Mentors

Jane Robinson 

Jane Robinson has had a long and varied career in education. Jane began by teaching English & Drama in Inner City secondary schools in London. She was Head of Department from 1996 to 2003.

She became a Local Authority Advisory Teachers for G&T pupils for the London Borough of Newham from 2003-2010 and during that time she was seconded to London G&T & also became a University Tutor for Canterbury University Christchurch.

In 2010 she started at Gallions Primary School as a Senior Teacher & then went on to manage North Beckton Teaching School Alliance & New Wave Teaching School Alliance.

Jane is currently the Director of Wickford Teaching School Alliance. In 2017 she became the Teaching Schools Council Regional Representative for the East of England & the Local Lead for North East London.  

Her other posts include: NPQML & SL facilitator for IOE & Best Practice Network (BPN), Professional Tutor & English Lead for School Centred Initial Teacher Training East London, Stonewall Champion Train the Trainer Facilitator, Subject Matter Expert for BPN & Associate Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University. 

Niamh McNabb

Niamh McNabb is Head of Studies at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, where she manages guidance staff, is part of the Safeguarding Team and was recently appointed Equality and Diversity Lead. Long Road is a large sixth form offering A levels and diplomas to almost 2300 16-19 year-olds.

Niamh has worked in education since 1999, following on from her career in photography and magazine journalism. Before that she graduated from The University of Nottingham with a physics degree and is one of the few who has taught extensively across the arts and sciences. Her passion lies in pastoral work; she has been part of Long Road’s Senior Guidance Team since 2011 and Head of Studies since 2014.


At college she aims to be a role model to young people with LGBT+ identities and Long Road’s Pride Club is very popular in part due to Niamh’s management. In the past she has experienced harassment for her identity and wants to make sure Long Road is an environment where students feel safe to be themselves. Outside college Niamh is a trustee for The Kite Trust, a charity that helps young LGBT+ people in the region and offers training to businesses and schools.


Originally from Northern Ireland, Niamh has moved around England but is now settled in her village home in the north of Cambridge. 

Donna Walsh

Donna Walsh is Director of Teaching School for BMAT – a multi academy Trust based across Essex and East London. She is also a Specialist Leader of Education with a focus on Initial Teaching Training.

Donna is responsible for leading on Initial Teacher Training, Continued Professional Leadership Development and School to School Support across BMAT.

She completed a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership in 2015 with a focus on middle and senior leadership training. She is an alumni facilitator for ‘Teaching Leaders/ Ambition School Leadership’ and also facilitates NPQML and SL at the Institute of Education, London.

Chris Richards

Chris Richards has been Deputy Headteacher at Villiers High School in Ealing since 2017. Since his appointment, he has covered a variety of roles from Raising Standards Lead to Strategic Lead for Inclusion, but the constant has been Teaching and Learning.

Chris completed a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership in 2015 and is a Teaching Leaders and Future Leaders alumnus. Chris is also a lead facilitator for Ambition School Leadership in Central London and coaches several Middle and Senior Leaders on a regular basis.

Bradley Saunders

Bradley Saunders is a Director of Learning and Head of School working for the HEARTS Academy Trust. As part of his role as Director of Learning, Bradley leads a central school improvement team, who support six primary schools in South Essex. In this role, Bradley is responsible for the quality of teaching learning across the schools, with a specific focus on English in KS2. Over the past two years, outcomes across the six schools have increased by 25% and he has supported three schools to get graded ‘good’ by OFSTED.

Bradley participated in Courageous Leaders as a mentee during its first year, so knows first-hand the positive impact this leadership programme has had on his career.

Hannah Ford

Hannah Ford is Assistant Head and Head of Maths and Numeracy at Old Palace of John Whitgift School in Croydon. Old Palace is an independent school for girls in Croydon, from Nursery to 18.

Hannah has worked in education since graduating from Cambridge in 2006 where she studied Mathematics and Astrophysics. She has a love for her subject which she aims to pass on to her students, but is also passionate about education outside the classroom. She has worked with Teach for America to develop their summer school programme pairing trainee teachers with summer camps in poor and disadvantaged neighbourhoods to help tackle the 'summer slump'. She also has a keen interest in politics, and was one of the organisers of the Women's March in London in January 2017.

Hannah lives in central London with her wife and dog.  

Ruth Amos

Ruth Amos has worked in the field of education since the late 1980’s, after a brief career as an environmental research chemist. She was teacher of science, Head of Chemistry and Head of Science in inner London schools before transitioning to university lecturer and initial teacher educator at the Institute of Education, University of London (now UCL) in 2004. Between 2009 and 2012, she co-led the PGCE science courses at the IOE and has taught on CPD programmes in London and the south east, Europe and Asia. She is passionate about embedding local and global issues, values and responsible action into the school curriculum.

Ruth welcomed opportunities to be a positive role model as an LGBTQ+ science teacher. Being a non-biological co-parent allowed for this; it turned out 6th form students referred to her as ‘Daddy’, so the contradictions between science ideas and lesbian co-parent were firmly on the table.

Ruth is currently a member of the UCL LGBT+ group and has been a mentor with Courageous Leaders since its inception. She lives in London with her partner, two children and two cats. 

Dr Catherine Lee

Dr Catherine Lee is Deputy Dean for Education at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford and Cambridge. She has more than twenty years’ experience as a secondary school teacher in both urban and rural schools, where her roles included teacher of Physical Education and English, SENCo and Assistant Headteacher.

Catherine’s research interests are Teacher Education, LGBT teachers, LGBT leadership and the experiences of LGBT people in rural communities. She has published a book and a number of articles in these fields, and her research has featured in the local and national media. 

Vicky Paver

Vicky Paver has been Head of School at West Lea School in Enfield since September 2017. She leads Meridian Campus, a primary provision for children with SEN, a new site that opened in September 2017. She previously worked in Primary schools in Newham for 10 years.

Vicky gained her NPQH through Future Leaders in January 2017. She has a passion for developing leaders and supporting the development of a learning for life curriculum so that children with SEN are able to work and live independently.

Sarah Carroll

Sarah is a teacher of Health and Social Care at Long Road Sixth Form College. She is also the Course Team Leader of the Level 2 programme (GCSE equivalent), and is the Tutor for all Level 2 Health and Social Care students.

Sarah qualified as a Secondary School P.E teacher from Newman University in Birmingham, and now works in the post 16 sector teaching applied Health and Social Care. She has an undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science from Coventry University. Sarah has worked in education since 2012, and has taken on a number of teaching positions. She started off as a Cover Supervisor at a secondary school in Coventry, and then moved onto a 1 year Maternity Cover teaching position in a Secondary School in Birmingham to complete her NQT year in P.E. Next, worked as a supply teacher around the Birmingham area, until she moved to Cambridgeshire to find a job in the post 16 sector. She has also worked as a Sports Activation Technician at the College she now works in.

At college, she aims to be a positive role model to young people with LGBT+ identities, and supports at Long Road’s Pride Club. She hopes to be the role model that she would have wanted during her teenage years at school and sixth form. Teaching a unit on the topic of Equality and Diversity in Health and Social Care has given Sarah the opportunity to be open about her experiences as part of the LGBT+ community, and raise awareness to the students she teaches.

Katie Scott 

Katie Scott is the Headteacher of Langley Park School for Girls in London. Her previous headship was that of Portslade Aldridge Community Academy in Brighton. A graduate of Sussex University in Contemporary history with Italian, she has been a senior leader for 14 years.

She has chosen to be involved in this mentoring scheme because she strongly believes that visible role models for all types of young people are essential if they are going to have the confidence and belief that their future is a bright one worth working for.

A working single parent of 18 years, she strives to make the work place as flexible and supportive as is possible whilst championing the progress of young people in the classroom and beyond.