English and maths

Joan AshleyJoan Ashley has worked for 27 years in education. With a B.Sc(Hons) degree in Chemistry and a PGCE (Secondary) in Science she began her career teaching science and mathematics for three years in a secondary school. After a career break during which she became a school governor and, later, the Chair of Governors, she returned to teaching in an FE College and spent 15 years teaching mathematics, science and ICT to a wide range of learners. Her final post was that of Advanced Practitioner. She has been a tutor on the OU secondary PGCE Mathematics course since 2002. For the last nine years she has worked as a freelance consultant and trainer on a wide variety of projects. She is an accredited NCETM Professional Development Lead. Most recently this has involved contributing to the writing of and running the FE Mathematics Enhancement Programme and running events for the ETF Pipeline programme. She is currently running two cohorts of the ETF Core maths training programme. While the teaching and learning of mathematics in a variety of contexts has become her specialism, Joan has also worked on projects involving science, engineering, healthcare, design and technology and coaching.

Claire CallowClaire Callow is a qualified teacher with a broad experience in teacher training and consultancy. She was formally the Head of an English Faculty in a large Essex Comprehensive. Following this, she has been involved in the development and delivery of training and development programmes for teachers, teacher trainers and support staff across the lifelong learning sector.  Claire also delivers CPD training on: embedding literacy within post-compulsory education learning programmes; Functional skills English; GCSE English; behaviour management; building resilience in learners and coaching and mentoring.  She has also been involved in a number of national evaluations and research such as: the DfE Evaluation of GCSEs and A Levels; the DfE Linked pair of GCSEs in mathematics evaluation project and the BIS commissioned randomised control trial into teaching methods used in adult education.

Trish KreftTrish Kreft has been teaching for over 35 years in a variety of settings including schools, FE, ACL and university. She holds a B.Ed (hons) and a B.Sc in mathematics, as well as additional qualifications in education and training. Prior to setting up her own training company nine years ago, Trish worked as a senior manager in an adult education service, with responsibility for training and quality assurance.  She now works as a freelance consultant, specialising in maths teacher education, as well as delivering teacher education and advice and guidance qualifications to clients in a range of settings. She is also a qualified external verifier.  She is an accredited national Maths Professional Development Lead for the FE GCSE Maths Enhancement Programme and for the level 3 programme through NCETM.

Bob 2Bob Read has over twenty five years’ experience of English and maths support in schools, in FE and ACL settings as well as in the workplace. He joined ACER in 2004 as a founder member of the regional Skills for Life teacher training team which supported providers across the region in offering subject specialist qualifications in Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL. Since then he has specialised in embedded approaches to English and maths and in the use of digital technology, continuing to work alongside teachers and assessors in exploring different models of support both in the classroom and through blended learning. He has extensive experience of working within a range of vocational sectors such as beauty therapy, catering, construction, hairdressing and engineering. In recent years he has been involved in a series of regional, national and international projects that have explored embedded support for staff in the Health and Social Care sector.

Since 2014 Bob has been the ETF Specialist Lead for English for the eastern region, overseeing the first phase of the ETF English Enhancement programme and running a series of regional Teaching and Learning Network events for English specialists. Bob is also an Advanced Teaching and Learning Coach.


Rob bw - Oct 15Rob Shaw
has worked for over 20 years in the FE and Skills sector.  He has a BSc (Hons) degree in Mathematics & Statistics and a PGCE (Secondary) in Mathematics.  Rob spent 12 years teaching in a General FE College specialising in Mathematics, Numeracy and Information Technology; latterly as an Advanced Practitioner.   For the last ten years, he has worked for ACER, initially as a regional Training and Development Adviser sharing his maths experience and expertise and for the last five years, as their Professional Development Services Manager.  Rob is also a qualified Prince2 project manager who has successfully managed a range of projects and programmes in the region, including the LSIS Functional Skills Support Programme and the Support for English, Maths and ESOL Programme as well as other projects funded by LSIS, NAS and the ETF.  He is currently the East of England FE Maths Lead working in partnership with the ETF, regional CETTs and the NCETM developing and delivering maths programmes.  He is an accredited national Maths Professional Development Lead for the FE GCSE Maths Enhancement Programme.


Julia SmithJulia Smith
has a wealth of experience in both the FE and Secondary sector, being a former Head of Maths in a Secondary School,former Curriculum Manager at Colchester Institute, maths teacher in a Pupil Referral Unit and Local Authority Advisor. She now currently works in a variety of roles; as Teacher Trainer for Suffolk and Norfolk Initial Teacher Training; Maths Author for Cambridge University Press, BBC GCSE Bitesize as well as writing for various publications such as the NCETM Secondary/FE magazine and Teach Secondary. She regularly sits on and presents at national panels and conferences.  Her role with ACER focuses upon excellence in teaching GCSE maths resits having project managed the programme makingthegraded2c.wordpress.com. Her role entails the delivery of specialist GCSE maths and Functional maths training to colleges throughout the Eastern Region. As Head of Governors at Writtle College another aspect of Julia’s role is to provide support for SLT and Governing Bodies with the CETT and ETF through ACER.

Julia is also a rabid educational tweeter @tessmaths