Our Team

Grow Core Team

Allan McLean

Schools Adviser & Grow Education Partners Director

Helen Ridding

Schools Adviser and Grow Education Partners Assistant Director

Jack Cracknell

Administrator

Leadership Trainers

Graham Marriner

Graham has been an LDBS adviser since 2003. He is now Senior Adviser and works with primary schools in nine London boroughs in the west of the Diocese of London. He was previously a successful Headteacher in a Church of England primary school in Richmond and has been a facilitator on NCSL training. Since joining the LDBS Graham has been a key member in our leadership training programme and is an expert in school improvement and leadership matters.

Lynn Hargreaves

Lynn joined the LDBS Advisory team in September 2011 and works with primary schools in Enfield, Hackney and Haringey. She was a successful Headteacher in both VA and VC primary schools in Kent and was, more recently, a partnership management adviser concerned with school management, standards and implementation of a new curriculum in schools in Abu Dhabi.

Allan McLean

Allan joined the LDBS team in September 2011 as a Schools Adviser and Director of Grow Education Partners. Prior to his appointment Allan was a successful Headteacher of a Church of England school in Enfield. Allan is an experienced trainer having previously worked as both a Literacy and Numeracy consultant. He has provided training to LLE’s and NLE’s and currently delivers training on a range of leadership programmes. He also Chairs a Student and Standards Committee at a Church of England Secondary School.

Helen Ridding

Helen has been an LDBS adviser since 2002. She was previously a successful Headteacher of a Church of England primary school in Westminster. She currently works with primary schools in Camden and Westminster and is the Grow Leadership Partner for several schools. Helen is also a trained Section 5 Inspector and she is able to support schools across the diocese on Ofsted related matters, her skills and knowledge are highly regarded by colleagues and school staff.

Mary Thorne

Mary is the Headteacher of St Alban’s CofE Primary School in Camden, a school recently graded as ’Outstanding’ by OFSTED in 2014. She is an experienced trainer of Middle Leaders both in the UK and abroad and will be joining the LDBS advisers to deliver the new Middle Leaders course.

Jon Frostick

Jon is the Headteacher of The Blue CofE Primary School in Hounslow. Jon has been a facilitator on the Preparation for Senior Leadership course for many years and brings a Headteacher’s perspective to the sessions.

Safeguarding Trainers

Mary Rebelo

Mary is a Technology and Computing Consultant who has recently been working with the London Borough of Camden on developing e-safety resources, policies and posters and is part of the e-safety subgroup on their safeguarding children board. She is an accredited CEOP (Child Exploration and Online Protection Agency) Ambassador. She has delivered e-safety training to schools and centres across the country and runs parents meetings and e-safety and cyberbullying assemblies to students in many local schools.

Michele Robbins

Michele has worked in the education sector for over 30 years. For the past 24 years she has worked on school improvement, helping to achieve better outcomes for children. As an independent consultant Michele has worked extensively with local education authorities, individual schools and academies, the Department of Education (DfE), the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) and SSAT (The Schools Network).

Mathematics Trainers

Peter Clarke

Peter has been a mathematics coordinator and deputy headteacher in primary schools in Australia and London. He worked as a mathematics advisor for Barking and Dagenham LA on the ‘Improving Primary Mathematics’ initiative. Peter has written materials for BEAM and other publishers and is series editor of a primary mathematics scheme. He is also the author of BEAM’s ‘Maths of the Month’ and is a contributor to ‘Teach Primary’ Magazine’. Peter is a guest lecturer on PGCE, GTP and MA courses.

Will Connolly

Will is an experienced educator with an extensive career history, including work in primary and secondary schools, at the University of Hertfordshire in the Education Department, as a primary strategy manager within a school improvement service and two years with the National Strategies as a regional adviser. Will has a range of expertise in leadership and management, school improvement, and teaching and learning. He remains
passionate about promoting quality teaching and learning in mathematics.

Catherine Deards

Catherine is a highly regarded Maths Consultant. With 10 years experience as a primary mathematics consultant for Enfield local authority Catherine is a knowledgeable and skilled trainer. Currently, Catherine works as a deputy headteacher of a primary school. This ensures that the training she delivers remains practical and rooted in the classroom. Catherine receives excellent feedback on all her training and is passionate about sharing her skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for learning with others.

Gareth Metcalfe

Gareth is an Assistant Headteacher and experienced Primary Teacher who has developed a range of innovative, high-impact teaching methods in mathematics. He has a holistic, wide-ranging philosophy for teaching maths which has led to outstanding value-added measure in his school. Gareth’s approach also helps children to experience the real-life relevance of mathematics and his challenges facilitate the development of a range of personal as well as subject-specific skills. He is author of ‘The Mathematics Apprenticeship’, and is a pioneer of exciting, relevant teaching strategies. Gareth’s training is grounded in a range of pedagogical research, and he provides practical approaches and examples that will help to bring the primary maths curriculum to life for all children.

Literacy Trainers

Alan Peat

Alan is an Independent Education Consultant with a national and international reputation for training which has an immediate, sustainable impact on literacy standards and SAT results. Alan’s training offers practical, effective ideas which work and he is the author of 22 books. Some of his approaches stem from his experience as a primary school teacher, LEA Literacy / Gifted and Talented Adviser and Teaching & Learning Consultant.

Alison Kelly

Alison has worked for many years with student teachers and teachers in all areas of literacy. She has extensive experience of running training sessions which bring together subject knowledge with practical and interactive teaching ideas. She has worked with both international schools and schools in this country supporting the teaching and learning of systematic synthetic phonics. As a consultant for Usborne Publishing, she has been involved with their extensive Young Reading series which includes phonic readers and decodable books that map onto Letters and Sounds. Alison is passionate about all aspects of children’s literature and the importance of promoting a reading classroom in which the reading teacher is all important. She has a particular interest in poetry which has been the focus of her recent publications.

Ann O’Connor

Ann is a well-known figure in the field of education, especially in the sphere of assessment. With many years experience as an independent consultant Ann has gained a reputation for providing high quality, effective and realistic professional development opportunities. She has led a number of successful Collaborative Enquiry Projects for Assessment for Learning and is currently the KS1 moderation manager in two London Boroughs. Her own work has recently been very successfully moderated.

Science Trainers

Naomi Hiscock

Naomi began her teaching career with responsibility for maths and science and worked for SETPOINT delivering science and technology workshops for children across East London. Subsequently, she took on the role of Primary Science Consultant in the London Borough of Hackney. Naomi now works for the Science Learning Centre London as a trainer, delivering INSET both at the centre, based in the Institute of Education, and also for their outreach programme. She recently led a year-long project for the London Borough of Camden that increased higher order thinking in science lessons.

Religious Education and Collective Worship Trainers

Alison Seaman

Alison is an RE Adviser in Chelmsford Diocese and author of numerous RE and Collective Worship books. She is a leading expert in Godly Play in the UK and has led accredited training sessions on Godly Play for primary teachers. She has provided training on the Introduction of Godly Play for the Diocese of London in the past and is highly regarded by course members. She also provides INSET sessions in schools.

Assessment and Moderation Trainers

Ann O’Connor

Ann is a well-known figure in the field of education, especially in the sphere of assessment. With many years experience as an independent consultant Ann has gained a reputation for providing high quality, effective and realistic professional development opportunities. She has led a number of successful Collaborative Enquiry Projects for Assessment for Learning and is currently the KS1 moderation manager in two London Boroughs. Her own work has recently been very successfully moderated.