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Excellence in Education Ltd. Chris Pickup Associates

Excellence in Education Ltd. Chris Pickup Associates

Working with Schools to Promote Excellence in Education by
Offering Headteachers a High Level of Valuable Professional Support

Our Advisory Team

Chris Pickup 

Chris has extensive experience working in schools across all sectors of school including nursery, primary, secondary and special schools He was a successful headteacher and worked in a wide range of different social settings.

He has been a successful school adviser for nursery and primary education and became the LA Chief Inspector for nursery, primary, secondary and special schools. He has worked for HMI Primary division and has wide experience of both advising and inspecting schools. 

He is the founder and managing director of Chris Pickup Associates Ltd which for the past fifteen years has provided schools with excellent support and training.

He works with headteachers, staff and governors to help them raise standards and improve the quality of learning. He has a good understanding of teaching, learning, curriculum, management and leadership. Chris is professional, friendly, approachable and totally committed to the schools he works with.

David Baker 

David worked in primary schools in Devon, Essex, Cheshire and Stockport. After two deputy headships, he was headteacher of a large primary school for nearly ten years before becoming a primary education adviser in Stockport.

He has an excellent understanding of the issues facing the headteachers of primary schools. 

As a primary adviser for over twenty years he visited schools on a regular basis to give advice and support to senior staff on curriculum and management issues. He also delivered in-service training and engaged in constructive dialogue with teachers following lesson observations. Over the years he had LEA responsibility for various curriculum areas and aspects of leadership training, particularly in relation to school self-evaluation.

He has established an excellent reputation for the excellent quality of his work and he is held in the highest esteem by headteachers, teachers and governors.

David is professional, friendly, approachable and totally committed to the schools he works with. We are delighted to have him work with us as an associate.

Tricia Murphy 

Tricia is an educationalist with a wide range of experience. As a headteacher in the special schools sector and Tricia ran schools that were widely recognised for their excellent and outstanding practice. She has a well- developed perspective of school leadership and management based on her wide experience.

Due to her background as an adviser she has a good understanding and working knowledge of strategies for lifting the quality of teaching, raising standards of achievement and improving pupils’ progress.

As a successful LA adviser Tricia was promoted to be the Head of the Special Needs Support Service for the LA. Due to her work across schools in the LA she has gained a wide understanding of special educational needs and the legislation surrounding this area.

Tricia is a leading figure in SEN nationally and internationally. She is an eminent author; and past president of NASEN.

Tricia is professional, friendly, approachable and totally committed to the schools she works with. We are delighted to have her work with us as an associate.

Gaynor Dickson 

Gaynor has been a headteacher for 14 years and has a comprehensive understanding of both strategic and day-to-day leadership and management of a primary school.

She established an excellent reputation within the authority, for her work with Children in Care and for families involved in the Common Assessment Framework, as well as in safeguarding, having served on the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board for eight years. She has a level two coaching qualification through Manchester CEL, which she has used effectively with leadership teams in schools.

Gaynor has a keen interest in Global Citizenship and Sustainability. She is approachable, enthusiastic and completelydedicated to supporting schools to improve outcomes for children.

David Hardcastle 

David has been a Primary headteacher of two contrasting schools in the Kirklees authority for twenty three years. His two most recent inspections have resulted in the school being judged as ‘Outstanding’ in all areas. 

As a Primary headteacher, David has built up a wealth of knowledge, understanding and experience of the issues that face headteachers today. For the last five years he has been a National Leader of Education. In that role, he has worked with a variety of schools and colleagues, supporting and developing their professional needs. In addition, David has acted as a mentor for N.P.Q.H. candidates offering helpful and constructive support.

David is highly respected by colleagues, teachers and governors for his professionalism and for the positive, friendly support that he provides for headteacher colleagues. He is very approachable and totally committed to the schools with which he works.

Ian Coulson 

Ian has been a headteacher in three schools in Manchester, Cheshire and Cheshire East. Currently he is a headteacher in Cheshire where he has successfully led his school to a second accreditation as a Beacon School and in his last two Ofsted Inspections his school has achieved "Outstanding".

Ian has been a primary headteacher for twenty-seven years, gaining a wealth of knowledge and an excellent understanding and experience of issues facing headteachers today. He has supported schools using his experience as an Ofsted Inspector and School Improvement partner.

He is well known and respected in Cheshire and in the North West for his recognised skills in leadership and management, particularly in school self-evaluation, school improvement, developing teaching skills and School Development Planning.

Drawing on his fifteen years supporting schools, Ian has established himself as a highly respected, committed and enthusiastic headteacher and adviser. His adaptable and friendly approach has helped him build an extensive reputation throughout the North West for his integrity and outstanding service. His approach is friendly and supportive of headteachers and he is committed and loyal to those he works with.

Chris Calderbank 

Chris has a wide and successful experience of school leadership, having worked in both church and community primary schools, in two local authorities.

Until 2012 Chris was a primary headteacher with over 15 years’ experience and so he has an excellent knowledge and understanding of the issues facing headteachers and schools. His expertise includes the key areas of leadership, management, communication, curriculum, governance, teaching and learning. He has also good experience of working with clusters of schools sharing good practice.

He has successfully led his school through four Ofsted Inspections and he has recently updated his Ofsted training through the Professional Qualification for School Inspectors (P.Q.S.I.) Programme. Chris  has extensive experience of visiting schools across the North West Region through his work with Liverpool John Moores and Edgehill Universities where he is a key member of their Teacher Training Programme..

As a former primary headteacher Chris is approachable, committed, dedicated, enthusiastic, highly motivated and totally supportive to the schools with which he works. He is highly respected by colleagues, teachers and governors for his professionalism and for the positive, friendly support that he provides.

Richard Lee 

Richard has worked as a primary school headteacher for 20 consecutive years in 5 local authorities. Three of his headship appointments were to schools in ‘Special Measures’ and under his leadership they were quickly removed from the category in their next Ofsted Inspection.

He is a former National Leader Of Education, and has contributed to headteacher development programmes regionally and locally. School-based placements in leadership practice have been provided by him for colleagues from Sheffield, Cumbria and Greater Manchester authorities.

He has a wide range of experience and depth of knowledge of school leadership and management, and he is skilled at creating effective teams. In particular, he has been consistently successful in addressing school improvement, self-evaluation, pupil achievement, and staff development and appraisal.

He has chaired his LA’s Association of Primary Headteachers and has been N.A.H.T. Local Branch President. He is a governor of a multicultural denominational school, and  he is an experienced educational consultant.

Richard is well-regarded by colleagues and is very resourceful, flexible, adaptable and supportive. He is good-humoured and quickly builds positive professional relationships with others.

Nye Goodwin 

Nye has worked in both primary and secondary schools in Wales, Suffolk and Greater Manchester. He was most recently a Headteacher of a large primary school and children’s centre for ten years. He has experience of successful leadership in very challenging circumstances.

Nye worked as an adviser and inspector for two North West authorities over a period of 12 years. He led the advisory team in a large greater Manchester LA before returning to school as a Headteacher.  He has significant experience in Headteacher appraisal, having worked as an external adviser to governing bodies across the North West of England. He visited schools routinely to give advice and support to senior staff on curriculum and leadership development. He also led in-service training.

Over the years he had LEA responsibility for various curriculum areas and aspects of leadership training, particularly in relation to school self-evaluation.

He has established an outstanding reputation for the excellent quality of his work and Headteachers, teachers and governors hold him in high regard.

Nye has a clear educational philosophy. He is professional, friendly, approachable and totally committed to the professional development of teachers to ensure high quality teaching and learning and the best outcomes for children.

Lynne Finn 

Lynne has worked as a primary school headteacher for eleven years, most recently in the Halton borough. She has an excellent grasp of the challenges facing headteachers and has been successful in strategically developing staff to meet, most importantly the needs of children but also to succeed in inspection.  Her two most recent inspections have resulted in the school being judged as ‘Outstanding’ in all areas.

Lynne is totally committed to learning and has worked ceaselessly to create a school community where both children and adults can develop as learners. A key feature of learning and also staff development has been through Action Research projects.  Under Lynne’s leadership the school achieved many awards including accreditation by Exeter University as a 'Thinking School' and more recently as an ‘Advanced Thinking School.’   Lynne has used creative approaches to strategically raise standards at all levels.  She is well respected by headteacher colleagues, teachers, governors and the Local Authority for her enthusiastic, committed and innovative approach to headship and professional support of colleague headteachers.

Susan Cliffe 

Susan has considerable experience of primary education and school leadership. Most recently she has served as a successful headteacher working in challenging social contexts.

She has worked in different local authorities where she has served in county schools and in the aided sector including Roman Catholic and Anglican schools. Before entering teaching Susan had previous experience of working in commercial management and in the nursing profession. 

Susan is a successful, approachable, calm, organised and reflective school leader. She was identified by Ofsted as ‘an outstanding school leader’ whose ‘dynamism and enthusiasm for success are infectious’.

As an adviser for LA and a diocese, Susan has worked with a wide range of different schools in different settings, facing different challenges. She has also helped to prepare for school leaders for headship.

She has an NPQH and is Church School Inspector. She is totally committed to supporting headteachers as they face the challenges of working in an increasingly demanding environment. Her recent, successful work as a serving headteacher gives her a powerful insight into the context of school leadership today.

Susan thoroughly enjoys working with headteachers and schools to help them ensure that the  children they serve receive the best education possible.

Geoff Yates 

Geoff Yates has had considerable leadership experience as a headteacher in three primary schools in two local authorities. He has also worked as primary adviser in a North West local authority.

Geoff has had extensive experience working as a school improvement partner across the North West of England and currently undertakes quality assurance work in one local authority. Geoff has plenty of expereince leading school inspections and also denominational inspections in Anglican Church schools.

He prides himself on being not only friendly and highly supportive to schools but also in having the skills to challenge senior leaders including governors in a professional way, without causing offence. Geoff is totally committed to improving outcomes for pupils and to do all that he can in helping school leaders at all levels to fulfil all they set out to do.

Julian Finn 

Julian has 27 years’ experience in school leadership and 20 years as a Headteacher.  He has strategically led four primary schools (including a one year secondment) three of the schools were in challenging circumstances.  This wealth of experience has led to an excellent understanding of the issues and challenges that face headteachers today.   He has successfully led both Church and Community Primary schools to a high standard recognised by Ofsted.  Julian has excellent interpersonal skills with experience of working with Head teachers within a variety of clusters to support each other. 

Julian has always been committed to high standards whilst developing a child centred curriculum with excellence and enjoyment.  He has led his school to achieve a number of accreditations celebrating the achievements of all stakeholders.  Julian has enjoyed working to professionally develop staff both as individuals and as a team and excelled at community links.  During his time in leadership he established an excellent reputation for the quality of his work and he is held in high regard.  Currently Julian is enjoying working as an associate tutor with Edge Hill University supporting trainee teachers on their placements in various parts of the country in Academy, State and Church Schools.

Sheila Penny 

Sheila Penny has taught for 38 years. She has over 24 years of headship experience. She successfully led her school through five Ofsted inspections. Her school was judged to be outstanding in all areas and it was in the top 10% of high achieving schools.

Through her substantial experience as a headteacher she has developed an excellent understanding of the challenging complexities facing headteachers when they are leading development and change to raise standards and improve progress. Sheila has expertise in most aspects of primary school development including: teaching and learning; raising standards; the development of personal capabilities within a creative curriculum; Early Years education; leading schools through inspection; team building; improvement planning and creating a school vision that works.

Sheila was a consultant leader within a local authority and worked in support of school leadership teams as well as individual headteachers. She was also the Primary headteacher representative on the board of BECTa for several years. This role gave her national recognition and enhanced her understanding of how ICT can be used effectively to enhance teaching and learning.

Sheila has excellent interpersonal skills and quickly establishes good professional working relationships. Her wide experience as a successful and highly respected headteacher and external consultant, has given her a wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise to offer to schools.

Anne Whitehead 

Anne served as a successful primary headteacher in different schools for twenty years. Most recently she was Executive Principal of a multi academy trust.

She became a National Leader of Education and one of her schools a National Teaching School.

Anne also has experience as a Consultant Leader and SIP, as well as a carrying out a variety of roles within the LA and for the ‘Greater Manchester Challenge’.

She established her LA’s first Network Learning Community involving twelve schools with very diverse communities and needs. She is totally committed to schools working together to share best practice. Recently she has worked with HMI supporting schools.

Anne has a wide experience of school leadership and the challenges it brings, having specialised in turning around failing schools in extremely difficult circumstances.

She is well known and respected both locally and nationally, building a good reputation for promoting the values of primary education. She is passionate with regard to children achieving their full potential regardless of background.

Anne is humorous, enthusiastic, motivated and dedicated to making learning relevant, inspirational and accessible for all members of school communities.

Paul Reynolds 

Paul has an excellent background in primary education where he has experience of two successful headships. Paul has been a primary teacher for 31 years, with 16 of these being as a headteacher. Currently, he is a headteacher a large primary school that incorporates nurseries for 2 and 3 year olds.

Paul has successfully led his schools through 5 Ofsted Inspections, with his current school being rated as Outstanding in all areas (2016).

He has a great deal of experience of transforming teaching and learning; leading whole school developments; and cross authority projects. Being a serving headteacher, he is fully aware of the pressures schools find themselves facing in this era of unprecedented change.

Paul prides himself as being a ‘people person’ who is recognised for his friendly and professional approach to his advisory service work.

Steve Smurthwaite 

Steve has been headteacher in primary schools in Cheshire and The Wirral. Until December 2011 he was headteacher of one of the largest primary schools in the country. In its inspection in 2011 his school was judged as outstanding by Ofsted. As a primary headteacher for twenty-six years he has wide and successful experience of leadership, management, curriculum, teaching and learning. He has an excellent understanding of the issues facing the headteachers of primary schools.

He has established an excellent reputation for the high quality of his work and he is held in the highest esteem by colleagues, teachers and governors. Steve is professional, friendly, approachable and totally committed to the schools he works with. We are delighted to have him work with us as an associate.

Excellence in Education Ltd.
Chris Pickup Associates
3A Underwood Way, Shaw
Oldham, Lancashire
OL2 8LF