Who's Who? - The teaching school council membership


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!


Vice Chair

Vice Chair
Carolyn Robson, CBE

I am a Vice Chair of the Teaching School Council and am the Executive headteacher of Rushey Mead School in Leicester and Chief Executive Officer of the Rushey Mead Educational Trust. I sit on a range of national policy groups including two national and regional curriculum expert groups, chairing the design and technology group, the British Council Educational Advisory Group, the National Stem Centre Advisory Group, the Nottingham City Educational Improvement Board and chairs the design and technology group.

I am a founder member and senior partner of Challenge Partners and am also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a National Leader of Education. I was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours January 2013.

You can contact me here: carolyn.robson@tscouncil.org.uk


Dr. Lesley Curtis, OBE
National Member

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 Munday, CBE
National Member

I am the Executive Principal of Comberton Village College in Cambridgeshire and the Chief Executive of the Comberton Academy Trust.  My school is a designated Teaching School.

Since 2011, I have helped to transform the mixed school which includes Comberton Sixth Form into one of the most successful schools of its type in the East of England. The school has won accolades for languages, sport and the arts. The team at Comberton achieve the highest possible standards to help develop the positive potential of every pupil, regardless of ability and background.

I work in several advisory capacities for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), including the Head teachers’ Reference Group and the National Council for Educational Excellence, and am a National Leader in Education with the National College for School Leadership (NCSL), and an Associate Head with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT). I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Anglia Ruskin University for my services to education and the community. I joined Ofsted as an inspector in January 2013 at which time I was also awarded a CBE in recognition of my services to Education.

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



Dr. Jenny Blunden
National Member

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


Sir Andrew Carter, OBE
Peer Member

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

Regional Representatives

The vision of the Council is to support a truly inclusive school-led system that is driven by local approaches that work for local schools. As part of this, the TSC, through  the work of the Regional Representatives, and their networks, is building support for local partnerships of schools to work together. This will enable government to have the confidence that groups of schools can lead the way and make systematic and sustainable improvements in outcomes for children. This cannot rely just on teaching schools to achieve this.

David Watson

Region: North West

David Watson
I am the Executive Head Teacher of Chorlton Park School in Manchester. We were judged outstanding by Ofsted in 2009 and again in 2013. Chorlton Park achieved teaching school status in 2013. I am an Additional Ofsted inspector and a National Leader of Education. Chorlton Park is a National Support School, currently supporting two Manchester schools with a current pupil population of over 1500. I took part in the National College fellowship programme in 2011, which reported on the development of governance.

You can contact me here: david.watson@tscouncil.org.uk

John Hardy

Region: North East

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

Richard Gill

Region: West Midlands

Richard Gill
I am Headteacher at The Arthur Terry School in Sutton Coldfield and am also a National Leader of Education, an Associate for Entrust and presently sit on the Board for Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP). As a Cohort One Teaching School, I have been closely involved in the work of Teaching Schools since they were announced in 2000 and believe that they are one of the most exciting initiatives to come out of education in recent years. I am very excited and proud to represent the West Midlands.

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

Christopher Wheatley

Region: East Midlands

Christopher 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.

Lesley Birch

Region: East of England

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


Region: London

Teresa Tunnadine, CBE
I have been a National Leader of Education since 2006 and currently in my 17th year of headship at The Compton School, an outstanding mixed secondary academy in Barnet, North London. In 2012 The Compton was designated as one of the first 100 National Teaching Schools and leads an alliance of 23 schools and HEIs. I am now a Senior Partner for Challenge Partners, a national network of schools providing challenge and support for each other.  I have been an OFSTED inspector since 2012.

I am currently Vice Chair of the DFE Secondary Headteachers’ Reference Group, advising on a wide range of policies. In 2013, I received an honorary doctorate from Middlesex University for my contribution to the education system nationally and received a CBE for services to education in the Queen’s birthday honours. In 2014 I was elected to one of the eight Regional Commissioner’s Headteacher Boards advising on academies and Free Schools.

You can contact me here: teresa.tunnadine@tscouncil.org.uk



Region: London

Martin Lavelle
I am in my seventh year as a Headteacher and am in my second headship. In this time I have led two very contrasting schools, one of which was, initially, a national challenge school serving an area of high deprivation. My current school, Southgate School in Enfield, is an outstanding mixed secondary currently in the process of converting to academy status.

Southgate School is a Teaching School and a lead school along with Bowes Primary School, of the Enfield Teaching School Alliance.

I am an NLE and have worked as a consultant Headteacher for the London Leadership Securing Good programme for several years.

You can contact me here: martin.lavelle@tscouncil.org.uk

Julie Knock-Bravery

Region: South East

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

Please see my latest message here: https://www.tscouncil.org.uk/tsc-priorities-for-the-south-east-region/

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 am also the Director of the Swindon Teaching School which is a cohort one teaching school.

I have had the opportunity to teach and lead schools internationally as well as in England. I am Executive Principal of Haydon Wick Primary School, Swindon and Zouch Academy, Tidworth. In 2013.  I am also a registered Ofsted inspector and a National Leader of Education.

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

Gill Robinson OBE

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber

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