Meet The Team – Specialist Leaders of Education

Michele Page :

Michele Page

I am deputy headteacher (acting) at Watergate school. Watergate is an outstanding primary special school for pupils with severe learning difficulties. A large number of pupils at the school have autism and some have complex medical needs.

I am a trainer reviewer for Challenge Partners and have really enjoyed the experience of being part of a review team in other schools.  I have a wealth of expertise and experience in the field of SEND, having worked in this area for several years with both children and young adults. I am passionate about providing the best education possible for children and young adults with SEND.  I am the lead professional for Teaching, Learning and Assessment.   Throughout my career I have led on several areas of the curriculum.

A particular focus of mine has been mentoring NQTs and the induction of new staff.  I manage staff and pupil attendance.   I have led on several school improvement initiatives –including curriculum development, assessment moderation (involving other schools), autism, complex needs.

I have supported colleagues in both mainstream and special schools to develop optimum provision and best learning opportunities across the curriculum relevant to the very individual needs of pupils with SEND (personalised learning journeys).


Katrina Walsh :

Katrina Walsh

Katrina Walsh - Eliot Bank Primary

Andy McPartland :

Andy McPartland

I am currently Assistant Head teacher responsible for Teaching and Learning. I have experience carrying out Teaching and Learning Reviews in the form of lesson observations, support staff observations, book/data scrutiny, running pupil progress meetings, talking to pupils, interviewing subject leaders and was also maths subject leader for 2 years.

I have experience across both KS1 and KS2. I have also been the Key Stage 2 phase leader at Ashmead Primary School for the past three years, which involves responsibility for literacy and maths in Years 4, 5 and 6.

A particular focus of mine has been to improve the quality of maths across the school (planning, recording, teaching, organisation) whilst also increasing the levels of reasoning and problem solving.

I have led whole school initiatives including delivering staff training and monitoring the impact of the initiative (e.g. response marking, using open ended questioning and using specific focus groups to plan a series of lessons). I have also been responsible for the creation of both a whole school calculation policy for maths and grammar policy for literacy and have been overseeing how this policy is embedded within the teaching of reading and writing.

I have a passion and strength in both maths and English which allows me to foster growth and progress across the subject. An in-depth subject knowledge has also allowed me to develop tools and resources for specific needs and I have many ideas to raise both attainment and interest in Maths, Reading and Writing.

Over the past two years, I have also been developing a programme of mentor-coaching across the school. As a part of this role I provide support and advice to my colleagues and have overseen the training of a team of coaches whom now operate confidently across the school as part of a rolling programme.

With my ability to build strong rapport and gain the trust of my colleagues, I am able to identify targets and offer support and strategies to achieve these. I aim to raise moral, confidence and ability in teaching practice.

Leanne Cowley :

Leanne Cowley

I am currently the maths lead and a lower KS2 phase leader at Fairlawn Primary school.  Over the last year I have introduced the teaching for mastery approach in mathematics. I have delivered whole school training, mentored and coached teachers with the planning and teaching of maths. I have monitored the impact through observations and book looks. In addition to this, I have worked with maths leads across the federation and delivered staff training at all of the schools.  This year I have been training to become a maths mastery specialist teacher with the NCETM and Maths Hub. As part of this role, I will be leading a teacher research group with seven local schools on introducing and developing approaches to teaching for mastery.

Specialist Leaders in Education in our Alliance

SLEs are experienced middle or senior leaders with a specialism (for example, mathematics, ITT, behaviour).

While other roles (for example, advanced skills teachers) focused on developing classroom expertise, this role is about developing other leaders so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools.

You should contact an SLE if you want to improve the leadership in a specific subject or specialist area in your school.

SLEs can provide one-to-one or group support. Their work could involve a variety of activities, such as:

To find out more go to DfE System Leaders

For up to date information on information sessions, application, interview and training rounds follow us on Twitter or email Christina Jenner