About Us - Associates

Barbara Firth has extensive first-hand experience of supporting those she works with to become even more successful, always starting from the individual’s perspective and then working together towards improved solutions resulting in collaborative learners and leaders. This is a key perspective of AEA Ltd.

Barbara is an international expert in 'giftedness and creativity' and has worked in Saudi Arabia training Lead Professionals in this field. As a consultant in the UK she has worked closely with Croydon Local Education Authority in developing their strategy for more able learners and supported schools both in Croydon and across London in developing their practice in developing independent and effective learners.

Barbara’s successful teaching career started in Hackney, East London as a Drama, Integrated Studies and English teacher. She subsequently worked in a number of schools with a wide range of responsibilities, including those within Senior Management and with a particular focus on Inclusion.

In 2002 she joined Enfield Local Education Authority as a Senior Manager in the School Improvement Service to implement their Excellence in Cities programme. Having gained her accreditations as a Lead Additional Inspector for Ofsted and as both a primary and secondary School Improvement Partner, Barbara has effectively for the last eight years supported schools in both raising attainment and whole school improvement. She has continued to develop her expertise with regards to inclusion and has line managed a range of services within the LA including Education Welfare and SEN and was both the LA’s Lead for Attendance and for Gifted and Talented Education. In the latter role she has developed a passion for ensuring that the needs of able pupils are being met both within whole school policy and also within the curriculum and the classroom, providing INSET for teachers and support packages for schools.

In evaluations, Barbara is regularly described as inspirational, practical and sensitive. She has a great sense of humour and an enthusiasm for her work which ensures that she keeps up to date with developments in current pedagogy. Her experience as an Additional Inspector for Ofsted as both a Lead for Primary Schools and team inspector for secondary and special schools ensures that she is experienced across both phases and sectors. In addition she is an Accredited Assessor and trainer for The NACE Challenge Award, The Basic Skills Award and The Inclusion Quality Mark.



John Broadbent, like Barbara Firth, the Director of Aspirational Education Associates, has extensive first-hand experience of supporting those he works with to become even more successful, always starting from the individual’s perspective and then working together towards improved solutions, helping them to become collaborative learners and leaders. This is a key perspective in the consultancies, training and advice offered by AEA Ltd.

John is an international expert in 'giftedness and creativity' and has worked in Saudi Arabia training Lead Professionals in this field. As a consultant the UK he has worked closely with Croydon Local Education Authority in developing their strategy for more able learners and supported schools both in Croydon and across London in enhancing their practice in developing independent and effective learners.

John started a successful teaching career in a Bradford primary school. He also worked in two primary schools in Norfolk, before taking up a post in a secondary school as a teacher of foreign languages. He subsequently acquired specialist knowledge of Teaching English as a Second Language. His career has included the co-ordination of a Pilot Project for the European Commission on Italian, Punjabi and Urdu in the mainstream curriculum, as well as periods of headship in a Haringey secondary school and as an advisory head of a special school. He has been a Senior School Improvement Officer and an Ofsted-accredited Inspector. In 2001 he joined Enfield Local Authority as the Co-ordinator for Gifted and Talented Education, responsible to the national Excellence in Cities program.

John is regularly described as good colleague, encouraging, trustworthy and confidential, practical and sensitive. He keeps up to date with developments in current pedagogy, having recently completed a Post-graduate Diploma course on On-line Learning and E-moderation, with Oxford Brookes University. He is an Accredited Assessor for the NACE Challenge Award and for the Basic Skills Award.

Sue Rush
As a local authority officer and team-manager for sixteen years Sue has significant experience in a variety of fields, from special educational needs and all areas of inclusion, to safeguarding and child protection. As an independent advisor since 2006 Sue has worked and presented at conferences across the UK and in the Middle East. She has an MA in specific learning difficulties and is recognised by examining bodies and the Joint Centre for Qualifications (JCQ) as an assessor for access arrangements. Sue received a DfES Best Practice Research Scholarship to consider patterns of learning difference in young people at risk of social inclusion. She is an accredited assessor for the Inclusion Quality Mark.

Sue Rush is a qualified teacher/trainer with experience of education and advisory work in a broad spectrum of maintained and independent, mainstream and special schools. She has worked in all four key-stages and the post-16 education of young people, also on university-accredited and in-service training and the initial training of teachers.

As an LSCB and NSPCC-trained child protection trainer Sue works with schools, multi-agency groups and any organization delivering services to children and families. She provides pre-and post-Ofsted safeguarding support.

Sue is an approachable and effective trainer and advisor who can effect change sensitively. Much of her work is re-commissioned by satisfied clients.



External Links

NACE, National Association for Able Children in Education

Inclusion Quality Mark Ltd (IQM)

Quality Marks - Supporting and celebrating continuous improvement