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Improving our Schools

Case study: Haxby Road Primary Academy

Ebor was initially formed to improve outcomes at a consistently failing school, which was the first to join our trust in February 2014. In January 2017 that school, Haxby Road Primary Academy, York, received its first positive inspection report in 17 years when it went from Special Measures to Good:

“There is a very strong partnership between the school and the academy trust; everyone speaks confidently about the gains this partnership has brought, particularly in terms of developing a culture of purpose and improvement” 

– Ofsted report January 2017


Improving our Schools

Developing teachers and leaders to improve school performance is key to the sustained success of all our schools.

Ebor is committed to ensuring that the best school leaders are effectively used to support other schools. They also help Ebor to ensure we have the increased capacity and capability needed as the Trust continues to grow.

As the number of schools in the Trust increases, then the number of opportunities available for school leaders and teachers to support beyond their own school also increases.



Executive Headteachers/Hub Leaders

There are four Executive Headteachers/Hub Leaders, working together but each in control of Ebor’s four geographically located hubs: Ebor Central (in and around York); Ebor South (in and around Selby), Ebor Yorkshire Coast and Ebor East Riding and the Humber. Executive Headteacher support ensures all schools have high quality leadership in place to develop and maintain high standards in each school. The capacity of the headteacher to support other schools will be identified and agreed in a performance management meeting with the headteacher.

 Executive Headteachers/Hub Leaders are:

Chief Executive and Executive Headteacher (Yorkshire Coast hub): Richard Ludlow is a National Leader of Education and has been head of three primary schools, latterly Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy which was graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted at its last inspection. Richard has led the development of the Ebor Academy Trust since it was formed in December 2013. He is a Fellow of the National College for Teaching and Learning and has a track record of successfully leading, managing and improving primary schools. He has also established two international education partnerships, in Madrid and Singapore. Email:


Executive Headteacher (Ebor Central hub): Gail Brown is a National Leader of Education and has over 20 years’ experience in primary education, having taught every age group. She has successfully led two schools, taking one from Good to Outstanding and, more recently, a school in Special Measures to Good in all areas. Gail has spent six years working within local authority context and as part of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Adviser team, supporting, challenging and improving practice and provision. Email:



Executive Headteacher (Ebor South hub): Dave Barber has 21 years’ experience in the primary sector, 11 of those in senior management positions. He has worked effectively across the full primary age range in six schools in a wide range of contexts. Dave has extensive experience of providing school to school support that has proved instrumental in bringing about positive change. He has recently been chair of his local learning alliance and a member of the North Yorkshire Education Partnership Board. Dave believes passionately in providing opportunities for young people to flourish and develop independent and collaborative learning skills. Email:


Executive Headteacher (Ebor East Riding and The Humber hub): Jeanette Sutherland is a National Leader of Education and has been in teaching for over 30 years, having been the headteacher of Ofsted-rated Good Church of England primary schools for the last 16. She has coaching and ‘train the trainer’ expertise as a result of National College programmes and has supported new heads through the Professional Partner scheme. In addition to her career in schools, she has been an advisory teacher, a tutor on the Hull University PGCE course, coached on middle leadership programmes, and devised and led a leadership development programme for local schools. Email:



Directors of Teaching and Learning

Directors of Teaching and Learning are senior leaders who have additional trust-wide responsibilities for all or part of their working time.

Directors of Teaching and Learning are:

  • John Winter (Career Pathways and Leadership Development)
  • Helen Hayes-Smith (Primary Professional Development and School Support)
  • Andy Crisp (Pedagogical Development)


Academy Lead Specialists

Academy Lead Specialists are aspiring deputy headteachers. They are full-time and have expertise in numeracy and literacy and fulfil these responsibilities:

  • To add capacity in the role of deputy headteacher within an Ebor school;
  • Boost leadership capacity within a vulnerable school, assuming specific responsibility for identified outcomes and impact
  • Contribute to peer to peer reviews
  • Provide support for vulnerable teaching in areas of subject expertise
  • Provide support for middle leadership
  • Ensure Quality First Teaching
  • Drive improvements/developments in relevant subject areas.

Academy Lead Specialists are:

  • Helen Jones
  • Jo Sutton
  • Fiona Thompson


 Academy Subject Specialists

 Academy Subject Specialists are full-time, outstanding practitioners of specialisms, currently science, IT, art, and music, within our schools. They develop their areas of the curriculum and provide support for Ebor schools and the Trust. Academy Subject Specialists may form part of the peer-to-peer review process.

Academy Subject Specialists are:

  • Louise Brooke (art)
  • Emma Davids (science)
  • Clint Lees (IT)
  • Ruth McCartney (music)



Specialist Leaders

Specialist Leaders support and drive school improvement in areas such as SEND, behaviour, wellbeing and safeguarding, pupil premium and governance. They operate on a part-time basis, occasionally with headteachers or other school leaders supplementing these roles.

Specialist Leaders are:

  • Maureen Benson (governance)
  • Rebecca McGuinn (behaviour, wellbeing and safeguarding)
  • Lesley Thompson (SEND)



School-to-School Support/System Leaders

These experienced school leaders, accredited Specialist Leaders of Education, are not necessarily all directly employed by the trust, but they are each committed to provide 12 working days of support to the Trust, annually. They provide a range of support across a number of areas including for vulnerable schools and Trust developments. They also contribute, as appropriate, to peer-to-peer reviews, as part of the school review process.