Specialist Leaders of Education

The Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have a proven track-record of being able to support colleagues improve their practice to ensure better outcomes for students. The ETSA has appointed nine SLEs to support schools and colleagues in a range of specialisms (See full details below). Schools can request SLE support from the spring term onwards.

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Jan Salter - SEN and SENCo Support

JanI began my career as an English teacher. As well as a degree in English and History, I have a level 7 Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties.

I have held various positions within Twyford High School including literacy co-ordinator and inclusion co-ordinator. I have been the school SENCO for 8 years and part of the senior leadership team at Twyford for the last four. I currently work across the Trust in both William Perkin and Twyford Schools. As part of my role I will be working to establish the ARC from September 15, a unit for high functioning autistic students within William Perkin School.

I am passionate about the acquisition of literacy skills and believe in early intervention to support students catching up with their peers. The LIT programme is offered in both schools to develop reading comprehension and writing skills. I am part of a Year 6 transition project to develop literacy skills that will be needed in Year 7. I am also working to support an MFL project, with our feeder primary schools, providing classical stories and literacy activities.

I am able to offer training related to SEN issues including the role of SENCO; the effective deployment of Teaching Assistants; Specific Learning difficulties and autism. I am also keen to share my knowledge about literacy and the importance of early intervention work.

Alex McGhee - Head of History, Co-Head of Year 12 and Curriculum Development

I have been teaching history at Featherstone High School, Southall since 1997. I graduated from the Strathclyde University, Glasgow in Modern History and Politics. I am the head of history (since 2002) a co-head of year (since 2006). I also successfully led the RE department for two years (2000). For the past two years I have been seconded into Senior Management at Featherstone High School with a whole school responsibility for the gifted and talented programme.

I have had a wide range of experiences and responsibilities as a leader at Featherstone. The history department is rated triple star across the borough. GCSE and A-level results in the department have consistently improved on an upward trajectory. The creation of a new sixth form (2008) was another key curriculum change that as a lead teacher I had to implement research, plan and deliver AS and A2 history courses. I have mentored many different members of staff and subjects successfully through their NQT year, many who have become leaders later on. I am the Professional Coordinating Mentor for the student teachers with the responsibility of quality assuring and standardising the training programme. As a member of the senior leadership team I have line managed two departments. I have led training to others leaders on arrange of topics including action planning to increase the number of A/A*s. I regularly observe and grade other teachers and colleagues’ lessons.

I am very excited to begin sharing my experience, energy and creativity to inspire and motivate other leaders of history towards greater success.

Aansa Ali - Head of Geography and Head of Trips, Visits and Enrichment

I graduated from Kings College London having received a BA Hons in Geography and completed my teacher training at the Institute of Education. I began my teaching experience 7 years ago at Greenford High School as a student teacher, shortly after which I was appointed as an NQT.

I was appointed KS4 lead of the (then new) curriculum in my second year of teaching and the following year was appointed as Acting Head of Department. Within two years of responsibility for the KS4 area, results improved by +20% to 90% A*-C grade with 50% of these at an A*-A grade. Since then I have been appointed as Head of Department and have managed the department through various transitions including the move from a two year GSCE to a one year GCSE.

I am also a successful graduate of the Teaching Leaders programme. Participation in the course included developing leadership and management expertise as well as successfully carrying out an improvement initiative within the department. During my time as Head of Department I have mentored several student teachers as well as mentoring two NQTs and a Teach First colleague in their first year.

I have recently been appointed whole school responsibility for Trips, Visits and Enrichment. This involves managing enrichment activities throughout the year as well as planning, organising and ensuring the successful organisation of three days’ worth of activities at the end of the school year.

I look forward to working with colleagues from across Ealing borough and beyond to raise standards of teaching and learning. By doing so I hope to be part of a wider team that positively impacts the lives of the young people we work with.

Joanne Leaver-Cole - Teaching and Learning SLE

Lead Practitioner at Greenford High School

Jo created and leads Excellent Teacher Programme using coaching, action research and innovative CPD models. Through leading a whole-school consultation, Jo and her team have created a "Teaching... The Greenford Way" observation guidance in lieu of Ofsted grading of individual lessons which has supported leaders to improve and monitor the quality of teaching across the school and, crucially, is a vehicle to develop all teaching staff at all stages of their career. She works with Heads of Department, Year Leaders and other post-holders across her school to support them to develop their leadership skills, improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and supports them to run consultations and bespoke CPD in their departments/areas of expertise. Jo is a Senior NQT Mentor and previously led and developed ITT as the Professional Co-Ordinating Mentor. As well as sharing excellent practice through coaching and observations, she has delivered many well-received and impactful Inset sessions across the school and presented her work at national conferences. Changing culture and strategic planning are areas that Jo is interested in and has successfully shown impact in her school.

Jo has previously had responsibility for: creating and leading Thinking Skills, both the curriculum design, implementation, training and whole-school development; Nurture; and Gifted and Talented. She is a member of Learnus (Learning Skills Research: Neuroscience). Over the course of her teaching career, Jo has taught a range of subjects from Music to Politics but specialises in the Humanities and in particular GCSE and A-Level Sociology.

Joanne holds a PGCE from University of London Institute of Education (Social Science: History and Sociology), NPQML from the NationalCollege of Leadership and LPSLBA qualification.

Catherine Toms - Teaching and Learning SLE

Andrea Hetherington - Literacy and whole school projects

In 2006, I completed my PGCE and since, I have been teaching in Ealing. In 2010, after a few years as Lead in KS3 English, I secured my role as Head of Whole School Literacy. In 2011, I joined the Teaching Leaders programme and completed my second MA degree in Educational Leadership. Then, in 2016, I became a Lead Practitioner. As a consistently outstanding teacher, I am always exploring ways to innovate within my own practice as well as improve whole school teaching and learning.

As Head of Whole School Literacy, I designed a strategy and delivered whole school CDP to achieve staff buy-in as well as motivate and inspire staff. One reason for my success, is through innovation and leading by example. The impact of my literacy initiative can be seen when visiting lessons. Staff promote and use literacy to help create learning environments that are purposeful and effective where students are supported, and challenged. According to recent staff surveys, all my training sessions have been considered very useful in helping to improve teaching and learning.

I work with departments and HoDs to create and review individualised department action plans. To support the improvement of teaching, learning and assessment I deliver bespoke training to each department. In addition, I support students’ progress by overseeing numerous interventions that help to close the gap in attainment.

As an SLE, I could support staff who are looking to create or improve literacy interventions as well as re-designing a skills focused curriculum. I have experience sharing practice through the Ealing lead practitioner programme as well as being a key speaker at the recent Ealing Reading Conference. I can support staff within a department, or who are looking to launch a whole school literacy initiative by sharing my successful model and helping them personalise a development plan appropriate for their school. In turn, I can also help evaluate the literacy climate and help leaders make the ‘next steps’ to improve literacy. My expertise lies on all levels: within the classroom planning and practice, developing departments with coaching or personalised training, delivering whole school CPD, writing new policies and practices, and working with SLT.

Amandeep Phull - Maths

I graduated from King’s College London with a BSc and PGCE in Mathematics and Education in 2001 and that is when my career began. I have always been passionate about teaching but it was when I was in year 10 I was inspired to continue with mathematics.

During my fifteen years of teaching (2001-to present), I have gained valuable experience through my role as a classroom teacher (Greenford High School 2001-2007), Head of Mathematics at Cranford Community College (2007-2008) and as both Deputy Head of Mathematics and now Head of Mathematics at Greenford High School. I have lead KS4 since 2008 and each year the GCSE mathematics results have been positive (85% A*-C, 2016). I am aware of the various interventions that need to take place and how to support students with their revision. I have devised a differentiated programme of revision that allows all students access to revision material. This is crucial, as revision must be personalised and meaningful for students to succeed and feel confident. I have also constructed a clear structure for Booster Mathematics that ensures consistency across the department as well as allowing students to ‘boost’ their mathematics grade.

I believe a strong Mathematics department is one that is well balanced and which will enable every pupil, whatever their ability, to fulfil their potential. In order to achieve this, members of the department should strive to make their teaching clear, positive and inspiring. Teachers should highlight the relevance of Mathematics in everyday life, where possible, and aim to provide teaching that is committed to the pupils and their individual needs.

As a classroom teacher, I have lead by example by teaching the C/D borderline cohort as these students were the most challenging students yet very important for school figures, too. I have had very good value added for all my year classes.

Through my various roles I have acquired many skills. I have good time management and communication skills, which have enabled me to be flexible, approachable and open to views from other perspectives. I am focussed, organised and positive and would welcome new ideas to succeed further.

I believe I have the skills and characteristics to support other Mathematics departments to be successful and motivated.

I am a firm believer of team teaching and group planning so that teachers can share good practice. I like to encourage members of the department to liaise regularly with support staff to demystify Mathematics and show pupils that Mathematics does not have to be either incomprehensible or boring and can even be fun; as well as sharing good practice by visiting and working with my mathematics department to move everyone forward. I like to focus on specific strengths and skills of the department as well as their needs to support them so that they can feel empowered to strive collectively and take the department forward. I believe there should be transparency across the department so everyone feels supported and knows of the high expectations we have of them and students. I often encourage teachers to use their strengths, empowering them to take more responsibility and develop less experienced teachers so that we are always striving to be ‘Outstanding’. This year I have attended a course on ‘Aspiring Head of Mathematics’ with the STEM learning group at the University of YORK. This was an excellent course that delivered sessions to many current Head of Mathematics. This included how to implement the new changes to the GCSE mathematics course as well as coaching and mentoring of staff and TLR holders. I believe that this course has given me the skills to be reflective on my own practice as well as inspire others to better themselves in their practice.

I like to encourage more independent and personalised learning, inspiring students to take ownership of their learning as well as support them through an important journey in their lives. I believe to teach pupils skills that they will need for the rest of their lives is vital as well as prepare students for an examination. There must be a balance between preparing students for life yet ensuring they have success at GCSE mathematics to secure their future. Pupils need the skills to succeed in the future more so than the here and now!

Theodora Wilmot - Supporting those new to the role

I have worked as a History teacher in West London for a number of years, first in Hillingdon and then in Ealing. Now as a Curriculum Leader for History I am not only focused on ensuring the very best quality of teaching and learning within the department but also its development more holistically, both in regards to its smooth management and pedagogical improvement. The team that I lead is diverse, including both very experienced teachers, as well as a number of those new to teaching. Nevertheless, it has been one of my priorities to offer development opportunities for all and to foster a collaborative, transparent ethos, through which every member of my team feels invested in the department’s overall achievements. Most recently these include a number of students gaining places to study History at top universities, a substantial increase in the number of students selecting History as an option at all academic levels, and finally some outstanding GCSE and A Level grades.

Linked to the NQT development I have been focusing on within my own department, more widely I help to lead the school’s internal CPD program and have taken a leading role in supporting those training to teach through the Teach First program, both inside and outside of my own school. This has included coaching those in other subject areas during their first two years of teaching, as well as supporting established History teachers with their career progression. This emphasis on the development of new teachers is something that I am particularly interested in, and as such I chose to focus the dissertation for my Masters in Educational Leadership (IOE) on the impact had by subject mentors on the development of trainee teachers. I hope to continue my of professional development in this area.