Meet Our SLE’s

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are ‘outstanding’ middle and senior leaders including deputy and assistant head teachers, subject leaders, pastoral leaders and school business managers with a particular area of expertise and a successful track record of school improvement.  SLEs have the ability to apply their skills to raise standards, whether it is teaching and learning or support services.  SLEs support individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools.

All of our SLEs have gone through a strict assessment process to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria and that they have a proven track record of successfully working with other school professionals.


Jemma Bell

SLE for Early Years

Jemma is the Reception teacher at Parkside GGI Academy. She currently holds multiple leadership roles including Reception lead, Music, Art, Dance and Drama lead as well as leading the Parent Voice.

During her role as the Reception lead which she has led for the past 3 years, she has extended both her experience and knowledge in this area from supporting other schools and working as a close partnership with other Early Years professionals. Jemma ensures that all children make progress from their starting points through thorough monitoring and evaluating teaching. Through her excellent knowledge of what an outstanding Reception class should look like she ensures that progress is made by all children and that their learning is purposeful and suited to their needs.

Cassie Lawson

SLE for Early Years & Phonics

Cassie has been in post as Senior Teacher at Lindal and Marton Primary School for the past three years. Alongside teaching a mixed Reception/Year 1 class, she holds a number of additional leadership responsibilities. Cassie co-ordinates EYFS, Phonics, Music and Science as well as leading a team of learning support staff. Cassie is a hardworking, conscientious and ambitious individual who relishes a challenge.

Cassie has been praised for her outstanding practice by her own leaders, LA advisers and also other headteachers in her local Cluster. During her time at Lindal and Marton School, she has had a significant impact on attainment in both phonics and EYFS and has implemented the RWI Phonics programme across all of Foundation Stage and KS1.

Having already supported a number of local primary schools informally, Cassie is eager to continue this work within the Teaching School and collaborate with other professionals to support them in promoting progress to achieve their school’s own objectives as well as contributing to improved outcomes county wide.

Roxanne Marks

SLE for Early Years

Roxanne is the Early Years Leader and Assistant Head teacher at Parkside GGI Academy. Roxanne has been early year’s leader for the past 4 years and during this time she has opened and established the new 2 year old setting. There are approximately 130 children in the early years setting at Parkside GGI Academy. Roxanne ensures all children make progress from their starting points through monitoring and evaluating teaching.

Roxanne has guided and supported new staff into the school by using her excellent knowledge of what an outstanding teacher should be and how to ensure progress is made by all children through their own interests. Her passion is to nurture, inspire and develop children’s abilities for lifelong learning.

Roxanne won Teacher of the Year in 2015 at the Love Barrow awards for her commitment and dedication to teaching.

Kathryn Preston

SLE for Early Years

Kathryn is an Early Years and Key Stage 1 leader and teaches Reception Class at Yarlside Academy.

Kathryn has been teaching for 20 years within primary schools across a range of year groups. She initially started her teaching career in Manchester and then moved to Cumbria and has taught at Yarlside for 16 years.

Kathryn is a Quality Champion who is currently supporting schools in the South of the county on the Department For Education, Strategic School Improvement Fund bid ‘Diminishing Disadvantage in the Early Years’. She is assisting practitioners with identifying groups of children who are potentially not going to meet the GLD and offering support to schools in a variety of ways.

Kathryn is also an Early Years Professional Development leader supporting Senior Leadership Teams on behalf of the Maths Hub. She is collaborating with Maths and Early Years leaders to design bespoke support packages to develop the leadership capacity for Early Years Mathematics for each individual school.

Nancy Fletcher

SLE for Literacy

Nancy is Deputy Head Teacher and English Coordinator at Sir John Barrow School in Ulverston. Currently teaching in year 3, she has 10 years’ experience in Year 6. She has worked across a variety of settings including secondary and FE as an English and MFL teacher.

Since 2012, Nancy has led sustained improvement in writing at SJB. She has provided peer mentoring and school improvement support in her own school and with other schools in the area. The focus of these projects has been to improve writing, to plan English around quality texts and to ensure consistency in assessment. She has a passion for reading and aims to see good quality books supporting the whole curriculum. Nancy is experienced in observing lessons and in reviewing children’s books. In her role as deputy she has a wealth of expertise in raising the quality of writing across the wider primary curriculum. Nancy is an experienced writing moderator at KS2.

Jenny Redhead

SLE for Literacy

Jenny is the assistant head teacher at Roose Primary School and is responsible for English, PSHE and Gifted and Talented children.

Jenny has been teaching for 16 years and has worked at Roose Primary School for the past 13 years. Jenny has supported teachers in other schools as well as her own for many years working closely with the LA on a number of English based projects, including writing and transition to year 7, assessment, and Every Child a Writer.

Jenny has a MA in Education and has attended many useful and informative training courses to assist her in her support of others. Jenny enjoys working with other schools and other practical and extensive support.

Karen Stringer

SLE for Curriculum & Literacy

Karen is currently Deputy Head and Year 2 teacher at St. George’s C of E Nursery and Primary School.

Karen is an outstanding teacher who has made a huge impact on results in both Year 2 and 6 over the years in all subjects. She has leadership responsibility for Maths and the Curriculum and wide experience of leading other practitioners to support their development and improve whole school performance.

Karen is part of the CASL Primary English Group and has written several case studies including papers on Boys’ Writing and Phonics. She also writes teaching sequences for Creative Literacy and has contributed to the National Literacy Trust. She works extensively with children’s authors to support a love of literature. In Mathematics, Karen has worked closely with other local schools to support progress and attainment.

Abigail Webb

SLE for Literacy

Abigail is the Year 2 teacher at Parkside GGI. In addition to her role as Yr 2 Teacher Abigail has leadership responsibility for English, IT, Science, Design & Technology and PE.

Since qualifying as a teacher in 2009 Abigail has worked in a number of local schools, in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Abigail took on the responsibility as subject leader for English after shadowing the head, who is a local leader of education (LLE).

Having already supported local schools, Abigail is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and furthering her experience in this exciting and challenging role.

Matt Connell

SLE for Maths

Matt is the Maths subject leader at Sir John Barrow Primary School and is also a member of the Senior Management team. Under his leadership since 2012 Maths results have improved across all year groups. He introduced Big Maths at SJB and has also supported other Maths leaders to introduce the approach in their schools. Matt has led CPD for schools and enjoys the challenge of supporting and working with other Maths leaders. He is trained in the White Rose Hub materials and Mastery in Maths. Matt has regularly demonstrated outstanding practice which has been commented on by his own school and other head teachers.

Matt has experience of working with many other schools in the area and supporting them in raising standards in Maths. He has experience of team teaching, observing lessons and undertaking work scrutinies in schools. Matt is also the curriculum leader at SJB and has experience of developing the curriculum across school.

Sara Hill

SLE for Maths

Sara is on the Senior Management team at Greengate Junior School.  Sara has been leading Mathematics for over 6 years, during which time she has raised the profile of maths within school, ensuring the ‘can do’ attitude and maths is fun. Under Sara’s leadership, the maths attainment has risen from 73% to 100%.  Her leadership responsibilities include maths assessment, analysis, observations and completing work scrutinies.  Sara Introduced Big Maths and is working alongside other schools to assess and analyse its impact.

Sara is Maths Recovery Trained and is currently working on Mastery of Maths and is involved in discussions with the Maths Hub.  Sara recently set up a Maths Leader Group Meeting which takes place termly for teachers in the area to get together and share.

Sara has a wide range of experience in working with and supporting other schools in raising numeracy standards.

Claire Miller

SLE for Maths & Assessment

Claire is the Deputy Head and Year 6 teacher at Yarlside Academy.   She is an experienced primary school teacher with responsibility for coordinating Maths, Assessment and Tracking throughout the school.

Claire is an outstanding leader across all areas that she is responsible for.  She is consistently judged as an outstanding practitioner within her own classroom, judged from both Ofsted and through internal observations.  As Deputy Head, she has experience of whole school leadership and management and has carried out the role of Headteacher on numerous occasions, including a secondment to another local school.

Claire is extremely resourceful when supporting other schools and teachers, in particular identifying needs.

Heather Clark

SLE for Phonics

Heather is the Year 1 teacher at Parkside GGI Academy and has been in post for 8 years. She is subject leader of Phonics, Art, Music, Dance & Drama.

Heather has experience of providing Phonics support to many schools. Heather recently led a Phonics Partnership Programme for 12 local schools; with the aim being to improve Phonics Screening Check results. She supported local leaders and teachers in becoming confident in leading Phonics in their own schools. Feedback from the partnership was extremely positive and data evidence showed a huge improvement in results from all schools involved.

In addition to this, Heather has also provided Letters and Sounds, grammar and spelling training sessions, through Yarlside Teaching School.

Vicky Evans


Vicky is the full-time deputy Head Teacher and SENCO at Barrow Island Primary School.

Vicky’s teaching career began in 1998 as a Reception Class Teacher at Barrow Island Primary School, Vicky remained in this position until 2003 when she moved to Venice and spent two years teaching at The International School of Venice (Year 1 & Year 5 classes). Following this amazing experience, Vicky returned to England and worked at Chapel Street Infants school for a year. Vicky seized the chance to work at Barrow Island Primary School again when the opportunity to teach Year 1 presented itself in 2007 and has remained there ever since. Whilst at Barrow Island Primary School Vicky has been involved in Intensive Maths intervention, she completed the NASC SENCO award and has been acting and now full-time deputy head.

Vicky founded Furness Inclusion Group Sencos (FIGS) and has been the chairperson since it’s beginning. Vicky is held in high regard as an outstanding SENCO by her peers.  Vicky works closely with and supports SENCO’s in other schools.

Stephanie Pearson

SLE for SEND and Pupil Premium Reviews

Stephanie is Year 6 Teacher and SENCO at Dalton St Mary’s C of E Primary School.

Stephanie has been a teacher for over 20 years and has been SENCO in her school for approximately 10 years.  She has spent a great deal of time working with outside agencies in relation to children with a wide variety of needs and disabilities. Stephanie is responsible for mapping the provision for children with special needs in her school and works alongside the SMT to delegate appropriate staff and organise appropriate activities and timetables for children on the SEND register.  She has vast experience in dealing with paperwork relating to special needs and understands the challenges that present themselves when applying for an EHCP or converting a Statement.

Stephanie has assisted schools with implementing changes outlined by specialists – organising appropriate timetables for activities and ensuring the necessary paperwork is evident in order to apply for further assistance for children.  Suggesting strategies that might help with specific medical conditions or areas of need.

Stephanie has the Cumbria Advanced Certificate in Specific Learning Difficulties which focuses mainly on dyslexia but also covers other learning difficulties.

Paul Alalouf

SLE for Teaching & Learning

Paul started his teaching career in 1997 at a small village primary school in Pembrokeshire.  He came to Barrow in 2000 to take up a Year 6 post in Barrow Island Primary School.  In the first year, Paul took the SAT levels from the mid 40% reaching level 4 to the mid 80% in Reading, Maths and Science and mid 70% in Writing.  Increased numbers of children gaining level 5’s followed in the subsequent years.  Paul then moved into Year 2, again with a responsibility for raising standards of children reaching high level 2A and 3’s.

After sustained improvements in the following years, Paul progressed to TLR 1 and 2 and was then asked to take on the role of Teaching and Learning within school.  Paul took on responsibility for mentoring colleagues within school in order to maintain high standards across other year groups.  He has mentored many PGCE trainees and mentored several newly qualified teachers successfully.

Paul continues to analyse data in order to put together focussed groups of children for additional support.  Identification of next steps for sustained improvement lies at the heart of small group and 1:1 focussed booster sessions that he engages in. Paul has been a county moderator for writing standards at year 6 for the past 4 years.  This has allowed him to bring fresh ideas into his own practice which he shares with colleagues to raise standards.


Matt Barton

SLE for Geography & Teaching and Learning

Matt is the Assistant Headteacher responsible for the development of teaching, assessment and learning at Walney School.

Matt has developed robust systems of monitoring and professional development designed to challenge and support teachers in improving the quality of teaching, assessment and learning. Matt developed a structured model of CPD that empowers subject leaders to lead on collaborative developments specific to their subject need. He has also designed a ‘Curriculum and Assessment Review and Development’ model that utilises external SLE support to support subject leaders in ensuring their 5 year curriculum meets the needs of students in response to the demands of new GCSE qualifications.

Previously, Matt co-wrote and facilitated the Cumbria Good 2 Outstanding (G2O) programme and Facilitator programme.

Matt is a former Head of Geography at Dowdales School. Under his leadership, the Geography attainment rose from 48% A*-C to a peak of 91% A*to C. He developed a 5 year curriculum based on a Learning Journey approach that centres around student friendly success criteria, embedded assessment and intervention windows along with differentiated homework tasks to support students to consolidate and extend their learning independently.

Jill Bowes

SLE for Leadership & Management, CPD and Teaching and Learning

Jill is the Deputy Headteacher at Dowdales School

Jill is a Senior Leader and facilitator who has considerable experience in the writing and delivering of both Teaching and Learning and Leadership Programmes. As a designated SLE for Teaching & Learning, Leadership and Management: Leadership of Continuing Professional Development, Jill is also an experienced coach and qualified National College facilitator.

** Please note: Due to COVID all courses have been cancelled. We will contact you regarding refunds ***