An Oxford English graduate, Lesley first taught English and Drama at Coopers School in Kent, and became Head of Performing Arts, then moved to Tonbridge Grammar as Head of Drama and as an Advanced Skills Teacher in Gifted and Talented Education, delivering training on this topic for the county and for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, where she was a lead practitioner in the education of able students. She also worked as a consultant on curriculum design and project-based learning for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the National College of School Leadership, and designed and ran summer schools for gifted students. She ran a county-wide project for able students as part of the Independent and State School Partnership which involved 35 schools.
In 2009, she moved to Benenden as Director of Studies, latterly rebranded Academic Deputy Head, and she undertook this role for ten years. From September 2019, she became Executive Director - Curriculum and Professional Excellence, with responsibility for curriculum design and innovation and academic staff training, and continues to be fully involved in the academic life of the school, including as a teacher.
She continues her interest in curriculum design to promote challenge and connective thinking, working nationally on these topics. Lesley is a trained inspector for ISI and an expert advisor for Ofqual.