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Meet the team...
The teaching school team is made up of a group of teachers, teacher educators and support staff with a wide range of experience within and beyond education. Find out more about them below.
Tom Garry | Director of Teaching School Hub
Tom Garry holds a BA in Primary Education from the University of Leeds, an MA in Education Management from King’s College, London and has been awarded the NPQH. He is an NCETM accredited Professional Development Lead, a Primary Mastery Specialist, and a Churchill Fellow, having been awarded a fellowship to research support for novice teachers in high-performing school networks in New York and Boston.
Tom has taught in the UK and Poland in both primary and secondary phases, most recently working as a deputy head teacher before heading the Teaching School Hub’s precursor, the STEP Ahead Teaching School Alliance. His first book, ‘Mastery in Primary Mathematics’ was published by Bloomsbury in 2020
Matt Swain | Head of Professional Development and Deputy Director
Matt Swain holds a BA in English Literature from Middlesex University and a PGCE from the University of Leeds. He is a Mathematics Specialist Teacher (MaST) and Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) and is currently engaging with Ambition Institute’s Teacher Education Fellows programme.
Matt has worked as a teacher and senior leader for 12 years in London and the Southeast and most recently led teaching and learning for STEP Academy Trust’s East Sussex academies before joining the Teaching School Hub’s precursor, the STEP Ahead Teaching School Alliance. Before joining the profession, Matt worked as a national features editor and journalist.
Verity Griffin | Head of Initial Teacher Education
Verity Griffin holds a BA in Theatre and Performance from the University of Plymouth, a PGCE from the University of Winchester, an MA from King’s College London and is currently completing her NPQH as well as engaging with Ambition Institute’s Teacher Education Fellows programme.
Verity is a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE), and taught English in both South Korea and Turkey before returning to the UK to study for her PGCE. Verity has worked as a teacher and senior leader in several London schools, most recently as a deputy head teacher, before joining the Teaching School Hub’s precursor, the STEP Ahead Teaching School Alliance.
Charlotte MacKechnie | Senior Lead for Teacher Development
Charlotte MacKechnie holds a BA in Primary Teaching from Kingston University and an MA in Educational Practice from the University of Roehampton and has been awarded the NPQSL. Charlotte is currently reading for a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and Communication at Birkbeck, University of London. She is a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) and has been a teacher with STEP Academy Trust since 2014, teaching pupils across the primary phase.
Alongside working for STEP, Charlotte is one of the UK’s accredited Sounds-Write trainers, having trained hundreds of teachers and leaders in London, Cambridge and East Sussex in the Sounds-Write Linguistic Phonics programme since 2017.
Charlotte joined the Teaching School Hub’s precursor, the STEP Ahead Teaching School Alliance, as Reading Development Lead in 2019. Charlotte frequently blogs about teaching early reading and writing; her one-pager ‘How Not to Teach Spelling’ was featured in Teach Primary in March 2021, and ‘When have children ‘mastered’ phonics?’ was included in Teach Reading and Writing in May 2021.
Sarah Cochran | Teacher Development Lead
Sarah Constant holds a BS in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies and French and an MA in Primary Education from James Madison University in Virginia, USA. After her studies, Sarah taught English in primary schools in the south of France.
Sarah has since taught in Key Stage 2 and led several subjects, including English and history. Along with her role as Teacher Development Lead with STEP Ahead Teaching School Hub, Sarah currently teaches in year 6 and is Curriculum Leader across several STEP academies in Hailsham.