We consist of headteachers and inspectors, outstanding practitioners and consultants who are working, or have worked in schools and academy trusts across the South East. Our team is drawn from across the education and human resources sector equipped to listen and work with you. As experienced system leaders, we engage to provide the right support at the right time.
Alex is an experienced Diocesan Director of Education and system leader who has contributed to shaping education policy at both a national and local level.
Areas of Specialism: Alex’s responsibilities include advising the Diocesan Board of Education on developing its education strategy and policies including school organisation and academisation. As part of his role he advises governing bodies, academies trusts and site trustees on legal issues relating to the Christian character of Church of England schools.
Role within the Diocese: As Diocesan Director of Education, Alex leads the Education team in the Diocese and acts as the Company Secretary for the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE). He is member of the Bishop of Guildford’s leadership team. Alex represents the DBE as a ‘Member’ of a number of Church multi-academy trusts across the Diocese and is a Trustee of Schools Alliance for Excellence (SAFE) a local education partnership in Surrey. Before being appointed as Diocesan Director of Education, Alex was a headteacher of a Church of England primary school in Surrey and worked for the local authority as a School Improvement Adviser.
Deputy Director of Education | Head of School Effectiveness
Matthew is an experienced school improvement professional and has worked in primary schools for over 25 years in a range of contexts, including nine years as a headteacher. Prior to that he spent five years working for Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service, acting as the Leadership and Learning Partner for several school across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Matthew was the Hampshire LA data lead and a key member of the assessment team.
Areas of Specialism: Matthew has a particular interest in curriculum development, formative assessment and tackling educational disadvantage, providing support tailored to the needs of the school. Matthew enjoys helping schools build leadership capacity through coaching and mentoring. He regularly leads professional development courses and governor training.
Role within the Diocese: Diocesan Deputy Director of Education and Head of School Effectiveness. Matthew joined the Schools Alliance for Excellence (SAfE) team in the capacity of School Improvement Adviser in September 2021. He is firmly committed to helping school communities to grow, flourish and live life in all its fullness.
Jane has been a school’s officer with the Diocese of Guildford since 2013. Before that she taught in primary schools in Surrey and Hampshire, this included headships in both church and community schools.
Jane set up one of the first prayer spaces in her school in 2008 and currently is a networker for the Prayer Spaces in Schools team, in this role she assists with training and writing materials. Jane is an assessor for the Christian Aid Global Neighbours awards.
In her current role Jane provides training and support for school leaders, teachers, and governors in the areas of Christian distinctiveness, vision and values in church schools, spiritual development, Religious Education, collective worship, PHSE and developing links with their parish church. She works with diocesan colleagues to train clergy and church volunteers.
Areas of specialism:
Christian distinctiveness, vision and values in church schools, spiritual development, Religious Education, collective worship, PHSE in church schools, school and church links.
Role within the Diocese:
School’s Officer with responsibility for Christian Distinctiveness
BC (before children!) Rachel taught in the primary phase, as RE subject leader in community school settings for much of that time, with additional responsibilities for Collective Worship and SMSC. She has been involved as a writer in the past 4 reviews of the Surrey RE Agreed Syllabus, leading the Primary teams for the revisions in 2007 & 2012 and most recently, co-ordinating the complete review of the new Surrey Agreed Syllabus (2017-1022). She has also reviewed the Diocesan Guidelines for VA Schools and the Diocesan Collective Worship Guidelines (both twice!). In addition to her Diocesan role alongside Jane Whittington, Rachel is currently the RE adviser to Surrey SACRE, and leads RE subject leader training sessions for both the Diocese and Surrey RE networks.
When not reviewing syllabi, Rachel also writes assembly materials and is a regular contributor to the BBC Schools’ Radio Collective Worship programme ‘Something to Think About’.
Areas of specialism:
Statutory RE provision; RE in primary classrooms; supporting RE subject leaders; practical ideas for collective worship
Role within the Diocese:
Associate Consultant for RE (Primary) Adviser to Surrey SACRE
Anne has worked with Surrey schools over many years, leading the School Workforce Remodelling and the Teacher Recruitment Strategy between 2004 and 2010. She then became Head of HR for Children and Young People’s Services in the London Borough of Sutton before joining Woodard Academies Trust.
As their founding HR Director she led the TUPE transfer of a number of schools in the Northeast of England and developed an effective HR service for the Trust. Under Anne’s leadership Woodard Academy Trust was the first Trusts to successfully deliver a common support staff pay and grading structure across several different local authorities and secure a collective agreement. In her spare time, she is a Trustee of the European Christian Mission International and a Trustee of the London City Mission.
Areas of Specialism: People and Organisational Development - Anne studied for an MSc in People and OD at Roffey Park Institute, graduating from the University of West Sussex in 2019. With an interest in and love of Organisational Development Anne joined the Good Shepherd Trust, Guildford leading the project to introduce regional hubs. Anne has a deep interest in people and seeking the best for them.
Role within the Diocese: GDBE elevate HR, Lead Consultant. Anne leads the GDBE Elevate HR service and work strategically with the GDBE education team.
Valerie brings extensive HR experience to her role as HR. Valerie has worked in HRD for the Harris Academy Trust and as HR Director for Oasis Community Learning and more recently has provided HR consultancy to a range of clients through Discovery HR Solutions. Valerie has a deep love for education and is a Trustee for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.
Areas of specialism: Working with school leaders, helping them to navigate complex HR issues and get the best from their people.
Role within the Diocese: Valerie joined GDBE elevate HR team in 2022 as an HR consultant.