Geoff Barton, ASCL General Secretary
Geoff studied English & Linguistics at the University of Lancaster, then trained to teach at Leicester University. Between 2002 and 2017, he was headteacher of King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds, a comprehensive school of 1650 students.
Geoff is a Founding Fellow of the English Association and writes for a range of newspapers and journals. He has worked with various organisations, including the Department for Education, on leadership and literacy.
Geoff was a longstanding member of ASCL Council, former chair of its Pedagogy Committee, is Patron of the English and Media Centre, and a ‘Leading Thinker’ for the National Education Trust. He took up his post as General Secretary of ASCL in April 2017.
Follow Geoff on Twitter @realGeoffBarton
Duncan Baldwin, ASCL Deputy Director of Policy
Duncan's areas of responsibility include curriculum and assessment, performance data, Ofsted and ICT.
Duncan qualified as a mathematics teacher and followed a career as a teacher and school leader, working at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Djanogly City Technology College and Filsham Valley, where he was deputy headteacher. More recently he has worked as a consultant for Capita, focusing on using data for school improvement. He represents ASCL on a number of boards including Quality in Careers and is an expert member of various DfE panels including Information Standards Board, Achieving Excellence Area methodology, Teacher Supply Model and Teaching, and Learning International Survey (TALIS).
Follow Duncan on Twitter @Duncan_Baldwin
Suzanne O’Farrell, ASCL Curriculum and Assessment Specialist
Prior to Suzanne's role as ASCL’s Curriculum and Assessment Specialist, she was ASCL’s Inspections Specialist for 18 months. Before joining ASCL, Suzanne was Headteacher of a large secondary school in Staffordshire for seven years. Suzanne originally trained as a modern languages teacher and taught languages and English in a number of schools.
Throughout her 27 year teaching career and prior to taking up her Headship, Suzanne’s previous roles also include Head of a large 6th form (offering the IB and A levels) , Deputy Headteacher, Local Leader of Education and part timeTutor Fellow at Keele University supporting the delivery of the modern languages PGCE programme.
Follow Suzanne on Twitter @OfarrellSuzanne
English: Deb Poole, Vice Principal at Haywood Academy and Director of English for the City Learning Trust
Deb has been a passionate teacher and leader of English for 17 years, across a number of schools within Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. She has led her own highly successful faculty and has line managed and mentored several other Heads of Faculties in her various leadership roles. She was appointed as an Advanced Skills Teacher for English in 2009, and is currently an active Specialist Leader of Education for English, working across a number of schools to lead improvement within English, but also on whole school projects.
In her current role, Deb is responsible for Teaching and Learning at Haywood Academy and has responsibility for English in the City Learning Trust. Deb feels very proud to work with students with challenging backgrounds as she feels strongly about literacy being the key to enhancing life chances for all young people.
Maths: Sarah Whyand, Assistant Head, King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds
As a Maths graduate in the class of 1993, Sarah is passionate about her subject. She strives to pass on that passion to both students and colleagues. She has taught Mathematics across a range of secondary schools in Suffolk and Essex, and successfully led a large Mathematics team.
Sarah has worked at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds for 17 years, teaching and leading Mathematics. In her current role as Assistant Headteacher and in her previous roles, Sarah has had to deal with many challenging situations, colleagues and changing landscapes in education. With four children at home however, she is very much aware of the barriers that many of our youngsters face when learning mathematics! She also works in partnerships with other schools in an advisory role, reviews educational publications, is a PiXL Associate and co-leads the ASCL Outstanding Heads of Mathematics courses.
Science: Helen Hawke, Science Faculty Leader, Brookvale Groby Learning Campus
Helen is a biology specialist and has been teaching science for 11 years. She has been the Faculty Leader for Science at Groby Community College for the past seven years and last year led a successful merger of the science teams with the prime feeder school as part of the new Brookvale Groby Learning Campus. Helen has mentored Heads of Science in a number of schools and is part of a network of schools focusing on the Knowledge Curriculum.
Helen previously worked at Severn Trent Water as an Assistant Area Manager of Quality Assurance, managing a large team providing a monitoring service of the water quality, responding to water quality incidents, and ensuring compliance with the Water Quality Standards.