Meet the Learning and Development Team

Ella Roberts, Director of Professional Learning

Ella Roberts 2

Ella has been in education for over 20 years and has worked in a variety of Schools across East Sussex, before joining TKAT in 2014 becoming Deputy Director of Learning in 2016 and then Director of Teaching School in 2019. She has held a variety of senior leadership roles including Deputy Headteacher, Headteacher and Deputy Executive Regional Director. She has also supported many schools in a consultancy capacity including leadership development, teacher coaching, assessment and maths support. She is an EMCC Accredited Coach at Senior Practitioner level.

Ella is passionate about high quality teaching and learning and ensuring all children have the best educational experience possible. As Director of Professional Learning,  Ella is responsible for professional development within the Learning and Development Network ensuring schools have access to high quality professional development, leadership development, school to school support and coaching.


Sarah Drury, Director of TKAT SCITT

Sarah Drury
Over a 29 year career Sarah has taught from pre-school to Year 8 working in a range of schools and settings in various roles including as a Primary Deputy Head and Headteacher. She has a passion for books and reading and sees it as a huge privilege to work with children, and now teacher trainees.  Throughout her career she has mentored and coached many trainee teachers on both university and school based routes.


Rachel Ward, Director of Wellbeing

Rachel Ward
Rachel's career in education spans 25 years including working as Deputy Head Teacher in three different secondary schools in Kent and East Sussex, as well as a secondment into a primary school leadership team. Rachel joined TKAT in 2014 as Director of Learning taking responsibility for teacher training and leadership development across the Trust. Rachel feels privileged to now be working with our newest entrants into the profession and hopes to inspire the next generation of exceptional teachers and leaders. She draws on her additional knowledge and skills as Director of Wellbeing across the Trust to support her in this role.


Laura Stevens, Deputy Director of Professional Learning

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Laura has successfully facilitated outstanding & improving teacher programmes in East Sussex across primary & secondary phases. She has supported a school to effectively set up the programme. Laura is a trained coach with many years’ experience as a professional tutor working with a range of ITT providers & appropriate bodies. She has line managed Science departments through change and rapid improvement.

Laura is passionate about high quality teaching and learning and ensuring all children have the best educational experience possible. As Deputy Director of Professional Learning, Laura works within the Learning and Development Network with a responsibility for professional development and leadership development across the secondary phase.


Steve Excell, Learning & Development Network Administrative Officer

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Following over 20 years working in finance, Steve decided upon a career change. He joined TKAT in 2015 to support the Group Director of Learning, lead school headteacher, and strategic partners in providing leadership, and development/growth to the trust and wider partnerships.

Steve now supports the Director of Professional Learning in the administration, and development of the Learning and Development Network through all methods of communication.


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