Meet Our Accredited Consultants
We have a team of Accredited Consultants based across the UK, please read about each individual below:
Derry Richardson - Professional Development Leader
Derry Richardson is the Professional Development Leader for Numicon. She is an outstanding classroom practitioner and Leading Mathematics Teacher, with experience teaching across the Primary and Early Years phases. Most recently her work as an Advisor in Mathematics and Teaching and Learning has seen her develop professional development for mathematics in the Early Years, supporting all learners to achieve mathematically, and ways to develop the use of ICT in maths across Key Stages Two and Three.
As a practitioner, Derry is enthusiastic about creative approaches to learning and providing contextual opportunities for understanding number. Her work with 'Numicon' and 'nrich' have led to extensive research in class and articles for Primary Mathematics on low threshold, high ceiling activities to promote enriching learning experiences for all.
Susie taught for 15 years in an outstanding inner-city London primary school, where she was Deputy Head for 8 years. As a class teacher, prior to becoming Deputy Head, Susie was a leading teacher for the Local Authority so has had much experience giving training to staff from other schools as well as her own. As Deputy Head Susie taught children with SEN in maths throughout KS1 & 2 using the Numicon approach. She was also responsible for the implementation of Numicon throughout FS and KS1. Susie has recently moved to the Glasgow area and is currently doing supply teaching.
Chris Baker is an experienced primary practitioner. She has worked as a Primary Strategy mathematics consultant and subject leader for a large local authority. She has had significant experience of leading training and providing consultancy to a wide variety of schools, working with a range of audiences on large-scale programmes, county-wide and national, as well as school and classroom based. Her work has also included support for European Schools in Belgium, The Netherlands and the UK.
Chris now works as an independent primary mathematics consultant with the University of Northampton Consortium on the Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme (MaST) and with a large number of primary schools across several authorities. She is a current holder of the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) Continuing Professional Development Standard and is a NCETM Professional Development Accredited Lead.
Chris is passionate about the work still to be done in our schools to enable children to have the very best experiences when learning mathematics and regularly uses Numicon with children and teachers.
Sara Bishop B.ED Hons
Sara has taught throughout the Primary age range, from Reception to Year 7 and has many years experience as a classroom teacher, subject leader, leading teacher for mathematics and as a Local Authority School Improvement Adviser.
As part of the Primary Strategy Team in Warwickshire, with responsibility for SEN, Sara came into contact with Numicon when working with Warwickshire’s Learning and Behaviour Support Service. As a result of this she became an advocate of its use to support the teaching and learning of both SEN and mainstream pupils, in order to develop their mathematical understanding.
Whilst working for the Local Authority, Sara gained a BTEC Professional Award in Education and Children’s Service Development and also achieved accreditation as a Local Consultant for Improvement for ‘Overcoming barriers in mathematics’. Sara is a very experienced trainer, having delivered professional development for teachers, mathematics subject leaders, and leadership teams.
Since 2009 she has been working in partnership with the University of Northampton to lead and support the professional development of teachers undertaking the Masters Level ‘Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme’.
She now works as an independent School Improvement Consultant and maintains her interest in mathematics. She is passionate about the Numicon approach and is keen to promote its use to support and enhance the learning of children, of all abilities in the Primary age range.
Jonathan Cockroft has worked in education for 20 years, including supporting Mathematics and Numeracy in Northern Ireland for the past 10 years. As a class teacher he worked from Primary 2 to Primary 7 and his teaching was rated as ‘outstanding’ by inspectors. His current work involves support and training for primary numeracy as well as Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities, assessment training for Using Mathematics, integrating ICT into Numeracy and supporting schools in the effective use of performance data. Jonathan is also supporting the Achieving Belfast raising achievement programme and is a link officer for a range of primary schools.
Jonathan is an enthusiastic trainer and facilitator who brings a sense of fun to his school and teacher support role. He is a ‘can do’ person who believes that all children really can achieve in maths…particularly with the help of materials such as Numicon.
Marilyn Coveney is an experienced primary practitioner, senior manager and local authority Primary Strategy Mathematics Consultant. Marilyn has worked in Primary Schools for over twenty years. She continues to offer classroom based support for teachers on a regular basis.
Marilyn has a first class honours degree in education, specialising in mathematics teaching. She has worked with many schools in a supportive role to implement change, improve learning and teaching, and impact positively on raising standards of achievement in mathematics.
Marilyn is now an Independent Primary Mathematics Consultant. In the past two years, she has become a tutor for the Institute of Education on their Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) and Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme (MaST) whilst continuing to support schools and provide mathematics workshops for parents.
Marilyn is committed to ensuring every child enjoys and achieves in mathematics. She believe this can be accomplished when children fully understand how mathematics really works, when they are able to make meaningful connections and are given opportunities to experience the thrill of learning mathematics.
Can the learning and teaching of mathematics be enjoyable, exciting, rewarding and fun?
Marilyn Coveney says, ‘Yes it can be. More importantly it should be’.
Simon is a mathematics teacher, consultant and author.
Simon has taught mathematics in schools in the UK, USA and New Zealand. He has been Head of Mathematics in 3 schools in the UK. In New Zealand, he was a Deputy Principal and was in charge of Learning Support.
He has been involved in classroom research projects with King’s College, London and the University of Oxford which focus on how children understand and learn mathematics.
He is the Mathematics Trainer for teachers in Saudi Arabia on the Mawhiba Project, focusing on strategies to develop teaching to promote Giftedness and Creativity in students, working with teachers from year 4 to year 13. He ensures that all the teachers are actively involved in using equipment to investigate mathematical problems. From their initial activity they focus on the underlying structure of each problem which leads to further discovery and a deeper understanding of the mathematics involved. He believes that the practical use of material provides the starting point for a more secure grasp of mathematical concepts. His training sessions in Saudi Arabia and for Numicon involves lots of activities coupled with rigorous thinking. The focus is on enjoyment of learning.
He has a lifelong passion for mathematics and for mathematics teaching. As an experienced Numicon trainer, he believes that the Numicon approach provides the best starting point for school based learning of mathematical structures.
Helen Farmery BA PGCE
Helen Farmery is senior lecturer in Primary Education at Middlesex University and a Teacher Leader for the Every Child Counts Programme. She oversees the professional development of specialist maths teachers who are teaching one-to-one numeracy to our lowest achieving primary-aged children and works closely with undergraduate and postgraduate students, supporting them in their training to become the next generation of maths teachers. As well as an advisory role for school improvement in the London Borough of Barnet, she has 10 years experience as a classroom teacher and as maths subject leader in an outstanding inner-London school. Her regular use of Numicon as a quality first teaching resource, as part of wave three provision with the Every Child Counts programme, and as support for her own daughter who has Down’s Syndrome, has given her valuable first-hand experience in using Numicon.
“I have been with Numicon from the beginning and seen it flourish into the world-wide phenomenon that it is today. The children who have built their mathematical ideas on the firm foundations that this approach provides have grown into confident learners who can’t wait to be given another mathematical problem to solve!”
Graeme Flinders has been a Mathematics Consultant for Leicester City for 12 years and understands the challenges that schools face in developing a meaningful and rich maths curriculum for their children. As an independent consultant, he currently continues to work with teachers to develop quality CPD and leads the training for the Maths Specialist Teaching Programme.
Graeme uses Numicon on a regular basis and continues to be amazed by the depth with which it supports mathematical understanding, providing children with a secure and structured image to help them retain, recall and use facts.
He has a love of mathematics literature and as a member of ATM attends regular courses to challenge his own thinking. Graeme is currently writing his first book called Combiantrics (showing the complex combinations in mathematics and how children can manipulate them for clearer and deeper understanding).
Liz Gibbs is a national and international independent mathematics consultant with an interest in ICT. She has over 17 years’ experience as a classroom teacher, teaching children from the age of 4 to 13 years old. She also has 10 years’ experience as a mathematics consultant with Suffolk LA.
During 2003 – 2005 she was involved in the interactive whiteboard project in the UK and spent some time working for the national strategies as a regional director.
She is currently supporting a local school on a regular basis until it closes as part of Suffolk’s school reorganisation programme and uses the Numicon Approach with the children she teaches.
Liz is an experienced and enthusiastic trainer who is passionate about mathematics and using mathematical models in maths lessons, particularly with the help of Numicon’s multi-sensory approach.
Beca qualified in 1993 after which she spent many years teaching at KS1 and KS2. She quickly became mathematics subject leader at her school and later, was responsible for implementing the Primary National Strategy. Subsequently she was a leading maths teacher, delivering CPD at Authority level. For many years she was a teacher tutor responsible for mentoring trainees at the Institute of Education.
For the past five years she has worked as a Local Authority Mathematics Consultant with particular focus on raising standards through programmes of CPD centred on mathematical pedagogy and school improvement. During this time Beca was also a KS1 Moderator for the QCDA.
She is passionate about increasing children's enjoyment of mathematics and developing creative approaches to teaching.
Ellen has been working in education for over thirty-five years. She has taught in primary and secondary schools in both state-maintained and independent sectors, working within senior management for over twenty years. She has been a Head of two primary schools and is also a qualified ISI and Ofsted Inspector, specialising in secondary maths.
Ellen is now working as a freelance maths consultant and has worked very closely with schools within the Girls Day School Trust over the last eighteen months, modelling investigative maths lessons and advising on pedagogy in their schools. It was as part of this work that she became familiar with Numicon and now finds it an invaluable resource, supporting both teaching and learning in the formative years. Ellen is passionate about maths and strongly believes that every child should have the opportunity to experience enjoyment and enthusiasm in this important area of the curriculum.
Andrew has been described as a 'Maths Evangelist'. He is passionate about the learning of mathematics, and believes that it is possible to have fun while getting to grips with even the most complex of mathematical ideas. He first met the Numicon team at the BETT show in London, and was very keen to be associated with an organisation which, in his words, 'just made sense of numbers for so many children'. Andrew was a teacher for twenty years, so is fully acquainted with the demands of the primary classroom. He now works for BEAM, as well as being an independent primary maths consultant and conference speaker, and is also well-known for his alter-ego as the Maths Magician!
Jane is a freelance primary mathematics consultant. Jane’s interest in Numicon began when she led a case study in her LA on multi-sensory approaches to mathematics, which is reported on the Numicon website. Because of the overwhelmingly positive response to Numicon, Jane is keen to help others understand the rationale and make best use of the materials. Jane is committed to high quality professional learning for practitioners, which is rooted in practical ideas, dialogic approaches, and based on what is known about how children learn mathematics.
As well as leading professional development for Numicon, Jane currently works with children to support a school to raise attainment in mathematics. Over three years, the KS2 mathematics result for the percentage of children achieving level 4 and above has increased by 15%. Jane has been involved in the one-to-one tuition programme.
Following on from excellence in her own classroom, Jane became an Advisory Teacher for Mathematics and Assessment and then a Primary National Strategy Mathematics Consultant. Jane developed particular expertise in assessment for learning, led an action research project with Brunel University on nurturing mathematical promise and gained extensive experience in leading professional development.
Sue Lowndes is a lecturer on the PGCE and BA Teacher Education with QTS courses, a maths teacher and a maths consultant, she also co-authors a range of maths teaching materials. After teaching in two large mixed ability 11-18 schools she began her consultancy work in 1995 alongside running a nursery school in Buckinghamshire. As well as her work with Numicon, Sue is the maths consultant for NACE, plans and delivers bespoke maths training for schools and LAs, and maths experience days for pupils in schools for KS1-KS4.
Presently Sue is the maths leader, working on the Mawhiba project, nurturing giftedness and creativity in mathematics, developing, writing and delivering the programme, working with and training teachers in Saudi Arabia. Sue is involved in the maths writers’ team developing materials and text books for the Advanced Supplementary Curriculum that is being used in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Sue has a desire to enable people of all ages to experience the joy of maths, reach their potential and develop self-confidence.
Cherri is a primary teacher and independent primary mathematics consultant. She was a mathematics subject leader for 13 years before teaching part time to enable her to give more time to her writing and presenting. She feels she has the best of both worlds, with her teaching informing her writing and the research for her writing informing her teaching.
Cherri has written for a variety of educational publishers and trialed a wide variety of primary mathematics resources. She first encountered Numicon when writing some case studies for the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, recognising its value in a variety of settings.
Sandra is an independent mathematics consultant with many years of experience in the Primary sector. She worked as a Local Authority Maths Consultant for seven years and has lately been a Teacher Leader for the Every Child Counts programme, working across 6 authorities. Sandra has an MA in Early Mathematical Development.
Sandra has led training and developed materials focusing on a wide range of mathematical topics including: maths subject knowledge, mathematical language, SEND & mathematics, challenges for the Gifted & Talented, Moving children on in Maths, Assessment through problem solving.
As an LA Numicon consultant, Sandra delivered training for teachers, LSAs, Senior leaders and Inclusion teams. She regularly used Numicon in her teaching as part the Every Child Counts programme and when working on remedial programmes with older pupils.
Sandra is passionate about the Numicon approach and is keen to promote its use to support and enhance the learning of children of all abilities in the Primary age range.
Louise Pennington MAEd
Louise has taught throughout the Primary and EYS phases of education and has many years experience as a classroom teacher, manager and SENCO. During this period, she was also a Lead Mathematics teacher for the Local Authority, supporting colleagues in her own and other schools to develop their practice and in turn inspire children of all abilities to enjoy and achieve in mathematics. In 2004, Louise joined the Local Authority Advisory Teaching Service for Special Educational Needs as their specialist advisory teacher for SEN and Maths. In this role, Louise carries out individual assessments, provides advice and training on mathematical difficulties, multi sensory resources and specific difficulties including Dyscalculia.
Louise has a masters degree in special and inclusive education and believes that every learner can reach their potential through innovative and engaging teaching which utilises multi sensory techniques and approaches.
Recently, Louise has also become a coach for the Achievement for All Charity which supports schools to improve the aspirations, access and achievement of learners and young people.
In all of her specialist and advisory work Louise promotes the use of Numicon as an effective multi-sensory resource to support and challenge the learning of all students.
Gill is an author and independent consultant specialising in developing mathematical thinking. She has many years classroom experience which generates creative but practical ideas. She is constantly working to enhance the development and enjoyment of Mathematics across the Primary School.
She was senior lecturer in gifted and talented education at Oxford Brookes University with a special interest in developing online learning approaches. She is a professional coach and uses her facilitation skills in all aspects of her consultancy work in schools.
Barbara Robinson has taught in a wide variety of educational settings from Early Years 3+ to training University of York staff and students in IT skills. Her teaching career also includes work with dyslexic children and Traveller Roma children at KS 1 and 2. Current work is supply teaching at KS1/2 and event administration for the Dcsf National Strategies: Every Child Matters, SIPS, SEAL events, etc.
Initially trained as an Infant teacher, Barbara has always been committed to the use of multi-sensory approaches in Mathematics and has found the Numicon equipment the most exciting and effective that she has used. She purchased her own set for use in schools over ten years ago and has sung its praises ever since!
Through the Numicon training she hopes that participants will experience for themselves the pleasure and power of making visual a wide range of abstract mathematical concepts and that this will then enhance children’s experiences, leading to solid progress and life long learning confidence in Maths.
Susan Saunders started her primary school career in Brighton and Hove in 1989 having graduated from the University of Brighton. She was present at one of the first dissemination events run by Romey Tacon and Tony Wing and couldn’t wait to get her hands on the plastic stuff that didn’t even have the name of Numicon at that time. After an agonising wait it finally became available and while working for the East Brighton Education Action Zone, Susan ensured that each school had kits in Foundation Stage right through to Year 3. She has trained many teachers across Brighton and Hove in its use for teaching and learning mathematics and also worked with a speech and language colleague in the LA to produce a Wave 3 resource ‘Visual Models and Images supported by Signs and Symbols’ which uses both Numicon and Makaton to support children with speech and language needs. However, she believes that if the activities designed to be used from Nursery through to Year 2 were used consistently there would be far less need to ‘intervene’ or ‘catch up’ later in children’s school careers.
Susan now works as an independent primary maths consultant and is an accredited Numicon consultant.
Geoffrey Schneiderman is an independent adviser working to develop and support primary mathematics in schools. Prior to his promotion to the National Strategies in 2009, he enjoyed five very happy years working with primary schools in Herefordshire as a National Strategies Numeracy Consultant, implementing national initiatives and supporting schools through reviews, subject network meetings and professional development, either collaboratively or through training. He has had a rich experience of Numicon, which he helped introduce and trial in 10% of Herefordshire primary schools commencing in 2005.
Before he came to Herefordshire in 2003, he held a number of positions as a class teacher and roles of responsibility separately for Mathematics, Music and Special Needs in different schools in London. During his teaching career, Geoffrey has run school orchestras and taught music to children across the primary age range and worked as a specialist mathematics teacher and part of a special needs team. His experience is with children from Reception up to Year 7 in a middle school. Creativity in teaching and learning is at the heart of his education philosophy, challenging both teachers and children to always do the very best that they can and to be motivated to investigate and enquire as broadly as possible.
With 20 years of educational experience, Jonathan has a rich and diverse portfolio of eexpertise, working with colleagues, children and young people from 5 to 19 years. Having started his career as a Primary teacher in a deprived, ethnically diverse inner-city school in the heart of Luton, he quickly developed the skills to engage and raise the achievement of some of the most disengaged young people in the city. On leaving Luton, he spent a number of years teaching in a middle school in Oxford, where he became not only the Numeracy Coordinator, introducing the national numeracy strategy into school, but a Leading Maths Teacher for the County. It was in Luton and here that Jonathan developed growing awareness that many pupils were not engaged in learning through traditional methods and therefore began to introduce more innovative developing activities using ideas such as multiple intelligence and Neuro- linguistic Programming (NLP) and other forms of multi-sensory learning.
In 2001, Jonathan joined Gloucestershire County Council where he established and ran ‘Playing for Success’ (PfS), an organisation based at Gloucester Rugby dedicated to inspiring learning in Maths and English through sport. It was here that he developed an inspiring and innovative curriculum not only based on the power and ethos of Rugby, but one that also incorporated many of those multi-sensory ideas. The project targeted the most disengaged students from some of the most disaffected areas of Gloucestershire. Within seven years, Playing for Success had grown into the largest provider of study support within the region, employing over fifty members of staff and working with over 2000 students annually in six different locations across the county, including Cheltenham Racecourse, Forest Green Rovers FC, and within three Gloucestershire Secondary schools. When it was time for Jonathan to move on, PfS was providing full time education for all of Gloucestershire’s young people who had not successfully remained in full-time education.
After a year supporting the County Council through a programme managing a major restructuring of Children’s Services, Jonathan joined the Council’s Education Performance and Intervention Team where he was responsible for project managing a bespoke package of intervention and support for schools identified as a cause for concern or eligible for Intervention. Jonathan has a proven track record of supporting schools and helping them transform into highly effective and sustainable learning communities.
Donna Varney is an independent Education Consultant based in Manchester with over 20 years of experience in the Primary sector. She is a Teacher Leader for the Every Child Counts Programme.
Donna taught for 13 years in an inner-city Manchester Primary school where she became a leader for PE and ICT. She went on to work as a Primary Consultant specialising in ICT, Whiteboard technology and Mathematics as part of the Primary Strategy Team.
Donna has gained a Master’s Degree in Early Mathematical Development. Her research study focused on the use of collaborative professional development, which she utilises in her training. Donna has delivered and facilitated training to a variety of audiences including; teaching assistants, teachers and leadership teams. She is an enthusiastic and passionate facilitator, who works hard to ensure active participation and engagement of her participants!
Donna teaches small groups and individual pupils who struggle with mathematics. Working with pupils allows Donna to puts all her training, knowledge and skills into action, which in turn supports her development as a trainer.
Donna is an avid believer in active, contextual-based learning and making learning accessible to all. She has utilised Numicon as parent, aunt, teacher, leader and trainer, and believes the resource supports learners to really make sense of Mathematics.
Rowan has over 25 years experience of teaching, subject leadership, consultancy and ITT gained across the primary phase.
Her special interest in the mathematics curriculum developed at an early stage in her career and since that time she has worked for the National Numeracy Strategy and as a numeracy consultant for several LEAs. Until recently she was Senior Maths Consultant and subject leader for the London Borough of Lewisham where she worked closely with teachers and TAs in meeting and exceeding school improvement targets.
She is committed to the principle of confidence building, especially in mental mathematics and the importance of creating a stimulating learning environment.
Val is an independent education consultant and author, specialising in primary mathematics. She has over 20 years’ classroom teaching experience and has worked at all levels of school leadership, including Maths Subject Leader and Head Teacher.
Val has first-hand experience of implementing the Numicon approach throughout the primary age range, and has seen the benefits that this multi-sensory learning brings to children's enjoyment of, and achievement in, mathematics. Val believes Numicon is for everyone, including the most able: "It brings concepts to life, so that children of all abilities are learning maths through doing maths".
As an enthusiastic and experienced professional development leader, Val has particular interests in mathematical problem-solving and investigations, ICT and mathematics, and creativity in mathematics. She is committed to raising the quality of learning for all pupils, by giving teachers the time to explore new ideas, to collaborate and innovate, and to share their successes during professional development sessions.