Consultant focus: Zarina Connolly

Senior Consultant

Zarina currently works as an independent education consultant. She has highly developed skills and knowledge of inspections, improvement and quality assurance practices in schools. With considerable experience of leading complex inspections, as Her Majesty’s Inspector, together with over 15 years’ experience in senior leadership in secondary schools in London and the North West, she has a deep knowledge and understanding of successful strategies to improve schools. She has inspected in nearly all sectors of education: primary, secondary, non-association independent schools, initial teacher training and alternative provision. She was one of Ofsted’s national trainers and the regional lead for citizenship and safeguarding, specifically, radicalisation and extremism. She is an effective leader and trainer.

Zarina has obtained all her work since her previous role as Her Majesty’s Inspector through recommendation. She now works with a number of schools to: review their provision, provide leadership support, carry out appraisals of headteachers, provide training and development and monitor their progress including their curriculum provision. She has been commissioned by two multi academy trusts to work with their family of schools in both the primary and secondary sectors. Zarina has also provided school improvement support for two independent faith schools in London (primary and secondary). The schools for which she provides support range from schools that are deemed inadequate to outstanding. She has inspected and supported PRU’s and secure units. Zarina was commissioned by Nottingham Educational Improvement Board to evaluate their strategy.  She has advised an ITT provider.

Zarina is the author of a brand new schools award commissioned by Optimus Education called ‘Excellence in Personal Development’. The award focuses on pupils’ personal development and skills and it has received excellent feedback from the pilot.

Zarina is contracted by Ofsted to lead inspections across all the schools sector remit. As such, she is up to date with the latest requirements of the new framework including for independent schools’ inspections.

Areas of expertise

  • School improvement strategies
  • Pupils’ personal development
  • New framework