The South Yorkshire Teaching Hub provides an online community and one-stop service for everything to do with teaching in our region.

Designated by the Department of Education (DfE), (and chosen to be one of the initial test and learn sites), we support over 308 schools within the Sheffield and Rotherham area. Our remit is to focus on the recruitment, support, development and retention of colleagues within our region. We are here from the moment they join the profession and throughout their career.

We create a community that connects colleagues, Schools, Mats, Trusts and Education partners across our region, to support their work to improve student outcomes and deliver the best educational experience to our young people.

Specifically, we:

  •       Are the Appropriate Body for Early Career Teachers.
  •       Play a significant role in school-based teacher training (ITT).
  •       Deliver and support the delivery of the Early Career Framework.
  •       Support the delivery of the new specialist National Professional Qualifications (NPQ).
  •       Support the delivery of the new leadership National Professional Qualifications (NPQ).
  •       Promote opportunities and roles within our region for all our colleagues.
  •       Seek, create and promote Professional Development opportunities for all colleagues.
  •       Deliver high-quality evidence-based professional development to all colleagues.
  •       Showcase the amazing work, initiatives and research taking place in our region’s schools.

We also work with and showcase the work our partner:

  •       Behaviour Hubs
  •       Curriculum Hubs
  •       Edtech
  •       English Hubs
  •       Maths Hub
  •       Our partner schools
  •       Research schools


Why does the Hub exist?

Why does the Hub exist?

For those looking to get into teaching, it can be confusing. We have brought together all the school-based and non-school based providers in our region, so you can easily find the right teacher training course for you.

For those already working in the profession, we provide an online community for you and your colleagues – providing you with the latest news, job opportunities, professional training and resources, to make your life easier.

We support the journey of teaching colleagues in our region – from Initial Teacher Training (ITT) through to becoming headteachers and CEO’s– so that our schools have the very best teachers and leaders. Ultimately we ensure our young people get the very best start in life and the colleagues who work with them great the greatest support.

Our core goals as a teaching hub include:

Our core goals as a teaching hub include:

  • Providing a one-stop service, directing people towards school-led Initial Teacher Training opportunities in our region.
  • Providing a community for those working in our region’s schools, with access to the latest CPD, research and resources.
  • Promoting job opportunities in our region’s schools for all staff.
  • Working with our partners to ensure that all of the above helps ensure our young people have the best start in life.

Our Partners

We are proud to work with our partners in South Yorkshire. You can learn more about them here:

Fusion SEND Hub Forge TSA  Five Rivers TSA Hallam TSA Learners First Learning Unlimited TSA Learn Sheffield Malin Bridge Mercia Learning Alliance Rowan TSA Sheffield TSA Tapton TSA

Meet the team

Why does the Hub exist?

Katherine Lewis-Ward, Strategic Director

As an outstanding leader with over 17 years’ experience as a teacher, SLE, mentor, middle and senior leader in a number of inner-city schools, I am passionate about education for a variety of reasons – from loving learning itself, to investing students with that same passion and seeing their eyes light up when they discover a new interest or concept. Education is the principle tool in facilitating social mobility for our young people, and the moral purpose of what we do is an ever-present factor in my work.
Outside of work, you will often find me with my head buried in a book. I am the quintessential ‘edu-geek’ – keeping up with current research and practice and more importantly looking at how this can actually be used in the classroom and beyond.
Having read English at Trinity and All Saints, I completed my PGCE at Leeds University and my Masters in Education at York St John and more recently have completed my NPQSL & NPQH.
A Yorkshire girl, born and bred, I gained my teaching experience in Quebec, West Yorkshire and for the last four years I have worked as a Deputy Head at a secondary school in Devon overseeing teaching and learning, CPD, Pupil Premium and staff wellbeing. However, as with all colleagues, I have worn many hats and am blessed with a wealth of experience in all areas of education.
I am excited to be returning home to God’s own county, and I am thrilled to be joining the South Yorkshire Teaching Hub at the start of this amazing journey. I look forward to working with and supporting all colleagues and partner schools; together, we will make huge strides – for our students and for our profession.

Chris James, CEO of Chorus Education Trust

Chris became CEO of Chorus Education Trust in November 2019. He joined us from Nova Education Trust in the East Midlands, where he was Senior Executive Headteacher for four years. He also led Nova’s teacher training SCITT.

Previously to this, he was Head Teacher of The Garibaldi School where he moved the school to ‘Good’ in nine months, establishing it as an oversubscribed school regularly in the top 5% of all schools in the country in terms of progress at GCSE.

He has family roots in Sheffield and also studied Economic and Social History at the University of Sheffield, before training to be a history teacher in Nottingham.

See Chris’s Linked In profile here.

Our core goals as a teaching hub include:

Helen Duffy, Director of Early Career Development

As an outstanding, dynamic and experienced practitioner, I now enjoy the role of Director for Early Career Development. I have been working in teaching for over 30 years and still enjoy every day. Formerly a highly successfully leader in Physical Education in two schools, my work with early entrants to the profession has become a passion. Based at Silverdale School, my role is to co-ordinate our secondary phase trainee teachers but I also work extensively with Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) across the city. I recruit, interview and place our trainees in our partner schools and lead our school based training facilitators to provide an outstanding school based offer. I support, monitor and evaluate tour trainees’ progress and work with the Senior Mentor Coordinators to ensure consistency of practice across the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance.

As a member of a highly successful Teaching School, I am proud to be a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) in Early Career Development and Physical Education. I lead the Physical Education Networking Group across Sheffield as well as being involved in School to School support in the region.

My strengths are my commitment, patience, good listening skills, and being able to put the needs of others first. I work well as a team member and have excellent communication skills. My nurturing personality allows me to develop our trainees’ and NQTs’ confidence and resilience to shape and mould future teachers for Sheffield and beyond.

I have a BEd Hons in Physical Education and thirty years’ experience of outstanding teaching.

Katrin Sredzki-Seamer, Director of the National Modern Languages SCITT

German is my native language and, having successfully completed my MA in Interpreting and Translation in English, Spanish and Russian, I moved to University of Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, followed by a PGCE MFL Secondary in German and Spanish (University of Nottingham). I remained in England and my career as a language teacher began.

I have worked at Silverdale School since 2002 and became Head of German in 2004 progressing to become Head of Languages in 2007. I am enjoying making a contribution to teacher supply as the Director for the National Modern Languages SCITT and am really excited about now also being part of the SYTH’s work in highlighting the pathways into this fantastic profession and supporting professionals through their initial teacher training and their very first teaching position all the way through to becoming leaders in different sectors of education.

Janet Bowler, Senior Alliance Based Mentor (Primary)

I have worked as teacher since 1995 and Mentor coordinator at Malin Bridge Primary School since 2004. A special interest of mine has always been supporting trainees’ development and their transition to becoming outstanding teachers. My role as ITE, NQT and RQT mentor ensures continuation of standards and support for teachers in school.

My role is to ensure that teachers in their early career have an impact on standards in school. This is very important in my work with experienced colleagues in school as trainees need outstanding mentors who have a personal interest in mentoring and use this to enhance their own professional learning. I have continued to develop my personal interests in this area by undertaking a Master’s degree in Teaching and Education.

Over the last three years I have worked as a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for Sheffield Teaching School Alliance (STSA). As the leader of the primary team, I oversee the Primary routes in School Direct. Our team recruits and interviews prospective trainees and places them in a wide range of schools. I support trainees and mentors in Early Years and Primary schools to ensure consistency of standards and facilitate school based training sessions for the cohort. The diverse and wide range of people who wish to enter the profession through our school based route are inspirational and joy to work alongside.

Jane Lownsbrough, Senior Alliance Based Mentor (SEND)

As Assistant Head Teacher at Rowan Teaching School in Sheffield I have worked extensively with children with complex speech, language and communication difficulties all of whom have a diagnosis of Autism. Recently I have held a strategic leadership role with Sheffield Teaching School Alliance, (STSA), in their Initial Teacher Education, (ITE) provision. The leadership at STSA is committed to trainees across all phases receiving high quality training in all areas of their practice including meeting the needs of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) pupils in mainstream settings.

Working collaboratively with colleagues from other specialist settings, I led a government funded pilot to deliver a higher level of SEND training to a small number of primary and secondary STSA trainees. Following their positive feedback this element has now been incorporated into the core professional training for all trainees at STSA. This is a really unique aspect of our offer and one that sets us apart from other providers.

I have a B Ed degree 2:1 in Education and many other professional qualifications relating to pedagogy and leadership. I became a Specialist Leader in Education, (SLE), three years ago. During my teaching career I have taught in nursery, primary and secondary settings. My interest in supporting children with SEND has always been at the forefront of my practice and is an area which has an increasingly significant impact for all classroom practitioners.

Jennifer Mann, ITT School Direct Secondary Course Leader

I began my teaching career in 2009 by working as an RE teacher in a socially and economically deprived area. My passion for teaching and learning led me to become a Lead Teacher in my third year of teaching and then Curriculum Leader and Early Career Development Coordinator, which gave me the privilege of working with trainee and early career teachers.  I also worked as a Specialist Leader in Education for the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance and have extensive experience coaching and professionally developing teachers, having worked as a Teaching and Learning Coach and Induction Tutor.

In my role as School Direct Secondary Course Leader, I lead the professional development for secondary trainees through outstanding teacher education.  I recruit, interview and place secondary phase trainees, and I oversee, monitor and support their progress, working closely with our partner schools and mentors to provide an outstanding school-based offer.  I also contribute to the work of the Appropriate Body and I am thrilled to be part of the South Yorkshire Teaching Hub, supporting the journey of all teaching colleagues.

I thoroughly enjoy every day in this hugely rewarding and profoundly important profession and I am passionate about enabling children to achieve their full potential through outstanding education and outstanding teachers.

My academic and professional qualifications include a First Class BA (Hons) in Philosophical Studies, Secondary PGCE in Religious Education and an accredited coaching qualification.

Christophe Fico, NML SCITT Course Leader

I am a French national with over 20 years’ experience of teaching MFL in the northwest of England. I have taught a range of languages (French, Spanish and German) in both the state and independent sectors.

I have joined the NML SCITT from Bolton School Girls’ Division where I was the Head of French and the Bolton Hub NML SCITT Subject Lead. Previous to this post, I was a Senior Subject Teacher for MFL in a school based in Cheshire, where I also held a pastoral role. I am a Senior Examiner for a leading awarding body.

I am passionate about both languages and teaching, and love travelling and discovering new culture. A keen tennis player, I enjoy using my language skills on a tennis court by taking part in tournaments across the world (including Spain and Germany).

I feel extremely lucky to be a part of the South Yorkshire Teaching Hub as this gives me the opportunity to share my subject expertise and contribute to the CPD programme.

Julie Garrow, NML SCITT, School to School Support and Statutory Induction Manager

Prior to joining the NML SCITT full-time in March 2021, I also worked with the STSA for nearly seven years as NQT statutory induction manager offering support and guidance to Headteachers, NQT Induction Tutors and NQTs.

My extensive knowledge of statutory guidance and my many years experience in working with Early Career Teachers have been invaluable in developing the SCITT support for those applying to train to become languages teachers in their very first steps into a new career right through their transition into their very first teaching job and beyond.

I have worked as SCITT Administrator for 4 years and thoroughly enjoy this role, improving the processes and working with colleagues and Trainees alike. I have built up effective working relationships with colleagues who work for the other SCITTs and colleagues in our Hubs across England. I have a high level of administrative and organisational skills which I have developed over the last 30 years including keeping accurate, concise records, minute taking, financial monitoring, and an ability to interpret and understand regulations and legislation as well as having effective communication skills.

I am excited to now work with colleagues new and old who have formed the partnership to create the South Yorkshire Teaching Hub and to contribute to the opportunities for CPD and ongoing support for teachers within South Yorkshire and through collaboration on a national level with other teaching hubs.

Sarah Fidler, Teaching School Co-ordinator

I have worked as part of the team on the provision of School Direct Initial Teacher Training at the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance, (STSA), for the past six years and have been an integral contributor to its growth and development at Silverdale School.

My role as Teaching School Administrator has been pivotal in supporting and facilitating colleagues in the expansion and refinement of our School Direct programmes since our first cohort of trainees in 2012.  Fewer than ten trainees were recruited for the first School Direct PGCE in that year and we now have a cohort of ninety trainees across EYFS, Primary, SEND and Secondary phases.  A major part of my role is providing a central point of communication between STSA, Higher Education Institutions (HEI) colleagues, UCAS, our partnership schools, School Based Tutors and Mentors, trainees across all phases and training facilitators.  I have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the recruitment process and the on-line requirements for reporting trainees’ progress, enabling me to support School Direct applicants, trainees and colleagues. It is a daily part of my role to work collaboratively with other professionals to communicate essential information on a regular basis.   I provide support to the Strategic Manager for the preparation of DfE reporting on Teaching School activity including: keeping records of Initial Teacher Training (ITT), Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE) and other related activity.

Values that I adhere to are to be organised, well informed, approachable and professional.  I am able to be effective in my role as my knowledge was established from the start of our School Direct programme and I look forward to continuing this contribution to future developments at the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance.

Becky Jenkins, Communications and Marketing Co-ordinator

I joined the team in time to help develop and launch of the South Yorkshire Teaching Hub website. Having a decade of marketing experience from large corporate brands and small independent businesses, I’m excited to use my skills and creativity to bring the hub to life. I’m extremely passionate about marketing and absolutely love brainstorming different imaginative ideas with my colleagues, developing strategic plans, and seeing the fruits of our labour.

Previously specialising in SEO strategies, UX, project management, and graphic design, I’m fortunate to be in a position within the hub where I can call on my varied expertise to offer innovative solutions and deliver results. Supporting teachers and being involved with positively impacting the education of children within South Yorkshire is incredibly rewarding and something I feel privileged to be a part of.

Claire Clayton, Teaching School Finance Officer (currently on maternity leave)

I started working at the Teaching School in February 2019 after a decision to move from commercial accountancy into the education sector. This was a conscious decision to change my working environment as I strived for a fulfilling role where I could utilise my skills whilst contributing to the community.

I am a qualified accountant, having achieved my ACCA Professional Qualification in 2014 which is, to date, my greatest accomplishment. It took a lot of commitment and dedication to gain my ACCA membership which shows the kind of attributes that I value.

I previously worked for an accountancy company successfully managing a portfolio of clients, including detailed financial analysis, problem solving and budget management. These are skills which have transferred with me into this role and I now use them to manage the funding of the teaching school.

As finance officer my responsibilities are to provide efficient finance support to guarantee the smooth running of the teaching school by ensuring there is financial structure and that controls are in place. I feel fortunate to be able to work with a group of people whose individual skills and experience, combined together, make a great team. I appreciate the guidance they have shown me through my journey so far and am happy that, in return, I am able to share my finance knowledge and experience with them.

In the short time I have been here I have made efficiencies to policies and procedures which have benefited the teaching school, allowing the team to concentrate on operational business and supporting the trainees on the road to becoming a teacher. I take pride in maintaining high standards of professionalism and believe my strengths in organisation and planning will benefit the team as we continue to grow. I hope to further build on the work I have done to date and continue to develop and improve the finances of the teaching school as we move forward.

Catherine Unwin, Finance Officer (maternity leave cover)

I recently joined the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance at the start of 2021, having previously worked in finance in a large academy school in Sheffield for 15 years covering all aspects of school finance.

My new role supporting staff, trainees and external providers in all areas of finance, together with reporting to the Department of Education, is a different area of education to my previous work. However, I am enjoying both the challenge of the new job and working alongside the experienced STSA team who have supported and welcomed me.

As finance officer for the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance I am responsible for all areas of finance within the STSA and welcome any communication from anyone requiring assistance in this area.

Louise Allsop, Senior Administrator

Over the past 10 years I have worked at Silverdale School and within the Teaching School Alliance in a variety of roles.

During my time at Silverdale School I have developed my skills as an administrator and take pride that I am a self-motivated and enthusiastic person who works well as part of a team and independently. I have a solid understanding of data manipulation using excel and have a substantial knowledge of SIMs.

I feel it is essential to be able to build on prior experience and I am adaptable to different and challenging environments. My strengths include being able to multi-task, remain calm and effective, whilst working to deadlines, and being an effective communicator.

I am looking forward to contributing to the dynamic team in the STSA and to supporting the development of all colleagues through our work in STSA. I am very excited to be supporting the team as we create The National Modern Languages SCITT and begin to work more widely.

Stefanie Highfield, Administrator

I joined the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance in September 2020, moving from a background in marketing and event management. I hold a degree in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations and a professional diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I also have a qualification in dance teaching from the International Dance Teachers Association. Before joining the team, I gained 10 years’ experience in both large corporate organisations and small family-run businesses delivering events, marketing strategy and communications.

I am a dedicated and self-disciplined individual who enjoys facing new challenges, using my existing skills and developing new ones. I am eager to use these skills in the education sector and learn from my new environment. I believe excellent communication skills, meticulous organisation and planning abilities and exceptional attention to detail are essential in my role, in order to provide the best possible experience and service.