VNET EDUCATION CIC

Meet the team

A not-for-profit membership organisation supporting school improvement

The VNET team comprises a small group of highly skilled education specialists and business professionals whose focus is to run the CIC as a non-profit organisation for the benefit of the schools, academies and colleges – and ultimately the children and young people – that make up the network.

Sonia Innes

Education Director

Sonia has just under twenty-years experience in the education sector, fourteen years of which were as a successful Headteacher in three different schools.

Since the development of the Better to Best strategy in Norfolk, Sonia has been a stalwart supporter.  She has worked as a system leader on behalf of the strategy, a Change Leader on behalf of VNET and a system leader, former member of the Diocesan Board of Education and mentor for the Diocese of Norwich.

Sonia believes that the systems of improvement for schools in Norfolk are well-placed to work in partnership to ensure the best possible outcomes for children.  She is committed to high quality induction for new headteachers in Norfolk (which she leads on behalf of the Norfolk headteacher’s association, Educate Norfolk) and the development of leadership to secure improvements in schools.

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Ruth McGlone

Principal Consultant

Ruth has 15 years of working in Norfolk Schools and just under 10 years as a Headteacher, leading a school through some challenging circumstances. As a Headteacher who has led a school through Covid-19 she is best placed to understand the effect that this has had on those in the profession and on schools. Since its inception, Ruth has been committed to the Norfolk Better to Best and Good to Great strategies and a great supporter of VNET since its formation.

She has worked as a System Leader as part of the Sheringham Teaching School Alliance and has been active in supporting the development of Mastery Mathematics in West Norfolk alongside the Cambridge Maths Hub.

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Emma Adcock

Training and Research Director

Emma has just under twenty years of experience in the education sector, ten years of which she has spent working as an English Consultant for Norfolk Schools.

Emma is a former head teacher, system leader and advanced skills teacher. She regularly provides additional leadership capacity for schools. This additional leadership has previously included: acting head positions, part-time assistant head roles and she has worked across schools as a teaching and learning coach to support Quality First Teaching.
Emma is also an experienced trainer who regularly provides training for VNET schools on the following: curriculum design, subject leadership, Reading, Writing, Spelling and the explicit teaching of vocabulary.

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Rosemary Kett

Senior Associate

Rosemary has vast experience in education, many years as a headteacher in a variety of schools, often in challenging circumstances, as an adviser, chairing governing boards and Interim Executive Boards. Her expertise is in school improvement, working alongside headteachers and other senior leaders particularly focussing on action planning and self evaluation. Additionally she offers training and support to governors, and mentors and supports new or acting headteachers.

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Maria Curry

Associate

Maria worked for OFSTED as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors for schools for the past five years. Prior to this she was a successful headteacher of two primary schools in Suffolk, judged Outstanding by OFSTED. She has been an inspector/adviser for Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk Local Authorities. Maria started her career in inner London, working in Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham. She has wide ranging experience of working with small and large schools, in rural and city regions, and in supporting leadership development and school improvement.

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Nick Butt

Associate

Specialisms: Inspection, Leadership & Management, Headteacher Support, Assessment, Data Analysis, Primary

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Becky Clinton

Associate

Becky has worked in primary education for over 20 years, teaching from EYFS to year 6 and has led a number of middle leadership and management roles. She has previously worked for Norfolk County Council (NCC) as a maths advisor and has also worked as a leading maths teacher and SLE. Becky is NCETM professional lead accredited and has worked for the Angles Maths Hub. She is currently a KS1 Lead moderator for NCC and works as an education advisor part-time for a local MAT. Becky has worked for VNET as a maths associate for a number of years and has created a successful maths professional community as well as providing bespoke maths support in schools.

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Clare Searle

Associate

Clare has over twenty years’ experience of working in Early Years Sector, as a EY teacher, Forest School leader and Early Years Advisor, in the School Achievement Team, for the local authority. For the past two years Clare has been supporting our VNET schools to consistently improve teaching and learning in Early years Foundation Stage. Clare leads the VNET Early Years team and together they bring diverse skills and experience to the Early Years VNET offer. This has really grown in response to need and takes the form of EY reviews, training, EYPC, 1:1 surgeries.

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Kim Frazer

Associate

Kim Frazer is a qualified Professional 1-1 Coach with over twenty years’ experience of leadership; including fifteen years in the role of head teacher. She has been supporting and coaching leaders in Hertfordshire and Norfolk for a number of years and believes that maintaining a work/life balance is not only do-able but an essential component in sustained, effective leadership and management.

She has a history of supporting new leaders and head teachers and delivers training which involves motivating and inspiring leaders to develop school self-evaluation, reflect on current practice and go on to raise the bar, whilst still maintaining a healthy work/life balance. She believes that there are three main components that make up an effective educational setting: Sound and Robust Procedures, Culture and Impact

Leaders in both Hertfordshire and Norfolk, who have accesses her “Effective Confrontation Skills” training, consistently feedback on the impact and relevance of the course on both a professional and a personal level. Kim also delivers training in the areas of: Managing Under Pressure and Effective Time Management.

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Mary-Jo Hill

Associate

Mary-Jo has worked with over 300 Schools, Trusts and Organisations in the UK delivering whole-school leadership and management of change programmes. This included the roll out of National Strategies at borough level across London. Her strength as a coach is to enable transformational thinking of the individual, in role and within a complex organisation. She provides 121 coaching and Headteacher Group Supervision.

Gaining her NPQH in 2010, she started Coach for School Improvement in 2012. Mary-Jo’s strength is in engaging with individuals to support and challenge current practice, finding the levers of change to increase distributed leadership, with a pace and rigour that moves organisations forward in a more effective manner.

Mary-Jo is passionate about the importance of employee well-being and how their resilience impacts the ability of people to become leaders of the change. Her belief is that through inspired, motivated and valued employees we create the circumstances for more capable followers and leaders.

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Simon Davis

Associate

Simon has twenty-two years’ experience in the education sector, working as a class teacher and as Local Authority Mathematics Adviser, School Improvement Adviser and Achievement Adviser. As an Achievement Adviser, Simon was charged with supporting and training head teachers and leaders in all aspects of achievement, and in his role as the Achievement Lead for the highly successful school improvement strategy ‘Better to Best’, Simon was quick to develop an excellent reputation among Norfolk’s Headteachers.

In 2018, Simon joined the Inclusive Schools Trust as their Director of Achievement. As well as leading on Achievement across the 6 schools within the trust, Simon continues to support Headteachers and senior leaders with their pupils’ achievement in over 200 schools across the county for Norfolk’s largest school improvement provider ‘Viscount Nelson Education Network’ and also for the largest Academy Trust in Norfolk.

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Julie Westrop

Associate

Throughout her career as a teacher, senior leader and senior adviser for a local authority, Julie’s work has focused on inspiring , enabling and empowering all parents and schools to work in partnership in order to ensure best outcomes for each child, not only in terms of their academic achievement but also their emotional health and well-being. She currently provides consultancy, advice and training to schools across the U.K. on how to do this, drawing on a wealth of experience and research in the field of stakeholder engagement and parental support for learning.

Cafés for All®, the highly successful whole school approach to parental engagement and support for learning, is now used in 500+ UK primary schools.

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Alex Robinson

Director

Alex currently chairs or is a member of several school governing bodies across East Anglia, is a National Leader of Governance, and until taking on his role with VNET, sat on the Norfolk Education Challenge Board in a governance capacity.

Currently an IT and Management Consultant, Alex was formerly the CEO of the UK National Skills Academy for IT. Alex has global and local business experience having been UK CIO, IT Director, European Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Transformation Director at Aviva PLC, and has also been a non-executive director for a community health trust.

Alex is also Director and co-founder of Ortoo Technologies, creators of Governor Hub, used by over 30,000 school governors across the UK.

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Paul Mathews

Commercial Director

Paul has over twenty years experience in the education sector having originally trained and worked as a teacher and moving into the education business. Paul brings to VNET considerable professional and educational experience having worked for numerous education service providers and business.

Paul worked for ICL Education Systems (Fujitsu) on the European ERDF funded MEON and Primary Step Projects, acted as Learning Services Director at MerseyGrid managing consultancy teams and projects, including outsourced management of Local Authority provision, and was Sales Director, Managing Director and then Principal Consultant at national educational software development organisation Angel Solutions.

Paul has also operated his own small education consultancy businesses focussing on school improvement, financial management and ICT.

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Anita Lee

Administrator

Anita was born, bred and educated in Norfolk, and brings to the team a vast amount of administrative experience. Anita has worked in the National Heath Service as a Senior Secretary/PA to the Director of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and also for the Education Department at Norfolk County Council for nearly 30 years.

Anita held numerous senior administrative roles during her tenure – supporting advisory teams and line managing administrative colleagues in Early Years, Assessment, Primary, the National Secondary Strategy, Post-16, OFSTED inspections, Inclusion and finally the Better To Best programme before joining VNET to help continue the network.

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Nania Poulson

Operations Director

Nania brings to VNET a wealth of experience of project and operations management. For the last decade she has run a thriving graphic and web design business in Norwich.

Nania has been a parent governor at Avenue Junior School for the last 6 years and Chair of Governors for the last year.

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