Meet the Team

The Directors


Ian Clennell

Managing Director

I have over 30 years’ experience working with schools and dealing with social, welfare, behaviour and safeguarding issues which impact on the school community.


I managed a large attendance and welfare service, and have successfully overseen a number of national pilots, developed and delivered a range of training courses and was the Educational Lead for Child Protection and Safeguarding for 20 years.


I have been a Senior Advisor with lead responsibility for Safeguarding, supporting schools in Ofsted inspections, managing allegations against staff and critical incidents in school.



Sarah Clennell

Director - Safeguarding Consultant

I started my career working for a Local Authority housing department, then moved to Newcastle Education Welfare as an Attendance Officer, Parent Support Adviser and Lead EWO. Whilst with Education Welfare I had the opportunity to work across primary and secondary and was involved in projects supporting asylum seekers and refugees and anti-bullying.  During this time I was trained to develop and deliver training within the Local Authority, while developing the Parent Support Adviser role nationally with the Training and Development Agency for staff, schools and community groups.  I then became a member of the Senior Leadership Team and Designated Safeguarding Lead at a primary school in the West End of Newcastle. 


After several years I became a Service Manager for vulnerable families for North Tyneside Council, managing a multi-disciplinary team, children’s centres and the Troubled Families agenda.  This role included training and development of multi-disciplinary teams from the public and voluntary sector. 

The Consultants


Alison Cairns

Consultant Lead

I have worked in education for over 25 years in Newcastle as a teacher, Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and for the last nine years as Headteacher of a primary school in the North West of Newcastle with high deprivation, SEND and mobility. I recently supported another Trust school as Executive Headteacher.

I have a wealth of experience in all aspects of safeguarding and protection, leading school improvement, safeguarding, SEND and behaviour. My belief that all children must feel safe and happy before they are ready to learn is integral to my practice.  I have always thrived in ensuring an inclusive and nurturing environment and all of the schools I have worked in for the last 22 years have housed an ARC (Additional Resource Centre) supporting a range of children including those with Hearing Impairments and SEMH and ASD needs.


Carmen Slade

Safeguarding Consultant

Since 1995 I have worked in a variety of roles in the public and voluntary sector.  After graduating from Sunderland University in 2000 I joined Newcastle City Council where I worked in various educational welfare management roles.  These included Lead Education Welfare Officer, Pastoral Manager, Designated Person and Integrated & Targeted Services Area Manager. 


In 2006 I joined the Early Years Safeguarding Children and Compliance Team as a Safeguarding Consultant. I delivered safeguarding training on behalf of the LSCB and identified gaps and solutions for safeguarding leads. This is now a huge part of my role at CES. Following the completion of a presentation skills course I wrote and delivered a range of training for professionals in areas such as attendance, behaviour, safeguarding and record keeping.   


Daniel Tolan

Safeguarding Consultant

I have over 14 years experience of working with children and families across a range of settings, including the North Tyneside Council Kids clubs and Summer Playschemes, Family Intervention Programme, Gateshead Council Youth Offending Team, Adult Independent Living, Education and Children's Social Care.

My roles within education have been Lead EWO, Education Welfare Officer, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Parent Support Adviser and Family Support Officer.

I have been part of the CES team since May 2017 following gaining leadership and management experience under the 'Troubled Families Agenda' within North Tyneside Council.


Heather Campbell

Safeguarding Consultant

During my career in education I have worked as a teacher, a consultant in two different local authorities, an Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and for the last nine years as Headteacher in a large inner city primary school.


As Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead I was responsible for the safety and wellbeing of over 500 children and over 70 staff. I have a wealth of experience in dealing with all aspects of safeguarding and child protection.


Mick Dunn

Safeguarding Consultant

I worked for Newcastle Local Authority for over 25 years and held a number of senior posts including Principal Education Welfare Officer, Behaviour Improvement Programme Coordinator and Senior School Improvement Adviser. I was the strategic lead for Anti Bullying, Alternative Provision, Targeted Mental Health in Schools as well as the Behaviour and Attendance agenda.


I have significant experience in managing and responding to safeguarding issues, from both a professional and from a Governance perspective. I am an Accredited Safer Recruitment Trainer and have extensive experience in planning and delivering staff training, providing support and advice and responding to challenging issues.

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Paul Arrowsmith

Safeguarding Consultant

I have worked in education for over 16 years as a teacher, Boarding House Master, Pastoral Lead and Senior Leader. For the past 5 years I have been an Assistant Headteacher, SENDCo and DSL for a large secondary school in the west end of Newcastle with over 1200 pupils and 70 staff.

Throughout my career I have gained leadership experience in an international boarding school in Australia and a Pupil Referral Unit and three large comprehensives in the North East of England.

I have led whole school improvement in SEND, safeguarding and behaviour and believe that inclusivity is key to ensuring that students feel confident to learn and enjoy education.


Paula Stones

Safeguarding Consultant

I trained as a Social Worker in 2003 and started my career in education as an Education Welfare Officer in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2003, working with children and families in Primary Schools where I have been for 17 years in the roles of EWO, Parent Support Adviser, Family Support Officer and School Welfare Officer.


In 2006 I was appointed to the Early Years Safeguarding and Compliance Team where I was required to deliver training on behalf of the LSCB and work alongside provision managers and Safeguarding Leads to audit safeguarding practices. 


I have completed "Train the Trainer" and presentation skills sessions in addition to in-house observational sessions at CES, all of which have formed the basis for the many training sessions that I have since delivered.  


I have been a Safeguarding Consultant since 2016 and I’ve developed a series of Protective Parenting training sessions for parents which have been delivered to parents and carers within many schools across Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland.


Tony Nicholson

Safeguarding Consultant

Having previously worked in Residential Social Work in the voluntary sector I then moved to Gateshead Local Authority.  I have over 27 years of experience working with schools, social care and education settings in a variety of roles involving safeguarding, child protection, behaviour, attendance, Looked After Children, social inclusion and emotional wellbeing. 


I was Team leader for Education Welfare in the East of Gateshead and led a multi-disciplinary team within an education setting, where I was also Designated Person. I also spent three years working with North Tyneside in The Registration and Inspection Team.  

The Admin Team


Nikola McGuinness

Business and Training Manager

I have worked in Education for 16 years, firstly within a finance department of a large secondary school and then in a busy primary school in Newcastle where I was very hands on with the day to day running of the school. Whilst there I studied for my Business Manager qualification and became the School Business Manager. I have a wealth of experience as a Business Manager and also vast experience of working within a busy school environment and I am very aware of all of the challenges which schools face today.

Caroline Timmins

Admin Assistant

For the last 19 years I have worked in admin within the education sector. I spent 16 years in a busy inner city primary school in Newcastle. I gained a wealth of knowledge and experience during that time, and understand the challenges faced in a busy office and school environment.