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Eileen Bissell – Headteacher Oakdale Junior School

After gaining a BSc Hons in Architecture and Ergonomics at the University of Aston, Eileen spent five years working in Architecture and Energy Conservation before completing a PGCE at Newman College Birmingham. She has been a teacher for over 30 years having taught across five primary schools in Sandwell, Dudley and Poole. As a very experienced practitioner, Eileen worked in a local authority wide role as a seconded literacy consultant having a significant impact upon raising standards in several schools.
Eileen was appointed as Headteacher of Woodside Community School and Childrens' Centre in 2005. During her seven years there she led a bid, and oversaw the subsequent build, to operate a fully extended Children’s Centre and Nursery as well as establishing before school and after school childcare provision for the community. Eileen took the school from ‘Satisfactory’ to ’Good’ and then to ‘Outstanding’ during her time there as Headteacher. A further subject inspection judged English ‘Outstanding’. Eileen led the school to become a DfE host school for the national ‘School to School’ improvement strategy with a particular strength for ‘Closing the Gap’ as well as providing mentors and coaches for National Professional Qualification for Headship.
Eileen moved to Oakdale, Poole in 2012 to take on her second headship. During her first year at Oakdale she led the school through the age of transfer, and project managed a major new build for Year 3. In the school’s latest OfSted inspection, Oakdale moved from ‘Requiring Improvement’ to ‘Good’. Throughout her time as a Headteacher Eileen has been passionate about collaboration with other schools. She has long believed that the best challenge and support for a school comes from other schools. Eileen feels privileged to have the post of Headteacher and to be able to be a part of shaping the future of education in our area in a time of significant and rapid change. She is extremely optimistic about the future of the Multi Academy Trust.


Ali Carter – Headteacher Courthill Infant School

Ali has been teaching since 1994 and had the privilege of starting her teaching career in the London Borough of Newham. Her first class had 100% children from ethnic minority backgrounds and social deprivation was high. Her years teaching there were her formative years where she was able to grasp a fundamental understanding of how children acquire the English language and also of how deprivation can be a key factor in affecting life chances.


When Ali moved to Poole she taught in Early Years and Key Stage 1 in two different first schools. During which time she extended her leadership responsibilities by taking on roles such as English Leader, Leading Literacy Teacher for the Borough, Assessment Leader and EYFS leader. In 2011 she was appointed as Deputy Headteacher in a large Primary School in Bournemouth, which included leading Inclusion across the school.


In April 2015 Ali returned to Poole as Headteacher of Courthill Infant School. 


Christine Chambers – Headteacher Lilliput C.E. Infant School

Christine is the Headteacher at Lilliput C.E. Infant School and has an extensive teaching background spanning nearly 30 years. She has a MA in Educational Studies specialising in coaching and mentoring.


Christine’s subject specialism is music which she has led at Lilliput as well as trained teachers as part of the Poole SCITT course, developing their subject knowledge and pedagogy. More recently she became a member of the British Dyslexia Association, having gained an equivalent Masters in Dyslexia, allowing her to carry out full dyslexic assessments.


She also sits on the board for the Borough’s SEN strategy group, the Poole School’s Forum and the SCITT management board.


Janine Harries – Headteacher Old Town Infant School and Nursery

Janine has been a teacher since 1998 gaining her first leadership post in St Luke’s Primary School in Bournemouth as an Infant Phase Leader when the school split site due to expansion and a building project. She then became Inclusion Leader and Assistant Head at Sylvan Infant School in Poole and during this time she was seconded to another local school as Deputy Head.


Janine has been the Headteacher at Old Town Infant School & Nursery in the centre of Poole since September 2012. Janine is passionate about collaboration with other schools and has used a peer to-peer model to ensure success within the school and share best practice.


In 2014-15 Janine led a Poole wide collaborative project on Assessment for Year 2 and Year 6. Additionally Janine has been a lead moderator for Key Stage 1 for the Local Authority working across several schools evaluating the practice and training staff and moderators. She sits on the Children’s Trust Board in Poole and also works closely with the local Children’s Centre to improve provision for the local community.


Janine is an active member of the Board of the local Teaching School and has a long established link with ITT provisions including SCITT and the local PTSA School Direct programme for EYFS. Old Town School takes a lead in delivering the EYFS pedagogy for the School Direct Programme in conjunction with Southampton University.


Nigel Helm – Headteacher Longfleet C.E. Primary School

Nigel has worked in several schools within the Poole and Dorset area since graduating in 1999. He began at Upton Junior School before moving on to Lytchett Matravers Primary School. During his time at Lytchett Matravers he undertook a number of roles including being accredited as an Advanced Skills Teacher in Mathematics and PE.


In 2008 Nigel moved post to become the Deputy Head at Courthill Infant School before taking up his first headship at Upton Infant School. Alongside his six successful years at the school he also supported several other Dorset schools in his role as a School Evaluation Partner for the Local Authority.


Nigel has been headteacher at Longfleet Primary School since September 2016.


Rachel Rusling – Headteacher Baden Powell and St Peter’s C.E. Junior School

Rachel has been teaching since 1995 having gained a BA Ed (Hons) degree from Exeter University. She moved to Poole soon afterwards and began teaching at Sandford Middle School where she was promoted to Head of Year within a couple of years. Rachel also taught at St. Michael’s Middle School for 8 years and during this time became both Assistant Head and Deputy Head specialising in Safeguarding and Pastoral Care.
In April 2012, Rachel moved to Baden-Powell and St. Peter’s CE Junior School to take up the post of Deputy Head. This was an opportunity for her to play an integral role in the school’s conversion from middle to junior school. With extensive experience of both systems, as well as working in large schools, this was an exciting and challenging opportunity for her. Appointed to the role of Headteacher in February 2017, Rachel has particularly valued working closely and collaboratively with other Headteachers from the HLP. Rachel is vice chairperson of Poole’s SCITT Management Board Committee, which involves interviewing prospective trainee teachers for the course, and ensuring that they are fully equipped with the best training for a future career in education.