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Ebor Academy Specialists

Ebor Academy Specialists

Ebor Academy Specialists are outstanding practitioners who have demonstrated great skills in teaching and learning. They understand what makes a difference when developing learning opportunities through challenge and support. Our Academy Specialists are deployed across our schools to ensure pupils achieve high outcomes and experience deeper learning across a broad curriculum. Download our information sheet on Ebor Academy Specialists here.


  • Leadership development
  • Staff retention
  • Develop new ideas
  • Challenge from within
  • More systematic and effective professional development.



  • Outstanding practitioners offering key expertise
  • Understanding of effective practice
  • Skills in coaching and mentoring
  • Experience of collaborative working
  • Ability to set clear expectations.


Gail Brown – Executive Headteacher, leading on assessment and Academy Specialist deployment

Gail has over 20 years primary education experience and is a National Leader of Education. She has taught every age group with the three phases of a primary school and has successfully led two schools, one taken from good to outstanding and more recently a school places in special measures to good in all areas. Gail has also spent four years working within a national strategies team in Yorkshire and the Humber, supporting, monitoring, challenging and developing teachers and professionals in their practice.

Sue Banks – English

Sue started teaching English in secondary schools in 1980, charting excellent progress in all abilities with students between the ages of 11 and 18. She was a pastoral leader before moving into curriculum management and has led three English teams to success in diverse circumstances. She undertook outreach work with a failing school before moving to the consultancy team of City of York Council, where she led training and development for all secondary English teachers and their subject leaders.

Helen Jones – Maths

Helen has predominantly taught in Upper Key Stage 2, completing her NPQML qualification and leading both Year 5 and 6 teaching teams. Within her school to school support role, Helen has mentored staff, students and TAs. Currently in her fourth year as Maths subject lead, she is actively developing the delivery of the new curriculum and assessment without levels. She is also relishing the opportunity to embed the use of Chromebooks within everyday pedagogies in Year 6.

Emma Davies – Science

Emma has 20 years teaching experience across the primary school age range. She has led the science curriculum team at her current school since 2000, where they have been awarded the Gold Primary Science Quality Mark. Emma’s role involves working alongside subject leaders from Trust schools to provide CPD support, raise the profile of science within those schools and develop teaching and learning strategies.

Clint Lees – IT

Clint has over 30 years experience working across the primary age range with a particular expertise in Year 6 and the use of IT. He has a passionate interest in teaching literacy and has developed a bank of writing resources used in schools across the country. As well as skills in computer software and hardware, Clint is an expert in technology as an effective teaching tool to enhance learning. He is currently driving forward the use of one-to-one technology through Chromebooks and Google apps for education.

Rebecca McGuinn – Restorative Practice and Behaviour

Rebecca has over 15 years experience of working with children and young people struggling to access education because of a range of complex social and emotional needs. Rebecca works across the Trust specialising in behaviour and wellbeing, within both secondary and primary contexts. She is currently leading on a project for a local authority, planning and delivering training and development for TAs. Rebecca’s other significant area of expertise lies within restorative practice, where she is a lead practitioner and accredited trainer.

Caroline Towler – Teaching and Learning

Caroline Towler is Director of Teaching and Learning for Ebor Academy Trust. She has over sixteen years of experience in primary education where she has for many years led literacy; developing teaching and learning, driving new initiatives and improving standards. Her senior leadership experience includes working as Deputy Head in North Yorkshire and as a Vice Principal in a large primary school in York. Caroline has a wealth of school improvement experience, including working within a leadership team to improve a school from a Special Measures judgement to Good. In her current role she is responsible for developing teaching and learning across the academy trust and improving standards within schools across different authorities. She also leads academy wide strategy groups in reading and in key stage two assessment.

Maureen Benson – Leadership

Maureen has over 20 years of headship experience including moving a school to outstanding and interim headships in several schools causing concern. She has worked as a local authority adviser in a wide range of schools ranging from outstanding to special measures. Maureen has worked with school leaders at every level and with governors on all aspects of school improvement. She was an accredited school improvement partner and has supported governors in the performance management of headteachers.

Yvonne Methley –Continuous Professional Development

Yvonne has worked in education for over 20 years – as a teacher, senior leader and as a teaching and learning consultant within a school improvement team for a local authority. In recent years she has taken up long term secondments in schools to support them within an Ofsted category, driving improvement agendas swiftly to ensure recommendations are adhered to and sustained. Recently she has taken on Acting Headteacher roles and successfully lead a requiring improvement school to a good outcome with in a year.