Local Leaders of Education

Meet our Local Leaders of Education:

Steve Wheeldon

I have worked in primary education for over twenty-five years and have taken on many varied roles and responsibilities.  I became a Headteacher back in January 2009 at Wilbraham Primary School in Fallowfield, Manchester.  With over 700 pupils and many different languages spoken, the school is in the heart of a vibrant multicultural setting and isn't without its challenges.   Since then I have been actively involved as a Chairperson for Manchester Central District Headteachers, as a guest speaker on the PGCE programme at Manchester Metropolitan University and more recently as both a mentor on the Thinking about Headship programme and as a Challenge Partner with other Headteachers and Principals.

I am the Chairperson for the Manchester PE Association and have been co-delivering Research School training around Leading Learning and Pupil Premium.

In my new role as a LLE, I am excited about the prospect of working with colleagues in different settings.  My approach is to be as supportive and helpful as I can, as taking on a new challenge can often feel quite daunting, however with the right guidance and advice along the way the road to success can be an enjoyable journey.  

Lisa Finnegan:

In 2017, I was appointed Principal of Ash Grove and I have ensured through effective system leadership that the drive to maintain outstanding in all areas continues to be at the heart of all areas of school improvement. Each child at Ash Grove irrespective of background is given the opportunity to achieve. My most recent appointment as a Local Leader of Education will enable me to share that collective vision and the operational fundamentals that underpin the ultimate drive to impact positively on the attainment, progress and life chances of all children irrespective of starting points.

I began my teaching career in Year 2 and then moved through to upper key stage 2 the following year becoming the Year 6 teacher and Vice Principal in 2015. I am a Maths Specialist Teacher and was appointed a Maths Specialist Leader in Education in 2015. Following a month long secondment to Shanghai in 2016, I led the introduction and development of Mastery Mathematics focussing specifically on lesson structure and small step progression planning to aid conceptual development and depth of understanding. I have led the teaching and learning of Mathematics and Greater Depth learning through my role as Vice Principal, which has led to outstanding KS1 and KS2 attainment and progress in all areas.  As a Maths SLE, I have led school-to-school support initiatives and have devised a CPD programme to develop subject knowledge of mathematical pedagogy.

Prior to teaching, I worked in Media for 15 years, leading and directing strategy for sales, marketing and business development teams at Pearson, Microsoft and Reed Elsevier.  I joined Ash Grove Academy in 2012 and was in post on its journey through to Outstanding in 2013.

Kathy Nichol:

I have worked in primary education since 1992.  I have taught in two London boroughs, Singapore and Cheshire East; working in primary, 3-19 and special education.   I became a Headteacher at Puss Bank in September 2010.  Puss Bank is a two-form entry primary school, with a large Nursery providing provision for children aged 2-4 years, and a resourced provision for children with autism. 

In the last few years, I have also joined Ofsted’s workforce as a serving practitioner Ofsted inspector.  It has been a privilege to be able to see how other schools in the North West work whilst carrying out this role.

I am delighted to have become an LLE with Aspirer.  I love working alongside colleagues to achieve the best for all children.