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Meet the Team

Director of SCITT

Juliet Pearce

Juliet has taught English in three secondary schools in Hampshire for over 20 years.  As Head of English in two of those schools, she has had experience of leading large teams of specialist English teachers in the pursuit and achievement of excellence.  Thornden School, where she is based, is an Arts College with its own concert hall, and she was until recently Director of Performing Arts.  She has presented at national Achievement Shows, showcasing the outstanding work of colleagues in that faculty.  For several years, she was involved in school to school support, advising and working with Heads of English across Hampshire to strengthen their departments.  She has extensive experience of delivering staff training at all levels from ITT to Middle Leadership.  She has been involved in ITT, for many years as a Professional Mentor in school working with several universities across the South of England, as a member of the PGCE Steering Group at the University of Southampton and then as Director of ITT for the LEARN Alliance, leading the School Direct programme with the University of Southampton. 

Professional Mentors

Crestwood - Sally Mitchener

Details to follow

Eggar's - Anne Sutehall

Details to follow

John Hanson - Charlotte Ferguson

Details to follow

Mountbatten - Sian Cumming

Details to follow

Perins - Robyn Tourino

Details to follow

Robert May's - Jenny Robinson

Jenny is currently Director of CPD at Robert May's School and has enjoyed working there for the last 11 years.  Jenny's current role allows her to work both at RMS and at other school developing staff, NQT's and trainees.  Jenny has a real passion for leading and carrying out action research both within her own school and accross the county.  Jenny teaches science and has spent the last 5 years being Head of Science at RMS having been in the department for 11 years.  This involved nurturing more experienced colleagues and mentoring NQT's and Trainees from a range of providers.  

Romsey - Nick Chafer

Nick has been teaching in Hampshire for the past 24 years and has been a mentor for 21 years.  Nick is a Senior Leader responsible for Modern Foreign Languages.  In addition to being the Professional Mentor, some of Nick's Senior Team responsibilities focus on the development of Aspiring Middle Leaders and mentoring Lead Practitioners.

Swanmore - Cathy Fancett

Details to follow

Primary Programme Leaders

Sam Hunter

Sam Hunter is the Executive Headteacher of Hiltingbury Junior School, the lead primary partner for the Hampshire LEARN SCITT Partnership and the lead school of the LEARN Primary Alliance.  Sam is an NLE and has carried out extensive CPD work nationally as well as internationally, has facilitated numerous school to school placements and has also written a book on assessment and writes for TES.  She first worked with us in 2014 on our primary ITT programme where our trainees rated her school’s provision as outstanding.  She is committed to the personal and professional development of current and future teachers.

Zara Chambers

Zara is the Director of the Learn Primary Alliance. She has nine years experience in the primary sector and is part of her school's senior leadership team. As Head of Year, she has been responsible for a cohort of classes, managing curriculum design, pastoral care and assessment. She has been a gifted and talented coordinator and, more recently, responsible for leading learning at Hiltingbury Juniors, developing the school's learning behaviours. Zara has worked alongside trainee teachers for much of her career, supporting and mentoring NQTs, RQTs and providing training for School Direct trainees. She has also delivered CPD to colleagues and parents, both within her own school community and beyond, has lectured on the PGCE courses at the University of Southampton and has been involved with several school-to-school support placements.

Lead Subject Tutors

John Ainsworth: Art & Design

John has ten years’ experience working as Head of Subject in Art and Design. During this time the department has grown to be one of the highest performing teams in the school and has a reputation for producing excellent young artists. Underpinning this is a love of teaching Art and Design, a willingness to embrace new ideas and maintaining his identity as a practicing artist. He has contributed to NSEAD publications about use of social media within schools and has delivered workshops at national conferences about developing Foundation subjects and Middle Leadership. He has chaired regional teaching & learning panels and has helped to develop these into strong regional networks where ideas can be formed and shared. Within his school John has responsibility for coaching and mentoring Middle leaders as well as delivering CPD sessions to all staff.

Christopher Ashman: Design & Technology

Chris has taught Design and Technology in Hampshire schools for the past 34 years. He trained at Shoreditch College at a time when the subject was changing from its traditional roots to the multi-disciplined subject that we know today.  He has been active on a number of county working parties looking at different aspects of the subject. As a teacher, Chris has taught Resistant Materials, Graphic Products and Systems and Control to GCSE level and has been a GCSE examiner since 1995. He has previously worked at Winchester University working as subject tutor for Design and Technology. He is currently head of department at Thornden School where he leads a team of 9.

Ali Kendall: English

Ali has nine years’ experience teaching in the Secondary and Further Education sectors. She has been a Leading Practitioner for Gifted and Talented Education and Head of English at The Toynbee School in Chandlers Ford, where she led a team of nine English specialists and contributed to staff development on Literacy across the Curriculum and Assessment for Learning. She has extensive experience of mentoring and has contributed to the PGCE course at The University of Southampton. Ali has worked with HIAS as part of their team of Leading English teachers. She has also taught A Level English Literature at Peter Symonds College in Winchester.

Emily Slade: Geography

Emily is a fifth year teacher at Romsey School where she is a Lead Practitioner, leader for student leadership as well as being a SCITT mentee.  Emily runs an annual trip to Iceland and thoroughly enjoys teaching her subject Geography. Emily is absolutely delighted to be a part of the incredible Learn Alliance and she is looking forward to seeing the progress trainees will undoubtedly make throughout the year.

Paul Isaacs: History

Paul is a retired teacher who is currently teaching part-time at Thornden. He has experience of teaching in single sex and co-ed schools. The last 27 years of his career was at Regents Park School in Southampton. He started teaching in 1979 and has been a Subject Leader for History, Subject Leader for Humanities and an Advanced Skills Teacher for History. For many years Paul supported trainee teachers as both a subject and professional mentor. The AST role led him to support teachers across subjects and across a range of Secondary and Primary schools in Southampton.  This Teaching and Learning role complimented his leadership of EAL provision at Regents Park. For 24 years he also worked as a part time Youth Worker focussing on both centre-based, detached and DoE work.

Martin Hole: Mathematics

Martin is an engineering graduate who spent the first 10 years of his career working in deep level mining based in Southern Africa; he was Chief Engineer at the world’s richest gold mine before taking up an appointment as group consulting mechanical engineer based in Johannesburg.

After relocating back to the UK Martin completed a PGCE in Mathematics; he has spent 21 years as a teacher. Previously Martin has managed maths and ICT departments at a large Hampshire comprehensive school. Martin has contributed to PGCE courses at local Universities. Ten years ago Martin became an AST and has extensive experience providing school to school support having completed outreach programmes at numerous Hampshire schools.

Martin has been a guest speaker at several national conferences and was fortunate to have been part of a fact finding team sent by government to Shanghai in 2014.

Rorie Whybro: Physical Education

Rorie has 15 years’ experience in secondary education as a teacher and is currently Director of Sport at Perins School (formerly a Sports College) where he leads a team of 8 PE specialists, in addition to overseeing the delivery of physical education in feeder primary schools. He has extensive experience in school, supporting teaching, learning and middle management initiatives across the range of subject areas at Perins.  He has been involved with ITT for over 14 years, working closely with Chichester and Southampton Universities to select and support BA QTS, PGCE and GTP trainees. Rorie leads a department which has a reputation locally and nationally for outstanding and innovative physical education practice. He has worked with the Youth Sport Trust on various initiatives and has delivered workshops at both local and national events. Rorie keeps up to date with the latest methodology in the world of sports coaching by working with the RFU to support its Elite Player Development Pathway.

Gill Heron: Religious Studies

Gill has 20 years’ experience in secondary education as a teacher and is currently Head of RE at Thornden School where she leads a team of 4 RE specialists and has responsibility for Citizenship and SMSC. She has extensive experience in middle management. She is on the county Steering Group for RE and has delivered workshops on good practice at the annual Hampshire Leadership Conferences. She is a member of the Hampshire SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for RE) and has provided school to school support in teaching and learning for RE colleagues from other schools. She has been involved in ITT teacher training for over 14 years, contributing to the training of PGCE students at universities in the South of England. She has completed Leadership Pathways. 

Steve Smith: Science

Steven has had 15 years’ experience in secondary education and is currently Assistant Headteacher at Thornden School with responsibility for Teaching and Learning. Prior to this he was Head of Science at Thornden School and was a Hampshire Lead Science Teacher. Through this role he organised and ran training networks and presented at several Hampshire Head of Science conferences. Steven was also a county Advanced Skills Teacher for 2 years which involved him working with Science teachers and departments at several different schools across Hampshire.

Steven has been involved in ITT training for several years, mentoring PGCE, School Direct, SCITT and NQTs, as well as providing professional development training at Thornden School and several schools across the LEaRN Teaching School Alliance.

SCITT Administrator

Sian Taggart

Sian has worked in various senior administrative roles for over 15 years.  Having started her career in a SME (Small & Medium Enterprise) business she soon transferred to a national communications company, progressing from an initial administrative support function to a full project management role.  Specifically, Sian was responsible for providing administration support to large internal departments, PA support to company directors and project support for large work programmes before being promoted to a project management role.  Sian qualified as a PRINCE2 practitioner and is fully conversant with MS Office software.

After a short family career break, Sian retuned to work at Thornden School where she has been able to put her extensive organisation and co-ordination skills to good practice whilst supporting the Hampshire LEARN SCITT Partnership.


Leaders ensure that the highest standards of professionalism pervade the programme.
Ofsted - Nov 2016