Meet Our Leadership Team

Julie Allison


Julie joined Thames in 2012 as the Deputy Headteacher, having previously worked as a School Improvement Consultant for Blackburn with Darwen Local Authority and taught across the primary age range in Blackpool prior to that. In 2020 Thames joined ATC Achievement Through Collaboration Trust and Julie was very proud to be appointed as Headteacher.
Julie is passionate about teaching and learning and ensuring that teachers have access to resources and research evidence that will empower them in achieving the best possible outcomes for our children. Julie inspires all members of the school community to be aspirational and to believe in themselves and in what they can achieve with hard-work, dedication and resilience.

Angela Hilton

Deputy Headteacher

Angela Hilton was born and bred in the local area and actually attended Thames as a child. She has taught in Blackpool for over 30 years and consequently knows many generations of families in the community. Angela’s experience is deeply rooted in the Early Years and Key Stage 1. She has a passion for the teaching of early reading and phonics, and has successfully been appointed as a Specialist Leader of Education in this field. Angela is relentless in her desire to ensure every child develops a love of reading and is keen to support families in supporting their children in their reading journey.

Jules Baldwin

Operations Manager

Jules joined Thames on 1st February 2021 from a successful career history in hotel, leisure and spa management, most recently as a national group manager overseeing the operations, marketing, and finance of 18 spas across the Uk. She is passionate about great customer service and ensuring the safety of everyone who comes to Thames. From the children and staff to contractors and visitors alike, safety is at the forefront of all we do. Overseeing the finance, administration, catering and premises teams here at Thames, Jules has a critical role in supporting Headteacher and the leadership team in delivering the best possible educational experience for our children.

Jonathan Ratcliffe

Assistant Headteacher and Leader for Digital Learning

Jonathan joined Thames in 2015 as Assistant Head Teacher, having previously taught in Primary schools in Fleetwood and Blackpool. Prior to Thames, he worked in Higher Education, where he developed and delivered Degree courses for aspiring Teachers and Teaching Assistants. Jonathan has a passion for leading and introducing the use of new technology into the classroom and implementing the effective use of technology to improve pupil outcomes. Jonathan loves music and plays the drums in local bands. Football is another major interest of his and he coaches a local grassroots football team.

James Robinson

Assistant Headteacher / Inclusion Leader and SENDco

James joined Thames in 2015 having worked in Primary Teaching in Blackpool since 2003. Gaining a BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS and Physical Education at Edge Hill University and coming from a sporting background, he moved into SEND and Inclusion, gaining the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASC) in 2010.
James is a big Arsenal fan and when he’s not running around after his three children he tries to catch a live match whenever he can.
James is passionate about getting the right support for our children (and families) at the right time; minimising barriers to learning and making the curriculum offer at Thames as inclusive as possible.
‘If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.’ - Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada

Amy Balaam

Designated Safeguarding Lead DSL

Amy joined Thames in September 2013 as a nursery practitioner in the 2-3 room. Prior to this Amy had worked across various age groups ranging from birth all the way up to the age of 18, with teenagers in residential care. During her time at Thames, her role progressed and until recently, Amy was our nursery manager. Amy leads the pastoral team and oversees attendance, pupil welfare, pupil engagement and all safeguarding matters.
Amy is passionate about supporting our families to ensure the best possible outcomes for Thames children.

Karli Plant

Lead Teacher / English Subject Leader

Karli joined Thames in 2017 as a Lead teacher, a role which sees her deliver bespoke training and support to teaching staff. Karli works alongside teachers in the planning and delivery of quality lessons, to ensure that Thames is providing a personalised, balanced curriculum that supports the needs of all of our children. Karli is passionate about the importance of providing a knowledge rich curriculum that allows our children to be inquisitive and excited about the world around them. Karli is an avid reader of the latest research in education and uses this to inform her teaching pedagogy.

Natalie Wheatley

Lead Teacher / Maths Subject Leader

After gaining experience across both Key Stages in various schools across Blackpool, Natalie joined Thames in 2017 as a Lead Teacher with a passion for innovative and research-led teaching and learning. Natalie continuously strives to empower not only the children at Thames but the staff, to ignite imaginations and be the best they possibly can be.

Kathy Bracegirdle

Lead Teacher / Early Years Leader

Sarah Taylor

KS1 Leader