Jane Vassallo


Jane was born and brought up in East Sussex and on leaving school took up a place on a teacher training course in London. Jane studied for a Cert. Ed. in Primary/Secondary Education, with Physical Education as her main subject. On leaving college Jane worked in Tottenham for six years, at Northumberland Park Community School and then went on to East London, to Lister School in Plaistow, where she worked for a further 10 years.

Jane's daughter was born in 1988, following which she decided to work closer to home and moved to Essex, working at the Gilberd School in Colchester and finally at Colne Community School and College in Brightlingsea, where she stayed for 20 years.

Jane has undertaken a number of different roles throughout her teaching career, working in both academic and pastoral areas, her final role being Vice Principal at Colne. Jane left Colne in 2011, but since then has continued to work in a number of different schools, spending almost a year at Tabor Academy as locum Deputy Head. Since September 2012, Jane has worked for  Education 101.

Jane has loved every minute of her teaching career and continues to enjoy the challenges and rewards of working with young people.

Jane Caryer


Jane has 37 years’ experience of teaching in Essex schools, starting her career by teaching Physical Education in Basildon and was quickly promoted to Head of Department.

Jane has a wide range of management experience, being a former Year Manager, Faculty Manager and member of the School Leadership Team. Jane also has an in-depth understanding of whole-school and cross-curricular issues and her work has been published on the NGFL. Ofsted have described her faculty in a previous school, as ‘strength’ of that school and consequently, mentoring and coaching staff and developing their teaching, management and leadership skills are key roles for Jane.

Jane has also worked as an advisor for the Essex Local Authority where she was the LAA NEET’s Project Manager and in this role, worked with 22 schools within Essex, developing strategies to address curriculum and pastoral issues.

Relentless in her pursuit of excellence, Jane believes that every child should have access to an appropriate curriculum tailored to their needs, accompanied by outstanding teaching.

Rosie Williams


Rosie has worked in education for over 35 years and has a wealth and breadth of experience as a teacher, middle manager and senior leader in both mainstream and special schools and has managed and led a team of professionals in developing a successful outreach service acclaimed by Kent County Council (KCC). Rosie has also worked in an advisory post for KCC, training and supporting mainstream head teachers and schools to promote inclusive settings for pupils with autism.

Creative and committed to providing the best possible outcome for both professionals and pupils, Rosie believes that all children should have the opportunity to reach their full potential whatever their ability. Her innovative and creative approach and relentless demand for high standards was instrumental in helping her lead a residential special school to achieving an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted grade for the first time in its history.

Geraldine Wood


A Headteacher with 36 years’ experience in primary education in a range of schools in inner and outer London and semi-rural areas of Surrey, Geraldine has achieved “excellent” results for pupils of all abilities in teaching and learning across the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

She has also developed effective leadership teams through modelling ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ practice in subject leadership and headship. Geraldine has been acknowledged by Ofsted as having “a clear and aspirational vision for her school, focused on achieving the best for pupils and outstanding status”.

Sian Thomas


Sian firmly believes that English, the subject, is the cornerstone of the school curriculum and is passionate about improving the quality of its teaching and learning for every pupil and aims to support schools in helping their pupils make outstanding progress in that subject, so that their lives can be enhanced - both inside and outside the classroom.

An English specialist, Sian has considerable teaching and leadership experience, from high performing selective institutions, to those with more challenging circumstances.

Not satisfied with her wealth of teaching and leadership experience in primary and secondary education institutions across the UK alone, Sian enhanced her practical experience in 2010 by gaining her NPQH qualification and an MA in Educational Studies.

Susan Orme


Sue has 25 years of teaching experience under her belt, from classroom teaching to being a Head Teacher and in all age groups within the primary range. Whilst serving in Deputy and Head Teacher posts, Sue has successfully supported colleagues through ‘Leading from the Middle’ Programmes, mentoring and coaching them so that they can become talented and effective leaders. In addition, Sue has used her experience, knowledge and skills to assist and facilitate those colleagues working towards Deputy and Headships.

Sue's philosophy on teaching and learning has been to focus on nurturing talent and supporting staff development across an organisation, enabling future educators to become highly effective classroom practitioners, as well as outstanding Middle and Senior Leaders. Across the board Staff Development is, Sue believes, the key to driving successful school improvement to the highest level and ensuring that all pupils receive the quality- first education that they deserve.

Rhian Watts


Rhian is a dedicated teacher with 17 years’ experience working in schools in England and Wales. Born in Wales, Rhian started her teaching career in a large secondary school in Cardiff, where she completed her Graduate Teacher Training Programme. She taught RE and PSHE, Psychology and Sociology to post 16 year-olds and was Head of Psychology for six years, until she moved to a secondary school in Colchester to become Head of Year 7 and Primary link in January 2004.

Having worked with and across the top and bottom age-groups in secondary schools, Rhian has an extensive knowledge of the Curricula for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5, as well as working successfully in a number of different roles, both academic and pastoral .

Wanting a new challenge, Rhian became an Assistant Head in 2008 and working with a team of Senior Leaders, successfully moved a school out of special measures; never one to let the grass grow under her feet, in 2009, Rhian moved to Kent to become a Vice Principal, professional mentor and a DCPC (Designated Child Protection Co-ordinator), having a real passion for working with and supporting others.

Rhian has continued to work in a wide range of settings and gain experience across an equivalently wide range of senior leadership responsibilities and always motivating, leading and encouraging the positive relationships throughout school communities, which guarantee successful outcomes.

Judith Wakeling


Judith has spent a very happy and rewarding 35 years in education, which began when she taught RE and culminated with her position as a Vice Principal since 2007, which she found very fulfilling.

Judith enjoys working with fellow teachers, helping them to grow and develop the required skills to enhance their teaching and boost the learning outcomes for their pupils. Judith has an MA in Education, which focusses on Leadership and Management of education, as well as the National Curriculum.

This background of both practical and theoretical Management and Leadership skills, gives Judith the deep understanding of the processes that is required to stay ahead of the game in the every changing arena of compulsory education and it is both reassuring and empowering for the teachers she coaches, that she can guide them to ensure that their pupils receive an outstanding education.

Tony Markowski


With 20 years of success at senior management level in challenging London secondary schools, and three as a Director of a multi-academy trust, Tony has a proven history of staff and organisational development recognised by a series of ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted reports.

The son of Polish migrants, brought up in the Caribbean, educated in both the British private and state sector and having enjoyed teaching in Australia and the US, Tony brings a particular breadth of experience with him. He is passionate about teacher and school development, as he is convinced that ours is the sector in British society that contributes more to social, moral and economic development than any other and that the individuals who dedicate their lives to it deserve recognition, support and acknowledgement.

Francophile, student of history, national league basketball player and coach and father of two terrific kids, aged 27 and 24!

Faheema Mazhar


Faheema is passionate about learning and teaching, and since joining the teaching profession after completing her PGCE at Edge Hill University, she has made a tremendous contribution to all aspects of education. In her most recent school in Slough, Faheema led on a number of whole school improvement projects. With a wealth of experience in learning and teaching and leadership at all levels, Faheema evidenced rapid improvements in a number of key priorities to raise standards across the school. Faheema has an excellent proven track record of delivering exam results in her specialist subject, Religious Studies and currently voluntarily supporting a number of PGCE students and delivering seminars in universities. 

Faheema believes that all youngsters deserve the highest quality learning experiences, providing them with the necessary tools so that they are sufficiently equipped and prepare to flourish in our challenging and global society.

Carla Barber


Carla has worked in education for the last 18 years. Having started out as a secondary English teacher in South Africa, she came to the UK to further develop her career. Whilst teaching English in London, she completed a MA in Psychotherapy and then went on to become an Assistant Principal in a special school for boys (11-16) with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties to develop these skills as the Pastoral Manager and SENCo. With these skills under her belt, she moved on to the position of Vice Principal of a mainstream secondary school overseeing behaviour and safety, and inclusion.  

The nature of her work and studies over the past years has given her extensive knowledge, skills and experience in working with students with SEN, especially those with behavioural barriers to learning and emotional difficulties. Having received the National Award in SEN Co-ordination in 2011, she has solid knowledge of SEN and the associated legislation. As a qualified psychotherapist, she is most interested in the therapeutic aspects of teaching and is passionate about the emotional health and mental well-being of young people, and how this impacts on their success and experience of education. 

Carla is also skilled at working with educational practitioners. She spent many years mentoring Newly Qualified Teachers and recently she has been coaching teachers to become outstanding practitioners. 

She was nominated for the  Education 101 Leader of the Year Award in 2014 due to her calm and adaptable approach to working in difficult environments and situations.

Jason Simmons


In a previous life Jason Simmons had a catering company and the trained and worked as a professional actor. In his 30’s he decided on a change of professional direction. He started working as a mentor with disaffected students at Islington Green School. Trevor Averre-Beeson soon recognised his potential and promoted him to Learning Zone Manager. The school ran a no exclusions policy and the Learning Zone was set up to offer a provision for students experiencing educational and social challenges.

The Learning Zone under Jason’s management, provided Islington Greens most challenging students with excellent, bespoke educational opportunities. Alongside school based learning, Jason sourced funding to take students on an annual outdoor learning experience. Students would work towards this by accumulating merits and making positive choices. Jason organised trips to Buxton, Snowdonia, The Isle of Wight and Northern Ireland. He also worked on several projects including a collaboration with Creative Partnerships. Jason selected 10 of the schools most disaffected and disengaged students to work on an urban recycled, roof allotment. The students worked alongside professional designers to come up with the concept. The garden was built on the roof of the school using only recycled resources. This was a unique project at the time but has since been replicated (in one form or another) in most schools around the country. The model for the Learning Zone has been modified with time but it was during his time at Islington Green, the template for the (Outstanding) Education 101 Learning Zone was created. Before leaving Islington Green, Jason helped over 200 hundred of inner London’s most challenging students to make positive choices and turn their lives around.

Jason now works as a  Education 101 Coach.