Meet the Team


Here you will find information about our staff, their backgrounds and the main areas of work they are involved in, as well as our team structures and key responsibilities.

For further information, please contact the members of staff using the email addresses provided or if you have any general queries regarding the work of the Central South Consortium, please let us know on communications@cscjes.org.uk.


Executive Leadership Team

Clara Seery

Clara Seery - Managing Director

Clara is the Managing Director of the Central South Consortium, joining the Consortium in March 2020. Clara started her career as a Science teacher and worked in a range of roles in Secondary Schools in North London and Essex. Prior to joining the Consortium she was Head of School and Early Years Improvement in the London Borough of Enfield. She is an experienced School Improvement Partner who has worked with primary, secondary and special schools supporting schools to implement a range of curriculum and leadership changes.

Since joining CSC, Clara has continued to develop the school improvement offer across the region, ensuring that support is matched to the needs of individual schools. She has worked to ensure there is a comprehensive Professional Learning Offer to support schools develop their curriculum in line with National, Regional and Local priorities. She is an Associate of the Association of Education Advisers and continues to work with the AOEA to ensure regional staff have access to high quality professional learning.

As an experienced school governor, she recognises the key role that governors play in developing schools and is keen to develop the role of governors across CSC. Our updated governor Professional Learning Offer will be launched in Autumn 2023.

Clara has also worked at a local and regional level to develop provision for learners from Ethnic Minority backgrounds and Special Educational Needs and is committed to the Consortium's vision to empower schools to improve outcomes for all pupils.


Louise Blatchford

Louise Blatchford - Deputy Managing Director

Louise is the Deputy Managing Director of the Central South Consortium, and has been in this role since April 2019. Previously, she has undertaken a number of roles within the consortium since its inception in September 2012, including Acting Managing Director, Senior Lead for Business and Operations, as well as specific school improvement roles. Prior to this, as an Associate Adviser for ICT and Business for over 5 years, she developed and facilitated a wide variety of professional development activities to share effective practice and provide opportunities for networking, and supported many schools within the region to achieve the ICT Mark.

Louise began her teaching career in the Central South Wales region at Fitzalan High School in Cardiff where she taught ICT, business/economics and mathematics, before moving to Aberdare Girls’ School in Rhondda Cynon Taf as the Head of Business Studies.


Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams - Assistant Director for Partnerships and Improvement

Andrew Williams is the Assistant Director for Partnerships and Improvement in the Central South Consortium with responsibility for standards and improvement in schools across the region. Andrew leads a large team overseeing the work of Improvement Partners, Curriculum Advisers, Leadership, Governor development, Welsh, data and research and enquiry along with Equity and Well Being.

Prior to Andrew taking up this role he was the Senior Lead for School Improvement where he had the responsibility for the work of the Improvement Partner Team ensuring performance of schools within the region.

Andrew has worked in a wide range of Educational settings, including Special schools, in England and Wales as well as on secondments in Welsh Government and Local Authority and as a peer inspector with Estyn. Before joining the EAS as Principal Challenge Adviser he was a headteacher of a highly successful school in Newport.

Andrew is skilled at school improvement and educational leadership.

In his spare time Andrew enjoys gardening, theatre and painting. Andrew has recently taken up running.


Natalie Gould

Natalie Gould - Assistant Director for Curriculum and Professional Learning

Natalie is the Assistant Director for Curriculum at Central South Consortium. She joined the Consortium in April 2019 from St. Cadoc’s Catholic Primary School, Cardiff, where she had been Headteacher since 2016. Prior to this Natalie was Executive Headteacher of a 3-18 international school in the UAE and for eight years she was the headteacher of a successful primary school in Newport.

Previously, Natalie acted as a consultant headteacher for Central South Consortium, providing leadership training and support to school leaders. She was a delegate headteacher for the region and the Cardiff headteacher representative on the CSC Budget Advisory Group. She was also a member of the Cardiff Education Development Board.

Natalie has responsibility for curriculum reform and the professional learning offer to schools across the region. She ensures coherence across the teams within the Central South Consortium.


Principal Improvement Partners linked to Local Authorities

Darren Jones

Darren Jones - Principal Improvement Partner for Bridgend Schools

Darren Jones is a Principal Improvement Partner in the Central South Consortium with shared strategic responsibility for supporting the implementation of the national school improvement guidance: framework for evaluation, improvement and accountability. Darren leads a team of Improvement Partners working with all the local authority schools within Bridgend. As well as working in close partnership with schools, Darren works closely with the local authority officers to support schools and further develop the support and improvement services for schools. Darren regularly leads regional governor professional learning sessions, supporting the effective governance of schools.

Before joining Central South Consortium, Darren had worked for 5 years in the South East Wales Education Achievement Service (EAS) as a part time Challenge Adviser while a serving headteacher, followed by a secondment as the full time Principal Challenge Adviser for Monmouthshire. Prior to working within school improvement services, Darren led successful primary schools in two local authorities with very different socio-economic circumstances and was a headteacher for 18 years. As a headteacher, Darren was Chair of the local authority primary headteacher group, contributing to a number of strategic groups within the local authority, regionally and nationally. Darren was also seconded to a local authority for two years where he led the Community Focused School team and supported the school modernisation programme through conducting area education reviews.

Darren thoroughly enjoys and appreciates the opportunity to work closely with school leaders and the wider school community, to ensure that schools receive the best possible support to enable them to be successful in their continued development and school improvement journey at a time of significant educational reform.


Kate Rowlands

Kate Rowlands - Principal Improvement Partner for Cardiff Primary Schools

Kate Rowlands is the Principal Improvement Partner in the Central South Consortium with strategic responsibility for SACRE and school to school collaboration which aims to increase leadership capacity. Kate leads a team of Improvement Partners working with Cardiff Primary and Special Schools as well as working in close partnership with all schools, the Local Authority, the Cardiff Secondary Schools Improvement Partner Team and Estyn.

Prior to Kate taking up this role she worked for Bristol Local Authority as the Senior Education Lead for Early Years and Primary Schools. She was directly responsible for the commissioning of support and challenge for all settings.

Kate has worked and supported in a wide range of Educational contexts, including Special schools, in England and Wales as well as a secondment to a Local Authority as a mathematics consultant. Before joining Bristol Local Authority Kate was an effective Headteacher at two schools. She successfully led both schools through Special Measures to Good and Outstanding.

Kate enjoys all aspects of school improvement in particular supporting leadership to effect positive outcomes for learners.

In her spare time Kate enjoys spending time with her family and cooking.


Geraint Lewis

Geraint Lewis - Principal Improvement Partner for Cardiff Secondary Schools

Geraint Lewis is the Principal Improvement Partner in the Central South Consortium with strategic responsibility for developing a regional approach to peer engagement and evaluation of school to school collaboration models aimed at increasing leadership capacity. Geraint leads a team of Improvement Partners working with Cardiff Secondary and Special Schools as well as working in close partnership with schools, the Local Authority, the Cardiff Primary Schools Improvement Partner Team, and Estyn as an Additional Inspector.

Prior to Geraint taking up this role he lead on the raising of standards in two Welsh medium Comprehensive Schools and his drive is to ensure that the support and challenge provided by improvement partners adds value to school improvement and contributes to the raising of standards within Cardiff and thereby across the region as a whole.

Former positions of leadership include Deputy Headteacher (Curriculum and Raising Standards) at Ysgol Gyfun Garth Olwg, Assistant Headteacher at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr and Head of Mathematics at both Plasmawr and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Rhydywaun.

Geraint enjoys planning and implementing change and collaborating with others for the benefit of all.

Current favourite phrase: “Start with Why”. Favourite book: “Legacy” by James Kerr.


Helen Power

Helen Power - Principal Improvement Partner for Merthyr Tydfil Schools

Helen Power is the Principal Improvement Partner in the Central South Consortium with shared strategic responsibility for supporting the implementation of the national school improvement guidance: framework for evaluation, improvement and accountability. Helen leads a team of Improvement Partners working with all schools in Merthyr Tydfil as well as working in close partnership with schools, the Local Authority and Estyn.

Prior to taking up this role, Helen had worked for 5 years in the South-East Wales Education Achievement Service (EAS) as a Principal School Improvement Partner, working closely with schools and officers in Monmouthshire and Torfaen LAs and a large number of school improvement partners across the region; Helen also had line-management responsibility for Early Years and the non-maintained settings.

Before working in consortia, Helen was a Headteacher in Newport for 12 years, bringing together Caerleon Lodge Hill Infant and Junior Schools into one primary school through a successful amalgamation. Helen had previously been a teacher, Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher of a large Catholic primary school in Camden, London and a consultant Headteacher for a short time in a primary school in Hackney. Prior to that, Helen was a teacher, leading on music and literacy, in a Catholic primary school just outside Coventry city centre.

Helen strives and collaborates, with her team of principal improvement partners and improvement partners, to ensure that schools receive the best possible support to enable them to be effective and self-improving, ultimately leading to learners achieving their full potential.

In her spare time Helen enjoys reading, playing guitar and singing, socialising with family and friends and walking her West Highland Terrier.


Steve Williams

Steve Williams - Principal Improvement Partner for Rhondda Cynon Taf Primary and All-Age Schools

As Principal Improvement Partner (PIP) for RCT LA, Steve's portfolio includes all primary schools and all-age through schools in the County Borough Council. During his time at CSC, initially as an Improvement Partner and now PIP, he has been in the privileged position to support Headteachers, wider SLTs and governing bodies in the development of their schools by focussing upon standards, providing bespoke professional learning for staff, undertaking Headteacher performance management, data analysis, development of governing bodies and liaising closely with LA officers. Working alongside the recently established all-age through schools has been a particularly interesting element to the role, allowing him to support the development of the schools’ ethos, pedagogy and consistency of standards aligned to the national priorities of CfW and ALN reform.

Before joining Central South Consortium (CSC), Steve led two successful primary schools as Headteacher. He has a wide range of experiences in primary education including leading large schools of 420+ pupils to smaller schools of 130 pupils, with speech and language, educational behavioural disorders, moderate learning disorders and hearing impairment units. The varied schools Steve has worked in include inner city, semi-urban and rural, with a number located in socio-economically deprived areas.

As PIP for RCT, Steve believes that achieving a successful learning culture can only be developed if we have strong leaders within our schools. This is achieved via a close working relationship and sharing of knowledge with colleagues within CSC and local authority partners. As part of his workstream, Steve works collaboratively for the benefit of learners and professionals in RCT and the wider CSC region.


Kate Williams - Principal Improvement Partner for Rhondda Cynon Taf Secondary and Special Schools

Kate Williams is the Principal Improvement Partner (RCT LA Secondary and Special Schools), providing strategic leadership for the school improvement service for this area. She worksin conjunction with the Primary Principal Improvement Partner for RCT LA, school-based partners, Welsh Government officials, local authority officers and additional CSC colleagues to ensure the best possible outcomes for all learners. Her role ensures challenge and support provided by the RCT Improvement Partner team adds value to school improvement and contributes to raising standards in RCT LA. In conjunction with RCT’s education directorate, Kate facilitates the review of schools’ self-evaluation, identifying the priorities for school improvement and developing effective school development plans ensuring they inform local authority’s policy and actions, as well as supporting schools to engage effectively with the National Reform agenda. Kate supports governors in the performance management of headteachers and in the recruitment of senior posts, namely headteachers and deputy headteachers and oversees the brokerage of additional support, which in turn supports schools in their SLO journey. She leads professional learning for senior leaders, teachers and governors, supporting the development of their skills set and collaborates with LA and CSC colleagues to secure ongoing developments and improvements in schools, this includes reviewing progression, providing written reports for the LA, CSC and Estyn.


Carys Pritchard

Carys Pritchard - Principal Improvement Partner for Vale of Glamorgan Schools

Carys is a Principal Improvement Partner for the Central South Consortium. Carys leads a team of Improvement Partners working with all schools in the Vale of Glamorgan. She also works in close collaboration with local authority officers to support schools in the Vale. Carys is an experienced Estyn inspector, inspecting in the primary and secondary sectors.

Carys has worked in the Central South Consortium since its inception in September 2012. She is an experienced Challenge Adviser who has successfully supported primary, secondary and 3 – 19 schools in improving standards, teaching and leadership. Carys has worked closely with governing bodies in her role as Challenge Adviser and now as Principal Improvement Partner, and she is involved in delivering the regional training programme for governors. Prior to working in the consortium, Carys was the Associate Advisor for religious education, providing advice and support to schools and various Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education (SACREs).

Carys has been actively involved in the development and delivery of a thinking skills training package to schools and has been a consultant in a programme aimed at reducing the impact of poverty on attainment. She was the mentor for schools in Wales who were involved in the REsilience project, developing teachers’ competence in dealing with contentious issues in the classroom, particularly those linked with violent extremism.


Principal Improvement Partners for Curriculum and Professional Learning

Richard George

Richard George - Head of Curriculum and Qualifications

Richard has been part of the CSC team since 2015. He leads the strategic oversight of curriculum and qualifications for the region. As a member of the core senior leadership team, his role includes the liaison with Welsh Government, local authorities and other middle tier organisations. He oversees the bespoke support for schools across the region, ensuring the needs of schools are met. An important part of his role is to ensure that the region meets associated grant conditions in relation to curriculum and qualifications.


Emma Willmott

Emma Willmott - Principal Improvement Partner - Professional Pathways and Equity

Emma is responsible for leading the development, implementation and evaluation of strategic and operational planning of Equity and Excellence.She also provides strategic direction in relation to the provision of professional learning and support for the career pathway – TALP, ITE, Early Career, Leadership, Governors and System Leadership, including Coaching and Mentoring. Emma's role also includes leading the development, implementation and evaluation of the professional learning offer in relation to SLO, supporting the strategic development of the Central South Wales Challenge and brokering support for schools.

Emma, a Chemistry graduate started her teaching career in 1994 and has held a variety of positions in secondary schools across South Wales. She was awarded a Plato in 2002 for being Science Teacher of the Year in the National Teaching Awards. Emma worked for Cornwall Local Authority as Science Consultant for the Secondary National Strategies and also as an adviser for National Challenge Schools. She moved back to Wales to become a School Improvement and Science Adviser for Newport LA. She is an experienced Challenge Adviser who has successfully supported primary, secondary and special schools in improving standards of teaching, learning and leadership across two consortia. Emma is particularly passionate about raising standards of teaching and learning for vulnerable pupils and developing effective leadership in schools. Emma is also an Estyn Additional Inspector.


Cathryn Billington-Richards

Cathryn Billington-Richards - Principal Improvement Partner for Curriculum

Cathryn is the Principal Improvement for Curriculum with responsibility for developing standards in these areas across the region. She has over 20 years teaching experience across the secondary and all-through phase in a range of school settings.

Prior to joining the Consortium in 2013, Cathryn held a number of leadership roles and was the LLC in a bilingual, all through school whilst also undertaking support work for the local authority.

As a CSC adviser, Cathryn has developed and facilitated a wide variety of professional development activities to share effective practice and provide opportunities for networking, and supported many schools within the region. Additionally, as an Estyn inspector, Cathryn has also undertaken several inspections across Wales. Outside of work, Cathryn enjoys visiting the theatre, reading and live music events.


Kathryn Lewis

Kathryn Lewis - Principal Improvement Partner - Curriculum Cohesion and Assessment

Kathryn joined the Central South Consortium in April 2019 as Strategic Lead for Expressive Arts, Humanities and Health and Well-being and later appointed as Lead for Curriculum Reform. Kathryn is now Principal Improvement Partner for Curriculum Cohesion and Assessment and is responsible for providing strategic direction in relation to the provision of professional learning and support for curriculum reform, assessment, digital learning including the cross-curricular skill of digital competence, the cross-cutting themes, the integral skills and post-16 education, ensuring that the provision of support reflects the ambition, aims and aspirations of the CSC.

Prior to joining the Central South Consortium, Kathryn taught for 16 years within her specialist area - music and expressive arts - across two secondary schools and one 3-16 School. Having been fortunate herself to forge a career out of her passion and talent for music and the arts, Kathryn is committed to ensuring all children in Wales have access to a creative education, learning through the arts across the curriculum, as well as learning about the arts.

Since 2017 Kathryn has supported Welsh Government, and the region, in the development of Curriculum for Wales through her work as a Pioneer Lead for the Expressive Arts Area of Learning and Experience. As Strategic Lead for Curriculum Reform, Kathryn has worked closely with the region’s Quality Improvement Pioneer Leads and Innovation Schools, whilst overseeing the strategic planning and delivery of Curricula Reform professional learning within the region’s self-improving, school-to-school working model.

Kathryn is a fluent Welsh speaker.


Chris Newcombe

Chris Newcombe - Principal Improvement Partner - Welsh Policy, Standards and Improvement

Chris Newcombe is a Principal Improvement Partner at Central South Consortium with specific responsibility for Welsh policy, standards and improvement across the region.

During his career he has taught at five different schools across Wales and has experienced every level of senior leadership in both Welsh and English medium settings.

Chris joined CSC’s Senior Leadership Team from his post as Headteacher at a large Welsh-medium primary school in Cardiff. He was previously Deputy Headteacher at the city’s 720 pupil Whitchurch Primary School.

As Headteacher, Chris led the school through a significant improvement journey and a successful Estyn inspection which highlighted robust leadership as a strength of the school. He is most proud of establishing a Welsh-medium Specialist Resource Base onsite for pupils with severe and complex needs, along with a brand new Cylch Meithrin, Welsh-medium wrap around nursery, to further develop the Welsh language provision for the community’s youngest children.

Chris was previously involved in the Curriculum Pioneer Schools Network working with Welsh Government to develop Curriculum for Wales and he represented the Central South Consortium at many regional and national curricular events. He is currently a member of Welsh Government’s Welsh in Education External Workforce Implementation Group.

He works closely with Welsh Government on a number of projects and in partnership with the five local authorities to support the planning, implementation and evaluation of Welsh in Education Strategic Plans (WESPs). Chris also works strategically with colleagues from other regions and partnerships to develop a national approach to professional learning and support for Cymraeg.

Chris is an Accredited Associate of the Association of Education Advisers (AoEA) and an experienced school governor of around twenty years. He is currently Vice Chair of Governors in a successful school within the region and also an executive member of a Local Authority Governor Association.

He is passionate about the Welsh language, heritage and culture and aims to engage proactively with all stakeholders, especially schools, to further develop and support the leadership, ethos, curriculum, pedagogy and provision for Cymraeg with the aim of significantly contributing to Cymraeg 2050: A million Welsh speakers.


Louise Muteham

Louise Muteham - Principal Improvement Partner for Pedagogy and Professional Learning

Louise Muteham is the Principal Improvement Partner for Pedagogy and Professional Learning at CSC. Prior to this, she was seconded to CSC as Senior Lead for Professional Learning from her role as Assistant Headteacher of Whitchurch Primary School. Louise works closely with the delegate headteacher panel and leads work on professional learning and the Central South Wales Challenge as the main mechanism for providing regional professional learning in a self-improving system.

Louise has worked with the Central South Consortium since 2014 in various roles to support the design, development, implementation and evaluation of the Central South Wales Challenge. She has remained close to practice through leading pioneer work in her school.

In her spare time Louise enjoys running and spending time with her family.


Leads for Curriculum and Professional Learning

Sue Prosser

Sue Prosser - Lead for Leadership

Sue Prosser is the Lead for Leadership within Central South Consortium. In partnership with the 5 local authorities, she is responsible for leading the strategic development of professional learning and support related to school leadership, including the Leadership Pathway, Schools as Learning Organisations and Governors.

Sue is responsible for the coordination and delivery of all the leadership programmes in our region, including NPQH. The national programmes she coordinates, support leaders at all levels - from middle leaders to experienced head teachers. These are national programmes delivered regionally and Sue works closely with our partners in other regions to ensure we have the highest quality programmes here in CSC.

Sue is a Peer Inspector for Estyn and has been an Improvement Partner in RCT since 2020; she is seconded into this role on a part time basis from September 2022. Prior to joining CSC, she was headteacher of Llansannor and Llanharry CiW Primary School in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Sue joined the teaching profession in 2001 after spending 10 years working in the private sector in both Brussels and South Wales. During this time, she worked in a range of different settings, including finance, marketing and adult training. Outside of work, Sue enjoys gardening, running and spending time outdoors.


John Welch

John Welch - Lead for Wellbeing and Vulnerable Groups

John is the Lead for Wellbeing and Vulnerable Groups. He came to CSC from St Joseph’s RC High School in Newport where he was previously Head of Inclusion, a pastoral lead and senior lead with the responsibility for key stage 4. John now has responsibility for key vulnerable learner groups including free school meals and more able and talented pupils. John is hugely passionate about making a difference to vulnerable pupils and is father of 3 boys and gets involved in coaching of the boy’s sport which keeps them all busy.


Mandy Esseen

Mandy Esseen - Lead for Professional Pathways

Mandy has been the lead for the Teaching Assistant Learning Pathway (TALP), Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and the Appropriate Body for newly qualified teacher (NQT) induction since 2018. Previously, she has undertaken a number of roles within the consortium since joining in 2015, including Strategic Adviser for Learning and Teaching and Senior Leader in Education.

Latterly she was an Assistant Headteacher responsible for learning and teaching and formerly she led three departments in a range of schools in Wales and England, as Head of English, Media Studies and Drama over more years than she cares to remember!

In her role at CSC, Mandy works in ‘deliberate collaboration’ (Fullan) with others, to create innovative opportunities for all assisting, student and newly qualified teachers to have access to the support and professional learning they need to refine and enhance their practice. A proponent of ‘walking the talk’ she is currently undertaking her own PhD research into the relationship between system intervention and professional development.

Mandy loves using technology as a tool both for reflection and for celebrating great practice and has five ISBN numbers to her name!


Glen Gilchrist

Glen Gilchrist - Lead for STEM

Glen jointly trained as an applied physicist and teacher before starting his career as a research scientist working on development of polymer products including F1 tyres. He worked for 3 years as technical director of an online semiconductor and technology start-up before returning to his first passion, teaching.

Glen was a teacher of physics, key stage 3 coordinator and head of science during his time working in Newport LA. He worked on a one-year iNet fellowship on the impact of collaboration and networking in teaching which prepared him for a two year secondment to Welsh Government as a secondary subject adviser.

Glen was the inaugural chair of the Science and Technology AOLE, working with schools across Wales to develop the Curriculum for Wales.

Glen works in CSC as the lead for STEM subjects, responsible for developing standards of teaching and learning across all STEM subjects within the CSC region.


Andy Lillford

Andy Lillford - Lead for LLC

Andy is the Lead for LLC, with responsibility for developing standards in these areas across the region. He has 20 years’ teaching experience across the secondary phase in a range of school settings, both within and outside South Wales. He is particularly excited to be supporting schools in a time of extensive change at a national level, and where literacy has never been more important, nor as under threat, at a global level.

Prior to joining the Consortium, Andy was Head of Faculty for English, Media and Literacy for seven years, and Head of English for some years before that. Having also taught in Spain and Latin America, Andy has a good grasp of conversational Spanish and a deep love of languages and other cultures. His sons are educated in a Welsh medium school and he is desperately trying to keep up with their language acquisition and bilingualism.


Sonja Barnard

Sonja Barnard - Area Lead for Health and Well-being

Prior to joining Central South Consortium in November 2019 as Area Lead for Health and Well-being, Sonja worked as a primary school teacher for 18 years within Cardiff. Throughout her teaching career, she has taken on various leadership roles and worked in a diverse range of school settings, teaching children with a wealth of differing skills, needs and interests.

She completed her Masters in Education: Professional Practice, in 2008 and during this study, developed a special interest in curriculum design and innovation. She is passionate about developing independent learning and thinking skills.

Since 2015, Sonja has been involved in the Pioneer network, working alongside the Welsh Government as a curriculum pioneer, helping to shape and develop the Areas of Learning and Experience.

Outside of work, Sonja has a keen interest in travel and enjoys exploring new places and cultures.


Nicky Hagendyk

Nicky Hagendyk - Area Lead for Humanities

Nicky Hagendyk is Area Lead for Humanities. Nicky is responsible for developing standards of teaching and learning, and providing professional learning support across all Humanities subjects within the CSC region.

Nicky was chair of the Humanities Area of Learning and Experience, working with schools across Wales in developing the Curriculum for Wales Framework.

Nicky was formerly a secondary school teacher with 20 years’ experience, teaching History and Welsh Baccalaureate, and was also faculty lead for Humanities and skills. She was a member of the ‘Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Contributions, Community and Cynefin in the New Curriculum Working Party’ and has a keen interest in citizenship and politics.


Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones - Area Lead for Expressive Arts

Amanda is the Area Lead for Expressive Arts at Central South Consortium and has been in role since September 2022. She has over 23 years teaching experience in Welsh medium schools and for most taught within her specialist area Art and Design across all phases. Amanda started her career in a primary school in the Vale of Glamorgan, she then moved on to a secondary school in RCT where she taught an array of subjects, from Art, Design & Technology to Personal and Social Education.

Amanda’s last role as a teacher was as Head of Art, she had also been Assistant Head for a period of 3 years and became Associate Head of Expressive Arts and Humanities when the school amalgamated to become a 3-19 School, Ysgol Garth Olwg, RCT in 2019. During her time in Ysgol Garth Olwg, Amanda had supported Welsh Government, and the region, in the development of Curriculum for Wales through her engagement as a Pioneer representative for the Expressive Arts Area of Learning and Experience. Since her involvement she has worked closely with Central South Consortium as a Lead Practitioner for Secondary Art in Welsh and English medium schools for the past 3 years.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and is always kept busy by her 4 teenage children.


Sarah Summers

Sarah Summers - Area Lead for Digital Learning

Sarah provides strategic direction across the region in relation to the specific area of Digital Learning and the Digital Competency skills across the curriculum. Her role involves building and maintaining strong relationships with schools to support their work to implement and embed the DCF and digital technology to enhance learning across the curriculum, in all settings, for all learners. Her work focuses on developing and facilitating professional learning opportunities and resources specific to digital learning and the DCF to meet the needs of all schools across the region, in-line with PSTL and SLO, providing bespoke support for digital learning and the DCF, conducting research that informs strategies for school improvement and best practice, specific to digital learning.


Emma Lloyd

Emma Lloyd - Area Lead for Post-16 Education

Emma was appointed Lead for Post-16 Education from September 2022, with the responsibility for developing standards in this area across the region. She has over 20 years of secondary teaching experience and came to CSC from Llanishen High School in Cardiff, where she held the position of Head of Sixth Form for 14 years.

Emma is part of the Curriculum and Professional Learning team, responsible for planning and co-ordinating professional learning and support for Post-16 Education in our region. As part of the cross regional team, Emma co-constructs and delivers the National Post-16 Leadership training programme to practitioners across Wales and engages with Welsh Government working parties related to post-16 provision.

Outside of work, Emma enjoys a range of sporting activities, travel and spending time with family and friends.


Ruth Best

Ruth Best - Area Lead Foundation Learning

Ruth is the Area Lead for Foundation Learning, with responsibility for developing standards in these areas across the region. She has over 20 years teaching experience across the primary phase in a diverse range of school settings.

Throughout her career, Ruth has led many areas of learning including music, RE, literacy, foundation phase and ALN, with ten years’ experience as a SENCo. She has previously been co- opted as a member of SACRE, written a national RE agreed- syllabus and been part of a number of working parties for the Welsh Government. Currently she is part of the foundation phase group that is considering ‘enabling steps’ for 3-4 year olds as part of the Curriculum for Wales.

Prior to joining the Consortium in 2013, Ruth was the Early Literacy Co-ordinator for the Cardiff Literacy Strategy, which enabled her to combine her two passions of literacy and early years’ development.

Ruth is particularly passionate about developing children’s oracy skills and encourages schools to develop a culture of oracy to enable every child to communicate confidently and competently.

Outside of work, Ruth enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren. She is a keen reader and is a frequent visitor to the theatre.


Business Support Team

Alyson Price

Alyson Price - Business Manager

Alyson is the Business Manager for the Central South Consortium. Her main responsibilities are to manage the corporate and business operational functioning of the Consortium while ensuring organisational efficiency and effectiveness. Alyson manages the Business Support Team and works closely with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure collaborative working in order to secure the successful implementation of the business plan.

Alyson was previously a Group Accountant for the Host Authority Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC and was instrumental in setting up and supporting the financial framework and reporting structure for Central South Consortium when it began in 2002. Further to supporting the Consortium in that role Alyson then joined Central South Consortium full time in 2005 in the role of Senior Accountant. Alyson was successful in creating the new EIG formula for the Consortium when Welsh Government merged 11 former Education grants into one.

Alyson is a Community Governor in a school within our region and plays an active part in supporting school improvement. In her spare time Alyson enjoys running and spending time with her children.


Caryl Stokes

Caryl Stokes - Data, Quality and Intelligence Unit Manager

Caryl Stokes is the Head of the Data, Quality and Intelligence Unit in the Central South Consortium with responsibility for the strategic development of data and intelligence across the region. The intelligence of the unit ensures that the Consortium can be proactive in its assessment of the strength of the region and all its’ stakeholders and enable partners to design strategic responses to meet needs.

Prior to working for Central South Consortium, Caryl was the Statistics and Information Officer at the Education and School Improvement Service (ESIS) and had sole responsibility for collecting and analysing data across the four Local Authorities of Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf. Caryl’s role at ESIS included the establishment of a data analysis service across all schools in the 4 LAs that provided consistent information for all these schools.

Caryl represents the Consortium on various groups both within and across the regions and liaises with other external organisations in relation to school data developments and has also worked on secondment to Welsh Government on two separate occasions.


Simon Johnson

Simon Johnson – Operations Manager

Simon was appointed as the Operations Manager for Central South Consortium in September 2020. He is responsible for coordinating the business planning and self-evaluation processes within CSC in order to ensure their effective and efficient delivery. Simon is also responsible for leading on the development and implementation of the Consortium’s management information systems and IT strategy.

Prior to working for CSC, Simon worked across a number of roles in local government for Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC. In his spare time, Simon enjoys spending time with his family and keeping fit.


Mari Waddington

Mari Waddington - Corporate Communications Manager

Mari Waddington is the Communications Manager for Central South Consortium and has been in the role since February 2019. She is a fluent Welsh speaker and award-wining communications specialist with more than a decade of experience in PR and brand marketing communications and she has distinguished herself in a variety of PR consultancy and in-house roles in Wales and at UK levels, delivering dynamic and creative campaigns for both public and private sectors.

She has led effective integrated communication campaigns for several clients within the education sector including Agored Cymru, the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) Anelu’n Uwch / Aim Higher campaign, WDA, the Welsh Language Board’s Taith Iaith Gwaith campaign, Welsh for Adults, Cardiff Design Festival, Skills Cymru, the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW), Basic Skills Cymru, S4C Digital switchover campaign and City & Guilds.

Mari has also worked as the Welsh language communications specialist on behalf of several clients including the National Grid, Sainsbury’s and Wind Turbine companies during their public consultation planning processes held across Wales.