Meet the Team

Paul Haigh - Project Lead 
Headteacher at King Ecgbert School, editorial consultant and podcaster for SecEd                  

Specialist Theme: School & College Improvement Plans
                               School & College Resource Management

Background and Success Stories
Paul Haigh is Headteacher of King Ecgbert School, Sheffield, a large and successful system leading 11-18 comprehensive school in Sheffield. Before taking up the post in 2016 he was the founder of the Hallam Teaching School alliance building up the system leading role of Notre Dame High School to launch the Sheffield SCITT, the 2nd largest provider of ITT in the region, also the South Yorkshire Maths Hub and Science Learning Partnership. He is an experienced science teacher and CPD facilitator having lead training on the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership and delivered multiple CPD programmes from ITT up to leadership.

Paul has been on the EdTech scene for 25 years, long before it was called EdTech. From the days of Specialist Technology Colleges, City Learning Centres, leading to several national awards and working with Becta on various national projects, he has been an influential and innovative practitioner. He has written two books on the subject, numerous articles and has been a regular fixture on the conference and CPD circuit over the years- these days more likely to be running a webinar or appearing on a Podcast.

John Coats - Project Lead
Director of Hallam Teaching School and Director of School Improvement at Notre Dame High School

Specialist Theme: School Improvement/implementation

Background and Success Stories
John was part of the phase 1 Ed Tech programme, supporting schools across the region and responding to the immediate challenges around remote education as a result of the pandemic. He is part of the Sheffield Associate Research School team, supporting schools implement evidence informed approaches to school improvement. Director of the Sheffield SCITT, and senior lead for the South Yorkshire Maths and Science Hubs. John is a Maths teacher of 18 years and a member of senior leadership, holding a variety of roles from curriculum to safeguarding for the past 13 years.

This second phase of the Ed Tech programme is a great opportunity to work in collaboration with other professionals to improve student outcomes by using Ed Tech to enhance what we are currently doing. John believes that it’s really important that we don’t lose what we’ve learned during lockdown, but also that we apply that learning intelligently to areas of school improvement that we have already identified within each of our contexts. Technology is there to serve, not be the master.

Alastair Gittner - Research Lead
Research Lead, Hallam TSA and Notre Dame High School

Specialist Theme:
Research informed policy and implementation

Background and Success Stories 
Alastair has been a Secondary Science teacher for 28 years, with a career spanning from Head of Department to Deputy Headteacher. Alastair is currently the Project Development lead for the SMART spaces Research Project and is leading the work of the Sheffield Associate Research School.

For the whole of his 28 year career Alastair has been a user of EdTech to assist with teaching and learning.  As part of previous roles he has lead the use and management of EdTech within schools but also helped to direct policy both locally and nationally.

In his current role Alastair's interest is ensuring that teachers make research informed decisions regarding the implementation and use of Edtech and he can draw on the wealth of experience from across the Research School network to assist with this. 

He can bring a wealth of practical experience to ensure that EdTech has the most impact for children and teachers in the classroom.

Catherine Elliott - EdTech Specialist 
eLearning Consultant, Sheffield eLearning Service

Specialist Theme: Technology in the Classroom

Background and Success Stories
Catherine has spent the last 15 years working with schools to use education technology effectively to improve teaching and learning. She has worked with schools to implement technology in a large number of ways, including to support specific curriculum areas such as modern languages, improve mental maths, support students with special educational needs to improve writing and homework, enable student voice through film-making, and implement the computing curriculum. During the past year she has supported primary schools in the city to improve their remote learning, including giving advice on learning platforms, reducing workload and supporting learners with special educational needs and disabilities.

Catherine worked for a number of years as a teacher of modern languages and has always been interested in how education technology can be utilised effectively to enhance teaching and learning. She currently works as an education consultant for the Sheffield eLearning Service, previously the City Learning Centres, providing training and advice for schools on the computing curriculum and wider use of technology. She is recognised nationally as an expert in computing and special educational needs and disabilities, and is passionate about making access to learning more inclusive.

Steven Moran - EdTech Specialist
Director of Early Career Development and Remote Education at Minerva Learning Trust

Specialist Theme: School and College Improvement Plans

Background and Success Stories
Steven has been a lead practitioner during a decade of change in a school moving from inadequate to outstanding. He has taken a leading role for remote education across both school and Trust level. Steven is currently leading early career development at a school which successfully hosts some of the highest numbers of trainee teachers across Sheffield.

Steven has over 14 years’ experience working in education across Sheffield and North Derbyshire. During this time, he has taken a leading role in evidenced informed T&L and remote education. Steven is a strong believer in the power of technology to break down barriers to learning and reducing staff workload.

Steven is a Microsoft Innovative Educator as well as successfully completing his NPQML and NPQSL. His key area of strength and expertise include evidence-based practice, Microsoft Office 365, career development and strategic planning and evaluation.

Charlie Shelton - EdTech Specialist 
SLT and Y3 teacher at St Joseph’s Primary School Dinnington

Specialist Theme: Technology in the Classroom

Background and Success Stories
Charlie is a member of SLT at St Joseph’s Dinnington and helped support his school from special measures to expecting good in their upcoming OFSTED this term. He is the remote education lead which OFSTED rated good in a section 8 monitoring visit.  

Charlie is using their successful remote education to ensure it enhances their curriculum offer and is passionate about using technology to enhance classroom practice to develop children's learning. Alongside his remote education role, Charlie leads on the wider curriculum and is subject lead for History, Geography and PE. 


Helen Vardy - EdTech Specialist 
DT Subject Lead, King Ecgbert School

Specialist Theme: Teacher Workload 

Background and Success Stories
Helen has used One Drive and Teams to enable her department to work collaboratively and significantly reduce the number of files being emailed backwards and forwards.  They have a cloud-based resource enabling staff to work on the same document at work and at home and use links to share documents. They have also used the assignments tool in teams with rubrics to collect, assess and provide feedback to students on both homework and classwork.  This method of working collates grades and avoids duplication of work. Helen has worked with both primary and secondary schools across Sheffield in her role as an SLE primarily in DT sharing her knowledge and experience of “D and 3D CAD, 3D printing and programming.

Helen has been a teacher for 21 years, DT is her specialism but she has also taught Maths, led on careers and vocational education.  Helen has always kept up to date with developments in technology and is constantly developing her practice and leadership to ensure that the work done as a team has purpose and is manageable.  Lockdown has provided many new opportunities and an enormous amount of collaboration and sharing.  Helen loves new challenges and is looking forward to working on solutions with schools. 

Jo Robinson - EdTech Specialist 
SLT St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School

Specialist Theme: School and College Improvement Plans

Background and Success Stories
Jo has been a teacher for 5 years, leading across Mathematics and Computing. He is a member of the Senior Leadership team and has been involved in making strategic decisions over the last 3 years. He ensures that he keeps up to date with developments in technology to give the pupils every chance of success. The school closures have caused many issues but they have also opened many doors, Jo is really excited to work with schools in the future and explore these open doors.

Jo has recently written his schools Computing Curriculum, putting the children at the centre of everything that they do. Creating a Curriculum rationale, progression of knowledge and knowledge organisers has been a huge success in improving teaching and learning in this subject area. Jo is also currently part of a team from three schools, who are working together to ensure that everything they have learnt from school closures is not forgotten about as we (hopefully) return to normality.  They are researching how they can utilise the lessons that they have learnt in remote learning and use them to enhance their teaching.

As part of Jo's role as Mathematics lead, Mathematics Mastery asked him to support a school to successfully implement their programme of study. Drawing on his expertise, experiences as a school and their position as a Northern hub, they worked together to give the school a strong foundation to build upon. Jo has been a SLE for Mathematics for 2 years and has worked with a number of schools to improve Mathematics teaching in their setting.