The Backdrop team

Consultancy, Coaching & Mentoring – Here’s who we are

Meet the Family

Knowledgeable, Experienced and very Human!

I am really pleased to introduce you to the Backdrop Leadership group family. They are a talented and experienced team of:

executive and leadership coaches and mentors,

well-being and life style coaches and mentors,

education consultants,

school improvement advisors and so much more.

As some one who was born in the 7o’s I cannot help but draw upon analogies based on war movies and westerns. I like to think of us like ‘Kelly’s Heros and ‘The Magnificent 7’ (the one with Yule Brynner), but in truth we are a functional, trustworthy but equally talented version of these teams.

Jon Gibson

ILM Level 7 Coach & Lead Consultant

Jon Gibson – Lead Consultant & Executive Coach
Jon is an educational consultant, ILM Level 7 executive coach and SEND mentor who has conducted over one hundred reviews in secondary, primary, middle, first or special schools. Jon has worked/led projects in Education Opportunity Areas and in Wales.
Sara Alston – Safeguarding & SEN Consutant
Sara is an independent SEND and Safeguarding Consultant and Trainer with over 30 years teaching experience. Sara is experienced Safeguarding Trainer. She works as a multi-agency trainer for Surrey Safeguarding Children Board, is accredited by CEOP and Safer Recruitment Consortium. She is also a published author.
Sue Allingham - Headshot
Sue Allingham – EYFS Consultant
Sue is an EYFS consultant with expertise and passion for teaching and learning in the Early Years started with her classroom experience and Senior Lead role as Early Years Co-Ordinator in the late 1980’s. Moving into research Sue gained an MA followed by a Doctorate, both in Early Years Education from Sheffield University.
Kate Browning Bio Picture
Kate Browning – SEND Consultant
Kate is a well-regarded lead professional in school improvement for SEND. She has over 25 years of experience as a teacher, SENCo, Local Authority School Improvement Officer for SEN and Education Officer for NASEN. She teaches the NASENCo course and facilitates SENCo Networks across the midlands. She also lecturers on SEND for Warwick, Northampton and Derby Universities.
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Myles Pilling – Assistive Technology Consultant
Myles has been a special schools teacher for over 30 years. He was Wiltshire’s ICT SEN Advisor for 10 years where he ran a loan bank of ICT equipment to support individual pupils with special needs in mainstream schools. He is a well-known speaker both in Wiltshire and Nationally. Miles is a part-time, external lecturer to Bath Spa University inputting expert ICT information on their BA and MA Dyslexia courses.
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Michael Purchase – Leadership Consultant
Michael is a former special head teacher of 19 years with a good record of change leadership. He is a successful school improvement partner, coach and mentor. Teacher trainer with a well-regarded university. He specializes in SEND and inclusion and works with single schools and with multi-school projects (local authorities and MATs).
Yola Jacobsen – FE SEND Consultant
Yola’s career started as a practitioner and manager of provision for people with learning disabilities returning to the community from long-stay hospitals. Her work for national education organisations focussed on SEND reforms policy and project management covering supported employment, apprenticeships, person-centred working, and transition to college for young people with autism. Yola is the manager of Natspec’s specialist CPD service.
Andrew Steward
Andrew Steward – Executive Coach & Leadership Consultant
Andrew has a masters in education and a considerable depth & range of experience in leadership (up to Headteacher level) that includes strategic planning at school, MAT & system level and complaints investigation. As well as expertise in curriculum, safeguarding and vulnerable children work. His executive & leadership coach training at L7 is due for completion in Autumn 2023). He is also a C-Me colour profiling facilitator.
Cat Mangham – Executive Coach & Leadership Consultant
Catriona is a highly skilled and experienced executive leader with over 30 years of working at this level within complex organisations as well as national level influencing policy and practice. She enjoys most working with teams and individuals to support them to be their authentic and best selves personally and professionally.
Catherine Pearce – Executive and Well Being Coach
Catherine is a highly-skilled ICF-accredited coach (ACC). She has extensive business experience with natural empathy and positivity to provide practical support for executives, established and emerging leaders in times of transition and challenge, focusing on growth and possibilities. Helping organisations to create inclusive cultures where individuals can thrive, improving wellbeing and performance.

How Would You Like To Work With Us?

Classroom of young adults
Education Consultancy
I want to know more about your consultancy, coaching, mentoring and supervision services for education professionals.
Education Consultancy
Leadership coaching or mentoring
I am looking for leadership coaching and mentoring and would like to know more about your offer.
Leadership Coaching
Wellbeing or personal coaching or mentoring
I am looking for wellbeing or persoanl coaching or mentoring and would like to know more about your offer.
Wellbeing and Personal Coaching

Get In Touch

Have Some Questions?

Almost everyone can benefit from coaching or mentoring.

If you are ready to set yourself professional or personal goals, want to make a positive difference in your life (at work or home) then the coaching and mentoring team can help you.

The short answer is yes.

The Backdrop team have a wide range of experience in mainstream and special schools.

They have supported hundreds of settings and can help.

Just drop us a line and we will introduce you to the right person for your needs.

Contacting us is one click away.


Our fees are exceptionally good value and we are sure you will not be disappointed with the price or service we provide.

The exact cost depends upon the service you would like.

Please contact us and we will discuss your needs and give you a great value for money quote.


'All expectations were met and exceeded significantly.
- Assistant Headteacher and PDG
Jon was an excellent coach, he encouraged me to think about problems from a different perspective and, through coaching models, was able to provide me with a valuable framework for communication.'
- School Leader
"As with any "audit" type process there is anxiety and trepidation. Can I go on line as saying any concerns I had were diminished immediately by the warm, disarming nature of [Backdrop]. I found the whole experience enlightening and informative and certainly backed my mantra of "everyday is a school day". Many thanks"
- Assistant Headteacher, Secondary
'An excellent process. Challenging but very supportive. Lots of new ideas, even when we are doing very well, we could do better...'
- Headteacher
'The day included productive discussions around SEN provision that was developmental and professional. Solutions were suggested based around lines of enquiry that were revisited throughout the day, including the debrief. This focus ensured clear and realistic targets could be set.'
- Headteacher, Middle School