Local Leader of Education

Local leaders of education (LLEs) have made and continue to make a significant contribution to supporting schools since the programme was introduced in 2008. LLEs provide a range of school-to-school support and coaching and mentoring for head teachers.

Read more about our current Local Leaders of Education. If you would like to contact one of our LLEs then please drop us a note on Contact Us.

Alison Paveling

I am currently working as a Head of Centre at Children’s Support Service (CSS) which is an alternative provision in Essex.  

CSS is a Trauma Perceptive Practice (TPP) school enabling young people who have been permanently excluded, are at risk of permanent exclusion, are ‘hard to place’ in education, and/or who have a variety of additional needs, to succeed within education and transition onwards to further education.  Our school ethos is based around compassion, kindness, hope, connection and belonging.  Within this setting, I have additional responsibility for development of assessment, data and progress as well as the development of the middle leadership team.

My Masters is in Autism in education, and I have run a variety of training programmes for schools and newly qualified teachers in this specialised area. More recently, I worked with the Billericay Teaching Alliance to develop a specialist training day around autism and inclusion.

I have previously worked in Southend as an SLE for around nine years, supporting schools with inclusion for children with special educational needs.  I also led the development and training of RSE in all primary schools in collaboration with the Public Health team.  For a number of years now, I have run the training for SLE and have facilitated ‘Aspiring to Middle Leadership’ and ‘Aspiring to Senior Leadership’ training for SETSA.

In my LLE role, I am supporting other leaders with inclusion and the development of middle leadership within schools.

Ashley Eastwood

Ashley Eastwood

Executive Principal, Greenways Primary School

Ashley eastwoodI started my teaching career in Redbridge before taking up my first senior leadership post in Southend. I was the Headteacher at Earls Hall Junior School for 5 years before moving to Thorpe Greenways Junior School, initially on secondment, in 2009. I became the Executive Headteacher of the  Federation of the Infant and Junior Schools in 2012. 

In 2016 we converted to an academy and became part of the Learning in Harmony Trust. In 2018 we amalgamated to become Greenways Primary School.

I have been a Local Leader of Education for a number of years and have also facilitated a number of nationally recognised leadership programmes. I am a trained leadership coach and we have a mature coaching model in place at our school.

My role is currently split between Greenways and the Trust. I continue at Greenways in my Executive Headteacher role but also undertake a diverse portfolio of work across trust schools including:

  • Marketing and recruitment

  • Assessment

  • Leadership development

  • Governance

I passionately believe in a strong, values-driven approach to learning and we place staff well-being and development at the heart of our work


Darren Woollard

Darren Woollard

Executive Headteacher - Blenheim Primary School & Temple Sutton Primary School

I am the Executive Head Teacher at two Southend schools: Blenheim Primary School and Temple Sutton Primary School (will come into effect from September 2019), both of which are part of the Learning in Harmony Trust. I chair the Southend Primary Heads' Association (SOPHA) and I am in the process of completing the National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL).

I have worked in various leadership roles throughout my career and feel that I can offer value to other schools and leaders as an LLE. My strengths are in coaching leaders, monitoring and evaluating, and strategically planning for school improvement. I have worked with school leaders locally and within our Trust to carry out peer reviews and other monitoring activities, and value the role that school to school support has to play in helping all schools to improve.


Gemma Ackred

Gemma Ackred

Headteacher - St Thomas More High School

I have been in education with Brentwood Diocese for 21 years, the last 14 years in senior management positions. I have used my experiences and faith to shape my educational philosophy and develop my own leadership. 

I am a graduate of the National School of Formation, which supports Headteachers nationally to deepen their understanding of the impact our stewardship can have in transforming the lives of the young people in our schools. I have led modules on the NPQSL, supported potential leaders in developing their resilience and mentored senior leaders with coaching designed to create a thinking environment so that courage, positivity and creativity are at the heart of our mission as leaders. Whether it is cultural change; strategy and school improvement; joining a MAT or any other aspect of school leadership, I would be happy to work alongside school leaders to drive improvement and build capacity in any way that I can.

Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson

Headteacher - Edwards Hall Primary School

I am the Headteacher of Edwards Hall Primary School, a two form entry school on the outskirts of Southend.  In my time at the school I have taken it from Special Measures to Good. The school’s ethos is based on a culture of taking risks and learning from mistakes with ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ embedded across the school.  Prior to this, I was the Headteacher of Bonnygate Primary School in Thurrock. I have worked as a School Support Partner in Southend and a School Improvement Partner in Essex. These roles included mentoring and coaching staff; monitoring the quality of teaching and learning; supporting schools with restructuring; advising on the Headteacher Appraisal process and leading on peer reviews. I have also delivered training for school leadership teams and governors on assessment and the use of data to bring about school improvement. I represented the primary sector on the Expert Subject Advisory Groups’ Standards Working Party, producing recommendations on revised Teaching Standards for the Chartered College of Teaching.


Richard Green

Richard Green

Rich photoHeadteacher - Grovewood Primary School

 I am headteacher at Grove Wood Primary in Rayleigh Essex.

I have taught in a range of schools over the course of my career and have enjoyed the challenges that all of them have presented. I have 18 years of Senior Leadership experience within the primary sector working across three local authorities and have had the opportunity to support colleagues across a large number of schools initially as an AST and more recently as an LLE. This role has provided me with the opportunity to provide curriculum and leadership support as well as mentoring to deputy headteachers and headteachers new to role. I look forward to continuing to working with SETSA and supporting local schools.


Lisa Clark

Lisa Clark

Headteacher - Hamstel Infants School

I am the Head of Hamstel Infant School, (rising to 5 form in 2013) with 104 place Nursery in an area of high deprivation. Prior to this I worked as an Advisor Consultant for the L.A. I am passionate about my role and have a particular interest in working in schools in challenging circumstances. I have opened a Nurture Unit and Autistic Unit within our school in response to need and we are a Forest School. I have had experience of remodelling, overseeing major building projects and staffing restructures to deliver best service. I have a particular interest in data assessment, early intervention and tracking for impact. I am experienced at working with high levels of SEND and Child Protection. I am experienced in working in the Primary sector (Acting Head) and in Secondary as a teacher; as such I feel I have a very broad view of education and am an enthusiast of the need to work cross phase to achieve the best for each child in their learning journey.


Shelley Walsh

Shelley Walsh

Headteacher - Thorpedene Primary School

I am the Head Teacher of Thorpedene Primary School, a three form entry school in Shoeburyness. Thorpedene is situated in a high area of deprivation with 50% of pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium.  I have a proven track record of school improvement.  Over the past four years the school has gone from being in the lowest 10% of schools for attainment to performing in line with National.

I have been in the fortunate position in my career to work with various Head Teachers and schools across the Borough. These opportunities have included mentoring and coaching staff, supporting teaching and learning and mentoring. I have experience of supporting SEND and have strong links with the special schools in the Borough.
As a school we have supported other head teachers with staff aspiring to go on to leadership roles through coaching and shadowing experience within the school.

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