Who we are


Jonathan Johnson

CEO West Lakes Multi-Academy Trust

Welcome to Cumbria, welcome to One Cumbria, the beating heart of our professional learning community. Whatever your role in schools, One Cumbria’s positively obsessed with developing academically brilliant adults so Cumbria’s children learn the powerful knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they need to thrive and shape their world.

If you read our vision and, like me, it motivates you, then we share the same belief that every child deserves an excellent education delivered by brilliant adults whose development is the most important form of school improvement. Every day I recognise in myself the overwhelming desire to continue developing, supporting and representing everyone in our schools while helping them and Cumbria’s education system to new heights.

My role in One Cumbria is to be trusted to work across the sector on behalf of you all on strategic strands of work that weave collaboration rather than independence. I cherish my role because it gives me insight in the enormous breadth of our system and the exceptional people that work in it, while impressing upon me the profound privilege I have to do them justice by upholding all that should be respected in our noble profession.

One Cumbria is all about you and I am utterly committed to our ambitious vision to provide you with an unparalleled preparation for your next stage working in Cumbia’s schools.

Judith Schafer

Director of One Cumbria Teaching School Hub

I am delighted and excited to be appointed Director of One Cumbria Teaching School Hub. When I took on Headship I wrote a philosophy for education that, although it has changed over my tenure, retains the guiding principles that underpin everything I have done. I believe education should be ambitious, multifaceted, creative, marketable, effective, focused, and excited. Education should set the bar high for all. It should be purposeful, progressive, and independent.

This philosophy also applies to the adults in our schools. The teaching profession has long been full of inspired, flexible, unselfish professionals who recognise that the best teaching and learning is an iterative, lifelong process, with research, reflection and pedagogy at its centre. As TSH Director, I seek to build a sustainable system that provides learning which allows all staff the possibility to grow, listen to new ideas, refining and developing practice along a continuum from ITT to NPQEL.

Cumbria’s children need the best schools in their own communities. They need aspiring professionals to help them shape their world.

I grew up in Cumbria and Bristol (I am an alumnae of Jericho Primary School, Whitehaven) and studied English Language and Literature at Hertford College, Oxford University. After eight years working as a freelance journalist in London the lure of teaching took me to Goldsmith’s College, University of London, to complete a PGCE. I spent time teaching in Kent, London, Uganda and Scotland before arriving back in Cumbria in 2011. I became first Deputy then Headteacher of Solway Community School in 2013, subsequently adding Beacon Hill Community School to become Executive Head of Cumbria Futures Federation three years later.

I have spent my Headship arguing for, brokering and championing system leadership; now, I feel I have the momentum to take a real role in shaping the future of the profession in the wider educational landscape. I have been privileged to enjoy a unique position in Cumbria as Chair of CASH and co-chair of CASL which brings together all schools across the county. I have attended Primary Heads Association Executive meetings and been a member of Children’s Trust Board which has given me insight into the wider multi agency world. I have represented schools on the Cumbria LEP with links to FE, HE and employers and understand the wider picture around skills shortages. The education sector is the fifth largest employment sector in the Cumbrian economy, adding £597m to the Cumbrian economy and employing over 19,000 people; the ageing workforce and the need to attract talented professionals to fill posts over the next few years are a real issue One Cumbria can help address. The relationships and partnerships I have across and between sectors as a result of these roles have been a privilege to enjoy and I look forward to moving these forward as One Cumbria.

chair person - Vincent Ashworth

Vincent Ashworth

Chair of One Cumbria Board

Vincent is a qualified teacher. He spent 14 years in tertiary education as a teacher and a leader. He designed and taught on a range of vocational educational programmes, preparing young people for the world of work.

Vincent has a BA (Hons) degree in French Studies from the University of Lancaster as well as qualifications in interpreting from the Chartered Institute of Linguists. He has an MBA in Educational Management from London South Bank University as well as a CIPD postgraduate diploma in Human Resource Management.

Vincent joined Ofsted as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) in 2003. He was subsequently promoted to managing inspector, senior HMI and subsequently Assistant Regional Director for the North West in 2015. Vincent’s specialist expertise is in initial teacher education. He spent several years as one of Ofsted’s national advisers on initial teacher training. He has extensive experience in leading and quality assuring inspections in higher education partnerships, schools, further education colleges and local authority children’s services. As Assistant Regional Director, Vincent was responsible for the recruitment and selection of HMI, training of the inspector workforce, managing media communications, complaints and correspondence management, dealing with safeguarding referrals and monitoring the performance of education provision across local authority areas in the North West. Vincent’s specialist areas of expertise include:

  • School improvement
  • Curriculum reviews
  • Leadership development
  • Self-evaluation and school development planning
  • Initial teacher education.

Vincent currently works as an education consultant and is a contracted Ofsted Inspector. He is also a Trustee for West Lakes Multi Academy trust with specific responsibility as Chair of One Cumbria Teaching School Hub.

Tim Brighouse

Sir Tim Brighouse

Member of One Cumbria Board

Tim was born in Leicestershire (1940) and was brought up there and in East Anglia. He attended state schools and took a degree in modern history from Oxford, where he trained to be a teacher. He taught in Grammar (Derbyshire) and Secondary Modern (South Wales) schools before entering educational administration in Monmouthshire. After spells with Buckinghamshire and the Association of County Councils he became Deputy Education Officer (I.L.E.A) and Chief Education Officer, first in Oxfordshire 1978-1989 and then Birmingham 1993-2002. In between he was Professor of Education in Keele University. His last full–time post was Commissioner and then/Chief Adviser for London Schools (2002-2007) and led the London Challenge. He was also a visiting professor at the Institute of Education London 2002- 2014), and Norham Fellow Education department, Oxford University. He has written books and articles on education, broadcast and spoken at local, national and international conferences.

Tim believes we should work to achieve our vision as it can build a profession that transcends the standard curriculum of professional development for adults working in our schools.

Mick Waters

Prof Mick Waters

Member of One Cumbria Board

Mick Waters works with the schools in several parts of the UK and abroad. His work at Wolverhampton University with the Black Country Challenge has extended and developed innovative approaches to learning and initiatives to push the boundaries for making learning better.

During his career, Mick has been a teacher and head teacher before working at senior levels in Birmingham and Manchester Local Authorities. He worked at a national level with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority where he was Director of Curriculum. Over several years he has been asked to work in countries across the globe either with national governments or directly with schools to develop revised policy and practice for leadership, governance and classroom teaching.

Recent involvement has seen Mick working at national policy level with the Welsh Government offering advice and support to the education reform agenda. Mick chaired an Independent Review of School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions for the Welsh Government with some exciting new proposals for teachers’ careers and professional learning. This followed on from work he did in helping to produce new Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership…and more recently, Assisting Teaching. Recently he has been chairing a panel to produce early recommendations about the way the system needs to amend habits, routines and traditions to enable more family friendly approaches for the modern age: ‘Schooling re-imagined’. He has also carried out a review to provide advice on the arrangements for the induction period for newly qualified teachers and how best to support their professional learning. The report is called ‘Learning to Be A Teacher In Wales’.

Mick supports several educational causes. He is a patron of Values Based Education, which encourages schools to consider values in all they do, and of SAPERE which promotes Philosophy for Children as a route to learning. Mick is also a patron of the Curriculum Foundation, which seeks to promote a voice for the power and potential of the whole curriculum. Mick supports the National Association for Environmental Education as a vice president and is also a vice chair of the CoEd Foundation which promotes compassionate education.

Mick believes that learning should be treasured and valued and that it needs to be shaped to fit with children’s lives as well as structured to help society meet the promise of the future. People in schools need to set understandings of their children alongside the learning they should meet to create learning that is irresistible and sets them well for their futures.

Mick believes in being close to teachers, children and schools, and is often to be found in the classroom working with children. He has written and contributed to many books on the curriculum, teaching and learning, and leadership, as well as making presentations at numerous national and international conferences. He is passionate about the role of education in improving life chances for pupils. He enjoys asking adults to look at learning through the eyes of a pupil.