Our Experts

Our network is our super power and one of the great advantages of being part of a family of schools is the sharing of our expertise.

In addition to our heads, teachers and support staff, the GDST also has Trust Consultants working across the 25 schools and academies.

These are highly trained and experienced subject experts who work across the GDST establishing best practice, fostering collaboration and supporting the delivery of an outstanding girls-only education for which the GDST is known.

Hannah Harrison-Hughes
Trust Consultant Teacher for STEM

With personal and professional interests that span the Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Digital Design and Fabrication, Hannah is keen to share her passion for STEM with girls across the GDST family of schools.

On graduating from Imperial College with a degree in Chemistry and Management, Hannah completed her PGCE in Secondary Science at the Institute of Education in 2005 and has since continued to further her interests in both Science and Education by completing a degree in Physics with the Open University and a MSc in Science and Education at the University of Bristol before embarking on a Doctorate in Education. Her 17-year teaching career has spanned both state and independent sectors in London and South Wales, where she is currently Head of Chemistry at Howell’s School, Llandaff, additionally holding the post of School Consultant Teacher.

Hannah’s role as Trust Consultant Teacher is to bring together the vast STEM community across the GDST family to strengthen collaborations with a goal of sharing and developing innovative practices across schools, across age groups, and across subject areas to enrich the STEM experience for all our girls.

Susie Edebali
Partnership Coordinator at Nottingham Girls’ High School and Trust Consultant for Outreach and Partnerships.

Susie has worked for Nottingham Girls’ High School since 2011 in a variety of roles that span Administration, Marketing, Alumnae and Development, and Outreach and Partnerships. Passionate about the power of education, Susie helped establish the school’s successful Outreach and Partnership programme, Reach Out, and has strategically led the programme to work with more than 100 city and county schools over the last decade. Susie also designed and published the innovative online learning through play platform, Tots Play Space, connecting families of preschool-aged children to meaningful learning through play ideas.

Her most recent work in Partnerships includes the Bright Girls Bright Futures programme which aims to give gifted and talented girls in the Nottinghamshire area excellent STEM-based opportunities. Her role as Trust Consultant for Outreach and Partnerships will help provide guidance and support to other schools in the GDST network including strategic leadership, auditing activities and measuring impact.

Susie is driven to ensure that education is accessible and enjoys sharing her experiences of developing her young children’s love of learning through play on Instagram as Nottingham Mum, believing that sparking imagination and nurturing curiosity from a young age is a recipe for successful little learners.

Emily Rushton
Trust Consultant Teacher for SEND

Emily aims to support and collaborate with SENDCos and specialist teachers in both junior and senior schools across the GDST to celebrate inclusion for neurodiverse students and those with disabilities.

Emily combines her objective and subjective experience as both a SENDCo and a disabled practitioner to promote a culture of inclusion. She believes in the importance of a person-centred approach for students to access the best possible learning experience and champion the voices of neurodiverse and/or disabled people in the development of their learning support.

Emily is based at Bromley High as the SENDCO for the junior school and teacher of Classics for the senior school. She has taught for seven years in primary and secondary education across both the state and independent sectors. Alongside her work for the GDST, she is an ESRC doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge, developing a creative arts intervention to support mental health for students with SEND. She supervises on the undergraduate education programmes and delivers SEND training for the trainee teacher cohorts at the university.

Simon Piesse
Trust Consultant Teacher for Languages

The study of Languages and Classics builds bridges between diverse people, places, ideas and cultures, and enables us to understand, and ultimately improve, our human condition. In our increasingly divided world, my aim as Trust Consultant Teacher for Languages is to enable every student in the GDST to build the most beautiful bridges, through their learning of Languages and Classics and to enjoy both the process and the result. I will do this by:

  • championing Languages and Classics
  • understanding current opportunities and challenges
  • sharing and developing best practice, transforming the GDST into a beacon of excellence

After graduating with a double first-class degree in French and Spanish from St Peter’s College, Oxford, I taught in several state schools in London for 17 years, 13 of which were as Head of Faculty. Between 2012 and 2017, I lead one of the only Languages and Classics departments in the UK to offer Latin, Greek, Ancient History and Classical Civilisation, at Nower Hill High School. I joined the GDST in 2017 where, as Head of MFL at Notting Hill and Ealing, I increased uptake, transformed the Year 7 curriculum, developed links with UCL and King’s College London and galvanised the GDST community, through events such as the GDST Languages Festival. Most recently, I have been pursuing my interest in the connection between Languages and Social Justice and in March 2022 led a session on Amnesty International and MFL at the Association for Language Learning Annual Conference in Sheffield. Outside school, I am a commissioned minister for the Willesden Diocese in the Church of England and have published two collections of poetry. I also enjoy making music and global travel.

Ashmi Morjaria
Trust Consultant for Diversity and Inclusion

Following a career in television, working with Channel 4, the BBC and a range of indies, Ashmi ‘accidently’ fell into teaching and found a love for Education. Starting out from humble beginnings, Ashmi has a deep rooted belief that education creates opportunities, particularly for women and those from other minority groups.

Over the last decade, Ashmi has worked across a wide range of senior leadership roles, where she has led a range of curriculum areas, as well as a Leadership Hub. In 2019, Ashmi joined Northwood College GDST as Deputy Head Academic in the Junior School – a key priority was to ensure that the curriculum was diverse and distinctive.
In 2021 the school’s ISI specifically noted that the school’s approach to diversity in the curriculum was excellent and recommended that this work be shared more widely. Since then Ashmi has led training sessions for schools, spoken at the Bradford Literature Festival, created curriculum content for the Partition Education Group and been interviewed by the BBC.

Ashmi’s role as Trust Consultant Teacher to collaborate with schools to further embed diversity into our curriculums, share good practice and ensure that we are truly leaders in this area.

Jake Unwin
Trust Consultant Teacher for Humanities

Jake is passionate about a humanities’ education that instead of creating robots, empowers all our students to become humans that can think critically, feel deeply, and transform the world around them.

His role is focused on three areas: strengthening and diversifying our curriculum, facilitating sharing of teachers’ expertise, and championing the Humanities and its students. He provides support mainly to the Trust’s Geography, History, and Philosophy, Religion and Ethics teachers.

From 2019, Jake has been Head of History at Sutton High School. He has been teaching for 9 years, predominantly in South London, but he has also spent time in schools in Costa Rica, Spain, and most recently Australia. He loves integrating the latest academic research into schools’ education and has recently hosted events with speakers such as Gus Casely-Hayford on African History and Helen McCarthy on British women and their work.

Debbie Hill
Trust Consultant Teacher for Educational Research

Debbie believes that reflective practice lies at the heart of successful teaching and that action research and collaborative inquiry to improve learning outcomes are powerful and highly effective forms of individual or joint professional development.

As well as promoting and disseminating educational research, Debbie’s role involves supporting colleagues across Trust to undertake their own action research and encouraging research collaborations across GDST schools. She provides training and support for action research and is passionate about the sharing of ideas and classroom-based experience.

Until recently Debbie was Head of the Languages Faculty at Northampton High School, where she is still School Consultant Teacher and a teacher of German and French. She has over 20 years of teaching experience in the UK in both the state and the independent sectors and has also taught in Germany. She has acted as a mentor for the Future Learn “Teaching Girls” MOOC and has worked with teachers in Bangalore as part of the LRTT programme. She is currently a research advisor for the Global Action Research Collaborative on Girl’s Education.

Kathryn Ferguson
Trust Consultant Teacher for PSHE (Juniors)

Kathryn Ferguson is collaborating with Junior PSHE teachers so that together, our girls are equipped with the tools and confidence they need to flourish now and in the future.

She believes that engaging, inspired and valued PSHE lessons help to foster an environment where the girls can learn about their emotions, discuss pertinent issues and explore how to create safe and fulfilling relationships with their families, friends, communities and most crucially themselves.

Since beginning her teaching career in her homeland Australia, Kathryn also completed a yearlong teacher exchange in Canada, before joining Notting Hill & Ealing High School in 2009. She is currently a Year 3 teacher and has led PSHE there since 2013.

jonathan nicholl gdst trust consultant

Jonathan Nicholl
Trust Performance Data Analyst

Jonathan wants decisions to be informed by evidence and is keen to make evidence about academic performance accessible and clear.

He created and maintains GDST’s data tracking tool, GDST Inform, and advises on how to analyse academic data, interpret value added and set appropriate targets.

Jonathan is a member of the Senior Leadership Team at Oxford High School and has taught Maths and Critical Thinking there since 2001.

Hannah Morrell
Trust Consultant Teacher for Sport

Hannah believes that the school experience of sport should be fully inclusive, innovative and exciting, this way everyone can access the true potential of sport across the GDST.

Her role involves planning and coordinating the GDST rally schedule, chairing the Sport Matters Committee and developing new schemes and initiatives for sport across our family of schools. As Sport TCT she offers guidance and support to other Directors of Sport, especially those new to GDST, building a unified support network to further promote and encourage sport across the Trust.

Kevin Stannard
Director, Innovation & Learning

Education can transform lives, and teachers and schools have a crucial role to play. The only thing better than a great school is a great school plugged into a network of schools with similar aims. That’s where the GDST comes in…

Our job in Trust Office is to support our schools and academies in designing, developing and delivering an outstanding education for our pupils, and establishing the Girls’ Day School Trust as a leader in girls’ education.

Kevin’s role is to ensure that the education team at Trust Office is focused on making as big a difference as possible through, e.g. pupil events, staff training, policy guidance, and research.

Kevin taught for more than 20 years, and immediately before joining the GDST he was Director of Education at the University of Cambridge International Examinations.

A family of schools

23 independent schools and two academies in England and Wales

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