Strategic Board

Our Strategic Board has now been created. 

Members are as follows: 

  • Ian Bennett (HT Downsall Primary, Redbridge) - Chair of Strategic Board
  • Mark Beyer-Woodgate (Director of Chafford Hundred Teaching School Hub)
  • Joanne Stanley (Assistant Head Teacher at Broadford Primary School)
  • Caroline Derbyshire (Director of Saffron Walden Teaching School Hub and CEO off Saffron Academy Trust)
  • Sinead Harmey (Lecturer in Literacy Education based in the International Literacy Centre at UCL Institute of Education)  
  • Julian Grenier (Director of East London Early Years Hub)
  • Craig Lilleyman
  • Ruth Smith

System leaders and early reading experts are encouraged to put themselves forward for a role on the New Vision English Hub Board. Contact for further information. 

Ian Bennett

Ian Bennett is the Headteacher of Downshall Primary School, a Primary School based in Ilford, Essex

Ian Bennett started teaching in 1988 and has worked at four Primary Schools in the London Borough of Redbridge.

In 1999 Ian worked as a Literacy Consultant, supporting schools to implement the National Literacy Strategy. Ian was the Deputy Headteacher at Highlands Primary School for two years and was then appointed headteacher of Downshall Primary School in Seven Kings in 2003.

During his time at Downshall Primary it has expanded from 2 to 3 forms of entry and the school has achieved a number of accolades including: The London Mayor’s School of the Year award in 2016 and on two occasions achieving the school’s for success programme that champions the achievement of pupils who have lower starting points.

Downshall was recommended by the Guardian newspaper in 2018 in an article on choosing a school for your child. Ian is passionate about retaining a balance of the nurturing school and ensuring best outcomes for pupils. This has been reflected recently in the Y6 combined progress measures, with Downshall being in the top 4% of schools nationally.

Downshall has also won a number of other national awards including the Crest Science Awards, an award for an innovative intergenerational provision based at the school and flagship status for the teaching of Personal, Social and Health Education.

Ian is also a Headteacher Advocate for the East London Maths Hub and a member of the East London Reading Hub strategic board.

He is a member of the Obesity strategic board in Redbridge and the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Local Strategy board.

In February 2020, Ian Bennett appeared on a Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland podcast, discussing the importance of leadership and the role it has played in his career to date.

Mark Beyer-Woodgate

Mark is the Director of the Teaching School Hub at Harris Academy Chafford Hundred representing the Local Authority Districts of Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Maldon, Rochford, Southend and Thurrock across the East of England. He is currently working closely with the Department for Education and the Teaching School Council on the newly introduced Early Career Framework and National Professional Qualifications and with the Research Schools Network and the Education Endowment Foundation on improving the attainment and outcomes for all children.

He has spent thirteen years in educational leadership, specialising in professional development, initial teacher training and the English curriculum. He has been a leader of High Challenge Teaching and Learning, a pastoral Head of House, an Assistant Principal in charge of KS3 and a Head of a Teaching School Alliance working at the forefront of school improvement, policy change and reforms in schools. He has led organisations through the Ofsted inspection framework to Outstanding and is finishing a PhD with King’s College London on the Comparing International Perspectives on the Core Knowledge Curriculum.

Joanne Stanley

I embarked on my teaching career in Havering 17 years ago.

I am currently an Assistant Head Teacher at Broadford Primary School for EYFS and KS1 with responsibility for CPD across the school.

In September 2018, I took on the role of Teaching School Director for Havering Primary Teaching School Alliance. 

Caroline Derbyshire

Caroline is the CEO of Saffron Academy Trust (SAT) and the Executive Headteacher of Saffron Walden County High School (SWCHS), the largest state school in Essex.

Before she was CEO, she was Headteacher of Linton Village College at a time when it received two consecutive ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted gradings and where she set up a Teaching School Alliance, a small MAT and became accredited as a National Leader of Education.

In Caroline’s five years at SAT, a further 3 primaries and 2 secondary schools have joined the Trust.  SAT was successful in its bid to run one of the first 6 Teaching School Hubs in the country and, in addition, SWCHS has a Computing Hub.

Caroline is an elected member of the East of England Headteacher Board, a Fellow of The Chartered College of Teaching and has co-authored a chapter on Flexible Working in the WomenEd book ‘10% Braver’.  SWCHS is a featured school in Tom Sherrington’s “The Learning Rainforest Fieldbook”.

Caroline lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband and two children.

Sinead Harmey

Dr Sinéad Harmey is a Lecturer in Literacy Education based in the International Literacy Centre at UCL Institute of Education.  

Her literacy research, stemming from her experiences in primary education and as a literacy advisor, focuses on writing development and methodological innovations to track developmental changes and optimise early interventions.  

She is particularly interested in literacy assessment and intervention. Her literacy research has been published in journals including Journal of Writing ResearchReading Research Quarterly and the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy.

She is a member of the editorial review board of The Reading Teacher and The Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

She has conducted systematic reviews as part of her work on projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Froebel Trust, the Education Endowment Foundation, and the Education and Training Foundation.

Julian Grenier

Julian Grenier is the headteacher of Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre in Newham, east London. Sheringham is a Research School.

He was appointed by the Department for Education to lead on the 2020 revision of Development Matters, the non-statutory guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage in England.

Julian has worked in the early years for over 20 years and has a Doctorate in Education from the UCL Institute of Education (University of London).

Craig Lilleyman

Craig is the Director of the London District East Teaching School Hub, based at the Boleyn Trust, representing the London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Newham. 

In common with all Teaching School Hubs we are working with the Department for Education to roll out the Early Career Framework and NPQ reforms, as part of the government's 'golden thread' of CPD, to aid teacher recruitment and retention nationally. We also run the London District East SCITT rated Outstanding by Ofsted in 2017. 

Craig has been a school leader for over 12 years, including as the Deputy and Head Teacher of inner London primary schools and as Head of School Improvement and Director of Primary at the Boleyn Trust. Craig facilitates on the reformed NPQSL and NPQH and is a Visiting Fellow of Ambition Institute.