Who we are

Ventrus Teaching School Alliance is made up of 14 primary schools and 1 secondary within a Multi Academy Trust and a number of wider partner schools right across Devon. We have close links with University of Worcester. University of Exeter as well as other Teaching School Alliances across the South West.

Teaching schools are part of the Government’s drive to give schools more freedom and to take increasing responsibility for managing the school system.

As well as offering training and support for all the schools in the alliance, teaching schools identify and co-ordinate expertise from within the alliance, using the best leaders and teachers to:

  • Lead the development of a school-led initial teacher training system (school direct)
  • Lead CPD
  • Identify and develop leadership potential
  • Provide support for other schools
  • Designate and broker specialist leaders in education
  • Engage in research and development

Chris Barnett

Teaching School Lead

With over eighteen years teaching experience, Chris has worked across all year groups in the Primary phase, gaining most of her experience in Year 6.
Chris has been a part of the Senior Leadership team at Wilcombe Primary School for over 10 years, leading both Key Stage Two and Maths during this time.

Chris has created and delivered CPD as well as supporting the head teacher to monitor teaching, learning and assessment. She has lead staff appraisals, supporting their professional development alongside school improvement.

Whilst developing colleagues, Chris has also been a student and NQT mentor for several years, ensuring bespoke training and experiences according to their individual need. Through obtaining her NPQSL, Chris has further developed her coaching and mentoring skills.

Chris is an SLE in maths and this is where her passion lies. She has worked collaboratively across the Trust, supporting CPD, school improvement and colleagues new to the role of maths lead within a range of schools. She understands the importance of keeping up to date with current research and prides herself in actively carrying out her own reading, research and pedagogy as well as attending training that she can then use to develop others.

Within her new role, Chris is excited to lead the teaching school, continuing to develop existing staff whilst supporting and leading those new to the professional to reach their full potential.

Claire Baillie

National Leader of Education & Director of Ventrus Multi-Academy Trust

Claire was appointed as Headteacher of The Duchy School, Bradninch, which is part of Ventrus Multi-Academy Trust, in 2007. She had previously taught Modern Foreign Languages in a large Comprehensive School in Nottinghamshire, before moving to Devon and transferring into the Primary Sector. Under her leadership, The Duchy School was rated as ‘outstanding’ across all areas by Ofsted in 2015.

Claire is currently working as a Director of School Improvement for Ventrus, which comprises 14 primary and 1 secondary school. In this role she is responsible for raising and maintaining standards in all of the schools, which includes working with school leaders on identifying their school priorities and supporting them with the creation of effective school improvement plans and self-analysis tools.

In her role as a National Leader of Education, Claire has worked alongside a number of other schools across Devon, supporting them to meet their school improvement priorities.

Claire is the executive strategic lead for Ventrus Teaching School Alliance, ensuring that the highest quality support and training is provided to our current and future trainees.