Expert Practitioners

andy brumby

Andy Brumby

TLAT Director of Achievement

Director of Achievement

Andy is currently Director of Achievement for The Learning Academy Trust. He spent twenty years as a successful classroom practitioner before moving on to work for Cornwall LA as a teaching and learning consultant in 2005. Over the next decade he worked on a multitude of different projects within Cornwall and beyond, establishing himself as an inspirational speaker, writer and coach. He is perhaps most widely known for his work on raising the achievement of disadvantaged children, a subject that sits, in his mind, right at the very core of school effectiveness. Most recently Andy has been supporting schools in their efforts to develop resilience in learning, helping teachers, teaching assistants and pupils to explore ways in which initial failure in learning can become the key to future success.

Andy covers a wide range of roles including:

- Resilience in learning support, including whole school audit and development
- Raising the achievement of disadvantaged pupils using evidence-based approaches
- Maximising the impact of formative assessment through questioning, feedback and dialogue
- Stretching and challenging the most able pupils
- Maximising the impact of support staff in schools
- Middle leader coaching and mentoring in leadership and school improvement

Robin Cowen


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, 

Robin is the CEO for The Learning Academy Trust

emma french

Emma French

TLAT - Safeguarding, Behaviour & Attendance

R Gasson

Rob Gasson

CEO & Executive Headteacher Wave MAT

Robert Gasson Executive Principal of Wave MAT has been responsible for leading the service for 9 years, taking all the schools from a low base, many had just come out of category to be judged satisfactory as he arrived, to a consistent series of inspections that have judged the schools to be Good with outstanding and Outstanding in their own right at CHES and Penwith Wave MAT

Under his leadership the APA Provision in Cornwall is now some of the best in the country.


Sonya Herbert

TLAT Director of Future Learning

I am absolutely thrilled to be part of TLAT and I feel very honoured and excited about being part of an innovative forward thinking MAT and as Director of Future Learning I am part of the TLAT central team. This means that I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit and work with all schools within TLAT – I have managed to visit six schools to date and look forward to visiting and meeting the remaining schools after half term.

In my role, I will be working with a wide range of staff which will include heads, senior leaders, teachers, NQTs and support staff. Since starting at TLAT I have developed and implemented an NQT induction programme for 22 individuals – 9 of which are starting their careers within our MAT!
I am also becoming involved in a number of small evidence based school improvement projects and over the next few weeks I will be leading some training which will aim to provide a number of staff with the opportunity to be reflective and further develop their own critical thinking skills, knowledge and understanding.
Sonya Herbert, Director Of Future Learning

Antus phillips

Antus Phillips - ACE Academy Trust - School Improvement

School Improvement Officer / Outstanding Headteacher

School Improvement Partner Headteacher of St Columb Major Academy (12 Years) Director of KCT (4 years) Ofsted Outstanding Headteacher Academy converter July 2011 356 pupils on roll 7-11 Primary 2 previous primary headships totalling 17 Years of Headship