About Us

The Berkshire Leadership Development Partnership (BLDP), formerly the Berkshire Teaching Alliance, comprises of a steering group of successful local school leaders who are united with the common guiding vision of “Opportunity through Collaboration”.

A key aim of the BLDP is to work together provide high quality teacher and leadership development opportunities and school to school support which are based on local need, underpinned by robust evidence and expertise and which are sustained over time to improve pupil outcomes. These opportunities are designed to be high quality and cost effective.  The programmes and training opportunities are co-ordinated by the BLDP steering group and partnership director with the administrative functions located at Theale C.E. Primary School. A key leadership programme is the  organisation of 13 Primary Subject Networks where subject leaders have the opportunity to share best practice on all matters of curriculum and resourcing. 
The joint ethos BLDP joint is one of openness, integrity and commitment; actively recognising and celebrating successes and supporting each other when embracing the challenge and excitement of innovation. We believe that, as a partnership, we have the ‘know how’ to grow ideas into practical strategies for day-to-day learning.
We work together to help schools nurture and develop tomorrow’s leaders and improve standards of achievement and learning experiences for children and young people. We believe that working together in this way means that we can combine resources or share existing expertise and practice, for the benefit of children and young people.
Our guiding principle is that by working and learning together we can share, harness and grow expertise so that children in our schools achieve well, learn even better and realise their potential.
As a Partnership, we aim to ensure:
Even better results and learning experiences for pupils in our schools.
More schools evaluated as good and outstanding.
A self-improving and sustainable system where development is grown at a local level to meet local needs.
Through collaboration we always benefit the learning of children and staff in our own schools.
BLDP Steering Group
Birch Copse Primary School, John Micklewhite, Headteacher & National Leader in Education
Calcot Infant, Nursery and Junior Schools, Florence Rostrum, Headteacher
Mrs. Blands Infant and Nursery School, Catherine Rose, Headteacher
Theale C.E. Primary School Catherine Morley, Headteacher & National Leader in Education
Barbara Hunter, Education Consultant (Former Executive Headteacher)
Felix Rayner, Deputy Director of Education at River Learning Trust
Elaine Ricks-Neal BLDP Director
West Berkshire Primary Heads Association Lead
Elaine Ricks-Neal
Elaine started her career in education, which spans over 40 years, as an English teacher in Oxford, progressing to secondary school leadership, and then to school inspection and advisory work. Elaine has held a range of senior educational positions including Principal Adviser for School Improvement and Governance for West Berkshire, Senior Regional Adviser for the National Strategies, and County English & Secondary School Adviser for Buckinghamshire. Elaine is also the joint author of the National Association for Able Children Challenge Award which has been awarded to 450 schools across England, Wales and internationally. Elaine now works on a part-time basis as Director of the Berkshire Leadership Development Partnership and also School Improvement Consultant. Elaine is also a school governor and a board member of the Propeller Academy Trust.

Felix Rayner

Felix has worked in primary education since 1995, taking on his first headship in 2004. Since then he has led a range of primary schools, from a very small village school to a large, three school federation. As an advisor, Felix has experience of supporting schools within West Berkshire. Alongside his role as Deputy Director of Education (Primary), Felix leads Ofsted inspections and facilitates National Professional Qualification for School Leadership training across the South East.

John Micklewhite
John is passionate about providing children with as many exciting experiences and opportunities as possible, whilst maintaining a positive, caring and stimulating environment for all.  He believes in establishing a culture and ethos where children and staff are confident to share ideas and be creative.  He is very committed to  collaboration to secure school improvement and enjoys working closely with many headteachers as part of our teaching partnership.  He finds that this mutual sharing of good practice and ideas in a positive environment is highly effective for school improvement.