We’re delighted to be working with the Primary Advisory Board comprising of 7 members – all currently leaders of primary schools. They kindly offer their support and time to guide and inform the direction and development of our national network for primary schools.
The group is made up of headteachers from across the country, to ensure that they represent group member interests and can be a local point of contact for our primary members.
Martin Johnson, Headteacher
Martin Johnson has been headteacher of Sacred Heart R.C. Primary School, Westhoughton, since January 2006. He has been chair of the SSAT Primary Leaders Network since 2013, and has presented at several national conferences on curriculum and innovation.
As a diocesan headteacher associate with the Diocese of Salford, Martin undertakes Section 48 inspections, pastoral visits, and presents on the Catholic Middle Leaders Programme and other training offered by the North West Catholic Training Partnership.
His specialisms include curriculum innovation, including outdoor learning and use of media. Sacred Heart has over 390 pupils on roll from reception to Year 6, and also has an urban farm on site, with a focus on stewardship. The Sacred Heart Alliance school direct programme operates from the school.
Sophie was educated in Eltham, south-east London and subsequently at the University of Greenwich and as a result feels passionately about working in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. However, she began her teaching career in the London borough of Bexley and then moved to Greenwich where she has worked in 5 different schools over for the past 17 years. She was seconded to a deputy headteacher post of a challenging two-form entry primary school in Plumstead, south east London in 2006; transforming the Early Years Centre from inadequate to outstanding within 12 months.
In 2010 she was seconded to an Associate Headship of Heronsgate Primary School in Thamesmead; an outstanding, 3 form entry teaching school in South London. In 2012 she was seconded by the Local Authority to South Rise Primary School – described as a ‘red light school’ by the DfE. The school transformed within a year, achieving outcomes in line with NA and secured a Good overall judgement from Ofsted in March 2013 with an Outstanding grading for leadership and management in recognition of the transformational leadership over a 12 month period.
In January 2014 she began supporting the Headteacher at Wingfield Primary School who retired in July 2014. She took over the Executive Headship and appointed a Head of School to work alongside her in transforming the school from Requires Improvement to Outstanding. In December 2014 Wingfield had an HMI visit which was hugely successful and they now await a section 5 inspection. They are also in the process of having a new, 3FE school built, funded by the EFA, due for completion in September 2017.
Sophie is passionate about providing teaching and learning experiences which are driven by a context rich, meaningful curriculum which requires children to understand and apply metacognitive strategies which enable them to explore learning they never thought they would; hence the school straplines, ‘Learning anything is possible’ and ‘Learning without limits.’
She believes wholeheartedly in a child-centred, outcomes focused approach which is based on their core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, freedom, tolerance, peace, forgiveness, perseverance, kindness and trust and our learning dispositions of resilience, cooperation and curiosity. This year, across both schools they have a Core Priority which focuses on Mindfulness in the curriculum.
Both schools are achieving well-above National and either in line (or above) with Royal Borough of Greenwich averages. South Rise have received letters from David Laws in recognition of being in the top 5% of schools for phonics outcomes and in the top 10% of schools for progress from KS1 to KS2 for disadvantaged children.
Both schools are outward-facing, with a complete dedication on research-based learning for all. We have a complete commitment to personalised learning and development for staff across both schools and actively encourage all of our learners, staff and children alike, to be ‘risk-takers’ in their learning.
Katrina Morley, CEO and Executive Headteacher
Katrina has worked in schools and academies for over 17 years, 13 of which has involved being a part of the senior leadership teams of three schools. All schools were in disadvantaged areas but offered children and the community lots of opportunities to see and experience a range of learning and life. She served as head teacher at Pennyman Primary for over five years. In July 2014, Ofsted graded the academy as outstanding.
Currently, Katrina is CEO of Tees Valley Education Trust . Tees Valley Education is a Multi-Academy Trust and sponsor which is currently made up of three academies across Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland. The two founding academies, Brambles and Pennyman, formed a dedicated partnership in 2010 underpinned by a passionately shared commitment to improve outcomes for all children and their communities.
Marva Rollins, Headteacher
Marva Rollins is in her 21st year of Headship and is in her 16th year as Headteacher of Raynham Primary (900+pupils, aged 2 – 11), in Edmonton, North London. She is also the Head of Raynham Children’s Centre Hub with approximately 15 local community partners. Previously, she was head of a junior school in Newham, for 5 years. Marva has a firm commitment to giving children in inner city schools an opportunity to excel. She has been the recipient of two awards, which recognise her contribution to education and the community: an honorary degree and the Windrush Education Champion.
Marva has been an active member of the community for over 30 years and is one of the founder members of a number of community groups including The Sickle Cell Society and Newham African Caribbean Centre. She is a regular conference speaker, trainer and facilitator in education and uses her training in Personal Development to train and motivate others. Marva is a qualified education mentor and coach. She coaches for NPQH, an NCTL mentor for newly appointed Headteachers, a consultant headteacher and a leading thinker for the National Education Trust.
Raynham Primary School is a member of SSAT and the school plays an active role in the work of this organisation. Marva also takes part in two internship programmes, giving middle and senior Leaders from schools nationally, the opportunity to shadow her and her middle and senior leaders at Raynham.
Marva has been one of the lead persons on two national programmes for BME teachers: Investing in Diversity and Equal Access to Promotion. Both these programmes have empowered many BME teachers/deputy headteachers to challenge the status quo, enhance their skills/knowledge and achieved their aims.
Michelle Thomas, Executive Headteacher
Michelle has been a headteacher since February 2004 and is currently the executive headteacher of the Federation of Grazebrook, Shacklewell and Woodberry Down Primary Schools in Hackney, London.
She has worked in Westminster and Islington, where she had her first headship, taking the school from serious weakness to outstanding. In 2009, she moved to Grazebrook Primary School taking the school from special measures to outstanding and enjoys the challenges involved in working in and with schools in challenging circumstances. She is a recognised national leader of education (NLE), an Ofsted inspector, a Pupil Premium system leader and leader of the New Wave Teaching School Alliance.
Gina Donaldson, Head of School
Gina is the head of school at St Silas Primary, which is a popular, diverse one and a half form entry school for children aged 2-11 in Toxteth, Liverpool. St Silas is part of The Rainbow Education multi academy trust.
As the Head, Gina strives to ensure that the children she works with have access to the best possible education, high aspirations and receive the support they need to succeed in life. Throughout her career she has been dedicated to driving the innovative use of technology to inspire children and support their learning. She is also a strong advocate of collaboration and believes that great things can be achieved through this.
As a school leader she has promoted the use of collaborative learning techniques to increase pupil engagement and accountability and has extended this to their joint and continuous professional development programme through initiatives such as Lesson Study and the use of social media to share good practice. She has recently supported a number of local schools in driving improvements particularly around their use of digital media and collaborative learning but also in developing their school improvement plans. Working in an area of high socio-economic deprivation has provided her with lots of experience in effectively using pupil premium funding to close the attainment gap.
She has been able to use this experience to support other schools in their local area. Over the last few years she has worked closely with SSAT through hosting Speed Learning Events in schools across the North West and also as an active member of the Headteachers Steering Group.
Steve Taylor, Executive Headteacher
Steve is currently the Executive Headteacher of Robin Hood Academy. The school has a rich history of innovation in ICT, independence and languages which has enabled it to be at the forefront of developments within education. Mandarin is taught from Nursery to Year 6 and the school has Confucius Classroom Status which sees it work closely with The Beijing No.2 Experimental School in China.
Previously Steve worked as Headteacher of Park Hill Primary School in Coventry where, in the last inspection OFSTED graded leadership as outstanding. Steve has worked at a national level to deliver CPD and instigated ‘Pair and Share’ on Twitter which saw over 150 schools nationwide link up to share effective practice. Steve has hosted #SLTchat on numerous occasions on Twitter and was a lead headteacher on SSAT’s Developing Leaders for Tomorrow programme.