School to School Support

West Ipswich Teaching School Alliance, working in partnership can support through providing specialised and focused support to shape, develop and share outstanding and successful practice, school to school, in order to raise standards of achievement.

Our team are happy to work with you to provide support for your school or setting. We can support schools through SLE deployments and through our CPD offer. We welcome visits to our settings. If there is an area of the curriculum in which you would like support, please contact us.

Our leaders are happy to work with you to identify appropriate strategies or support for your school/setting. We can also offer tailored support which could include

  • Learnig Walks to review your provision or to learn from other provisions
  • Creative teaching across KS1
  •  Teaching for Neurodiversity
  •  Working with trainee teachers
  • Training new mentors.
  • Teaching and Learning in EYFS and KS1
  • Initial teacher training (ITT)
  • Transition from Early Years to Year One
  • Marking in Early Years and Key Stage One
  • Outdoor Learning in the Early Years
  • Outstanding Early Years Practise
  • Creative Planning and cross curricular links in the FS
  • Leadership in the Foundation Stage
  • Tracking and Assessment in the Foundation Stage
  • Creative Curriculum in Key Stage One
  • Leading whole school Mantels and inspiring topic starters
  • Assessment (including the Resilient Potential Tracker)
  • Story Curriculum and planning in Early Years
  • Forest Schools and outdoor learning
  • Positive behaviour management
  • Development and movement

Deployments can vary in length depending on your requirements and we are happy to meet your needs. 

If you are interested in support and deploying one of our West Ipswich Teaching School Specialist Leader of Education (SLE), please email or call: Tel:01473 742534 to discuss your needs to explore how we can support your school on its journey.

Specialist Leaders in Education are outstanding middle and senior leaders such as Deputy/Assistant Head teachers, key stage leaders or subject leaders with at least two years of leadership experience. SLEs have an excellent knowledge in a particular area of expertise and a successful record of supporting other middle and senior leaders in other schools. The SLE focuses on developing leadership capacity so that other leaders develop the skills to lead their own teams more effectively. West Ipswich Teaching School has 8 designated SLE’s and is responsible for managing the process from start to finish, supporting the SLE and identifying with you the most appropriate SLE when a request is made to us.

As a Teaching School, we are committed to improving the quality of school leadership through school to school support and peer to peer learning.


West Ipswich Teaching School currently have 8 designated SLE’s employed across a variety of subject areas and expertise.

To find out who our SLEs are please see individual pen portraits on our website.


Different organisations can commission support from SLEs, from West Ipswich Teaching School.

The most likely commissioners include schools, academy chains and local authorities. A teaching school may commission support for a school within its alliance.


For each deployment the brokering process will involve:

1) Contact us and discuss your needs.

 2) West Ipswich Teaching School will approach colleagues and respond to your request

3) The SLE will get in contact to discuss the details of the deployment and draw up a Deployment Contract  signed by the HT of the SLE’s school, the HT of the supported school and the SLE themselves. This will outline the terms of the deployment and agreed outcomes.

4) West Ipswich Teaching School will invoice you for the deployment, and the SLE’s school will invoice West Ipswich Teaching School for supply costs.

Following deployment, you and the SLE will draw up a Record of Support and you will have an opportunity to feedback on your experience to West Ipswich Teaching School.




What is an Specialist Leader in Education

If you would like to explore how the West Ipswich Teaching School may be able to support your school in its journey, please email:


National Leader of Governance

National Leaders of Governance are highly effective chairs of governors who use their skills and experience to support chairs of governors in other schools and academies. They work to increase the leadership capacity of other chairs to help raise standards so that improvements can be sustained. For general information on becoming a National Leader in Governance visit

Angela Gage is a very experienced governor with many years in this role and has a wealth of expertise in the following:

  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Governor recruitment and selection
  • Performance Management
  • Preparation for Ofsted
  • Safeguarding
  • Internal Evaluation

Angela is happy to support all governoring bodies in the region and be contacted via West Ipswich Teaching School to discuss how she can support your governoring body.




SLE Pen Portraits

Name: Ruth Coleman – Headteacher at Highfield Nursery School and children’s centre, Ipswich

Specialist Areas:

  • Early Years
  •  Assessment (including the Resilient Potential Tracker)
  • Story Curriculum and planning in Early Years
  •  Forest Schools and outdoor learning
  • Outstanding Early Years practise
  • Positive behaviour management
  • Development and movement

I am the Deputy Head Teacher at Highfield Nursery School and Children’s Centre in Ipswich.  Highfield is the only maintained nursery school in Suffolk, with 104 places for three and four year olds.  We have recently added our Butterflies two year old room – with a further 40 places for both funded and paying families.  Highfield has received Ofsted judgements of outstanding in the previous three visits.

Highfield is a very special place to work.  The two nursery school classrooms are connected and children are able to free flow between classrooms and the outdoors.  We have an extensive and inspirational outdoors, including The Meadow and pond area that enables children to develop as confident, inquisitive and able learners.  Children leave Highfield as independent and resilient learners, ready for the next stage in their education.

I teach a nursery class during the Early Block at Highfield and also have responsibility for curriculum and assessment, as well as support the CPD part of the WIT teaching school.  In 2012 I designed the Highfield Resilience Potential Tracker, based on the work of Edith Grotberg, which is now used across Suffolk and many other areas across the UK to track, monitor and support the resilience of young children.

I trained as a Jabadao practitioner in 2015.

I trained as a Level 3 Forest School leader in 2010 and run outdoor learning courses through the WIT teaching School CPD.

Name of SLE: Esther Lury

School Name: Sproughton C of E Primary School

Current Position: Maths specialist teacher

SLE Specialism: Numeracy:

  •  Particularly at KS2 but including KS1 and transition to KS3
  •  Improving outcomes and understanding through:
  • Talk and reasoning
  • Visualisation, imagery and manipulatives

I love maths; I love enabling children to understand maths and grow in confidence; and I love sharing my enthusiasm and experience with other teachers to improve outcomes for their children too.

Since qualifying as a teacher, I have led numeracy in a number of schools. As part of this role, I have led training and supported individual teachers through lesson study and ongoing advice. During this time, my understanding of how children learn maths and the most effective ways of ensuring this has developed and continues to develop. I am currently deepening that understanding through studying for a post graduate certificate in primary maths.

In particular, I strongly believe that children need to build up mental imagery of how the number system works through use of a range of manipulatives, pictures, diagrams and symbols. They also need to discuss and refine their understanding and to develop confidence and strategies to apply it independently in a range of situations. However, it can be difficult to balance these ideals with the requirements of the curriculum. I am therefore particularly interested in supporting people to weave these approaches into the curriculum through ongoing planning; questioning strategiesand classroom organisation.

Wherever I have worked, children working at a range of levels have enjoyed maths and grown in confidence as well as attainment. The three go hand in hand and I therefore work hard to establish the key message that anyone can do maths by including more mixed ability teaching; more tasks where children can adjust the level of challenge; and more emphasis on skills beyond speed of mental recall.

I am keen for children to enjoy learning maths and for teachers to enjoy teaching it.

Name of SLE: Jade Nixon

Current role:Assistant Headteacher and Year 2 class teacher.(Currently covering Deputy Head role for maternity leave)

SLE specialisms:

  • Growth mindset
  • Assessment for learning/challenge for all
  • Year 2 assessment
  • Leadership
  •  Journey from RI to Good


I am currently an Assistant Headteacher at Dale Hall Primary school. Prior to working here I worked in an Outstanding Infant School in Hertfordshire.

I am an extremely well organised and driven person, I not only have high expectations of myself but of every stakeholder working within my team. In an ever changing world of education I am consistently positive and enthusiastic about my job; and thrive on the daily successes and challenges that teaching brings. In my current role I have demonstrated that I am flexible and resilient and have responded to and dealt with constant change during a high pressured journey from Requires Improvement to Good.

As an Assistant Headteacher I am responsible for many whole school aspects but my specific areas of key responsibility are as follows; subject leadership, curriculum, growth mindset, AFL, data and assessment, pupil progress, behaviour management and coaching.

I have always been keen to develop my leadership skills further. Prior to working at Dale Hall I completed the NPQML qualification from the National College of school leadership and am currently taking part in Suffolk’s aspiring deputy programme. More recently I have applied for and been successfully accredited as an SLE for Suffolk. Last year I was recruited as a KS1 moderator for county and went into varying schools to support them moderate their end of Key Stage teacher judgements.

I have been a crucial part of Dale Hall’s journey from requires improvement to Good. My biggest success to date has been the whole school introduction of Growth Mindset, Learning Powers and challenge for all. When I started at Dale HallOFSTED had identified that pupils were coasting, particularly the more able. Whilst working in an Outstanding School in Hertfordshire I had been a crucial part of a Shirley Clarke action research project so I used this knowledge to successfully lead the Growth Mindset initiative to impact on whole school performance at Dale Hall. Over time I worked with teaching staff, support staff, pupils, parents, LA visitors and governors. In spring term 2016 OFSTED reported that ‘Pupils now embrace the notion of personal challenge very enthusiastically.’

I feel passionate about giving every child the best education they can possibly have.

Name of SLE: Sarah Loxley

I am the English Lead for Norfolk and Suffolk PGCE Primary SCITT. I teach across the English curriculum and also deliver Phonics training. I also teach the Masters Level Writing Modules for SCITT.

In addition, I am a Personal Tutor for SCITT, supporting students across their training year with advice, mentoring and guidance on teaching and learning, planning and assessment, differentiation, behaviour management and subject knowledge. I support trainees in EY, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and Special Schools.

I have taught across Key Stage 1 and 2 and most recently worked as Year Group Leader and English Co-ordinator at Fairfield Infant School in Felixstowe.

I have worked with Ofsted Challenge Partners; supporting teachers from a wide range of settings to develop their practice.

I have led CPD training for schools on SPaG, Performance and Debating, Use of Working Walls, Guided Reading and Phonics. In summer 2017 I was the lead practitioner for the ‘Phonics Roadshow’ in Ipswich.

Name of SLE: Annie Pocock

Current Position: Educational Consultant (Retired Primary Vice Principal)

SLE specialisms:

  • Leadership
  • Assessment and Data
  • KS1/Lower KS2 and the Curriculum
  • KS1 Moderator - Year 2 Assessment
  • Mathematics (MaST Accredited)
  • NQT and SCITT Mentor


I entered into education later in my life than others, however in my 15 years as a practitioner, I went from an NQT to a Vice Principal.  During this time, I also graduated with a Master’s Degree in Education. I became a SCITT and NQT Mentor, was accredited with AST status and also accrued Philosophy and MaST specialism qualifications.  My teaching practice culminated with the role of Vice Principal of a large primary school, and being accepted for NPQH. Suffice it to say I am not one to sit still, I have high expectations of myself, and driven in the pursuit of excellence.  I enjoy supporting all members of staff and the wider community, and strive hard to achieve the best possible outcomes for all.

I was a crucial part of the team when transitioning to Academy status. Understanding the role necessary as a Vice Principal to support not just the children within the school, but also the staff, parents, every stakeholder who were a part of the school.  I was also responsible to the head teacher in key areas, such as leadership, assessment, data, pupil progress, the curriculum, behaviour, coaching and mentoring, and at times making decisions in absence of the HT.

I do have many passions in education, but in particular Mathematics and all forms of Assessment and Data.  I do love a mathematical problem, and watching how support and encouragement can promote the self-belief in children to achieve.  The use of many strategies, each one unique to the child, can enable that confidence.  I strive hard to promote self-efficacy within all students, and staff alike. I enjoy a creative curriculum and the cross curricular engagement for children to access excellence and enjoyment in a school day.

I have had a myriad of experiences that I feel will stand me in good stead as an SLE to continue to support, coach, mentor, engage and facilitate to help with improving outcomes for children and supporting leaders to grow and nurture their own leaders.

Name of SLE: Lara Fiddaman

Current Position: Assistant Head teacher

SLE Specialisms:

  • Year 6 expectations and writing moderation.
  • Preparation for Y6 SATs and assessment and reporting arrangements.
  • Mentoring and coaching – including NQTs and trainee teachers.
  • Mathematics in KS2.

 I am working as Assistant Headteacher and Year 6 teacher at Brooklands Primary School in Brantham. I have 8 years of experience of teaching Year 6 and have been a trained KS2 writing moderator for 3 years. During this time, I have developed a clear knowledge and understanding of the expectations of the Year 6 curriculum and how KS2 builds on learning in KS1. In order to ensure the progress of every child, I am adept at using assessment and monitoring information as a diagnostic tool in order to close gaps in children’s understanding and skills. In 2015 I completed the MaST course and have used my learning throughout this programme to impact on my role as Maths Leader and my own teaching in Year 6, incorporating reasoning and problem solving alongside fluency and recall.mproving teaching and learning. As part of my teaching and learning role, I have gained extensive experience in observation, action planning, analysing data and monitoring activities, such as work scrutiny and learning walks. I enjoy supporting and developing staff and have provided whole school, group and individual training focused on maths and improving teaching and learning. I have experience of mentoring and coaching colleagues, as well as NQTs and trainee teachers. Working within a school that went through the academisation programme enabled me to develop the communication skills needed to be able to work alongside a variety of stakeholders to drive improvements within the school and inspire others for change in order to achieve the very best outcomes for the children in the school. Within my leadership role, I have also been able to support others, within my own school, with their progression and development, and I have found this incredibly fulfilling and worthwhile. I know that there can be an even greater impact on a school if this support can come from outside, opening eyes to new or different ideas, or prompting the objectivity required to deal with changes or difficult situations and I believe I have the compassion and communication skills to effectively fulfil this role.


Name of SLE: Victoria Morris:

Current Position: Reception Teacher and EYFS Leader

SLE Specialisms: 

  • EYFS Improving and developing provision in the EYFS 
  • Teaching phonics in Reception

I am an enthusiastic teacher and leader with a commitment to raising standards and achieving excellence. I am currently teaching in Reception and leading the EYFS at Dale Hall CP School. I began my teaching career working in an inner city school in Leeds and became part of the Senior Leadership team when the school began its’ successful journey in moving from RI to good. When moving to Ipswich, I became the EYFS lead at a large primary school and also took on an Interim Assistant Headship during a time of rapid change. I have high expectations of myself as well as of those that I work with and I enjoy supporting other members of staff in their professional development. In a profession that is high pressured, I am able to remain positive and motivate others. I have worked closely with teaching and support staff in a number of schools to develop their provision for Reception children. I am driven by

providing opportunities for children that are relevant and purposeful and this is evident in the learning environments I develop and create. A passion of mine within education is the teaching of phonics during the Reception year. When I first qualified as a teacher, I spent time working with a phonics specialist to develop phonics within the setting and now use this knowledge to inspire and support others.

Name of SLE: Jill Sandvig

LLE Specialisms:

  • Leadership and Management
  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • School Improvement and Peer Review
  • Change management
  • Balancing financial constraints
  • Coaching for NPQ’s

Being a Headteacher for five years has been very demanding – particularly as the profession moves through this quagmire of political change. However, for me, the role remains one of the most rewarding, bringing me joy and satisfaction. Keeping my eyes on the need of the children in my school helps enormously! I have held many subject leadership roles in my teaching career - maths, English, SEND, assessment - all of which have helped build my portfolio of knowledge and skills. I have also held leadership roles at different levels, which has enabled me to see things from different points of view.

I enjoy working alongside colleagues to improve outcomes for children, and am looking forward to continuing our great work through school-to-school support and the West Ipswich Research School.

Name of SLE: Eileen Martin

SLE Specialisms:

  • Continuous provision indoors and outdoors
  • Outstanding Early Years Practice
  • Formative Assessment
  • Well being and involvement
  • Parental involvement

With over twenty years’ experience in a variety of settings in London and Suffolk, I have taught in two nursery schools and four primary schools in Reception and Nursery classes. I have worked on senior leadership teams, driving good practice in Early Years and have successfully mentored NQTs and experienced teachers new to the Foundation Stage. I am passionate about Early Years and its vital role in laying the foundation for future educational achievement. I recently took part in the Early Excellence Review of Reception Practice and have good knowledge of the Ofsted Bold Beginnings document on successful Early Years practice.

With the introduction of the new baseline test in 2020, it is crucial that schools develop their Early Years practice based on a proven pedagogy which takes into account how young children learn best. I am particularly interested in the environment and how it plays a vital role in developing children’s interests and facilitates their own lines of enquiry. I am solutions focused and enjoy the challenge of working with teachers to develop provision indoors and outdoors which meets children’s’ individual needs and learning styles. I am a team player and believe that results are better achieved in collaboration with teachers who know best their cohort and environment. I feel that one of the most effective ways of developing practice and driving change is through people like myself who currently work in the same environment and have an up to date knowledge of current practice. We all have so much to learn from each other and from other settings which can only be positive for the children in our care.

Name of LLE: Janita Betts

LLE Specialisms:

·         Leadership and management

·         Curriculum and assessment

·         School improvement and peer review

·         Coaching NPQ’s

·         ITT

I have been a Headteacher for nearly six years, which has been both rewarding and challenging. My teaching experience spans over 20 years and I have taught in a variety of London Boroughs and schools. I have also been in many leadership roles which include SENCo, English leader, KS1 Leader and DH for 8 years. All these roles have developed my management and leadership of people and teams and how to get the best outcomes for children. During the last three years I have been working with North Essex Teacher Training as a training manger. This has developed my knowledge and understanding of the teachers’ standards for ITT.

Name of SLE: Jodie Slinn

Current Position: Year 2 Class Teacher

SLE Specialisms:

  • Creative teaching across KS1.
  • Continuous provision in KS1.
  • Mentoring trainee teachers
  • Training new mentors


I am a young, enthusiastic class teacher with an excellent understanding of current teaching practices. I was previously English co-ordinator before leaving for maternity and have taught and lead a team in KS1. I have supported a wide range of individuals including teaching students, NQTs and RQTs, school staff and teachers from other schools.I am able to support not only trainee teachers but also their mentors and am able to demonstrate quality, outstanding teaching. I am particularly passionate about the planning and teaching of the creative curriculum across KS1 and have many examples of planning including resources such as the outdoors, role play areas and small world areas. I thoroughly enjoy the ‘Mantle of the Expert’ style of teaching and have planning to support this from Year 1 and 2. Taking my experience of Year 1 and 2, I have reflected upon and developed effective transition arrangements from EYFS to Year 1, Year 1 to Year 2 and Year 2 to Year 3. I have recently worked with my team to develop continuous provision across three year 2 classes and have been working to enhance our large outdoor provision.

I am incredibly passionate about high standards of teaching and learning and am committed to building strong relationships with a range of practitioners. I look forward to working with others to develop professionally and to support others across Suffolk.



Name of SLE: Sherise Richardson

Current Position- Early Years Foundation Stage Leader, Key Stage One Phase Leader and Key Practitioner

SLE specialism

  • Outdoor Learning in the Early Years
  • Outstanding Early Years Practise
  • Creative Planning and cross curricular links in the Foundation Stage
  • Leadership in the Foundation Stage
  • Tracking and Assessment in the Foundation Stage
  • Creative Curriculum in Key Stage One
  • Leading whole school Mantels and inspiring topic starters


I thoroughly enjoy myrole as the Early Years Foundation Stage Leader and Key Stage One Phase Leader. I aim to inspire and encourage passion and creativity throughout the InfantsSchool, influencing enthusiasmwithin the staff and the children. My love of learning through play and the outdoors is at the heart of my teaching ethos and I believe all children should be exposed to meaningful, authentic experiences to extend knowledge and understanding and provide a rich resource for play and learning.

The Foundation Stageat Castle Hill has a very unique layout. In the foundation stage there are three classrooms which each represent one area; Literacy, Numeracy and CreativeWe view the indoors and outdoors as integral parts of one whole environment allowing children to move easily between the indoors and outdoors, giving opportunity for play to flow without interruption. The children can access any classroom at any time to explore their interests and feed their individual desires. We have created a unit that is interconnected and branding the outdoors as our fourth classroom means our children have an open-ended opportunity to pursue ideas in different areas, between resources and fundamentally between ideas.

My on-going aim is to provide an outdoor area which allows children to be active, creative and open-ended. I take great pride in providing a provision that allows children to demonstrate self–expression and exploration through play in the outdoors. The outdoor area is set up in a distinctive way and using an approach to promote independence, we have units filled with resources that are purposefully placed around the outdoor environment. There is a Construction unit, a Maths unit, a Literacy unit and a Reading hut. The resources in these units are only available outside and different to what is accessible inside the classrooms. These resources are a method to engage the children’s interests and allow the children to independently lead and extend their learning in the outdoor environment.


I believe what makes me an outstanding classroom practitioner is my passion and enthusiasm. I am motivated to fully engage the children and strive to be creative in my planning and classroom setting.


Name of SLE: Natalie Page

School Name: Castle Hill Infants

SLE Specialism:

  • Teaching and Learning in general in EYFS and KS1
  • Initial teacher training (ITT)
  • Transition from Early Year to Year One
  • Marking in Early Years and Key Stage One

I have recently been appointed as an SLE and am currently an EYFS Teacher and have also had experience of teaching in Year One.  I have experience of leading teachers and LSA’s in Year One including supporting an NQT. I have mentored ITT students and guided them to achieve a final grading of outstanding.

My particular interests:

I am extremely passionate about teaching and in particular transitioning into Year One using an EYFS approach. I have a BA Hons degree in Early Childhood studies and have a love for the Foundation stage and Key Stage One. I feel that this is where children start their learning journey and there are many things that can be reflected in Key Stage One in a variety of ways.

High standards of teaching and learning is something I am also passionate about to ensure that all children can flourish. I am committed to building strong relationships and value the opportunity to work alongside a range of practitioners and trainees. I am keen to develop others professionally enabling them to feel valued, respected and confident in their abilities.

I have really enjoyed implementing response marking within my setting and have supported others to use it and provided exemplar marking to support. I feel that this form of marking is completely beneficial to the child and enables progress to be seen and achieved.

Name of LLE: Ann Waters

Ex- Head Teacher of an outstanding primary school with 39 years experience teaching from Early years to Year 7. Extensive experience with working with philosophy for children, a transformation of learning tool. I have worked with colleague headteachers to set up and run the Suffolk Association of philosophy and worked in collaboration with schools in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire to support improved learning for children and mentoring colleague head teachers. I am a representatative member of the first board of the Suffolk Primary Heads Association. Over a ten year period I have worked abroad for many years in countries such as Zambia, Germany, USA.