Meet Our Facilitators

We are very proud to have a pool of experienced facilitators with a wide range of roles from local schools. This ensures our programmes are delivered by experts, who can support you to understand the materials and evidence from your chosen programme in context. 

Cheryl Allard

Director of Primary Education, Bridge Academy Trust 

NPQ Facilitator - Headship

Cheryl is the Director of Primary Education for Bridge Academy Trust based in mid Essex. Bridge is a collegiate and collaborative trust with four secondary and seven primary schools whose core purpose is to provide high quality education for all, with a strong sense of ‘community’. Bridge employs a school-led school improvement approach, with a long-term sustainable strategy focused on high-quality professional development.

Cheryl works with headteachers and senior leaders coaching and mentoring with strong accountability to improve provision, outcomes and progress for all.  She drives the vision of the Trust, setting high expectations for professional practice and standards across the primary schools. Before taking her current role across the Trust, Cheryl had twenty years’ experience as a senior leader in primary schools, including ten years as a headteacher. During this time, she worked on a number of wider school improvement projects including as an NAHT Aspire facilitator, and she led the locality Behaviour and Attendance Partnership for many years. Cheryl has particular expertise in Early Years. She is dedicated to improving schools, determined that every child should have a high-quality practitioner leading their learning, and understands the crucial role of effective leadership in bringing about necessary change.

Sophie Allchin

Director, Mid Essex ITT and People Strategy Lead, Bridge Academy Trust

NPQ Facilitator - Leading Teacher Development

Sophie is the Director of Mid Essex ITT and the People Strategy Lead for Bridge Academy Trust. After graduating with a BSc in Psychology from University College London, Sophie started her career working in a number of leadership roles in Higher Education. In 2014, Sophie moved to work for Mid Essex ITT, a school-based teacher training provider, where she was first appointed as the Marketing and Recruitment Officer, a newly-created role to help boost the number of trainee teachers in local schools. Sophie took over the Programme Manager role in 2018 and was later appointed the Director of Mid Essex ITT in 2019. 

Alongside her day job, Sophie also works for NASBTT as a Support Partner and is a trustee for London Nightline. She also works as the People Strategy Lead for Bridge Academy Trust. As a parent herself, Sophie is passionate about recruiting the best staff for our local schools and developing teacher talent.

In 2023, Sophie completed the NPQ in Leading Teacher Development with Saffron Teaching School Hub and now facilitates the NPQ course for the new programme members. 

Andrea Bond

Early Years Education Partner, Essex County Council

NPQ Facilitator - Early Years Leadership

Andrea currently works for ECC as an Early Years Education Partner. Her role is to ensure all settings and childminders provide sustainable, high-quality provision for Essex children, ensuring the connectivity of the Early Years system with particular focus on giving the most vulnerable children the best start in life. Andrea uses her experience from working in the Early Years Sector, alongside her knowledge and understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Early Language and Communication to support those working with children 0-5, with a focus on closing the word gap and the impact on quality provision.

Throughout her 30-year career, Andrea has worked in a range of roles from Nursery Manager, Quality Improvement Officer, Tutor, Assessor and Early Years Adviser. She has personal and practice experience of Early Years practice and policy with expertise in delivering training specifically targeted for the Early Years Sector in both the private and voluntary sector.

Anthony Hull

Deputy Headteacher, Katherine Semar Schools

NPQ Facilitator - Senior Leadership

Anthony is a seasoned deputy Headteacher with a track record of over 22 years on leadership teams in which the last 3 schools have moved to Ofsted Outstanding. Anthony has played a pivotal role in shaping the academic landscape of numerous institutions both in the UK and abroad. As an NPQSL facilitator, he has seamlessly blended his extensive experience with a passion for mentoring aspiring leaders, facilitating them to navigate the complexities of school management effectively. Anthony's commitment to fostering professional growth and his unwavering pursuit of educational equity make him ideally placed to lead and develop educational communities.

Rob James

Quality Assurance Lead, Bridge Academy Trust

NPQ Facilitator - Headship

Rob is currently Quality Assurance Lead for Bridge Academy Trust, where he was previously Deputy CEO & Director of Secondary Education before semi-retiring. He has over 10 years of Headship experience in several secondary schools in Essex and over 20 years’ experience of senior leadership. Bridge is a collegiate and collaborative trust with four secondary and seven primary schools whose core purpose is to provide high quality education for all, with a strong sense of ‘community’. Bridge employs a school-led school improvement approach, with a long-term sustainable strategy focused on high-quality professional development.

Rob supports leaders in school improvement, quality assurance, leadership coaching and change management.

Rob is currently an Ofsted Lead Inspector for primary and secondary schools, as well as a Local Leader in Education (LLE). He is Chair of the Headteacher Strategic Board for Mid Essex ITT and facilitates the NPQH course. Rob is a former Chief Examiner and Chair of Examiners for A'level Physical Education.

Susan Marbe

Director, West Essex SCITT and School Improvement Lead, Epping Forest Schools Partnership Trust

NPQ Facilitator - Leading Teacher Development

Susan Marbe

Susan has a strong background in a variety of whole school improvement projects both at Trust level and beyond. She set up and led the West Essex Teaching School for a number of years and has a passion for school-led improvement, working with other schools and stakeholders through system leadership in order to mobilise innovation and action. This led Susan to set up a successful SCITT. Leading on many aspects of the ITE curriculum, Susan has been able to see the impact that quality, evidence-based training has on classroom practice. She has been able to measure the impact on outcomes for trainees and ECTs Teachers and change the mind-sets of ITEs/mentors when it comes to evidence-based practice.

Susan's engagement and background in research, including ‘What makes great teaching?’, The Science of Learning and Principles of Instruction with the EEF to name but a few, as well as years of experience leading AfL, Metacognition/Memory and Behaviour for Learning, has enabled her to create a bespoke programme that has had an outstanding impact on schools and teachers. Susan creates and delivers Teacher Educator Training & Coaching to Improve Performance training programmes which are continually evolving. As an Evidence Lead in Education (ELE) helping schools to be accountable for ensuring engagement with up-to-date/pertinent research and evidence-informed practice, Susan is delighted to be involved in the delivery of the latest suite of NPQs.

Duncan Roberts

Headteacher, Joyce Frankland Academy

NPQ Facilitator - Headship

Duncan is proud to be an NPQ Facilitator for the Saffron Teaching School Hub with the aim of inspiring the next generation of excellent school leaders and support them to tackle the challenges which may lie ahead. 

Duncan is Principal of Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport (JFAN), a secondary academy in North-West Essex. Duncan was previously Vice Principal and Head of Department at JFAN and before that was an Advanced Skills Teacher in Tower Hamlets, East London. Duncan has always been passionate about teaching, learning and professional development. He has enjoyed working with colleagues across Essex as a Specialist Leader of Education for Saffron Alliance and for the Association of School Headteachers in Essex as part of the 'Step up to Headship' program. Duncan has gained experience of leading in schools across varying contexts and always relishes the opportunity to learn from others and unpick the ingredients of excellent school leadership. 

Katie Vanderpere-Brown

Assistant Headteacher, Saffron Walden County High School & NPQ Lead, Saffron Teaching School Hub

NPQ Facilitator - Senior Leadership

Katie Vanderpere-Brown

Katie is keen to work with schools to ensure that every student in the Saffron Teaching School Hub area has access to a high quality education. By providing teachers with the space, time and high quality research we can empower leaders to make the right decisions leading towards the best outcomes for students. 

Katie is an Assistant Headteacher at Saffron Walden County High School and works with Kerrie McGivern to co-ordinate Saffron Teaching School Hub's NPQ programmes with Teach First. She also runs a Teach Computing Curriculum Hub and leads on KS3 development within school.

Richard Wilkin

Headteacher, Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School

NPQ Facilitator - Headship

Dr Richard Wilkin has been Headteacher of Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School since 2012; prior to that he was Headteacher of St Bede's Inter-Church School in Cambridge. He has experience of Executive Headship and leadership development for various organisations.

Richard has had his research into educational leadership published in a number of books and periodicals.


Emma Vincent 

Headteacher, R A Butler Academy

NPQ Facilitator - Headship

Emma is delighted to be able to use her experience as a headteacher to support new and upcoming leaders into the wonderful and privileged world of headship. She values the opportunities that the NPQH offers colleagues to engage with current topics and thought-provoking scenarios to develop the multi-faceted skills needed for headship.

Emma is a primary headteacher at the three form entry R A Butler Academy in Saffron Walden, Essex. Prior to this Emma was headteacher at two smaller schools in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. These very different headships in very varied catchment areas have enabled Emma to develop a wide range of leadership skills and experiences including dealing with extensive school growth, redundancy, moving an RI school to Good, leading a Church school and leading with vision and values at the heart of school development. Emma is also Deputy CEO of the Saffron Academy Trust.