BSP Team

Farzana Aldridge - Strategic Director

Farzana was appointed as the BSP Strategic Manager in April 2014 and has gained similar experience leading the Harrow School Improvement Partnership. Farzana has worked in senior roles in a number of different local authorities including in Bristol as Strategy Leader for School Improvement, in Milton Keynes as Assistant Director for Early Years and Access, in Peterborough as Quality Assurance Officer, and in Northamptonshire as Head of Curriculum Services and Training. Farzana has been a teacher, headteacher, advisory headteacher and an Ofsted inspector.

Farzana's vision is to lead the BSP in representing the aspirations of Brent schools and providing a service that caters for their needs as schools progress and improve.

Jeff Smith - Senior Associate

Jeff has been a class teacher, advisory teacher, deputy-head and headteacher at Anson Primary School for seventeen years. During his career he has supported local authorities, headteachers and was seconded to Becta between 2008 and 2010.  Now Jeff is the Senior Associate for the BSP. He supports schools, manages a number of BSP groups as well as organising the conferences. Jeff is also a Director of IET Associates, as not-for-profit company dedicated to the effective use of technology in schools.

Kim Beat - School Improvement Specialist

Kim has 22 years of successful senior leadership experience as the headteacher of two very large schools, and a local authority school improvement adviser in one of the most deprived

areas in the country.


As the recently retired headteacher of a very large school in exceptionally challenging circumstances, Kim led the school from being 'special measures' to making rapid improvements and becoming 'good' in all areas of its work. Her relentless drive (Ofsted 2013) to improve teaching and learning meant that the children's progress improved at a faster pace than nationally and the value added results were in the top 11% of schools nationally for all subjects.


In both her headships, she was judged by Ofsted to have created a truly inclusive school where all pupils irrespective of ability, gender or ethnicity were valued and expected to, and did, achieve highly (Ofsted 2002 and 2013).

As an inspirational school improvement adviser for ten challenging primary, secondary and special schools in Brent she led the senior leaders, including governors, to affect significant improvements in their schools for these to become good or better. Her skills and professional expertise are now being used to inspire and challenge a variety of schools, in London and Bristol, in a partnership approach.

Kim’s specific areas of expertise extend to leadership development of senior leaders (including governors), effective monitoring and self-evaluation systems and training of school teams to improve the quality of teaching, learning, pupil assessment and tracking of progress as key strategies for improvement.

Glynis Bradley-Peat - School Improvement Specialist

Glynis is able to offer highly professional advice on a wide range of aspects vital to schools. Her particular specialisms are in safeguarding, data analysis, raising attainment, improving leadership including governance, preparing schools for inspection, use and impact of the pupil premium and mathematics. Her experience as a lead inspector ensures she provides clear guidance about where inspectors are shining the spotlight most brightly. One of Glynis’ many strengths is stripping back information to the fundamentals so that Ofsted, senior leaders, governors and teachers can immediately get to what they need. Her work as an education advisor for the DfE ensures that she is fully conversant with education policy, academy practice and MATs.

Glynis has been instrumental in helping a number of schools to achieve ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô and ‚Äėgood‚Äô ratings from Ofsted. Her work with Sir Mike Tomlinson in Basildon has ensured that the number of schools requiring improvement has reduced. Glynis‚Äô review and improvement work in a number of large academies has promoted recent outstanding judgements and has moved category schools to good. Her pupil premium review and improvement work has been invaluable in ensuring schools diminish the difference successfully.

Glynis tailors her advice to each school. Her knowledge and experience is a great asset and her flexible approach allows her to respond appropriately. She listens well before advising wisely. Glynis works quickly, which is crucial for all headteachers whose time is at a premium. She communicates in a clear and rigorous manner, always challenging leaders to improve and do better.She brings insight to staff regarding pedagogy. Her training is practical and is provided to staff in a manner which they can understand and use to improve practice.

Nick Butt - School Improvement Specialist

Nick is a very experienced serving Ofsted lead inspector and was a successful primary headteacher. He undertakes quality assurance work for Ofsted and is part of the national sampling team that maintains the consistency of reports across England. Until very recently he was also Education Director in Basildon overseeing 30 primary schools. During his three years in Basildon all but one of the schools moved to Ofsted grade good or better.  He was a London Challenge adviser working with the Department for Education and local authorities to improve vulnerable primary schools in London boroughs, notably Lewisham, Bexley and Camden. His schools made significant gains in their performance and several have now been rated outstanding.

Nick’s areas of expertise include leadership and management, governance, teaching and learning, the curriculum, special educational needs and the Early Years Foundation Stage. Nick has experience of working in inner city schools as a teacher and governor. He has undertaken a wide range of consultancy both in the UK and abroad, with trips reviewing schools in New York and Abu Dhabi. He has taken a lead on the Good to Outstanding programme with the BSP.

Nick has a successful track record both as a headteacher and in school improvement. Schools value his professional expertise and friendly but no-nonsense approach. His up-to-date inspection knowledge is very useful. He is very quick to get to the core of what a school needs to do to improve and is able to work efficiently and highly effectively with leaders, managers and also governors.

Elaine Adams - School Improvement Specialist

Elaine has worked in education since qualifying in 1975, teaching in a variety of primary schools in both rural and urban settings and holding a range of responsibilities. She has sixteen years’ experience as a Headteacher in Hertfordshire and Islington. In both headships Elaine was appointed to amalgamate existing Nursery, Infant and Junior schools to create new Primaries. This enabled her to develop excellent people skills and some very effective strategies for dealing with challenging situations! As a Local Leader of Learning and School Improvement Partner she successfully supported schools in Ealing, Islington and Hounslow. In between headships, Elaine worked for five years as a local authority Primary Adviser linked with 37 schools. She developed skills in teacher and governor training, professional development and coaching. As an Ofsted Registered Inspector she led many inspections across England.

Elaine takes a positive approach to school improvement; building on existing good practice, motivating and encouraging, developing opportunities for individuals & teams to flourish, networking & building leadership capacity.

Julie Cahill - School Improvement Specialist

Julie has 23 years successful experience in senior leadership roles in Brent, including 7 as a Headteacher and 10 as a school improvement adviser and principal adviser. Julie now works independently, using her considerable skills and expertise to enthuse, support and challenge a wide variety of schools.

An accredited SIP/adviser for primary and special schools for over 14 years, Julie has a proven track-record and extensive school improvement experience, often working in challenging circumstances. She has supported and enabled school leaders at all levels to make notable improvements in leadership, provision and outcomes for pupils, securing good Ofsted judgements. Headteachers and HMI have commented positively on the impact of her work. As a primary headteacher, Julie successfully led the school, initially a cause for concern, through 2 positive Ofsted inspections, to become a good school. Ofsted (2001) noted… all pupils make good progress... leadership and management are very good.’

Julie has particular expertise in strategic leadership; coaching and developing leaders, including governors and middle leaders; monitoring and self-evaluation; training and support in the effective use of data to identify priorities, improving teaching and learning; preparation for Ofsted and support for headteachers in managing challenging situations. Her approach to school improvement is based on partnership working, building trust and positive relationships and providing the right balance of challenge and support that good leaders want. Her work is underpinned by a passionate commitment to inclusion and equality for all.

Julie has contributed to the development of governance for the Partnership. She and currently leads on the recruitment of senior leaders in schools.

Neil Farmer - School Improvement Specialist

Neil is an independent educational consultant supporting school development across London, the Midlands and the South East. He is also a School Advisor for The Griffin Trust and the Diocese of Southwark. In addition, Neil is an improvement advisor to a number of schools in the Middle East and Europe. He is a Governor for two schools and on the board of directors for a newly formed MAT.

Neil was also a Senior Early Years consultant, and Head of Early Years in Croydon and Waltham Forest and Surrey working across all sectors raising outcomes for children. Neil is a vastly experienced teacher and school leader and has directed schools through successful Ofsteds and transformations.  He is an expert in ensuring that provision meets the needs of young children and has an enviable success rate in taking schools from a category into Good or Better.

Neil leads on many training days and has contributed to numerous Regional and National Conferences on subjects including Dispositions towards Learning, Boys Learning, Involvement in Learning, Developing strong and sustainable Leadership, and Early Language Development.¬† His passion is Children‚Äôs Involvement in the learning process, taking the principles of outstanding FS provision and practice through into the Infants and is currently working with schools nationwide on a major project measuring the impact on progress, attainment and well-being through enhanced provision and independent challenge.¬†¬† He is passionate about the key role of the adult in mediating learning. He is a published author, including ‚ÄėGetting it Right for Boys‚Äô and ‚ÄėGetting it Right in Reception‚Äô.

Jan Martin - School Improvement Specialist

Jan is a school improvement consultant for primary, secondary and special schools, specialising in SEND, EAL, and Inclusion. ¬†She has Ofsted experience as a team inspector ‚Äď primary & secondary mainstream and special schools. She has been a Head of School Improvement as well as Head of Inclusion and Pupil Support. She was also SEND adviser to the English Schools Foundation in Hong Kong. Jan has successfully provided intervention programmes for failing schools, and taken special schools to outstanding inspection outcomes.

Jan is regularly invited by secondary Headteachers to review SEND, EAL and Inclusion provisions. She was a School Improvement Partner in secondary schools, special schools and PRUs, and continues this role in special schools. Since September 2011 she has been contracted by Harrow Local Authority as a senior associate adviser providing SEND support, and works with Harrow mainstream and special schools. Jan facilitates the Brent/Harrow Special Schools Assessment project. Jan has extensive knowledge of measuring and reporting the progress of all groups of pupils, especially SEND pupils.

Jan is an experienced trainer in SEND, Inclusion and behaviour and governance of SEND, and provides training for Harrow and Buckinghamshire LAs, in addition to delivering at national conferences. Jan was an accredited trainer for the Achievement for All programme.

Jan has also written three e-books for Optimus publishers on Measuring Progress of SEND pupils and writing Case Studies for SEND pupils.

Robert Ridout - School Improvement Specialist

Rob has been involved in leadership in secondary schools for over 20 years. He led the successful amalgamation of two very different and large secondary schools to form one single, smaller academy on a new site. He has been a secondary head of a good school and, as part of very effective teams, has led successful change in both an outstanding
school as well as helping supporting category schools move to ‚ÄėGood‚Äô and beyond. As¬†both an advisor and Ofsted inspector he has had a significant impact on school¬†improvement.

Rob has been instrumental in the raising of standards in the schools he has led or in the schools he has supported. Monitoring processes have become more focused and set against clear success measures. Self-evaluation has become more accurate and promoted the pace of change. He is experienced in the management of difficult situations that
require genuine support or hard messages to be given. He is adept at managing the consequences of these actions.

Rob likes to work closely with teams. He adopts an honest and measured approach to his work with schools which leads to constructive and lasting relationships with those with whom he works.

Rob believes that goals, outcomes and success criteria need to be identified early on in any process. Support is then tailored to meet the context and circumstances of the school and the needs of the people within it.

He will do what it takes to get the job done!

Gill Walley - School Improvement Specialist

Following headship, Gill inspected with Ofsted almost full time from 2008 to 2015, in primary, secondary  and Early Years phases. Gill is a SIAMS inspector for several dioceses. Consequently, she  knows precisely what best practice looks like and is able to identify  key priorities for school improvement. Gill’s extensive work with trainees has developed her skills in mentoring and empowering others.

Gill was a Primary SIP in Luton, supporting  leadership and management, governance, robust monitoring to improve teaching and learning, and data analysis to strengthen self-evaluation and raise the achievement of all groups.  Gill has delivered training on middle leadership, governance and Early Years.  She has conducted many inspection-style reviews, helping leaders and governors to have an accurate view of their school and to identify key areas for development. Gill has worked extensively with governors on headteacher performance reviews and target setting.

Gill now provides robust support and challenge in Brent schools, tailoring provision to individual schools‚Äô needs ‚Äď for example training¬† governors and support staff, conducting safeguarding audits and identifying strategies to close gaps.

Gill has a very strong track record supporting schools to improve so that when inspected they have moved from Requiring Improvement to Good, or Good to Outstanding. Gill attributes this to her ability not merely to share her expertise to support schools and to build capacity to sustain improvement, but also to challenge leaders to accelerate progress and close gaps between groups or subject areas through robust monitoring and raising expectations. Gill’s extensive work with trainee teachers has developed her skills in mentoring and empowering others.

Nigel Blackburn - School Improvement Specialist

Nigel has over 40 years experience of working in education. He has been a Co-Executive Head and an Executive Head of four secondary schools, spanning 18 years. Nigel‚Äôs leadership was judged as ‚Äúoutstanding‚ÄĚ three times by OfSTED and he was deployed as a National Leader of Education in to a number of schools that were in Special Measures and required rapid remedial support. Nigel was in the first tranche of National Leaders of Education and was also a NCSL Consultant Headteacher. Between 2010 and 2016, Nigel was Head of Secondary Standards and School Improvement for Kent LA. He was responsible for a family of 102 schools and the deployment of national and local leaders. Nigel was also leading on the development of future headteachers, succession planning and the deployment of resources to secure improvement and challenge to Kent schools.

Nigel is a person who values strategic vision and believes in turning vision into reality. He has good personal skills and expertise to develop excellent leadership with the people with whom he works.

Deborah Coslett - School Improvement Specialist

Deborah has worked in education for over 35 years. She has had a varied range of experiences, including being one of the country’s first Co-Head National Leaders of Education.  With over ten years’ experience of leading schools, she has, most recently been a Chief Executive Officer of a successful multi academy trust. In addition, she has been a Consultant Headteacher for a south-coast local authority, working alongside officers from the Standards and Learning Effectiveness Services. Her primary task in this role is to develop new ways of working that maximise the benefits of school-to-school support to raise standards.

Deborah is a person who values strategic vision and believes in turning vision into reality. She has excellent personal skills and the expertise to support school managers in their drive to raise standards. Deborah has a wealth of experience and skills in the following areas: Recent CEO of a multi academy trust, Leading an outstanding secondary academy, accredited as a National Support School and National Teaching School, National Leader of Education and previously Associate Headteacher of the SSAT.

Steve Walters - Curriculum Specialist

Steve is a very experienced governor in primary and secondary schools. As an LA Governance Adviser providing training, support, challenge and consultancy to individual governing bodies (including schools judged by Ofsted to be requiring improvement or special measures) he has enabled many governing bodies to be more effective in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.

As an Estyn inspector he has gained an excellent understanding of applying rigorous criteria for school review and evaluation. His particular focus has been on the effectiveness of student pastoral care and welfare.

Steve has supported Headteachers and governors in understanding the critical links between teacher performance, appraisal and pay. He has reviewed governing body policies in these areas to ensure that they meet statutory responsibilities, and that the underpinning processes are effective. In relation to other aspects of school management, Steve has provided very effective support in areas such as student welfare and management of exclusion processes.

Steve’s background in finance and business management has supported many schools and local authorities in establishing effective marketing and management procedures. In his role as the Business and Leadership Adviser in a very successful local authority, he was able to transform processes and procedures for the effective delivery of services to schools.

Steve is highly respected by schools for his support and challenge, which is always delivered in a positive and productive manner. He provides both strategic and operational support to school leaders and governors through his thorough understanding of the critical role of school governors and leaders in securing improvement in schools.

Cimone Le Maitre - Business Support Manager

Cimone Le Maitre has a great deal of experience of business environments- essential for her role at the BSP. She has worked for a number of companies and also manages her own company.  She brings this expertise and a detailed knowledge of business systems to  the Partnership and has applied these skills to ensure that all the contact details, letters, print material and course details are always kept up to date.

Cimone's knowledge of website development has ensured that our BSP site and CPD portal are both regularly reviewed and kept up-to-date.  Her calm, organised manner ensures that clients, schools and educationalists are kept informed about what is going on in the Partnership.

Letter-drafting, CPD programme uploads, bookings, document production, liaising with schools, website management and being the professional front line of the BSP all fall under her remit.  Not only does she excel in these areas, she is also a greatly valued member of the Team!

Robert Singh - School Improvement Specialist

Robert is a highly competent retired headteacher with extensive experience of school leadership.  He has worked in London schools for over 28 years, recently as headteacher of a large 3 form entry primary school in North London. In 2012 the school was identified as one of the 100 most improved in Key Stage 2 national tests.

Robert has undertaken the amalgamation of schools and successfully conducted major restructuring of staff and curriculum. He has been recognised by Ofsted as a "strong leader" who provides "a clear direction for [his] school" and that, "pupils continue to achieve consistently high levels of progress throughout the school".

He is a trained School Improvement Partner, accredited by the National College for School Leadership, as well as trained Headteacher mentor and facilitator. He has experience of working with schools facing a wide range of challenges; schools deemed to be `outstanding` and striving to improve, `good` striving to be `outstanding` and schools in an Ofsted category wanting to rapidly improve. He believes in schools taking responsibility for their own improvement through local partnerships and was a key leader in developing Haringey`s Network Learning Communities.

Presently, Robert works as a BSP SIS with a number of schools across Brent.

His specialisms include:

- Leadership Development for aspiring and established leaders

- Improving schools in challenging circumstances

- Building effective teams; mentoring and coaching

Recent work:

- External advisor for HTPM

- Lead trainer for NCTL funded programme to develop system wide leaders

- External adviser to schools on managing Pupil Premium

- SIS to a number of Brent schools

Mike Hulme - Associate

Mike recently retired from his highly successful 12 year Headship at Queens Park Community School Academy Trust. He has worked in the London Secondary sector for 40 years and has an exceptional track record of school leadership and collaborative working across all phases of educational provision.

Mike has been instrumental in ensuring exceptional teamwork and leadership skills permeate all aspects of school leadership creating ‚Äúan ethos where the staff feel valued and supported‚ÄĚ (QPCSAT Ofsted 2016). His skills in establishing a clear vision and rigorous self-evaluation have resulted in truly inclusive institutions and, most notably, diminishing the gaps between disadvantaged pupils and other student groups in schools. ‚ÄúPupils feel highly supported by staff, are proud of their school and, consequently, attend regularly. They conduct themselves in an orderly, respectful and courteous way, and mix well together in this diverse learning community‚ÄĚ (QPCSAT Ofsted 2016).

Mike believes in the importance of, and educational focus on, the ‚Äėwhole child‚Äô which should permeate throughout the curriculum resulting in the preparation of young people to assume their roles as effective citizens.

Mike has strong and tested Secondary leadership skills in many areas and most notably in:

o        Performance Management and appraisal

o        School Governance

o        Pupil voice, anti-bullying leadership and safeguarding

o        Application of HR procedures and report compilation

o        Sixth Form/post 16 leadership

o        Capital building projects

o        Arts education, Community stakeholder involvement and Business links

o        Academy conversion and Free School application processes

o        Narrow the gaps for disadvantaged pupils and proactively tackling underachievement

o¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Staff recruitment ‚Äď particularly Senior Leadership posts

Graham Lee

Graham is a highly experienced Ofsted inspector and headteacher. He is currently working on school improvement in a range of schools across London and beyond focussing on helping them to move from good to outstanding, or to remain at that level once they get there! He is particularly effective at working with schools to help to see the ‚Äėwood from the trees‚Äô in their self-evaluation and planning and to focus on the few key issues that will make the difference. As a result, it becomes immediately clear to leaders, governors and, indeed Ofsted, that the school is very clear about its strengths and the most important issues for improvement.

Graham held senior positions with the inspection providers to Ofsted over several years and worked closely with Ofsted on many issues including quality assurance, complaints and training. He also had responsibility for schools causing concern. Over the years he worked with a number of schools to help bring them out of special measures and serious weaknesses.  Graham has also held advisory roles in inner London and worked closely with vulnerable schools on their road to improvement. He is also currently involved in review and evaluation work in the United Arab Emirates which provides another perspective to his work in the UK.

Graham is flexible and adapts his approach to the needs of the school. He is friendly and empathetic but balances this with the necessary level of challenge for leaders and governors. Over many years he has been able to quickly identify the core issues and work with headteachers and staff to get to work on making the difference.

Catherine Spinner - School Improvement Specialist

Catherine has worked in education for over thirty-five years, including nine years as the headteacher of a primary school. In 2011, she moved into educational consultancy, initially to work with Cambridge Education, to assist in the implementation of the Letters and Sounds Synthetic Phonics programme. Alongside her work with the Phonics programme, Catherine became involved in helping schools across the country, including many London schools, to develop leadership at both middle and senior level. A large part of her current role is to help schools to develop a better understanding of good practice across all areas of primary education.

Catherine is a key member of the English subject expert group of Harrow’s London Schools Excellence Fund (LSEF) project, which has improved the teaching of reading and writing across the Borough’s schools. She helped to devise and implement the English Subject Knowledge Needs Assessment and Needs Analysis, now also an online system, to support and promote teacher development. She is now leading a similar project in Brent, working to develop teachers’ subject knowledge, leadership skills and ultimately raising standards. Catherine takes an unwavering and supportive approach to empowering teachers to improve their practice. She is highly organised and determined to ensure that full potential is achieved. She supports school improvement by identifying key areas for development and actions to effectively address issues, improving the quality of reading and writing within the classroom, and through training and development exercises, helping teachers to improve standards of teaching and learning.

Naomi Hiscock - Science Specialist

Naomi Hiscock is an independent primary science consultant working across London and further afield. She provides CPD for a number of boroughs and works in individual schools to raise their standards in teaching and learning in science. This work may be planning with teachers, supporting subject leaders in their role or working alongside teachers in their classes.

She also runs a number of longer term projects on different aspects of science teaching, such as embedding science enquiry in the curriculum and developing writing in science. These programmes support schools to make large changes to their practice over the course of a year. Many of these schools have gained a Primary Science Quality Mark at silver or gold level. Naomi became very familiar with the new curriculum by writing parts of a scheme of work for a commercial publisher. She is a member of the Association of Science Education (ASE) Primary Committee and attends conferences in order to keep her own practice fresh and updated. She writes for Primary Up8 which is an online resource that supports teachers to use news items to make science relevant.