Jessica Abel-Goldbin

Jessica studied English Literature and American Studies at Swansea University and, as part of her course, studied in the USA at Ohio University for a year.  Following her graduation, Jessica lived in Japan for two years teaching English to pre-school, primary and secondary school students.  Upon returning to the UK, she completed her English PGCE at Bristol University.

Jessica joined Malmesbury School in 2004 as an English teacher and, over the years, held responsibilities for KS3 and, as Second in Faculty, KS4.  Teaching and supporting students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has always been Jessica’s passion and she became SENDCo at Malmesbury in 2012.  Jessica holds the following qualifications: National Award for SENCo (NASENCo); Postgraduate Certificate in Vulnerable Learners and Inclusion; Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Practice; Specialist Leader of Education (SLE).  She has experience of supporting schools across The Athelstan Trust and has also worked closely with parents, governors, specialist placements, SEND advisors and external professionals. Jessica strongly feels the role of SENDCo is one that requires complete dedication, empathy and an overriding belief that all students will achieve the very best they can in every way. As SEND Lead for The Athelstan Trust, Jessica is fully committed to further developing outstanding inclusive provision for all students with SEND in all our Trust schools.

Michelle Kilburn-Bond

Michelle Kilburn-Bond is a School Improvement Lead at The Athelstan Trust where she has worked within the remit of school improvement since 2015. Initially appointed to work across two schools as a consultant English teacher (SLE), specifically supporting the improvement of a struggling faculty, Michelle later moved into an Assistant Headteacher role in which she led, amongst other responsibilities, on CPD, appraisal and ethical leadership. Michelle joined the central school improvement team in September 2020.

Since qualifying as an English teacher with Exeter University in 1998, Michelle has enjoyed teaching English in five different mixed comprehensive schools, one of these being in New Zealand! In each role held in her career (literacy lead, ITT / NQT mentor, Head of Careers, ten years as Head of English in a highly successful North Somerset 11-18 school), Michelle has applied an unfailing commitment to the importance of leading by example.

As School Improvement Lead at The Athelstan Trust, Michelle draws on all of this experience to lead on a range of professional development opportunities, supporting senior leaders to deliver the strategic direction of each school, coaching teaching colleagues to make positive steps for change that have impact in the classroom whilst continuing to work closely with the English subject leads to share excellent practice about curriculum and pedagogy.

Tanith Lynham

Tanith studied Geography, Religious Studies and Theology at Chester University, graduating in 2000. Her initial career was in the foreign aid sector, working closely with various charities. This early career set the scene for Tanith to follow her ambition of teaching Geography, and went on to complete her PGCE at the Institute of Education in London. Tanith joined SWR, Tetbury in 2005 as an NQT.  Tanith continues to work at SWR in a part time capacity as an Assistant Headteacher and for one day a week is a School Improvement Lead in Personal Development with the Athelstan Trust.

Tanith has held positions at various levels in her time at SWR, and now holds the role of Assistant Headteacher focussing on Personal Development. Her carer progression has seen her leading on PSHE after just a year at SWR and went on to become Head of Geography, Humanities Leader of Learning and Assistant Headteacher, taking a lead on Personal Development throughout most of this journey. Tanith has historically been seconded on a part time basis to Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning Team, producing a range of published educational resources, supporting schools in achieving their Healthy Schools status and in a consultancy role to Gloucestershire’s Fire Service. More recently Tanith has focussed on mental wellbeing and as undertaken significant training and has gone on to support others leading on this area. As School Improvement Lead at the Athelstan Trust, Tanith draws upon this experience and passion to work collaboratively with colleagues across the Athelstan Trust in the remit of all aspects of Personal Development. Tanith is committed to ensuring that all children within the schools of the Athelstan Trust are able to make healthy, safe and informed choices in their lives.

Emma-Jane O’Neill 

Emma-Jane has been a School Improvement Lead (SIL) for The Athelstan Trust since 2020, working as part of a team of senior leaders to develop a culture of collaboration across schools to improve experiences and outcomes for both students and staff. Emma-Jane is a trained Olevi facilitator and uses this to support professional development she runs, along with the mentoring of teachers at all stages of their careers. As part of the Southwest Network for school improvement she has presented to other School Improvement Leads, sharing our approach to reviews. She has implemented opportunities for colleagues to share best practice through, for example, developing trust wide action research for all teaching staff, open door showcase areas for RQTs, themed reviews and opportunities for enriching the curriculum. She is keen to ensure data is used as a tool to empower staff to move students forward.

Emma-Jane started her teaching career in Nottingham having graduated from The University of Nottingham with a degree in Management and Accounting. Prior to becoming a SIL she was Head of Maths and Computing for 8 years at Malmesbury School, a large 11-18 comprehensive with very successful outcomes. She has worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher in an outreach role, liaising with senior and middle Leaders in both primary and secondary schools, to improve outcomes in maths. She was part of the team that wrote and delivered the successful maths TSST programme for the Avon Teaching School Alliance. Emma-Jane has a PGCert. in Mathematics Leadership from Warwick University and is currently working closely with other MAT maths leads through the NCETM. She has a keen interest in the use of technology to support education and leads on remote education across the Trust. 

Rowena Wood

Rowena studied English Literature and Language at Royal Holloway, University of London, then completed her PGCE at the University of Bristol. In addition to teaching English at secondary level, she has held a range of school leadership roles, including Curriculum Lead roles within English, and Pastoral Lead roles working across year groups and leading on Primary Transition. Since 2015, Rowena has also served as a governor of Holy Trinity Academy, a primary school in Wiltshire. She has chaired the Curriculum and Pupil Welfare Committee since 2016, sits on the Pupil Discipline Panel, and is currently the link governor for English, PSHE, and More Able Learners.

Rowena has extensive experience of supporting students in terms of behaviour and mental health, working with families, and leading the work of tutor teams. She is also passionate about training and staff development, having mentored and coached teachers at various stages in their careers, and delivered training on a range of topics. Rowena became a School Improvement Lead at The Athelstan Trust in September 2022.