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Dean Buckley
Principle & Associate Executive Principle

Dean is the Principal at Kirk Balk Academy also oversees Kearsley Academy in Bolton as an Associate Executive Principal. Having supported numerous senior leaders and Principals from across his own Trust, Dean has a secure understanding and a track record of school improvement; particularly regarding the use of data to inform intervention and raise achievement, curriculum sequencing for an enhanced quality of education and collaborative learning techniques and a praise culture to transform provision. Being an Associate Executive Principal has meant that Dean has had the opportunity to influence the quality of education across the north of England whilst maintaining his own Headship in Barnsley; the town in which he has spent his entire career. Dean is 100% committed to Kirk Balk being an outward facing school and sees his LLE role as an ideal opportunity to develop strong working relationships with other schools and develop, even further, the talented individuals within them for the benefit of Barnsley children.

Karen Brown

Karen Brown is the Headteacher at Cherry Dale Primary School and is passionate about all things school improvement. She particularly enjoys whole school curriculum development, with emphasis on children accessing a knowledge rich curriculum. Karen promotes all staff being able to access CPD and deliver quality first teaching to every child. Karen has previously worked as a leader within an academy trust and also experienced working with Challenge Partners in collaboration with others schools as part of peer reviews. 


Simon Tabbner
Head Teacher

Simon is the Head Teacher at Silkstone Common Junior and Infant School. He brings together his experience as an AST, a Deputy Head Teacher and currently works with Leeds Carnegie to develop teaching and learning. Simon enjoys working collaboratively with other schools looking at data, curriculum and the engagement of pupils to ensure the best outcomes.

Helen Otley
Head Teacher

Helen is the Head Teacher at Keresforth Primary School.  She is experienced in supporting, developing and empowering leadership across the school to ensure internal capacity to improve the quality of teaching and learning. She has a strong belief in developing an all-inclusive school and providing high quality, first wave teaching to meet the needs of all children and ensuring commitment from all.

Alistair Budd
Head Teacher

Alistair is Principal at Upperwood Academy and has supported many schools within Barnsley and further a field. His strengths are supporting schools in their deployment of staff and assisting schools in developing clear systems for teaching and learning to ensure a high quality provision is experienced by all pupils. Alistair is the Strategic Lead for Tykes TSA’s Initial Teacher Training Programme. He is also a Pupil Premium Reviewer. 



Katy Falconer
Head Teacher

Katy is the Head of School (Primary) at Holy Trinity and was the previous Head Teacher at Jump Primary School. She has experience of developing leadership, analysing data and action planning to improve outcomes at all levels. She particularly enjoys working as part of a team.


Rob Smith
Head Teacher

Rob is the Head Teacher at Summer Lane Primary School. Over the years, he has developed expertise in developing action plans to support teaching and learning and has a strong interest in assisting schools on the analysis of date. He enjoys working collaboratively to achieve the best possible outcomes for schools and children.


Lee McClure
Head Teacher

Lee is currently the Head Teacher at Springvale Primary School after a successful period as Head at Shawlands Primary School guiding the school from Serious Weaknesses to Good in 4 terms. He is an experienced leader supporting the development of a clear and effective overarching school vision, excellent communication systems, rich and engaging curriculum opportunities and team teaching opportunities that enhance high-quality CPD for all staff.