Darren Atkinson is the Senior Leader for Educational Standards and Improvement for South Pennine Academies, and has spent 14 years teaching, and leading, in Secondary Schools. In 2016, he became part of the South Pennine Academies' Academy Effectiveness Board. Darren supports all the Academies within the MAT to use their assessment data more effectively and bring about strategic improvement. Darren also leads on the monitoring and implementation of Academy and MAT KPIs and attendance and persistent absence strategies. From 2017, Darren is also developing the MAT Lead Facilitators, from across the academies, supporting Quality Assurance, Moderation and Standardisation. Darren also supports the leadership teams within each Academy through coaching and development sessions, ensuring all Academies are working towards the vision and aims of the MAT.
Academy Effectiveness Board
Jane Acklam OBE
Jane is the CEO of South Pennine Academies. She has 13 years’ experience of Headship in the 11-16 age range. Jane has led Moor End Academy through two ‘Outstanding’ inspections and has been involved in School to School Support since 2009. Her focus has been on improving the life chances of students, through raising achievement and the effectiveness of leaders. She became a National Leader of Education (NLE) in 2011 and has utilised the skills and expertise of Moor End staff in their National Support School roles. Jane has won national awards for her commitment to excellence in the professional development of teachers, and has been awarded a Teaching Award.
Jane holds, and is extremely passionate about, the belief that high quality educational experiences are a fundamental right to the children of our society. She believes that equality is at the heart of the schools system and has a part to play in delivering a world class state system. She is convinced that the Academies’ programme can deliver this by drawing upon her experience and skills as a current practitioner.
Christine is an independent consultant who has extensive experience of school improvement. She is a history specialist who has been head of history in two schools and head of humanities faculty in two others. In addition she has been history adviser for a local authority.
As a senior local authority adviser, school improvement partner and National Challenge Adviser, as well as National Strategies school improvement regional adviser, she has extensive experience of working with schools in challenging circumstances to effect improvements. Her current work includes both leading and coordinating reviews and school improvement for large consortia, providing ‘resident inspector’ support for a local authority and school improvement partner support for a number of schools. These schools range from being outstanding all the way through to inadequate. She also has considerable inspection experience. Christine is a very experienced trainer who offers tailored training on a wide range of issues to suit all levels of audience.
Louise is an Academy Improvement Partner for South Pennine Academies. She has been a Head of Maths in two secondary schools in West Yorkshire and most recently a Deputy Headteacher responsible for Curriculum and Standards.
Louise has delivered regional and national training as well as a wide variety of in-school professional development programmes to middle leaders and aspirant middle leaders and she is an NPQML facilitator. In 2016, Louise was designated as a Specialist Leader of Education for Mathematics, Leadership of the Curriculum and Closing the Gap.
James Ashmore is an Academy Improvement Partner for South Pennine Academies. He has spent 11 of the last 14 years teaching Secondary English and has held a number of middle leadership roles, including leading two successful English departments. In 2012, he became a Specialist Leader of Education and has supported schools in developing English leadership, curriculum, teaching and assessment. He has also delivered professional development courses for ASCL and is the co-author of the book, ‘The New Middle Leader’s Handbook’.