Neil Swait is an Academy Improvement Officer. Neil has worked in primary education for over 25 years. He is an experienced teacher, who has taught in the early years, key stage 1 and key stage 2. Neil has extensive senior leadership experience in schools, including headship. His qualifications include the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH); a Master’s in Education (leadership & management); and the Professional Qualification for School Inspector (PQSI). Neil also holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Primary Education (PGCE). In addition to his role for the An Dara’s Trust, Neil is also the Director for School Improvement at the Dartmoor MAT and carries out school consultancy work, which includes leading inspections for Ofsted, across the South West.
Neil is responsible for providing high quality leadership mentoring and support for school leaders in order to secure effective school performance, including consistently strong outcomes for pupils. Neil’s work with schools regularly includes visits to lessons, work scrutiny and discussions with staff and pupils. He also checks on the implementation and impact of trust wide school improvement initiatives. In addition to this, Neil routinely plans and leads bespoke staff training that is led by the specific needs identified by the trust schools. Neil reports directly to the Board of Directors and the trust CEO
Deborah became a primary teacher in 2005 after obtaining her degree, at what was King Alfred’s College in Winchester, having always wanted to be primary teacher. Deborah began teaching in inner city Southampton, teaching both Key Stage One and Two, leading the Creative Arts and obtaining the Artsmark award for the school before relocating back home to the South West. After teaching in Plymouth, Deborah took on the role of Key Stage One Leader, at what was Launceston Primary school in 2010. During this time further, professional qualifications including NPQSL and a master’s in education were completed. Deborah took on an Assistant Head role, before moving onto being a Head of School at a Trust school. Whilst Head of School Deborah successfully completed the NPQH qualification. Deborah has for many years undertaken the role of Key Stage One external moderator for Cornwall LA. Deborah undertakes SLE work with the Cornwall Teaching School working with schools on Improvement areas such as assessment, moderation, NQT support, Key Stage One and English.
As a Trust Improvement Officer Deborah leads and support schools with assessment and moderation procedures through various training and support processes. Deborah maintains a full overview of the Trust wide assessment systems and processes. Deborah also provides coaching and mentoring support to leadership at various levels as well as providing regular training for schools keeping them updated with the latest educational research. All Deborah's improvement work is undertaken under the direction of the Trust CEO and evaluations are provided which support the Trust leadership and Board with decision making and accountability.. Additional to this Deborah also leads the Trust wide 'Visible Learning' improvement programme across all of our schools, providing training and bespoke support to staff on the 'Visible Learning' approach. Having helped the Trust secure 'Visible Learning Partner School Status' in 2019 Deborah now regularly liaises with external providers and trainers about the programme.