Meet the team

Staff Members
Caroline Whitty
NTA Executive Director

I am delighted to be working with the rest of the team as we continue to grow the ECT accreditation service that we offer. Working closely with my colleague Martin Shevill, my responsibilities include overall scheme management and development, finance, admin, marketing, communication, external liaison, board and constitutional business and NTA Team management.

My background is HR in business, having worked most of my life in the food industry. I have spent the last 13 years working in education particularly in the Academies sector, initially working for one of the early academy sponsors and then fulfilling the role of Executive Director for the IAA (Independent Academies Association).

Viv Merkelt
NTA Senior Administrator

I am pleased to be using my wealth of experience in administration to support ECT induction and accreditation in the role of NTA Senior Administrator. I have worked for over 30 years in a variety of areas including finance, communications, events management, HR, health & safety and governance for a number of charities in London and Derby and also for the former Funding Agency for Schools in York.

Quality Assurance Officers
Martin Shevill
Senior Education Adviser

I started my career in Sheffield as a teacher of geography and became head of department in two schools. I was involved in two major national curriculum development projects and also wrote the Key Stage 3 geography series ‘Geography 2000’.  After a brief spell as a Lecturer in Education at Sheffield University I moved on to deputy headship in Kirklees followed by my first headship of King James’s School in Huddersfield. I later moved on to be Principal of Ossett Academy in Wakefield. During this time, I acted as a National Leader in Education.  I stepped down from my position of CEO of Consilium Academies in August 2019.

I have been a trustee of the Geographical Association, am a former member of the CST Board and was formerly on the Head Teacher Board for Lancashire and West Yorkshire.  I am the Senior Education Adviser of NTA, overseeing the work of our QA Officers and am a Fellow of the Chartered College for Teaching (FCCT).

Brad Allan
Quality Assurance Officer

I have considerable experience in the education sector as a Business teacher, Head of Department and Senior Leader. A proven record of supporting, coaching, mentoring and training staff and students to achieve their goals. I was an ECT Induction Coordinator for nine years, guiding over ninety newly qualified teachers through Induction.

I am currently involved in many aspects of Initial Teacher Training, Continuous Professional Development and Leadership and Succession Planning.

Tony Dowling
Quality Assurance Officer

I began in education as a teacher of History and Politics. Subsequently I have served as a Head of Department and a Senior Leader within three schools and three sixth form colleges across the country. I was also a 14-19 consultant for Surrey and parts of the South East managing borough wide curriculum reviews and developing vocational programmes and I was an associate lecturer with the Open University.

Latterly I served as a Vice Principal with responsibility for ECTs, ITT placements and liaison with teacher training providers. I currently have my own educational consultancy. I am a lead assessment writer and am an assessor of A level history with AQA.

Lorraine Beasley
Quality Assurance Officer

I have over forty years of experience in education.  I started my career as a teacher of Humanities and then as an English specialist.  My roles have included Head of Department, Head of Year, Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and Acting Headteacher.  As Deputy, my responsibilities included Behaviour, Attendance and Child Protection.  I have worked with the Local Safeguarding Children Board and delivered training to my peers, to parents, to Governors and to professionals from other agencies.  I have always been interested and involved in the Initial Teacher Training Programme.  I was part of the training programme at Bath Spa University, lecturing on Child Protection and Behaviour.  I currently act as a Safeguarding Adviser.  I have a wealth of experience to draw upon to help support ECTs and their schools.

Jacqueline Glancey
Quality Assurance Officer

I have over twenty years of experience in the education sector. I began my career as a teacher of English in Teesside. I continue to teach part-time and am the ECT coordinator for Macmillan Academy. I have been involved in delivering training to a wide range of audiences from ITTs to Heads of Departments, both within my school and across the borough. I also have a role in delivering training for AQA and creating resources for A level teaching.

Jonathan Stewart
Quality Assurance Officer

I started my career as a teacher of English & Drama and served as Head of Department and then on to Senior Leadership positions in schools and a sixth form college. I was also a Senior Consultant for 14-19 Education in Surrey and then Director of a sixth form and international faculty in a large FE college. I have also developed short courses and summer schools for international schools and their students.  I am currently a freelance education consultant.

Pippa Dodgshon
Quality Assurance Officer

Educated: York, Lancaster University and London King’s College.

Starting my career in science research before entering the teaching profession, I have over 15 years’ Secondary Headship experience in West and South Yorkshire, retiring in 2019 and now working as an educational consultant. As a Head I contibuted to the delivery of NPQH for Learners First and SHU professional learning days for trainee teachers. I am a Trustee for a Doncaster based MAT, in which capacity I have extended my expertise in Primary curriculum and delivery.

Panel Members
Sarah Evans OBE
Panel Chair

Sarah has a background in the independent sector having been head of two schools, one 3-18 day and boarding and one 11-18 all girls.  She chaired IStip, the independent schools equivalent of NTA, for a number of years and continues to be involved in professional development for teachers at all levels, working with senior leadership teams as well as coaching individuals.

Sarah does recruitment work supporting governors in searches for new school leaders.  Sarah was awarded an OBE for her services to education in 2014

Neil Enright
Headmaster of Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet

Neil is the Headmaster of Queen Elizabeth’s School in Barnet, which has consistently been named in the national press in recent years as the country’s top state school for A-level results. He was appointed the 40th Headmaster of this selective boys’ school in September 2011.

He is Chairman of Governors at Northgate School, a Pupil Referral Unit for young people with severe mental health conditions, and his other current voluntary roles include being a governor of Longfield Primary School in Harrow, St Albans’ High School for Girls and of The John Lyon School, Harrow.

David Cotton

David is a mixed phase Executive Principal and National Leader of Education in the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership multi academy trust.  He has significant experience in effective school to school support and collaborative working practices across the region.  David’s transformational leadership has supported the rapid improvement journey of the many schools he has worked with.

He currently leads an outstanding academy and large teaching school alliance within DALP.  David is passionate about developing innovative practices to support the provision of high quality teaching and learning experiences for all pupils.

John Prior

John is the CEO for Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust (OHC&AT). OHC&AT is a fifteen-provision specialist MAT and College for pupils and students with a range of complex special needs and mental health challenges ranging from pre-school to 25.

John has previously been the Headteacher of an outstanding special school, and went on to lead an inadequate special school to a ‘good’ judgement in less than seven terms post-conversion. He has previously been a team member on mainstream Ofsted inspections, is a Local Authority school governor and is a member of the Young People’s Education and Skills Board.

Emma Sikora

Emma is the Director of Early Career Development at Outwood Institute of Education, working with Outwood Grange Academies Trust. Currently, she supports over 200 Early Career Teachers & trainee teachers and their Mentors & Coordinators.


Working in partnership with Durham University, Leeds Beckett University, Sheffield Hallam University, Teesside University and the University of York, Emma recruits over 100 trainees each academic year for the North of England. Emma originally trained as a primary school teacher, specialising in Key Stage 2 and mentoring.

Claire Garbutt

Claire has worked in Education for over 20 years and has held positions in schools as Early Years lead, SENDCo, and various senior leadership roles including Executive headteacher. During her career Claire has mentored and supported staff at various levels in their development from ITT to senior leaders and is actively engaged in facilitation of the NPQ for leading teacher development.

Claire has worked effectively alongside numerous HEI’s for many years, concentrating on initial teacher training and mentoring. Claire has been instrumental in devising structures and systems within Learners First Schools Partnership to support and enhance the training experience of early career professionals, and, in her current role with them as Early Career Strategic lead, is integral in supporting the ongoing development of teachers in the formative years of their career.

Board Members
Jane Aukett

Jane has been a governor at Tollbar Academy, a large secondary school of 2,100+ students, for 20 years with 18 years as Vice-Chair. Tollbar, rated as outstanding by Ofsted, became an academy in September 2010 and is an accredited school provider. During Jane’s tenure of office she has developed a broad spectrum of experience being chair of the personnel and pupil exclusion committees, sitting on finance, target setting and having input into curriculum development committees. Her remit also encompasses governor training, SEN/LDD, Looked After Children and Child Protection issues.

In 2010 Jane became a director of Tollbar Edge, a charitable trust set up to support low achieving schools and is co-lead sponsor for Cleethorpes Academy [a previously failing school], where she is also Vice-chair of the governing body. In March 2012, in conjunction with two fellow governors, she became a founding member of Tollbar Family of Academies, a Multi Academy Trust.

Jane has served as a member of the CST Board for over 8 years. She joined the NTA Board in July 2017 and was appointed as Chair in April 2018.

Roy Blackwell

Roy started his working life as a teacher, after which he became Education Officer for a Local Authority before spending ten years in the civil service which led to him travelling around Europe negotiating bi-lateral and multi-lateral treaties for HM Government.

Between 1999 and 2019, Roy was Clerk to the United Westminster Schools/Grey Coat Hospital Foundation, an ancient (1594) charity which has strong links with Westminster Abbey. He is also Clerk to the governing bodies of the schools which make up the Foundation, an unusual mixture of independent and state schools, the latter being inner city academies.

He is currently Chair of VOCES8 Foundation, a charity dedicated to music education; is Upper Warden of the Worshipful Company of Educators and is Chair of its Education Committee; is immediate Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Educators; is a Director of the City Of London’s Academy Trust; Vice Chair of the City Of London Academy Trust; Chair of Governors of Highgate Hill Academy. He was also an inaugural member of the City of London’s Education Board; chaired the Independent Schools Pension Scheme and was a member of the Teachers Pension Scheme Board; he also represented CST on the Independent and State School Partnership group.

More recently, he joined the board of BrainCanDo, which is looking at the development of children’s brains and how neurological research can influence teaching and learning. Between January 2020 and May 2022, he was interim CEO of Challenger MAT. In September 2022, he joined the governing body of Chelsea Academy.

Steve Snelson

Steve is the headteacher of Red Hill Field Primary School – a larger than average sized primary academy.  He was highly celebrated in the school’s recent OFSTED inspection for his impact in leading the school from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ in a short time.  Prior to this, Steve led Farndon Fields Primary School, a Primary Academy in Market Harborough.

His experience in primary education is diverse and includes working with a large multi academy trust in the early stages of setting up a free school.  He is a valued member of the Department for Education’s Primary Headteacher Reference Group, which is made up of leading headteachers from a wide range of schools across England who bring their knowledge and ideas from the frontline of education to assist in the development of strategic policy and direction.

Pam Wright OBE

Pamela is a member of the Wade Deacon Trust Board in North West England. She has extensive experience in senior leadership, including headship in both secondary and primary education. Until 2014 she was Executive Principal of Wade Deacon High School leading it to its current Ofsted judgement of outstanding. The school was the Times Educational Supplement Outstanding Secondary School of the Year in 2012.

As its first CEO Pamela was instrumental in setting up Wade Deacon Trust. The Trust has three secondary schools, a four primary schools and an all-through 3 -16 age-range school, with more schools interested in joining the Trust.

In 2008 Pamela was appointed a National Leader of Education and has worked to bring about the rapid improvement of schools in special measures. She has led both primary and secondary schools out of Ofsted categories.