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Our Steering group

Our steering group oversees the work of the Red Kite Teaching School Alliance and ensures that we are working in the interests of all our partners.

Neil ClephanNeil Clephan, Former Headteacher, Roundhay School

Under Neil Clephan's headship Roundhay School recently became one of the country's first all-through schools, taking pupils aged from four to 18. The school serves a wide ranging inner/outer urban area within Leeds with a diverse cosmopolitan student intake, bringing a contrasting context within the Alliance.  An 18 million state of the art primary campus, built in response to a local need for an additional primary school, welcomed its first cohort of 60 reception aged children September 2012.

Neil, who was headteacher at Roundhay School from the mid 1990s to 2016, was one of the first National Leaders in Education to be appointed by the National College. He has been seconded to work with a number of schools including as an executive headteacher, as well as coaching heads and supporting SLTs and governing bodies in several local authorities.  A former Chair of Leeds High School Heads, Neil is also a lay member of Council (Governing Body) for the University of Leeds.

Read Neil's case study >>

Janet SherriffJanet Sheriff, Headteacher, Prince Henry's Grammar School

Janet has been headteacher at Prince Henry's Grammar School since 2009. Under her leadership the school has improved significantly, particularly in terms of student outcomes. The most recent external examination results were the best the school has ever achieved (at both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5).

There has also been a notable improvement, during Janet's headship, in the many other important aspects of educational provision: The school is featured on Ofsted's  good practice website for its exceptional anti-bullying and equalities work, including strategies to tackle homophobic bullying; The Specialist Language College focus is an additional strength which has helps to secure the positive ethos and sense of global citizenship that pervades the whole school; In 2010 Prince Henry's achieved the highest level of The Stephen Lawrence Education Standard for its equality and diversity work.

Janet has had a range of senior leadership experience in a variety of schools. Before taking up headship at Prince Henry's she successfully led a school, situated in one of the most socio-economically disadvantaged areas of Leeds, out of the Special Measures category.

Janet has several years experience as a School Improvement Adviser (SIP) working with a range of schools across North Yorkshire Local Authority. More recently she was appointed as a Local Leader of Education (LLE) by the National College.

Read Janet's case study >>

Richard SherriffRichard Sheriff, Headteacher, Harrogate Grammar School

Under Richard's leadership Harrogate Grammar School, one of the UK's top performing comprehensives schools, became the first Academy in North Yorkshire in March 2011. In 2012 it became one of the country's first Teaching Schools. 

Richard joined Harrogate Grammar School as Headteacher in 2007 following several years as a senior teacher, deputy head and head in inner city schools in Bradford and Leeds. A geography graduate from Sheffield Hallam University, Richard has a PGCE from Leicester University.

He serves as a National Leader of Education supporting schools in challenging circumstances. Richard directs the Red Kite Teaching School Alliance, which draws members from both the school and HE sectors. 

Read Richard's case study >>

Cheryl SmithCheryl Smith,Headteacher, Western Primary School

Cheryl Smith has taught across every primary age range and has been a headteacher for 14 years. Her first headship was at a four class village school and for the last nine years she has led Western Primary School, a large primary school close to Harrogate town centre.

Cheryl has a particular interest in early years.The 52 place nursery at Western Primary School now offers full flexibility along with before and after school care.

As the primary school lead on the Red Kite Alliance steering group, Cheryl has been investigating the changing landscape and future possibilities of ITE provision.

Read Cheryl's case study >>

Andrew Cummings

Andrew Cummings, Headteacher, South Craven School

Andrew Cummings has been head at South Craven School since 2002, having previously worked in Surrey and Essex. South Craven School is a large, successful, mixed 11-18 comprehensive serving a semi-rural catchment which takes in both North Yorkshire and Bradford Education Authorities.  The School converted to Academy status in May 2011. 

In 2088, the school was rated as good with outstanding features by OFSTED, since when results have continued to improve (98% 5A*-C, CVA 1030 2010), and was delighted to have been rated as OUTSTANDING in March 2013.

Andrew completed a Doctorate (Ed D) at the Institute of Education between 1996 and 2002, with a final dissertation focusing on the development of the NPQH curriculum and is a Local Leader of Education (LLE).

Helen WilliamsHelen Williams, Headteacher, Ilkley Grammar School

Helen Williams took over the Headship at Ilkley Grammar School in September 2014. She was previously Vice Principal at Minsthorpe Community College  in Wakefield,  and has extensive experience of working in a range of large successful 11-18 schools across the West and North Yorkshire region, including South Craven School, Garforth Academy and Ossett Academy.

Helen is an English graduate from Cardiff University and her leadership roles have included Head of English, Learning Leader and Director of Post 16.

Helen sees being part of the Red Kite Alliance as a key partnership initiative, where school to school support and professional development programmes go hand in hand with being at the forefront of system leadership.

Helen WoodcockHelen Woodcock, Headteacher, Rossett School

Helen Woodcock has been Headteacher at Rossett School  since 2014. Her previous experience lies in leading teaching and learning as deputy Headteacher at South Craven School ensuring the OfSTED judgement of 'Outstanding' for this school in May 2013. After a year as a seconded Headteacher leading a school from special measures to academy status, she joined Rossett in September 2014. She has also been active in the leadership of teacher training for over twenty years in both Essex and now Yorkshire.

Rossett School has been graded by OfSTED as an 'Outstanding' school and is also featured on the Ofsted 'good practice' web site following a themed inspection on Citizenship which recognised the schools s innovative work on equality diversity and identity. Rossett is an enhanced mainstream school for Special Learning Difficulties (SpLD) so has particular expertise in Special Educational Needs (SEN). The school has a successful track record of tackling in-school variation, notably through raising boys' levels of achievement.

Rossett has supported a school in difficulties following a satisfactory Ofsted and the senior leadership team have also exported their skills and expertise. Rossett staff have worked alongside three schools in Australia on Assessment for Learning (AfL) and one in Portugal (SEN).

Steve HowellSteve Howell, Finance Director, Harrogate Grammar School

An economics graduate, Steve Howell joined Harrogate Grammar School in 2009 and brings broad experience as a management accountant and finance manager with Unilever, Coca-Cola and several other interim financial roles. Latterly he worked with North Yorkshire as a financial advisor to primary schools.

Steve helped steer the school through the process of academy conversion and relishes his involvement in many projects at the school as well as managing the finance, procurement, catering and premises.

As company secretary of the Red Kite Alliance he is immersed in the Teaching Schools activities and also operates as an SLE with specialisms in academy conversion and financial management. Steve also delivers training to aspirant headteachers and advises Teaching Schools on financial sustainability.

Zoe AdamsZoe Adams, Executive Headteacher, Westwood and Clapgate Schools

Zoe has had over 15 years of headship experience in inner city Leeds schools.  Prior to this, her leadership experience included her being being a Teacher Adviser for English for the Local Authority.  She is the Executive Headteacher of Westwood and Clapgate Primary Schools. They are both larger than average primary schools with nursery school provision.  Under Zoe's leadership, Westwood has been a consistently successful school for many years.  Since Zoe becoming Executive Headteacher in 2013, Clapgate Primary School has made significant improvements. This is due to a model of full collaboration and school to school support at all levels.  This work resulted in Ofsted grading the Leadership and Management of Clapgate as outstanding in 2015.

Zoe trained to be a teacher at Leeds University, specialising in English.  She also has an MA in Literature from the University of Ripon and York St. John.  Her main areas of interest and expertise are: inspiring and creative curriculum provision, inclusive learning for all and leadership development.