A Partnership of Church & Community Schools

Alison Smith (Values Lead)

Alison has worked in education for the past 18 years. She is highly committed to supporting the development of educational provision which allows pupils to flourish both ‘academically and personally’, and provision which ensures pupils develop a life-long ‘love of learning'.

Alison is currently the Assistant Director of Education for the Diocese of York Education Team (effectiveness). Alison provides a role which focusses upon monitoring the overall effectiveness and performance of all 127 schools across the Diocese of York locality. In order to do this she has developed strong partnerships with 7 LA’s, and also liaises with colleagues at NCTL, Ofsted, DfE and National Society. Alison also provides specific support for leaders at a number of schools across the diocese, and leads CPD events for leaders on behalf of the diocese.

Prior to joining the Diocese of York Education Team, Alison worked for North Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Service for 16 years, beginning as a Primary School Teacher, and then as an Advanced Skills Teacher who supported teaching colleagues to develop their practice across a variety of schools and settings across North Yorkshire. Most recently she was a Headteacher of a Church of England Primary School for 9 years in the Selby area. As a Headteacher, she had varied experience, leading an infant school initially from ‘good to outstanding’, and then being Executive Headteacher for a second school which required additional leadership support when being deemed to require special measures and led the school successfully from this. She also shared her leadership expertise widely in support of others such as supporting other schools, leaders and presenting at both LA and diocesan events.

On a more personal note, Alison is married and has a very loveable (if a little excitable) dog named ‘Jasper’. She is a VW Campervan fanatic and enjoys the great outdoors!

Role as link Director for Values

Alison and Claire work together to ensure that all schools, Church and Community, big and small, are able to flourish and maintain their own distinctive values and ethos while working together to share strengths and support across all the schools within the Trust. Their job on the MAT board is to make sure that in the pursuit of excellence across the Trust, we are not overlooking the individual needs of our schools and pupils. We do not seek to change or improve the Trust’s Vision and Values but rather to safeguard these collaborative values in the decision-making process, making sure that the values of both our schools and the Trust are maintained into the future.

You can find out more about Pathfinder’s Vision and Values here: