Celebrating Warwickshire’s Family of Schools

Support for Warwickshire Headteachers

Support for New Warwickshire Headteachers


  • Members of the School Improvement Team (Darren Barrow, Margot Brown, Debbie Hibberd) will be in touch early in the term to say hello and to make sure you're aware of the support available.  New for 2022/23 is an offer of free mentoring/coaching with a visit per half term: when we get in touch we will be happy to discuss this with you.
  • If you're not already signed up to Warwickshire Governor Service's Headteacher Induction Course please give it some thought.  Delivered in conjunction with our School Improvement team, the programme is aimed at headteachers who are new to Warwickshire and those who are already Warwickshire staff but are new to headship. Delegates will receive updates on key topics including an introduction to who's who in Warwickshire; support available for  vulnerable learners; practical support available for managing the organisation, Warwickshire's Education Strategy and School Improvement Strategy and opportunites for  review and reflection. Delegates will have the opportunity to meet colleagues from within WCC, other new headteachers and to hear from more experienced Headteachers about the lessons they have learned along the way. The course this year also includes a supplementary day with Sonia Gill on 'Difficult Conversations' For further information please contact lynnhandford@warwickshire.gov.uk, margotbrown@warwickshire.gov.uk or darrenbarrow@warwickshire.gov.uk.

Support for ALL Warwickshire Headteachers

  • Look out for the opportunity to join supportive headteacher networks facilitated by the inspiring coaches at  HeadsUp4HTs.  This support has been well received by all school leaders who have taken part and we're delighted to be able to offer the opportunity again to both new and experienced headteachers alike.  Further information to follow but meanwhile you can investigate James Pope and his team further at Heads Up for HTs (headsup4hts.co.uk)
  • We continue to offer the opportunity for all headteachers to receive up to three free coaching sessions with our 'Listening Ears'.  We also have a directory of Peer Coaches who school leaders can contact directly to make coaching arrangements with.  Both options are totally confidential - LA staff are not aware of who is receiving coaching.   
  • We have a document outlining the Mental Health and Wellbeing support available to headteachers. Click here to read.

New Headteachers in Warwickshire

As the new academic year begins we are delighted to welcome the following colleagues as they take up new headteacher roles in Warwickshire schools.  

Sue Backhouse 

Woodlands School 

Helen Seickell 

Exhall Grange School 

Claire Hall 

Goodyers End Primary School 

Lucy Bosley 

Harbury C of E  Primary School 

Nick Haddon* 

Higham Lane School 

Charlotte Miller 

Our Lady and St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School 

Kate Guymer  

Paddox Primary School 

Nicola Mills 

Shrubland St Primary School 

Helen Williams 

St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School 

Lindsay Eardley 

St Paul’s C of E Primary School 

Stacey Rutherford 

Wheelwright Lane Primary School 

Michelle Clemons 

Wolston St Margaret’s C of E Primary Schools 

Mel Brown 

High Meadow Community Primary 

*Nick Haddon will be starting at Higham Lane school later in the term. In the meantime, Peter Banks, current Deputy Head at Higham Lane, will be Acting Head.

WCC attaches high importance to providing good support to our headteachers in their complex and challenging role.  Follow these links to see what we offer.

School Improvement Team Who’s Who, September 2022

Please feel free to contact us using schoolimprovement@warwickshire.gov.uk, or you can contact individuals directly as detailed below.

Please note:

  • All queries for assessment should be sent to edassessmentteam@warwickshie.gov.uk
  • All ECT/NQT queries should be sent to nqt@warwickshire.gov.uk
  • SACRE communications should be sent to darrenbarrow@warwickshire.gov.uk
  • All communications for Keep in Touch meetings (KITs) will come from Stephen Height via schoolpartnerships@warwickshire.gov.uk
  • All School Improvement Finance related communications should be sent to schoolimprovement@warwickshire.gov.uk


Darren Barrow


School Improvement Lead and Sustainability Commissioner




07772 262326


Monday to Friday

Margot Brown


School Improvement Lead Commissioner




07917 505157


0.6, usually Tuesday to Thursday

Debbie Hibberd


School Improvement Lead Commissioner (Debbie will be incorporating management of Assessment and ECT into this role)




07932 007324


0.4, usually Tuesday and Wednesday

Sophie Thompson


School Improvement Networks Lead Officer




01926 746961


Monday to Thursday

Anne Brennan


School Improvement Lead Advisor (Anne deals exclusively with OFSTED complaints)




07917 505142


0.2 but Anne does check in over the week

Sarah Cox


Nuneaton Education Strategy Co-ordinator




01926 742600


Monday to Friday

Elaine Smith


Assessment Co-ordinator




01926 742089


Monday to Friday

Helen Hutson


Assistant Assessment Co-ordinator




01926 742014


Monday to Friday

Fiona Mcguinness


Business Support Officer




01926 745621



Sarah Taylor


Business Support Officer




01926 742004


Monday-Thursday, 9.00-2.30

Stephen Height


Business Support Officer




01926 745100


Monday to Friday

Information on pupil admissions

As mentioned in Chris' introduction, please read the information below for more information on how to enable children to access school places.

School Places - Professionals Guide

Updating Pupil Numbers on Roll on SAM - Instructions for Schools

School Places - Parent Guide

Senior mental health lead training

Find out how your school or college can apply for a grant and access DfE quality assured training to help develop a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing. 


The Department for Education (DfE) is offering a grant of £1,200 for eligible state-funded schools and colleges in England to train a senior mental health lead to develop and implement a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing. This training is not compulsory, but it is part of the government’s commitment to offer this training to all eligible schools and colleges by 2025. 

Eligible schools and colleges are now able to apply for a senior mental health lead training grant to commence training within the 2022 to 2023 financial year, up to 31 March 2023. Grants will be provided to cover (or contribute to) the cost of attending a quality assured course and may also be used to hire supply staff whilst leads are engaged in learning. 

Click on the link below to access more details and the application forms. 

Senior mental health lead training - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) 

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue School Education Programme

Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service has established an education programme over the last 20 plus years that sees our Warwickshire Fire Crews and Prevention staff visit Year 1, Year 5 and Year 7 children regarding fire safety.

The education programme has a progressive golden thread that runs through it to raise awareness amongst our young people in schools. Our aim is to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of fire safety behaviour and to provide them with survival skills in the event of a fire.

During the Covid pandemic, when we were unable to physically deliver the programme within schools, we provided an online platform of learning to ensure fire safety education remained a vital part of teaching. We are pleased to say that all crews have now returned to delivering onsite sessions and we are already planning ahead for the next academic year.

The sessions are engaging, thought-provoking and fun and we have recently updated our resource material to reflect age-appropriate and inclusive learning and we welcome feedback provided by yourselves following each session.

The input for Key Stage 3 links fire safety awareness to the National Curriculum subject of citizenship and draws directly from the KS3 Programme of Study. The scheme entitled 'FIRE!' provides pupil and teacher guidance booklets for Year 7 pupils. A session is also delivered to each class by a Community Fire Safety Officer.

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage schools to participate as fully as possible with this programme. At the beginning of the school year, we will be working with the crews to allocate schools within their area. They will then contact each school individually to arrange to deliver the sessions to Y1 and Y5 at a time convenient with yourselves.

If your school is not aware of this and would like to take advantage of these visits, please let us know and we can arrange a member of the team to contact you.

I would also like to point you in the direction of some resources that may help you in the continued delivery of your great work:

For more information on WFRS education programmes, visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/firesafetyeducation

Alternatively, to play the new games for Ks1 and Ks2, visit the education hub at – https://apps.warwickshire.gov.uk/fire-education-ks1-ks2

This is an interactive site that continues the learning that is delivered by the crews at these sessions, looking at various fire safety themes, candles, escape plans, good and bad fires, stop drop and roll activity. This allows the young people to go home, to continue their learning with their household and loved ones and sharing lifesaving messages.

Both education platforms are fantastic and are a real support for adults in helping their children understand about fire safety as well as reminding them of their responsibilities within the home around fire safety. Both platforms have their place, locally and nationally and support each other.

In addition, throughout the year we run various competitions for children of all ages which helps to continue the momentum of learning about fire safety. We really do appreciate your support with these initiatives and thank you for your continued participation. We also post regularly on our social media platforms, sharing news and updates from teams and crews across the County.

If you have any questions about our Fire Education Programme, please do not hesitate to contact Sara Beirne, Community Fire Safety Officer / School Coordinator on 02476 314376 or by emailing sarabeirne@warwickshire.gov.uk

Commonwealth Games Equipment Gifting Opportunity

A wide range of sports equipment used by teams and athletes across all of the venues during the Commonwealth Games will be gifted to local sport and community groups in the West Midlands.

In a join-up between Sport England, the Birmingham 2022 organisers and the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (DCMS), over 16,000 sports items - including bikes, martial arts mats, weights, T20 cricket equipment, basketballs, boxing gloves and weights, as well as general equipment, such as cones and bibs - will all be made available.

Sports clubs, schools, charities and community groups in the West Midlands can apply for the equipment. The giveaway will build on momentum from the Games to support legacy of more active communities.

Applications open from 15 August until 19 September 2022

  • Written applications and the link to apply is here
  • Video/Audio applications and the link to apply is here

 If you have any queries/feedback about this opportunity please email: B2022equipment@sportengland.org

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