Our SLE's

CLASS Senior Leaders in Education (SLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders such as assistant head teachers, key stage leaders or subject leaders with at least two years’ leadership experience.

Introducing our CLASS SLE's:

Katherine Candy
Bower Grove School
Specialisms – SEN and Closing the Gap

Katherine has experience teaching in a variety of mainstream and specialist settings. For a number of years she was Head of a Satellite unit for pupils with ASC needs, based within a mainstream school. The focus of this role was to ensure that the satellite pupils were given curriculum and behaviour support, personalised for every pupil, in order to progress and ultimately be included within a mainstream classroom environment. This role involved working closely with colleagues and pupils in the unit and within the mainstream school; providing mentoring and training opportunities including at some county wide events; and managing a team of staff.

In her current role as Inclusion and Intervention Leader at Bower Grove School, Katherine ensures that individual needs of pupils are identified through academic, attendance and behaviour data analysis alongside everyday observations. These needs are met by deliverance of a range of diverse intervention strategies sourced both internally and externally, giving every pupil the opportunity to make progress. Katherine has developed new school wide systems in order to monitor and evaluate progress and works closely with colleagues to ensyre that pupil documents and information are efficient. Katherine has also taken on the important role of mentoring student teachers, NQT's and other colleagues in order to support them and improve practice.

As an SLE Katherine can offer support to staff who wish to learn more about inclusion strategies and monitoring processes to ensure progress for all, whether this is in the form of implementing new recording systems, considering practical SEN inclusion strategies for particular pupils or groups of pupils or by mentoring and coaching staff members or teams through a period of implementation.


Neil Dipple
Ifield School – Gravesend
Specialism - Mathematics


Neil is Assistant Head at Ifield School with a long standing responsibility for Maths. Throughout his years at the school he has worked strategically on developing the use of assessment to monitor and influence pupil’s learning, and use of CPD to support all staff with their professional development.

In 2013 Neil achieved Maths Specialist teacher status by qualifying through the Maths Specialist Teacher (MAST) programme. Using his experience in Maths, Neil has supported several local mainstream and special schools to develop their curriculum and improve teaching and learning. He has also been part of the County Moderation Panel for the last two years, using his experience to support Kent mainstream and special schools in moderating their pupil’s work.

Reece Jacobs
Bower Grove School
Specialisms – Leadership of Curriculum & Assessment



Reece is currently head of Physical Education at Bower Grove School. Reece is passionate about promoting ‘physical activity for all’ and has experience of improving the quality of teaching and learning. He has also developed and led an inclusive PE curriculum from Early Years to Key Stage 4. Reece has worked with different assessment frameworks when creating a curriculum that is suitable for a variety of needs.

Reece is particularly keen to develop pupils’ physical, social, psychological and emotional wellbeing through Physical Education.

Alongside curriculum, Reece has vast experience of working with SEBD pupils and supports staff with behaviour management in the classroom. He has a particular interest in creating an inspirational environment for learning and improving boys’ engagement in all areas of the curriculum.

Sam Kelleher
Ifield School
Specialisms – Behaviour & Wellbeing




Sam is currently Assistant Head at Ifield School and has a whole school (Early Years- Post 19) responsibility for behaviour and wellbeing and staffing. He has worked with pupils with Special Educational Needs and challenging behaviour for over 10 years. He has delivered behaviour workshops to professionals, parents and at Universities for trainee teachers and supported other schools in delivering a curriculum to meet the needs of the more challenging pupils.


He has implemented and developed whole school reward systems, personalised learning curriculums, assessment and monitoring systems for behaviour and wellbeing. His main passion is in how we perceive challenging behaviour and in supporting Leadership Teams and Teachers to look at challenging behaviour in a different way.


He has strong interpersonal skills and leading on whole school staffing within an outstanding school means he is well suited to working with a wide range of professionals.


James Lawton
Broomhill Bank School
Specialisms – Science, Leadership of Curriculum & Assessment


James is currently Head of Science and Inter-school Collaboration Lead at Broomhill Bank School. James is passionate about all aspects of teaching and learning and has experience of raising standards in teaching across a number of subjects. As a result of working with a wide range of colleagues, James has developed a good coaching style to maximise impact.

James has a Masters in Education Studies from the University of Sussex. For his dissertation he studied the use of verbal feedback in the classroom with a particular emphasis on questioning. Questioning is an area of real interest to James and he has led training sessions aimed at Teaching Assistants.

Aside from curriculum matters, James has successfully led a number of Newly Qualified Teacher and Trainee Teachers through their respective training programmes.

James has a range of professional interests such as autism in girls, behaviour and assessment for learning

Jo Marchant AIns(Dip), Cert Acc, MBA
Meadowfield School – Sittingbourne
Specialism – School Business Management


Following a career in the public, private and charitable  sectors, Jo was appointed business manager at Meadowfield School in 2009 and promoted to Strategic Business Leader in 2016.  Jo has an MBA, National General Certificate in Safety & Health (NEBOSH), Certificate in Accounting, and the Certificate and Diploma in School Business Management.  Jo is currently studying for a Masters' degree in Leadership at Henley Business School.  Jo is the Special School Lead and Fellow of the National Association of School Business Management ("NASBM") and in November 2016 was given an award for "Exceptional contribution to the development of the school business management profession" by NASBM's Chief Executive.  Jo is also Chair of the Kent Association of Special Schools School Business Managers Group.

Jo's expertise lies in strategic leadership and management, budgetary and financial management, health and safety, premises management, and creative problem solving.  She is passionate about facilitating learning and collaborative working on a school, county, and national level.  Internationally, Jo attended the American Association of School Business Officials' International Conference in Arizona in 2016 which enabled her to develop links with professionals in America, Australia and South Africa.  Jo's current interests lie in school business management research and enabling people to make the link between business management and teaching and learning outcomes.

Janet Tidmas
Milestone Academy – Longfield
Specialisms – Science, Leadership of Curriculum and Assessment


Janet is an Assistant Principal and Director of Key Stage 4 and 6th form at a school for students with profound, severe and complex needs. Janet has worked with children and young people with special needs for almost 14 years and has previously led Science across the school for a number of years. Janet has vast experience of working with students of secondary age and has been instrumental in reviewing and updating the curriculum, especially in the 6th Form, to meet pupil’s individual needs and career aspirations. As a result of working with colleagues of all experience levels, Janet has developed a sound understanding of how to coach and mentor staff to maximise their impact upon children’s learning. 

Janet is currently co-Chair of the Kent Association of Special Schools (KASS) 14-19 Special Interest Group and was previously part of the KASS Science and CPD Special Interest Groups. Janet has led and organised professional development training for staff both within her current school but also within other Trust schools as part of an Academy Chain. 

Associated documentation for Requesting SLE's can be found here

CLASS SLE Initial Enquiry Form

Handbook for Headteachers Seeking Support from SLE's




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