Meet the team

Helen Bellinger, Director of Doncaster Research School

Helen is an experienced former Headteacher, Executive Headteacher and System Leader with over 20 years’ experience of working with schools across Doncaster and South Yorkshire. In addition, Helen has worked as a Local Authority Senior Standards and Effectiveness Officer and has been involved in the design and delivery of a number of leadership programmes, both regionally and nationally. She is also the Director of School Improvement for Partners in Learning TSA and works closely with the LA, leading the Standards and Effectiveness Partner (StEP) programme and co-ordinating school to school support.

In 2015/16 Helen designed and led a highly successful EEF funded programme, ‘Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants’, for over 60 schools, and since then has continued to support schools in embedding evidence-based practice.

“It is my privilege to be leading the first Research School in South Yorkshire and to have the opportunity to work with colleagues from the national Research School Network and EEF. Our aim is to work with teachers and leaders to support them in understanding the importance of research in education and making evidence informed decisions.” - Helen Bellinger

Lucie Pond, Assistant Director of Doncaster Research School

Lucie is the Director of the Partners in Learning Secondary Teaching School Alliance and an experienced Deputy Headteacher at Hungerhill Secondary School in Doncaster. Her previous roles have included Advanced Skills Teacher and Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning and she currently leads the designation and deployment of a large team of system leaders. Lucie has been heavily involved in working across a number of local secondary and primary schools, in developing aspects of teaching and learning and system leadership. Lucie regularly conducts Pupil Premium Reviews which has allowed her to promote the use and benefits of using evidenced-based strategies.

‘It is my firm belief that evidenced-based practice should drive school improvement and that as a school leader I play a critical role in using research to develop my practice and inform my decisions. I am really excited to be part of the Research School team and I look forward to using this as a platform to improve outcomes for all children in Doncaster and beyond.’ – Lucie Pond

Sara Harle, Director of Business & Operations

Sara is also the Director of Business and Operations for Partners in Learning Teaching School Alliance and is responsible for the daily management of the work of the Teaching School. Within Doncaster Research School, Sara works at a strategic level making a direct contribution to the effectiveness, sustainability and success of the Research School. Sara has over ten years’ experience in education management and leads a highly effective support team. She has experience of leading large scale projects and is excited about the opportunities and challenges on offer through the Research School.

Julie Jenkinson, Primary Strategic Lead

Julie is an experienced primary Headteacher with over 20 years’ experience of working in schools across Doncaster. She has been Headteacher at Bawtry Mayflower Primary School since September 2007.

Julie has always been committed to school improvement through quality professional development for staff. Julie has a keen interest in the value of educational research and acts as an advocate for the Chartered College of Teaching. Staff at Bawtry Mayflower have been supported to take part in small scale action research projects and RCT trials for a number of years. More recently they have begun to engage in Disciplined Inquiry with some staff taking part in EEF trials.

“I am thoroughly enjoying my work with the Research School. I feel privileged to be able to work with, and learn from, teachers and leaders across the Research Schools Network and the EEF. I hope that through my work with Doncaster Research School, I can work with teachers and leaders to support them in using research evidence to support the drive to improve outcomes for all children across the Research School network.”- Julie Jenkinson

Vicci Marshall, Secondary Strategic Lead

Vicci is a secondary mathematics teacher and Director of Research and Development at Hungerhill School. She is also an SLE. Through these roles, Vicci works closely with staff members and leaders in a variety of schools. She is also a Secondary Teaching for Mastery specialist, participating in national programmes run by the NCETM and delivering CPD sessions to colleagues across the region.

"My passion is working with others, through both supportive and collaborative work, with the overall aim of improving teaching and learning across Doncaster. I feel honoured to be a part of the Research School, to continue this work through evidence based research to ensure all students receive an excellent education." - Vicci Williamson

Katie Reddy, Business Support Officer

Katie joined Partners in Learning at the beginning of 2017 and from September 2017 was appointed as the Administrator for Doncaster Research School. Having helped develop the communication strand and marketing for both PiL and the Research School, Katie’s role quickly changed to ‘Business Support Officer’ across both schools.

Katie brings extensive qualifications and experience of working in administrative settings to her position.

“I’ve relished the challenge of introducing the administrative background to Doncaster Research School. Being part of the team from the beginning gives me the potential to grow and adapt the ways of working as the role and the Research School progresses.” - Katie Reddy

Claire Dutton, SLR (Specialist Leader in Research)

Claire is a Year 2 teacher at Richmond Hill Primary Academy, part of the Rose Learning Trust. She has a keen interest in practitioner-led action research and is keen to empower other teachers and leaders to find and develop their own evidence-informed solutions. Claire acts as a research lead within both her school and across her Trust, leading collaborative networks and promoting engagement with research at all levels of the organisation.

“I believe that a wide range of research-led CPD opportunities for teachers is the key to creating the best learning experiences for pupils, and I am looking forward to supporting such opportunities with Doncaster Research School. Through my SLR role, I am most looking forward to working collaboratively with teachers and leaders from a wide range of contexts.” - Claire Dutton

Claire Dunn, SLR (Specialist Leader in Research)

Claire is a class teacher and Research Lead at Bawtry Mayflower Primary School. Through this role, she is responsible for delivering CPD based on evidence, designing and carrying out action research and supporting colleagues with using evidence and completing their own action research. Claire has been involved in a number of evidence-informed school improvement projects across school, leading to positive impact on children’s outcomes.

"I firmly believe that evidence-based practice is the key to school improvement. I feel passionate about engaging in evidence and action research and am excited about the future of education. I am excited by the opportunity to work as part of the Doncaster Research School and I look forward to building networks and collaborating with other teachers and school leaders, using evidence to improve outcomes for all children across Doncaster." -Claire Dunn

Jack Wardle, SLR (Specialist Leader in Research)

Jack is currently Class Teacher and Teacher Development Lead at Woodfield Primary School, supporting the development of effective professional development. Across the Rose Learning Trust, he supports school-to-school improvement and holds the responsibility of Research Lead. Working alongside Partners in Learning, Jack is co-organiser of the successful Doncaster TeachMeet. Previously, Jack has worked with universities to develop action research based on the use of coaching and collaborative professional development to replace lesson observations. He has supported the co-ordination of the EEF’s ‘Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants’ project and Digital Feedback at Woodfield Primary School.

“My passion is ensuring that children can achieve more than they ever thought possible. Through my role as SLR and work with the Research School, I hope to collaborate with Doncaster schools to make this a reality for pupils.” - Jack Wardle

Fiona MacCormack, SLR (Specialist Leader in Research)

Fiona MacCormack is Head of School at Branton St Wilfrid’s Primary School. She is an experienced SENCo and Maths Leader with a passion for providing primary school pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum.

“I have seen the positive impact of using research to inform school improvement decisions in my own school. I am really excited about the opportunity to work with colleagues in the Research School Network and the EEF in my role as SLR in order to share this experience with teachers and leaders to help improve outcomes for all pupils in Doncaster.” – Fiona MacCormack