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Leadership Group

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Melanie Barrow


Melanie started teaching in 2002 after completing a degree in English Literature and Philosophy, and her PGCE. She became a Headteacher in 2007 and has a sustained, highly successful track record of school improvement. As a National Leader of Education she has worked with vulnerable schools supporting system leadership.

She has a long held interest in special Educational Needs and has a Masters Degree in Special Needs/ Inclusive Education.  Her research focuses included researching effective strategies to cater for Autistic pupils.

Melanie has acted as an Ambassador for Headship for the National College of School Leadership and has a particular interest in Initial Teacher Training, leading in this area and establishing links with various local providers.

She often acts in the Executive Headteacher role across several schools including to support schools in Special Measures.  She was the leader of Stradbroke Primary when it received NTCL Designated Support school status.  She lead several schools to Outstanding judgements.

Melanie passionately believes in the transformative value of education on the life changes of every child.  She strives to develop equality of educational opportunity for all and inclusivity is a central focus of schools she leads.

She was a founder member of the All Saints Schools Trust and has been CEO of the Trust since its inception in 2018.

Claire Flatman

(Director of West. Great Whelnetham, Hardwick and Wortham)

Claire qualified in 1998 and has taught in London and in the North of Ireland. She has been based in Suffolk for the last six years and is currently the Executive Head teacher at Gt Whelnetham & Wortham Primary Schools.


Paul Parslow-Williams

(Director of East. Executive Headteacher Benhall, Dennington and Occold)

Paul started teaching in Norfolk primary schools in 1998 following a previous career as a Marine Biologist. He is currently the Executive Headteacher of Occold and Dennington Primary Schools.  Prior to taking up school leadership he held the post of Lecturer in Primary Education at the University of East Anglia for seven years where he was involved in both educational research and teacher training. Paul’s particular interests include Primary STEM subjects and curriculum design and he has supported schools in these areas through his role as a LLE.


Marc Gilbert

(Headteacher Cockfield CoE Primary)

After successfully completing his degree in Education in 2012, Marc began his teaching journey in his hometown of Colchester in Essex. Here he gained valuable experience teaching experience including working with  professionals  teaching hearing impaired children. In 2020, he was awarded the Degree of Master of Education and his Senior Leadership Degree.


Daryl Jones

(Executive Headteacher Laxfield, Stradbroke and Thorndon )

After completing his four-year BEd degree at Westminster College, Oxford in 1996, Daryl started teaching in his home county of Hertfordshire. After teaching in in two large town schools, he relocated to Suffolk in 2003, taking on the role of Deputy Headteacher in a village primary school in Norfolk.

Debbie Knight

(Headteacher Sexton's Manor)

Mark Taylor

(Executive Headteacher Charsfield & Fressingfield)

Mark is currently the Executive Headteacher of Charsfield & Fressingfield Primary Schools and has been a teacher for 21 years. His career started in a multicultural East London secondary school before moving to Suffolk.

He has worked in both mainstream and special schools, and have has a headteacher since 2011. Since joining Fressingfield Primary he has led the school from Requires Improvement to Good in 2017.

During his career he has also served as a school governor in a primary school for four years.


Gemma Watts

(Executive Headteacher St Peter & St Paul - Eye)

Gemma qualified as a teacher in 2011 and since then has been passionate about outdoor learning, early years and inclusion. She has worked as an SLE since 2017 and has supported teachers with a focus on early years and maths. 

Over the years, Gemma has spent her summers in a rural area of Uganda where she worked to set up a school, supported staff with their training and developed a sponsorship program to enable more children to access education. This has also been transformative in the way that she teaches back at home.

Gemma completed her NPQH and has been Headteacher at St Peter and St Paul School in Eye since January 2022. She is passionate about further developing the school’s Forest School provision and making use of the outdoor environment to enable all children to have access to high quality outdoor learning.

Karen Preece

(Chief Finance Officer)

Karen holds a business degree with finance/accountancy specialisation and previously worked as an analyst in UK and international corporate banking for over 10 years.  More recently, her finance skills were transferred to run her own business alongside working in the education sector as a primary school bursar.  Being a parent and living locally to all the ASST schools has given Karen has a good knowledge of how important rural village schools are.

Karen has also been a Governor for several years at the All Saints Church Schools Federation (All Saints Laxfield and Stradbroke Church of England Primary Schools).

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