Children working

Wickford Teaching School Alliance is dedicated to improving standards through school-to-school partnership working and support, with the aim of improving opportunities for all children and young people; raising their achievement and aspirations by being able to access outstanding education.

The purpose of the support is to narrow the gaps between schools in our area; developing partnership working with and between schools to raise aspiration, ambition, expectation and standards in all schools. The Alliance will broker and oversee the deployment of National Leaders of Education (NLEs), Local Leaders of Education (LLEs) and Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) in order to support all schools on their journey of improvement.

School to School support – East Harling Primary school

Danny Wagstaff has been participating in a project in Norfolk that involves improving the KS2 maths outcomes for girls. This has involved running staff continual professional development meetings for teaching staff, monitoring the teaching and learning of maths, and supporting the maths leaders in the school. The project runs over five terms and focuses on number sense, metacognition and cooperative learning.

Areas of support provided: Primary & Secondary Teaching & Learning, Governance, Early Years & Leadership & Management.


 Isabel Butler

Senior Teacher and History Subject Leader

Beauchamps High School

I have taught History at Beauchamps High School for 8 years, and currently work as a Senior Teacher leading on assessment and reporting, alongside my role as Subject Leader for History. I am responsible for the development of assessment without levels and for raising standards of assessment and reporting in the school. I have also worked as a Senior Peer Mentor, coaching and mentoring other members of staff to improve their teaching practice, as well as leading staff CPD within the school on a range of different areas.

In my subject leader position I have significantly increased the attainment of students in History at both GCSE and A Level through improvements in the quality of teaching and learning, and the introduction of rigorous tracking and intervention strategies. The numbers of students choosing to take History has risen dramatically, and we have made particular improvements in the achievement of higher ability learners. I also undertake examiner marking for OCR.

Areas of expertise:

  • Raising attainment in History
  • Teaching and Learning Strategies in History
  • Department leadership
  • Assessment and Feedback

Abi Cansdale

  • Coaching and mentoring, supporting trainees and teachers across KS1 & KS2 in all curriculum areas.Back to top
  • Network meetings for subject leaders, coordinating projects between schools, providing CPD for teachers and managing ASTs and SLEs.
  • ITT for History, Geography, Drama, Gifted and talented and EAL as well as supporting class mentors and trainees to improve practice.

Dan Chapman

Dan-ChapmanEducation has always been my passion and providing the best learning opportunities for all children is always my ultimate goal. I am consistently focused on striving to ensure all children can access the learning opportunities provided to them. This can require effective behaviour management which must be based on a well-grounded understanding of children's psychology and development. As an SLE for Behaviour Management I am always excited to meet new classes, groups of children and individual pupils whom I can develop a relationship and support in making positive choices. This also leads me on to working with staff to develop their knowledge and skills in managing behaviour effectively.

The promotion of English is always a high focus within my academic work and I am driven to ensure that staff engage with this high expectation for themselves and the children they teach at all times. Starting from the simple and on-going expectation that basic skills will always be maintained and upheld to a high level is an essential element to the practical and effective teaching of English. Giving children the opportunity to learn to read and to delve into the wonders that literature can provide is an ambition I will continue to chase until all children and adults can enjoy the amazing writings of Mary Shelley to the fun adventures shared by Roald Dahl.

I am also an avid historian who is keen to share my love of the past with all children and staff through a wide range of strategies but focusing mostly on those which bring history to life through fun and engaging techniques including the use of computing technology, physical activities and genuine artefacts to fully immerse us all in the events from days gone by.

Laura Glover

KS1/2 Lead Practitioner

Throughout my teaching career I have held a number of different roles and taught across all phases from EYFS to KS2. Within these roles, I have been a Head of Year, Head of English, Subject Leader and a SCITT and NQT induction mentor and lead.  I have worked across a range of different schools during this time; including those which are Outstanding as well as those which require improvement. The range of schools also includes varying demographics including inner-city and village schools. Through this broad experience, I have secured a sound understanding of the primary curriculum and its progression alongside adaptable and transferable teaching styles to maximise progress

As an English lead, I have written MTPs and weekly plans for both English and phonics which have been used across our Trust.  I have a sound understanding of phonics and recognise its significance in securing pupil progress. If pupils are enabled to develop a firm foundation in reading, they can become increasingly fluent and develop a lifelong love of reading.  To facilitate this within my own Trust, I have worked with leaders, teachers and support staff to enhance their own development of phonics. This has included modelling phonics and reading lessons, team-teaching and providing main class and intervention planning and strategies.

Within my current role as a cross-phase Lead Practitioner, I have supported the transition from KS1 to KS2 across our multi-academy Trust. This has included implementing appropriate phonics intervention for pupils not on track in KS2 in addition to delivering staff CPD on early reading and writing. Building this bridge across the two phases has been vital in order to maintain progress for pupils; particularly for those not working at age-related expectation.

Another key aspect of my role has been to support in NQT development across our Trust. I have extensive experience in mentoring NQTs as well as coaching early teachers, middle leaders and supporting senior leaders in whole-school improvement.

Specialist Areas of Expertise

  • English, including phonics
  • KS1-KS2 Transition
  • NQT Development

Other Areas of Expertise

  • Intervention for low-achievers in KS2
  • Closing the Gap
  • Qualifications Recently Acquired
  • NPQSL – Best Practice Network

Karen Collison

Lead Practitioner

Karen-Collison‘Each challenge you face in life is an opportunity to succeed, you should aim to be successful in whatever you do and be the best that you can possibly be.’

My role as Lead Practitioner has helped shape and clarify a strategic vision to ensure the aspirations, progression and achievement of all children.

Alongside my role as Lead Practitioner, my role as Specialist Teacher for Specific Learning Difficulties has enabled me to comprehensively understand Special Educational Needs Practice and how to sustain a fully inclusive classroom environment, focusing on successful development of reading and writing whilst embedding a philosophy of ‘Challenge for All’ to ensure we diminish the difference.  Supporting all colleagues in their delivery of intervention programmes within the schools has ensured that I am sharing my skills base effectively with other members of the school community and giving our staff the opportunity to become upskilled in effective support for targeted cohorts.

Conversely, my teaching has been pivotal in our achievement of the accreditation of the NACE awards where I piloted innovative practices such as Maths Mastery and Close Reading; practices that are currently trending in line with the New Curriculums ideologies of depth not breadth.  My practice was highly commended for the opportunities and provision I provided for our more able children

Identifying variations in teaching has been pivotal in driving standards forward.  Using my skills as an Edison Coach has enabled me to share values to set direction, develop colleagues and develop systems.  My experience of cluster and formal moderations ensures that I use the support of our wider community to learn from and ensure our schools continue to strive for excellence.

Supporting the School Centred Initial Teacher Training Programme as a mentor and trainer has been fundamental in underpinning my understanding of current teaching standards and can only serve to support my colleagues on their journey to become outstanding practitioners. My Professional Development training sessions have been sought by external providers of educational support.

My priority is that I invest in people and that change is done with people and not to them.  I have seen the importance of having a resolute moral purpose as a whole school community.  By empowering others to succeed by giving them confidence to achieve goals that are shared and agreed and see our schools reap the rewards of the recognition it holds so dear… outstanding children who learn in outstanding schools!

Specialist Areas of Expertise

  • Diagnostic assessment and intervention for SEN
  • Specialist Teacher for Specific Learning Difficulties
  • Trainer for the Recently Qualified Teaching Programme
  • Raising attainment and progress in Reading and Writing
  • Developing Phonics pedagogy to improve outcomes
  • Challenge for All – Diminishing the Difference/Accelerated Progress
  • Behaviour Management
  • Coaching/Mentoring of Middle Leaders, Recently Qualified Teachers, NQTs and Trainee Teachers

Other Areas of Expertise

  • Moving teaching and learning to outstanding
  • Curriculum Development
  • Learning Environments

Laura Howell

I have been a Senior Peer Mentor at Beauchamps High School for the last three years. In this role I have mentored members of staff to deliver consistently outstanding lessons and championed 'spotlighting' (observing ten minutes of a lesson to share outstanding practice). I have helped colleagues, from trainees to experienced staff, develop their behaviour management techniques, strengthen their questioning and use assessment for learning effectively.

I have led whole school CPD sessions on; 'Ensuring progress for low ability learners', 'The deployment of co educators in the classroom' and 'Encouraging a Growth Mindset'. I appreciate how regular CPD is vital to improve the quality of Teaching and Learning within our schools. I have a whole school role looking at assessment and feedback, so also offer training focusing on effective marking and student follow up action.

 In the Maths department I am in charge of KS3. I am a strong believer of diagnosis, therapy and testing so have implemented pre and post tests throughout the schemes of work. This has been extremely effective for informing planning as well as showing progress without levels.

 I believe that through working collaboratively as professionals we can continue to give more children the best Upopportunity to enjoy a successful education and in turn fulfil their potential.

Louise Lawton

Louise LawtonSenior Teacher/Lead Practitioner

Throughout my teaching career I have held a number of different roles in both primary schools and a secondary school.  In these roles I have been an AST, Head of Year, Deputy head, Subject Leader and an Associate Teaching and Learning Facilitator.  I have experience of schools in very different contexts; schools in special measures and schools rated as outstanding and good.

I have implemented a Primary Liaison Strategy to help improve pupil intake and improve relations with local primary schools and delivered outreach and induction days and ‘Friendship’ afternoons to prospective students.  As Head of Year Seven, I worked hard to establish a strong team where I organized team building activities and initiated projects to improve pupil attendance successfully.   I work effectively to raise the achievement of pupils who attract the pupil premium grant.

In my role as Subject Leader, I have led a number of CPD training sessions for staff on a variety of topics such as assessment for learning, marking, effective planning in literacy and tracking data.  I have also put into practice creative curriculums that promote independent, higher order thinking skills.

I have developed and trained staff on Essex Target Tracker under the new assessment guidelines and monitored the use of Target Tracker across the whole school, leading to key stakeholders developing a much greater understanding of using data tracking as an effective teaching aid.

I have mentored many NQTs successfully and coached fellow colleagues to improve practices particularly, with behaviour management.

Specialist Areas of Expertise

  • Closing the gap
  • Literacy
  • KS2-KS3 transition
  • NQT Development

Other Areas of Expertise

  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Behaviour Management

Training Recently Attended

NPQSL—Eastern Leadership Centre

Lucy Marks

I am the Senior Teacher and Behaviour Lead at The Atrium, an Enhanced Provision for children with SEMH needs. Within my role and as an SLE for Behaviour, I have supported schools to develop a trauma informed approach and improve their inclusive practice within the mainstream classroom. I am a licensed Thrive Practitioner and, though my specialism is in SEMH, I have also been a deputy SENCO and lead for Autism in my previous role, so have an in depth knowledge of how a complex range of additional needs can create challenges for teaching and learning. I have been a Professional Tutor for SCITT students and coached and mentored NQTs, in addition to delivering whole staff CPD for experienced teachers around behaviour, meeting the needs of vulnerable pupils and the use of restorative justice in schools.


Rhian Matthews

I have taught at Runwell Primary School for the past 7 years and my teaching has been consistently judged as outstanding across the curriculum. I am a senior leader at the school, taking responsibility for both Key Stage 2 and Maths.

I have led maths for the past 4 years. During this time, maths attainment has been at or significantly above national expectations and progress was which was previously judged as unsatisfactory is now consistently good.

Throughout my role, I have supported and improved teaching from Early Years to Key Stage 2. I have mentored students and experienced teachers to become reflective practitioners and to employ AfL strategies to improve their practice when teaching maths.

Following the introduction of the national curriculum in 2014, I have developed and embedded a mastery approach for teaching maths. As part of this development, I have led whole school CPD sessions on: ‘Teaching maths through a mastery approach’, ‘Differentiation in a master context using a CPA approach’and ‘Singapore maths, including bar modelling’.  I believe that good quality CPD is essential to developing good practice and a consistent approach to teaching.

I am a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher with a love of maths. I am particularly passionate about raising standards in the teaching of maths and look forward to the opportunity to work with other schools to share good practice.

Katherine Mills

I have been teaching English and Media Studies for over fifteen years and have taken responsibility for curriculum development at Key Stages Three, Four and Five in those subjects over several specifications. As Head of Department, I have supported staff as they progressed; working with teachers as they became Second in English and Key Stage Coordinators, providing weekly meetings and mentoring sessions as they got to grips with the different responsibilities and the vagaries of various specifications in English.  I offered practical support and examples to develop varied teaching styles and to improve progression and assessment strategies. I have worked with many NQTs and GTPs, encouraging them to devise their own resources and to become reflective practitioners over several different specifications in both English and Media Studies.  With a non-judgemental and positive perspective, a teacher will gain confidence and will be willing to try new ideas and to enhance and enjoy their teaching. Up

 As Head of Media Studies, I have introduced blogging to the students to present research, planning and production coursework as well as the development of Wix websites to present evaluations.   I also introduced all staff to the WIX presentation and offered support with its development into subject specific sites with tailor-made resources for each class.

As Senior Peer Mentor, I have delivered Twilight Whole School Teaching sessions on Outstanding Sixth Form Teaching, Assessment for Learning and Effective Questioning as well as coordinating and assisting in the delivery of conference material for new teachers and teachers on our mentoring programme.  I have worked with teachers across several departments to develop outstanding Teaching and Learning, offering advice, resources and practical support at each Key Stage.

As a Teaching and Learning Hub leader, I regularly chair meetings with my hub of teachers in the school where we share good practice and recent developments.  This forum has resulted in real progression and has helped to establish an enviable collegiate mentality; this was the rationale behind establishing the Senior Peer Mentoring initiative at our school and it has been very successful, most notably with the award of Outstanding in our most recent Ofsted report in 2014.  My department consistently attains ALPS 1 and 2 at both GCSE and A Level with one student gaining 100% in both units at A2 last year;  I am passionate about the right of each student to achieve their true potential.

Specialist Areas of Expertise

  • English Literature and Language
  • Media Studies
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Raising Attainment in English

Other Areas of Expertise

  • Curriculum Development
  • Lesson ObservationUp


Penny Partridge

PPI have worked in education for over 20 years, and enjoyed the challenges and changes that have affected the Business Management of schools.  I am qualified to DSBM level.

I have experience in HR systems, including the single central record and safer recruitment.  At the Trust I have introduced a system of HR audit that ensures Ofsted compliance and gives a clear direction for next steps.

In the last year I have overseen the design and build of 5 school websites, ensuring Ofsted and statutory compliance.  Current specialisms are senior level data systems, data protection and freedom of information requests.

Being IOSH qualified, I have developed systems that ensure schools are health and safety compliant, with experience in writing COSHH and premises risk assessments.

I have a proven track record in improving school attendance and was the keynote speaker at an Essex-wide workshop for professionals.

Jane Robinson

Jane RobinsonI am currently Wickford Teaching School Director, having been a Director in Hackney & Newham previously.

I taught English & Drama in secondary schools in South London for 18 years. I then became Newham's G&T Advisor. This role included supporting Newham's 15 secondaries & 65 primaries to stretch their most able pupils. I also began a vibrant Newham Debate League, coordinated the drama part of the Newham Arts Festival and championed the teaching of Latin with Cambridge University. I was seconded to work with London Gifted & Talented and taught English at The University of Canterbury Christ Church for 2 years.

I taught in a Primary school in East London for 5 years and am currently teaching in two Infant schools.

I have a wide experience of teaching at all age ranges.

Teaching Schools Council Regional Representative & North East London Local Lead

Bradley Saunders

Bradley-SaundersAs an SLE for English, I have supported schools to ensure the New National Curriculum 2014 and increased expectations are being met by schools. While working at an outstanding school as an English lead, I developed a programme for teaching writing throughout a primary school, that develops children's skills and understanding of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

As a Director of Learning I have researched and developed a successful whole class teaching model for teaching reading across KS2, which increased attainment by over 20%. Through my time with HEARTS Academy Trust, I have developed vocabulary focused approached to writing and improved the outcomes for boys and pupil premium children. Moreover, I have coached and mentored SCITT students, NQTs and experienced teachers, improving the quality of teaching in a variety of schools based in a areas receiving high amounts of pupil premium. In addition, I have Upexperience in assessing and tracking children and designing and implementing effective interventions for English.

Rebecca Tarplett

Rebecca-Tarplett-smallI have been a teacher for 13 years and specialised in EYFS for 10 years. I have worked in London and Essex schools. I have experience in schools with high levels of deprivation and SEN/ EAL.

I have provided outreach for the last 3 years in my role at the Trust, both within Trust schools and other schools in the wider area - Essex and East London.

I have mentored students on ITT and NQT programmes and I am a member of the LAB for my school.  I am a DSL and the school EY DSL.



Ruth Thomas

Ruth ThomasI am currently Assistant Headteacher of the Wickford C of E School with responsibilities in Senior leadership, leadership of Mathematics and  RE and  mentoring students and NQTs. I also have thirteen years of experience teaching and leading in other schools in Essex and Kent with a focus on Key Stage 1 and Early Years.

I previously worked as a Primary Mathematics Consultant, working to support schools and teachers across Essex in developing teaching and learning and assessment, particularly in mathematics. Since joining the HEARTS Academy, I have provided support to teachers from a range of other schools in developing teaching, learning and assessment.

I have an LCI  accreditation in coaching. This has led me to appreciate the power of collaborative CPD  and lesson study. I have found that working with teachers collaboratively to improve aspects of their practice they have identified, is an effective and  positive experience for all involved .

I am passionately committed to the importance of supporting every child to achieve their potential in every aspect and helping them to become confident and enthusiastic learners.  I also have a tremendous respect for the profession of teaching and for the many creative and expert skills teachers use every day.

Michelle Turner

I have been teaching at Beauchamp's High School as an Outstanding Maths teacher for four years. I have implemented assessment for learning strategies which have raised the standards of teaching across the department from good to outstanding. Strategies that I have introduced are now used across the wider school. I am responsible for year nine and ten in both Maths and Statistics within the department and have a whole school role as a Senior Peer Mentor.

Within the Senior Peer Mentoring role I have had a whole school CPD focus on ensuring challenge for our higher ability learners. This includes the delivery of CPD through sharing good practice at staff briefings, chairing hub meetings and delivering twilight training sessions. I have delivered training sessions on 'Ensuring a Growth Mindset', 'Assessment for Learning', and 'Differentiation'. I have worked with a range of staff from ITTs and NQTs to experienced members of staff supporting them with their assessment for learning, student feedback, and in developing their questioning.

Danny Wagstaff

Danny-WagstaffI am currently a Director of Learning with responsibility for teaching and learning across key stage 2. My specialism lies within the maths curriculum; developing teaching and learning to match the higher expectations; new assessment and feedback policies; implementing mastery teaching and use of high quality resources. I am passionate about whole class maths teaching and the belief that all children can achieve, this is built around my desire to improve subject knowledge and teachers confidence in teaching maths. Within my current role I have ran CPD sessions for teachers on all aspects of maths teaching, redesigned marking and feedback policies to reduce workload and support progress and implemented new assessment systems. I take pride in empowering and developing middle leaders and see them as the key to continued school development.  I am currently a Subject Matter Expert supporting the facilitation and design of the NPQSL and ML.


Specialist Leaders of Education


National Leaders of Education

Debbie Rogan OBE

Debbie has been a teacher for over 30 years. She was appointed as Headteacher of The Wickford Church of England school in 2003 after working as a teacher and deputy in a range of schools in Essex.  She also worked as a Local Authority advisor and Expert unattached teacher for 4 years.

In June 2016 she was an awarded an OBE in the queen's 90th birthday honours' list.

Debbie is the Executive head and CEO of HEARTS Trust. She has been a NLE since 2009.  This Trust  is currently made up of 4 schools, two alternative provision groups, a large early years provision for 2 and 3 year olds and the Teaching school.   She is an OFSTED inspector, pupil premium reviewer and SIAMS inspector. The founding school in the Trust, The Wickford C of E school jointly leads the TSA with Hilltop infant  school and is a National support school.

She is currently an elected member of the Eastern and North East London RSC Academy Headteacher board.

Children playing on interactive floor
Wickford TSA logo

School to School Support

Wickford Teaching School Alliance

Driving a school-led system