Trust Mathematics Lead and PGCE Tutor for Mathematics in ATLP’s School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) team.

You will be hard pressed to find anyone more passionate about sharing their mathematics expertise than the charismatic Tom Manners.

Birmingham-born-and-bred Tom worked in radio for many years as a presenter and producer and was a well-known voice on numerous stations including BBC Radio West Midlands, Touch FM and BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Radio.

However, deep down, the keen Aston Villa fan knew that teaching was for him.

A father-of-two, Tom, who has previously held a couple of Assistant Headteacher roles and been a Trust Maths Lead elsewhere, said: “My mother was a headteacher in a primary school and I always knew that one day I’d follow in her footsteps, so I trained in Key Stages 2 and 3.

“By 2013, when I left my first school, I had decided I wanted to teach teachers. I want to have the biggest impact in the widest way possible and that’s why I love my two roles within the School Improvement Team (SIT) and SCITT so much.”

Prior to joining the Partnership, Tom earned a distinction in his Masters at the University of Birmingham in ‘School Improvement and Educational Leadership’. He produced his dissertation on ‘How membership of a MAT can improve maths teaching’, so there can be no doubting he is an expert in his field.

Tom, the proud owner of an impressive vinyl collection which helps him unwind, said: “I have been creating a network among the Maths Leads in our primary schools driven by the use of the Frayer model which highlights conceptual variation and requires unambiguous descriptions. I like this clear model because all schools can use this regardless of what curriculum they are using.

My goal going forward is to create ideas and resources which can be used in all schools. I believe in collaboration and it’s vital that our schools don’t become islands. The most successful MATs are the ones with schools working together and that’s why I am intending to develop resources on problem solving which all staff in all schools can use and benefit from.

“I always thought I would go down the Deputy Head/Head route, but the creation of my role has allowed me to focus on leading maths pedagogy, which I hope will allow me to share my passion and have a greater impact.

“So far in the Trust Maths Lead role, I have offered both in-person and online sessions and meetings to all of our schools as I am trying to ensure Maths Leads know that they are constantly supported. I have a number of ideas that I really want to introduce to further develop that support and utilise the many champions we already have in the Trust.”

Such is Tom’s commitment to helping others, during lockdown he launched his own website – – which provides CPD, research, videos and interviews on all things maths teaching.

Tom is also hugely proud of his role in the SCITT team and the impact it has on teachers.

He said: “As a School Improvement Team, we want to be a good ancestor and plant the seeds which will grow to bring results for generations to come.

“Our SCITT was rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted last summer and deservedly so. I improve every year because of my colleagues and I’m not afraid to make mistakes as I feel challenged, yet supported and listened to. As we continue developing and working with other SCITTs, we will continue to improve further still!”