Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs)

John Fiddler

John, who is an assistant headteacher, has been teaching GCSE mathematics for nineteen years. He became Head of Mathematics at Hawkley Hall High School in 2006. He is also the Executive Head of Mathematics for the Rowan Learning Trust (RLT). In 2011 he was appointed as Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) within mathematics. In his current role he is responsible for student progress. As a National Support School (NSS), Hawkley Hall High School has provided specialist mathematics support over the past four years. John has focused on developing leadership within mathematics faculties, improving teaching and learning within mathematics, implementing effective strategies in raising student attainment and implementing and developing data analysis systems. John has supported over ten mathematics faculties during this period. The outcomes have resulted in significant improvements in the mathematics A*-C figures which therefore have contributed significantly to the individual school’s 5 A*-C including English and mathematics measure along with 3 and 4 levels of progress within mathematics.

Jeanette Rigby

Assistant Headteacher / Executive Head of Inclusion, Safeguarding and SEND 

Jeanette has worked in education for twenty years. She started at Hawkley Hall High School in 2005 as a pastoral leader. Teaching PSHE, Jeanette went on to become Head of Inclusion and Executive Head for SEND and safeguarding across the Trust and is Special Leader in Education (SLE), supporting other schools in developing SEND provision. She has a wealth of experience working with children, young people and their families; in particular, those with special educational needs and looked after children (LAC).

Since 2008, Jeanette has been the designated safeguarding lead. She also facilitates level 1 safeguarding training, designated safeguarding lead training and safer recruitment training across schools in Wigan and surrounding areas. Jeanette facilitates training of the designated person for child protection for Wigan Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB).

Jeanette is a keen ambassador of continued professional development for staff (CPD). She has been the lead professional in developing the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme (OTAP), designed to improve knowledge and understanding of how children learn. Jeanette’s relevant qualifications are a foundation degree (FDA) in teaching and learning in secondary education and BA (Hons) in teaching, learning and mentoring. She is currently completing an MA in special educational needs (SEN) and inclusion.

Natalie Robinson

Natalie has been a teacher of mathematics at Hawkley Hall High since 2008. In 2013 she became a lead practitioner of mathematics, before taking up her current role of Assistant Headteacher & Executive Head of Maths for the Rowan Learning Trust. Natalie has a passion for teaching and learning, and is a trained facilitator for the Olevi ITP and OTP courses. She has also developed and delivered a training programme for recently qualified teachers, aiding their induction into the school community. Natalie has extensive experience supporting colleagues, both at Hawkley Hall and through school-to-school support at other schools, and has developed processes to embed change and improve the quality of teaching. Natalie has also coordinated support work with local primary schools, developing staff confidence and knowledge of teaching at level 6, and worked to review and develop the whole-school feedback and marking policy, bringing it into line with current Ofsted guidelines. Natalie was awarded SLE in 2015.

Pete Smith

Pete has been at Hawkley Hall since 2001 and has held numerous positions in school. He has been a Head of Year and Head of Key Stage, ensuring students achieve their potential across all subjects through tracking, behaviour management and intervention. In 2011, he was appointed Head of Physical Education, consistently achieving GCSE results over 75% A*-C. Along with the excellent GCSE results, he has also developed provision within local primary schools in order to deliver quality lessons at KS2. Pete is also a team leader for Edexcel GCSE Physical Education and has delivered CPD to other schools, resulting in increased theory grades within the schools he has worked with. Pete is now an associate leader and forms part of the senior leadership team at Hawkley Hall; his main responsibility is to ensure quality assessment takes place at KS3 and to explore life after levels. He has helped deliver staff CPD and teaching and learning as part of the team that developed the Hawkley Hall Teaching and Learning Programme. Pete is also a trained facilitator for the Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP) and the Improving Teacher Programme (ITP). Pete was awarded SLE in 2015.

Andy Walker

Andy Walker started working at Hawkley Hall High School in 2010 as a teacher of drama. In 2013 Andy was appointed as Head of Drama at Kirkby High School and has contributed to raising the profile of the Creative Arts Faculty in Kirkby High School. Andy is a trained facilitator of The Rowan Learning Trust Teaching and Learning Programme promoting challenge and engagement and improving the quality of written and spoken feedback across school. Andy is also a member of the working parties responsible for reviewing and developing whole school marking and homework policies at Kirkby High School, designed to enable staff and students to make progress together whilst meeting OFSTED guidance. He was appointed as Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) in 2015.

Michelle White

Michelle has been a teacher of drama at Hawkley Hall High since 2009. In 2011 she became acting Head of Drama for one year. In 2015 she became a lead practitioner of teaching and learning, which is her passion. She is a trained facilitator for the Olevi Improving Teacher Programme (ITP), Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP), Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme (OTAP) and Power of Coaching courses. She has responsibility for the training programme for recently qualified teachers (RQTs), aiding their induction into the school community. Michelle is very interested in whole staff development and facilitates training in action groups, supporting teaching and learning, throughout the year. She is currently facilitating a teaching innovation group that will create action research with potential impact on whole school practices. Michelle has also worked to review and develop the whole school feedback and marking policy, bringing it in line with current Ofsted guidelines. Michelle was appointed as Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) in 2015

Vicky Crawford

Vicky has been an English teacher at Hawkley Hall High School since 2007. In 2011, she became English KS3 Co-ordinator before taking up her current role as Assistant Head of the English Faculty.  She is also a Specialist Leader of Education.  Vicky has supported other schools to develop the new KS3 and KS4 curriculums. In 2012 and 2015, she successfully led the school to achieve the Basic Skills Quality Mark. She has also led a whole school initiative as a facilitator of the Hawkley Hall Teaching and Learning Programme.

Emma Jones

Emma has been teaching English at Hawkley Hall High School since 2006. During this time she has been Head of KS3 and KS4 English and she is currently Head of English leading an outstanding faculty. She has been part of the leadership team that has directly contributed to a rise in English GCSE results, which have been above 80% since 2011. Part of her responsibility has been to develop leadership skills within the faculty, to improve teaching and learning, to develop new KS3 and KS4 curricula and to mentor School’s Direct trainee teachers and NQTs. During her time at Hawkley Hall High School, she has led whole school initiatives on developing collaborative learning and literacy across the curriculum and is a facilitator of the Hawkley Hall Teaching and Learning Programme. She is also a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) and supports other schools using her developed coaching skills and her knowledge as a GCSE examiner.

Mandy Turner

Mandy is currently a senior leader at Kirkby High School (KHS) with responsibility for student voice, teaching and learning and pupil premium. As part of her current role, she has implemented a whole school electronic student voice system. This is proving to be a valuable tool for driving whole school improvements. Mandy has led the introduction of the KHS Teaching and Learning Programme and is working with heads of year as a route into closing the gap on pupil premium.

Mandy has been teaching mathematics since 2005 and was appointed as an Advanced Skills Teacher in 2009. As part of this role, Mandy led initiatives that have significantly improved teaching and learning across the school. She has supported local primary schools with diagnostic testing and APP.

Mandy has always had a passion for teaching and learning and mathematics. She has recently introduced an innovative new curriculum for KS3 mathematics and has provided CPD for teaching the new concepts. She has facilitated sessions for heads of department across the borough on the topical Shanghai mathematics programme, aimed at driving forward excellence in practice.

Mandy completed her NPQSL in Jan 2015 and became an SLE in June 2015.

Ross Aldridge

Ross has recently been awarded the status of Specialist Leader of Education (SLE). Presently, he is in his tenth year of teaching at Marus Bridge Primary School. Ross became Deputy Headteacher in September 2016, having spent five years as a member of the Senior Leadership Team with responsibility for Upper Key Stage Two and mathematics. Ross has a passion for mathematics, reflected in his accreditation as Maths Specialist Teacher (MaST) in 2014 as well as consistently high attainment, culminating in 78% of pupils gaining level 5 maths in 2015. Additionally, during his tenure as Year Six teacher and UKS2 leader, he oversaw improvements in attainment and progress that ensured Marus Bridge ranked highly amongst the elite primary schools across the country. Overseeing teaching and learning, Ross works with staff across school to ensure monitoring and CPD provision is worthwhile and impactful, as well as promoting and nurturing future leaders.

Darby Pell 

Darby has been Head of Expressive Arts at Hawkley Hall High School since 2009. He has recently qualified as a Specialist Leader of Education (Music) and has taken great pride in helping to develop the Expressive Arts team into an outstanding faculty. Darby has a passion for music education, drawing upon 18 years of classroom teaching experience, and many years in the music industry. He has developed stimulating, engaging and challenging schemes of work, developed the use of music ICT within the classroom, and achieved outstanding results at both KS3 and KS4; GCSE music results are consistently above national average, and have hit 100% A* to C grades on several occasions. Darby, alongside the expressive arts team, has helped raise the profile of art, drama and music within the school, and established a tremendous reputation for the arts, within the local community.


John Fiddler Assessment
Closing the gap
Support for most able pupils
Michelle White Leadership of continuing professional development (CPD)
Initial teacher training (ITT) and newly qualified teacher (NQT) development
Jeanette Rigby Safeguarding & SEN
Victoria Crawford English
Emma Jones English
Andy Walker Drama
Natalie Robinson Maths
Mandy Turner Maths
Pete Smith Physical Education (PE)
 Ross Aldridge  Maths/ Teaching and Learning