Jim is Chief Executive Officer of the Shaw Education Trust and our Teaching School lead. Jim has worked in special education since 1977 serving in residential and day schools catering for a wide range of special needs. He has been a headteacher for over 20 years. In that time he has led three outstanding special schools. He spent a year seconded to Ofsted before taking up appointments with two West Midlands Local Education Authorities as Inspector for Special Needs. He was a Registered Inspector of Special Schools and a team inspector of primary and secondary schools. During his time as a Local Authority Inspector he supported mainstream primary and secondary schools as well as special schools. Jim moved back to special school headship in 2001 when he was appointed as Headteacher at Victoria School in Birmingham. In 2010 Jim became Executive Headteacher of the Cherry Oak Victoria Federation of Schools and then he joined the Blackfriars Coppice Federation in January 2011.
During his time in Birmingham Jim served as President of the Birmingham Branch of the National Association of Headteachers and was also Chair of the Special Schools Forum. At this time he qualified as a school improvement partner and supported special schools in the West Midlands.
Jim is a National Leader for Education and in this role was asked to take the lead at Walton Hall School in April 2013 supporting the school out of “Special Measures”. All three schools have now joined the Shaw Education Trust and are working in partnership with the Shaw Trust. In this new and groundbreaking partnership working as a multi-academy trust with our Teaching School Alliance he hopes together we can increase our support to Schools and improve outcomes for students.
Being a facilitator for the NPQML and NPQSL has been such a fantastic opportunity. Not only do I get to read up to date research, I also get to engage with a lot of the theory that is taught through both of these courses. Delivering the training is a privilege. It provides me with the opportunity to speak to colleagues from a variety of different educational settings. Many colleagues are completing the course to develop their knowledge in relation to their present role, some are studying in preparation for their next career move. Although colleagues are keen to learn and engage with the materials outlined in the course, they are also willing to share a great deal of their knowledge and expertise, this as a facilitator and practitioner has been invaluable.
Al is Head of Blackfriars Academy where the Teaching School is based. Al has had a varied career, starting her teaching in Surrey as a teacher of History and Politics. For the next fifteen years, she taught a range of subjects across the ability spectrum from special needs to A Level. Having completed her MA in Leadership and Management in Education, Al took up a post at Keele University training history teachers. During the next ten years, she developed the Keele University Initial Teacher Education Partnership into a strong collaboration with over seventy schools across five local authorities. She was also lucky enough to be a Creative Agent working in Stoke on Trent. In this role, she brought together schools and creative practitioners to tackle persistent school improvement issues. Based upon this experience, she is currently completing the final stages of her PhD. Whilst at Keele, Al was an undergraduate lecturer supporting students through their dissertations. She also worked in a small team to develop and lead a range of innovative international programmes. She regularly visited Bangalore, India to teach on the Masters programme and the Postgraduate Diploma in Education – working with Indian nationals to improve the quality and supply of new teachers. In Thailand, she taught on the Postgraduate Certificate in Education , working with teachers from international schools across South East Asia. More recently, Al has been a facilitator on the NPQML programme.