Improvement Team

Alison Gawthrope

Head of Primary Education and Partnerships

Alison has been involved in primary education in Tower Hamlets for over thirty years now, as a teacher and leader in school, and then as an advisory teacher and school improvement officer in the local authority. Since introducing the lead teacher programme across the borough and nationally, Alison is very keen on developing school to school support and the sharing of best practice at all levels.

Alison, as team leader, ensures that a bespoke school improvement service is available for all schools to buy in to, and that high quality central training is provided for teachers and leaders relating to the curriculum and local and national needs.

Alison facilitates headteacher appraisal for many schools within the borough.

Alison has been involved in school improvement in primary schools for many years now, supporting and challenging governors, leaders and teaching staff to ensure the best possible outcomes for their children.

James Heale

Senior Secondary Leadership Consultant

James has been a teacher and senior leader in comprehensive secondary schools for twenty-one years. From 2012-2018 he was Headteacher and laterally Executive Headteacher of Vyners School in West London where he led a significant improvement in outcomes, Ofsted and culture.

James has been working with THEP as a Secondary Leadership Consultant since January 2018, helping to develop the leadership development programmes, the specialist networks and a new peer review model.

He is the PiXL Regional Leader for North London and South-East England where he has oversight of more than 300 secondary schools. He leads the Character strategy for PiXL as well as developing the Engagement Leadership and Exceptional Senior Leaders programmes.

James has a wealth of experience delivering training for the SSAT including Aspiring Leaders, Next Generation Headteachers, New Headteacher and Leading-Edge programmes and is a member of the Leading Edge Steering Group. He is currently supporting a number of Multi-Academy Trusts and Teaching School Alliances with leadership coaching and school improvement work.

Brenda Neburagho

Secondary Science Network Lead

Brenda has 20 years’ experience of delivering outstanding teaching, leadership and Professional Development in diverse secondary schools across London.

Brenda has also worked with schools as a Consultant, Coach, Facilitator and training provider. In recognition of her achievements, she was awarded the 2016 Rising Stars Award in Education and Academia.

Carolyn Lindsay

Senior Primary School Improvement Officer

Carolyn has been involved in primary education in Tower Hamlets for thirty four years now, as a teacher and leader in school, and then as a school improvement officer in the local authority.

Carolyn leads on Mathematics within the borough including overseeing the Mathematics team, central training; supporting and delivering in-school school improvement; and supporting the delivery of the NQT programme.
She is also responsible for developing Mathematics subject leaders and delivering Mathematics network meetings.

Carolyn supports school leadership at all levels and works alongside schools developing their internal review processes and is the LA SACRE representative and is responsible for delivering Religious Education network meetings.

John D'Abbro OBE

Leadership Consultant

John is the former Head of the New Rush Hall Group consisting of 6 special education units working with children experiencing social, emotional and/or mental health difficulties (SEMH). He oversaw 8 ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted judgements across the Group and 5 consecutive outstanding Challenge Partner judgements.

John has been awarded an OBE and Honorary Doctorate for services to Special Education, is a National Leader in Education and an Apple Distinguished Educator.

He has been an advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee and a member of several DfE working parties.

Julia Weston

Primary Science Education Consultant

Julia has worked in education in Tower Hamlets for the last twenty years, with teaching and leadership experience in three different schools followed by independent consultancy work for a whole range of Tower Hamlets projects, as well as those for other schools and organisations.

Julia offers an expertise in science and as a member of the ASE, she collaborated with a number of other consultants to produce a set of well-regarded exemplification materials for primary science units. She is currently commissioned to develop and deliver science network meetings.

Julia provides support to the English team in running training and in-school support, especially around Talk for Writing. She has also been commissioned to ensure a dynamic NQT programme for primary teachers is delivered across the borough.

June Haddock

Primary Leadership Consultant

June worked as a senior leader for 12 years, including the headship of 2 primary schools. During this time, she led cross-school networks focusing on assessment for learning and ‘narrowing the gap’. Her first local authority role was as a Primary Strategy Numeracy Consultant and from 2012 she was the Head of School Improvement in the London Borough of Redbridge.

She is now an independent education consultant working with several local authorities in London and the South East. She has a particular interest in classroom research and has led on initiatives to develop research lessons as an effective model of CPD to raise standards.

Her areas of expertise are:
• School review and self-evaluation
• Pupil Premium spending and impact
• Coaching and training for middle leaders, senior leaders and governors
• Assessment including assessment for learning and data analysis

Martin Tune

Primary Leadership Consultant

Martin Tune was Head teacher of Bonner Primary School for 23 years and has recently retired, allowing him to join THEP. Despite Tower Hamlets being one of the most deprived areas in the UK, Bonner School has achieved above the national average for the attainment of Key Stage Two children for twenty years.

He has regularly worked as a consultant on national education policy initiatives. He has worked as a National Leader in Education and is currently working as a Local Leader in Education to support and challenge other local schools. He is Chairperson of the Teach East London Teaching School Alliance, a cross phase alliance of seventeen schools committed to school improvement through effective partnership working.

He is a strong believer in achieving school improvement through schools working together and learning from each other in a cooperative and collegiate manner. He has worked on school improvement structures and methodology in the UK and internationally and is currently involved in working with schools in Norway and Denmark. He received a CBE for services to Education in 2008.

Mary Jones

Primary Education Consultant

Mary has been involved in primary education for over thirty-five years, both as a teacher and in various advisory roles. Before coming to work in Tower Hamlets she was the Inspector for Assessment in the London Borough of Havering. During this period she completed her OFSTED and School Improvement Partner training and was the School Improvement Partner for a number of schools for over 10 years.

Mary has been commissioned by the Primary Education & Partnerships team to contribute to a range of projects, often involving the use of data to support school improvement.

Mary undertakes whole school reviews and is able to facilitate the headteacher appraisal process for headteachers and governors, as well as supporting other school improvement initiatives.

Matthew Rayner

Leadership Consultant

Matthew has worked in special schools for 30 years in both rural and inner city settings and with children with severe and profound learning difficulties and those on the autistic spectrum.

During his 20+ years as Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher at Stephen Hawking School in Tower Hamlets, the school achieved 3 outstanding inspections and grew from one to two sites.

Matthew has an MBA and an EdD (Doctor of Education), has achieved the NPQH and the NPQSI and has carried out Ofsted inspections.

Nicole Gurvidi

Senior Primary School Improvement Officer

Nicole has worked in primary education in Tower Hamlets for the last seventeen years. As a primary teacher in the borough, she gained experience as a class teacher, a lead teacher and a school leader.

Nicole joined the Primary Education and Partnerships team seven years ago. She leads on English within the borough including overseeing the English team, central training; supports and delivers in-school school improvement; and supports the delivery of the NQT programme. She leads on Letters and Sounds phonics training across all phases, supporting parents and ensuring excellence in practice. She is also responsible for developing English subject leaders and delivering English network meetings.

Nicole is currently recognised by the STA as a lead moderator responsible for training Tower Hamlets moderators for KS1 and KS2 writing.

Steve Wilks

Secondary Leadership Consultant

Steve Wilks is Director of Educational Leadership Support. He was Headteacher of Oaks Park High School in Redbridge from January 2001 until his retirement in August 2016. As Headteacher of Oaks Park, Steve oversaw the development of the school from its opening in 2001.

Steve’s current roles include working as a consultant for ASCL, where he is involved in Headteacher recruitment and support for school improvement and professional learning, a Leadership Coach with Ambitions School Leadership and an ambassador for Leadership Matters. He works with the Educational Development Trust on the school peer review programme and has been working with schools this year on middle leadership programmes and the NPQSL.

Steve’s particular areas of expertise are School Finance, Sixth Form, Curriculum and timetabling and Data analysis.

Sue Blows

Primary/SEND Leadership Consultant

Sue is a leadership consultant for THEP. She was Headteacher at Hatton School and Special Needs Centre in Redbridge from 2002 until 2016. Hatton School grew to be a large primary special school with a sizeable outreach service providing support for pupils with SEND. During her Headship she was active in developing and extending an inclusive approach to supporting SEND pupils through working in partnership with headteachers and the Local Authority. Sue also sat on a range of strategic groups including the schools funding forum (which she chaired for 3 years), Local Children’s safeguarding board, high needs block funding review committee and the PAN London Autism group.

Sue’s current roles include School Improvement Advisor to a number of Redbridge schools and the facilitation and delivery of training for SENCO’s and governors on local and national initiatives. Sue is also the independent chair for the Redbridge Education Partnership. Her main responsibilities are to support the group in shaping their vision for the future of Redbridge Schools, establish systems and processes to ensure effective communication and to develop partnership working with a range of stakeholders. Sue is currently supporting an independent provider in developing a Special school for pupils with complex needs in Essex.

Sue Crane

Primary NQT Consultant

Sue has been involved in education in Tower Hamlets for over thirty years, as a teacher and leader in school, and then as a school improvement officer for the local authority.

Sue is currently commissioned to support schools to meet their statutory responsibilities for all aspects of NQT induction. She provides independent quality assurance and ensures that assessments are fair and consistent across all institutions.