About Us

Our Teacher Training Team

Luke Abbott

Luke Abbott

Luke studied for his Masters Degree with Dorothy Heathcote at Newcastle University in 1980/81. He was among the first wave of Heathcote’s students to be introduced to mantle of the expert, which was she developing at the time into a cohesive teaching and learning approach.

After graduating, Luke spent nine years applying and developing his use of inquiry, drama for learning and mantle of the expert at Stantonbury College, Milton Keynes. He then worked for fifteen years as a local authority adviser, training and supporting other teachers and educators in the approach.

As a teacher/consultant Luke has taught in hundreds of schools all over the UK and abroad. His work is internationally recognised and he has been instrumental in advancing the application of imaginative-inquiry as an innovative teaching and learning approach in the UK, USA, China, New Zealand and Palestine.

Tim Taylor

Tim Taylor

Tim is a teacher/trainer from Norwich. He first started using imaginative-inquiry after watching Luke Abbott in 1995 using the approach with his difficult to engage Year 1 class.

Since then Tim has researched and practiced using mantle of the expert, first in his own classroom and then later in other teacher’s classrooms. In 2004 he became an Advanced Skills Teacher. He is now works freelance, offering support and training in the use of moe.

Tim has led and participated in many professional development projects in schools across the UK. He has taught in the USA and Palestine and is a visiting lecturer at Newcastle University. He is the editor of mantleoftheexpert.com and imaginative-inquiry.co.uk. And writes regularly for the Guardian Teacher Network and for other education publications.

Julia Walshaw

Julia Walshaw

Julia is a teacher at Bealings School, near Woodbridge in Suffolk. She has been fascinated by imaginative-inquiry since early in her teaching career. Following her PGCE, she joined Bealings, where Luke Abbott was just starting to introduce staff to Mantle of the Expert. Early in 2004 he worked with Julia’s KS1 class in the frame of a haulage company commissioned to evacuate animals from a Baghdad zoo – Treetop Transport. Julia was amazed by the levels of engagement of the children, and from then on has been on an ongoing quest to deepen her understanding of the system.

Julia became an AST for Primary Curriculum Development in Suffolk in November 2005, specifically for Mantle of the Expert. She has worked to introduce the system to schools throughout the county, establishing successful long term training programmes for teachers – the Suffolk Mantle of the Expert Forum. As part of the national training team, she has led workshops at conferences in Essex, Newcastle, Norwich and London.

Iona Towler-Evans

Iona Towler-Evans

Iona has been engaged by the work of Dorothy Heathcote throughout her career, and was supported by her when she first started researching mantle of the expert in 1993, following her Master’s degree course. In particular, Dorothy Heathcote supported Iona in developing the original production of  ‘Whats in Store’.

Iona has applied imaginative-inquiry to her own classes and also works with colleagues in other schools, to support the work. She has shared the outcomes of the work in a range of articles, for example ‘Sea Change’ a programme of work with Somali children, at KS1 1 (TES Supplement; 2008) and ‘An approach to pre 20th century text using Mantle of the Expert’  (Secondary English Magazine, 2007).

Iona currently runs the West Midland Network for Mantle of the Expert, in collaboration with teachers, tutors, professional artists, at Newman University College. She also contributes to modules and training on Mantle of the Expert at Newman to trainee teachers.

Iona has worked in a range of capacities including classroom teacher, Head of Department, Deputy Head, all in schools in challenging circumstances and as teacher trainer (her current focus).

As part of the national team and an associate adviser to Essex County Council, she has led workshops at conferences in Essex, Newcastle, Birmingham, Norwich and London and is pleased to contribute to the current development in Mantle of the Expert in Wales (her roots!)

Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis

I am a full time teacher at Recreation Road Infant School in Norwich. In 2004 I saw Luke Abbot talk about imaginative-inquiry at a Norfolk teachers’ conference. It intrigued me and seemed such an exciting way for me to move forward as a practitioner so I was thrilled to become part of a project that trained me in the use of MoE. Since then I have worked with Luke, Tim Taylor and a group of colleagues who have become a committed and transforming support group and who are still helping me to refine and improve my practice and understanding of the approach.

I have run a series of long term mantle of the expert contexts with my children, while developing imaginative-inquiry as a pedagogic approach that we use throughout the school. It has totally transformed my teaching and children and parents at my school are excited and motivated by the learning it has engendered.

I am currently involved in training and supporting other teachers in Norfolk and have hosted many visitors to my school to observe imaginative-inquiry in action! I have run workshops at a series of National conferences and have also written articles and a research paper relating to mantle of the expert.

Emma Bramley

Emma Bramley

Emma is a Freelance Drama Practitioner with a background in community theatre, youth work and teaching.

She became determined to further develop her understanding of how drama could be used as a tool for learning and the facilitator’s role within this. Luckily she took a weekend course at Ringsield and quite simply thought “oh, so that’s it!” and since then has been committed and determined to develop imaginative-inquiry within the North West.

Since then Emma has worked in partnership with schools, colleges and universities to introduce, explore and develop imaginative-inquiry to enhance and explore the curriculum. She is passionate about the power of drama and the theory and practice of Mantle of the Expert. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the teacher and the children and how the fictional world is created within the classroom.

Emma continues to support schools and is developing a North West Network so that schools can work together to support each other, share best practice and develop strategies for training staff.

Website Manager

Richard Heywood

Richard is an award winning web designer. Since 2003 he has run his own web design company, Creative Corner. His innovative school web sites are recognised as the industry leader and he has designed websites for schools all over the UK.

Richard’s distinctive design style incorporates unique children’s artwork created by the pupils from each commissioning school. Creative Corner designed both the mantle of the expert and imaginative-inquiry website.


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