Gary Bladon, Head Teacher, Bampton C of E Primary School
Gary Bladon was appointed the position of Head Teacher at Bampton C
of E Primary School in 2013.
After a successful career in industry, he took a 3 year Bachelor of Arts
degree in Primary Initial Teacher Education and graduated in 2003.
During his career in teaching, he has worked in inner city, rural and
coastal schools, teaching children from a wide variety of backgrounds
and ethnicities. This included teaching children learning English as an
additional Language, children with hearing impairments and children
with a wide range of special educational needs. He has held a number of
leadership positions over the past 12 years and is currently a Specialist
Leader of Education in Mathematics.
Gary is passionate that all children are given the same opportunities and
that the interests of all learners are at the centre of everything we do,
inspiring them to be aspirational, using a wide and stimulating range of
experiences to develop their learning, self-confidence and independence.
Gail Holmes, Head Teacher, Woolacombe School
Gail Holmes started her teaching career in 2003 after completing a 4 year Primary BEd, with the University of Plymouth.
During her teaching career, Gail has led different subject areas including PE ad Science and has taught every year group. She was Deputy Headteacher at two schools before becoming Acting Headteacher at Woolacombe School, which became a National Support School in 2010. Whilst Head of School, she supported change management across several schools who federated with Woolacombe. During that time she also became the Specialist Leader of Education at the Teaching School based at Woolacombe, leading the Initial Teacher Training schemes. She now leads Woolacombe School and the North Devon Teaching School Alliance.
In her role as SLE and leading Woolacombe National Support and Teaching School, Gail provides school to school support through hosting visits to Woolacombe School, visiting other schools, deploying SLE’s and working with Headteachers, leaders and teachers. Gail ensures Woolacombe School has the capacity to provide School Improvement through a system leadership approach and working closely with other leaders within the North Devon Teaching School Alliance. Gail is an OLEVI facilitator and facilitates CPD programmes on behalf of the Teaching School. She passionately believes in the work of the Teaching School through a school led self-improving model of system leadership.
Gail’s passion is the Curriculum and ensuring all children have a broad range of high quality experiences to enrich their learning and enable them to have a deep body of knowledge across a range of different subject areas. Gail wants to ensure all children have the knowledge and the skills to empower, encourage and inspire them to become life-long learners, who are confident, creative, respectful, resilient, independent learners who understand how core values can enrich their life. Gail is also passionate about Physical Education and actively encourages children to be active and healthy, both physically and mentally.
Gail lives locally and grew up in North Devon. She enjoys working and living in the local community to bring up her own family. Gail and her husband spend lots of their spare time volunteering to coach at their own children’s sporting clubs including the local football, swimming and Woolacombe Surf Life Saving Club. Gail was a keen swimmer and still enjoys swimming, running and has recently had a go at competing for the masters at Woolacombe Surf Life Saving Club. She enjoys being outdoors and active with her family, making the most of the beautiful North Devon Coastline.
Claire Lewis, Head Teacher, St Helen's Church of England School
After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 2008, Claire began developing
her Religious Education specialism through her PGCE in Secondary RE at St.
Luke’s, Exeter. Following this, in 2009 Claire began teaching at St. Helen's Church of
England School and has, over the past nine years, taught all year groups from
Reception to Year 6 before specialising in Upper Key Stage 2. Claire has been
English Subject Leader, RE lead and a member of the Senior Leadership Team
since 2013. Claire’s passion and knowledge of delivering Religious Education,
Collective Worship and developing a Christian Ethos was instrumental in leading St.
Helen’s towards an ‘outstanding’ SIAMS grade in 2015. When St. Helen's joined in
partnership with the Clinton, Claire was called upon to become Assistant
Head at St. Helen’s and was happy to step up to the challenge. In September 2018,
Claire took up the post of Headteacher at St. Helen’s.
Claire is very excited to be a part of the Alumnis Multi Academy Trust and looks
forward to working with a range of talented professionals across the MAT, as well as
striving for excellence for all of the children in all of its schools. Claire’s view of
leadership is one of service and considers it a privilege to serve the community of St.
Helen’s and the wider community of the Alumnis Multi Academy Trust.
Claire is passionate about curriculum development and aims to ensure that all
children are able to achieve their fullest potential whilst enjoying a truly creative and
balanced curriculum that results in them developing the skills, knowledge and
character to make a positive impact on their lives and the lives of others.
Outside of school Claire loves to spend time with her family. Claire enjoys living near
the coastline of Devon and enjoys walking along the cliff paths and cycling on the
Tarka trail in her free time.
Damian Railston, Head Teacher, Combe Martin Primary School
Damian Railston became Head Teacher at Combe Martin Primary School in 2012. Over his career in
teaching, which began in Nottinghamshire in 1994, he has worked in Primary Schools in rural, coastal
and inner city areas holding leadership positions over the past 18 years. Damian's main area of interest
is assessment systems and the improvement of teaching through precise pedagogy and has successfully
led or assisted in improving school performance in a number of schools which have required support.
Damian is committed to ensuring teachers have the tools and support in order to give every child in
their class the best education possible. Damian is an advocate of growth mindset and it's positive
application to children, teachers and parents in everyday life.
Married to a teacher, Damian has a young family. He leads a very active lifestyle and volunteers as a Run
Director for Barnstaple junior park run as well as a keen triathlete, who has successfully completed
events up to Ironman distance as well as and long distance running and cycling events.
Rachael Sharpe, Head Teacher, The Clinton School and Dolton Church of England Primary School
Rachael Sharpe began teaching in 2005 within an inner city school in Nottingham and since then has
worked in a variety of city and rural schools.
During her teaching career Rachael has been a leading literacy advisor for South Gloucestershire,
supporting schools that have been highlighted as needing improvement in the teaching and learning
of English. She and has also lead on many school developments as a senior leader within her own
Rachael’s passion is ensuring that all children are able to access learning in a creative and safe
environment. She has been a SENDCo for 10 years in a variety of school settings giving her in-depth
knowledge in working with children with special needs. Rachael believes in the importance of
developing staff knowledge of social, emotional mental health and working alongside families to
support vulnerable children.
Rachael moved back to Devon with her husband and daughter in 2014 having been bought up in the
area before moving to University. She enjoys living by the coast and travelling with her family in their
camper van as well as running in the spare time she has.