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5th June 2017 - Meet the Trainer! – Alison Haines

Alison Haines

At the heart of the Catch Up® team are the wonderful Catch Up® Accredited Trainers. They travel far and wide, delivering courses for both interventions.

Alison Haines has been a very valued member of the team since 2006, working first as a trainer for Catch Up® Literacy and now for Catch Up® Numeracy too!

She began her very successful career as a Primary Teacher in Hackney in the 1980s. Alison then moved to Islington in the ‘90s, specialising in supporting SEN pupils with language, literacy difficulties and dyslexia. She worked for over 20 years as part of the Local Authority Inclusion Team, which is where she ‘discovered’ Catch Up® – and we are extremely glad she did! Alison told us, “I saw the difference Catch Up® was making in Islington schools that were using it, so applied to become a Catch Up® Accredited Trainer in order to assist with spreading it borough-wide.”

Since leaving the Islington Inclusion Team, she has worked as an ‘Achievement for All’ coach and as a ‘Maximising the Impact of TAs’ facilitator for the Institute of Education. Alison is now working for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets as part of their advisory Support for Learning Service, as well as delivering training courses for Catch Up®!

You can probably guess that Alison is based in London! She regularly delivers the training courses at our Tower Hamlets Regional Training Centre, and enjoys meeting attendees from her local area. She does occasionally go further afield on behalf of Catch Up®, and has delivered courses in Suffolk and Herefordshire, to name just two! She loves living in London and told us about the pastimes she also manages to squeeze in, “I love my cats, reading, sewing, gardening and clothes!”

Alison has received excellent feedback from Catch Up® users over the years and shared one particular memory with us: “I knew we were on to a good thing when a TA stopped me in the street to tell me how much she loved, in her words, ‘my Catch Up®’, and that she could deliver it all day! One of her pupils had moved up three Catch Up® levels in three weeks, and she reported that their segmenting and blending were brilliant. She told me that the pupil had read a book without making a single mistake and her self-esteem had rocketed, with even the class teacher commenting. She said that the pupil was even walking more confidently! Hearing stories like that makes you realise that what you’re doing is making a difference!”

Alison finds working with the Catch Up® trainees to be very rewarding. She said, “They are such a professional, dedicated part of the workforce and they really appreciate an intervention that gives them the skills to support pupils effectively.” Alison describes one of the constant positives as, ‘being able to help deliverers embed the interventions and maximise success. I feel a bit like that TA who stopped me in the street – I love ‘my Catch Up®’ too!’ She also had a top tip for us, “Choose the right pupils and stick to the Catch Up® format – it’s like a diet – don’t cherry-pick!”

She has many memories to share about life as a Catch Up® trainer, most of them very inspiring. However, she did mention one interesting situation… “I was a new Catch Up® trainer arriving at a venue, to discover that there was a temporary road closure and the whole area was cordoned off! I managed to make my way round the barriers to reach the training venue, with very little time to now set up and get ready! I couldn’t get the I.T. to work, and a very helpful technician arrived and told me, ‘your presentation won’t run’, at which point a lovely lady arrived (a Catch Up® trustee), smiling brightly, to observe my session! Nightmare! It all worked out in the end!”

It is a good job that our trainers are so calm and professional. They can deal, no problem, with any eventuality on the road!

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