Mary Meredith, newly appointed Assistant Director for Learning and Skills

New Assistant Director for Learning and Skills in Hull announced

Hull City Council has appointed Mary Meredith as the new permanent Assistant Director for Learning and Skills.

Mary will take over from interim Assistant Director Jo Moxon, who has led the education team for the past two and a half years. As recognised by Ofsted in a recent report, Jo has transformed the Local Authority’s relationship with Academy Trusts, and she established the Hull Learning Partnership leaving a strong platform for continued partnership working in Hull.

Jo is returning to consultancy work after what she describes as an incredible journey in education in Hull during the covid period. Jo said: “Working in my home city has been a great privilege and a pleasure. Education Leaders have shown their dedication to the children and young people of Hull by their tremendous team spirit and commitment to working together during one of the most challenging periods in education that any of us have ever experienced. I am so proud to have been given the opportunity to work for the council to strengthen education services and partnerships in the City.”

Jo Moxon is thanked by Patrick Sprakes at Malet Lambert, on behalf of the city’s schools, for the support they have received

Mary will begin in post on Monday 1 November. She began her career as a secondary English teacher, living in Hull, before moving to a large secondary comprehensive in Nottinghamshire as Head of English. She then worked for five years as a school improvement consultant, before returning to education’s front-line as a SENCO and senior leader. Her research into the link between speech and language difficulties and challenging behaviour was published by Routledge in ‘Restorative Approaches to Conflict in Schools’ (2013). Mary has worked to raise awareness about best practice in supporting pupils with social and emotional difficulties, through a blog, articles for the Times Educational Supplement, school-based training and numerous conference appearances.

For the last six years Mary has been the Head of Inclusion at Lincolnshire County Council. Working in partnership with the Parent and Carer Forum, Local Authority SEND teams, Impower consultancy and school SENCOs, her focus has been on strengthening the quality of early intervention, levelling up the mainstream school offer so that all schools are inclusive schools capable of meeting a diverse range of needs, and on supporting the transition of pupils from specialist settings to mainstream to create a more flexible system for young people and families.

Mary said: “I am humbled to have been given this opportunity at Hull City Council and will be devoting all of my energy to promoting inclusion and through that narrowing the disadvantage gap, which is widely recognised as the key national priority for education as schools recover from the pandemic.

“I look forward to working with school leaders, building on the absolutely fantastic work that Jo has done with the Hull Learning Partnership to address the challenges collaboratively. I am also excited to discover that Jo has built such an impressive education team within the council – professionals with all of the credibility, expertise, dedication and moral purpose to make a difference to the children and young people who need us the most.”

Pauline Turner, Director of Children’s Services said: “Jo has done a tremendous job bringing together Academy Trusts across the city during a very difficult time for education, and I wish her the best for the future.

“I am delighted to welcome Mary, and her experience will be a real benefit, in particular her focus on improving outcomes for pupils in vulnerable groups, including SEND.  I look forward to continuing working together to improve achievement and promote inclusion, whilst ensuring children are safe and have essential nutrition.”

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