School to School Support



Jewish Proverb

Our work with other schools is undertaken by our leaders in education. All those who hold these roles have been through an identification and selection process. They are established practitioners of excellence in their own schools and in taking on these roles have shown a desire and an ability to work with those in other schools. Our system leaders undertake bespoke support and CPD with schools. Below is a brief background of each of our system leaders along with a number of case studies of practice they have undertaken.

If you wish to talk more about support for your school please get in touch. 

The Mid Suffolk Teaching School Alliance welcomes applications from potential SLEs in both primary and secondary phases. Please use the documentation below to make your application, if you have any questions relating to the application process please do not hesitate to contact us.

Case studies of bespoke school to school support


Changing the whole school assessment system


In the light of the life after levels expectations a school was reviewing its own assessment structures and expectations. In order to review its own practice and consider what route others had taken, they asked for another school to come and talk to their staff about the way they had gone about it. The Headteacher and a Middle Leader went to the school to present to the leadership staff (senior and middle leaders). The visiting staff shared their journey the benefits so far and the pitfalls along the way. They shared what they had implemented that had worked and what they were now reviewing in the light of six months using the new system. They talked about it from two perspectives: what had been the strategic aims when embarking on the whole school change and what had it felt like from an on the ground, implementation level. From sharing their own approach, honestly and with warts and all, the school were able to consider what might be their next step and what would suit their own environment.

System Leaders

Julia Upton

Headteacher, Debenham High School

National Leader of Education

Julia has been Headteacher at Debenham High School since April 2012. Debenham High School is a single converter academy and a Church of England School. The is consistently ranked in the top schools in the county for progress and attainment. Julia's subject expertise (which she still practices) is Mathematics and she delivers workshops for subject leaders at a national level. At present she is also chair of the Testing and Qualifications Committee on ASCL Council.

Victoria Gascoyne-Cecil

Headteacher, Worlingworth Primary School

Victoria has been Headteacher at Worlingworth Primary School since September 2013. Since then the school has moved from one in special measures to an Outstanding rating in every category by Ofsted in February 2016. This report states "The Headteacher has skillfully enabled staff to produce  high quality work across the school." With praise in the report for the strength of marking and the subject expertise in both English and Mathematics, there is much praise for the changes that have taken the school forward to its current position. Victoria is a teaching Head and her specialism is in Mathematics, where she has advised and supported other schools in the local authority.

Sophie Gurney-Savage

Teacher, Worlingworth Primary School

Sophie has been a teacher at Worlingworth Primary School since Jan 2014. Prior to this she has taught at schools in Stradbroke and Beccles and schools in Oxfordshire for ten years. Sophie has taught at KS1 and KS2, specialising in literacy across both key stages. She currently teaches mixed aged classes at Worlingworth Primary School.

Nicola Coe

Head of Mathematics, Debenham High School

Specialist Leader in Education

Nicola has been Head of Mathematics at Debenham High School since September 2011. Prior to this she was Head of Mathematics at Holywells High School in Ipswich. She has taught across the age and ability range since starting teaching. Whilst the majority of Nicola's teaching has been in the secondary sector she has also worked strategically with primary colleagues building expertise in the teaching of numeracy. 

Andrew Dubberley

Head of History, Debenham High School

Specialist Leader in Education

Andrew has been Head of History at Debenham High School since September 2011. Prior to this he has taught in Birmingham and at an international school in Turkey. Andrew teaches both History and RE at Debenham and recently led training with colleagues at the Suffolk Festival of Learning on the challenges of teaching young people about Islam from both a historical and political perspective. Andrew has led development with other Humanities colleagues and has extensive subject expertise.

Ruth Hurren

Director of Learning, Stradbroke High School

Specialist Leader in Education

Ruth has been Director of Learning at Stradbroke since September 2015. She leads teaching and learning across the school and has led a number of whole school training sessions for all staff and for middle leaders. While Ruth's subject specialism is RE, she has also had responsibility for PSHE and Gifted and Talented provision. Ruth works alongside staff to improve their practice and helps them to develop their own pedagogy.

Ashley Hailstone

Subject Leader for Geography, Stowupland High School

Specialist Leader in Education

Ashley has been Subject Leader for Geography at Stowupland since January 2016. Prior to this he was Head of Geography (4 Years) and Deputy Head of Year 7-8 (2 Years) at Westbourne Academy. He is also an Executive Consultant with the PiXL Group (4 Years) and supports schools nationally through direct intervention and speaking at conferences. Ashley has led a number of whole school improvement projects focusing on key interventions and exam technique success. 

Susan McBurney

Assistant Headteacher, Debenham High School

Susan has been Assistant Headteacher at Debenham since September 2010. She leads assessment and curriculum across the school and has led a number of whole school training sessions for all staff and for middle leaders. Susan has initiated and led a school teaching and learning community, has implemented whole school change and is a strong advocate of the importance of consistency and minimisation of in-school variation.

Andrew Bloom

Executive Headteacher, Stradbroke High School Academy

Andrew was appointed Headteacher at Stradbroke High School in September 2010. He led the school through two OFSTED inspections, to a consistently Good judgement. In 2013 he also took on executive headteacher of Worlingworth Primary School, which he subsequently took from Special Measure to an Outstanding judgment in 2016. He continues to lead the strategic development at Stradbroke High School and at Worlingworth Primary School in his executive headteacher role.

Created in August 2016

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