Ian Raikes – CEO Southport Learning Trust

I am proud to be the CEO of Southport Learning Trust since its formation in July 2017 and passionate about improving the life chances of all students in our area. I was the Headteacher of Greenbank High School until August 2021, a high performing secondary school in Southport and approved DFE sponsor since 2017. I am a Geography teacher and have a real interest in sustainability and climate change.

I want students to dream and aspire high and I am Chair of the Liverpool City Region Careers Hub and sit on the national Education Leaders Advisory Group which strategically supports the Department for Education Careers Strategy. Passionate about developing gold standard leaders, I have been a lead deliverer of NPQSL (National Professional Qualification for Senior Leaders) and NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headteachers) over the past decade. I achieved NPQH and NPQEL (National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership) in 2020 as a member of the first cohort nationally.

As chair of the Southport Learning Partnership in 2021-22 consisting of all the primary and secondary schools in Southport we have been developing projects related to reading, mental health and wellbeing and equality over the past year. I am a member of Sefton Safeguarding Children Partnership Forum representing local Headteachers and secondary schools on the strategic development of safeguarding and sit on the Digital Skills Board for Sefton to support children in having the necessary skills to progress into the workplace.

As a member of the Governing Body of Sefton SKY Music Hub partnership I support the strategic development of music education in the locality and believe the Arts should be at the heart of the curriculum of all great schools.

I spend any spare time with my wife and four children, three of whom are now in university studying Medicine, Environmental Geography and a Masters in Broadcast Journalism around the country. I have coached junior football for over 25 years and am a passionate Welshman and avid supporter of Cardiff City Football Club, Glamorgan and England cricket and Welsh rugby.

Ruth Braithwaite –  Bedford Primary School

I consider it a great privilege to lead the dedicated team of staff here at Bedford Primary School, a role I have undertaken since I was appointed Headteacher in September 2008.  By this time, I had already held the position of Deputy Headteacher for five years so I knew that Bedford was a truly special place.

With the skills gained from my experience teaching in another local Sefton primary school, and those gained when working for the School Improvement Team within Knowsley Education Authority, I was ready to make a difference. I was also fully aware of the important role that schools have to play within the communities they serve.

At the heart of our school community is warmth, care, inclusivity and a genuine commitment to each and every child reaching their true and full potential. These values underpin our work and we pride ourselves on our ability to nurture our children to feel safe, cherished and valued as members of ‘Team Bedford’.

I am equally passionate about working closely with the families of our children to ensure that they all have the opportunity to flourish and excel whilst receiving the education they deserve.  Our job is to identify each child’s strengths, foster their ambitions and provide them with keys to open doors that lead to opportunity and the futures they deserve.  Having worked in education for over 20 years, I know from experience that the best way to achieve this is by establishing  strong home-school partnerships.

Bootle has and always will have a special place in my heart – I was born here and have many happy childhood memories of living in the neighbourhood local to school.  I am now in the fortunate position to be able to give something back to the community that Bedford serves.

At the end of each school day, my most important job begins. I am the proud mum of three young children (twins included).  They certainly are my greatest achievement, they keep me busy and make life one big adventure.  When I have a few moments to myself, I also love the arts, football, rugby and running.

Gareth Banks – Birkdale High School

I am immensely proud to be the Headteacher of Birkdale High School. Since joining the school in 2020, I have resolutely invested my time, energy and devotion into ensuring that the school, its pupils and the school community achieve the best possible outcomes and a reputation for educational excellence. I believe in ensuring that all pupils, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, social background or academic ability, receive the highest quality teaching and the best learning opportunities. Birkdale High School is a joy to work in, fundamentally because of the boys. I hope to continue the school’s legacy of providing a warm and caring environment whilst promoting the highest expectations of our pupils.

Single sex education for boys, particularly at this stage of education, is something that I strongly believe is hugely beneficial to our pupils, as it is the ideal environment for them to grow in confidence, close the attainment gap with girls and develop their love of learning. Birkdale High School really is a place where every boy can belong, be themselves and to have the confidence to develop into who they want to be.

I began my career as a music teacher, a passion that I still hold dear. I quickly moved on to leading Creative Arts across several schools and later worked as an Assistant Headteacher in 2 local schools leading on Teaching and Learning, Outcomes and Assessment. I achieved NPQH in 2020 and moved to Birkdale High School as Deputy Headteacher.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 2 daughters. Together, we love making and performing music, camping and fell walking in the Lake District

Davina Aspinall – Greenbank High School

It was a real honour and privilege to be appointed as Headteacher of Greenbank High School in January 2024, following several years of headship of a large successful 11-18 school.

Over the last 28 years I have enjoyed a number of strategic leadership roles, covering a wide range of educational areas in several secondary schools in Liverpool and Sefton. My teaching specialisms are economics, business studies, computer science and ICT.

Greenbank High School has over many years has consistently maintained a strong reputation of excellence. We are resolutely determined to inspire our students through learning both inside and outside the classroom, care for individual pastoral needs and achieve the highest academic standards.

The hard work and commitment of all staff ensure that children receive a world class education. Providing an aspirational high-quality curriculum, excellent standards of behaviour and a positive learning environment. We aim to develop and nurture all students to take their place as caring and confident young people in the outside world. Bringing the curriculum to life is a key part of our approach, staff go above and beyond with all the opportunities they offer the students. Greenbank is such a special environment, focussed on making sure every child can reach their potential through high expectations, excellent subject knowledge and a ‘can do’ approach to everything.

I am currently a member of the Southport Learning Partnership School Improvement Group consisting of all the primary and secondary schools in Southport, supporting a variety of cross-phase projects literacy development, careers education and equality diversity and inclusion. I represent Sefton Secondary Headteachers on the Sefton Safeguarding and Child Protection Governance Board and Sefton’s 14-19 Steering Group. I am also a governor for Shoreside Primary School.

I am an advocate of lifelong learning and currently undertaking the National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling to new places together.

Christina Greaves – Kew Woods Primary School

I have been the Headteacher of Kew Woods Primary School since September 2012. Kew Woods Primary school is a two-form entry school in Southport. 20% of pupils are pupil premium, 23% are free school meals, 26% have special educational needs, 4% have an Educational Health Care Plan and 10% of pupils have EAL. Kew Woods was rated a Good school by Ofsted in March 2023 and November 2017 and chose to academise and become part of The Southport Learning Trust on 1st April 2019.

Kew Woods has been awarded the Early Years Quality Mark, ArtsMark Silver, Sports Mark Platinum, National Children’s Bureau Well-being for school’s Award, Anti-Bullying Alliance Gold School Award and is an Apple Regional Training Centre for Technology. Recently, the school was awarded the Optimus SEND Inclusion Award and achieved the Primary Science Quality Mark in September 2021.

Prior to headship I was an Assistant Headteacher of a one-form entry primary school with a nursery class, 6 Local Authority additional resource inclusion bases and a Children’s Centre in Bootle, Merseyside. I was responsible for standards and progress in English and mathematics across the school including the six additional resource inclusion bases for pupils with ASD, speech and language, emotional behaviour difficulties and moderate learning difficulties. Through this experience I have particular strengths in the inclusion of pupils with special educational needs and a strong curriculum knowledge from early years to the end of key stage 2 in the teaching of English and mathematics. I lead the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, SENDCO, Trust group to support SENDCOs in collaborating effectively across the Trust.

I sit on the In Year Fair Access Panel for Sefton and have been part of the interviewing process for PGCE and QTS students at Edge Hill University. I also sit on Sefton EHCP Panel and am a member of the board of Trustees for the Children’s University.

Matt Kay – Maghull High School

I am proud to be the Headteacher of Maghull High School. This is the school I joined in 1999 as a newly qualified Physical Education teacher and I have dedicated my entire career to working with the students and families of this very special 11- 18 school.

My experiences over the years as a Year Head, Head of Sixth Form, Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher have allowed me to work across the age ranges and influence all areas of school life. The foundations of my passion for the school are rooted in the classroom, on the sports field and the countless extracurricular activities I have been fortunate to experience at the school.

My knowledge of our school and the community we serve is paramount to building upon success and providing opportunities beyond the classroom that can ignite imagination and embrace potential. I firmly believe in ensuring that all students receive high quality teaching and first-class pastoral care.

We will continue to strive to provide a learning and development environment for young people by offering outstanding and inspirational education that changes lives as we aim to develop individuals that have a positive impact on society.

Professionally I have a wide range of experience across all aspects of the school. I have held numerous strategic responsibilities that have all centred around supporting students to meet the highest standards of achievement both personally and academically. I completed my NPQH qualification in 2019 and continually embrace all avenues to develop myself so that I can have a positive impact on students of Maghull High School.

I hope to continue the school’s legacy of providing a warm and caring environment whilst promoting the highest expectations of our pupils.

Martin Davis – Meols Cop High School

I feel very lucky to call myself the Headteacher of Meols Cop High School. My career started in 2011 as a newly qualified History teacher at Meols Cop and I have held a variety of positions since then including Head of Year, Assistant SENDCo, Acting Head of History and Assistant Headteacher responsible for curriculum development. My time at Meols Cop has allowed me to better understand the local community within which we serve and the unique opportunities we now have as part of Southport Learning Trust to support in shaping the future of the town.

Our school is unapologetically ambitious for all students. We are deeply committed to providing the very best of teaching and learning, high expectations, enrichment opportunities, personal development and careers education. I am passionate about ensuring equity for all students and I recognise that we have a societal duty to uphold these values and live them  every day. Our school vision is to ensure that we “Broker Aspirations” for students, providing them with tangible opportunities to shape their own destiny. We are a research informed school and pride ourselves on a transparent and reflective culture that celebrates the amazing things we do every day.

Personally I am very passionate about history and still love teaching the subject as much as I did 13 years ago. I enjoy travelling around the United Kingdom as well as further afield with my wife and chocolate Labrador who is rarely not by my side. I like to visit the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District regularly as well as playing rugby and football whenever possible.

Jenna Shawe-  Stanley High School

I am delighted to have been a part of Stanley High School Leadership since joining as Lead Practitioner of Mathematics in 2011. During my career at Stanley High School I have taken leadership responsibility for curriculum, assessment and teaching and learning. I became Deputy Headteacher in 2019 and took this as an amazing opportunity to learn all I can about leading a school in readiness to be Headteacher. In 2019 I completed my NPQH qualification. I was appointed Headteacher of Stanley High school in September 2022, a role which I am incredibly excited for.

I am invested in the students, staff, families, community and the future of our local area. Having grown up in Southport myself I have a great understanding of the community we live in and the strength of our youth to make a positive difference, not only in the local area but in each other’s lives. 

I have high standards and expectations of all around me and I am delighted to be able to continue to raise the aspirations of the students we serve. I have a strong sense of family and community I want to continue to celebrate the achievements and commitments of our students – I believe they truly are amazing. 

Raising teenagers is no mean feat, when schools and families work well together through good times and bad, we have the ability to raise well rounded and successful young people ready to take on the challenges and excitement the world has to offer.

Prior to being at Stanley High School I achieved a first class bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education, I enjoyed teaching mathematics in a Lancashire Secondary school before moving to a lead a mathematics department in Blackpool at a national challenge school.  

 I have spent a number of summers working in orphanages across India and recruiting volunteers to do the same, taking the opportunity to learn about education systems across the globe allows us to create the best systems and practices at home.

Beyond school I have my hands full with two awesome young children who love family days out, crafting and adventure.