policy. She was elected to the Head Teacher Board for North West London and South Central England (NWLSC) in 2014.

Teresa was elected to the first Teaching Schools Council in 2011 and served for two years before being re-elected in 2014. She also acted as the lead TSC representative for London from 2014-2017 and is currently the lead for the new region of NWLSC which came into being in September 2017. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by Middlesex University in 2013 and a CBE in the Birthday Honours in 2013 both for services to education nationally.

You can contact Teresa here:ttunnadine.nwlsc@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: North West London & South Central England, Sarah Bennett

Sarah Bennett In July 2016, Sarah became CEO of the newly-formed Inspiring Futures through Learning (IFtL), an ambitious and growing Multi-Academy Trust of primary-aged schools in and close to Milton Keynes.

Sarah has over twelve years’ experience of headship leading a very large outstanding school, providing strong primary ITT programmes throughout this time and our Teaching School was designated in cohort 2. She is passionate about system leadership and understand the importance of using on the ground expertise to support the performance of leaders and teachers in both high performing, brand new and schools in difficulty. Sarah has successfully raised standards for 3 schools in challenging circumstances in Executive Headteacher roles.

Sarah is a National Leader of Education and has reviewed the underperformance of vulnerable groups in a number of schools nationally and trained colleagues nationally with respect to pupil premium reviews. In October 2017 she was elected to the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Headteachers Board for NWLSC.

Sarah is passionate about ensuring every child, no matter their background, has the same opportunities and rights to success. She believes that this comes from creating happy, healthy, committed communities and that the well-being of all those involved is fundamental to world-class achievement. She feels privileged to be part of school improvement across the region and to work with Teaching Schools in my capacity as TSC rep for NWLSC.

You can contact Sarah here: sbennett.nwlsc@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: South East & South London, Amanda Parry

Amanda Parry

Amanda has been a senior leader for the past 14 years over a wide range of schools both in Australia and the UK. For the past 11 years she has been the Deputy Headteacher at Thornden School.

Since 2012, Amanda has led the LEARN Teaching School Alliance and then in 2015 the Hampshire LEARN SCITT Partnership. In 2017/18 she worked as Sub Regional lead for Hampshire, Solent and IoW establishing a collaborative partnership that successfully bid for 5 Strategic School Improvement grants to improve underperformance across the sub-region.

Previously, Amanda has developed a leadership hub for the SSAT, been part of the Sub-Regional Improvement Board and led over 30 school to school support projects across the south east. She is committed to the school led system and has witnessed its positive, and sustained, impact on schools, leaders, teachers and most importantly students.

You can contact Amanda here: amanda.parry@tscouncil.org.uk

Region: West Midlands, Mike Donoghue

Julie Knock-Bravery Outside of his role on the council, Mike currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust, the Accounting Officer for the National Forest Teaching School and the John Taylor SCITT. Mike is also an elected member of the Regional School Commissioner’s Headteacher Board (West Midlands), and a representative on the Department for Education’s Secondary Headteacher Reference Group.

Prior to assuming his current role, Mike was the Headteacher of John Taylor High School from 2010, overseeing their academy conversion in 2010, teaching school designation in 2013, an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating in 2014, and the creation and growth of their Multi-Academy Trust. Before becoming a Headteacher, Mike served five years as a Deputy Head in a Staffordshire secondary school, and four years as an Assistant Headteacher in a Walsall secondary. Mike has also undertaken work for the then Specialist Schools and Academies Trust across the West Midlands. In his professional career, Mike is particularly passionate about leadership development, effective governance and system design.’

You can contact me here: mike.donoghue@tscouncil.org.uk


I have been a teacher and leader in Primary education for 30 years, in both London and Cornwall. I have been a Head teacher, Executive Head teacher and am currently working as a Director for Leadership in the Aspire Academy Trust, which has 28 schools across Cornwall. I also lead a teaching school, work as a DfE External Expert and have worked for many years as an NLE in the SW region.

I am committed to supporting and developing a practitioner led system and believe wholeheartedly in the power of collaboration, system leadership and working for excellent outcomes for all our students.


Alison Fletcher is Director of the CLF Institute and Cabot Learning Federation Teaching School Alliance and a member of the Executive leadership team of the trust. The CLF Institute provides a wide range of teacher training and leadership development, school improvement through school to school support and designated Specialist Leaders in Education, and is home to the Boolean Maths Hub and the CLF SCITT. Alison joined the Cabot Learning Federation as Head of Research and Development in April 2015. Alison’s previous role was Head of the Education Department at the University of the West of England, UWE Bristol, where she was responsible for 1200 Undergraduate and Postgraduate students and 90 staff. Alison’s teaching background was in Secondary mathematics, before joining UWE as a Senior Lecturer in Secondary mathematics education and PGCE Mathematics Group Tutor. She subsequently led Initial Teacher Education and Education Masters’ programmes and held various External Examiner posts.

In the SW TSC representative role, Alison has worked with RDD and system-leader colleagues across the South West region, recently chairing a SW Covid-19 Education Task Group with RDD, TSC, LA, Diocese, MAT CEO reps, SEND and specialist hub leads, to inform and support the system during this period. Alison was previously involved in leading large scale SSIF projects in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. She leads the SW SD/ITT network.