About Us

Alison Gawthrope

Senior School Improvement Officer (Primary Lead)

Alison has been involved in primary education in Tower Hamlets for over thirty years now, as a teacher and leader in school, and then as an advisory teacher and school improvement officer in the local authority.

Since introducing the lead teacher programme across the borough and nationally, Alison is very keen on developing school to school support and the sharing of best practice at all levels.

Alison, as team leader, ensures that a bespoke school improvement service is available for all schools to buy in to, and that high quality central training is provided for teachers and leaders relating to the curriculum and local and national needs.

Alison facilitates headteacher appraisal for many schools within the borough.

Alison has been involved in school improvement in primary schools for many years now, supporting and challenging governors, leaders and teaching staff to ensure the best possible outcomes for their children.

Carolyn Lindsay

Senior School Improvement Officer (Primary Curriculum Lead)

Carolyn has been involved in primary education in Tower Hamlets for thirty four years now, as a teacher and leader in school, and then as a school improvement officer in the local authority.

She leads on Mathematics within the borough including overseeing the Mathematics team, central training; supporting and delivering in-school school improvement; and supporting the delivery of the NQT programme. 

She is also responsible for developing Mathematics subject leaders and delivering Mathematics network meetings.

She supports school leadership at all levels and works alongside schools developing their internal review processes.

She is the LA SACRE representative and is responsible for delivering Religious Education network meetings.

Nicole Gurvidi

Senior School Improvement Officer (Primary Curriculum Lead)

Nicole has worked in primary education in Tower Hamlets for the last seventeen years.  As a primary teacher in the borough, she gained experience as a class teacher, a lead teacher and a school leader. 

Nicole joined the Primary Education and Partnerships team seven years ago.  She leads on English within the borough including overseeing the English team, central training; supports and delivers in-school school improvement; and supports the delivery of the NQT programme.  She leads on Letters and Sounds phonics training across all phases, supporting parents and ensuring excellence in practice. She is also responsible for developing English subject leaders and delivering English network meetings. 

Nicole is currently recognised by the STA as a lead moderator responsible for training Tower Hamlets moderators for KS1 and KS2 writing.

Michelle O'Connor

Advisory Teacher for Modern Foreign Languages

Michelle has been working with schools across the borough to develop languages provision since 2012.

She has over fifteen years’ experience in languages teaching, leadership and advisory roles across both primary and secondary phases in inner London boroughs.

Michelle is responsible for all training and in-school support for MFL as well as managing the team of specialist language tutors that work in schools to deliver French and Spanish lessons as part of their Service Level Agreement for MFL package.

Julia Weston

Independent Consultant

Julia has worked in education in Tower Hamlets for the last twenty years, with teaching and leadership experience in three different schools followed by independent consultancy work for a whole range of Tower Hamlets projects, as well as those for other schools and organisations.

Julia offers an expertise in science and as a member of the ASE, she collaborated with a number of other consultants to produce a set of well-regarded exemplification materials for primary science units. She is currently commissioned to develop and deliver science network meetings.

Julia provides support to the English team in running training and in-school support, especially around Talk for Writing. She has also been commissioned to ensure a dynamic NQT programme for primary teachers is delivered across the borough.

Mary Jones

Independent Consultant

Mary has been involved in primary education for over thirty-five years, both as a teacher and in various advisory roles. Before coming to work in Tower Hamlets she was the Inspector for Assessment in the London Borough of Havering. During this period she completed her Ofsted and School Improvement Partner training and was the School Improvement Partner for a number of schools for over 10 years.

Mary has been commissioned by the Primary Education & Partnerships team to contribute to a range of projects, often involving the use of data to support school improvement.

Mary undertakes whole school reviews and is able to facilitate the headteacher appraisal process for headteachers and governors, as well as supporting other school improvement initiatives.

Nightingale Simson

Senior Admin Officer

Nightingale supports the Primary Education & Partnerships team to ensure the effective delivery of the service, acting as the initial point of contact for the team.

Nightingale manages the Service Level Agreement (SLA), ensuring that the on-line system is uploaded and available to schools in order to purchase school improvement packages and central training courses.

Nightingale has worked for Tower Hamlets for the past twenty-seven years.