Louise Soden

Louise started her career teaching and managing English in a variety of secondary schools, including those in inner cities.  She became an advisory teacher and subsequently a lecturer at Sussex University, contributing to initial teacher education and research on teachers’ professional development. Louise was a deputy headteacher for six years, before becoming a member of a small team establishing the advisory service of a new unitary authority.  After becoming an assistant director in another newly established authority, Louise joined an education consultancy, providing interim management for schools or projects which were in difficulties.  This included the associate headship of a school in challenging circumstances, which went on to become the most improved in its authority. 

Louise joined Her Majesty’s Inspectorate (HMI) in 2002 as a member of the School Improvement Division, monitoring and working with schools in challenging circumstances and those that were failing.  She had national responsibility for schools requiring special measures.  Following this, Louise joined the DfE/National Strategies with regional responsibility for implementing a key government policy to establish school improvement partners (SIPs) in all schools.

In 2007, Louise joined the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames as an Assistant Director (Head of Schools) with a central role in the leadership of the Children’s Services Directorate.  She rejoined the DfE as an Academy Adviser, establishing new academies  as well as leading research  for the Academies Group and working intensively with the most fragile academies.  In 2012, Louise was invited to rejoin Ofsted as a director.  During this time she was the Regional Director for the East Midlands and the National Director for local authorities.