Alison Merrills has extensive experience of school leadership including 13 of these as a Headteacher. She is passionate about inclusive education and, about recruiting, retaining and supporting the best teachers and associate staff into the profession. All her school experience has been gained in state comprehensive schools in areas of challenge.
Alison has excellent inter-personal skills and can quickly establish positive relationships with all stakeholders. She understands the changing educational landscape and has a successful track record.
From 2007, Alison was Principal and later Executive Principal of Sir Jonathan North Community College where over 30% of pupils are disadvantaged.
Under her leadership, the college was a High Performing Specialist School with three specialisms; graded as outstanding in all categories by Ofsted in October 2013, became a National Support School in 2016 and a Teaching School in 2017.
Further accreditations include: Arts Mark Gold; Inclusion Quality Mark Flagship School (2013, 2016, 2019); Young Enterprise Centre of Excellence (2013); World Class Schools Quality Mark (2016, 2019); and AcSEED mental health and well-being award.
As an outstanding school leader selected to become a National Leader of Education in 2016, Alison has been fortunate to work with first class organisations such as SSAT, Leading Edge, Challenge Partners as well as Teaching School Alliances developing school to school support and improvement initiatives in both secondary and primary schools to improve the life chances of children.