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 one of the first Hubs), we support over 318 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 you join the profession and throughout your career.

We create a community that connects colleagues, schools, MATs, Trusts and education partners across our region, supporting their work to improve student outcomes and deliver the best educational experience to our young people.

Specifically, we:

  •       Play a significant role in school-based teacher training (ITT) through our STTA and SCITT.
  •       Deliver and support the delivery of the Early Career Framework (ECF).
  •       Are the Appropriate Body for Early Career Teachers (AB).
  •       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 development opportunities for all (CPD).
  •       Deliver high-quality evidence-based professional development (CPD).
  •       Showcase the amazing work, initiatives and research taking place in our region’s schools.
  •       Support the retention of colleagues within our region through showcasing employment opportunities.

We also work with and showcase the work of our partners:

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


Why does the Hub exist?

Why does the Hub exist?

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

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

We support teaching colleagues in our region – from Initial Teacher Training (ITT) through middle to senior leadership– so that our schools have the very best teachers and leaders, ultimately ensuring our young people get the very best start in life and the greatest support and provision.

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 18 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 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, I completed my PGCE at Leeds University and my Masters in Education at York St John and more recently have completed my NPQSL & am currently completing my NPQH.

A Yorkshire girl, I gained my teaching experience in Quebec, West Yorkshire and Devon-where I was Deputy Head at a secondary school overseeing teaching and learning, CPD, Pupil Premium and staff wellbeing. However, as with all colleagues, I have worn many hats and have a wealth of experience.

It is an exciting time to be leading the Hub and I look forward to working with, and supporting all colleagues and partner schools; together, we will make huge strides – for our students and 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 with over 30 years experience, I now enjoy the role of Director for Early Career Development. Formerly a highly successfully leader in Physical Education, my work with early entrants to the profession is my passion. Based at Silverdale School, I co-ordinate our Teacher training programme (ITT) and work extensively with Early Career Teachers (ECTs) 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 our trainees’ progress, working with the Senior Mentor Coordinators to ensure consistency of practice across the Sheffield Teacher Training Alliance. Additionally, I lead our ECT programme and AB service.

As a member of a highly successful Teaching Alliance, 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 focus on putting the needs of others first. I am proud to be a member of the Hub team supporting all our colleagues throughout the area. My nurturing personality allows me to develop colleagues confidence and resilience to shape and mould our future teacher workforce in Sheffield and beyond.

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 completed my 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, creating in my students and colleagues, the same passion for languages.

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 training and development as the Director for the National Modern Languages SCITT. I am really excited about 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 ITT, ECT and ECT+ mentor ensures continuation of standards and support for teachers in school.

My role is to ensure that teachers in their early career impact on standards in school and student attainment. 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 interest in this area by undertaking a Master’s degree in Teaching and Education, all of which impacts on my own practice.

Over the last three years I have worked as a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for Sheffield Teacher Training Alliance (formerly the STSA). As the leader of the primary team, I oversee the Primary routes in School Direct. Our team recruits and interviews prospective trainees, placing 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 and it is supporting them on their journey into our amazing profession.

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 Teacher Training Alliance, (STTA), in their Initial Teacher Training Education, (ITT) provision. The leadership at STTA is committed to trainees across all phases receiving high quality training in all areas of their practice, including meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational and physical needs (SEND) 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. 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 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 throughout their careers.

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 developing outstanding education and outstanding teachers and future leaders.

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 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. Additionally, I am a Senior Examiner for a leading awarding body.

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

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 with all colleagues, contribute to the CPD programme and help develop and offer the greatest opportunities to colleagues at all stages of their careers.

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

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

My extensive knowledge of statutory guidance and my 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 post 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 and an ability to interpret and understand regulations and legislation.

I am excited to work with colleagues as part of the South Yorkshire Teaching Hub and to contribute to the opportunities for CPD and ongoing support for teachers at all stages of their careers 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 Teacher Training Alliance (STTA) formerly the Sheffield Teaching School Alliance, (STSA), for the past six years and have been an integral contributor to its growth and development. I am excited to be part of the South Yorkshire teaching hub as we support our colleagues throughout the region.

My role 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 STTA, 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.

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 South Yorkshire Teaching Hub.

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 joined the Hub in February 2019 moving from commercial accountancy into the education sector, as I strived for a fulfilling role where I could utilise my skills whilst contributing to the education 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 the finances for a portfolio of clients. The skills I utilised in this role, are now used to manage the funding of the South Yorkshire Teaching Hub and our related ITT arms.

As finance officer my responsibilities are to provide efficient financial support to guarantee the smooth running of the Hub, STTA and SCITT by ensuring our financial structure and controls are in place, making efficiencies to policies and procedures, allowing the team to concentrate on operational business and supporting the trainees on the road to becoming teachers and throughout their career.

I feel fortunate to work with a great team. I take pride in maintaining high standards of professionalism and believe my strengths in organisation and planning will benefit the team and the Hub as we continue to grow.

Catherine Unwin, Finance Officer (maternity leave cover)

I joined the South Yorkshire Teaching Hub at the start of 2021, having previously worked 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 team who have supported and welcomed me.


Louise Allsop, Senior Administrator

Over the past 10 years I have worked at Silverdale School and within the Teaching Training Alliance in a variety of roles and am now excited to be working on our ECF programme and AB service.

Throughout my career, 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,  with a solid understanding of all systems and programmes, I seek opportunities to continue to develop my skill set.

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

I am looking forward to contributing to the dynamic team in the Hub and to supporting the development of all colleagues at all stages of their careers through our work.

Stefanie Highfield, Administrator

I joined the team 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 and communications an am thrilled to have joined the Hub and be able to utilise my skills in such an important sector.

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.