Central LAT School Improvement Team
Our School Improvement Team is led by Ciara Moran, an LLE, executive headteacher and director of our own LAT Teaching School, PTSA – The Plymouth Teachers and Schools Alliance. Ciara is supported in this role by our CEO Simon Spry, an experienced NLE and ‘school improver’.
Staffing – Subject Leads
Alongside Ciara Moran, our LAT School Improvement Team is staffed by an English Lead, Lottie Bond, a Maths lead, Helen Adkins and an Early Years lead, Julie Packer. Details on these 3 SLEs are contained below.
Our School Improvement team provide bespoke support to our 8 schools and where they cannot provide it themselves, they help to broker this additionality externally.
We also have our own LAT Teaching School, PTSA – The Plymouth Teachers and Schools Alliance which you can find out more about here: https://www.ptsa.uk
CEO – SIMON SPRY
With just under 30 years experience of primary education in the South West of England, Simon was until very recently the Executive Headteacher of 2 large Plymouth primary schools, Prince Rock and Salisbury Road.
For the last 4 years Simon has also been leading the newly formed ‘Learning Academies Trust’ MAT (Multi Academy Trust) as its first Chief Executive Officer. This 8 school MAT is responsible for educating just under 3000 pupils across Plymouth, where Simon leads on all aspects of school improvement. Simon is also an experienced NLE (National Leader of Education) and the joint lead Headteacher of the Plymouth Teaching School Alliance, one of the first 200 in the UK. As an active NLE, Simon has undertaken a number of successful deployments supporting schools, including periods of substantive acting headship.
Simon is one of the founding directors of ‘Leading Schools South West’ which runs National College leadership programmes across the South West peninsula. Simon has also represented Plymouth on Ofsted’s ‘South West Regional Headteacher Reference Group’ and has represented the South West on the Education Development Trust’s (EDT’s) ‘National Advisory Group’ for the Schools Partnership Programme. Simon has also undertaken work for the DFE as a ‘Primary Expert’ supporting the Regional Schools Commissioners Office in the South West. Simon has trained historically as an Ofsted inspector in the UK and has recently undertaken some team inspection and accreditation work for EDT in Dubai and Thailand, while continuing to lead his 8 school Multi Academy Trust in the UK.
PTSA LEAD – CIARA MORAN
Ciara Moran has been Headteacher at Woodfield Primary School since 2011. Prior to that, she was a School Improvement Consultant for Plymouth Local Authority, supporting schools in difficulty, working with both Senior and Middle Leadership Teams across the city.
When Ciara joined Woodfield, the school had recently been graded Satisfactory with a further decline in standards at the end of KS2. Through hard work, determination and building a dedicated team, she was able to turn the school around and took the school from Satisfactory to Good in 18 months.
Ciara has since been designated as an LLE, working with the PTSA School to School support team. In this role Ciara has successfully supported colleagues in schools, which has in turn led to tangible improved outcomes for children.
Ciara is committed to improving the education and life chances of pupils in Plymouth, and recognises the opportunities and richness that collaboration can bring.
EARLY YEARS LEAD – JULIE PACKER
Julie Packer is the Early Years Lead at Woodfield Primary School and Early Years Trust Lead for Learning Academies Trust.
Julie has spent a career specialising in Early Years Education, working in schools across Plymouth and building an understanding of the impact of high-quality Early Years provision when working with a team establishing the first Sure Start project in Plymouth, early in her career.
She spent over 10 years as an Early Years Advisory Teacher for Plymouth Local Authority, supporting the independent sector, writing and delivering key training to Early Years Practitioners and engaging in a range of school improvement processes in nursery and reception classes in schools.
Julie is an Early Years SLE and works with PTSA, leading the Professional Community Meetings, supporting professional networks, and linking practitioners in sharing practice across the city.
Julie is passionate about working collaboratively to create research-led practice in language rich environments for young children so that they can have high quality early learning experiences in those key foundation years.
ENGLISH LEAD – LOTTIE BOND
After graduating from Marjons in 2009, Lottie moved to London to begin her teaching career in Hounslow. In 2012, she returned to Plymouth taking up a post at Woodfield Primary School where she worked across the key stages and led English, helping to drive the school through a transformational period where the school rapidly improved. Alongside this, Lottie became an SLE for English and has worked in a number of settings offering School-to-School support on behalf of PTSA; working with colleagues in a supportive, coaching role has helped to improve teaching and learning across the city.
In early 2020, she was seconded to Salisbury Road Primary School to lead Year 6 and lead Teaching and Learning and Curriculum, again working hard to drive standards and support the school on its journey from Requires Improvement to Good.
Since 2021, Lottie has worked as the Learning Academies Trust English Lead. In this role, Lottie has worked closely with colleagues across the Trust to secure and enhance provision. Working alongside side colleagues to monitor and evaluate systems and practices, Lottie provides coaching support to schools which feeds into and influences the wider LAT professional development cycle.
MATHS LEAD – HELEN ADKINS
Helen has been teaching at Salisbury Road Primary since 2006. During her time at the school, she has taken on many different leadership roles as well as working as an Advanced Skills Teacher for Plymouth Local Authority and as an SLE for Plymouth Teachers and School Alliance. Much of the work Helen has focussed on has been supporting colleagues in improving and refining their practice through coaching and supporting and developing Subject Leaders.
Since 2018, Helen has worked as the Learning Academies Trust Maths Lead. In this role, Helen has collaborated with colleagues to monitor and enhance the mathematics curriculums in many schools across Plymouth, to ensure the children are receiving mathematics lessons that are purposeful, progressive and rich.