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Who’s who

Welcome to LEARN Teaching School Alliance. Come and meet the team…

Claire Buffham

Head of LEARN

Claire is a Lead Ofsted Inspector, and Director of Education for SEND at Community Inclusive Trust. As part of her role Claire set up and is responsible for the Lincolnshire Education and Research Network Teaching School Alliance (LEARN). Her vision for LEARN is to create a central hub to meet the SEN needs of all Lincolnshire schools, and she has worked in education for 26 years, specifically the SEN sector since 2001.

Emily Walker

Director of LEARN
Deputy Regional SEND Lead
for Whole School SEND (WSS) –
East Midlands, South Yorkshire and Humber

Emily has worked in education for 23 years. She has worked in both Primary and Secondary settings and previous to joining LEARN was Assistant Head for a Specialist Secondary School for 7 years.
Emily is passionate about supporting teachers to play an active role in making sure all children have equal opportunities no matter what their starting point. She believes strongly that all children deserve the best possible chance to succeed.

Dana Phillips

Office Manager

Dana joined us as Office Manager in September 2020. This will be her first year of working in training and education after previous roles within the NHS and finance.

Jayne Carter

Enterprise and Development Leader

Jayne took up her role at LEARN last year and believes passionately that all children are supported to achieve their very best. Jayne previously led Elite TSA in Bourne and brought a wealth of experience to the world of sector led support. She is also an independent Education Consultant, supporting practitioners in Early Years and Primary in improving their own pedagogy and teaching.  She also leads several research projects, which have enabled her to remain in the classroom, which has given her a fantastic insight to the ever-changing educational priorities.

Sarah Robertson

Teacher and Operations Support

Sarah has worked in education for the last 15 years in a number of different roles. She has previously worked in primary and secondary settings as a teacher, NCETM Maths AST, Youth Liaison Officer for an Education and Military charity and as a senior leader. Alongside the two days a week Sarah works for LEARN, she also works in a Lincolnshire Primary School as their SENDCo.

Ellie Kavanagh


Ellie studied at Kesteven and Grantham Girls School before attending Brooksby Melton College. She joined LEARN on an Apprenticeship Programme in September 2018.

Chris Lincoln

Communications and Marketing

Chris works for LEARN three days a week, spending the rest of his time supporting PR and Communications for CIT Academies. At LEARN, he is responsible for training course promotion and content creation, such as flyers, booklets and videos. He is also working on various digital projects across LEARN and the county.

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