All Difference Associates are experienced Critical Friends who work with managers to self evaluate their extended learning provision to see how it can be improved to meet the needs of communities and really make a difference to youngsters achievement, development and confidence.

Julia Bateson (B Ed Hons. NPQH.)

Founder and Managing Director of Difference (2011) Ltd

Julia has 27 years experience of working in Primary, Secondary Schools and professional football clubs. She has been a Deputy Head teacher, Head of a Study Support Centre and a Local Authority Education Adviser. Julia was the QiSS East of England Regional Coordinator; is a school Governor and Chairs a Children's Centre Advisory Board. Julia is passionate about make a positive difference to families, children and young people's lives complementing what they do in the classroom with what they do out of it.

Julia is also Managing Director of Excite- ed CIC – empowering through apps www.excite-ed.co.uk a non-profit making organisation that develops Health and Wellbeing app games with children for children.

Alex Bateson (BA (Hons), IOSH, NEBOSH)

Director of Difference (2011) Ltd

Alex has a worked in London for 26 years developing employment
opportunities for young people and young adults. He runs Business and Enterprise workshops for teenagers to give them an insight into industry and employability skills. Alex is qualified in assessing the suitability of employer's premises for work experience and apprenticeships. He has monitored equal opportunities in the work place and employment training contracts. He has worked in theatre land as a stage technician and has run a painting and decorating business.


Adrienne Arthurs

Associate Critical Friend and Chair

Adrienne is National Critical Friend and experienced QiSS QES Chair. She is a Community Interest Company Director and has twenty one years experience as: an Extended Schools Coordinator, a family and community development coordinator working in schools, pre-schools, retail and training. She is enthusiastic about supporting children and young people to overcome barriers and reach their full potential.



Annie New

Associate Critical Friend

Annie has over 20 years of teaching experience within primary schools as a Special Educational Need Coordinator and Deputy Head. She has worked strategically with schools around issues of parental engagement and school improvement in both the Primary and Secondary sector as an Extended Schools Cluster Manager. She has a passion for education and its potential for all young people. She currently runs her own business working in primary and secondary schools running motivational workshops for students and leading staff development sessions across a range of subjects from creativity to well-being.


Gill Dowling

Associate Critical Friend

Gill is the Partnership Manager for Welwyn Garden City and has successfully supported schools through the QiSS process at Emerged Level. Gill is committed to Extended Learning opportunities and as a mum has seen the impact for her own children. Gill's daughter has much more confidence and is able to work as a team player and her son who has special needs has been able to excel in trampolining and develop his swimming skills so that he is safe to be near deep water. Gill believes extended learning should be an entitlement to all children regardless of financial restraints and is happy to support schools who want to make a difference through Study Support.


Claire Turpin

Associate Critical Friend

Claire has worked in various community settings for 25 years. In her primary role as youth and community worker, Claire utilised a range of skills, including art, sport and group work to engage participants at centre based clubs, schools and via detached work. Young people participated in projects and activities which enabled them to become confident, face issues and to recognise their potential. Claire also facilitated textile classes as a part time lecturer within adult education and worked with schools as an extended services development worker, cluster co-ordinator and Critical Friend to Senior Leadership staff supporting them to achieve National QiSS recognition.

Ben Wallis

Associate Critical Friend

Ben has over 13 years experience within the Community Development and Educational environments as a Local Government and National Governing Body Sports Development Manager, Extended Services Cluster Manager, Qualified Sports Coach and locally trained QiSS Critical Friend. He currently runs his own Sports Coaching and Consultancy business working in a variety of environments including schools, children’s centres and community environments. Through this, he has a hands-on experience of the ways that Extended Learning and Study Support provision can impact on children’ and young peoples lives.


Sally Gubb

Associate Critical Friend

Sally is Local Partnership Development Officer for Aspects, the school partnership that supports the 26 schools in Bishop’s Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and villages. The organisation offers pupil and family support to children, young people aged 5-19 and their families. She is a Local and National Critical Friend having recently completed training to qualify as National Critical Friend with QISS. She has over ten years experience of working in the development of services for children and vulnerable people .Sally is passionate about providing creative solutions to enable children and young people to access learning and improved life outcomes.

Maureen Miller

Associate Critical Friend

Maureen has worked in secondary schools for the last 14 years, most recently as an Extended Schools Consortium Co-ordinator, supporting vulnerable families and setting up out of school hour’s activities in West Watford.  She trained as a QiSS Critical Friend in order to support her schools in demonstrating the quality of their provision and this ensures they truly meet the needs of their pupils. 
Maureen has recently decided to “go it alone” and is a freelance trainer and consultant in all extended services matters; as well as being a Director of a Community Interest Company delivering play therapy and counselling to support children and young people and their families.  She has been fully trained in Protective Behaviours and recently gained her Preparing to Teach in The Life-long Learning Sector adult teaching qualification.

Rhona Mackey

Associate Critical Friend

Rhona has worked in the education sector, across primary, secondary and higher education, for over a decade.  She is currently the Family Support Manager for a partnership of 17 schools in Hemel Hempstead, providing advice and guidance to schools, their pupils and their families with the aim of removing barriers and supporting the educational outcomes for children and young people in the area.  Rhona is passionate about opening up opportunities to all to help people achieve their potential and as such is a committed supporter of extended study support, having seen first hand the difference it can make and the benefits achieved.


Rosemary Inskipp

Associate Critical Friend

Rosemary is an experienced Extended Schools Coordinator organising integrated services provision and Study Support/Extended Learning to meet the child, school and family needs of the school communities in the Kings Langley Consortium in Hertfordshire. She became a Partnership Development Officer for the group in 2011. Rosemary specialises in supporting the Quality in Extended Services (QES) process for schools.

She also has extensive experience in the corporate marketing sector.


Helen Leigh

Associate Critical Friend

Helen is currently a Partnership Development Officer for the Harpenden area of schools in Hertfordshire. She manages the integrated services support for families, working with a range of children's services professionals. Helen is an experienced Quality in Study Support Critical Friend who has successfully led a number of school management leads through the process. 

For a number of years Helen was the Harpenden Extended Schools Coordinator dedicated to community development working in partnership with schools and external providers to deliver needs based education, Study Support and family support programmes. She is an experienced school sports coordinator.

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