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About Consilium

Consilium Academies is a multi-academy Trust working across the North of England. It has nine academy schools located in Yorkshire, the North West, and the North East. Consilium is dedicated to enriching lives and inspiring ambitions for both students and colleagues.

Our Team

Chris Read

Chris is Head of the Centre for Professional Learning, and Head of Professional Development and Research at Consilium Academies.

Chris has designed and delivered training for teachers and leaders at all levels.

He was previously a Fellow in the Learning Design Team at Ambition Institute, designing and delivering training on the early roll-out of the Early Career Framework support, Expert Middle Leaders, Transforming Teaching programme, and on NPQs. He has delivered NPQML and NPQSL content for Star Institute, designed content for the new NPQ frameworks for the Teacher Development Trust, and has mentored and coached new and experienced teachers and delivered whole-school training in many schools.

He is the chair of trustees of a small multi-academy trust in Bolton, and has previously been chair of governors of a secondary school and a governor of a maintained primary school.

Chris began his career in education as a secondary school English teacher. He lives in Stockport, with two school-aged daughters.

Lizzie Knowles

Lizzie is the strategic lead for the Centre for Professional Learning in the North East. She's a teacher of PE at Washington Academy, and has experience in supporting new teachers, trainee teachers, and their mentors.

Tamsin Connor

Tamsin is our Consilium Leader of Education for English, and Head of English at Ellesmere Park High School.

Emma Palin

Emma is our Consilium Leader of Education for Science, and Head of Science at Ellesmere Park High School

Amy Smith

Amy is our Consilium Leader of Education for Geography, and Head of Geography at Buile Hill Academy

Amy has taught Geography at two schools, and has experience with the AQA and Eduqas specifications. Alongside Geography, she currently delivers the BTEC tech award qualification in Travel and Tourism. Amy is also an NQT and Consilium SCITT mentor. 

Outside of school, Amy enjoys getting her 'steps' in whilst walking her dog Nala. She likes to spend time in the Lake District where her family own a caravan. She also hosts various annual fundraising events for Manchester Children's Hospital. 

Gary Rice

Gary is our Consilium Leader of Education for Religious Education, and Head of Religious Studies at Thornhill Academy.

Gary has taught R.E. at two schools, and taught current and previous AQA specifications. He has also worked with R.E. trainees and marked as an assistant examiner for AQA over a number of years.

Outside of school, Gary enjoys music, is a keen Sunderland supporter and has a pet dog named Freddie.

Danny McNamee

Danny is our Consilium Leader of Education for Music, and Head of Music at Ellesmere Park High School

Peter Watling

Peter is our Consilium Leader of Education for Physical Education, and Head of PE at Buile Hill Academy.

Peter has taught PE in three different schools in both the UK and overseas in the United Arab Emirates. During his teaching career to date, he has taught a range of courses, including; AQA GCSE, BTEC and OCR Cambridge Nationals. He has also worked closely with PE trainees both within Consilium SCITT and University based and delivered a range of subject specific training.

Outside of school, Peter has a passion for all sports, particularly football and is a huge Newcastle United fan. Since hanging up his boots he is kept very busy running around after his twin boys Arthur and Henry.

Matt Gordon

Matt is our Consilium Leader of Education for Art, and Head of Art at Ellesmere Park High School

Jonathan Weir

Jonathan is our Consilium Leader of Education for Computing, and Head of Computing at Ellesmere Park High School

Kelly Oakland

Kelly Oakland is our Consilium Leader of Education for PSHE, Personal Development and Careers, and is Head of Personal Development and Enterprise at Washington Academy. 

Kelly has taught at Washington Academy for 16 years and is originally a training ICT/Business Studies Teacher. Kelly moved into PSHE five years ago where she has since worked to create a department and improve whole school Personal Development. 

Outside of school, Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons preferable in a hot foreign climate.