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Primary School Improvement

Primary School Improvement

Our Primary School Improvement Advisers and Consultants have a proven track record of supporting, promoting and achieving improvement in Kent, a county which has above the national average number of good and outstanding schools.

Our experienced and skilled staff are able to quickly respond to schools’ needs and tailor training and support for all staff.

We are passionate about raising school standards and that drives us to strive for excellence in our support of schools and settings. We believe that strong collaboration is the key to success, and we endeavour to work closely with all schools to achieve the very best for their pupils.

Our team provide individualised support and guidance across all aspects of primary provision.

We’re always on hand to provide expert training, support and advice. Our team of Specialist Advisers have a proven track record and are highly regarded in their field.

Our team of education experts are creating regular thought provoking articles sharing their knowledge, expertise and top tips.
Click the TEP Thoughts box to view these articles.

To receive notifications regarding blog posts and updates/newsletters from the Primary School Improvement Team please log into your account with The Education People and amend your notifications. Here is a short 'How To' video to assist with doing this.

Specialist Resource Provision

Specialist Resource Provision provides learners with special educational needs the opportunity of attending a mainstream setting. In Kent, The Education People monitors the quality of education and its delivery, the personal development of SEN learners within the mainstream setting and with specialist colleagues encourage participation within the mainstream classrooms ensuring the opportunity for integration helps the learners experience the best education possible.

In addition, our team can conduct full, rigorous Special Education Needs Reviews working with the Headteacher, their SENCo and the wider leadership team to promote inclusivity for all.

Contact the Primary School Improvement Team

East Kent

(Canterbury, Swale and Thanet) 
Telephone: 03301 651 379
Email the East Kent team

South Kent

(Ashford, Dover and Folkestone & Hythe)
Telephone: 03301 651 128
Email the South Kent team

North & West Kent

(Dartford, Gravesham, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells)
Telephone: 03301 651 114
Email the North & West Kent team

Meet the Team

covering provision for 4-11 year olds across the county. She has extensive experience of school improvement both within and beyond Kent, supporting schools in the role of Improvement Adviser, Senior Adviser and Acting Principal within KCC.

In addition Tel has a proven track record as a Consultant Headteacher, supporting schools in challenging circumstances in order to drive rapid and sustained improvements. More recently Tel has worked as an education consultant, broadening the scope and depth of her knowledge. She has achieved the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers and has had strategic leadership experience across a range of education providers.

holding the responsibility and accountability for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in schools across the whole of the county. Since September 2019 Polly has led the area Primary School Improvement Team in West Kent. Prior to this Polly led a team of advisers across both north and west Kent to provide strategic support, advice and challenge to all EYFS settings and schools. Polly holds the strategic accountability for the EYFS moderation process across the whole of Kent.

Although Polly's most recent specialism and expertise has been in the EYFS in schools Polly has experience of teaching and leading learning across all key stages, including leadership in a Primary School. As a teacher, Polly was awarded Advanced Skills Teacher status for Early Years.

In addition, Polly has had recent experience of being a Chair of Governors.

headship and two executive headteacher roles as a Kent Leader of Education.  Her motivation for success has been built upon a passionate belief that every child is unique and deserves an outstanding education.

As a leader, Mary has led school improvement across a wide variety of schools with a focus on staff development and curriculum innovation.

She has worked closely with a wide variety of partner organisations including local universities, Teaching Schools, Kent Association of Headteachers and the Education Endowment Fund, supporting school improvement through the development of collaborative, self-sustaining school groups.

Mary's specialities include:

  • System Leadership
  • Developing leadership within schools
  • Assessment for Learning
  • Curriculum Development
  • Mentoring and Coaching
  • Research based learning
  • Nurture-based provision.

working in a variety of contexts, including local authority, academy trust and diocese schools, ranging from one to four form entry. Her most recent leadership role was as Headteacher in a one form entry school in an area of high deprivation, leading the school from Special Measures to Good.

Kate has also had extensive experience of working across schools, both as an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) and through school improvement work with both local authority and academy trust schools.

Kate is driven by her conviction that all children should have equal opportunities for success and that good schools can break down barriers and overcome disadvantage to achieve this. She is passionate about empowering others to drive improvement and is committed to developing leaders in schools at all levels.

Kate is an advocate of system leadership as an effective school improvement strategy, where leaders share and utilise their collective talents, thoughts and experiences to have a powerful impact on wider educational change.

Kate has specialised in improving outcomes for pupils with English as an Additional Language and led pioneering and innovative work in this area, alongside education leaders from Sweden. Her other specialisms include professional development of staff at all levels, coaching and mentoring, building cultural capital and SMSC development.

working with Multi Academy Trusts and local authorities to develop school leadership and improve teaching.  Matt spends most of his working time in schools with children teachers and leaders looking at ways to improve outcomes for all. He has also inspected schools. He draws on this wealth of experience to add practical examples to all his training sessions.

His relaxed yet knowledgeable delivery ensures people come away well informed, excited and empowered to implement new ideas back at school.

improvement in a range of areas including Early Years (Communication, Language & Literacy Development), SEND, Maths and Literacy, before moving to Kent.

She leads seasonal meetings for the county’s Maths and English Subject Leaders, together with in-school support and training in all elements of the teaching of Maths and Literacy. Sarah keenly follows the latest developments and pedagogic research and is passionate about ensuring Kent pupils receive the very best teaching possible specialising in:

English subject knowledge:

  • Reading and phonics
  • Writing
  • Grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Maths subject knowledge:

  • Using manipulatives from EYFS to Year 6
  • Developing fluency, reasoning and problem solving
  • Promoting opportunities to work at greater depth.

Subject Leader support and development:

  • Joint learning walks and work scrutiny.

He spent six years as a key leader in a primary school focussing on the improvement of maths. Jason is a Mastery Specialist for Kent and has supported schools in their own Mastery journey for the past six years for the Kent and Medway Maths Hub. He has visited Shanghai as part of the Shanghai and England exchange. Jason uses his experiences of maths teaching in China as well as the latest developments and pedagogic research in Maths to support all that he works with.

He is passionate about ensuring the improvement of Maths teaching and learning for all children across Kent.

Jason specialises in:

  • The use of manipulatives and representations to support learning in all year groups
  • How to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving with the maths curriculum.
  • Promoting opportunities to work at greater depth.

He can also provide subject Leader support and development including:

  • Joint learning walks and work scrutiny.

Prior to that she was an AST (Advanced Skills Teacher) for Literacy in Kent schools. Penny leads seasonal meetings for the county’s English Subject Leaders, together with in-school support and training in all elements of the teaching of English.  Penny has secure subject knowledge and experience in Literacy, and enjoys working with schools to help them to achieve their great potential.

Her specialities include:

  • spoken language
  • reading and phonics
  • writing
  • grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • subject leader support and development.

She has a profound respect for the complexity of educational change and the day-to-day challenges faced by teachers and leaders who are driven to meet the needs of their children.

Jenny brings expertise from her teaching, consultancy and leadership experiences within Kent which include roles as both a headteacher and executive headteacher.

Jenny has devoted 24 years of her career to education and holds a Masters in Education.

Her specialities include:
• Supporting school self-evaluation and improvement planning
• Change management
• Systems leadership
• Development of leadership at all levels to drive school improvement
• Coaching and mentoring
• EYFS and KS1.

requires improvement and good in London and Surrey. She has led on teaching and learning, curriculum development, pupil premium provision and data and assessment and been responsible for designing and delivering training. She has a strong understanding of school development and experience of improving the quality of teaching and leadership in primary schools.
At East Sussex County Council, she supported schools causing concern by maintaining oversight of IEBs, sitting on progress group boards for schools at risk of receiving requires improvement judgements, providing additional governance support, overseeing the country-wide deployment of SLEs, sitting on the assessment boards and working with headteachers to identify and organise any support needed.

His 22 years of experience in education includes over 15 years of successful leadership in a number of schools giving him a high level of understanding of the demands of the Headteacher role. Anthony has a strong background in securing rapid school improvement and has led a number of schools in challenging circumstances with the impact of his work noted by Ofsted in a number of inspections. In September 2019 his school was one of the first to be inspected on the updated Ofsted framework and secured the first good grading in the school’s history.
Anthony places a high value of the promotion of reading in schools and in ensuring children are exposed to high quality texts that allow the development of reading for pleasure. He has experience of supporting self-evaluation, curriculum design, system leadership, managing change and securing rapid improvements.
Anthony enjoys recognising, celebrating and disseminating the good practice that is already going on in schools.

In his most recent headship - taking on a school judged to be requires improvement - Mark devised and implemented a research-informed strategic plan that swiftly transformed provision, improved outcomes and led to a subsequent re-inspection judgement of good with two areas of outstanding.

Mark has a firm belief in the power of collaboration and has extensive experience working with local alliances, partner organisations and national institutions. As a contracted inspector, Mark has an up-to-date working knowledge of the Education Inspection Framework.

Mark's areas of expertise include:
          • championing the principles of ethical leadership
          • using technology creatively to support working practice
          • promoting evidence-based approaches to improve learning and social behaviours
          • implementing research-informed pedagogy into curriculum design and delivery
          • assessment for learning.

leader, within the areas of Kent, Surrey and West London. In the position of headteacher Fran  transformed underperforming schools, making swift school improvement to achieve initially good and then outstanding outcomes.

Fran has a passion for developing future educators and leaders to create sustainable school communities. She has a long-standing commitment to partnership and outreach to achieve common goals and raise standards. She has been recognised as a creative leader who is not afraid to challenge how the curriculum can be delivered, in order to meet the needs of the unique community it serves. In her last headship, Fran worked with the governing bodies of a large infant and junior school to deliver complex change on a large scale, creating a successful federation with improved and aligned standards.

Fran’s specialities include:

  • change management
  • coaching and mentoring
  • EYFS and KS1
  • system leadership
  • personal development.

He has over 30 years experience in the field as a classroom teacher for Year N, Year R and Year 1, deputy headteacher of an infant school, Local Authority senior adviser and national and international consultant. Jan has also worked at a strategic level with responsibility for early years assessment, both as the national lead for the EYFS Profile, and through the creation of an On Entry Assessment for Year R. Most recently, Jan was the Director of Early Childhood Education for an international school group based in South East Asia.

Jan's focus on the EYFS and Key Stage 1 has enabled him to develop a specialism in how we enable and facilitate effective learning and outcomes for children in the EYFS and Key Stage 1. He works with schools to support leaders and teachers to develop impactful and sustainable approaches to teaching and learning.

in a school with a high level of SEND, PPG, EAL and challenging behaviour and successfully led rapid school improvement results. Katie has improved the outcomes for numerous pupils – particularly SEND learners, in a number of previous schools she has worked with and supported. She is also skilled at delivering training to a wide and varied audience on a number of different topics.

Katie has a passionate belief that young people, particularly those who are vulnerable, are entitled to receive a first class, inclusive and supportive experience, every day. Katie sees high expectations, a positive and nurturing culture and clear communication as keys to driving school improvement for a child of any ability.

Areas of expertise include:

  • improving expectations across schools, including environments, behaviour and learning for all abilities and need
  • improving and maintaining wellbeing of pupils, staff and families through a nurture approach to learning
  • improving outcomes for children with SEND
  • understanding challenging behaviour and implementing strategies to support children, families and staff
  • championing pupil voice
  • supporting vulnerable families and the PP strategy
  • inclusive teaching and learning – whole school approaches.

as a subject lead, pastoral lead, school leader, SENDCO and more recently as the senior leader for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Specialist Resource Provision (SRP).

Ruth has led the development of a high-quality inclusive model in a school with a large SRP that enables all pupils supported by the SRP and SEND to access their education. She has been responsible for leading strategic school improvement, training and developing inclusive practice.

Alongside her senior leadership role, she has supported the Kent Inclusion Leadership Programme as an Inclusion Leader of Education which has provided her the opportunity to work with a number of primary and secondary schools across Kent.

Over recent years, Ruth has delivered training sessions to trainee teachers on the Culture of an Inclusive Classroom and Practical toolkits to support pupils with SEND.

Ruth has a Master of Art specialising in SEND. Her research focussed on inclusion ensuring that pupils with SEND supported by a SRP are afforded an environment and education that they can successfully access and make progress academically, socially and emotionally.

Ruth believes that every school can provide high-quality inclusive education for all pupils irrespective of whether they have SEND or not enabling every pupil to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.

Her main role within The Education People is SEND specialism providing support and advice for school leaders, SENDCOs, teachers and stakeholders to review and develop their SEND policy, provision and inclusive practice.

Prior to that, Tracy taught English at an international school in Paris following nine years as a primary school class teacher in Lambeth.

Her areas of expertise are:

  • teaching and learning of English as a second language
  • induction and support of refugees and new arrivals with EAL
  • EAL assessment
  • EAL/SEN identification
  • developing the academic literacy skills of advanced learners of English
  • equality and diversity in policy and practice.

achievement/support for vulnerable groups/English as an Additional Language (EAL).

She has completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship, has had experience of school governance and, is a primary specialist who has experience of teaching in all phases.

As a trainer, a key focus for her is improving speaking and listening, and she is a trained TalkingPartners@Primary trainer for Kent. 

Bhupinder is passionate about supporting schools in carrying out family learning with families with EAL and, has had an article published in the National Association of Language Development in the Curriculum journal

She takes a lead in equality diversity training, promoting good practice in race diversity, and works with schools and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) pupils.