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Our Story

ForgeCPD has grown out of Forge Teaching School Alliance, a successful collaboration of forward-thinking schools across South Yorkshire which came together to create a sustainable system for school improvement. Today, we are working in partnership with many organisations to bring together a huge range of CPD materials for primary and secondary schools.

We are determined that the central section of ForgeCPD should be free to all schools no matter how small or large they are. We curate materials from Ofsted, DfE, EEF, curriculum hubs, research school etc, as well as hosting material from national figures such as Mary Myatt and Tom Sherrington who share our vision. In addition, we create our own content with local and national experts. By providing a one stop shop of resources, we want schools to be able to make informed choices about CPD that suit their context and priorities.

Our Vision

To bring together the fractured educational world and strengthen partnerships locally and nationally by providing a central repository of knowledge and content which every partner contributes to, and benefits from.

Our Aims

To provide a core offer of high quality, evidence informed, professional development for all members of the school community at every stage of their career

To support schools to use technology to create flexible and bespoke delivery of CPD for all staff to be used at any time, in any place

To act as a springboard to exchange ideas, promote richer conversations and deeper thinking across the school system

Meet The Team


David Silvester

Founder & Head of Forge CPD

David is CEO of a large, successful Multi Academy Trust; he has led schools as Headteacher and Executive Headteacher for fifteen years.  As a National Leader of Education, he has worked across the school system as a system leader, associate headteacher and in a mentoring capacity.  He has a passion for education and believes that success is possible in any context, given the right ethos, management, systems and organisation.  David is part of the Q and A panel for ForgeCPD. 

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Helen Headleand

Leadership Consultant

Helen has a track record of successful school leadership and is deputy CEO of a large Multi Academy Trust in Rotherham.  She is a National Leader of Education and works as a consultant for Rotherham School Improvement Service, supporting a wide range of schools across South Yorkshire.  Helen is a member of the Q and A panel for ForgeCPD. 


Jo Davenport

Curriculum Consultant

Jo has a wealth of experience across the education sector ranging from being a Deputy Headteacher instrumental in the journey to becoming an outstanding primary school, taking a dedicated leading role within the 'Action Zone' agenda as well as working as a National Literacy consultant for Barnsley LA.  She has worked across the school system as a consultant, driving up standards and empowering professionals to succeed.  She is committed to supporting schools in developing sustainable self-improvement models. 

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Professor Emily Perry

Quality Assurance Consultant

Emily is Deputy Head of the Centre for Development and Research in Education, and Head of the Funded Knowledge Exchange for Sheffield Institute of Education.  In addition, she is a member of the Association for Science Education, the International Professional Development Association, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.  She also leads the Sheffield Institute of Education's Research-Engaged Practice Network.  She has researched and written extensively on how to develop quality assurance of teachers’ CPD.


Helen McLaughlin

Director of Forge CPD

Helen recently retired from primary headship.  She was a Headteacher and Executive Head for seventeen years, in that time, she led five Rotherham primary schools.  She has significant experience of supporting other schools in her role as a National Leader of Education and continues to work as an associate headteacher.  She believes that every child has the right to an outstanding education.  Helen is a member of the Q and A panel for ForgeCPD. 


Deborah Whelan

Safeguarding Consultant

Deborah is the Strategic Safeguarding Lead for the James Montgomery Academy Trust.  She is committed to achieving a consistent approach to safeguarding practice across trust schools and seeks to develop and improve safeguarding training for staff at all levels. 

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Sue Gregg

EYFS Consultant

Sue has worked within early years education for over twenty five years and is an Assistant Headteacher and FS2 teacher in Rotherham.  She is a Specialist Leader of Education for EYFS and oversees EYFS school improvement in her role as an Associate Leader team within RoSIS.  She believes in the importance of getting it right in the Foundation Stage to build a solid base for a child's future successes.


David Sutton

Secondary Content Advisor

David is CEO of Maltby Learning Trust.  He is passionate that the MAT reflects the local context and serves the needs of children in and beyond the learning community.  The Maltby Learning Trust is now widely recognised for its innovative cross phase work and the high standards achieved across the Trust.  David is a National Leader of Education supporting schools facing challenging circumstances. 


Steve Forster

Head of Digital Media

Steve worked for the Rotherham Creative Learning Centre for the last fifteen years as Digital Media Lead and Tutor delivering IT and digital media projects across primary, secondary and special schools.  He began work as Head of Digital Media for Forge CPD in September 2021 and is excited by the challenge to create a high-quality interactive platform for schools. 


Jackie Oliver

Health and Safety Consultant

Jackie works in a range of capacities supporting the school system, including governance, compliance and health and safety.  She has a passion for improving the life chances and aspirations of the community in which she serves.  She facilitates compliance for a Multi Academy Trust as well as administration for the Teaching School. 

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Cheryl Gaughan

SEND Consultant

Cheryl has extensive experience in working with schools across the Yorkshire region as well as on a national level . She is a recognised trainer of the DfE Engagement Model and a member of the National Network of Specialist Provision which contributes to the national SEND agenda.  She has worked with various organisations to develop SEND enhancement throughout their programmes including Initial Teacher Training, the Early Career Framework, National Professional Qualifications for middle and senior leaders to ensure that SEND is represented and understood by all. Cheryl is passionate about all children being included in their school and wider community but particularly children with SEND to be successfully included. 

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Chris James

Secondary Content Advisor

Chris is CEO of Chorus Education Trust.  He moved to Chorus Education Trust from Nova Education Trust in the East Midlands where he was Senior Executive Headteacher.  He is a National Leader of Education working across the school system.

Content Delivery Partners

Kirstie Page

Kirstie Page is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist who, after working in Mainstream Paediatrics, specialised in working with parents and in the Early Years.  She retrained as a teacher in 2004 and taught in KS1 and the EYFS, before shifting her focus to the training and support of other practitioners, whilst continuing to work ‘hands-on’ within schools and settings.  Kirstie is also the creator of the Launchpad for Literacy Toolkit.

Steve Smith

Steve Smith taught French for over thirty years and was Head of Modern Languages at Ripon Grammar School up to 2012.  He has written or co-written four books including The Language Teacher Toolkit and published blogs and CPD videos for language teachers.  He is a Lead Subject Tutor and Visiting Lecturer on the PGCE course at the University of Buckingham.  

Mary Myatt

Mary is an education adviser, writer and speaker. Her education philosophy is underpinned by several principles: that all children deserve rich demanding work, that high quality talk underpins learning, that human beings are curious and that they find deep work very satisfying. Mary has written extensively about leadership, school improvement and the curriculum: High Challenge, Low Threat, Hopeful Schools and The Curriculum: Gallimaufry to Coherence, Back on Track, Huh: Curriculum Conversations between subject and senior leaders and Primary Huh. She has also established Myatt & Co an online platform with films for teacher, including teaching assistants and leaders including governors.  

Starbuck Education

James has ten years’ experience teaching & leading in both the Early Years & Primary age range.  He enjoys supporting Early Years settings with bespoke training across Coventry and its surrounding areas.  He also runs a YouTube channel where he shares ideas and inspiration for educators.

Sarah Rockliff

Sarah currently delivers on a range of CPD programmes including the ECT programme for Ambition and EDT, programmes with OLEVI and the NPQs with the Best Practice Network. Her key area of interest is developing others; she believes that collaborative approaches are the best way to achieve meaningful change to improve outcomes for our children.

Oversight Board

David Silvester

CEO James Montgomery Academy Trust

Richard Punshon

National Leader of Governance

Katherine Lewis-Ward

Strategic Director South Yorkshire Teaching Hub

Stephen Betts

Director of Education Learn Sheffield

Katie Hewitt

Training and Development Manager Sheffield Safeguarding Children Partnership

Vicky Helliwell

(Retired) Assistant Director of Education

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