Clare Smith

Deputy Headteacher

Buttsbury Infant School, Billericay

About Me

From a background in academic research in schools, after qualifying as a teacher in 1994 I supported more than sixty schools throughout Essex in an assistant educational psychologist role.  I used the skills learned in this role as SENCo and Deputy Headteacher in a primary school in an area of significant deprivation, where I lead staff through period of significant change.  I have been Deputy Headteacher at Buttsbury Infant School since 2007, where I have supported the school in the journey from satisfactory to outstanding and to achieve Teaching School status.  I have an MA in Education which included a dissertation detailing my research on developing teachers’ assessment of literacy to impact on pupil attainment and progress.  My current responsibilities include initial teacher training, assessment and the SENCo role.


I lead CPD activities across my range of specialist areas of expertise.  For the Billericay Teaching School Alliance I have facilitated cohorts on the NPQSL programme and am about to work with a new cohort on the NPQML programme. I have written and facilitated a bespoke “Developing Middle Leadership Potential” programme for teachers and delivered tailored specific senior leadership development sessions for school clusters.  I deliver NQT CPD sessions on developing resilience, using data to close attainment gaps and stepping into subject leadership. I am a member of the Billericay TSA Research and Development group seeking to promote school research opportunities.  I sit on the Billericay Educational Consortium SCITT assessment board and deliver lectures for SCITT trainees on lesson planning, classroom management, AfL and growth mindset.  I have mentored many NQTs and ITTs and relish the challenge of supporting staff to strive to deliver outstanding practice, including through use of coaching lesson observations.  I support local school improvement work including shared lesson observations, moderation activities and providing role shadowing opportunities.

Specialist Areas of Expertise

  • Assessment
  • Leadership of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Special educational needs
  • Initial teacher training (ITT) and newly qualified teacher (NQT) development
  • Behaviour and discipline

Other Areas of Expertise

  • Facilitation - experienced facilitator of NPQSL, MLDP (Middle Leader Development Programme), DMLP (Developing Middle Leadership Potential) and NQT Stepping Into Subject Leadership and Data and Tracking Groups “Closing the Gap”, SLE core training
  • Developing teachers’ assessment literacy
  • Use of school data to drive improvement
  • School self-evaluation


Recent Training

  • Pupil Premium reviews
  • Improvement Champions
  • Teaching Schools regional conference
  • Attachment Awareness