Meet the Team

The MTPT Project is made up of four volunteers who ensure the smooth-running of the site and social media accounts, and represent The MTPT Project in different regions.  If you would like to officially join the team (you get a business card!), why not explore the different roles we need fulfilled?

We also have a strong community of members who support and advocate for the project around the country.  If you support the work of The MTPT Project but cannot commit to any sort of formal role, register your presence as part of our community.

Our Team

Claire Nicholls, @bristol_teacher
South West Regional Representative

Claire represents The MTPT Project in the South West by presenting at Teach Meets, conferences, organising meet ups and connecting members of The MTPT Project community in her region.

Claire is currently Deputy of Inclusion at a Bristol School and an SLE for SEN and Inclusion. She qualified as a Primary teacher in 2008 and has taught across Key Stages in mainstream and special education. She has continued her love of learning with a Masters in Education, National Award for SEN Coordination and the Teaching Leaders Programme. She is passionate about inclusion and equality, an advocate for #WomenEd and developed her own blogging platform whilst on maternity leave.

Claire is now back at work full time in her SENCO role.

Charlotte Bell, @cslbell
West Midlands Representative and Social Media Secretary

Charlotte represents The MTPT Project in the West Midlands connecting members of The MTPT Project, planning meet ups and speaking on behalf of the project at various networking events.  She also looks after the @maternityCPD Twitter handle, tweeting about CPD events in the West Midlands and her own CPD adventures as she embraces her new role as Mummy to little boy, Jack.

A Teach First ambassador, she is now the Leader of GCSE Literature and Media at a small state secondary on the outskirts of Birmingham having joined the teaching profession after completing her PhD in Social Engaged Art and Performance on/about Social Housing Estates.

Charlotte is still actively engaged with Teach First’s Action Networks, and is a governor at a local primary school, focusing on teaching and learning.  She blogs about all of her English-focused CPD here.

Libby Merritt, @Libby_Merritt
East of England Regional Representative

Libby completed her teacher training at Roehampton in 2010.  She has taught History in London, Peterborough and Cambridge.  She recently made a small contribution to a GCSE text book on the Norman Conquest and is currently working on an MSc in Educational Psychology.  She is particularly interested in inclusion, mental health and wellbeing.

Libby had her son, Ben, in June.

Emma Sheppard, @Comment_Ed
Founder and London Regional Representative

Emma is the Founder of The MTPT Project and dips in and out of the @maternityCPD Twitter handle.  She keeps the website updated and talks to lots of people about The MTPT Project.  She writes the newsletter (register to receive your copy each term), presents at conferences and organises the London coffee mornings.

Emma trained as an English teacher in Watford with Teach First in 2010 before moving to the British International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  She returned to the UK in 2013 and began working as a Lead Practitioner in South London.  Emma founded The MTPT Project during her first maternity leave in June 2016 and returned to work in January 2017.  She blogs from The MTPT Project blogging platform.

Emma has a new daughter, born in January 2018 and a son who is now a toddler.  Mostly the little girl sleeps and the boy points at her and says ‘Bebe’.

Charlotte Andrews, @Charlotte_Coach

Accreditation Coach

Charlotte trained as an English Teacher on the FastTrack teaching programme at Cambridge University in 2004. She started her career in Hertfordshire, where she led Teaching and Learning groups and CPD programmes. She then moved to the Cayman Islands, where she was Head of English.

She became interested in the way that coaching can inspire, empower and connect in an educational setting following a training course she attended, and when she returned to the UK in 2014, began studying for diplomas in life coaching and coaching within education alongside teaching English in Cambridge.  

As part of her commitment to support other women in education, Charlotte has signed up to the DfE’s coaching pledge, and is The MTPT Project’s dedicated Accreditation Coach.

Charlotte is currently on maternity leave, embracing the joys, challenges and opportunities that motherhood brings, following the birth of her little boy in April 2017.  

Lucy Braidley, @Lucy_Braidley
Blogger: Parental Leave CPD

Lucy blogs for The MTPT Project about the CPD she is completing during her third maternity leave.

She decided to become a teacher whilst on her first maternity leave and trained at Reading University through their Graduate Teacher Program.

Based in a small rural primary school with 120 pupils (one of whom is her daughter), Lucy is currently class teacher in year 2/3 and subject leader for English and Art. She also visits other schools as part of her role as KS1 moderator.

Frances Ashton, @FKAEnglish
Blogger: Family Friendly Schools

Frances blogs for The MTPT Project, focusing on her own CPD reflections whilst on maternity leave with her second daughter, and now writing about family friendly school cultures as she returns to work as an English teacher and member of SLT.

Frances completed her PGCE through Oxford University in 2008 before getting a job in an all girls comprehensive in Oxfordshire.  Having worked as a Second in Department, Advanced Learner Leader and a Lead Practitioner, she is now Associate Senior Leader for Teaching and Learning.

She has two daughters born in February 2014 and September 2016 who conspire to make sure she rarely gets a chance to sit down.

Our Advocates
Our advocates contribute more flexibly, but no less passionately to the development of The MTPT Project.  They are great cheerleaders for the issues that we explore and are essential in inspiring, empowering and connecting parent-teachers, school leaders, CPD providers and other MTPT community members across the UK.

Rebecca Cramer, @Bex_Cramer

Leadership Advocate

Secondary Head Teacher and Co-Founder of the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ all-through school, Reach Academy Feltham, Bex Cramer advocates for The MTPT Project in school leadership circles.  You can read her story of balancing new motherhood and established headship in our ‘Motherhood and Headship‘ interview series.

Nikki Kaiser, @chemDrK
Norwich Advocate

Mother of three, Nikki is a Chemistry Teacher and Research Lead.  She advocates for us in Norwich and across a number of Scientific networks in person and on social media.  You can read her #MaternityTeacher story in our Case Studies.

WomenEd, @WomenEd

UK Advocate

WomenEd are an international network who connect and inspire women in education.  Their UK branch have advocated for The MTPT Project since its inception, providing key connections to parties interested in the project’s work and by creating facilitation and presentation opportunities to spread the MTPT message at conferences and via social media.

Jenny Holder, @JennyHolderLiv
Liverpool Advocate

Jenny is a primary school teacher who used her maternity leave to develop her subject knowledge of YA fiction.  Following the birth of her daughter, she was appointed as Reading Coordinator for Liverpool Learning Partnership, a role which sees her developing opportunities for pupils across the city to read for pleasure.  Jenny advocates for us in Liverpool.

Madeleine Fresko-Brown, @M_X_F
North London Advocate

Whilst on maternity leave with her daughter, Madeleine blogged for The MTPT Project and took part in our pilot accreditation scheme.  Now back at work as an Assistant Principal in charge of Teaching and Learning, she advocates for us in North London.

Kristy Turner, @doc_kristy
Greater Manchester Advocate

Kristy is a Chemistry teacher and university lecturer, splitting her time between the University of Manchester and secondary teaching.  She has one daughter and advocates for The MTPT Project across a number of Scientific and Higher Education networks, both in person and via social media.  You can read her #MaternityTeacher story on our Case Studies page.

Hinal Bhudia, @hinalbhudia
Maths Advocate

Hinal is a Director of Maths in West London, a position she fulfils 4 days a week.  She has one child and advocates for The MTPT Project across Maths networks, both digitally and in person.

Nicole Ponsford, @NicolePonsford
EdTech Advocate

After her first maternity leave, Nicole transitioned from a school leadership position to the world of EdTech.  She co-founded her own consultancy, TechnoTeachers and advocates for The MTPT Project on multiple EdTech platforms.  Mum to three children, including twins, her #MaternityTeacher story can be read on our Case Studies page.

The Central Exchange, @Central_Exc
North East Advocate

The Central Exchange are a Skills Development and Co-working space based in North Shields, North Tyneside.  They are committed to providing baby and parent-friendly spaces for teachers and those involved in education and are advocating for The MTPT Project across the North East.

James Ashmore, @ashmore_edu

PaternityTeacher Advocate

James is an Education Consultant and English SLE, and co-author of ‘The New Middle Leader’s Handbook’.  He lives in Holmfirth, Yorkshire and has three children.  James advocates for The MTPT Project on all things paternity related, following his experience of taking three extended paternity leaves.

Bridget Clay, @bridget89ec
CPD Advocate

Bridget uses her CPD expertise to advocate for The MTPT Project across the country.  In particular, she has supported the development of our pilot accreditation and provides valuable contributions on the theories and research behind approaches to professional development in education.

Mal Krishnasamy, @MalCPD
Dorset Advocate

Mal is independent consultant, coach and trainer, and former senior leader of Teaching and Learning and CPD.  She now lives in Dorset with her partner and two boys having relocated from London and retrained as an Executive Coach whilst on maternity leave. Mal is also a Regional Leader for WomenEd South East and is a keen advocate of the MTPT project in Dorset.

Grainne O’Hallahan, @heymrshallahan
Essex Advocate

Grainne is a KS4 English Lead and mum of three. She is also a very active member of the community and the resources she has created before, during and after maternity leave are much loved across the country. Grainne advocates for us in Essex.

Kate Fiddian, @kfiddian
Bristol Advocate

Kate is a Science Teacher and Assistant Headteacher who looked after the @maternityCPD Twitter handle and represented The MTPT Project at various events and meet ups in the South West whilst on her first maternity leave.  Now heading back to school, she will continue to advocate for us in the Bristol area.

Kat Gillett, @gillettscience
Hertfordshire Advocate

Kat is a Director of Science in Harefield.  She completed CPD whilst on maternity leave with her son that was both topically and geographically varied – from gender equality at the UN in New York to FutureLearn course on AFL from the comfort of her own home.  Kat advocates for us in Hertfordshire.

Kerry Fraser, @mrsfraserphs
Scotland Advocate

Kerry is an English teacher in Perth, Scotland and mum to a little boy and girl.  She has completed a variety of CPD during her two maternity leaves, including reading, exam marking and running social media accounts for her department.  Kerry advocates for us in Scotland.

Leanne Shaw, @LeanneShawAHS
Yorkshire Advocate

Leanne is a Maths Teacher and part of the T&L team at her school in York.  She has one son and has supported The MTPT Project by taking part in our pilot accreditation process during her maternity leave.  Leanne advocates for us across Yorkshire.

Our Supporters

We are grateful to the following organisations who support us with advice, research and promotional opportunities.