Neil Strowger – Chair of TESLA Teaching School & CEO Bohunt Education Trust

The driving force behind the inception of Bohunt Education Trust, Neil is absolutely clear that we must have the highest expectations for all; an impoverished background is no reason for an impoverished future. Neil was appointed Headteacher of Bohunt School in 2009 and led it to Ofsted Outstanding in 2013 and the Times Educational Supplement’s Overall School of the Year in 2014. As a National Leader of Education and chair of the TESLA Teaching School Alliance, Neil has worked on numerous school improvement projects mainly supporting schools in challenging circumstances and in areas of deprivation. Prior to joining Bohunt School, Neil held a variety of senior leadership roles in schools across the south east.

Neil was shortlisted as Headteacher of the year in 2014, is a former member of the National Steering Group for Languages and is currently a governor at schools in both the primary and secondary sectors. Influenced by thinkers from Kurt Hahn to Kierkegaard, Neil is ambitious for state education and its beneficiaries.

Neil is a regular contributor to the national debate on education issues; his main areas of interest include:

  • Systems leadership at inter and intra-school levels, including the development of eponymous Change Teams which provide teachers with whole school leadership.
  • Embedding innovation in everyday education to secure whole school improvement and opportunity.
  • Global citizenship including producing students with the skills, attributes and mindset to be self-motivated, resilient and ready to be game-changers and leaders of the future.
  • The development of a global education brand with a strong emphasis on learning beyond the classroom.
  • Closing the gap and maximising the use of Pupil Premium funding (this work was turned in to an Ofsted Case Study).

Father to three young children and avid winter sports fan, Neil is an enthusiastic, if limited, skier who is occasionally found racing down slopes and mountains at home and abroad, preferably the latter!

Sarah Palmer – Chair of TESLA Teaching School & Headteacher of Camelsdale Primary School

Sarah Palmer works as a National Leader of Education (NLE) with Camelsdale also recognised as a National Support School (NSS). Sarah and designated staff within the alliance offer school to school support and have been deployed by the Department of Education and the local Authority to assist schools with particular challenges to overcome.

Sarah has worked across three authorities and is lead Headteacher for the Rother Valley Locality of schools, with strong links with the University of Chichester, she is passionate about being part of schools own “Journeys of Excellence”. Sarah believes we all need to ensure we look beyond our own school gates and support others to help more and more young people and their families get the best start in life. “Outstanding leadership can certainly transform schools”.

Vicky Sands – Support Manager, TESLA Teaching School Alliance

Vicky works closely with Sarah Taylor to support the smooth operation of work for the Teaching School. She is involved in the new teacher, School Direct, recruitment process; the School to School Support Administration; the professional development for all teachers across schools in the alliance and collating the  research and development across the alliance.

Sarah Taylor – Director of TESLA

Sarah Taylor is the Director of TESLA Teaching School Alliance. We are a partnership of educators who have the highest expectations and are striving to achieve exceptional education for all by removing barriers to learning, challenging established pedagogy and raising aspirations.

To do this we are focused on creating teachers and leaders who innovate and collaborate, who are excited by the opportunities a self-improving system brings and who want far more for our students than just outstanding results.