Who We Are - The Teaching School Council Membership

Andrew Warren

Andrew Warren

Andrew is the Executive Director of the Manor Teaching School Alliance, based at Manor Primary School in Wolverhampton, consistently one of the best performing primary schools in the country.  The teaching school’s brief is to support schools and find the next generation of outstanding teachers and leaders.  He is also a qualified coach and professional mentor and works closely in this capacity with many headteachers and senior leaders.

At a national level, Andrew is the Chair of the Teaching Schools Council, an organisation which plays a key role in helping to shape national policy, working with senior civil servants and teaching schools across the country to ensure every child, in every part of the country, has access to a great school.

Previously, he set up and was the Director of Britannia Teaching School Alliance (BTSA) in Stoke-on-Trent, an alliance which worked with over 100 schools.  He was a primary headteacher for seventeen years in three very different schools, which included two secondments to schools in trouble.  Andrew was also seconded for a year to work for Stoke-On-Trent City Council as an Assistant Director in the Children and Young People’s Directorate, leading a team of over 450 staff.

In his spare time, Andrew loves to climb mountains (he has been to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro), plays the piano in a music band he leads and is a preacher at his local church.  He is a qualified ski instructor and can’t remember the last time he was bored!

You can contact me here: andrew.warren@tscouncil.org.uk

Gill Robinson, OBE

Vice Chair
Gill Robinson, OBE

I have been a headteacher for 21 years and I became an NLE and a Teaching School Head in Cohort 3. As a headteacher, I have had four consecutive outstanding Ofsted judgements. I am currently a tutor working with Emerging Leaders in Special Schools and PRUs. This is my seventh year of being involved in this successful course. I am also a member of the Special School Headteacher Steering Group for the SSAT and I am a member of the Steering Group for the Yorkshire and Humber Special School Leaders. I am a School Improvement Partner for 9 schools and a Pupil Premium Reviewer. I am CEO of the Interaction and Communication Academy Trust.

I was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year 's Honours in January 2016.

You can contact me here: gill.robinson@tscouncil.org.uk

Lancashire & West Yorkshire

National Member and Lancashire & West Yorkshire
Dr. Lesley Curtis, OBE

I am the headteacher of Everton Nursery School and Family Centre in Liverpool, which has achieved an Outstanding judgement by Ofsted consecutively since 2004. During this time, I have had the opportunity to understand, support and respond to national early years' policy and initiatives such as Sure Start, Early Excellence Centres, Children’s Centres, and now as a Teaching School.

The Nursery School is the lead school within the North Liverpool Teaching School Partnership, working closely with Primary Schools, the Local Authority and HEIs both locally and nationally. I am currently a National Leader of Education and am also training with HMI to be an Inspector.

I was awarded the OBE, for services to education, in the 2014 New Year's Honours.

You can contact me here: lesley.curtis@tscouncil.org.uk


Stephen Munda, CBE

National Member
Stephen Munday, CBE

I am Chief Executive of The Cam Academy Trust and the Executive Principal of Comberton Village College.

In 2011, the Comberton Academy Trust was formed. This oversaw Comberton Village College becoming an Academy. Now called The Cam Academy Trust, it currently oversees 7 schools, (primary, Secondary and Sixth Forms) including a Free School in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire that was judged outstanding at its first inspection and has been designated as a Teaching School.
Educated in Canterbury, I studied Economics at the University of Cambridge. I went on to qualify as a teacher attending the Institute of Education London, where he also gained an MA in Economics Education.
In 2009 I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Anglia Ruskin University for services to education and the community and in 2013 was awarded a CBE in recognition of his services to education.
I work in several advisory capacities with the Department for Education, including the Teaching Schools’ Council and the Eastern Region Headteachers’ Board and is a National Leader of
Education with the National College for Teaching and Learning, and an Associate Head with the SSAT. In 2015, I was asked to chair the expert group that was tasked to produce a Framework of Core Content for ITT courses in England. This was published, together with the accompanying report, in July 2016. I am now working with groups to take this work forward.

You can contact me here: stephen.munday@tscouncil.org.uk

Sir Andrew Carter, OBE

Peer Member
Sir Andrew Carter, OBE

I was the Vice Chair of the Teaching Schools Council from 2011 – 2015 and I am now Peer Member, supporting the Council.

I am 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 I am a National Leader of Education.

I have contributed articles and features in educational journals, and my publication ‘Financial Management in Schools’ has been widely used by Headteachers and Governors to support them in school improvement. I sit 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 I received the O.B.E., for services to education.

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

Amanda Bennett

Region: Lancashire & West Yorkshire
Amanda Bennett

Having previously been Headteacher and senior leader at The Greetland Academy for over 20 years I am currently Executive Principal and CEO of our MAT. We are an outstanding school and consistently recognised as a top performing academy. I became an NLE in 2013 and am a Pupil Premium Reviewer. We became a Teaching School (Teamworks TSA) cohort 4, in 2014 and are also a National Support School, a SCITT and a MAT. We have 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.

I have been part of cross-region school support (NLE & NSS) including in ‘cold spot’ areas and areas of high deprivation e.g. Bradford and East Riding, working on joint Teaching School projects and providing additional capacity and due diligence work to other MATs. I have previously supported Gill Robinson in a team of NLE’s in her work as regional TSC representative supporting network meetings, conferences and induction events. As a member of the EFA Financial Steering Group I provide system leadership input to this national strategy group.

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

John Hardy

Region: North
John Hardy

I became the headteacher of St. John Vianney Primary School in Hartlepool in January 2004. The school welcomes learners from naught 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 me here: john.hardy@tscouncil.org.uk

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Region: North (Cumbria)
Jonathan Johnson

I became part of the team at West Lakes Academy in January 2016. Sponsored by The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Sellafield Ltd. and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).  We are based in West Cumbria and welcome children from 11 to 18 years old from the town of Egremont and the surrounding area.  Our staff work tirelessly to give young people a whole new horizon from experiences that, in each of those special moments, allow them the opportunity to completely redefine who they think they can be and I am honoured to be leading that team.

All of us have the power to nurture wonderful people, changing their lives through learning. In this academy, we cherish that moral purpose; making it brick, and flesh and striving to teach and educate like we invented it!

Phil Bennington

Region: North (North Yorkshire)
Phil Bennington

I am currently Strategy Director for the Swaledale Alliance - 56 primary schools and 1 special school - spread across a wide area of North Yorkshire and into Darlington. Brompton-on Swale CE primary, near Richmond, is the Alliance's teaching school and was designated in 2013. Our Alliance works closely with other North Yorkshire teaching schools through the North Yorkshire Primary Schools’ Teaching Alliance (NYPSTA) which is developing a coordinated CPD offer across all of the TSAs. We were successful with a Round 1 SSIF bid to support the development of metacognition in schools serving forces communities both within and beyond the Alliance.
I have over 20 years’ experience as a teacher, senior leader and headteacher in secondary schools followed by 10 years as Principal Adviser with North Yorkshire LA working across both primary and secondary phases.


Region: West Midlands
Richard Gill

I have spent more than 20 years as a Teacher, Headteacher, Senior Leader and have sat on numerous Dfe advisory working parties and committees.  I have successfully led a number of high profile initiatives, including the creation of one of the country’s first 100 teaching schools.

A National Leader of Education, Vice Chair of Birmingham Education Partnership and Ofsted inspector, I am currently Chief Executive of a respected multi-academy trust, the Arthur Terry
Learning Partnership. The ATLP runs seven primary and secondary schools, one teaching school and five children’s centres, serving more than 5,000 students and 1,000 staff and governors.

The ATLP has successfully provided school-to- school support since 2008 and, in addition to our existing family of schools, we have been appointed as school improvement partners to two neighbouring schools. Prior to my current position, I was the joint Headteacher of the outstanding Arthur Terry School, which is consistently ranks highly in local and national league tables. During that time, I led on the application to become one of the first 100 teaching schools in the country and only two providers of Initial Teacher Training at that time – an area now recognised as a centre of excellence.

Today, my focus is to oversee the next stage of the Partnership’s development to ensure it continues to deliver quality education to all its academies across Coleshill, Erdington and Sutton Coldfield,
while growing to support new schools in Staffordshire and Birmingham.

I am proud to be the elected Teaching Schools Council Member for the West Midlands. Much has been achieved across our sub-regions and our Teaching School community continues to grow and
develop. I am fortunate to work alongside some excellent Headteachers and Directors of Teaching Schools who, like me, are committed to true collaboration in a school led system. We enjoy an
excellent close working relationship with our strategic partners at Ofsted and within the RSC team: all committed to ensuring that all pupils can attend a great school. I continue to serve on a range of
committees and working groups at the DfE.

My ambition is to improve education for all. I've dedicated my career to working with young people in Staffordshire, and now Birmingham and North Warwickshire. My TSC role allows me to work across all of the West Midlands region and I am very much looking forward to welcoming our Cheshire colleagues during 2017/18.

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

Chris Wheatley

Region: East Midlands & The Humber
Chris Wheatley

I am Executive Headteacher of Cotgrave Candleby Lane School, and Chief Executive of the Flying High Trust (a trust currently consisting of four schools). I am a National Leader of Education and a Pupil Premium Reviewer.

I have sat on many steering groups (DFE Primary Steering Group and the National College Primary Reference Group to name two) and I hold national responsibility for the support of inclusive leadership for the NCTL programme: Achievement for All. And in 2008 I was awarded the title of  'East Midlands and East Headteacher of the Year'.

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

East Midlands Teaching Schools Alliance - The designated teaching schools in the East Midlands are working together to build a network of alliances (clusters) of schools and academies across all phases and specialisms to help to deliver the vision of the self improving school system.

Visit the website to contact them and find out about their work.

Chris Abbott

Region: East Midlands & The Humber
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 me here: chris.abbott@tscouncil.org.uk

Lesley Birch

Region: East of England & North East London
Lesley Birch

I became a National Leader of Education in 2009, and subsequently my school was designated as a National Support School. I am currently the Executive Principal of the Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET) comprising Histon and Impington Junior School, Histon and Impington Infant School and Hatton Park Primary School.

I am hoping 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, to raise attainment across the area for our children. Linking schools is crucial so that all schools feel part of the network.

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

Jane pic 480x640

Region: East of England & North East London
Jane Robinson

I became a Teaching School Director in 2013, and have lead Teaching School Alliances in North East London & South Essex. I am currently the Director of Wickford TSA & the Local Lead for North East London East Region.

I am excited by the opportunity to work across the whole of the East of England & North East London Region as the Teaching Schools Council Representative. This is a role which will support collaborative working across our network of schools.

Teresa Tunnadine, CBE

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

From September 2017 I have become the CEO of a new multi academy trust, Middlesex Learning Trust, in North London. Previously I 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. I have been involved in system leadership extensively since 2003 when I was part of a team of consultant heads supporting failing schools in London as part of the London Challenge and I became an NLE in 2006.
More recently I have been an OFSTED inspector, Director for the London Leadership Strategy and senior partner for Challenge Partners, a national network of schools supporting each other. I am the current Chair of the DFE Secondary Heads’ Reference Group, who meet regularly at the DFE to advise on education policy. I was elected to the Head Teacher Board for North West London and South Central England (NWLSC) in 2014. I was elected to the first Teaching School Council in 2011 and served for two years and was then
re-elected in 2014. I was the Lead TSC representative for London from 2014-2017 and I am currently the lead for the new region of NWLSC which came into being in September 2017. I 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 me here: teresa.tunnadine@tscouncil.org.uk

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Region: North West London & South Central England
Sarah Bennett

In July 2016, I 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.

I have 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.  I am 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. I have successfully raised standards for 3 schools in challenging circumstances in Executive Headteacher roles.

I am a National Leader of Education and have reviewed the under-performance of vulnerable groups in a number of schools nationally and train colleagues nationally with respect to pupil premium reviews.  In October 2017  I was elected to the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Headteachers Board for NWLSC.

I am passionate about ensuring every child, no matter their background, has the same opportunities and rights to success. I know that this comes from creating happy, healthy, committed communities with the well-being of all those involved is fundamental to world-class achievement.  I am 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 me here on: sbennett.nwlsc@tscouncil.org.uk

Simon Cowley

Region: South West
Simon Cowley

I am Primary Director of The White Horse Federation, Multi-Academy Trust. My key areas of responsibility within the Trust include school improvement, leadership development and challenge to senior leaders in the MAT as well as providing curriculum and assessment support. I work with the Swindon Teaching School which is a cohort one teaching school. The teaching school provides effective CPD and school to school support, as well as successful initial teacher training programmes through the SCITT.

I have had the opportunity to teach and lead schools internationally as well as in England. I am a National Leader of Education and within this role I have successfully supported schools and MATs in the region

You can contact me here: simon.cowley@tscouncil.org.uk

Dr Jenny Blunden

Region: South West
Dr. Jenny Blunden

I am Chief Executive of Truro and Penwith Academy Trust, a cross-phase academy trust working with sponsored and converter academies in Cornwall. My professional background is in Post-16 quality improvement, initial teacher training and higher education with a particular interest in developing teacher research activities.
I am currently vice-chair of governors for a small, rural primary school.

You can contact me here: jenny.blunden@tscouncil.org.uk

Julie Knock-Bravery

Region: South East & South London
Julie Knock-Bravery

For the past 12 years I have been a headteacher of infant, junior and primary schools and have been Principal of Pound Hill Infant Academy for the last 7 years, which was judged outstanding for the second time in July 2014.  Since 2012 I have been an active National Leader of Education and set up and have strategically led the SCLP Teaching School Alliance since 2013.  I have been fortunate in representing National Teaching Schools and NLE’s at both national and regional level, most recently working on the NLE Fellowship Commission 2015 (focus: the school led system), the South East Regional Coastal Challenge Hub initiative, a Local Authority Improvement Board and the West Sussex Teaching School Network.

You can contact me here: julie.knock-bravery@tscouncil.org.uk

Paul Foster

Region: South East & South London
Paul Foster

I have been Senior Vice Principal at Hayes School since 2016 and Deputy Headteacher there since 2009.  Since becoming a Teaching School in 2013 and establishing the Impact Teaching School Alliance I have also been the Director of Teaching School.  Last year I worked as Sub Regional lead for South East London prior to the new regional structure and established and sustained a network with a shared common purpose alongside encouraging a collaborative approach to maximise our impact upon schools, teachers and student outcomes.  I have worked as an SLE since 2011, have been heavily involved in leading S2S Support work in London, Kent and East Sussex and have developed and shared innovative S2S support models. I am a committed systems leader passionate about the schools’ led system and making the TSC vision a reality.

You can contact me here: paul.foster@tscouncil.org.uk