Leeds East Academy


Anna Simons

Assistant Principal

Anna graduated from Leeds University with a BA Hons degree in History. Following this, she worked for a year as a residential Social Worker with autistic adults before returning to education to study for a Diploma in Career Guidance, in Kent at the College of Guidance Studies.  After successfully completing this qualification, she work as a Careers Adviser in Southampton in order to complete the work based part of the qualification. On successful completion of part two, Anna moved back to Leeds to continue to work as a careers advisers specialising in working in colleges across Leeds providing information and guidance to young people. As part of this role, she took on a project at a local centre working with groups of young people, in East Leeds, over a period of time. She realised during this project she had a passion for working with young people and seeing their progression and development over time so decided to return to education to study for a PGCE in History at York University.

On completion of her PGCE, she successful applied for a job at a local Leeds High school and went on to complete her NQT year. During her time at this secondary school, she held many varied roles and responsibilities in leadership and management. The first role was as NQT/ITT co-ordinator, which involved organising a programme of support, observations, training sessions, mentoring and working with external agencies to ensure successful completion of the programme and harnessing the talent of successful teaching professionals.

Then as an associate member of the Leadership Team, she reviewed and improved the schools Assessment, Reviewing and Reporting systems.  Following this, she was promoted to Assistant Headteacher responsible for Teaching and Learning. During this time, she was responsible for improving student progress and achievement through the development of whole-school T&L strategies, CPD and intervention.  This involved organising whole school, departmental and individual CPD, putting in place a mentoring, coaching and working closely with the and LEA. This role expanded to include National Strategies and Intervention, working closely with the English and Maths, G&T, BPAP, ‘Narrowing the Gap’ and line managing several curriculum areas including Geography, History, Social Sciences and PSHE.

Anna then took a step back from her leadership roles to work part time as a History teacher in order to raise and spend time with her two daughters. However, despite this she still remained part of the Teaching and Learning team, a mentor and coach and became a Senior Leader in Education supporting a local secondary school in Leeds. However, after seven years of working, Anna wanted another challenge and which saw her become the Head of History at Leeds West Academy where she has successful overseen two years of positive results. In addition to this role, Anna applied and was successful in becoming one of the SLD leads for History working with the LLP. The opportunity then arose for a deployment as an Associate Assistant Principal at Leeds East to support work in Humanities and with the Quality of Education Team, which despite it only being a few days she is really enjoying.

Anna joined Leeds East Academy in 2020 on secondment from Leeds West as an Associate Assistant Principal to drive the Humanities Team and to work on developing a world class curriculum. Her work on the curriculum has ensured that the Schemes of Learning are sequenced, knowledge rich and embed all key Teaching and Learning policies. In addition, she has driven the themes of equality, diversity and inclusion, CEIG and Higher Performance Learning into the curriculum. Recently she been appointed an Assistant Principal at LEA extending her remit to the wider curriculum include PSHCE, Guardian Time, Assemblies and Higher Performance Learning.  

Anna is happily married to Jonathan and they have two daughters, Libby and Charlotte. They love to travel as a family and have been on several European tours as well as spending weekends visiting historical sites, theatres and cities such as London.