As well as our Central Team we have a growing team of educational leaders; these include our Headteachers and Heads of Academy, and National & Specialist Leaders of Education.
If you are an experienced middle or senior leader who is interested in supporting leaders in other schools, you may wish to apply to be a specialist leader of education (SLE). Download Our SLE Information Pack
Our Educational Leaders
Adrian HardingTeaching, Learning & Assessment
Jill MachinMaths Hub Lead, Core Subjects & Middle Leadership
Matt BawdenCharacter Education and Wellbeing
Laura BettyEnglish & Literacy
Katie StarkieLearning & Teaching (CPD) and Student Leadership
I have been Headteacher of Springfield Junior School, Swadlincote since September 2010, after 3 years as deputy Headteacher and SENCo at a large primary school in Burton.
I feel passionately that every child be viewed as an individual and that it is the role of staff in school to work creatively to overcome any barriers and build up positive relationships with children to become partners in the learning process. We are very proud of our inclusive philosophy and ethos at Springfield and the success we have achieved with this; something we will continue to build on as part of QEGSMAT.
Over the last 22 years of Primary teaching and 15 years of School Leadership I have always held strong to my views and passion for wanting the highest possible experiences and achievement for children of all ages. I believe creating a depth of understanding and enabling creativity inspires children to be learners for life. There is no greater job in the world than the one that lights up the eyes of a child or fires their imagination to be whatever they want to be and believe they can and will succeed. I believe hard work, determination, high self-esteem and a warm, supportive environment ensures all meet their potential.
Working across Primary schools from small to large federations, I have always felt passionate that I wanted to change the lives of children.
In 2013 I became the Headteacher of Castle View Primary School in Matlock. The school at that point was a school facing difficulties and was placed in Special Measures as a result. With a supportive team, governing body, community and clear actions I brought about rapid improvements across the school and in March 2015 the school was judged to be good for Leadership and Management and it was noted that ‘The headteacher provides inspirational leadership. She has established a culture of high expectations.’
One of the most significant changes has been on raising aspirations, expectations and focussing on developing the highly effective team that exists today.
I firmly believe that we are only stronger when we work together and this stems from the support children and staff give to one another, the immediate school community and from the links I have made with Teaching School Alliances, accredited training providers and regional bodies. These have ensured there is a highly skilled team across the whole school, who drive school improvement with the support of myself and the governing body.
Castle View is an amazing school that we are all very proud of.
I am now in the 21st year of my career in education which has included teaching and leading teams in Merseyside and Cheshire, eventually arriving at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Ashbourne Derbyshire, in 2002. Following a succession of promotions I was appointed as Head of Academy in February 2016. I feel proud and privileged to lead QEGS in the next chapter of its journey.
My educational philosophy and personal commitment to the local community is that QEGS will always be a school where expectations and standards are extremely high and where student and staff wellbeing are at the heart of everything we do. I lead by ensuring that life at QEGS is exciting and stimulating, where students are cared for; where we nurture every aspect of a student’s personality; where we offer all students a wide range of academic, vocational, artistic and sporting opportunities; where we promote and encourage a student’s interests and talents; where we prepare all students to be lifelong learners with a truly world class education behind them.
One of QEGS’ greatest resource is its staff. The range of experience, talent, interest, expertise and personalities are what makes this school successful and unique. In an ever-changing educational, political and economic climate, ensuring my staff have a healthy work-life balance and I can support them to produce their best is one of my key priorities.
My vision of an ‘outstanding education for all’ transcends all of our stakeholders, from students to staff, from parents to governors, from ex-QEGS to future QEGS. Every day I am excited and curious to see my students, colleagues and our community, in my opinion I have the best job in the world!
Laura LaffordHead of School
I am delighted and proud to be the Headteacher at the City of Derby Academy. My educational philosophy is to provide all students with an engaging and enjoyable learning experience which will develop both academic and personal success. For this to happen, every decision I make as a school leader has to be for the benefit of every child.
I have been in education for nearly 20 years working in a variety of schools; starting from my training year in Sheffield to schools in Rotherham, Tamworth, Etwall and now Sinfin. I have been a Senior Leader since 2010, progressing to Deputy Headteacher in 2013 and a spell as Acting Headteacher before achieving my first substantive Headteacher post at the City of Derby Academy.
My job as Headteacher is the best in the world and I enjoy every day. Since joining the City of Derby Academy I am proud by the engagement, curiosity and passion of my students as well as the commitment and dedication of my staff whose ‘why’ is to improve the life chances for all of our students.
I also believe that academic outcomes are important, however, we should not measure the success of our students by their examination results alone. We should strive to develop skills such as self-confidence, self-belief and self-esteem so students are equipped to be successful in their next stages of life.