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Regional Directors

Our Regional Directors have a wealth of in-depth experience leading improvement across our schools, working closely with headteachers to support each school on its journey of continuous improvement. Regional Directors ensure that all schools benefit from collaboration, particularly through local clustering.

Derek Davies

Derek Davies

Regional Director (Northern Secondary Team)

Derek is the Regional Director for United Learning Secondary Academies in the North. His first Headship was in Greater Manchester where he led a school from Special Measures in 2004 to being judged Outstanding in 2008. In 2009 he formed a new academy, replacing two single sex schools. Derek joined United Learning in 2013 as Executive Principal of two academies in Carlisle which had just recently joined the group.  Both academies have been on a significant improvement journey.

Derek has worked in the Greater Manchester area since 1987 – all schools being in challenging circumstances. He was also Director of the Greater Manchester Challenge Secondary Leadership Strategy, which involved developing leadership capacity in other schools. As a National Leader of Education he has supported and coached other Heads and has contributed to developing national strategy. He has been a coach and facilitator for the National College of Leadership and a Lead Inspector for Ofsted.

Tanya Hughes

Tanya Hughes

Regional Director (Northern Primary Team)

Tanya joined United Learning in January 2018. In her previous role as HMI she led inspections of primary schools, independent schools, nurseries and special schools. Her role as HMI also involved complaints investigations, monitoring schools in categories of concern and she took part in national surveys. Her background in early years means that she has had the privilege of inspecting nursery schools.

Tanya started teaching in 1988 and has had a successful career in education as a primary teacher, deputy headteacher and headteacher. This experience includes working in schools in challenging contexts and in both urban and rural settings. She sat on the executive boards for the Primary Heads Association and the NAHT in Cumbria, working on issues that affected the future direction of education.

Christine Raeside

Christine Raeside

Regional Director (Southern Secondary Team)

Chris Raeside is a secondary Regional Director for academies in the south. She joined United Learning in September 2017 following 7 years working for Ofsted as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors. For her last three years with Ofsted, Chris was a senior HMI, working in the South West, overseeing and quality-assuring inspection throughout the region. She is an experienced secondary senior leader, working in schools and local authorities in two London authorities and, since 2005, in Hampshire, where she lives.

Jan Shadick

Jan Shadick

Regional Director (Southern Secondary Team)

Jan is Regional Director for Academies (South Secondary). Previous to this role she had been a head teacher for 14 years leading three schools, including one in central London. She has also been an Executive Head teacher of two United Learning London Academies. As part of her executive leadership responsibility within the Group she leads on the leadership development programmes (United Leadership).  

Jan is also a qualified Executive Coach, having completed the ILM7 Executive Coaching qualification and is a coach for the Women’s Leadership Pledge (NCTL). She has experience of being an Ofsted Inspector.

Jan originally trained as a teacher of PE with History, at the University of Warwick and gained a Masters in Education Leadership from the University of London and NPQH from IoE.

Oli Tomlinson

Oli Tomlinson

Regional Director (Midlands Secondary Team)

Oli was Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning at Paddington Academy from when it opened in 2006. She became Principal in 2009. Paddington Academy was judged to be outstanding in 2011 under her leadership. She is now Regional Director for East Midlands.

Richard Yeates

Richard Yeates

Regional Director (Independent Primary Schools)

Richard Yeates is Regional Director with responsibility for the Independent Primary Schools in the group. Until July 2017 he was the long-standing Head of Ashford Prep School where he oversaw the successful merger of two very different schools. The school achieved Outstanding/Excellent in all categories in its latest inspection and subsequently achieved its current Teaching School status.

Richard is an experienced facilitator and trainer of senior and middle leaders and has worked with many schools in and out of the group to help develop strategy, leadership and school effectiveness in a broad range of aspects, including working with a local University Technology College. He has been a school governor and is an experienced inspector. He enjoys coaching and mentoring both new and experienced leaders.

He has experience of Primary and Secondary education in various roles including Head, Deputy, Director of Music, Director of Marketing and Housemaster. He has a particular interest in bringing the best out of people and in developing leadership in others with three of his deputies going on to take up their own headships.

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