The strongest outcomes are usually rooted in positive relationships and mutual trust. With the aim of supporting positive relationships from the outset, we have produced this summary and overview of each team member, their background and their area of responsibility.

    Amanda Griffiths (L.E.A.D. Equate Teaching School Director)

Looking ahead to this academic year, after such a challenging year for all in 2020, we are excited by the vision and plans ahead for L.E.A.D. Equate Teaching School Alliance. With one aim of ‘providing the highest quality of professional development for all sectors of the workforce in order to bring about the greatest outcomes for pupils’ we feel that we have responded to feedback in relation to current needs in all areas. Keen to support schools in overcoming the barriers which 2020 has presented, we feel that we have offered a number of options for bespoke training within your own settings, as well as face to face opportunities too. L.E.A.D. Equate Teaching School Alliance will continue to work with a range of partners across the East Midlands, to offer the highest quality professional development across Lincolnshire, L.E.A.D. Academy Trust and beyond. We aim to deliver this offer and strive to maximise our impact by working collaboratively with strategic partners in each region. We aim to ensure that our talented and forward thinking professional development team, including our SLE’s, produce high quality training packages which have a sustained and significant impact. Excited by this vision and the opportunity that comes with the next phase of development, we again look forward to working closely with you to ensure that we can provide an offer which closely meets the needs of both the staff and pupils within your setting. Thank you for your on-going support and feedback in relation to the work that we do.


Lisa Cassidy  (Head of L.E.A.D. Equate Teaching School in Lincolnshire)

I look forward to this next year with real excitement. We have grown even further as a team to meet the needs of the schools that we work with across the L.E.A.D. Academy Trust, within the Teaching School Alliance and across Lincolnshire as part of LTT. Working across LTT and the sector, as part of the “One Plan”, continues to offer greater connectivity and collaboration as we work hard to ensure all schools achieve excellence in teaching, leadership, pedagogy, training, development and support. It is our job to ensure excellence is shared effectively to maximise the positive impact on the lives of the greatest number of children and young people. The work we are doing with the DfE, as part of the English Hub, moves into its third year of funding. We are seeing real impact in schools and with the professionals that we are working with. We look forward to continuing to support those schools we have had the privilege of working with so far and with those schools who wish to engage throughout this year.

Leann Lynch (Strategic Teaching and Learning Leader)

One of her favourite quotations about teaching comes from Lee Shulman who states ‘Classroom teaching is perhaps the most
complex, most challenging, and most demanding, subtle, nuanced and frightening activity that our species has ever invented.’
Highly experienced in the role of developing others, this is Leann’s first year with L.E.A.D. Equate Teaching School. Leann has experience of working with pupils, teachers and leaders of education to identify the ingredients that make great teaching, reflecting upon the powerful words outlined by Shulman. By looking at the evidence based practice and striving to improve upon that, she will
endeavour to ensure that every pupil has access to the best education we can offer and therefore the best chances for a brighter future.

Sophie Hirst (Teaching and Learning Leader)

With a love for teaching and learning, Sophie is keen to support other teachers to develop their careers and better their practise. Working for L.E.A.D.Equate, Sophie has offered support to schools and professionals in a range of subject areas, coaching and mentoring them to better teaching and learning in their classrooms as well as in the school as a whole. As a KS2 STA approved moderator, Sophie has offered many schools support as well as an external opinion when needed. She has also led mentoring for initial teacher trainees on the Schools Direct route including CPD sessions, lectures and coaching and is keen to develop future teachers to equip them will all the necessary skills to be successful colleagues. Sophie is a keen reader of educational blogs and research and understands the necessity to employ research lead initiates within school improvements.

Stacey Williams (Early Careers Leader for L.E.A.D. Equate Teaching School Alliance)

Stacey has worked in primary education for the last eleven years. She has teaching experience across the Early Years Foundation Stage; Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, working in both state schools and the independent sector, across Rutland and Lincolnshire. Previously as an experienced Key Stage Leader of both phases and a Subject Leader of the core subjects, she has a passion for supporting other like minded teachers, with the belief that all children are entitled to the very best education and school experience that can be offered. She is very much a people person and is passionate about developing early career teachers. She is in her fourth year working for the Teaching School and has a wealth of experience working with ITT trainees on the LTSA SCITT Primary Programme, NQTs and the delivery of the Active English programme to schools. As a firm believer in positive mental health, she also co-runs the Leading a Mentally Healthy School training for the Teaching School.

Rebecca Riley (L.E.A.D. Associate for L.E.A.D. Equate TSA)

With over 15 years teaching experience working in an urban setting , Rebecca is currently a Deputy Head teacher in inner city Nottingham. She has a keen interest in leadership in education and is passionate about supporting teachers and teaching assistants develop their careers. With a wealth of training and experience in coaching teachers at all stages of their career, Rebecca holds a postgraduate certificate in coaching and mentoring teachers in the early stages of their career as well being a certified coach in business and personal coaching. Rebecca leads the Primary Nottingham training for initial teacher trainees, newly qualified teachers and recently qualified teachers as well as supporting coaching within the alliance.

Donna Plant (Teaching School Administration)

Working for L.E.A.D. Equate Teaching School for a year, Donna is based at Manor Farm Academy in Lincoln. Her role involves overseeing all course bookings and managing day to day enquiries. She looks forward to meeting and greeting you to many of the courses held at Manor Farm Academy.

Helen Thomas (Teaching School Administration)

Joining L.E.A.D. Equate TSA in January 2020 after retiring from the post as Head Teacher of a 420 place Primary School in Nottingham, Helen is delighted to still be involved within the education sector and thoroughly enjoys supporting L.E.A.D. in an administrative role. With the aim of ensuring that any queries are responded to in a professional and timely manner including supporting the booking of any training events, Helen oversees the training at Hogarth Pavillion, Nottingham, ensuring that delegates feel welcome, comfortable and relaxed for the sessions. As a teacher/Head Teacher previously, Helen understands the importance of quality training and aims to support the TSA in securing high quality CPD for its members.

Sophie Hayes-Watson (Operations Manager)

Working to ensure that there is compliance and financial viability, Sophie is leading the financial and administrative components of both the L.E.A.D. Teaching School Hub and L.E.A.D. Equate. Sophie is striving to ensure that there is value for money for schools within both the Trust and Lincolnshire.

Helen Wise ( Teaching School Finance)

Responsible for all financial systems and processes at L.E.A.D. Equate, The English and RSHE Hubs, Helen Wise ensures that there is value for money, accurate spending and tracking of any DfE income and financial sustainability. She equally works hard to processes all payments and ensure that there is strong communication with all schools and academies. She also takes the time to respond to any queries posed by Schools or Academies should they arise on a day to day basis.

    Amy Wells (English Hub Leader)

Passionate about improving outcomes for all children and working collaboratively with colleagues to improve all aspects of teaching and learning in schools, Amy joins the English Hub team with 14 years’ experience. Having taught in Years 1 and 2, led a KS1 team and worked around Lincolnshire as a KS1 moderator, Amy has led reading and writing from Early Years through to Year 6 and phonics from EYFS to Year 2. In her time as a class teacher she became an SLE; supporting many NQTs, teachers and leadership teams to improve individual classroom practice and overall outcomes in their schools. She has designed, led and delivered on Initial Teacher Training programmes; coaching and mentoring training trainees, mentors and programme tutors, whilst promoting a collaborative model for ITT in Lincolnshire. In a leadership position, she has successfully led whole school teams to improvement. Having recently completed her NPQH she has continued the journey of professional development, reading insightful leadership books to exciting children’s literature! This will be Amy’s first year working with the English Hub. As English Hub Lead she is committed to truly wanting to share her knowledge and skills with others and to continue to learn and be inspired by the fantastic schools, teachers and leaders in Lincolnshire.

Carrieanne Nicolson (English Hub Coordinator / Administrator)

Carrieanne works closely with the English Hub Lead to coordinate the day to day administration of Witham St Hughs English Hub. As part of her role, Carrieanne regularly liaises with schools and linked organisations building professional and friendly relationships to ensure clear communication.