Members of the Leycroft Local Academy Council (LAC)
Debbie has been the Headteacher of special schools (and alternative provision) for the last fifteen years, working across the Midlands and the South East. In addition, she has recently completed her PhD research exploring how the Headteachers of special schools maintain school effectiveness through periods of change.
Debbie has particular expertise in leading staff teams through rapid school improvement and in meeting the needs of students with behaviour that challenges us. She has worked with students with moderate, severe and complex learning difficulties, ADHD, ASD and SEMH, from nursery, primary, secondary and post 16 age-groups. Her goal is always to support students towards greater independence.
Debbie grew up in South Birmingham and has a younger sister with complex and severe communication needs. This has given her an insight into how family life is affected by a child with disabilities, with all its joys and challenges. She also understands how a good special school can have a positive impact on the whole family. Debbie continues to support her sister in adulthood, liaising closely with her care providers.
Debbie is passionate about providing high quality education for students with additional needs. She believes that those students who need extra help are entitled to the very best teaching and learning opportunities and that learning itself can be a therapeutic process. Debbie has experience of managing multi-agency support teams, including therapists and family support workers. Debbie believes that well-led staff teams feel safe and happy this enables them to create schools where students feel safe and happy too.
James Banting (parent representative)
James has worked at BT Openreach now for 10 years and held the position of Senior Delivery manager for the past 5 years. Within this role he deals with multiple stakeholders and manages large scale projects to ultimately provide people with broadband service when they move into newly built properties across the East of the country. James hopes he can bring his project related experience to his role as LAC member to support the school and its pupils be the best they can be.
James also has a child who attends Leycroft Academy, so he will approach his role on the LAC from a parent’s perspective and ensure all families are considered in the school’s policies and procedures moving forward.
Bren Taylor – Chair
Bren leads Link2ICT’s Professional Services providing support for more than 1400 schools nationally, mainly in Birmingham, Staffordshire and West Sussex.
Bren is currently the Chair of West Midlands Regional Broadband Consortium (WMnet), Chair of the National Education Network (NEN) and a director of the Birmingham eLearning Foundation (BeLF). He is also a program committee member for the annual International mLearn conference.
A teacher by trade, Bren taught in Sandwell and Birmingham. During his time at Birmingham LA and with Link2ICT, he also led the Birmingham CLC Service and was a senior advisor to the Birmingham BSF programme. He has also been a facilitator for the National College for Teaching and Learning’s (NCTL) leadership programmes, working for two different licensees, during which time he was certificated in the first ever cohort of the NCTL’s Advanced Facilitator programme.
As a volunteer, Bren has worked in soup kitchens, been a school governor and has contributed as one of a couple of UK representatives to the UNESCO OER programme. His spare time now is often taken up with keeping his classic sports car on the road and taking part in events and rallies across the UK and Europe. Bren is married with two grown up children and his wife is also a teacher in a special education setting.