Primary CPD Networks

Providing opportunities for schools to collaborate, develop & succeed

Our networks provide opportunities for a wide range of school staff to come together to learn, share and develop by engaging with the latest educational thinking and research in a meaningful and cost effective way.

Sessions will be offered via a combination of online and face to face. The face to face introductory sessions will take place at John Taylor Teaching School Hub near Burton-on-Trent, but when we run the full networks from September onwards we are keen to host these in more local venues based on take-up.

Special Introductory Price

We are offering these introductory network sessions to schools at an exclusive discounted price of just… 

£10 per person, per session!

This offers schools a TOTAL SAVING OF £410!

We very much hope you will get a feel for our CPD networks and decide to subscribe to the full programmes in the 2022-23 academic year.

For More Information...
To see full details of the sessions available, including dates, session overviews and facilitator profiles, please scroll down. To secure places at each of the sessions, click on the link to BOOK NOW!

Network Programme

Senior Leaders' Network

Gateway Alliance provide a range of support for Primary senior leaders. Our Senior Leaders’ network provides access to the latest evidence-informed leadership practice through an annual programme of webinars, networking events and inspirational conferences. We also work in partnership with DRB to offer schools in our senior leaders network discounted access to the DRB Leadership Briefings. 



Session Overview:

During this taster session, colleagues will hear more about the Gateway Alliance Primary Senior Leaders’ Network as well as have the opportunity to hear from guest speaker Rob Carpenter. Rob’s session ‘Building a Curriculum for Excellence’ explores practical approaches to curriculum design which ensures knowledge is developed within an ethical framework leading to greater pupil agency and excellence for all pupils.

Speaker Profile:

Rob Carpenter has been a teacher leader for over 20 years. He is the Trust Leader for the Inspire Partnership, a family of 9 schools in South East London. Rob’s philosophy for leading learning is rooted in high quality curriculum provision which connects learning experiences with the wider world, the arts and problem solving. He has served as a local and national leader in education and is passionate about school-to-school support, having developed a range of tools to strengthen the leadership of teaching and learning.

DRB Leadership Briefing

Session Overview: The DRB Leadership Briefings are an essential update for senior leaders featuring the latest from the Department for Education, the ESFA, Ofqual, the Standards and Testing Agency and Ofsted. The meetings occur termly and schools that subscribe are given additional support via weekly email updates and ongoing telephone and email support from the briefing’s facilitator, Andrew Pilmore. 

Speaker Profile: Andrew Pilmore is the director of education at DRB and delivers all of the briefings. He is available for advice during each term should questions arise or advice be necessary. Andrew was previously a headteacher for 11 years. 

Early Years Leaders' Network

The Gateway Alliance Early Years Leaders’ Network meets termly to provide an opportunity for EY leaders from Primary Schools to come together to hear the latest news and updates in the world of Early Years; enhance their leadership skills; explore research and pedagogy and network with colleagues. We work closely with a range of local and national Early Years specialists to share research, develop expertise and explore the latest practice. 


SESSION POSTPONED – Unfortunately, this session is now not able to take place on the date planned. We are hoping to reschedule before the end of term. If you are interested in attending please register for a place(s) and we will communicate the new date/time with you ASAP.

Session Overview: 

During this introductory meeting we will be sharing more information about the network and will have a CPD focus on “Assessment in the EYFS – effective judgements to support transition”.  This session will look at assessment within the national context, identify and explore some of the more ambiguous early learning goals and discuss what a “best fit” judgement might look like and how to use this assessment to effectively support transition to Key Stage 1. 

Network Leader:

Ruth Swailes is our Early Years Network Leader and has 27 years’ experience in primary education, in a range of senior leadership roles including primary headship. Ruth has worked as a School Improvement Advisor, Early Years consultant and moderator in several Local Authorities and has a proven track record of supporting leaders and teachers to improve outcomes for pupils. Passionate about Primary education, Ruth has taught from Nursery to Y6 and has experience of leading Ofsted inspections . She also works with a range of MATS, hubs, the LGA, teaching unions and schools throughout the UK providing training, school improvement advice, appraisal, coaching and mentoring. 

SENCo Network

This network offers the opportunity for both new and experienced SENCos to come together to hear the latest news and updates in the world of SEND; enhance their leadership skills; explore research and pedagogy and network with colleagues.


Session Overview: 

This introductory SENCo Network meeting will begin with sharing national updates in relation to SEND including latest research and links to new SEND resources and training.

We will then move on to 2 main areas of focus.

  • Firstly, we will have a look at the SEND review: right support, right place, right time green paper and consider the changes the DfE are proposing to make to the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP) system in England.
  • We will also explore the key features of a model of Distributed Leadership for SEND where every leader is a leader of SEND, rather than the SENCO being the sole owner of the SEND magic wand! Research suggests that leadership and management can be highly effective when it is shared by different individuals and is distributed across different levels in a school (Ofsted SIH Para 232). So, what does a distributed approach to the Leadership of SEND look like, particularly in relation to subject leadership for SEND? How can it enable improved access, participation and achievement for children with SEND across all aspects of school life?

Network Leader:

Kate Browning is our SENCo Network Leader. She is a well-regarded lead professional both locally and nationally in school improvement for children and young people with SEND. She has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, SENCo, Local Authority School Improvement Officer for SEN and interim Education Development Officer for NASEN, where she supported the delivery of nationwide training on the SEND Code of Practice with the DfE. Kate works with Alliances, MATs, local authorities and individual schools to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND across the primary and secondary phase. She also teaches the National Award for SEN Coordination, facilitates SENCo networks across the Midlands and is an associate lecturer on SEND.

English Network

This network meets termly to provide an opportunity for leaders to come together to hear the latest news and updates in the world of Primary English; enhance their leadership skills; explore research and pedagogy and network with colleagues. 

Session Overview: 

During this introductory network session English colleagues will be introduced to the Gateway facilitators and be updated in matters that are currently affecting the English education community, including the reading expectations of the Ofsted framework. The rest of the session will examine key aspects of both reading and writing by firstly looking at the knowledge that underpins the teaching of spelling, building on an effective phonics programme, and then the importance of reading for pleasure and the pedagogies that underpin getting this right.

Network Leader:

Ruth Baker-Leask is our English Network Leader and is an experienced consultant, leading successful English CPD for 20 years, and former primary Head Teacher, Ruth is the chair of the National Association of Advisers in English (NAAE) and as such works regularly with the country’s leading researchers and experts in the field of Primary English. She is an associate teacher for the CLPE and an associate consultant with the National Literacy Trust.  Ruth is a member of the United Kingdom Literacy Association Awards and Members Panel. 

School Business Managers' Network

The SBM network meets termly and offers business managers an opportunity to access professional development focused specifically on their role and facilitated by an independent expert – Philippa Ollerhead – along with the opportunity to network with colleagues. 


Session Overview: 

This network meeting will look at the latest news and updates for business managers – including a funding update, the latest from Ofsted and news from the DfE. We will have a specific focus on the DfE white paper and its impact on maintained schools and academies as well as an opportunity for colleagues to share issues and challenges with others from across the network.

Network Leader:

Philippa Ollerhead is a highly experienced consultant, trainer and adviser, she has particular expertise in teaching and learning, leadership and management and pre and post-OFSTED support. Philippa has over 30 years experience in education, with 16 years at senior leadership level and most recently was Education Services Director for Judicium Education. Philippa is a training partner for the National Association of Headteachers delivering courses for senior leaders across the country. She also works closely with the Department for Education supporting academies and MATs who are experiencing financial or structural issues by working with leadership to analyse resources with the aim of reducing spend and improving staffing efficiencies.