Forest Way Alliance

FWA Local and Specialist Leader in Education (LLEs & SLEs)

FWA Local Leaders in Education (LLEs)

Paul Driver
Heateacher - Hugglescote Community Primary School


Paul has been a Headteacher since 2009 in Hertfordshire leading a school from RI to Outstanding. He worked as a Headteacher School Improvement Partner for Hertfordshire working with three schools monitoring standards and completing ‘Health check’ visits. He was seconded by the local authority to lead to other schools that had gone into special measures. 
In 2015 Paul became Headteacher at Hugglescote Primary School. The school had been judged to ‘Require Improvement’ in two previous Ofsted inspections and matched the ‘coasting’ school criteria. In June 2017 Hugglescote was judged to be a ‘Good’ school. More recently he has provided support for local schools and held an interim Executive Headship post.

​Sylvie Newman
Executive Headteacher at Donisthorpe Primary School, 

Measham CE Primary School Academy and Ashby Hill Top Primary School Academy.

I have been Headteacher at Donisthorpe Primary School since 2010, leading the school from Ofsted Notice to Improve in 2010 to good in 2013, the school was again judged as good in March 2017. In August 2016 I was appointed to the role of Executive Headteacher at both Donisthorpe Primary School and Measham CE Primary School Academy. In 2017 Measham was judged as good by Ofsted in November 2018. In September 2018 I became Executive Headteacher at a third school, Ashby Hill Top Primary School.
Through my work with Forest Way Teaching School Alliance, I have provided strategic support for several schools locally including an interim Executive Headteacher post. I have also worked with Headteachers and senior leaders developing their leadership skills in order to secure improvement in the quality of teaching, learning, assessment and leadership. 




FWA Specialist Leaders In Education (SLEs)

​FWA has designated several  excellent SLEs with a range of skills and knowledge – see below for their pen portraits. It you are interested in deploying one of our SLEs please contact us on tsa@forestway.leics.sch.uk  for more information.


Hayley Barnard - Primary Mathematics
Broom Leys School


Hayley has 11 years teaching experience across both KS1 and KS2, but predominantly in Year 6. Her current role is that of Deputy Headteacher in a larger than average Primary school. Hayley has gained her NPQSL qualification and has been an accredited Professional Development Lead with the NCETM since 2014. Hayley has led a variety of training days focusing on the Mastery Curriculum both for the Teaching School Alliance and for individual schools. In her current role, Hayley is currently leading a number of projects, including changes to how we mark and provide feedback to children and developing and leading the Truly Great Teaching CPD Programme. Hayley is passionate about supporting and empowering leaders in order to improve standards in teaching and learning.

Clare Beswick (nee Dyer) - Primary Maths
Broom Leys Primary School


Clare has been teaching for 8 years and has experience across both EYFS and KS1. She currently teaches Year 1 in a larger than average Primary school.  Clare has been an accredited PD Lead with the NCETM since 2016 and has led several training days on the Mastery Curriculum. Clare has also led training on maths in the EYFS. Clare is a trained Mastery Specialist and will be running a TRG in the academic year 2019/2020 to support schools in teaching for mastery. For the past few years, she has led the Maths Network for FWTSA.

Emma Boussida - Science
Broom Leys Primary School


Emma has been teaching for 16 years, 5 of those as a subject leader at Ivanhoe College. She has led a number of successful changes within her career, these include changes to GCSE specifications, marking and feedback and curriculum changes. She is currently developing and leading feedback strategies and mastery in her department due to the GCSE specification and exam changes.  
Emma has gained her NPQSL qualification based on a project on increasing reading ages of non-secondary ready students through the Accelerated Reader programme. Students have engaged with the AR programme and not only are they seeing an improvement in their reading ages they are using the library more and reading for enjoyment.
Emma has recently been appointed as Associate Senior Leader with responsibility of Pupil Premium.

Ali Burton - EYFS
Hugglescote Primary School


Ali has been teaching in the EYFS for 13 years and has become a highly skilled and experienced practitioner and leader, with a particular passion for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Ali is keen to ensure that all children receive strong ‘foundations’ to their early education and that these are built upon throughout the rest of the school.
Ali has a Leadership Pathways and NPQSL qualification from the National College.  She has been an Associate Specialist Tutor for the University of Leicester for the last three years, teaching and supporting PGCE and SCITT students specialising in Early Years and leads ‘Science in the Early Years’ workshops for the university.
Ali has successfully led Phonics across EYFS and KS1 and has supported a number of colleagues in the locality to improve their EY practice.  She specialises in providing engaging and challenging experiences for Foundation Stage children as well as designing and implementing a variety of changes with the aim of improving outcomes for all learners.

Amy Bowles - PSHE
King Edward VII Sport & Science College


Amy has worked at King Edward VII since September 2009 teaching history. After being appointed to Deputy Director of Sixth Form in September 2013, she became responsible for PSHE for Key Stage 5 and leading on whole school events within this subject. Her PSHE role grew further when she was appointed to Coordinator for PSHE and SMSC in September 2016. This role has allowed her to embed her passion for the subject further within the whole school, stressing the importance of preparing students for life.

Adam Chamberlain - Maths
​Ashby School


Adam has been teaching maths for the last 6 years at Ashby School, teaching at GCSE and A Level. As a lead teacher he has regularly led CPD for staff members within his areas of specialism including Numeracy across the curriculum and Cognitive Load Theory. He has a passion for utilising technology to improve the quality of teaching and learning. This included developing several digital platforms that can be used to track data, carry out analysis and measure engagement.  These have been useful in providing in-depth information to teachers, leaders, parents, and students.

Nicola Conn - English
Ashby Schoo


Nic is Deputy SENCO, an experienced Literacy Coordinator and Lead Teacher at Ashby School. She has focused her career upon exploring teaching and learning which positively influences students with SEND and difficulties with literacy.  
As a Lead Teacher and Literacy Coordinator, she has led many whole school CPD sessions focusing of the three central strands of speaking and listening, reading and writing. As Deputy SENCO, she is now working at a whole school level on the development of effective teaching and learning strategies to enable SEN students to reach their potential. She also regularly delivers session for the ITT program for FWTSA as well as being a Senior Examiner for EDUQAS. 
She enjoys researching and exploring current educational theories, and is about to undertake a Masters in SEN and Inclusion at Northampton University.  


Emma Cresswell - CPD/Leadership
Ivanhoe College

Emma is an Assistant Principal and Lead Practitioner at Ivanhoe college. Formally an Advanced Skills Teacher she has many years of experience in raising standards of teaching and learning though high quality staff development at Ivanhoe and in the wider community.
Emma leads in house- training and CPD for staff at all levels of their careers. One of her key areas of work continues to be the development of ITT and NQT - nurturing and challenging those young to the profession to be the very best they can be. She leads The Forest Way Secondary NQT CPD training.

Hannah Davison - SEND
Forest Way School


Hannah has  worked at Forest Way School for 7 years and taught in KS1, KS2 and KS3. she has experience working with pupils with a wide range of special educational needs. 

Nicola Dewis -  EYFS
Newbold Verdon Primary


Nicola is the EYFS Lead which involves managing the school nursery, and has been responsible for introducing a new phonics scheme across the whole school including the Autism unit. she is also a Forest School Leader and  was part of the School Readiness Steering Group based at County Hall. 

Samantha Fuller - SEN
Whitwick St John the Baptist CE Primary


Samantha has taught in Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2 in both inner city Leicester, and rural and larger Primary Schools in Leicestershire. This has included experience as Assistant Head teacher, being on the SLT, and working as a DSP Lead in a Specialist Speech and Language Provision.
 Samantha has been a qualified SENDCo for the last 10 years, and has undertaken a range of successful Outreach Placements in other schools to support them with their whole school SEND provision to improve outcomes. This has been alongside supporting new colleagues in extending their own understanding of the day-to-day aspects of the SENDCo role.
 In addition, Samantha has supported schools with preparing for a whole school SEND Review, and also reviewing a SEND Review to bring about relevant changes and improvements.
 She has also delivered training on SEND to trainee Head Teachers as part of their NPQH qualification, and has given her input into the Draft Joint Commissioning Strategy for SEND- 2021-24. 


Mike Gamble - Leadership of Curriculum (Secondary)
The Newbridge School

Mike has been teaching for 17 years and has taught across Key Stage 3, 4 and 5. For the past 11 years Mike has been on the Senior Leadership Team of Castle Rock High School, as Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and for the past two and half years Head of School. Mike is currently co-Headteacher of the Newbridge School.  Mike is passionate about developing and supporting staff, and has led on all areas within curriculum, teaching and learning, timetabling and CPD, as well as  fulfilling the role of NQT and ITT Co-ordinator. He has experience of leading teams, delivering whole staff training, and leading areas of school improvement across the Apollo Partnership Trust. Mike’s passion is research and pedagogy, and using this to coach and mentor staff at all career stages to be the very best that they can be.  

Kasia Glinka - Assistant Headteacher - Assessment, Curriculum and Maths
Maplewell Hall School


Kasia has two years of Senior Leadership experience and 12 years’ experience working in a range of SEN settings. She is an Assistant Headteacher with responsibility of teaching learning and assessment in SEN secondary school in Leicestershire. Kasia is a subject specialist in maths. She has been working, as Head of maths for three years and has worked closely with partner school in Leicestershire to support embedding a new assessment focusing on improving the delivery of Maths.
As Assistant Headteacher with responsibility of teaching, learning and assessment.  Kasia is responsible for monitoring the quality of education across the school.  She has introduce to a whole school a new assessment system, led on reviewing whole school curriculum intent, implementation and impact and have been leading whole staff CPD on this.  She has been coaching NQT’s and delivering CPD programme to PGCE students, which has a clear focus on improving students’ progress and attainment.  
Kasia is able to provide tailored specialist support in curriculum planning in across the school and Middle Leadership development in order to raise standards. 

Lisa Hicks - EYFS
Broom Leys Primary


​Lisa has been teaching for 15 years with 12 of those as EYFS Leader in a larger than average Primary School. She has experience of both teaching and leading across EYFS and KS1. Lisa has gained her NPQSL qualification and is also a trained Level 3 Forest Schools Practitioner. Through County Hall, Lisa has successfully supported other schools as a lead teacher for Social and Emotional Aspects of Development (SEAD). She has been identified as a ‘Truly Great Teacher’ within the Truly Great Teaching CPD programme and through this works with other teachers to improve and develop their practice in a reflective and supportive way. Through FWTSA, Lisa supports other schools and EYFS settings to provide the best possible starting points, outcomes and provision for all children. She currently leads the EYFS network and 0-4 Hub meetings for FWTSA. She has led training for Schools Direct students. Lisa was also part of the EYFS Pupil Premium Collaborative Project looking at developing innovative, creative and effective provision for Pupil Premium children. She is currently part of the English Research Partnership Group working with EYFS, Primary and Secondary colleagues researching reading for pleasure, oracy and improving written outcomes for pupils.  

Ali Jackson - CPD/Leadership
Ashby School


Ali is an Assistant Headteacher and experienced Lead Practitioner at Ashby School. She has focused upon exploring teaching and learning throughout her career and is driven to develop classroom practice to ensure teachers and students achieve potential. 
As an AST she facilitated the use of drama methodology as a teaching strategy and has incorporated primary teaching styles within secondary education. 
She enjoys researching and maintains proactive links with universities and Forest Way teaching school alliance. The creation of the Learning Hub at Ashby was a particular achievement as a place for teachers to remain innovative.  
As a skilled coach she facilitates Continual Professional Development at every career stage ensuring staff feel valued, continue to learn and achieve impact. She is particularly interested in supporting leadership in education and is proud of the work she does to challenge and empower.
She maintains the belief that teachers are professionals and, as such, should drive the education system.

Vicky Johnson - Secondary SEND
Ivanhoe College


Vicky has been teaching for 19 years, 14 of these at Ivanhoe. She is a trained English teacher and has been SENDCo at the school for the last 11 years.
Vicky has gained a wealth of experience of teaching and supporting SEND students in a mainstream school environment. She contributes to the understanding of SEND through her contribution to the PGCE programme at Loughborough University and the ITT programme at Forest Way.
Vicky is trained in the Solihull Parenting Approach and has a special interest in developing CPD for Teaching Assistants.

Ellie Johnson - Mathematics
Broom Leys Primary School

Ellie has been teaching for 5 years and has experience predominantly in KS2. She is currently a Year 6 teacher and KS2 Maths Leader in a larger than average primary school. Ellie has been an accredited PD lead with the NCETM since 2018. For the past few years, she has co led the maths networks in which she has led a variety of training on the Mastery Curriculum. She has also led training for Schools Direct trainees focusing on teaching maths effectively in KS2 and planning for and assessing greater depth in maths across the key stages. Ellie has been identified as a ‘Truly Great Teacher’ within the Truly Great Teaching Programme which involves supporting and coaching teachers to improve their practice.

Aimee Kinder - Leadership of CPD
The Castle Rock School


Aimee has been in secondary teaching for 8 years and a senior leader for 3 years. Beginning her career as an English teacher, she has progressed by having various leadership roles such as head of faculty. She is responsible for the quality of teaching and Leadership of continuing professional development (CPD) with a particular focus on Key Stage 3, and leads in house- training and CPD for staff at all levels of their careers. Aimee’s specialist subject is English and she also has vast experience of teaching in other areas of the curriculum. Aimee also works closely with Forest Way Teaching School Alliance, with a particular focus on initial teacher training (ITT) and newly qualified teacher (NQT) development. 

Sarah Lane - CPD/Leadership
Ivanhoe College


Sarah has been teaching secondary-aged students in Derbyshire and Leicestershire for 20 years. Beginning as a Physical Education teacher, she progressed to Advanced Skills Teacher and then Assistant Principal; leading on T & L and CPD. She has held her most recent post at Ivanhoe for 9 years. Her passions around CPD exist at all career stages, but particular around leadership and coaching others to be the best they can be. Ivanhoe is very proud of its personalised CPD provision and high quality development for all.

Emma Mitchell - English/Phonics
NewSwannington Primary


Emma has enjoyed teaching across all primary phases in both small and large primary schools. The majority of her experience is with EYFS (including Nursery) and KS1. She has over 20 years of classroom practice to draw upon and currently leads EYFS, KS1 and English in an average sized primary school. Emma has an MA in Education with the Open University, an Advanced Diploma in SEN and a Certificate of Professional Development for completing a Best Practice Research Scholarship. She has worked with Derby University to support teacher training in Phonics and works with FWTSA ITT Primary students delivering training in Early Reading. She is an advocate of Reading for Pleasure. Emma is an accredited Talk Boost Licensee.

Phil Newman - Science
Ashby School


Phil spent the first 10 years of his career working in industrial research and development in South Africa, US, Austria and Grimsby! He is listed as inventor on two patents. Since moving into education, Phil has been teaching GCSE and A-level Physics with a great deal of success. He has held various leadership positions including G&T co-ordinator, deputy head of science and is now Lead Practitioner with responsibility for developments in whole school teaching and learning. 

Hannah O'Mara
Birchwood School

Hannah has been teaching for 17 years, 14 of which in Special Educational Needs settings. During this time, she has taught across all key stages from EYFS to Post 16 and has a wealth of knowledge supporting pupils with moderate, severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties, SEMH and ASC.  Hannah is currently the Key Stage 2 and PMLD Lead teacher at Birch Wood School, Melton Mowbray. She is driven by a passion to provide PMLD and complex needs pupils with appropriate sensory engagement opportunities and specialist therapies to help them to succeed. Hannah has created and led training on a sensory curriculum pathway for learners with PMLD across her school as well as helping to implement and deliver inset on the MAPP2 assessment system. Hannah also provides outreach support to mainstream primary settings across Leicestershire, lending her knowledge to offer advice and recommendations for the inclusion of SEN pupils. 

Karen Palumbo - EYFS & Maths
New Swannington Primary School

Karen has been teaching for 16 years and she is currently Assistant Headteacher, EYFS teacher, EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Maths Coordinator. She has teaching and leadership experience across EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Karen has gained her NPQSL qualification and leads in house training and CPD for all teaching and support staff.
She has enjoyed mentoring School Direct Students and NQT’S over the past 5 years and has experience in coaching staff across both Key Stages.
Karen has implemented many whole school improvement projects in her school focusing on the transition from EYFS to Year 1 and improving the teaching, learning and outcomes in maths. She has a passion for outdoor learning and has recently created a Forest School Learning Environment in her own setting. 


Nic Raphael - English
The Castle Rock School


Nic is an Assistant Headteacher at The Castle Rock School responsible for Teaching and Learning. In addition to her English teaching experience at KS3, KS4 and KS5 Nic has also had pastoral and curriculum leadership roles in the schools she has worked in. Nic is passionate about supporting teachers and believes that teachers deserve high quality professional development throughout their careers. Nic provides robust support for trainee teachers, NQTS, ECTs, teaching staff and middle leaders. She has led whole school CPD, cross curricular Professional Learning Communities (where teachers are developed as practitioners) and faculty leaders to ensure they are empowered to facilitate change. Nic coaches and mentors staff so that they feel supported to be their best at any stage of their career.  

Roger Skervin - PE, CPD, Personal Development
Ashby School


Roger has worked at Ashby School since September 2009 teaching PE. Within this time he has had various leadership roles including Pastoral House Manager, SMSC Co-ordinator and Lead Teacher. His Lead Teacher role has grown and he is now part of the Extended Leadership Team with a focus on Teaching and Learning. Within this role he is responsible for delivering whole school CPD and the teacher training of student teachers. His passion is research and pedagogy, and exploring how this can be used to raise standards within the classroom. 

Natalie Stathakis - EYFS lead
Birch Wood School


​Natalie is an enthusiastic and reflective practitioner who is able to facilitate leadership and development in others. She has developed her skills and knowledge within an EYFS, SEN setting, and therefore fully appreciates the role that early education plays in developing a love of learning and the necessary pre-requisite skills for engagement.
Having led curriculum development for a mixed EYFS and KS1 SEN cohort, Natalie has advised mainstream as well as SEN settings on the ways in which diverse needs can be provided for within a mixed group. She has visited mainstream schools to assist with curriculum modifications needed to ensure inclusion. In her SLE role Natalie started an EYFS network for the local area in which she delivered training in communication strategies to mainstream and SEN teachers. Natalie assisted with the whole school delivery and implementation of MAPP assessment and is experienced in designing and delivering a curriculum and assessment model for pupils not engaged with subject specific study. As a subject leader, Natalie aims to inspire a commitment in others - when children are engaged, they will learn and Natalie has communicated with teams in her EYFS setting to make engagement a central focus.

Heather Sutherland - English
​St John the Baptist Primary

Heather has been teaching for over twenty years across KS1 and KS2 and has been a Senior Leader and Literacy Leader for five years. With a Psychology and Linguistics degree, her specialist areas are: meta-cognition, higher level questioning, storytelling, whole class reading, grammar and phonics. She has led successful whole school reading and writing initiatives and led a number of CPD sessions for FWSTA. Heather has mentored both School Direct Trainees and NQTs and is working collaboratively with a number of other schools to improve outcomes. She provides regular in-school CPD training and support for teachers and teaching assistants and is experienced in coaching.

Russell Thornewill - Computing
Ivanhoe College

Russell has been teaching for 13 years, 12 of those as a subject leader of Computing & ICT. Since 2010 he has been the Subject Leader for Computing at Ivanhoe, where he has radically changed the curriculum from a Microsoft Office based ICT curriculum to a broad and balanced Computing curriculum, balancing practical work alongside theoretical work. He is also a CEOP ambassador, delivering thinkuknow e-safety training to colleagues and parents. He has also worked on whole school initiatives such as development of VLE across the college, teaching using Virtual Reality and electronically stored live data-rich seating plans. Russell has a lot experience working with non-specialist and trainee teachers, successfully training 9 non-specialist teachers to deliver the Computing curriculum and 7 PGCE students as Good/Outstanding Computing teachers.


Donna Thornton - Science
The Newbridge School


Donna teaches GCSE Science and A-level Chemistry with impressive outcomes for her students. She has led the large and extremely successful Science faculty since 2016 and has ensured a smooth and successful transition onto the new, more rigorous specification. 

Alex Timson - English
Broom Leys Primary


Alex has 12 years teaching experience across KS1 and KS2 and is currently teaching in Year 6. For the last 8 years she has been a member of the Senior Leadership Team in a larger than average Primary School as both the English lead and KS2 Phase Leader. She has completed both Leadership Pathways and NPQSL qualifications with the National College. As English lead Alex has successfully helped to raise reading and writing standards across the school; She has a particular interest in performing arts and how this can engage and motivate children in their learning. Recently, she has worked collaboratively with secondary school English leads to create a cohesive curriculum that challenges and develops pupils learning from Foundation Stage to Year 13.  She regularly lead CPD inset in-school to teachers and learning support staff and has been identified as a ‘Truly Great Teacher’ as part of the Truly Great Teaching CPD programme which has enabled her to work closely with teachers in other schools to improve and develop individual’s practice through coaching and mentoring. 


Donna Tolley  - Closing the Cap, Science, Attendance
Ashby School


Donna has taught Chemistry GCSE and A-Level at Ashby School since 2014, with consistently successful outcomes. She is part of the Extended Leadership Team with responsibility for 200+ KS4 Pupil Premium students and is also a Lead Practitioner. Her previous leadership roles have included Secondary Science Lead for the ‘STELLAR’ Science Learning Partnership, House Manager and Acting Deputy Director of Sixth Form.
Donna holds the STEM Learning ‘CPD Quality Mark’, which assures her proficiency as a facilitator of CPD. She is passionate about research and has a Masters in Education, the focus of which was the impact of peer assessment on KS4 attainment in Science.
Donna’s key motivation is facilitating students and staff to achieve their full potential.



Lisa Webster - EYFS
St John the Baptist Primary 


Lisa has been teaching for about 17 years and  has a leadership pathways qualification, from the National College. Her experience is mainly in Foundation Stage and KS1, although she have also taught KS2.  She has been a Foundation Stage moderator for the past three years, which has given her the opportunity to visit a wide variety of schools and to work with Foundation Stage teachers to verify their judgements. For just over a year, she has been working with the 0-4 age group within the alliance to develop the prime areas within the PVI sector. Lisa has also taken the lead at the EYGS teaching network meetings.

Kate Wilkinson - Student Teachers - ECTs and RQTs
Griffydam Primary


Kate has been been teaching for over 20 years and has taught across all year groups.  She feels lucky to have had the opportunity to work in many schools in the local area gaining valuable experience in to different ways of working. She currently works part time teaching year 3 and 4. In addition to this, she leads Science and R.E.  across the school.  

Jamie Williamson - ITT, NQT & Maths
Donisthorpe Primary School


Jamie currently works at Donisthorpe Primary School, where he is Assistant Headteacher, Y6 class teacher and maths co-ordinator. He has been teaching for eleven years and has experience across both key stages, but mostly key stage 2. He has enjoyed mentoring School Direct trainees, NQTs and RQTs over the past six years and feels strongly about the high-quality continued CPD offered to new teachers. He has led FWTSA’s RQT CPD for the past four years.

Ian Wood - School Business & Financial Management
Forest Way School

Current Business Manager  for Forest Way School with responsibility for Forest Way Teaching School Alliance finance. Ian has seven years’ experience in financial education preceded  by thirty three years in banking covering a wide variety of roles including Auditor, Compliance Inspector and Senior Manager – Financial Crime.

Natalie Yeomans  - Assessment & Closing the Gap
Broom Leys Primary School

Natalie has 15 years teaching experience in primary schools. In her previous Local Education Authority, she was a lead teacher providing support for local schools in Visual Literacy and co-led a successful project across ten schools to raise boys’ attainment in writing. She currently teaches in Year 6 and for the last ten years has been a KS2 Phase Leader on the Senior Leadership Team in a larger than average Primary School. Natalie has completed both NPQSL and Leadership Pathways qualifications from the National College. She has recently worked closely with secondary colleagues on improving resilience and attitudes to learning, an area in which she developed an expertise when tackling the issue of under performance of High Prior Attainers across her own school. She has been identified as a ‘Truly Great Teacher’ within the Truly Great Teaching CPD programme and through this works with teachers in other schools to improve and develop their practice.