National Leaders of Education

National Leaders of Education (NLEs) are outstanding Headteachers who work with schools in challenging circumstances to support school improvement.

Because their support role will often include members of their own staff, the school of a national leader of education is called a national support school.

NLEs will meet with the Headteacher and senior staff from the school who is receiving support to discuss the challenges being faced and what help is needed. Their work will be tailored in partnership with the school being supported.

They can get involved in different ways, including:

  • working with your school alongside their staff
  • working with your school on their own
  • their staff working with your school under their initial direction

National Leaders of Education(Click name to show NLE profile)


Pat Speed

School Great Crosby Catholic Primary School
Role within School Headteacher
Context of School Great Crosby is a very large three and a half form entry primary school, serving the Catholic community of Crosby. With approximately 700 pupils on roll, it is a large and complex organisation to manage and lead. The school was designated a National Support School in March 2012.

Pat and her staff have supported a significant number of school both within Sefton and across neighbouring authorities in a range of differing contexts. Most of their work has been centred on schools that have been judged to ‘Require Improvement’ by Ofsted. They have provided support and challenge in a range of areas of school improvement eg teaching and learning, leadership and management and the development of Early years practice. The school’s work has been recognised by subsequent inspection teams when the majority of schools worked with have secured a’ Good ‘judgement at their next inspection. Schools have also used Great Crosby to cross moderate judgements within the new curriculum and this aspect of their work has received very good feedback from teachers.

Pat Speed

Paul Kinsella

Profile to follow

Paul Kinsella

Mairead Dowell

School St Robert Bellarmine
Role within School Headteacher
Context of School The school is similar in size to most other primary schools with approximately 226 pupils on roll (includes Nursery)

Mairead began Headship at St Robert Bellarmine in September 2006. During this time, the school moved from Ofsted Good to Outstanding in March 2012.

Many of the school’s strengths stem from being outward looking and constantly seeking ways to further improve standards in teaching and learning. Staff have received considerable quality CPD and have all grown and developed as Subject, Middle or Senior leaders during this time. Writing is a particular strength and the learning environment has developed and improved significantly over the years.

The school has a successful track record of working with and supporting other schools which has been beneficial and worthwhile for both parties. Some of the areas in which we have shared good practice have been in Assessment, Curriculum development, the Learning environment, Book scrutiny, Writing, Maths and Early Years.

Mairead Dowell

Find Us

Angela Davies
Teaching School Administrator
St Nicholas CE Primary School,
Nicholas Road,
Liverpool, L23 6TS
0151- 924 5751 (direct line)
0151- 924 1204 (school)
0151 924 1204


Get in touch