About Us


The MTPT Project serves a large education community, many of whom support through one off, or informal commitments.  Our Advocates spread the word on social media, at networking events, in their schools and provide support to our members on a wide range of topics.

Kat Howard, @saysmiss

East Midlands Advocate

Kat is the Head of Professional Learning at David Ross Education Trust, and a former Assistant Head Teacher and English Teacher.  She is also the Founder of the resource-sharing site, LitDrive, which she partly developed whilst on maternity leave with her second son.

Kat now has three boys, and has stepped into an Advocacy role following four years as The MTPT Project’s East Midlands Regional Representative.

Emily Pringle, @EHP89

Lincoln Advocate

Emily is a History teacher in North Lincolnshire. She has previously been a Head of Year but stepped down when she moved schools after her first child.

She is currently on maternity for her third child and is passionate about effective CPD for teachers, helping to design a new CPD system within her school. This came about after her second maternity leave where she discovered educational reading and research, aiming to improve her own teaching skills.

Kulvarn Atwal, @ThinkingSchool2
CPD Advocate

Kulvarn is currently Head Teacher of two large primary schools in East London. Having completed his doctorate in 2016, he is particularly interested in ways in which to better retain teachers to the profession, including flexible models of working.

Kulvarn’s passion is CPD and in 2018, he published his first book, ‘The Thinking School – Developing a Dynamic Learning Community’.  He advocates for The MTPT Project in both his CPD and Primary Leadership capacity.

Alice Walker
South West London Advocate

Alice has recently returned to her KS3 English Lead role after taking time out to have her daughter. During maternity leave she made use of the programme of professional coaching offered by The MTPT Project to develop her knowledge of YA fiction and to cultivate a love of reading in her pupils.

She works at a secondary school in Wimbledon and advocates for us in South West London.

Anna Hartley, @teacher_sea

Newcastle Advocate

Anna is a GCSE English Interventional Teacher and former PGCE mentor working in Northumberland and living on the North East Coast. She loves reading, coastal walks and time on the beach with her three children and husband. Anna is passionate about teacher well-being, opportunities for CPD and promoting reading for pleasure.  Anna’s advocacy will involve hosting ad hoc coffee mornings in Newcastle and surrounding areas.

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 courses on AFL from the comfort of her own home.  Kat advocates for us in Hertfordshire.

Alex Mason, @babytismoffire
Adoption Advocate

Alex is currently an English SLE and KS4 Curriculum Progress Leader at a large upper school after spending 5 years as Director of English in secondary schools in both the Middle East and the UK. 

She is a mum through the wonderful and complex world of adoption, and advocates for understanding and education around adoption: ensuring that mums and dads are able to feel comfortable and confident to access all parenting opportunities. 

She spent her adoption leave navigating becoming mum at 24hours notice and writing her ramblings down in her blog and book ‘The Babytism of Fire’.

Sondos Bowker, @MrsB_NE
Northumberland Advocate

Sondos is a Head of English in a middle school in Northumberland.  She has a history in university lecturing as part of her PhD studies and working with The Brilliant Club and trained as a teacher through School Direct in 2018. 

As an advocate, she has spoken on Teachers’ Talk Radio about her middle leadership role and shared her experiences of completing CPD whilst on maternity leave with her twin boys.

Katherine Childs, @English_MrsC

Dorset Advocate

Katherine is a Head of English who lives in Dorset after relocating from London in 2015. She has two sons: Oliver, born in May 2014 and Ethan, born in December 2019.

Katherine previously acted as the Dorset Regional Representative, before stepping into an Advocacy role as her boys have got older.

Prairna Sharma, @prairnasharma

Returners Advocate

Prairna is a teacher of Economics and Business in a secondary school having returned to work following a career break with her children.

As well as extensive examining and moderating experience, Prairna has previously been an Assistant Headteacher in two secondaries, Head of Faculty, Lead Practitioner and Sixth Form Pastoral Leader.

Prairna has delivered sessions for a wide range of audiences including events such as ResearchED Surrey and British Institute Teach Meets. 

Kate Fiddian, @kfiddian
Bristol Advocate

Kate is a Science Teacher and Deputy 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 back at school, she will continue to advocate for us in the Bristol area.

Lucy Rose, @luceassociation and Lindsay East @mumsyme

Flexible Working Advocates

Lindsay and Lucy are Teach First ambassadors based in London. As well as teaching Economics and English, respectively  they run a project called Flexible Teacher Talent (#flexibleteachertalent) promoting flexible working in schools. They advocate for The MTPT Project at events, on social media and through collaborative research.

Ashleigh Gilbertson, @ACPGilbertson

#MTPTproject Australia

Ashleigh Gilbertson (she/her) is an English and History teacher on Ngunnawal Country in Canberra, Australia.

She returned to work at 0.8 when her first child, born in 2018, was one year old, and is on maternity leave with her second child in 2021. Ashleigh is passionate about inspiring more Australian parent-teachers to become involved with the MTPT Project.

Andrea Jennings, @lady_stow

HR and Support Staff Advocate

Andrea is a qualified HR Manager who lives and works in north east London with her husband and two children.  She has worked in secondary education for 14 years in 4 different schools and is passionate about flexible working, staff wellbeing and mental health.  As well as The MTPT Project she supports the Pregnant Then Screwed campaign and Flex Appeal, working as a moderator and giving advice on their joint forum Work It Out.

Bretta Townend-Jowitt, @2106Head

Oxfordshire Advocate

Bretta is a Headteacher in a rural primary school in West Oxfordshire. She has one son and has experience of being a teacher and senior leader with a young child. She is passionate about supporting parents undergoing fertility treatment and in ensuring parents are able to find a good work-life balance.  Bretta advocates for The MTPT Project in Oxfordshire.

Holly Barradell, @drama_holly

Sussex Advocate

Holly is currently an Associate member of SLT and Drama teacher in West Kent, working 0.9 to spend 1 day a fortnight just for her two young children.  She has an MA in Education and is the co-founder of Open Drama UK.

Her husband (who is her biggest supporter) is also a teacher, a senior middle leader himself, and between them they contribute much to their wider communities in both Sport and Theatre as well as advocating for The MTPT Project in both Sussex and across Performing Arts networks.

Nicola Mooney, @nicksnook

IVF Advocate

Nicola is a Science teacher and middle leader working in Gloucestershire.  She is mother to four boys and is currently on maternity leave with her new baby, Oisin.

Her two younger sons were born following a miscarriage, and several years of fertility treatment.  She is passionate about supporting parents, especially teachers, going through IVF.


Hinal Bhudia, @hinalbhudia
Maths Advocate

Hinal is an Associate Assistant Principal in West London, a position she fulfils 4 days a week and secured less than a year after returning from maternity leave.  She has one child and advocates for The MTPT Project across Maths networks, both digitally and in person.

Patrick Ottley-O’Connor, @ottleyoconnor
Leadership Advocate

Patrick is a Head Teacher with 17 years experience of secondary leadership currently working in the North West.  He leads on a variety of NPQ programmes, provides coaching and mentoring to other head teachers and provides training and consultation on a range of leadership topics from Ofsted Frameworks to staff wellbeing.

As a father of five boys and Hurricane the tortoise, finding a balance between professional aspirations and family life is close to Patrick’s heart.  

Global Equality Collective, @GECcollect
Equality Advocate

The Global Equality Collective work towards an education system that is fair and equitable for everyone and their work challenges all forms of stereotypes within schools, amongst students, staff bases and as students transition into the wider world of work.

Co-Founded by Nicole Ponsford, The MTPT Project’s EdTech Adovcate, The GEC provide a great network for teachers and leaders.

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.

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.

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.

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.

BAMEed, @BAMEedNetwork
UK Advocate

BAMEed are a UK-based network for Black, Asian and minority ethnic teachers who support The MTPT Project to ensure our work is truly inclusive and intersectional, providing us with opportunities to share the inspiring stories of BAME parent-teachers.  The advise of BAMEed has resulted in The MTPT Project’s annual Diversity Report, and the creation of our Diversity and Inclusion team.

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.

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.

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 Webb, @funkypedagogy
Leeds Advocate

Jenny is a senior leader in Leeds, mentor, author, blogger and mum to a toddler.

She is passionate about empowering parents to make the choices which are right for them, looking at common-sense  working practices  and providing excellent CPD for teachers at all stages.

Jenny Holder, @JennyHolderLiv
Reading for Pleasure 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 across social media.

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.

Sam Collins, @samschoolstuff

Wellbeing Advocate

Sam is a primary teacher based in Devon, and the founder of Schoolwell, a staff wellbeing resource and blog. She also has a wealth of experience working flexibly, part time in job shares and as a supply teacher.

Her advocacy for the MTPT project sits within her wider work, promoting wellbeing and work life balance for all school staff on the site and at in person at CPD events.

Nikki Cunningham-Smith, @_MrsC_S

Gloucester Advocate

Nikki is an Assistant Headteacher in an Alternative Provision in Gloucestershire and behaviour writer for TES.  She has one little girl, and is a keen netball player.

Nikki advocates for The MTPT Project on social media and in the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire regions, sharing practical advice on schools and local contacts.


Teacher5aDay, @teacher5aday
Martyn Reah, @martynreah

Wellbeing Advocate

#Teacher5aday is a Twitter hashtag set up by Martyn Reah to support teachers in safeguarding their wellbeing.  #Teacher5aday run slow chats, blogs, activities and celebrate the different ways to feel good and foster positive mental health as a teacher.

A father of four and Deputy Head Teacher in Hampshire, Martyn and #Teacher5aday are advocates of The MTPT Project, supporting many members of our community to enjoy a work-life balance.

Kinza Barrett, @kinzalouise
Maternity and Shared Parental Leave Pay Advocate

Kinza is Head of Maths in South Gloustershire, currently on maternity leave with her second daughter, Imogen. 

Having qualified as a Barrister prior to her career in teaching she is confident with the guidelines associated with a variety of parental leave pay arrangements and the processes involved and is happy to share advice via Twitter.

Mark Chatley, @MrMChatley
Leadership Advocate

Mark is a Trust Leader of a Primary Trust of three schools. Mark believes in creating an empowering and autonomous environment for staff, where they can choose to direct their own professional development and stay research informed. Wellbeing is at the heart of Mark’s school where staff are freed up from non-essential tasks to focus on the main thing – teaching and learning.

After three failed IVF attempts, Mark is a father of two boys – the first a successful IVF – and so work life balance is really important to him and something he promotes within his school.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ali Russell-Webb, @Ali_85

Hampshire Advocates

Ali trained as an English teacher at Portsmouth University in 2008, and now works as a Lead Practitioner. 

She has two sons, and stepped into an Advocacy after spending three years as The MTPT Project’s North Hampshire Regional Representative.

Raphael Moss @mrrmoss
Leadership Advocate

Raphael is Headteacher of a large, inner-city primary school in Wembley. He is a professional coach to aspiring leaders and provides coaching and mentoring to new Headteachers.

Raphael believes passionately in having a diverse, inclusive school – for children and for adults. By supporting positive wellbeing and flexible approaches to work, this benefits retention as well as a more engaged and effective workforce. Raphael’s blog on flexible working was featured by #WomedEd.

As a father of four young children, Raphael has first-hand experience of the challenges faced by teachers as they start, develop and strive to nurture their families and careers.

Catherine Lea, @MissLeaSays

Blackpool Advocate

Catherine completed her teacher training in Lancaster in 2008 and taught at primary level in London for nine years before returning to the North West in 2017.  She has two children: Dylan and Seren and now works as a SENCO.

Catherine formerly acted as The MTPT Project’s Lancashire Regional Representative and was particularly instrumental in working with schools to build The MTPT Project community in this region.