Committee Members


Chair: Ruth Baker-Leask Ruth is an independent education consultant at Minerva Learning, formerly a primary headteacher and local authority English Consultant. She is also the Vice Chair of the English Expert Subject Advisory Group (ESAG).



Twitter: @RuthBakerLeask

Treasurer: Debbie Haynes Debbie has taught and subsequently advised on English for over 32 years. She is now subject leader for Secondary ITE English at Wolverhampton University.


Secretary/ Publicity: Nikki Copitch Nikki has been a subject leader for Secondary English and Drama ITE, an English consultant and an English and Media teacher. She is now NAAE Secretary and Publicity Officer.


Babita Ginda
Janet Gough Janet is a freelance English and Literacy consultant based in Lancashire and Cumbria, having previously worked as an English Subject Lead, Assistant Headteacher, Leading Literacy teacher as part of the National Strategy, and as a Primary English consultant. She has been involved in the test development and marking of the KS2 GPS test since 2013 and is also the editor of Primary Matters, a NATE magazine specifically for primary teachers.


 Nicola Martin Nicola is the Senior Consultant for Primary English and Literacy at Lancashire Primary Development Service (LPDS).  She has a valued reputation for supporting a wide range of schools in Lancashire and the North West.  Nicola leads a team of consultants who deliver CPD courses and support a wide range of schools via tailored packages of support. She is currently the Lead Moderator in Lancashire for KS1 and KS2,  and also specialises in raising standards in phonics, reading and writing across the primary phase.
 Natalie Reece Natalie has been teaching English in secondary schools for over twenty years.  She has extensive experience of a wide range of school leadership roles including English Subject Leader, Whole School Literacy Lead, Director of Teaching and Assistant Headteacher.

Natalie is a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) and is also a secondary trainer with the National Literacy Trust.

Alongside teaching, Natalie works closely with senior leaders, supporting schools on a wide variety of school improvement projects.  Natalie has a strong reputation in devising and delivering directly relevant professional development training to a wide range of both primary and secondary schools, across the UK.  Most recently, Natalie’s CPD training has centred around supporting leaders to develop ‘outstanding’ literacy provision in secondary schools.

Natalie maintains that ‘no two schools are the same’ and her professional approach has always been highly regarded by schools.


 Abigail Steel Abigail Steel is an education consultant, trainer and author specialising in English language and literacy. After spending two decades working closely with hundreds of schools and teachers in the UK and across the globe, Abigail knows what truly drives positive outcomes for children. Often described as inspirational, her approaches to the pedagogies behind teaching and learning are both practical and insightful.

Abigail has been published many times. Her collection of works includes several literacy programmes and teaching resources, standardised assessments, children’s books, reading schemes and magazine articles.

Abigail is an active committee member of the National Association of Advisors in English (NAAE) and also of the International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction (IFERI). She holds degrees in Education and Business Law.

Steve Willshaw Steve Willshaw Steve is the English lead for a MAT, senior leader with a teaching school alliance and provides English subject input for a SCITT. He has been a local authority consultant and education officer in Guernsey.


Twitter: @stevewillshaw