We are SSAT, the schools, students and teachers network

Our Purpose

Bringing together schools and academies from across the UK and globally to achieve deep social justice.

Our Why

SSAT’s founding principles are underpinned by a commitment to social justice; our belief that every young person should go on to lead successful and fulfilling lives.

Our Journey

SSAT’s work in helping transform education in England started in 1987. For twenty-five years our work was largely government-funded. In 2012 that funding ended and we changed our status. As a limited company we are now independent of government – and proud of it – but still as committed as ever to changing education by encouraging innovation and collaboration between schools.

Meet the Team

Our dedicated, committed and experienced team are passionate about education, about students and about supporting teachers to achieve impact and excellence in everything they do.

Our Strategic Partners

SSAT is proud to work in partnership with a varied range of industry leaders and organisations whose purpose and convictions align with our own. We exist to help improve outcomes for all young people and our partners support us in offering insight and understanding into teaching, learning and system leadership to our members.

Welcome from our Chief Executive

SSAT has been at the forefront of school improvement since 1987 and our mission has always been:

“That all students, whatever their ability or context, leave school fully prepared to lead fulfilled and purposeful lives.”

SSAT is a membership organisation, bringing together schools and academies from across the UK and globally that are committed to achieving deep social justice. This is a grand ambition and one that can be achieved only through strong principled leadership, working in partnership, and continual review of practice and policy. You will find full details of our membership offer on the website, but I want to highlight one benefit – SSAT’s Leadership Legacy Project – every member school can nominate one teacher in their first five years of teaching with the potential to go on to headship for the one-year project. We introduce the participants to deep social justice, and they engage with some of the outstanding leaders in the education system. We encourage them to think about their ‘non-negotiables’ – the principles that drive them, and the practise that can improve the outcomes for students. We network them with other practitioners from all over England – their support network. Our Leadership Legacy fellows will be the system leaders of the future.

High quality professional development aids staff retention, as well as improving the knowledge, practice and skills of participants. We have programmes for the whole staff, including Embedding Formative Assessment (EFA) that has been endorsed by the Education Endowment Foundation. We offer Lead Practitioner accreditation for individuals. We provide bespoke training for senior leadership teams. We discuss with you your needs and ensure that the training is relevant, high quality and has a positive impact on staff and students.

Lord David Puttnam says: “Education is the one key driver in enabling people to fulfil their potential, and therefore the sole means by which we can hope to deliver equality and social justice.” At SSAT we see everyday how schools make a difference. Schools cannot cure all the ills of the world, but by working together and collaborating with other public services and community groups, they can make a real difference. Please work with SSAT to fight for deep social justice.

Sue Williamson

Our Purpose

SSAT is a membership organisation, bringing together schools and academies from across the UK and globally committed to achieving deep social justice. We offer insight and understanding into school practice and educational policy and research. Our professional development and school improvement programmes help leaders and teachers to further outcomes for all young people and develop leadership at all levels across the system.

We do this by providing a framework for exceptional education focused on teaching and learning, professional practice and leadership. This framework is underpinned by a commitment to social justice; our belief that every young person should go on to lead successful and fulfilling lives.

Our Why…

  • We have the interests of all young people at heart
  • We believe that all young people should have successful and fulfilling lives
  • We want to empower school leaders and teachers to be autonomous and ambitious
  • We make considered responses to changing policy, research, markets and trends
  • We believe in the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion

Our Journey

2020 – Present
  • 2019

    SSAT begins its Fighting for Deep Social Justice campaign.

  • 2017

    In June 2017 SSAT celebrated its 30th anniversary.

    Launch of the Leadership Legacy Project.

  • 2015

    Education Endowment Fund grant for Embedding Formative Assessment research trial.

  • 2012

    In 2012 our government funding ends and we change our status to become SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers network. As a limited company we are now independent of government and proud of it.

  • 2010

    Five booklets on children with complex learning difficulties and disabilities (CLDD) published following a project led by Professor Barry Carpenter.

    Coalition Government stops ring fencing of funding for specialist schools.

    The Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme is launched.

2010 – 2020
  • 2009

    SSAT launches the Embedding Formative Assessment (authored by Professor Dylan Wiliam and Siobhan Leahy) and Lead Practitioner programmes.

  • 2007

    350 primary schools join the network. 1,075 teachers from 769 schools accredited by University of Warwick led by Professor Alma Harris from a variety of leadership programmes.

  • 2006

    2,500 designated specialist schools. Tony Blair, PM, at National Conference says: ”The Trust is the most dynamic education organisation in Britain.”

  • 2004

    Raising Achievement, Transforming Learning introduced; iNet – international arm launched. Personalising Learning project led by Professor David Hargreaves commenced.

  • 2003

    1,444 specialist schools. Music and Humanities specialisms introduced.

    The Leading Edge Network is founded, the only national network exclusively for high performing schools.

  • 2002

    Secretary of State, Charles Clark announces a specialist system. Prime Minister, Tony Blair, addresses the National Conference.

  • 2000

    SSAT set up the Academies Programme.
    First analysis of Educational Outcomes by Professor David Jesson.

2000 – 2010
  • 1997 – 2006

    A specialist system – “By schools, for schools”

  • 1996

    First Annual Lecture delivered by Michael Heseltine, Deputy Prime Minister. Arts and Sports Colleges announced. 182 specialist schools.

  • 1995

    Language Colleges announced.

  • 1994

    First 50 Technology colleges approved.

  • 1993

    Specialist Schools introduced: Technology colleges launched.

  • 1992

    Affiliation scheme launched.

1990 – 2000
  • 1987

    The City Technology Colleges (CTC) Trust is established, with Sir Cyril Taylor as chairman and adviser to secretary of state Kenneth Baker. 15 CTCs created, an initiative instigated by Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

1980 – 1990

Meet the Team


Senior Leadership Team

Sue Williamson

Chief Executive

Sue joined SSAT in 2002 and focused on leadership and innovation. She worked with Professor David Hargreaves on the personalising learning agenda, and developed SSAT’s suite of leadership programmes. She was Headteacher of Monks’ Dyke Technology College for eight years.

Angelina Idun


Angelina joined SSAT as a Director in 2017. Her previous roles included Acting Principal and Senior Vice Principal. Angelina’s leadership career has been largely focused on south London schools in diverse, vibrant, challenging contexts. Angelina is driven by an unwavering belief in the difference a high-quality learning experience makes to the life chances of young people. She has extensive experience of developing teachers and leaders at all levels, nationally and internationally, and is an experienced, qualified coach.

Grace Hardy


With a background in international project management, Grace is Director of Operations with responsibility for our corporate services and ensuring all of SSAT’s membership and CPD activities are delivered to the highest standard.

Julian Elve


Julian joined SSAT in 2010 after a diverse career spanning project and technical management roles at the BBC. He is passionate about the potential to use technology to enable SSAT deliver a focused service to all members. A strong supporter of the role vocational education and apprenticeships play in social mobility, outside SSAT he is a board member of a London housing association.

Education Team

Alex Galvin

Senior Education Lead

Alex joined SSAT in 2008 and is now a senior education lead. She runs SSAT’s Leading Edge network, our network for high performing schools, supporting schools to collaborate, innovate and share best practice. Alex also leads on curriculum for SSAT. Prior to joining SSAT, Alex taught for fifteen years in schools in Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

Andy Williams

Senior Education Lead

Passionate about the transformative potential of education, Andy offers both challenge and high-quality training to improve teaching and learning across a wide range of institutions, based on his extensive experience in education at a strategic and operational level.

Corinne Settle

Senior Education Lead

Corinne has an insatiable passion for teaching & learning which is focused through inspiring and supporting teachers and school leaders to become even better. Corinne has worked with hundreds of teachers through the delivery of TEEP and EFA programmes and has considerable experience as a teacher and senior leader herself, having worked in schools in Salford and Hull.

Dr Dan Belcher

Senior Education Lead

Dan leads on SSAT’s leadership programmes and has a wealth of experience in designing and delivering professional development for all career stages. Before joining SSAT in 2009 he was a senior leader and teacher of French and German. Dan enjoys working with individuals and teams to realise their goals and grow leadership capacity.

Jackie Rose

Senior Education Lead

After studying a B.Ed Hons degree in Primary Education, Jackie worked as a professional contemporary dancer in England and Europe. She taught dance in secondary schools in London and Leeds, then as Head of Performing Arts. Jackie has since had a long career at senior leadership leading teaching and learning, and as a headteacher of two schools in low socio-economic areas. She also has an MBA in Educational Leadership.

Dr Keven Bartle

Senior Education Lead

Keven has been a teacher for almost three decades and was headteacher at a richly diverse secondary school in London for nine years. Through his career, Keven has been committed to the power of education for social justice and transformation, working in schools where staff make a difference to the lives of children, families and communities.

Laura Burton

Senior Education Lead, Primary

Laura joined SSAT in 2019 as a Senior Education Lead for the Primary Network. She has worked in a diverse range of primary schools as a senior leader and has also worked for her local authority. Laura is passionate about enabling meaningful collaboration to share best practice and empowering schools to refine their practice.

Pauline Holbrook

Head of SEND

Pauline has worked in the special education sector for over 30 years. She has experience of teaching, leadership, training and undertaking research. Her philosophy is that all students require outstanding teaching that takes into account their needs, abilities and aspirations in order to prepare them for adult life.

Sylvia King

Senior Education Lead

Sylvia has worked in schools and colleges joining the teaching profession over 30 years ago as a teacher of Business and Economics. Her primary focus has been Post 16 Education and she has specialised in vocational education, careers, coaching and assessment. An experienced teacher and leader she first joined SSAT in 2006, leaving in 2016 and returned as a Senior Education Lead in 2020.

Relationship Managers

Ellen Renton Pearce

Head of Business Development

With over 20 years in the healthcare and education sectors Ellen has a diverse range of experience working across SSAT. She is driven by improving the life chances of each person.

Zeynep Koch

Membership Development Manager

Zeynep is a qualified secondary teacher who taught social sciences in London and Essex before joining SSAT in 2015. She is also a school governor. Zeynep is passionate about improving the life chances of disadvantaged students, and continues to actively support school leaders in overcoming the day-to-day challenges in the current education landscape.

Amanda Reinink

Relationship Manager

Amanda has worked in a variety of school settings in London including an outstanding comprehensive, a Pupil Referral Unit and a special school. She is passionate about ensuring students with special educational needs and deprived backgrounds receive the best chances.

Amir Akhtar

Relationship Manager

Amir has previously worked at accountancy and taxation membership institutes in sponsorship and business development roles, building partnership packages and delivering tailored solutions to meet client needs. With a keen interest in the education sector, Amir moved to SSAT to continue building successful relationships working with schools.

Emma Winston

Relationship Manager

Bringing almost 20 years of experience within the education sector, Emma joined SSAT with a passion to continue supporting schools in delivering, managing and achieving the best possible outcomes for all students.

Mathew Campbell

Relationship Manager

Mathew is a qualified childcare practitioner and ex-nursery manager with over 10 years’ experience in the education sectors across nursery, primary and secondary schools. He is experienced with families in need and vulnerable youth and is accustomed to handling sensitive information while working in conjunction with local authorities. He is passionate about students positive emotional, cognitive, and social development.

Meet our Strategic Partners

SSAT is proud to work in partnership with a varied range of industry leaders and organisations whose purpose and convictions align with our own. We exist to help improve outcomes for all young people and our partners support us in offering insight and understanding into teaching, learning and system leadership to our members.