Castledon School

The Trust’s core aim is to ensure that we enhance the life chances of all the young people within the Trust to enable them to fulfil their potential and achieve the best possible outcomes.

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Meet the Leadership Team

Meet the Leadership Team

What is a Senior leadership team?

The SLT is a team of school leaders at different levels that involve themselves in the daily management and running of the school to help it reach its business objectives.

The SLT focus on leading, school improvement priorities, monitoring teaching and learning, staff development and can include wider areas, such as safeguarding or Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

It is the role of the SLT to set the school's direction. They implement strategies to support school improvement and make sure the day-to-day running of the school is underpinned by its values and ethos. Being part of the SLT comes with a high level of responsibility with various demands and challenges.

Simon Holliday

As the Headteacher of Castledon School since September 2018 I have had the privilege of leading a community that values the unique strengths of every young person and supports their individual needs. I believe that every young person should have the opportunity to learn skills for life, develop independent living skills, pursue further education, and be equipped with the skills to secure employment.

My passion for enhancing the lives of young people extends beyond the classroom. I believe that strong community links and enrichment programmes are essential for a well-rounded education. I am committed to building partnerships with families, networking with other organisations, and seeking new ideas and approaches to ensure that our young people are inspired and engaged.

I believe that employability for young people with SEND should be a top priority. I am proud that our school has been recognised by Challenge Partners for our work in this area, and I am committed to continuing to enhance our provision.

I have also been dedicated to enhancing our estate, with recent projects including a dedicated art room, animal care facilities, music studio, greenhouse, and a log cabin for therapies and tuition. I believe that exposure to music, art, and photography is essential for our young people's development.

Our school motto, "Unlocking Potential," is more than just words on a page. It is a belief that we instill in every young person that walks through our doors. My vision as Headteacher is to ensure that this motto is fulfilled in each and every young person's life.

John Hazelgrove
Deputy Headteacher and Safeguarding lead

I am one of the Deputies at Castledon School. I believe that a high-quality education is vital for all young people to enable them to unlock their potential and lead successful lives as adults.

I have been working in education for over twenty years and have taught a variety of subjects across a range of ages. I have a broad experience of roles with schools spanning professional development, curriculum, and pastoral areas.

I have been Deputy Headteacher at two schools as well as a SENCo within a mainstream primary school and hold both SENCo and Advanced SENCO Awards. My training and experience help me to understand what we can do to meet the needs of individual students.

My role within Castledon School is Designated Safeguarding Lead. I work closely with the Family Inclusion Team providing support to families. Developing relationships with students, families, staff, and other professionals is at the heart of what I do. 

Janie Inglis
Associate Deputy Headteacher           

I have been working in the field of education for over twenty years. During this time, I have had the privilege of working in a range of schools, both Primary, Secondary, and post-16 SEND provisions, with a diverse range of students including those with EHC plans, English as an additional language, and looked after children.

My passion for teaching and inspiring others has been the driving force behind my career. I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree (with Honours) in Secondary Physical Education with Qualified Teacher Status from University College Chichester. I am proud to say that my unwavering dedication to unlocking potential has created numerous opportunities for my students and the wider Castledon community.

I was also part of the team that opened the post-16 SEND provision in September 2017. This has been a particularly rewarding experience for me as I believe that everyone should have access to quality education and equal opportunities. My work has been recognised and commended by Essex in the Teacher of the Year Awards and I have also won various awards for SEND provision of the year, community achievement, and environmental practice at the Business Education Awards over the last five years.

Kathryn Hemmings
Assistant Headteacher

I joined Castledon School in September 2010 as a class teacher, having worked previously in both a mainstream and an SLD setting and have experience of working with pupils between the ages of 3 - 16 with a wide range of needs, including children who are looked after and have previously been looked after. I attended Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford where I gained a BA(hons) Degree in Primary Education (Initial Teacher Training) with Qualified Teacher Status and have undertaken significant training to support children who may have experienced trauma and loss, particularly in relation to the social care system. I am passionate about developing practice to enable students to reach their potential.

It is my passion that all students are given the best opportunities to reach their full potential and have the highest quality educational experience, both in their academic and personal, social and emotional development. I have experience in developing robust, engaging, and challenging curriculums to support pupils’ learning in line with their needs and differing learning styles and adapting these where necessary to support all pupils, including implementing individualised timetables where appropriate.

Verity Mead
Assistant Headteacher

What drew me to Castledon School is its vision and values that support children with moderate learning difficulties and complex needs in education. I believe that education extends outside of the classroom and that every pupil has the potential to thrive.

Before starting a career in education I worked as a Senior Support Worker for children with learning difficulties in respite care. Through my experience of supporting children with learning difficulties I became passionate about special education, which led me to train a teacher through the Colchester Teacher Training Consortium.

At the 2018 Essex Teaching Awards, I was awarded the New Teacher of the Year award.

Throughout my career at Castledon, I have had the privilege to work alongside other professionals who share the same enthusiasm towards supporting young people.

As Assistant Headteacher for KS3, I can usually be found supporting classes and planning exciting developments for the phase!

Student voice in education is important to me and I am proud to oversee the Student Council.

Emily Welton
Senior Leader for Admissions, EHCP Provision and Tribunals

I have worked in various roles within Special Education for twenty years, initially qualifying as a Lawyer in 2007 and working for a Children's Rights Charity, acting for vulnerable young people and their families. In addition, I have worked for Local Authorities, as well as Mainstream and Special Schools and have also acted as a Governor for a Special School. 

In my spare time, I am a mum of three children, one of whom has SEND. I love reading and enjoy time with my family paddle-boarding and kayaking. 

I am passionate about ensuring each and every young person, regardless of where they live or their background, is given the tools and opportunities they need to be successful and achieve their hopes and dreams. I am proud to be part of the Senior Leadership Team at Castledon and proud of the amazing things our students achieve.

 Nanette Waters
Business Manager

After qualifying as an accountant I moved into working within education where I have been for over fifteen years.   During this time I obtained my Certificate and Diploma in School Business Management and Administrative Management. I have had the privilege of working in a range of schools, both Primary, Secondary and SEND provisions. 

I have been involved in fundraising and overseeing school building work in many successful school projects over my time at Castledon.

I am currently completing my Bachelor of Arts Degree (with Honours) in Leadership and Management and will also obtain Chartered Status which is giving me a wider experience and knowledge of working as a Senior Leader.