Heatherlands Primary School

Enjoying Learning Together

National Support School

National Support School


Heatherlands Primary School has been designated as a National Support School by the National College of School Leadership.


As a National Support School Heatherlands is in a position to provide expertise and leadership capacity to schools in challenging circumstances.


Our Head of Learning and Achievement, Christian Malone, is a National Leader of Education.


System Leaders


National Leaders of Education (NLEs) are outstanding headteachers or principals who, together with the staff in their schools (designated National Support Schools (NSS), use their skills and experience to support schools facing particular challenges or difficulties. In addition to leading their own schools, NLEs work to increase the leadership capacity of other schools to help raise standards.


Christian Malone


I am the Head of Learning and Achievement for the Coastal Learning Partnership and have worked in education for the last 25 years. I have established two National Support Schools and have a wealth of experience in supporting schools in challenging circumstances. I am able to offer anything from one day school reviews to full time strategic leadership. 




Areas of Specialism

• Developing leaders

• Coaching and mentoring

• Talent spotting

• Strategic leadership

• Financial sustainability

• Developing accountability systems


Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders who have the skills to support individuals or teams in similar positions in other schools. They understand what outstanding leadership practice in their area of expertise looks like and are skilled in helping other leaders to achieve it in their own context.


Julian Churchill


I am the Headteacher at Heatherlands Primary School. I have been teaching since 1996 in schools in South Wales, Bournemouth and Poole and have been the Headteacher since March 2020 having previously held posts in both senior and middle leaderships.


I have had the opportunity to work in very diverse and challenging settings which has strengthened my opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of pedagogy, cognition and how young people behave.


The key focus for my work as a specialist leader for behaviour support has been on developing, monitoring and evaluating rewards and sanctions to support the foundations for effective behaviour management in schools, thus helping to provide systems and strategies to reduce internal, fixed term and permanent exclusions. My work has also centred on developing the conditions for learning where children are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions through choice and personal reflection. This whole school approach has been designed to keep children in classrooms and focused on their learning. An additional key part of my behaviour approach has centred around parental engagement and effective communication in order to form a home school partnership that is open, transparent and ensures home and school have a shared approach to helping children to make good choices which helps enable a positive long term school experience.


Areas of Specialism

• Coaching and mentoring

• Training, support and CPD

• Behaviour, safety and welfare

• Strategic leadership

• Quality assurance


Bea Collis


I am the Assistant Headteacher for assessment, data and the curriculum at Heatherlands Primary School.


I have taught in a range of settings throughout my 28 years of teaching and, during my 16 years at Heatherlands I have developed a curriculum which inspires and engages learners whilst developing key skills and knowledge in a creative way. In collaboration with the core and foundation subject leaders I have been able to produce a primary creative curriculum (with an underpinning ICT focus) which challenges learners and provides them with the resources they will need as lifelong learners. I regularly organise curriculum days to promote specific areas of the curriculum and enable all staff to develop their skills whilst challenging them to try something new with support.


I have produced presentations which I have delivered to local leaders promoting and discussing the creative curriculum and the new National Curriculum and was also involved in the development and delivery of the PTSA New National Curriculum Conference. I went on to be deployed to four schools within the Local Authority, working with staff on the computing curriculum, the use of the outdoor environment and assessment, marking and feedback.


Areas of Specialism

*  Raising standards of teaching and learning

*  Subject leadership

*  Assessment and moderation processes and systems

*  Curriculum design

*  Integrating ICT within the curriculum

* Data analysis/QLA processes

* Operations

Recent examples of work with other schools

Supporting a school in RI grade to ‘good‘ through intense National support school work

Developing subject and middle leaders across the MAT

Developing aspirant and emergent leaders across Dorset

Training schools in effective use of FFT

Subject specialism training for teacher training (Poole SCITT/School Direct)

• Writing moderation

• Supporting the development of a creative curriculum

• Supporting the integration of the new National Curriculum through the PTSA

• Deployment to local schools through the PTSA


Kate Lloyd-Christie


I am the Deputy Headteacher at Heatherlands Primary School and facilitate training for School Direct specialising in EYFS practice. During my 26 years of professional experience in education I have been an established leading teacher in maths, English and Early Years. Through this role I have been able to share my good classroom practice through modelling, mentoring and facilitating other teachers in the development of their own practice and provision. I am also strategic leader for KS2 and lead on building positive relationships and behaviour.


I gained considerable experience at senior leadership level that has included roles as Head of Early Years in a Garrison school in Germany, Key Stage One/EYFS Leader and Acting Deputy Headship position in Wiltshire. As an established Early Years leading teacher in Wiltshire, I then became an Early Years Advisor with Wiltshire Local Education Authority. My role concentrated on raising standards and ensuring measurable outcomes for all children throughout Wiltshire. Within this role I had a specific focus in developing moderation, designing and delivering training and supporting and mentoring teachers. I have led the implementation of the key principles and high quality practices of the EYFS within schools requiring improvements as well as pre-schools and maintained nurseries.


Areas of Specialism

• Observation, planning and assessment

• Learning environment (cross phase)

• Moderation

• Quality assurance

• Data analysis

• Training across all areas of the EYFS

• EYFS/Key Stage One phonics

• Leadership and management (EYFS)

• Pre-school and maintained nursery support

• Mixed Reception/Key Stage One provision

* Pupil premium reviewer


Local Specialist Teachers


Local Specialist Teachers are expert practitioners who have been specifically trained to provide support to class teachers in developing and refining classroom pedagogy.


Ella Summers (Early Years)Rob Arrowsmith (Year 2)


What difference will seeking help from an NLE/SLE make?


NLEs, SLEs and NSS staff are experienced in working with schools in challenging circumstances to help them raise attainment and deal with specific challenges. NLEs, SLEs and NSSs have been designated following a rigorous assessment process (and only retain designations if they meet the review of designation criteria). They have a proven record in improving attainment by supporting leadership capacity. This is an excellent resource to help schools become even better.


Research undertaken shows that:


  • Primary schools supported by NLEs improve their results by 3.1% on average more in the first year, following the start of support, and by 2.2% more in the second year, than schools not supported by NLEs or LLEs.


What help can we receive from a National Leader of Education / National Support School / SLE or LST?


NSS staff meet with the Headteacher and senior staff from a school requesting support to discuss the challenges faced by the school and what help is needed. The actual help provided will be tailored in partnership with the school being supported to deliver activities that will make the most difference to the school.


Support can typically involve:


  • A NLE working alongside staff from their National Support School and / or SLEs to help a school.

  • A SLE working with staff to help a school.

  • A NLE/SLE working without their staff to help a school.

  • National Support School staff providing support under the initial direction of the National Leader of Education (who may not themselves be involved in the delivery of support) to help a school.

  • A National Leader of Education working alongside a national leader of governance to support governance and leadership of a school.


How much will support from a National Leader of Education/SLE/LST cost?


In most instances a tailored package of support can be put together to suit a school’s needs which is often more cost effective than individual staff day rates. Typical day rates for support can be found below:


NLE £550 per day

SLE £350 per day

LST £150 per day


The total cost of support will be negotiated with the school receiving support, or the body providing funding for the deployment (if the school receiving support is not paying for it).


NLEs/SLEs/LSTs do not provide support in order to make profit: they will seek to cover the costs of support.


How long can my school receive support for?


This is a matter of negotiation depending on the needs of the school seeking support. However, each period of support must have an agreed end date (which can be reviewed if needed).


Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement


The National College is responsible for assuring the quality of work undertaken by National Leaders of Education (NLEs) and National Support Schools (NSSs) through evaluation and feedback.


The outcomes and impact of each deployment is evaluated by the NLE/NSS and the supported school. Samples of deployments are selected for review by the National College. Organisations involved in a deployment are interviewed and a report is produced and shared with interviewees.