Our NLEs and SLEs

“Teaching schools and system leaders support the Department for Education’s goal to provide every child and young person with access to high-quality provision, achieving to the best of their ability regardless of location, prior attainment and background.”

SLEs focus on developing leadership capacity. While other roles focus specifically on developing classroom expertise, this role is about developing the capacity and capability of other leaders so that they have the skills to lead their own teams and improve practice in their own schools.

This may be done through one-to-one or group support and could involve a variety of activities, such as:

  • data analysis
  • coaching
  • facilitating and training
  • joint action planning

Click here for more information on becoming a Specialist Leader in Education.

Meet our Specialist Leaders in Education

Caroline Harding

Specialist Leader in Education

Leadership of CPD, SEN and Attendance

Caroline has 21 years of experience working with leaders in a range of age phases and settings within the primary sector and has worked in a variety of primary schools from Camberwell in South East London to coastal and urban schools in North Devon.

She is currently the SENDco at Orchard Vale Community School in Barnstaple and has 10 years’ experience in this role. Caroline also has experience of being a Head of School, Deputy Head of School and Team leader across all key stages of a Primary school.

Caroline’s strengths lie in being able to listen and attune to the needs of others and ascertain how best to work with them. She believes in having open professional dialogues and building trusting, honest relationships with the professionals she works with.

She uses a combination of coaching, mentoring and facilitating techniques to be put into place practical and sustainable support that works for the individual/school.

As well as working full time, Caroline is a full time Mother of one and in her spare time enjoys swimming, reading and cooking.

Fred Barber

Specialist Leader in Education


Fred has been teaching computing for 7 years and leading the Computing Department at Pilton Community college for 5 years. During this time he has overseen the transition from ICT to Computing and the introduction of many new qualifications. He has also played a key role in the implementation of ‘life without levels’ developing an assessment system for the whole school with accompanying support and CPD. Since he began teaching Fred has supported a range of teachers and leaders in his capacity as a “Learning Coach” and then later as a Computing at School “Master Teacher”. This support has ranged from one on one coaching programs to analysing and developing effective school systems to whole school CPD sessions. Fred is also currently a governor at Pilton Infants school and has supported them with several ICT and CPD related projects.

Fred is an excellent problem solver and utilises his knowledge of computational thinking methods to logically solve whole school problems. He is also a good communicator who recognises the value of effective listening and positive relationships in the development of solutions. Fred is experienced in system design within education and has worked to improve the efficiency of school systems, ranging from reporting, assessment and feedback to resource delivery, and time management.

When he is not working Fred develops custom software for education but also likes to escape the confines of the computer to explore North Devon and tend to his allotment. He is a keen guitarist and an active member of the Pilton community.

Charlotte Hill

Specialist Leader in Education

Leadership of CPD and Leadership of curriculum

Fiona Pearce

Specialist Leader in Education

Assessment, Closing the Gap and Behaviour and Disipline

Lyn Brimson

Specialist Leader in Education

Modern Foreign Languages and Leadership of Curriculum

Robinne Lowrey

Specialist Leader in Education

Early Years and Support for the Most Able

Tamsin Johnson

Specialist Leader in Education

Maths and Science

Antonia Lavictoire

Specialist Leader in Education

English and Music

Fran Brinicombe

Specialist Leader in Education

SEN and Leadership of CPD

Michelle Lockyer

Specialist Leader in Education


Clair Murell

Specialist Leader in Education


Katie Rycroft

Specialist Leader in Education


Ella Rice

Specialist Leader in Education


Ella has been teaching for 5 years, at various different schools with Ventrus Multi Academy Trust. Her love of books, words and theatre meant that she naturally gravitated towards being literacy lead at Hemyock and promoting a skills based curriculum with a sprinkling of drama. Her excellent subject knowledge ensured she supported staff at school and across the trust with all things English. Recently, she has designed a reading challenge to support the achievement of the “love of reading” objective on the National curriculum. The scrap book style approach to the reading challenge has been adopted by other schools in the trust, as well as being purchased by Devon Schools Library service.

Recently, Ella’s leadership skills have been recognised, as she was placed on the NPQSL course through the trust. She has also been on a two term secondment supporting two schools by providing leadership and rapid school improvement. These experiences have honed her already strong communication skills and strong understanding of the pedagogy of teaching and learning.

Ella prides herself on being friendly, perceptive and approachable, whilst maintaining her very high standards and professionalism. She is very much looking forward to being an SLE, so she can share best practice and support schools to ensure staff and children reach their full potential.

Meet our National Leaders in Education

Claire Baillie

National Leader in Education

Claire was appointed as Headteacher of The Duchy School, Bradninch 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 standards attained by pupils at the end of KS2 have risen considerably and in 2010 the school was placed 17th out of all schools nationally for improvement over a three year period. Standards in the school remain high across all subjects. The quality of her leadership in setting clear direction leading to improvement and was judged to be ‘outstanding’ at the last OFSTED inspection in 2009.

Claire has worked with the National Strategies team as part of the Maximising Pupil Progress Initiative and was invited to be guest speaker at the National Conference. Claire and her team regularly support other schools. They are currently supporting two ‘outstanding’ primary schools with curriculum development.