A Partnership of Church & Community Schools

Alison Smith

Alison has worked in education for the past 18 years. She is highly committed to supporting the development of educational provision which allows pupils to flourish both ‘academically and personally’, and provision which ensures pupils develop a life -long ‘love of learning.

Alison is currently the Acting Deputy Director of the Diocese of York Education Team. Within this role, she co-ordinates the work of team members who provide support for C of E schools across the diocese in terms of the development of high quality distinctive C of E provision. She was given this enhanced role following working as the School Effectiveness Adviser from September 2014 until September 2015, a role she has continued to develop whilst also providing additional leadership capacity within the team.

As School Effectiveness Adviser for the Diocese of York, Alison provides a role which focusses upon monitoring the overall effectiveness and performance of all 127 schools across the Diocese of York locality. In order to do this she has developed strong partnerships with 7 LA’s, and also liaises with colleagues at NCTL, OFSTED, DfE and National Society. Alison has developed a deep knowledge of diocesan schools on behalf of the DBE, which is used to inform the work of the education team, and the support they offer schools. She also works in partnership with others in order to broker and provide school improvement support for schools and academies. In order to do this, she has been highly involved in building collaborative relationships between schools, and also with teaching schools in order to share expertise and build capacity for school improvement support. For example, she works with the Pathfinder Teaching School Alliance in terms of developing the strategic partner role provided by the diocese. Alison also provides specific support for leaders at a number of schools across the diocese, and leads CPD events for leaders on behalf of the diocese.

Prior to joining the Diocese of York Education Team, Alison worked for North Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Service for 16 years, beginning as a Primary School Teacher, and then as an Advanced Skills Teacher who supported teaching colleagues to develop their practice across a variety of schools and settings across North Yorkshire. Most recently she was a Head Teacher of a C of E Primary School for 9 years in the Selby area. As a Head Teacher, she had varied experience, leading an infant school initially from ‘good to outstanding’, and then being Executive Head Teacher for a second school which required additional leadership support when being deemed to require special measures and led the school successfully from this. She has also had experience of taking two schools through a successful amalgamation, and is therefore experienced in managing change with positive outcomes. She also shared her leadership expertise widely in support of others such as supporting other schools, leaders and presenting at both LA and diocesan events.

On a more personal note, Alison is married and has a very loveable (if a little excitable) dog named ‘Jasper’ . She is a VW Campervan fanatic and enjoys the ‘great outdoors’ !