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.
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. Matthew is a trained Ofsted Inspector.
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.
Mark joins the Diocese education team with more than 30 years’ experience within the education sector, including 20 years as a headteacher. He has led both Primary and all-through (Nursery to Y13) schools in the UK, as well as British international schools in SE Asia, the Middle East and Europe. On his return from overseas in 2017, Mark joined the Cognita schools group as an educational consultant at Akeley Wood Senior School in Buckinghamshire before taking up the headship of Meoncross Independent School in Hampshire. Mark stepped away from headship in 2022 to focus on his post graduate studies in Theology and to explore other opportunities within the educational sector.
Areas of Specialism: Mark’s main area of expertise is learning and teaching which is supported by his MA in Education. He also has experience of training, coaching and mentoring middle and senior leaders. Mark also brings with him extensive experience and expertise of managing major projects, including involvement in designing, planning and opening a brand new state-of-the-art, whole school campus in Hong Kong which replaced two geographically separated school sites.
Role within the Diocese: Diocesan Academies Officer.
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
Susan is an experienced headteacher of a Church of England school in Chichester Diocese and a qualified SIAMS inspector.
Susan brings significant leadership and inspection experience to the team.
Areas of specialism: Working with school leaders, SIAMS.
Role within the Diocese: Susan joined the Diocese of Guildford's Education team in Autumn 2022 as Lead officer for SIAMS.
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 works 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 is an HR consultant for GDBE elevate HR.
Maria has over 35 years extensive HR experience dealing with complex casework, organisational change projects and other key strategic HR projects across different sectors.
Maria has worked with schools across seven Local Authorities including Surrey since 2000, most recently at GLF Schools as the founding People Director, building a successful People function and leading it to be the first national Trust to be awarded the “valued worker” accreditation by the recognised trade unions.
Prior to this Maria worked as a HR Consultant at Babcock4S with a caseload of 60 schools supporting leaders to resolve HR cases and delivering people management training.
Maria is pragmatic and solution-focused but gives colleagues dignity and respect within HR processes to enable the best outcomes whilst maintaining relationships.
Maria has a Master’s Degree in Employment Law and Employee Relations, is an accredited Executive Coach, qualified Mediator and brings a wealth of experience in leadership development, people management training and employee relations.
In addition Maria brings over 20 years’ experience in school governance in Primary and Secondary phases both at governor and trustee level.
Areas of expertise/special interest
Coaching, Mediation, Training, EDI and Wellbeing
Role within the Diocese
Maria is an HR consultant for GDBE elevate HR.
Camillia has extensive experience across all areas of HR at both a strategic and operational level. As well as being a HR Consultant, Camillia has a part time role at TOVE Learning Trust. As HR Strategy Manager Camilla’s role is to create the people plan working across the organisation to support the trust in achieving its strategy through its people and to support the Executive Team and Board of Trustees as a single employer for a fast growing Multi Academy Trust.
Camillia has worked in the education sector for 23 years, having spent nine years as Head of HR at The Diocese of Coventry Multi Academy Trust, taking the Trust from inception with two academies to nineteen. She oversaw the successful set up and continued delivery of the entire HR and payroll function leading a team of HR professionals.
Prior to working in the academy sector Camillia worked in further education having spent twelve years working for the Warwickshire College Group as Deputy HR Director. Prior to this she was in the private sector.
Camillia has two Dachshunds and in her spare time she can be found taking them on walks.
Areas of expertise/special interest
Safeguarding, TUPE, General HR
Role within the Diocese
Camillia is an HR consultant for GDBE elevate HR.
With a background in law, Helen has worked for the Diocese for 11 years.
Areas of specialism: Supporting, training and advising schools on the complexities of admissions, appeals and other specific situations.
Role within the Diocese: School Admissions and Appeals Adviser