NET Associates

NET Associates form a body of knowledge about teaching and learning which consistently produces excellence as standard. In being asked to become a NET Associate the National Education Trust (NET) is recognising in you the characteristics of effective teaching, learning and leadership that lead to exceptional outcomes for children and young people.

These can be summarised as:

  • They are committed to an aspirational culture, one of belief that children and young people can achieve more than they might have thought
  • They are held in high regard and are involved in productive discourse about the development of the education
  • They embody a sense of restlessness and a desire for perpetual improvement
  • They are committed to professional scholarship
  • Aspects of their work are extraordinary, setting an example of sector leading activity

If you would like to work with one of NET’s Associates then please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Meet NET Associates

David Birch

Kate Atkins

Jo Coton

Mike Phipps

David Birch taught English in schools in London and Oxfordshire before becoming a secondary headteacher in Devon for 12 years. He has been a School Improvement Partner with nine schools in the South West and continues to work with schools in three local authorities as a school improvement adviser. He works on school evaluation and improvement projects nationally.

Much of David’s recent activity has focused on leadership and management coaching in primary and secondary schools; improving teaching and learning and leadership in sixth forms; and developing the teaching of English and literacy 3 – 19.

Kate Atkins has been teaching in Lambeth for nearly 20 years. She is an Early Years expert and has worked at Rosendale Primary School, a three-form entry school with a children’s centre, for nine years, the last two years as Head of School.

The school is bursting with innovation – housing its library in a double-decker London bus, broadcasting a weekly radio show and developing a system of learning that sees children working independently, assessing their own learning and publishing to a world‑wide audience.

Jo Coton is currently Executive Headteacher of three primary academies in Harlow, Essex, and leads on a variety of training for NET. Jo began her teaching career in 1995, working in a number of leadership roles, having taught across the primary age range. Jo also experienced teaching in Australia for a year in 2005.

During her first headship, she engineered radical change throughout the school, introducing a new curriculum, specialist teaching and smaller class sizes of optimum numbers. The benefits of these changes were reflected in the rapid and accelerated progress the children made in their learning.

Mike Phipps has 26 years of direct experience in secondary education, gained in five comprehensive schools, with 13 years at senior leadership level as Assistant Head, Deputy Head and Associate Headteacher.

As an Ofsted inspector from 2008 to 2015, Mike inspected over 100 state and independent schools across the UK, mostly as Lead Inspector, in both primary and secondary schools. He also acted as a mentor for new inspectors. He has international experience in the Middle East of leading inspections of primary and secondary schools, both government-run and privately owned.

Laurence Pitt

Laurence Pitt has been headteacher of Ashley Down Junior School in Bristol since 2004. The school has been judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. The school is expanding and was redesignated as a primary school from September 2010, taking on a new 210 pupil-place building in the locality.

Laurence has worked as a Consultant Leader, and then Local Leader of Education in Bristol since 2007 and has coordinated the New and Acting Headteachers’ Induction Programme for the city. In 2010 he became a National Leader of Education and is involved nationally in curriculum development in new schools with