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Day-to-day management of the Sussex Teacher Training Partnership is led by our team based at Robsack Wood Primary Academy.

Caroline Thayre, Executive Principal

Caroline Thayre
Programme Director

Caroline is the Executive Principal at Robsack Wood Primary Academy. She is passionate about initial teacher training and represents Robsack Wood as the Lead school of the Sussex Teacher Training Partnership. Caroline is a National Leader of Education and Robsack Wood is a National Teaching School. Robsack Wood  has been granted teaching school status and was also the first primary school to be accredited as a Teaching School in Hastings and St Leonards. Teaching Schools take a leading role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession. They identify and develop leadership potential; they provide support for other schools, and work with schools across their alliance to raise standards of teaching.

Kirsty Wilson
Training Lead

Kirsty is an innovative practitioner, passionate about helping shape the future of schools by working closely with trainees and NQTs to become confident and dynamic teachers. As part of her role as Teaching School Director, Kirsty promotes excellence through a drive to sustain high quality training for participants who engage with a range of programmes including: Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) training, coaching, National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders (NPQSL), National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders (NPQML), coaching and mentoring training, School-based tutor (SBT) and class-based tutor (CBT) training.

As Training Lead, Kirsty facilitates much of the training offered on the Sussex Teacher Training Programme (STTP) and works closely with a group of trainers who offer their subject specific expertise by running training sessions. In this role, Kirsty also offers additional coaching and mentoring to trainees who require additional support during their training or NQT year.

Prior to her role as Teaching School Director and Training Lead of the STTP, she previously worked as English Lead enabling her to work with many schools, inspiring pupils to write.

Annie Williams
Administrative Assistant

Annie Williams is the Administrative Assistant for the Sussex Teacher Training Programme (STTP). Often the first point of contact for trainees, Annie offers support and guidance from initial application to the awarding of Qualified Teacher Status and beyond.

She joined the team in 2019 when she returned to the United Kingdom, having spent several years teaching internationally in China, South Korea and Cambodia. Annie is passionate about education and improving opportunities for all pupils. Her First-Class degree in Politics and Sociology nurtured a passionate understanding of the importance of closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

Annie has taught pupils aged from 3 to 18 years, with an emphasis on English as a foreign language (EFL) and English Literature, and her previous roles include Humanities Department Head at an international high school in Shanghai where she worked with colleagues from all over the world. Annie draws on her teaching and leadership experience to support the programme in the recruitment of high-quality teachers across East Sussex and the surrounding areas.

Link tutors

The role of our link tutors is to support, mentor and coach trainees through the programme. Link Tutors monitor and provide quality assurance of the partnership agreement between the Sussex teacher Training Partnership and partnership schools to ensure that trainees receive their entitlement as set out in the agreement.


Bronwen Barnhurst

Working with the Sussex Teacher Training Partnership (STTP), Bronwen nurtures trainees through the intense year of professional development, through strategic coaching and mentoring of trainees to attain all of the National Teachers’ Standards. Bronwen carries out regular joint observations with school-based tutors (SBTs), to provide a consistency of grades awarded against the criteria set by the STTP. Observation reports are written up, identifying strengths against the Teachers’ Standards. Through this process, she works with SBTs to guide the trainees in identifying their next development points. This is essential to trainees to become reflective and dynamic teachers, who will teach the future generations.

As part of the role, Bronwen provides continuity between her trainee's placements and advises on the adjustments needed to enable trainees to adapt to different year groups, school policies and expectation for teaching. On occasions when a trainee may require further support, Bronwen will take time to listen, nurture, help the trainee to build confidence and self-belief, to allow them to take risks and explore new strategies, which will inspire, motivate and challenge the pupils they teach.


Jane Branson

Jane brings over twenty years' experience to her work as an education consultant and ITT trainer. She delivers training directly to schools and teachers in her roles with Initial Teacher Training providers, governor services and as an associate trainer for the National Association for Able Children in Education. She supports schools with all aspects of English provision, specialising in rich, text-led learning which builds reading skills and enjoyment as well as inspiring writing.

With a strong understanding of how children and young people develop as readers and writers, Jane helps teachers plan for engagement and next steps to take learners even further. She has a wealth of knowledge of children’s books, from picture books to Young Adult fiction.

Jane loves working with trainees and teachers in all phases of their careers. She has a particular interest in how curricula can be shaped to support mastery, build knowledge and metacognition, transfer skills, and deepen learning, independence and thinking skills. She has a reputation for hands-on, practical training that is easily transferred to the classroom to improve engagement and increase challenge.


Jacky Cross

Jacky has over twenty years of experience working with primary and secondary schools in East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent and Surrey. Roles have included Middle Leadership roles in secondary school, Teaching and Learning consultant with East Sussex County Council, Programme Manager for the East Sussex Primary School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) and Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) Induction programmes.

Jacky has extensive experience of leading and developing the training programme and managing a team of external consultants and school mentors to support the progress of trainee teachers and their successful achievement of Qualified Teacher Status. Jacky has extensive experience of providing mentoring and coaching for trainees, NQTs and teachers at various stages of their careers and supporting them to achieve positive outcomes.


Mandy Lanham

For many years, Mandy has worked closely with the School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)programme and is currently working as a Link Tutor. Mandy has worked in education for over 30 years and enjoyed 17 years teaching across Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. During this period, she achieved outstanding in three Ofsted observations and was fortunate to work directly with Shirley Clarke, whilst being filmed for her Assessment For Learning  training course.

Mandy has mentored students across the primary phase, from both university and school-based programmes. Alongside this role, Mandy has provided school-to-school support for fellow teachers, supporting them to improve their practice. Mandy has experience of assistant headship, deputy headship and interim head of school.


Lynda Welham

Lynda is currently a Challenge Partner with the University of Brighton Academies Trust. Her role is to drive the strategic aims of the Trust and support the Principals’ aims and objectives. Lynda has carried out similar work with local authority schools in Greenwich and for The Kenmal Academies Trust.

Lynda is qualified in the teaching of dyslexic pupils, with a life-long passion to improve the life chances of all pupils and particularly of those who are most vulnerable. She hold a Masters of Education and the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers.

Lynda has been a team and lead inspector with Ofsted for several years, including inspecting under the new Ofsted framework.

Lynda has loved teaching in every phase of primary education, including early years. She has successfully led three primary schools, helping move them from under-performing to being evaluated by Ofsted as Good.

Her interests include mountaineering, tennis and cycling.

Strategic Executive Board members

The Strategic Executive Board consists of senior leaders, experienced in Initial Teacher Training (ITT), from schools representing the geographical and socio-economic diversity of East Sussex.

The responsibilities of the Strategic Executive Board include providing a strategic overview, direction, challenge, moderation and quality assurance for the STTP; ensuring compliance with current ITT; and overseeing an annual improvement plan.

It reports progress on a termly basis to the University of Brighton Academies Trust’s Board of Trustees, highlighting issues, concerns and risks.

  • Natalie Alty
  • Margaret Coleman
  • Andrew Dobell
  • Sharon Trathen
  • Marianne Brand