Meet the team

Portrait photo of Stephen Hall

Stephen Hall

Assistant Director (School Standards & Improvement)

Stephen Hall is the Assistant Director for School Standards and Improvement at Hackney Education. He has worked in inner city schools for over 20 years and was previously a National Leader of Education and an Advanced Skills Teacher specialising in Primary Mathematics.

Stephen has extensive experience in school leadership, particularly in schools in challenging circumstances. He has been the Headteacher and Executive Headteacher of several high performing inner city primary schools and has led schools both out of Special Measures and to Outstanding judgements. Most recently he was the Executive Headteacher of a hard federation of three Hackney Schools. He has worked as an Ofsted Inspector of both Primary and Secondary Schools since 2012.

Portrait photo of Anton Francic

Anton Francic

Principal Secondary Adviser, School Performance & Improvement

Anton has a respected, successful track record in school improvement with over 37 years’ experience in the field. He previously led the school improvement service in Haringey and Kent to drive up standards and inspection outcomes in all phases. In Hackney, between 2005 and 2013, he designed an adviser programme and a dashboard approach to intelligence gathering and risk assessment. This ensured that service areas knew the schools they worked with well and could analyse and diagnose their needs to provide tailored support. The partnerships and trusting relationships from this led to rapid and sustained school improvement, transforming Hackney into one the UK's highest performing authorities.

Currently, Anton leads the secondary team and Hackney Education's work on improving outcomes for Young Black Men, as part of Council's ten year programme. He has developed a partnership programme, now approaching its second year, aimed at supporting and developing leaders at senior levels in schools by pairing them with experienced and successful leaders from outside the world of education, who provide bespoke mentoring and coaching and a stimulus for growing personal capacity.

Jason Marantz, Senior Primary Leadership and Management Adviser

Jason Marantz

Senior Primary Adviser

Jason is an experienced school improvement partner in Hackney who has helped schools develop strategies to improve teaching, learning and leadership. He is the strategic lead on primary assessment and has established an assessment network of primary schools which considers research and develops and shares good practice in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. Jason has worked as a senior leader for 15 years, including as a Headteacher of two primary schools, where he developed teacher training programmes in partnership with universities. He has trained emerging and established school leaders and governors to be effective and evaluative. 

Jason has an MA in Literacy Learning and Literacy Difficulties and his areas of expertise include using coaching to improve teaching and leadership; literacy learning, including reading and writing at the primary level; school review and self evaluation; and facilitating headteacher performance management. 

Portrait photo of Tim Wooldridge

Tim Wooldridge

Early Years Consultant

Tim has over 30 years experience raising standards and improving outcomes for children in Early Years settings. He has worked in Hackney since 2008 following 18 years as a teacher, senior manager, mentor and trainer across the primary age phase. He has an MA in Urban Education and is a motivational trainer who understands the complexities and demands of improving outcomes alongside supporting individual children with multiple deprivations.

Portrait photo of Jo Davey

Jo Davey

The LIT Programme Lead

Jo has worked in education as a teacher, subject lead and intervention programme manager since 2009. She is an experienced Literacy Specialist with a background in supporting both primary and secondary schools, and is skilled in educational assessment, interventions, research, and tutoring. 

Jo manages Hackney Education’s Literacy Intervention Toolkit (LIT) Programme, which employs evidence based strategies to increase progress in English, Literacy and the wider curriculum for the lowest achieving students in year 7. She also offers advice on assessment and intervention for reading and writing, and developing literacy across the curriculum. Jo has experience of guiding schools through re-evaluating their phonics provision and implementing assessment processes. Her interest in early reading and supporting children who struggle to gain the skills to read led to her to a Masters in Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) with The Institute of Education, London, and to become a qualified dyslexia teacher. 

Portrait photo of Ivor Kallin

Ivor Kallin

Early Years Consultant

Ivor has worked in a broad range of early years settings over the past four decades as a practitioner, teacher and centre manager, and has been an Early Years Consultant with Hackney Education for fifteen years. 

In his role, Ivor advises nurseries, playgroups and children’s centres on teaching and learning strategies. He is involved in a number of teaching and learning training initiatives, including: Working with children with EAL; The role of the key person and working with parents; Promoting effective adult/child interactions; Meeting the needs of boys in early years provision; The benefits of Forest School; Promoting cultural diversity; Meeting the needs of the Charedi (Orthodox Jewish) community with regard to early years provision; and Creativity in the early years. 

Portrait photo of Bernadette Clinton

Bernadette Clinton

Modern Foreign Languages Consultant

Bernadette has 40 years' experience of developing curriculum, assessment and pedagogy in schools, locally, nationally and internationally. She has taught in primary and secondary schools and is currently teaching on the primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme at Middlesex University, where she previously designed MA modules for teachers. 

Bernadette has managed a large Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Department and been an SLT member in secondary settings. She led the implementation of the Primary Languages Pathfinder as the Adviser in Enfield. As part of her role in Hackney Education, she runs the Spanish Initiative in Hackney and provides support to schools across London. 

Bernadette co-wrote the CILT book, “Leading the Way: Coordinating Primary Languages”. She is a British Council Ambassador with particular expertise in primary languages and the global dimension, and has run international courses across Europe and in Ghana, China and the USA.

Portrait photo of Hilary Ryan

Hilary Ryan

Primary Leadership & Management Adviser

Hilary has worked with Hackney Education for 10 years and has extensive leadership experience culminated working as a Headteacher of a large urban primary school for 12 years, leading the school through major changes including moving buildings twice and a doubling of the pupil roll.

During her time as Headteacher, Ofsted judged the leadership of the school as Outstanding, and the National Education Trust appointed it an Advocacy School to ‘facilitate and promote the sharing of best practice.’

Hilary also worked as an Ofsted inspector in the Midlands and London Regions and as School Improvement Partner and a Local Leader of Education, where she was seconded to work full-time as a consultant with Focus Education for one year to support school improvement in schools across England. 

Portrait photo of Maggie Kalnins

Maggie Kalnins

Head of Governance Services

Maggie Kalnins became the leader of governance services after an extensive career as a science teacher and school leader within complex urban secondary schools. Maggie provides strategic advice and support to Chairs of governors and school leaders, across a mixed economy of maintained and academy schools. She has developed an Hackney governance system review and risk assessment to support school boards in developing their effectiveness and also leads and delivers a comprehensive governance training programme and our popular and highly successful annual governors’ conference.

Maggie previously served as the CEO of an education charity which develops alternative models of learning. During this tenure, she introduced the term ‘pushed out’ to provoke a debate amongst practitioners focusing on the weaknesses in our education systems rather than the ‘abnormality’ of the individual child. Aware of the excuses used to explain student disengagement from mainstream education, in 2015, Maggie commissioned the publication of ‘The alternative should not be inferior: What now for ‘pushed out’ learners?’, which called on schools and alternative providers to find innovative solutions that support England’s overlooked pupils.

Maggie has dedicated more than 20 years to serving as a school governor. For the past 15 years she has been a member of the Mossbourne Federation Governing Board in Hackney. With a clear understanding of how strong governance can play a crucial strategic role in supporting and challenging leaders to drive school improvements, Maggie offers knowledge and expertise on how governance can make an exceptional contribution to ensure that no child is left behind their peers.

Maggie Kalnins - Head of Governance Services -

Portrait of Stacey Burman

Stacey Burman

SACRE Advisor

Stacey has almost 20 years’ experience impacting the learning of pupils from Early Years to A-Level and has worked in a wide range of state, academy and independent schools, including SEND, faith and Pupil Referral Units (PRUs).

Stacey currently works with stakeholders across London as a SACRE Advisor in Hackney Education, including parents, faith community leaders, the Mayor’s Office and local councillors. Her work includes writing Ofsted-aligned syllabus and learning materials; leading training for primary and secondary teachers in RE and Humanities; and supporting leadership in schools to develop SMSC and British Values across the curriculum. She has published articles in academic journals and teacher magazines, is a qualified assessor for the RE Quality Mark, and has supported schools in achieving national awards for RE and Humanities through her work. She is passionate about learning experiences that instigate a life-long love of learning.

Stacey is also on the executive committee of the national organisation for Religious Education Consultants, Inspectors and Advisors, is a qualified teacher of swimming (ASA), Philosophy for Children (P4C) and organisation Coaching & Mentoring (ILM), and supports the DfE initial teacher training programme as a tutor.