Committee Members

Louise Beattie (Vice Chair)

Louise is Subject Leader for PGCE Secondary English at The University of Worcester. She has worked in a range of secondary schools in a variety of roles to Head of Department level and more recently spent ten years working as an English Adviser in a local authority. This afforded her the opportunity of working across secondary schools, special schools and primary schools. She has been on the NAAE Executive Committee since 2005.

Nikki Copitch (Publicity)

Nikki is subject leader for Secondary Initial Teacher Education in English and Drama at the University of Wolverhampton. Before taking this position, Nikki was an English consultant in both Dudley and Sandwell Local Authorities, as well as teaching English in West Midlands secondary schools. She is a former member of the NATE Drama and Creativity Committee and a current member of the Expert Subject Advisory Group for English.

John Hickman (Chair and Conference Organiser)

John taught in the London Borough of Newham for 25 years before becoming the English Adviser in the London Borough of Redbridge. He was also the treasurer of the London Association for the Teaching of English for 25 years. Since retiring, he has worked as a part-time lecturer at London’s South Bank University on the Primary PGCE course and is currently the Chair of Governors at a London Primary School; the Chair of NAAE and the Chair of Trustees at the English and Media Centre. Publications include “Teachers, Language and Learning” (Routledge) with Keith Kimberley.

Suzanne Horton

Suzanne is subject leader for Primary English within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester and has recently co-authored two books centred around primary English teaching. She has over 20 years’ experience working in primary schools and has taught from Nursery to Year 6. During her career in primary education, she has been part of a number of management teams in various roles and has spent the majority of her career as both an English subject leader and Ethnic Minority Achievement co-ordinator across the primary age phase, gaining Advanced Skills Teacher status in 2011. Her work in these areas led to a part-time secondment as a Local Authority Literacy Consultant and she has supported many schools and leadership teams in this capacity. Research interests include: children’s’ reading habits and attitudes to reading, use of synthetic phonics and grammar teaching in schools.
Dudley Newell (Web Manager)
Dudley has a wide range of experience, gained in schools and local authorities in Canada and England. His particular expertise and interest is primary school English; He introduced and managed the National Literacy Strategy in Oldham MBC and, in his role as a primary and secondary adviser in Oldham, was involved in curriculum development (all subjects), assessment (developing strategies and moderation of KS1-3 SATs), school reviews, and management support and training.

Mervyn Riches (Treasurer)

Mervyn Riches taught for 20 years in comprehensive schools before becoming County Inspector for English and Drama in Hereford & Worcester in 1989 and In Worcestershire alone from 1998 till his retirement in 2009. He thinks he retired just in time to avoid heartache, depression and anger. He has been active in NAAE for over 25 years and is retiring from being Treasurer in 2016. He also thinks Hanya Janagihara should have won last year’s Booker prize.