Meet our NPQ Team

Dr Alison Wilkinson NPQ Lead for One Cumbria Teaching School Hub

Dr Alison Wilkinson FCCT

NPQ Lead for One Cumbria Teaching School Hub
Facilitator for NPQEL
ECF Facilitator

I was delighted to join the One Cumbria TSH team this summer to lead on the reformed NPQ programmes which are certainly proving popular. I retired as Principal of QEStudio School in the summer, having applied to set it up as a free school in 2017. Prior to that I was Head of School at QES in Kirkby Lonsdale, having joined the school as Deputy Head in 1999. Alongside my work with One Cumbria, I am also the strategic lead for the South Lakes Federation of Schools together with the South Lakes Rural Partnership, a role borne out of a career long belief in the value of collaboration and system leadership. As part of my work in the South Lakes I am lucky to be able to chair the Morecambe Bay Curriculum schools’ working group in Cumbria, networking with amazing Cumbrian educators who are passionate about the environment and a nature-based education.

Deborah Boekestein Official Bio Pic

Deborah Boekestein

Facilitator for NPQLTD

I feel privileged to be working with young learners at Inglewood Nursery and Infant School. As they say in all the courses, it’s all about context…I’m still learning something every day! That’s why I think these NPQs are just brilliant. They keep us all reflecting on theory and practice and allow us to make a real difference by combining them!

Carly Cardwell Official Bio Pic

Carly Cardwell

Facilitator for NPQLTD

I recently joined the Lunesdale Learning Trust as an Assistant Headteacher and part of my role is to offer quality staff development and coaching. Prioritising staff development in our profession is my passion and I truly believe that investing in continued teacher development is where we can make the biggest difference to our children. The opportunity of facilitating the National Professional Qualification in Leading Teaching for One Cumbria arose and I was thrilled to see the reformed frameworks and be given the opportunity to be a part of the programme. Along with enjoying working with other colleagues across sectors and contexts, I feel privileged to be a part of this hugely positive movement of embedding a golden thread of professional development from the ECF through to NPQEL with One Cumbria.

Rob Dawson Official Bio Pic

Rob Dawson

Facilitator for NPQSL

I have been teaching in Penrith for almost 20 years, spending the last 7 years as Assistant Headteacher at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. I trained as a PE teacher in Leeds, qualifying in 2002. During my career I have been a Head of Sixth Form, and more recently have led whole-school teaching and learning. My areas of interest are centred around IT development, and behaviour for learning, and extra-curricular provision. I still teach PE (and coach), but also teach my second subject, Technology.

Stephen Gilby Official Bio Pic

Stephen Gilby

Facilitator for NPQH

A secondary trained teacher, I have worked in FE, HE and Secondary Education. I’m very proud to be Headteacher at Ullswater Community College in Penrith having previously been Principal of an Academy in a large national MAT and prior to that Vice Principal and Acting Principal in a stand alone Academy.

It is a privilege to be involved in the delivery of the NPQH programme and I really believe in the NPQ programmes – our school has 10 staff undertaking them at every level up to NPQEL.

Steve Henneberry Official Bio Pic

Steve Henneberry

Facilitator for NPQLT

I have been teaching since 2015 and since 2019 have led the post-16 provision at Dallam School as Head of Sixth Form. While leading the provision, I am acutely aware that without the support of a fantastic team, the Sixth Form would not be the success it is. My appreciation of this led me to work with One Cumbria and the NPQLT qualification; great leaders need to develop great teams.

Robert Jackson NPQ Facilitator for One Cumbria

Robert Jackson

Facilitator for NPQLTD

I have been head of sixth form and an assistant headteacher at Ullswater Community College for the past 8 years. Prior to this I was a head of year for 5 years.
Throughout this time I have supported a wide range of staff on their professional development journeys whether they are Early Career Teachers, Middle leaders or teachers who are working towards leadership.
As a member of our SLT I support colleagues who aspire to develop the quality of their teaching and to improve the outcomes for all pupils. I am a life-long learner and love being part of a profession that empowers teachers through coaching, mentoring and effective learning conversations.

Gary Newman Official Bio Pic uncompressed

Gary Newman

Facilitator for NPQH

During over thirty years in primary education, I enjoyed a variety of roles across a range of different schools, culminating in seventeen years as a Cumbrian headteacher.  My wider work took me into system leadership, developing a Teaching School and being the trustee of a global education charity.  It’s a great feeling to be able to share some of that experience with aspiring and new headteachers through One Cumbria’s unique perspective on the NPQ programmes.

James Nichols Official Bio Pic

James Nichols

Facilitator for NPQLBC

I am the assistant headteacher at The Gillford Centre Pupil Referral Unit in Carlisle for KS1-KS4 pupils.  Prior to this I worked in a primary school in Carlisle.  I am delighted to facilitate the NPQLBC and look forward to working with colleagues from across the county.

Peter Ovens Official Bio Pic

Peter Ovens

Facilitator for NPQLT

I have substantial leadership experience in the primary sector. Expert mentoring of headteachers and other new leaders in wide-ranging teams. Member of the Education Policy Institute.

  • 38 yrs in education and 4 yrs as School Improvement Officer in Cumbria (19 schools incl. 2 secondaries, responsible for developing the highly successful Leading Teacher Programme which had 114 members)
  • 25 yrs as a Headteacher in five primaries (40 to 450 on roll – incl. facility for autism)
  • 4 yrs as an independent education consultant working in Cumbrian schools and across England

Currently supporting NPQLT programme for One Cumbria. Also substantial experience in delivering NPQML and SL. NPQH mentor.

Judith Schafer Director of One Cumbria TSH

Judith Schafer

Director of One Cumbria TSH
Facilitator for NPQEL

After graduating from Hertford College, Oxford University with a degree in English Language and Literature, I began my career as a journalist in London, freelancing for the broadsheets for eight years, until the siren call of teaching (both my parents were Headteachers) became irresistible and I completed my PGCE at Goldsmith’s College, London University. Since then, I have taught in London, Kent, Uganda and Scotland before arriving back in Cumbria, where I most recently was Executive Headteacher of Solway and Beacon Hill Community Schools, combined as Cumbria Futures Federation. Executive Leadership is considerably more than the sum of its parts and an exhilarating and all-consuming challenge to bring disparate settings and staff together. It’s a privilege and responsibility to work with colleagues in Cumbrian schools taking on that challenge, from the perspective of my new role as Deputy CEO of WLMAT and Director of the TSH.

David Sibbit NPQ Facilitator Official Bio Pic

David Sibbit

Facilitator for NPQSL

I was a secondary Headteacher in West Cumbria for 15 years, and now work as the West Consortium Officer and Inclusion Panel Chair. I have facilitated programmes for over 10 years for middle and senior leaders, Heads and Executive Heads, inspired by my own positive experiences of self-directed learning.

Kara Smallman Official Bio Pic

Kara Smallman

Facilitator for NPQLBC

I’m a passionate teacher and behaviour management specialist on a mission to understand the bigger picture. 18 years of experience in both the classroom and leadership roles, from EYFS to Year 9 within mainstream and SEND. Currently studying towards gaining my MA in Education Professional Practice.

Jon Stewart Lead NPQ & ECF Facilitator for One Cumbria TSH

Jon Stewart

NPQ & ECF Lead Facilitator for One Cumbria Teaching School Hub
Facilitator for NPQLTD

I’m an experienced teacher and senior leader who has worked in all stages of Primary and Secondary education in my 18 years as a teaching professional. I’m currently a Deputy Headteacher and Year 5 at a school in Carlisle. Alongside my roles in school, I also work for the NNW MathsHub, Carlisle School Direct and on the Early Careers Framework programme developing systems, resources and leading CPD workshops to support schools and education professionals develop and implement high quality teaching and learning.

Jamie Lawler

Facilitator for NPQH