Headteacher Performance Management

Governing boards have a responsibility to hold headteachers to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils. The appraisal process is an annual cycle whereby governing boards continuously monitor and evaluate the headteacher’s progress in achieving strategic priorities. A formal annual appraisal meeting is the endpoint to the annual appraisal cycle.

National Governance Association


The Catholic Primary Partnership has a team of experienced external advisors (see below) that can work with schools to support the governors and headteacher through the performance management process.

For just £550 your external advisor will:

  • provide a pre-visit report for governors.
  • provide an objectives matrix for governors and headteacher.
  • meet with governors and headteacher in person or virtually to set and review targets.
  • provide notes of meetings and agreed objectives.

If you would like to arrange an external advisor for your school, please complete the form below.

External Advisors

Debbie Allen

Debbie Allen

Debbie has worked in primary education for 22 years. She has been a headteacher for 11 years. In addition, Debbie has a professional qualification for school inspectors and a master’s degree in education.

Currently working as a school improvement consultant, she is passionate about challenging and supporting schools to develop and realise their vision in providing an exciting, engaging and effective learning journey for all pupils.

Debbie’s areas of interest and specialism are: early years English, primary education leadership development and training, performance management support and challenge for school leaders.

Mark Cadwallader

Mark Cadwallader

Mark currently leads a school improvement team serving over 90 schools. He is a school improvement adviser working in schools and academies across six different authorities. He has been a head teacher performance management reviewer for eight years. He achieved NPQH in 2008, became an inspector for SERCO in 2010 and was an accredited DFE ‘external expert’ on leadership from 2019. He offers reviews, training and expertise that offers challenge and support to help the improvement of schools, as has been noted in numerous inspection reports.

Mark taught for over 20 years in four primary schools across Birmingham. He was the head of a school in one of the most deprived areas in Birmingham, but a deputy head teacher in one of the most affluent. His understanding of the challenges facing all schools helped leadership become outstanding in both schools. 

Mark offers training and expertise that can support, review and improve the quality of education and all levels of leadership. He has a particular interest and expertise in safeguarding.

Karen Davies

Karen Davies

Karen has worked in education for 37 years. Her knowledge, skills and experience have been developed across all phases of education – specifically in primary education and leadership but including adult education.

Karen inspected primary schools, as an Ofsted inspector, for 10 years and has both an honours and master’s degree in art and education.

Karen was Head of Service for School and Governor Support at Birmingham City Council and is now keen to continue making use of her most recently developed skills as well as drawing on her experience as a school improvement consultant.

As a chair of governors, Karen is actively involved in headteacher performance management – as an appraiser, as well as providing her services as an external advisor to governor appraisal panels. In addition, Karen has trained many governors in effective headteacher performance management.

Christine Finnegan

Christine Finnegan

Christine Finnegan has worked in education since 2003, when she changed careers from Engineering to Teaching. Christine has been a head teacher in Catholic Education for over 12 years.

Christine has supported many schools during her career, supporting them to get a good Ofsted judgment and some outstanding in S48. She also supports and mentors school leaders who are newly appointed to their role across the Arch Diocese of Birmingham and still offers guidance and support if & when needed once these leaders are established in role.

Christine has worked as a consultant, for a MAC, carrying out peer reviews, as part of their School Improvement process. 

Christine is Chair of the Catholic Primary Partnership, working with the Director and other Board Members, to ensure that the Catholic Primary Partnership offers quality and effective CPDF for all member schools.

Tony Kenny

Tony Kenny

Tony worked in primary education for 35 years in four different schools. The last 22 years were as headteacher of two schools.

Tony has successfully been through six inspections, five as a headteacher, and is passionate about staff well-being and developing well motivated leaders. In addition, Tony has experience of managing several ‘Peer2Peer’ reviews which have led to schools evaluating both areas of success and areas of development, which in turn, guided schools to notable improvements.

As well as performance management for headteachers, Tony is currently working with Birmingham University on the development of their master’s degree for senior school leaders.

Catherine Lewis

Catherine Lewis

Catherine was a Head teacher for 12 years and has worked in primary education for over 28 years in four very different schools. She led her last school through five successful Ofsted inspections.  

She is now working as an education consultant supporting schools with early years development, phonics and reading as well as leadership challenge and support. She also works closely with the local English Hub. 

Catherine is committed to helping schools to develop their leadership potential to ensure the highest levels of ambition for all learners.

Clare O'Hara

Claire O’Hara

Claire has worked in Catholic Primary Schools for 37 years, across three local authorities in the West Midlands, and in senior leadership for 23 of those years – the last 11 years as Headteacher. She has worked in both inner city and suburban schools; two form and one form entry; well supported and underprivileged sites, steering all settings through seven successful Inspections, achieving Good and Outstanding – the last four being as Headteacher.

Claire is particularly passionate about curriculum and children’s entitlement to accessing it. She holds additional qualifications in leadership (NPQH) and in curriculum (DPSE) and has been proactive, since Autumn 2022, in supporting school improvement; enabling improved curriculum delivery within local schools in both English and Music. She also supports writing moderation.

Julie-Anne Tallon

Julie-Anne Tallon

Julie-Anne is the Director of the Catholic Primary Partnership.

Julie-Anne taught for 22 years in four very different Catholic primary schools in Birmingham. She left headship in 2020, after 11 years of leading a successful two-form entry Catholic primary school. She has experienced several Ofsted inspections, three as headteacher.

In addition, Julie-Anne has mentored newly appointed headteachers for both the Archdiocese and the Local Authority.  She is an experienced Section 48 inspector and has carried out inspections in both Birmingham Archdiocese and Plymouth Diocese.  She is an associate member of the National School of Formation and has presented as a key-note speaker on Catholic leadership at the Catholic Leaders Conferences in both Salford and Plymouth Diocese.

Booking Form

If you would like to arrange an external advisor for your school, please complete the form below:

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