I am a microbiologist who has worked in academia (Universities of Newcastle, Cologne, Milan), the public sector (Public Health Service) and the private sector. I have authored a large number of scientific publications including chapters in two of the standard microbiological texts. Latterly I was a senior manager with Unilever plc becoming global Head of Regulatory Affairs Foods R&D. I have been an adviser to the UK Government on genetic modification, and health and safety and, to the EU Commission on risk and food safety. Until 2013 I was a visiting Professor at the University of Exeter and a Non-Executive Director of Milton Keynes Community Health Services. I am a Trustee of the Society for Experimental Biology and a Magistrate. I was awarded an MBE for services to the biotechnology industry.
A teacher first and foremost, I have been working in schools throughout my adult life. The early part of my career brought together two passions: the pedagogy of science teaching and teacher continuing professional development. Through this I worked on national initiatives including the development of the new National Curriculum for Science, GCSE Science Assessment and the assessment of student progression. I moved into school Senior Leadership in 2001 with responsibilities including staff and curriculum development, and Special Educational Needs. I have worked directly with schools on specific areas of school improvement, as well as supporting schools through the delivery of training on a local, national and international level. This work has included mentoring and coaching colleagues on programmes ranging from LftM to NPQH. I was appointed as the Headteacher of Northampton School for Girls in 2009. A large comprehensive school (over 1700 students) in the middle of England, the school is graded outstanding by Ofsted and has a national reputation for its achievements in music, sport and inclusion. At the heart of my work is the importance of each and every child in education, and the impact that the best in teaching brings to them.