Academy Effectiveness Team
Jane Acklam OBE - Chief Executive (CEO)
Jane is the CEO of South Pennine Academies. She has considerable experience as a highly successful Headteacher and Principal. Jane has been a National Leader of Education since 2009, and effectively supported and built capacity in a wide range of schools, locally and regionally. As the Principal of Moor End Academy, she led them through numerous Ofsted inspections achieving outstanding in 2009 and again in 2012. Jane has won national awards for her commitment to excellence in the professional development of teachers, and has been awarded a Teaching Award, as Headteacher of the Year. She has a wealth of experience working for the DfE on the Head teacher Board for West Yorkshire and Lancashire and as a Teaching and Leadership Adviser for NCTL. Jane was awarded an OBE for services to Education in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list.
Alison Black - Director of Standards and Continuous Improvement
Alison is Director of Standards and Continuous Improvement at SPA. She has thirteen years' experience as a headteacher and school improvement adviser and was previously Executive Principal of two of our primary academies in East Oldham. As a headteacher, Alison has successfully led three newly sponsored academies to achieve good inspection gradings as well as achieving outstanding in her first headship. Alison leads the Academy Effectiveness Team to work with schools in a range of activities to support school improvement including monitoring effectiveness through data analysis and reviews, supporting self -evaluation, building capacity in leadership and provision of high quality professional development for the whole workforce.
Sarah Cunningham - Primary Improvement Advisor/Deputy Director HHScitt
‘I chose teaching as a career because I wanted to work with schools in contrasting contexts at the chalk face. I feel strongly that we have a duty of care to enrich children’s lives through carefully planned experiences that encourage autonomy and life skills. We as educators have one chance to get it right and help all children reach their full potential.’
Lee Haughton - Secondary Partner Learning and Teaching Coach
Lee is a Secondary Partner Learning and Teaching Coach for South Pennine Academies. Before joining the Trust, he spent the majority of his career teaching English in various secondary contexts across North Manchester. During this time, Lee held a number of middle leader and extended senior leadership roles, including leading a successful English department and developing Literacy and Oracy across the curriculum. Over the past five years Lee has been a Senior Assistant Headteacher, responsible for Key Stage 4 pupil outcomes, SEND and Closing the Gap between the achievement of disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils, believing that no child should miss out on the opportunity to achieve due to circumstances beyond their control. Within his senior leader role, Lee also ensured the support and development of middle leaders, which is something that he is extremely passionate about.
Lee believes that 'middle Leaders are the engine room of any school. We should always ensure that they are supported in facilitating their vision, in order for their subject, faculty and curriculum to be the best that it can be. This will do nothing but benefit all students.'
Amanda Underhill - Secondary Partner Learning and Teaching Coach
Amanda is a Secondary Partner Learning and Teaching Coach as part of the Academy Effectiveness Team for South Pennine Academies. Before joining the Trust, she spent the first nine years of her career teaching English in various secondary contexts. During this time, Amanda held a number of middle leader and extended senior leadership roles, including leading a successful English department. In 2014, she was designated as a Specialist Leader of Education, supporting schools in developing English curriculum, teaching and assessment. She has experience facilitating various CPD, including the Trust’s NQT and RQT PD programmes, and is a qualified facilitator of the OLEVI ITP, OTP, POC and OTP+ teaching programmes. Amanda also graduated with an MA in Teaching and Learning at Leeds Metropolitan University in June 2013.