AET Development Team

Rowena Simmons

posted Oct 9, 2015, 12:13 AM by Richard Sparks   [ updated Oct 9, 2015, 12:15 AM ]

SLE Specialism: English (Lead)

Rowena has worked within Essex for the last 13 years, both as a teacher of English and as a Literacy Consultant for Essex County Council. In 2004, Rowena gained a National Teaching award for ‘The Most Creative Use of ICT’ for her work with the charity ‘Africa Bookcase’ in piloting the ‘Gemini Project’, now known as ‘Rafiki’ and widely utilised to engage students in a range of curriculum subjects in schools across the UK.

Since gaining her Masters Degree in Education and NPQH, Rowena has worked as Assistant Principal in charge of Literacy at Maltings Academy and has now joined the AET as Leader of English and Literacy. Within this role, Rowena has developed the Right to Read programme to support academies attain our educational vision that no child should leave our academies with a reading age more than two years below their chronological age. This programme encompasses the Right to Success (raising attainment at GCSE), the Right to Speak (promoting effective speaking and listening) and the AET Literacy Leader programme . The ‘ALL’ programme provides an online study course which is accessible to all teachers, regardless of subject specialism to train to become literacy ‘consultants’ and gain accreditation towards further qualifications. Rowena’s latest project is the development of the Junior Literacy Leader programme which is designed for Key Stage 4 students and focuses not only on literacy skills, but on developing the behaviours and attitudes of effective leadership. The programme is designed to be accredited at the equivalent of two GCSE passes and is due to be launched in Autumn 2010.

With a lifelong love of Tottenham Hotspur football team and playing the game itself, Rowena is keen to develop this interest by linking with local and premiership teams to provide ‘reading role models’ for all of our students.

Rebecca Geoghegan

posted Oct 9, 2015, 12:11 AM by Richard Sparks   [ updated Oct 9, 2015, 12:11 AM ]

SLE Specialism: English

In her role as an English and Literacy Specialist, Rebecca provides staff with guidance and solutions when facing the literacy challenges of their varying contexts. She is committed to ensuring that the importance of literacy as the key to lifelong success is embedded at every level of the school community, and that all stakeholders appreciate their vital role in promoting and developing the literacy skills of the students.

Rebecca joins the AET with over ten years of experience as a highly successful English teacher of KS3, 4 and 5 - leading her to the role of AST. Her whole school roles have included Literacy Across the Curriculum Co–Ordinator and Manager of AR – both of which have allowed her to develop a multitude of programmes and resources that offer support, promote development and carefully monitor the literacy skills of students. Through her recent work with the SSAT as Lead Practitioner she has had the opportunity to share her outstanding Literacy practice on a national basis and nurture the development of Literacy within more challenging schools. In addition she has worked externally as an examiner for KS3 SATs and the new GCSE AQA specification which has consolidated and extended her knowledge of assessment in English.

Kate Holland

posted Oct 9, 2015, 12:09 AM by Richard Sparks   [ updated Oct 9, 2015, 12:09 AM ]

SLE Specialism: Maths
Kate Holland has worked as head teacher in two AET academies including Charles Warren in Milton Keynes who achieved record results last academic year. Kate joined the AET Mathematics team as a mathematics and numeracy specialist leading the eastern region in September 2013.

Kate Holland has had great success as a primary head teacher transforming challenging schools. Kate has developed an outstanding balance of supporting, monitoring and challenging her colleagues to drive standards. Kate has vast leadership experience and understands school improvement at all levels. Kate worked with Essex County Council as a school improvement officer focusing on leadership, mathematics and the use of new technologies. Kate is a former EYFS moderator with a good understanding for learning and progress in early years.

Ian Taylor

posted Oct 8, 2015, 7:37 AM by Richard Sparks   [ updated Oct 8, 2015, 7:37 AM ]

SLE Specialism: Maths (Lead)

Ian is the national leader for mathematics and numeracy at the Academies Enterprise Trust and has built the mathematics and numeracy team over the last two years attracting highly esteemed colleagues from the mathematics community. Ian started teaching in one of the countries most challenging secondary schools based in one of the countries most deprived towns. Ian thoroughly enjoyed the role of engaging extremely challenging students in mathematics, to understanding the importance of learning and achieving GCSE success.

Following Ian’s AST report colleagues from around the country whom wanted to view ways of engaging the most challenging inner city students regularly observed him. Ian formed his own model to raise standards within mathematic departments and his work then took him nationally where he shared ideas to head teachers and teachers alike whilst delivering demonstration lessons in schools to prove his ideas. Ian felt that this demonstration of his ideas helped him to build authenticity and sincerity when delivering training, seminars, workshops and speeches.

Ian is obsessed with the concept of inspiring young people to see the true beauty of mathematics in the wider world and feels passionately that to do so we need to develop a strong learning culture both within our classrooms and our departments. He feels we often need to remind ourselves why we work in education and use this to form our personal vision for the job, that way we understand we are teachers, not just teachers of our subject but teachers and the teachers role is to inspire.

To inspire Ian feels there are four main areas of focus for mathematics departments:

  1. To develop inspiring and effective lessons using a model of outstanding practice.
  2. To focus on developing a strong learning culture by ensuring we harness student’s self-esteem through the development of lifelong transferable skills including such career enhancing attributes as leadership, communication and effective thinking.
  3. To ensure that the mathematics department develop as outstanding and innovative entities in their own right, sustaining processes, ideas and input from Ian’s team then moving on to grow and progress under their own steam.
  4. Continue to embody the vision that it is out duty to inspire young people to see the true beauty of mathematics in the wider world by bringing mathematics alive thereby making it exciting, relevant and easy.

Deborah McCarthy

posted Oct 8, 2015, 7:32 AM by Richard Sparks   [ updated Oct 8, 2015, 7:33 AM ]

SLE Specialism: Maths

Deborah is currently the southern regional leader for the AET Mathematics Team, supporting academies across the south to raise standards, improve the quality of teaching and make mathematics exciting, relevant and easy.

Prior to this, Deborah worked as a senior leader in a secondary academy focusing on Teaching and Learning, Curriculum and Literacy across the Curriculum. Previously Deborah was Director of Specialism in an academy accredited with Mathematics and Computing specialist status and she is also a former Head of Mathematics with first-hand experience of raising standards by developing teaching and raising expectations.

Steve Lomax

posted Oct 8, 2015, 7:29 AM by Richard Sparks   [ updated Oct 8, 2015, 7:31 AM ]

SLE Specialism: Maths

Steve Lomax has been working with mathematics subject leaders, teachers and students for over twenty years after gaining a First Class Degree in Mathematics. He currently works to improve outcomes for mathematics in AET primary and secondary academies across the country and provides bespoke CPD through ‘MaxTheMaths’ Consultancy. He is passionate about enthusing pupils at all levels to enjoy and achieve in mathematics.

Through his current, and previous roles of Mathematics Adviser for Gloucestershire (4-19), NCETM Specialist Adviser for Secondary Mathematics, Mathematics Consultant, Mathematics Subject Leader, AST and SLE, Steve has a proven track record of leading change in mathematics education, supporting schools to provide an exciting and relevant mathematics provision and improving the subject expertise of teachers.

Steve is also an Associate Consultant and Accredited Professional CPD Lead for the NCETM and co-founder of

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