Challenge Partners

Meet the Challenge Partner Team 

Our experienced Challenge Partner team work with our partner schools to support their School Improvement goals. Led by Jennie Walker they have developed the Primary school improvement package and deliver training sessions and carry out the School Improvement visits.

jennie walker

Jennie Walker

CEO ACE Multi Academy Trust

Jennie is the Executive Principal and Accounting Officer for ACE MAT. Jennie is an experienced headteacher, achieving her first headship in 1993. She was Principal of St Columb Minor International Academy (an Ofsted-graded Good with Outstanding features school) for 12 Years, which converted to academy status in 2011: The academy was the largest primary school in the county and was Jennie’s third headship. She was also a Director of the Kernow Collaborative Trust for 4 years. Jennie has also worked as an LA School Improvement Officer, Ofsted Inspector and is a Local Leader of Education. She is a School Improvement Partner. She has featured in an Ofsted Music report “Music in Schools –Sound Partnerships”. Jennie has experience of mentoring for the Leadership Development School and is a Women into Leadership coach. Jennie was a National Ashden Award winner for Sustainable Education 2010

Carol Breakwell

Carol Breakwell

Primary Consultant

I have very much enjoyed my work as a teacher, Headteacher, Adviser and Local Authority School Improvement Partner and I look forward to working in partnership with Headteachers and their schools as a KTSA Challenge Partner to build sustainable and successful school leadership.

Over nine years at Devoran School I led a team of 30 teachers and teaching assistants. Pupils came from a diversity of home backgrounds, socially, economically and educationally and I understand the crucial importance of supporting parents and forging strong community links.

I am passionate about enabling all school staff to make learning memorable and real for their children. I have always focused on developing a sustainable team and this was recognised in 2011 when Devoran was judged to be an outstanding school by Ofsted.

Throughout my career I have managed significant change in many settings and I understand how to deal with challenge, manage conflict and support others in coping with change.

Since stepping away from full time headship, I have worked with a number of Academy Trusts, mainly in Cornwall, as well as continuing my role with the Local Authority. I have supported staff and governors in the interpretation and evaluation of a range of data so that they can make consistently sound judgements to inform their school self evaluation.

I have previous experience as an Ofsted Inspector, External Adviser, County Mathematics Adviser and Primary Strategy Manager. As a result I have worked with many Cornish schools in relation to mathematics, school improvement and Performance Management. I am delighted to be able to continue this work with KTSA and schools in the south west.

Karen Brokenshire

Karen is an Associate Adviser for CAPH and leads on the NAHT/Aspire programme in Cornwall. With over twenty years in Headship she has vast experience in working with others to secure school improvement. Karen is skilled in managing change, having led the amalgamation of two primary schools and her leadership was judged by Ofsted to be outstanding.
Karen has successfully supported the professional development of both individuals and schools in difficulties as an accredited School Improvement Partner, Consultant Headteacher (NCSL), Primary Leadership Partner and NPQH tutor and assessor. Karen has worked extensively with outside agencies as the Chairperson of the Children’s Centre Advisory Board in Cornwall and is fully committed to working collaboratively and building sustainability from within an organisation.
Committed to lifelong learning, Karen has embraced the opportunity to work with schools, seeking to build their professional capacity and improve outcomes for all pupils.

Hazel Callaghan

Senior Associate primary phase (link officer and challenge partner)

Hazel has over fifteen years experience as a registered lead inspector for Ofsted and she is also an experienced education consultant and trainer. She started her career as a primary school teacher and went on to be the headteacher of two primary schools.

Hazel and uses her wide experience and expertise to support schools on their journey to further improvement. She has worked extensively with senior leaders to review their own schools, with middle leaders to promote their monitoring and evaluation skills and with teachers to develop their expertise towards outstanding practice. She has also trained and mentored new Ofsted inspectors.

Hazel has a strong expertise in Early Years Foundation Stage having taught in reception and inspected privately run pre-school groups as well as the early years’ provision in maintained schools. A particular effective element of the training she has led is in supporting senior leaders to evaluate their early years foundation stage provision.

Hazel offers the following services to schools:
• Reviews and pre Ofsted checks in EYFS, Key stage 1 and 2
• Support for School self- evaluation
• Support for school improvement planning, including monitoring and evaluation.
• Development of middle and senior leaders
• Training and support for governors in preparation for Ofsted.

Robin Cowen

Robin Cowen

Director of Primary for TLAT

Robin studied for the International Baccalaureate Diploma at the United World College of the Atlantic (1975-77) from where he won a Kingsley Fairbridge Scholarship to study politics and philosophy at the University of Western Australia (1978-81). While graduating to become a primary teacher, and then teaching in Australia, Robin also completed a part-time Master of Arts degree with distinction (1986). Back in England Robin completed a Diploma in Mathematical Education (1989) and a Master of Education with modules on education leadership and a dissertation on accelerated learning in history (1994). Robin became a University Approved Tutor for the College of St Mark and St John (from 2000) and an Associate Researcher for the National College of School Leadership (from 2005).

Robin has held two deputy headteacher posts (Northleaze Primary School in Long Ashton from 1989 to 1992 and Grove Junior School in Nailsea from 1992 to 1996). Robin returned to Cornwall to take up the headship of Penryn Junior taking the school from satisfactory in 1996 to outstanding in 2011. Before leaving in 2015 Robin successfully amalgamated Penryn Junior with Penryn Infant to create Penryn Primary Academy. Robin has carried out a number of school improvement roles beyond that of school leader. He was Co-Leader of the Penryn Partnership Networked Learning Community from 2003 to 2006, a Primary Strategy Consultant Leader from 2004 to 2006, a Cornwall School Improvement Partner from 2006 to 2010 and a Local Leader in Education from 2010 to 2012.

Robin has also played a key role supporting other schools in Cornwall by being Vice Chair and then Chair of the Cornish Association of Primary Heads (CAPH) between 2011 and 2014. Robin went on to be one of the Founding Directors of the CAPH Community Interest Company in 2014. In addition, Robin was invited to be a member of the Ofsted South West Headteacher Reference Group 2014-15 and CAPH’s strategic lead with HMI organising conferences on leadership and learning. As part of his work for Cornish schools Robin also represented the South-West on the National Executive of the Network of Chairs of Headteacher Associations. Prior to beginning duties as part of TLAT Robin was also the Director of Primary Improvement and Research at The Learning Institute from 2015 to 2016.

Robin has the following roles within TLAT:

- Strategic leadership of the Trust as part of the Senior Leadership Team and as a member of the Trust Board
- Strategic leadership of the Cornerstone schools within the Trust
- Challenge Partner for schools within and beyond the Trust
- School improvement software development for the Trust
- School improvement projects for the Trust
- Consultant for ACE (currently supporting Robartes and Beacon Infant & Nursery)
- Consultant for Masters Level accreditation
- Trust Lead on performance data

MA, MEd, Director of Primary for TLAT

paul hodson

Paul Hodson

Lead Inspector

Paul Hodson is a freelance lead inspector, experienced in inspecting primary schools since 1997. He also works as a quality assurance officer for Ofsted, an education consultant, external university examiner and management training facilitator. Paul has gained significant leadership experience from his roles as headteacher of three primary schools, school improvement partner and external adviser. Paul has led training events for headteachers and governors in data analysis, self-evaluation and performance management. He was awarded the Professional Qualification for School Inspectors in 2014 and has enhanced CRB disclosure. He is currently working on a doctoral thesis that is looking for solutions to the growing headteacher recruitment crisis across the country.


Antus Phillips

Headteacher St Columb MInor