Specialist Leaders of Education

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders with a particular area of expertise and the skills to develop the leadership capacity of colleagues in similar positions in other schools. Find out about becoming an SLE here  

Meet our SLEs

Find out about our current Specialist Leaders of Education below.

Tom Anns

Tom Anns

I am a SLE for both English and Mathematics. I have been a Leader of Mathematics in the past and currently lead English across the DLPT. My leadership roles have included the leading of a range of professional development courses and meetings, working alongside and mentoring both leaders and teachers, and also supporting teachers in their everyday classroom practice.  As a consultant, I have worked in a number of schools, both middle and primary phase, in an advisory capacity. I am currently based in Year 6, whilst also working as an Assistant Headteacher, although my teaching experience extends across Key Stage 2. 

Key areas of expertise: the application of SPAG in writing, SPAG in the new curriculum, reasoning in the new curriculum and improving teaching and learning in core subjects.

Gemma Bleakley

Gemma Bleakley

I am currently working as a Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 teacher in a small village school. Most of my experience has been teaching in the EYFS and KS1 in mixed age classes. As the EYFS Leader, I am responsible for leading a small team of Reception and Nursery staff, monitoring data, ensuring quality provision and leading training within school. I have also been leading professional development courses in phonics and reading as part of the DLPT. During my time teaching Reception and KS1 I have led improvements in phonics and the implementation of successful phonics teaching from Nursery through into Reception and Year 1, resulting in a 100% pass rate in the Year 1 phonics screening check for the last 3 years. In addition to my role as EYFS leader I also work as the PE subject leader and have been responsible for whole school development projects such as achieving gold in the School Games Mark. I have also been involved in mentoring our School Direct trainee teachers and offering peer-to-peer support across our DLPT schools.

Key areas of expertise: Early years and phonics

Kath Collier

Kath Collier

I am currently teaching in Year 3 but I have, over my fourteen year career, taught in both KS1 and KS2. I was the English Leader for seven years but over the last three years I have focussed predominantly on writing. I am passionate about all aspects of English and I have an extensive knowledge of texts which can be used across the primary range to engage, stimulate and enthuse children. I have a huge wealth of experience in teaching cross curricular writing. I love grammar and have delivered training to teachers and Teaching Assistants in my own school and in the cluster of schools to which we belong. I have been a local authority moderator for writing for the least three years.

Key areas of expertise: Grammar, writing and assessment of writing.

Hannah Connor-James

Hannah Connor-James

With over 14 years of experience working within the primary phase, I have successfully taught across both KS1 and KS2.

In addition to the various senior leadership roles I have held, my work as a School Improvement Teacher involves; coaching and supporting teachers in developing practice in effective teaching and learning; working with NQTs and RQTs; supporting the development of middle and senior leaders and providing training in a variety of curriculum areas.

Key areas of expertise: improving teaching and learning, NQT/RQT development, developing trainee teachers and mentors, coaching middle leaders.

Katy Duncan

Katy Duncan

I have been a qualified teacher for almost fifteen years and have taught all age groups from Reception to Year 6; but most of my experience has come from teaching mixed-age classes in KS2, most recently Y4/5/6 and Y5/6. I am an Assistant Head Teacher and, as well as leading several whole school development projects e.g the Rainbow Flag Award, I also have responsibility for English and Science. As English lead, I have been involved with the development of the curriculum within my own school, as well as working closely with literacy leaders across our trust schools to develop, for example, ways of tracking pupils’ progress and attainment. My experience in Teaching and Learning for English and my strong track record for improving Year 5/6 progress and attainment in reading and writing led me to become an SLE for English. However, I am also an SLE for Science as, prior to becoming a teacher, I was a neuroscientist and Senior Research Fellow at the universities of both Oxford and Cambridge where, in addition to my own research, I taught medical and veterinary students neuropharmacology and edited and reviewed scientific manuscripts for publication in science journals.

Key areas of expertise: teaching and learning, especially English and Science; grammar, punctuation and Spelling; curriculum development and topic planning; teaching and planning for mixed-age classes; cross curricular lessons.

Victoria Edgington

Victoria Edgington

I have been teaching for eight years within reception and nursery settings. I have successfully managed teams of teachers and teaching assistants, as well as developing my role as a subject leader, year group leader and I now lead the EYFS teams across nine schools. As the EYFS lead for the DLPT, my role involves coaching and supporting teachers in developing their practice, ensuring that provision is outstanding to support children’s independent learning and also providing training to develop a successful EYFS setting. I strive to be the very best that I can be and also support and encourage the members of my team to do the same so that we are collectively able to provide the best education possible for the children in our care.

Key areas of expertise: Early years and phonics

Bonnie Goodwin

Bonnie Goodwin

I have been a teacher for fourteen years, mainly within KS1 but have taught from Reception to Year 6 within London, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. I have successfully led and implemented change within many areas of school development including KS1, Science, Mathematics, Phonics, Design and Technology and led teams of teachers and Teaching Assistants across the schools.

I am currently KS1 team leader and lead our Intensive Curriculum Experience zones within KS1 and KS2. I have also successfully mentored and coached many trainee teachers, NQTs and experienced teachers throughout my career.

Key areas of expertise: leadership of curriculum, phonics, coaching and mentoring and NQT support.

Tanya Grisby

Tanya Grisby

My teaching career spans over twenty years, in which time I have acquired a wide range of skills working in a variety of roles. I have successfully taught in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and spent twelve years as Deputy Head in two contrasting schools. Prior to that I led and managed teams effectively in the roles of Key Stage and Phase Leader, English Subject Leader, Art Subject Leader, and Basic Skills Leader in Primary schools in both central London and Cambridgeshire. I currently lead the Diamond Teaching School Alliance, with responsibilities including organising and delivering School to School support, planning and delivering CPLD for teachers and Teaching Assistants, and overseeing Initial Teacher Training.

Key areas of expertise: English, improving teaching and learning, coaching staff at all levels of experience, ensuring continuous professional development of all staff, instituting curriculum change and strategic planning of whole school initiatives, collaborative working within a Multi Academy Trust.

Adam Gross

Adam Gross

I have been a class teacher for over five years and have in depth experience working across KS2. I am currently working in Year 6 with responsibilities as Assistant Head and Mathematics Coordinator at my school.  Within these roles, I always lead by example and am recognized as an outstanding teacher.  My knowledge across the curriculum, and understanding of the curriculum, assessment and monitoring, means I am able to support and develop the staff within our trust of schools.  I am very passionate about teaching Maths, and as a MaST qualified Maths specialist, I can help develop whole school curriculum development, assessment and monitoring tools, and resources and ideas for teaching exciting and engaging lessons.

I believe that with the right support, all children are able to make excellent progress through enquiry, questioning and working in a fun and safe learning environment.  I am committed to making a difference with every child I teach and set high expectations for all.

Key areas of expertise: Mathematics subject knowledge, reasoning and problem solving in the new curriculum.

Max Hall

Max Hall

I am currently teaching in Year 4 at Round House Primary Academy, St Neots but have taught all the year groups in KS2, including Year 6. Currently, I am Maths Lead and Phase Lead. My leadership roles have included the leading of professional development meetings, working alongside and mentoring leaders and teachers and supporting teachers in their everyday classroom practice. In the past four years, I have had the privilege of working alongside NQTs and/or PGCE students, giving me a great understanding of the current teacher training system and preparing teachers for teaching.

As well as being MaST qualified, I have recently become a Mastery Specialist, which is a unique position in the Cambridgeshire region. This entails delivering training about mastery to other Maths Leads as well as visiting schools to advise on next steps or delivering staff meetings.

Key areas of expertise: Mathematics (especially the mastery curriculum) and teacher trainee mentoring.

Nicola Jones

Nicola Jones

With over twenty years’ experience in Primary Schools I embrace the opportunity to work alongside colleagues in developing practice that will benefit the children, staff and school as a whole.

I have been a SENDCO in three different schools and have my SENCO as Leaders qualification. I have also worked as a Deputy Head teacher in a large school as well as a Headteacher of a small school. I have coached several members of staff within my areas of expertise; SEND, Behaviour and staff CPD. I have managed organisational change within several schools and have been complimented upon the positive impact that I can have within an organisation

Key areas of expertise: SEND, Leadership of CPD, Behaviour & discipline, closing the gap, coaching.

Duncan Nelson

Duncan Nelson

I am currently in my 14th year of teaching, mainly in LKS2.  I also have some experience within KS1 and am currently teaching a Year 4, 5, 6 class (in a small school).  The challenge of teaching across multiple year groups has enabled me to implement a variety of teaching styles that are matched to children’s abilities; focusing on a growth mindset and progressing learning.  I am currently an Assistant Head, having previously been Phase Lead.  As a member of the SLT I have worked alongside our Head of School to write our School Development Plan and am a driving force to ensure that our vision is applied throughout the whole school.  I often lead whole-school projects.  I have led a team of staff since joining the Diamond Learning Partnership Trust in 2012.  My current curriculum responsibilities are maths lead across two schools, and joint lead in science.  I am also responsible for line managing and training our Teaching Assistants, working closely with our outdoor learning TA and mentoring a Newly Qualified Teacher.

Key area of expertise: Mathematics

Stacey Roberts

Stacey Roberts

I have been a working in Pre-Schools, Nursery/Early Years settings and Primary Education for over 25 years. I became an Inclusion Manager at The Round House Primary Academy in 2009 and over the past 5 years my job has developed into a Trust wide role, supporting other schools within The Diamond Learning Partnership. This involves supporting Behaviour Management (including children with SEND), Safeguarding and Child Protection, training and management of support staff, Parent guidance and support, working with the Locality Team and a range of outside agencies and professionals, Mentoring, Bereavement Counselling, working with Looked After Children and disadvantaged families and I have a vast range of knowledge in Pastoral Care.

I am currently part of the Senior Leadership Team within my school and I work closely with all staff from the Chief Executive Officer and Headteachers to Class teachers and Teaching Assistants to implement and embed policies, protocols and procedures across the schools within our Trust.

My work is underpinned by my passion to inspire and raise aspiration in all children to make sure that they reach their potential and prepare them for the next stage of their learning journey.

Key areas of expertise: Behaviour Management, Staff Mentoring, Safeguarding and Child Protection, Pupil Premium and Disadvantaged family network support.

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith

I have been teaching for over thirty years and, in that time, have developed a reputation as a strong and passionate classroom practitioner. I have extensive experience right across the Primary age range from Reception to Year 6 but most recently have spent five years teaching in Upper KS2, supporting children towards high attainment and progress.

I have successfully managed teams of teachers and TAs as well as driving improvement in a range of leadership roles including: Subject Lead; KS and Phase Lead; and Assistant Head. I am currently an SLE (Specialist Leader of Education) and lead English in my school.

Key areas of expertise: Teaching and learning, English (especially writing), KS2 assessment.