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Learn Academies Trust

Learn Academies Trust

School Improvement Offer

Learning is Learn-AT’s core purpose – it is the main thing. We work hard to keep the main thing, the main thing and do the right thing, the right way. Together.

We believe that authentic school improvement is achieved through systematic developmental work which prioritises high-quality research-informed professional learning and the use of evidence (RIPPLE). Every year we set clear priorities for school improvement based on Trust and school self-evaluation. Groups of colleagues at all levels of leadership work together in fellowship towards the achievement of school and Trust priorities. Deeper learning through a singular emphasis on the development of curriculum, pedagogy and professional learning sits at the heart of authentic school improvement in Learn-AT. This commitment to collaboration and robust, internal accountability is reflected in the Trust’s review cycle which aligns whole school and peer review with evaluation and planning for CPDL provision.

For more information please see our School Improvement Offer booklet.

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Learn-AT’s school Improvement strategy is led by the Trust’s Director of Education, Steve Roddy, working closely with the Trust Leader, Stef Edwards. Learn-AT’s School Improvement Directorate is shown below:

  • Sir John Dunford

    Chair of the School Improvement Committee

    Former Leader of ASCL, National Pupil Premium Champion and Chair of Whole Education. Sir John has many years of experience of successful school leadership in the secondary sector. He is a national voice on the subject of disadvantage. His most recent project was leading the independent commission into exam malpractice, reporting in 2019. He is a passionate advocate for disadvantaged students.

  • Marie-Claire Bretherton

    Trustee - School Improvement Committee

    Marie-Claire trained as a teacher before becoming a headteacher in Lincolnshire, where she led three very different schools to secure improved outcomes for pupils, including in the most challenging of circumstances. She is now Director of School Improvement for Anthem Schools Trust in England, as well as the Education Director for KYRA – a community for teaching, leadership, research and school improvement partnerships

  • Dr Stef Edwards

    Trust Leader

    Stef started her long career in education as a primary school teacher in Sheffield. She is a primary English specialist, and worked as Primary Strategy Consultant between 2003-2006, and headteacher at Great Bowden Academy from 2006-2017. She was appointed Trust Leader when Learn-AT launched in 2016. Stef is committed to working in collaboration with colleagues to build a research-informed professional learning community in Learn-AT, with the aim of achieving sustainable improvement in the quality of teaching and children’s learning. Stef is a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching, has a Master’s degree in Education Research and Inquiry and completes her doctoral study about the leadership of teachers’ professional learning this year. Stef is committed to developing excellence in teaching to secure excellence in pupil learning, motivated by a passion for education and a strong belief in its power to improve children’s choices and chances in life.

  • Steve Roddy

    Director of Education and Deputy Trust Leader

    As Headteacher at Church Langton CE Primary School Steve led the successful application to launch Learn-AT Teaching School in 2017, which continues to operate as Learn-AT Professional, and launched Learn-AT Associate Research School as part of the Education Endowment Foundation funded Research School Network in 2018. As Director of these two elements of the Trust, Steve has successfully launched a partnership with Church of England Foundation of Educational Leadership to deliver National Professional Qualifications. Steve has served on the Board of Education for Diocese of Leicester and Leicestershire Education Effectiveness Partnership, and has been a governor at five different schools. He completed his Masters in Educational Leadership in 2021. 
As Director of Education/ Deputy Trust Leader Steve works to improve outcomes and opportunities for all of the Trust's children.

  • Alan Eathorne

    RIPPLE Lead

    Alan has been the headteacher at Husbands Bosworth CE Primary School for six years having previously worked in other schools in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire. Within Learn-AT, he is responsible for supporting RIPPLE Leaders in each school. He has recently completed a Masters in school-based leadership and management and has presented at regional, national and international events focussed on professional learning and Lesson Study. For three years he has been an Evidence Leader of Education (ELE) for Kyra Research and Learn-AT Associate Research schools.

  • Sian Ellis

    English specialist

    Sian's teaching career spans 28 years. Her passion for Primary English began in the very early days, especially her love for children’s literature. She shares her enthusiasm and expertise with colleagues through her roles as school subject lead, SLE and Schools Direct trainer and visiting tutor. The SLE role involves working collaboratively with colleagues from schools across the Trust and supporting the development of their English curricula. Through monitoring work and CPD, Sian's aim is always to impact positively on staff confidence and pupil outcomes. She also contributed to the writing and delivery of an Initial Teacher Training English Curriculum that ensures that our students can develop a sound understanding of the subject and make clear links between research, pedagogy and practice.

  • Libby Harris

    SEND Lead

    Libby is the SENDCo at two Learn-AT schools as well as being the Lead Professional for SEND Education. Her specialism is dyslexia, in addition to having a passion for deaf awareness. She works with SENDCos across the Trust to ensure that SEND pupils have the best start to their education and are enabled to meet their potential in all areas, not just academic. Libby promotes inclusion in schools so that children can access the whole of school life, feel safe and secure and be proud of their differences. She is committed to working with families to support children in the best possible way.

  • Matt Hough

    Assessment Lead

    In his 25+ years as a teacher, Matt has been lucky enough to work in lots of different types of primary school - from a school with one class in the Scottish Highlands to a three form entry school in Streatham. He has spent most of his time in upper KS2 but has taught in all year groups at one time or another. He is currently Deputy Headteacher at a two form entry school in Market Harborough, having been a Senior Leader for eight years. He is also a designated ELE and his particular areas of interest include formative assessment, cognitive science, and developing leaders.

  • Liz Martin

    Safeguarding Lead

    Liz has worked in education for the past 27 years and over that time has held a variety of different roles - class teacher, subject and phase leader, SENDCo, Deputy Headteacher, Head of School and now Headteacher. She is currently the Headteacher of a two form entry primary school in Market Harborough, the headteachers’ representative on the Learn-AT Trust Board and Safeguarding Lead across the Trust. Liz has a particular interest in staff development as a key tool for lasting school improvement and development of culture.

  • Sarah Walker

    Curriculum Development Lead

    Through many years of teaching across different years in primary schools, the thing Sarah loves the most is teaching children to read and to enjoy books. Through this interest, she became an SLE and an ELE, specialising in English, in particular early reading and spelling. She is also a trainer for Sounds-Write phonics. More recently she has been working with curriculum leaders across Learn-AT schools, supporting them to make their school’s curriculum accessible, coherent, exciting and ambitious for their pupils, while also being unique to the school and its setting.