Headteacher Group

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Sue Vickerman

CEO and Responsible Officer

Sue has worked as an NLE for the last 7 years and has carried out deployments in Leeds, Leicester, Barnsley and Wakefield. These deployments have included executive Headships of Schools in Special measures. She has a strong track record of supporting schools out of OFSTED categories and supporting schools to achieve a judgement of good.

Sue is Head of Aspire Teaching School which has a specific focus on supporting primary schools across the Wakefield district.  Aspire offers a wide range of leadership programmes focusing on developing the next generation of school / academy leaders.

Sue has been Principal of Gawthorpe Community Academy in Wakefield for the last 13 years, and last year she was also Executive Headteacher of Towngate Primary School.  Gawthorpe has received two consecutive judgements of outstanding and has been a consistently high performing school for the last 11 years.

Sue’s particular areas of expertise are in promotion of high standards across the primary phases, leadership development, developing a rich, inspirational and memorable curriculum based on local community need.

Sue has a strong belief that through promoting high aspirations, giving support, challenge, care and respect and creating strong teamwork, excellent teaching and learning will be achieved.

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Mandy Pickles

Deputy CEO & School Improvement Partner

Executive Principal of Half Acres & Ackton Pastures Federation

Mandy Pickles has been Principal of Half Acres and Ackton Pastures Primary Federation in Castleford for 5 years. Prior to this role she was substantive head of Half Acres and Executive Head of Ackton Pastures.

Mandy has taught in 5 different schools within Leeds and Wakefield.  She is a Local Leader of Education and in that role has worked with a number of primary schools in Wakefield, supporting schools to secure a judgment of ‘good’.  Mandy also works as a consultant Headteacher in Hull and has been a SIP (School Improvement Partner) for 3 schools in Leeds.

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Susan Harrison

Headteacher - Fitzwilliam Primary School

Susan has been Headteacher at Fitzwilliam Primary School for the last 12 years. During this time she has worked relentlessly to ensure that all children and parents who are part of the Fitzwilliam Primary community participate in an education which nurtures and challenges each of them to be the best they can possibly be. She believes passionately in school’s ethos of ‘working and growing together’ and firmly believes that parents should be fully involved in their child’s education.  Consequently she has participated in a number of successful projects which explore how to further engage parents.  In addition to this she has also pursued her own independent study achieving a Master’s Degree in Education which enabled her to work with colleagues from across the education spectrum.

Susan is greatly looking forward to working as part of the Inspire Multi Academy Trust and leading the next chapter of Fitzwilliam Primary School.
She is currently mentoring a newly appointed Headteacher in the Wakefield district.

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Steven Walker

Principal - Towngate Primary Academy

Steven has been in his role as Principal for the last 12 months and in that time has developed the leadership and management of the school, with a particular focus on the development of middle and senior leaders and improving pupil progress and attainment for all learners.

Steven has worked in two Outstanding schools, and held middle and senior leadership positions in both key stage one and key stage two. His leadership roles have included the development of the curriculum, literacy, science and music co-ordinator and data management including responsibility for reporting to governors and conducting the pupil progress meetings across all classes in key stage one and two.

As an SLE Steven worked on a 1-to-1 basis with teachers across key stage 2 to develop provision, improve performance and outcomes and support their professional development. Steven has also worked with larger groups as part of the Improving Teaching Programme and Outstanding Teacher Programme for several years.

Steven is passionate about the right children have to an excellent, all round education. Children deserve to be taught in stimulating, challenging and engaging ways, capturing their interests and allowing them to feel a sense of pride.

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Andrea Mitchell

Head of School – Gawthorpe Community Academy

Andrea is Head of School at Gawthorpe Community Academy where she has worked for 20 years.   She also teaches each morning in Year 6.  Her passion is Maths in which she is a SLE (Specialist Leader of Education).  She has supported a number of schools in developing their maths curriculum.

Andrea believes the purpose of primary schools / academies is to ensure that high quality teaching and learning is the key to ensuring that children leave Primary school as independent young people with the skills to be successful.

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Sue Gardiner

Head of School - Half Acres Primary Academy

Sue Gardiner has spent her whole teaching career at Half Acres. When she joined the school as an NQT, 25 years ago, it was a first school. Since then it has undergone many changes including becoming an infant and junior school, federating with Ackton Pastures Primary Academy and, most recently, becoming a two form entry school.  During her time as a class teacher she enjoyed teaching both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes and still loves spending time in the classroom or teaching groups. As Assistant Head she took responsibility for developing the curriculum in order to tailor it to the needs of the Half Acres children.  In 2012, when Half Acres federated with Ackton Pastures, she was appointed as Head of School.

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Sonia Coggill

Head of School - Ackton Pastures Primary Academy

Sonia Coggill has been Head of School at Ackton Pastures Primary Academy in Castleford for 5 years. Sonia started working with Ackton Pastures on a seconded basis in 2010. Prior to working at Ackton Pastures, she worked at two other schools in Wakefield where she combined a classteacher role with leadership responsibilities.

Sonia still enjoys teaching and often take groups of children for learning.

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Jane Littlewood

Acting Headteacher - Girnhill Infant School

Jane has been Acting Headteacher at Girnhill Infant School since October 2016. Prior to this she was Deputy Headteacher at Girnhill, her responsibilities included EYFS Leader, Assessment Coordinator and Specialist Leader of Education in Early Years, Phonics and Literacy.

Jane is passionate about Teaching and Learning and ensuring that children reach their full potential through an exciting curriculum and working with parents to enable them to support their children’s learning is a key area of continuing development.  Children are at the very heart of everything at Girnhill and all actions taken always have the best interests of the children at their core.

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