Meet the Trainers

Wendy Baxter
Wendy specialises in working with challenging schools and has completed a number of interim leadership assignments in both the primary and secondary sectors.  She also acts as a facilitator for middle and senior leadership courses including NPQH.  She has been working in education for the past 12 years, having spent a number of years prior to this working in NHS leadership positions and running her own consultancy business.

Wendy has particular experience in assessment and has helped to design a number of bespoke assessment systems as well as having experience using both national curriculum levels and standardised tests to baseline and measure progress.  Her degree in business studies, which included the study of statistics, stands her in good stead for this.

When not working, Wendy is a keen runner and has completed over 20 marathons to date.

Mo Brown
Mo runs Regional Assessment Workshops and delivers bespoke training and presentations covering analysis and interpretation plus implications for teaching and learning. She began her 15 year career with GL Assessment in 2001 as an Assessment Consultant working in Northern England. Prior to that, she spent 15 years in the Armed Forces specialising in communications, the last 6 years in a training role. Her BA (Hons) includes a Diploma in English Language Studies, which lead on to gaining her PGCE from Huddersfield University in 2011. Further qualified as an ESOL teacher, she taught English to adults in Selby College at evening classes for 3 years.

Outside of work her interests include reading, regular fitness training, active holidays and growing fruit and vegetables.

David Cossey
David is an education consultant with long experience of working in and with schools. A teacher for 24 years, David started teaching in schools in 1986 and worked in London, Norfolk, Kent and Essex. The second half of his teaching career was as a senior leader and he held whole school responsibility for data, assessment and curriculum in two schools as Assistant Head teacher and as Deputy Head. David subsequently worked for both Essex and Norfolk County Council in partnership roles and as a Senior Adviser. David graduated from Sheffield University, gained an MA in Education from the UEA and has the NPQH qualification.

Outside work, David loves time with his family and is a long-term Norwich City season ticket holder.

Eileen C Donnelly
Eileen is the GL Associate in Northern Ireland with particular interest in combining and analyzing pupil data to build a profile as a learner enabling targeted interventions. Her work is driven by the passionate belief that developing ‘the whole child’ and understanding their specific barriers to learning is central to academic success. Prior to joining GL her work with the NIELB included school improvement, curriculum development and facilitation and mentoring support for Head Teachers and Pastoral Leaders. With qualifications including B.Ed., M.ED, diplomas in Guidance & Counseling and Neuro Linguistic Programming she has also studied at the Jensen Corporation in California and in Washington DC. Her research on school ethos, vision and values informed her work as Associate Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. Overseas work includes workshop facilitation for Head Teachers in Uganda and Kenya on school self-evaluation.
Katie Fitzsimmons
Katie is a School Improvement Advisor, working with teachers and school leaders to deliver improvements for learners. She has been a teacher and school leader for 17 years, coming to her career in education after several years as a Customer Relationship Manager for a national business.

Katie began teaching French and Spanish while training on the Graduate Teacher Programme. She moved through departmental leadership to her first role as an Assistant Head Teacher, driving school improvement.

In 2015, Katie joined the Future Leaders programme to stretch and challenge herself in her leadership practice, a development programme that spoke to her moral purpose in wanting to work in education. She remains part of the programme with Ambition School Leadership and enjoys the chance it gives her to support other school leaders on their journey.

Pauline Hughes
Pauline has worked in education for over thirty years - as a teacher, SENCO, Assessment Coordinator and Leader. During this time she worked with the Croydon Data Research committee and carried out several ‘Assessment for Learning’ Research Projects within the borough – part of the work was published in Croydon Assessment Brochures.

Pauline was a Deputy in Croydon for thirteen years working closely with the borough assessment advisers, then went on to lead the Foundation stage of a secondary school in the borough of Tower Hamlets (one of the top 100 in the country). Pauline now works as an Interim Senior Leader. 

Pauline began studying for a Bachelor of Education and then achieved an Open University Bachelor of Science (with distinction) and a Diploma in Educational Change. As a leader she achieved the NPQH and subsequently joined the Primary Phase of Future Leaders.

Jane Miller
Jane has over 25 years' experience as a teacher and senior leader. This extensive experience includes developing and embedding new teaching and learning strategies as well as staff support and development. Jane is a highly skilled Numeracy specialist and has more than 15 years' experience as a Head of Mathematics and Assistant Head in charge of data and assessment, mentoring curriculum leaders in the analysis and use of data to improve standards. In her role as an NSP Partner for CfBT Education Trust, Jane was the strategic lead for developing numeracy and numerical reasoning across the curriculum. Jane has created diagnostic numeracy resources that support staff to accurately identify pupils’ attainment against key underpinning numeracy skills and prides herself on a clear understanding of the needs of classroom teachers developing numeracy skills across a wide range of subjects.
Rebecca St. John
Rebecca is a school data specialist and experienced trainer. She started out as data manager in a large secondary school, ensuring the assessment data collected contributed to improvement of outcomes. More recently she was Principal Consultant for SISRA Ltd, supporting 1,600 schools across the UK in the management and analysis of their assessment data and exam results, through support, consultancy and training. She has extensive experience of helping schools make sense of ‘life after levels’, and a particular interest in ensuring assessment data leads directly to impact in the classroom.
Rebecca is a school governor with responsibility for PP and SEND students, and chairs the Curriculum, Teaching and Care Committee. She has two teenage boys, is a regular member of a pub quiz team and sings in a local choir.

Jonathan Thomson
Jonathan has spent over 30 years in education, working with schools in the UK and abroad to help them get the maximum benefit from the technology they have and the student assessment data produced.

Jonathan spent much time working in the SEN sector, including chairing the BESA Special Needs Group for 7 years and serving on the BESA Executive Council. He joined GL Assessment in 2011 to manage the newly-acquired Pupil Attitudes to Self and School survey (PASS), working closely with schools, academies and local authorities, providing customer support and training. More recently this role was broadened out to encompass GL Assessments’s entire portfolio of assessments. Jonathan is now a Senior GL Assessment Associate Trainer, running regular Assessment Insight Sessions (AIS) and other workshops nationally, as well as providing specialised PASS support as and when needed.

Finola Wilson
Finola is currently Company Director of Impact School Improvement Ltd. She has a unique skill set and is highly unusual in having taught both English and Maths at KS4. Finola has over a decade's experience as a Language and Literacy specialist and has taught English from KS2 to KS5, specialising in A Level English Language. Finola is an expert in coaching and mentoring having studied Psycho- Linguistics and Transactional Analysis and spending several years training coaches for UK Athletics. In her role as Senior NSP Partner for The Education Development Trust Finola was the strategic lead for Assessment, Recording and Reporting across Wales and has worked with numerous schools to develop and enhance assessment skills. Finola is also an experienced project manager in both the private and public sectors working with NGOs and community groups across South Wales.