Strategy Team

The Strategy Team is made up of the Core Management Team, who regularly meets to lead on the delivery of the region's strategy.

Betsan O'Connor

ERW Managing Director

Betsan O'Connor

Betsan was appointed as the first Managing Director of ERW in May 2014. Betsan has come to the ERW region from Estyn via a secondment with the Welsh Government. 

As HMI for 9 years Betsan worked primarily in the field of Local Authority inspections but has also worked across the range of Estyn’s responsibilities in inspecting FE, WBL, secure estate, careers and Youth support services.

In 2010-11, Betsan was successfully appointed on secondment as the first Strategic Manager for the Joint Inspectorate Programme – a partnership between Estyn, The Wales Audit Office, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales and Health Inspectorate Wales. 

As Manager of Local Authority Intervention and Support in Welsh Government, Betsan’s role focussed on providing support and building capacity in local authorities and regional consortia. Specifically, Betsan was responsible for developing an approach to supporting local authorities in need of external intervention. 

Key responsibilities and professional interests include strategic planning; improvement strategies; and programme management. In her new role as Managing Director Betsan will be instrumental in driving the regional strategy forward. 

Helen Morgan-Rees

Head of Hub - Eastern

Helen Morgan-Rees

Helen began her teaching career in Cardiff in 1991 before moving to Neath Port Talbot where she was a Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher in two Welsh medium primary schools. Helen joined the school improvement team in Neath Port Talbot on a two year secondment in 2009 as an Education Development Officer with responsibility for supporting and challenging twenty schools in the primary and secondary sectors.

Helen took up post as a permanent Education Development Officer in 2010 and has recently worked as Her Majesty’s Inspector for Estyn. Helen was recently Head of Learning and Inclusion in Neath Port Talbot Borough Council and is now Head of Education Improvement for City and County of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Borough Council. Helen is Head of the Eastern Hub within the ERW consortium.

Key areas of responsibility have encompassed school improvement, system leadership, promoting effective self-evaluation and good practice, effective transition between KS2 and KS3, assessment for learning and thinking skills, partnership agreements and Welsh medium education.

Andi Morgan

Head of Hub - Western

Andi Morgan

Following his graduation in English from Trinity College, Carmarthen where he also learnt Welsh as a second-language, Andi has worked in a range of primary schools, serving as a Head teacher for some seventeen years. 

Andi joined the school improvement service in 2007, initially supporting schools within the Carmarthen Area. In 2010, Andi undertook the role of Senior School Improvement Officer, working as Area Team Leader for the Dinefwr Area and leading on support and training provision for governors. In 2013, Andi became the Principal Challenge Adviser for Carmarthenshire before commencing in his current role in 2016. 

Andi enjoys supporting the wide range of ERW school improvement activities through the Strategic Implementation Board, Strategy Team and Leading Learning Priority Board agendas. Key areas of focus and experience within Andi’s work have been effective school governance, developing middle leadership, NPQH and newly appointed Head teacher programmes. Andi contributed regularly to the National Leadership Development Board and continues to take much interest in the development of whole school leadership. 

Andi has trained with Estyn in the inspection of schools and Local Authorities.  

Key responsibilities and professional interests for Andi include coordination of strategic school improvement activities, Lead Creative Schools and Regional Arts and Education Network programmes. In his new role as Head of Western Hub, Andi will focus on effective and consistent Hub-working in support of the regional strategy. 


Meinir Ebbsworth

Head of Hub - Northern

Meinir Ebbsworth

Meinir began her teaching career at Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari before moving to Cardigan Secondary School as Head of the Welsh Department. She was the WJEC Chief GCSE Examiner, and has published a great deal of classroom resources and reading books for all Key Stages.

She worked as an advisory teacher with Ceredigion, then a School Improvement Officer before beginning her role as Ceredigion’s Head of School Improvement and the leader of the Powys and Ceredigion Hub in 2014.

Meinir is an Estyn inspector for the secondary sector and has also inspected Local Authorities.

Meinir is responsible for implementing ERW’s school improvement strategy across schools in Powys and Ceredigion. She is also responsible for ERW’s Challenge Advisor professional development programme. 

Alan Edwards

Head of Teaching and Learning

Alan Edwards

Alan Edwards began his teaching career at Ysgol Dewi Sant, Pembrokeshire, where he was responsible for teaching mathematics across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. During his time in this school, he was appointed to the role of Head of the Mathematics and ICT faculty and later became ALNCO.

He also has significant experience in working with children across all phases throughout primary. Alan was seconded from this post to Pembrokeshire Local Authority as an Advisory Teacher for Mathematics and Numeracy in 2012 and later became the Challenge Adviser for Mathematics and Numeracy and subsequently a Challenge Adviser for schools.

He is a trained Estyn Inspector for both primary and secondary schools. He has a Masters of Research in Education where he focused on making use of concrete resources to improve mathematical education.

Alan is now the Head of Teaching and Learning for ERW. In this role he is responsible for implementing the regional strategy to support schools to implement and develop curriculum change and to improve the quality of teaching and learning. He has leadership responsibility of the following programmes within ERW:

* Curriculum Pioneer Schools

* Support for the new GCSEs

* Maths and Numeracy

* English and Literacy

* Welsh

* The Foundation Phase

* Teaching and Learning Strategy

* 14-19

* MFL support

Aneirin Thomas

Head of Support and Performance

Aneirin Thomas

Following his graduation, Aneirin worked in a number of schools and Local Authorities serving as a Head teacher and working within school improvement over a period of twenty years. His work has involved strategic planning and system development as well as leading on key areas in teacher assessment.

Having worked as a Challenge Adviser with Carmarthenshire for two years, Aneirin was appointed as Area Lead, mainly supporting primary and secondary schools in the Carmarthen area and also leading on school performance and teacher assessment. He has worked closely with schools requiring significant improvement, supporting both Head teachers and Governing Bodies.

Aneirin is currently working as part of the Central ERW team, leading on areas of support, quality and performance. His main responsibilities are in the field of developing effective systems to streamline the work of Challenge Advisers and ensuring high quality support and challenge for schools across the region. Aneirin is also the Lead Verifier for ERW as part of the national Securing Teacher Assessment Programme.

Aneirin is a trained Estyn inspector.

Local Authorites Swansea-Abertawe Neath Port Talbot - Castell Nedd Port-Talbot Ceredigion Carmarthenshire - Sir Gaerfyrddin Pembrokeshire-Sir Benfro Powys

ERW is an alliance of 6 local authorities governed by a legally constituted joint committee. Its aim is to implement the agreed regional strategy and business plan to support school improvement.