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Cheshire Leadership and Teaching Alliance

Cheshire Leadership and Teaching Alliance

National Leaders of Education (NLE)

National leaders of education (NLEs) are strong school leaders, who have experience of effectively supporting schools in challenging circumstances. NLEs work alongside teaching schools and other system leaders to provide high quality support to those who need it most.

NLEs usually work with schools identified as being in need of significant improvement by the Department for Education, Ofsted, a teaching school, a regional schools commissioner, local authority or diocese.

The work is bespoke and tailored to the needs of the supported school.

Our National Leaders of Education

Fiona Todd

Fiona has worked as substantive Headteacher for 6 years, initially in one school, then as Executive Head and now leads a Multi-Academy Trust. She has extensive senior leadership experience in a wide range of schools; including small schools and large urban schools and academies, spanning 20 years.

Fiona has worked previously as a Leading Early Years teacher, a moderator for the local authority and as a mentor/lecturer at a nearby University. She has also trained as a coach.

Fiona recently supported a school in Special Measures; coming out as a Good school in under eleven months and was awarded the honour of Exceptional Leader by the former Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw. This led to her becoming a National Leader of Education in 2018.

She is passionate about school to school support, and empowering leaders to develop their schools to ensure that pupils have an engaging curriculum and make strong progress. She is currently working in a number of schools across Cheshire East and Cheshire West, supporting their development, including a number across Chester Diocese.

Her main areas of expertise are:

·         School improvement at all levels from Governing Bodies to individual class teachers

·         Improving Faith Schools whilst staying true to the principles of the faith

·         EYFS

·         English

·         Whole school reviews

·         Developing systems and structures to support school improvement

·         Implementation and design of an outstanding, creative curriculum with engaging learning      opportunities.

·         Support with Headteacher performance management

·         Coaching


Steven Ellis

Steve has worked as Principal at Boughton Heath Academy for ‚Äč9 years and has led the school to an outstanding Ofsted judgement. The school formed a Multi Academy Trust to ensure collaborative practices were a key feature of the school to school support. He is passionate about leaders being given autonomy to make the best decisions for their pupils. He has experience of working in four different primary schools (both rural (90 children on role), urban (460+ on roll) and academy) in three different local authorities.

Steve worked as an additional inspector for CfBT inspection services from 2013-2016 and inspected schools who achieved a range of judgments from special measures to outstanding. He became a National Leader of Education in December 2016 and is working with a number of schools to support their development and improvement.

His main areas of expertise are:

  • School improvement at all levels from Governing Bodies to individual class teachers

  • Whole school reviews which give clarity and focus for future objectives

  • Pupil Premium reviews

  • Developing systems and structures to aid school improvement

  • Implementation and design of an outstanding curriculum based around the school’s locality that offers tangible creative learning opportunities.

  • Implementation of behaviour strategies linked to ‘conscious discipline’.

  • Support with Headteacher performance management


Throughout his teaching career he has been a leading mathematics and ICT teacher. Steve is passionate early years teaching right up to Year 6, ensuring children are offered tangible experiences that provide inspiring learning opportunities for all groups of children. He feels school improvement should be done with schools and not to them and personally enjoys working in the classroom with teachers to ensure they receive the highest quality feedback and support.

NLE Deployment Costs: £550 per day.