NAVSH Trustees

Sue Johnson


VSHT Salford

Sue Johnson is the Chair of NAVSH, continuing to develop the work of NAVSH. 

Sue has been the Virtual School Head in Salford for a little over 6 years, having previously worked in a range of teaching and leadership roles in both mainstream and special schools, and under the National Strategies as a Behaviour & Attendance Consultant.  I feel very fortunate to have landed in the wonderful world of the Virtual School Head; a role that is unique within an LA, but for whom there are boundless amounts of peer support from fellow Virtual Heads across the country. 

Carolyn Lawler

NAVSH Vice Chair

Matthew Cooke

NAVSH Immediate Past Chair

VSHT Suffolk
Matthew is the past Chair of NAVSH having previously held the position of Membership and Regions Lead. He is a well known figure amongst the Virtual School community having facilitated many NAVSH websites and contributed to a number of regional conferences. Matthew is also a member of the secretary of state's Attendance Action Alliance.

Matthew knows the depth of knowledge and expertise that is held within our Virtual School community and is passionate about building networks that allow this expertise to be shared. However, Matthew also acknowledges the responsibility this year to navigate the additional demands being placed upon Virtual School Heads. This year he looks to strengthen the NAVSH team, adding capacity so that we can improve upon the membership benefits available to you. Our national and regional networks are such a font of knowledge and NAVSH will continue to support and facilitate opportunities to share excellent practice as well as commissioning additional resources to further support the invaluable work you all do.

Calvin Kipling

Communications Lead

VSHT Darlington

Sarah Clark

Membership & Regions Lead

VSHT West Sussex

Kate Leyshon

Honorary Secretary

VSHT Sutton

Kate Leyshon has been Headteacher at Sutton Virtual School since 2018 and joined the NAVSH Board as Honorary Secretary in 2022. Kate has 15 years’ experience working as a Physical Education teacher and senior leader in the South East of England as well as being a Governor for a Federation of schools. Kate has a passion for working to support the most vulnerable children through education and believes in the power of sport and the arts to help young people further develop their strengths. Kate hopes to see NAVSH continue to grow and develop as a charity so the Virtual School network can reach more children and have a positive impact on their future lives.

Lynsey Burridge

Honorary Treasurer

VSHT Trafford

Lynsey began her career as an MFL teacher in Secondary Schools in Salford and Manchester, taking on various management roles over the years before moving into a post in a Safeguarding Children Unit where she supported schools with Child in Need and Child Protection processes. She moved over to Trafford in 2007 to take on the role of education lead at the Youth Offending Service. In 2014 Lynsey was asked to pick up the role of Virtual School Head in addition to her role at the YOS but it quickly became clear that setting up a new Virtual School was a full time job! Lynsey found it an exciting opportunity to start work as a Virtual School Head at a time when the role was made statutory and Virtual School Heads were given responsibility for the management of the Pupil Premium Grant. Five years on her team has grown to double figures with specialists such as an Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Careers Adviser, Mental Health Practitioner and Education Welfare Officer as well as primary and secondary school teachers. In this time the role of Virtual Schools has also grown from overseeing the education of Looked After Children to an extension to oversight of the education of Previously Looked After Children and Children in Need which means any child who has been open to Social Care in the past 6 years.  Lynsey has also been involved in the work of the National Association of Virtual School Heads for a number of years, first as North-West representative on the Board, then as Vice Chair and Chair and now as Honorary Treasurer. This work has given her the opportunity to meet senior leaders in Ofsted, School Commissioners, colleagues in the DfE and even Ministers to promote the education of looked after children. Lynsey is a proud Corporate Parent and believes passionately in the life changing potential of a good education in its widest sense.

Fay Blyth

Research Lead


Natalie White

Policy Lead

VSHT Camden

Jancis Andrew

CIN Lead

VSHT Leeds

Jennie Davies

Training and CPD Lead

VSHT Oldham