Skip to content ↓

The Central Team

Seona Baker : Safeguarding Lead  

Seona has worked in education and safeguarding for over 25 years. She was a Local Authority Child Safeguarding Coordinator for 12 years supporting 130 schools to make sure their safeguarding arrangements were effective.

Seona has experience of working closely with Ofsted and other statutory partners. In previous roles she has supported some of the most vulnerable children living with domestic abuse and have led on improving attendance in schools.

Seona believes strongly that any child can be vulnerable, and our job is to make sure that we identify where children and their families can be supported.  Children will learn better in our safe and nurturing school environments.


Dan Sandy : School Improvement Lead 

With nearly twenty-five years of experience in education, Dan has taught years one to six in a range of primary school settings; from church schools to those in areas of high depravation. He has led a wide range of subjects across the curriculum (including leading the curriculum itself) and has worked as a senior leader for the last twelve years, recently completing the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers.  He has extensive experience as an Advanced Skills Teacher and KS2 moderator and has supported both primary and secondary schools across Staffordshire, Walsall and Birmingham to improve standards of teaching and learning in KS1 and KS2, as well as how they transition into KS3.

Dan has significant experience of school improvement and is currently the Teaching and Learning Improvement Adviser for the Lighthouse Federation. He works within the School Improvement team to conduct Supported Self Reviews of schools and helps to prepare staff, senior leaders, subject leaders and children for Ofsted inspections. His role includes one to one coaching support for both experienced teachers and ECTs; training for teachers, teaching assistants/learning support assistants; subject leadership development; monitoring and feedback, curriculum development, senior leadership support and the planning and delivery of Black history. Dan is also a governor with seven years of experience.


Emma Wanglin :Head of Early Years and Curriculum 

Emma is currently Head of Early Years and Curriculum at the Lighthouse Federation. She has extensive leadership and has experience of teaching in all Key stages including Early Years, Key stage 1 and Key stage 2 in a range of schools across the West Midlands.

Emma has significant experience of successful school improvement and has developed and created a range of teaching materials that are used effectively by teachers in schools across Walsall. She has supported many schools with reviewing and developing their core and non-core curriculum as well as developing the skills of curriculum leaders, the provision in Early Years and preparing them for OFSTED.

Emma’s background includes mentoring staff, preparing and delivering staff training materials, supporting ECT’s, creating interventions and lots more. Emma is also a qualified Early Years Specialist Leader of Education, and has supported many schools across Walsall LEA who have commissioned her on many occasions to lead initiatives such as ‘Schema Play’ and ‘The Early Years Practitioner’, create ‘Home Learning Projects’ to engage parents in their learning and deliver training to all Early Years practitioners.

She understands child development and offers realistic and practical advice to improve outcomes and provision for all pupils including vulnerable, SEN and more able pupils. She is very passionate about Early Years and the Curriculum and has a philosophy that ‘every’ child should be provided First Quality Teaching opportunities to enable them to succeed through a well-planned curriculum.


Joanna Austin: Associate School Improvement Advisor 

Joanna has enjoyed working in the education sector for over 35 years. She has dedicated her life to make things better for children. From humble beginnings, Joanna has worked hard to establish herself as a lead high impact improvement adviser supporting continuous professional development. Her energy comes from creating an environment where people feel valued and are encouraged to develop themselves to be the best that they can be. She believes that schools have a role to play in raising aspirations for teachers and children and that we can all work together to make a real difference.

Currently, Joanna works with school leaders at all levels, providing all forms of support including writing the SEF; School Improvement Plans; data analysis and bespoke support and CPD for schools; her work with curriculum leaders has been highly impactful. She leads school reviews across a number of Multi Academy Trusts and works with all the schools in the Lighthouse Federation. Joanna also conducts Performance Management for leadership teams at the Lighthouse Federation. Her down to earth, motivational style makes her very popular and schools continue to request her services.

Over the years, Joanna has held significant transformative leadership positions including headteacher and executive headteacher of five schools. She led the teams of three primary schools to successfully amalgamate into an outstanding National Support School. She continues to enjoy supporting headteachers to manage change. Joanna has worked as a Local and National Leader of Education with considerable impact over the years in many schools across England in challenging contexts.

After working as an Ofsted inspector, Joanna took on the role of Senior Improvement Advisor in a new Multi Academy Trust and was promoted to Head of School Performance. She became Director of Learning for the Trust and worked tirelessly with the team to successfully grow the Trust to 19 schools. A leading aspect of her work was to signpost school to school support.

Her previous work as an accredited Advanced Skills Teacher has also supported hundreds of teachers, including new teachers, to improve the craft of teaching and learning. She has run several programmes for Early Careers Teachers and many conferences for teaching assistants. Joanna has written the Midlands Air Ambulance curriculum as part of a drive to engage future fundraisers.

One of the most humbling experiences that Joanna has had, was to travel to Zambia to work with staff in Africa who were then were able to come over to spend time in schools in the UK. She says that she came back a different person, with a deeper understanding of how remarkable people can transform lives with so little. Professional generosity and collaboration and a strong drive to make things better for children continues to be Joanna's purpose in life.

Louise Brown : Senior Administrator 

Louise is the Senior Administrator for the Lighthouse Federation. She has worked in education for over 20 years and is a qualified School Business Manager.

She started her career as an Early Years Educator and Deputy in charge of an Early Years department. 

Louise’s background includes significant experience in Business as a company's founder and Director. She has extensive experience in Marketing & Communication management and Business leadership. 

Louise brings to the Lighthouse Federation Central Team her vast key skills and experience in Education and Business.