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My Projects

Developing Collaborative Partnerships

WOWS Director

I have been privileged to hold the post of WOWS Director in Wigan West since September 2019.

The 18 schools include community primary and special schools, voluntary aided and voluntary controlled faith primary schools. The schools work closely together to provide children with a wide range of high-quality academic, arts, music and sporting opportunities.

From the very beginning the school leaders have been, and continue to be, committed to supporting each other and all staff across the schools to improve each child's life chances.

WOWS believes 'None of us is as smart as all of us' and 'With Others We Succeed'.

The WOWS group has grown considerably over the years and continues to focus on using collaboration and learning groups to help each school to be as successful as possible via challenge and support.

The purpose of the WOWS Director is to support the vision and lead and manage the work of the WOWS partnership:

Working alongside the Strategic Leads,  I provide all schools within WOWS appropriate support and challenge, communicating a rigorous supporting system of School Improvement, advising on and delivering CPD where appropriate, providing information and progress reports as required, ensuring that raising standards and improving progress lies at the very heart of the consortium’s work.
Developing Peer Review

Schools Partnership Programme

I am an Associate Consultant on the Schools Partnership Programme working with the Education Development Trust. All the training and support delivered to collaborative partnerships is aimed at developing high quality and robust peer review practice. As an Associate linked to my six national cross phase partnerships key aspects of my role are to:

  • build a relationship with the lead person so that the partnership can make the most of expertise from Education Development Trust

  • have impact conversations with the lead person to discuss progress, share successes and concerns

  • identify, with the lead person, what bespoke training / support the partnership would like to engage in

Partners in Excellence
Cluster level advice and support

Sheffield and Wakefield Learning Partnership Triad 

I am the external adviser for Partners in Excellence. This network was established by three head teachers in Sheffield and Wakefield who wished to meet formally and establish a Learning Partnership Triad using a peer review model with structured and robust processes and protocols. All focus areas of work are chosen by the head teachers in line with the shared priorities identified by Ofsted or in their School Improvement Plans. Over the five years, this work has included teaching and learning scrutiny days, professional development sessions, work with governors, moderation and performance management and now includes senior leaders and other staff members. A shared commitment and a genuine culture of openness and trust has been a crucial reason as to why the partnership has been successful. The project has kept teaching and learning at the forefront of discussions at all levels with quality time always being set aside to discuss this agenda.

External advice from myself in the role of the accountable critical friend has ensured that discussions always centred around impact and outcomes, that head teachers have been kept up to date with new Ofsted frameworks and ‘agendas’, and that the work of the project has been kept ‘on track’ and focused.

International Consulting

BI Norwegian Business School

BI Norwegian Business School is the largest business school in Norway and the second largest in all of Europe. BI has in total 6 campuses with the main one located in Oslo and is an internationally recognised and accredited institution.The School is a self-owned, not-for-profit foundation whose sole focus is education and research.


My work over the last ten years with the Business School has been leading the London module of the Master of Management Programme in School Leadership, lecturing on a variety of themes but particularly sharing my experiences of headship with groups of senior leaders, aspiring headteachers and experienced headteachers.

I have also worked in Oslo and Stavanger for BI, delivering various seminars including 'The Role of the School Adviser' and 'The Leadership and Management of Teaching and Learning'.

I have recently written and led programmes for teachers and leaders from Norway visiting schools in Leeds and London.


Focus Education Consultant

with Focus Education

Established in 1993, Focus Education offers school improvement support and expertise to schools and academies throughout England and overseas.


As a FOCUS consultant I am used to working in a wide and diverse range of schools. There is huge variety to the work I undertake and this helps me to then bring learning from a wide range of contexts to the schools I work in.  I have delivered twilight sessions as well as full days. I have worked with whole school teams and in small groups, with senior leaders and with governors.  I have also led conference sessions.  

Key areas of request currently are the New National Curriculum, Improving Teaching and Learning and Monitoring and Support.

Spiritual and Moral Development in Schools: Illustrated 

By John West-Burnham and Vanessa Huws Jones

This book is designed to serve as a personal development resource for all who work in schools and have responsibility for the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils. It provides materials for staff development activities and resources for use in classrooms. The first section covers the background, relating to the Every Child Matters agenda; the second section offers practical strategies for implementing the key components of spiritual and moral development as outlined in the first section.


Paperback: 162 pages

Publisher: Network Continuum Education (28th Feb 2008)

ISBN-10: 1855391384

ISBN-13: 978-1855391383

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