Bill Thompson


Bill started his teaching career in the early 1980s, he worked in a number of primary and middle schools before primary headship (two schools 1995–98, 1998-2001) both of which reached good and outstanding Ofsted Inspection grades and then as a School Improvement Adviser for Birmingham LA (2001–2006) and Sandwell LA (2006-2013). During his time with Birmingham LA, he was part of their High Impact School Effectiveness Team which worked to ‘turn around’ some of the most vulnerable schools within the city.

This work also linked with the National Strategies at that time on the Improving Schools Programme (ISP). The impact of work was nationally recognised as outstanding and involved me in ‘taking over’ a number of schools for a period of time to lead and establish a new culture of leadership, higher expectations and strengthening the overall quality of teaching and learning. During his time with Birmingham Local Authority he was able to work with eminent figures in the world of educational research and development, such as Professor Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam. Their influences, further research and the practical application of many strategies in the classroom have led him to develop a body of formative assessment materials which he believes make a significant difference to the quality of teaching and learning within any school.

From April 2013 (after being the local Tipton Adviser since 2010) he was offered and subsequently took up the post of Learning Director for the Tipton Learning Trust on a part-time basis. He has worked closely with the Tipton schools during the past five years and has developed an in-depth bank of formative assessment resources, practical ideas, video exemplars and INSET materials which the Tipton Schools have used very effectively to significantly raise achievement levels. All twelve schools in this community are graded by Ofsted as good with six being outstanding. He has also completed Ofsted Training (under the previous 2014 Framework) and have carried out inspections, LA reviews, trained inspection teams as well completed ‘mock’ inspections for schools. At present, he has decided not to pursue Inspection work under the new 2015 Framework due to other work commitments being a priority as well as aiming to achieve a better work – life balance. He is also a member of The Association for Achievement & Improvement through Assessment (AAIA) which provides me with the latest updates and information with regard to this topic.

Philip Thompson


Amy Lalla


Amy Lalla is a Director of an education and social outreach organisation, Let Me Play. The organisation was co-founded by Amy over 10 years ago and is established in inspiring positive outcomes for young people, delivering hands-on projects and providing educational outcomes. Amy is also a Director of a social enterprise, Sporting Education, a sister company of Let Me Play, which employs over 150 apprentices. Prior to the establishment of Let Me Play, Amy has held senior commercial marketing roles at professional football clubs both in the UK and USA.

Through her career, a driving force has been to support programmes that build confidence, resilience and self-esteem among young people. Amy has a passion for empowering young people to raise their ambitions and advocates for equality within education and the narrowing of the attainment gap for those from disadvantaged areas.

Among her achievements, Amy has raised money regularly for local and national children’s charities and most currently Chair’s a Foundation in London which supports member organisations to provide services for young people.

Michelle Kirkham


Michelle is a qualified lecturer and Human Resource Manager with experience of HRM and HRD within the public and third sectors. Michelle holds chartered membership of the CIPD professional HR body and membership of the Chartered Management Institute.

Key achievements include a change of career to lecturer and CIPD programme leader in 2008 at Blackpool and The Fylde College and achieving an award for outstanding success rates in 2009. Promotion to Curriculum Leader for professional courses in 2011 and achieving grade 1 status for the CIPD provision, which has been maintained to this date. Guest speaker at the CIPD annual national standards conference in 2012.

Successfully achieving a Masters in HRM with distinction and an award for outstanding performance in 2016. Michelle continues to manage and lead on the CIPD and other professional programmes. Lecturing expertise in HRM, management, leadership and professional studies across a range of provisions: BA Honours Degree, Diploma and Certificate in Management and Leadership, Foundation Degree in Management, Foundation Degree in Business and Finance and bespoke work. Michelle is passionate about supporting individuals to achieve through learning and development and holds a keen interest in the field of equality and diversity, having previously held a role training people with disabilities and supporting them into employment.

Hemant Asher


Janet Alexander


Mark Hamblett


Sheryl Cardwell


Sheryl joined Waterloo Primary Academy Blackpool in 2012 as Business Manager and successfully guided the school through its academy conversion process and more recently its Multi Academy process. She is now the Business and Finance Director for the Trust.

Her previous experience includes, ICT, network infrastructure, system security, functionality and business enhancement.  Specialist in financial management, human resources, health & safety, premises management, ICT, business organisation management and strategic planning.

Sheryl is highly skilled in financial management, HR, Health & Safety, procurement and contract management. She has completed her CSBM, DSBM, BA Hons in Business Management (2013) and her CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate in Human Resource Management.

Sheryl is also an appointed facilitator for Adfecto in delivering their level qualification in school business management and more recently received accreditation for the Department for Education as one of their Schools Resource Management Advisors.

Rebecca Foxton


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Contact Info

C/O Waterloo Primary Academy
Waterloo Road

Phone: 01253 315370

Web: Zest Academy Trust