Meet the Team

Gavin Spicer – Principal

Gavin has eighteen years’ experience of working in a SEN educational setting with children and young adults with Autism. Gavin Spicer qualified as a secondary PE and History teacher in the year 2000 from The University of Birmingham having previously completed his BA joint Hons degree in Sport and history at Edge Hill University. Gavin began his career as a specialist secondary Physical Education and modern history teacher.

Gavin realised that special educational needs would be his chosen field in education that he wanted to dedicate his career and he has always been passionate about making a difference that impacted on ‘changing lives’ rather than purely academic outcomes. Gavin was head of department in his second year of teaching and then became a senior teacher and part of his previous school’s senior leadership team after three years. He was identified as one of the Priory’s ‘emerging leaders’, he completed his 8 – month course to qualify as an emerging leader within the Priory Group. Whilst part of his previous school’s leadership team he was able to support the principal and head teacher to take the school to ‘outstanding.’ At his previous school he had responsibility for managing the school’s expressive arts department and lined managed the whole faculty.

In February 2011 he moved to High Grange School as deputy head to Marisa Kelsall. He played a major role in setting up the school, devising the educational curriculum, recruiting staff and equipping the school to open in September 2011. Gavin has had the privilege to support the previous principal or lead the school through three Ofsted inspections all of which have been deemed ‘good in all areas’ in 2013 he was made head teacher and was acting principal for the academic year 2016-17. In September 2017 he was successful in being appointed principal of High Grange School. Gavin is also designated safeguarding lead; intermediate and advanced team teach trainer.

He is passionate about High Grange School and takes great pride in the school’s ethos enabling the students and young people to ‘enjoy’, ‘develop’, ‘grow’ and ‘achieve’. The school has had great success over a sustained period in helping students and young people with autism achieve their full potential. Gavin is passionate and committed to the students, families, professionals and young people that attend or are associated with High Grange School. He feels privileged and fortunate to lead an outstanding team who work tirelessly to obtain positive outcomes for all young people ensuring they are given every opportunity to succeed and obtain the skills to live an ‘enriched’ life leading into adulthood and independence.

Philip McBride – Headteacher

Philip McBride studied Music Performance, Composition and Teaching at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music between 1988 and 1992, gaining a Degree in Music. Philip has performed professionally as a freelance Trumpet player in a wide variety of ensembles and as a soloist, including; Brass Bands, Wind Bands, Orchestras, Jazz Bands, Musical Theatre and in the Pop Music idiom! After working for Staffordshire Music Service and Staffordshire Performing Arts for thirteen years as a brass and woodwind teacher, conductor of Music Centre ensembles and as a director of the Staffordshire County Youth Jazz Orchestra, he completed a GTP in Secondary Education.

Employed as a Music teacher, Head of Music and Head of Expressive and Performing Arts at a variety of Staffordshire schools, Philip joined High Grange School in January of 2013 to pursue his passion for education in the SEN sector. After developing the existing Music Department at High Grange School, with the inclusion of specialist recording facilities, he accepted a wider role as an Assistant Head before developing further into his current position as Headteacher in February of 2017.

Philip continues to focus on his whole-school role and more specifically on education at High Grange School, where he strives to ensure that there are accreditation opportunities which fully meet the needs, scope and talents of our students through a rich and full curriculum offer.

Chris Haines – Deputy Headteacher

Chris Haines has been at High Grange School since December 2013. Over this time he has gained a wide range of skills and experience working with students with ASC as a teacher and senior teacher before becoming Deputy Head teacher.

Chris Haines graduated from De Montfort University, Bedford in 2002 with a BEd (Hons) Secondary Physical Education with Science as a second subject. Chris has worked in mainstream education for 3 years, private school education for 5 years and a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) for 3 years before joining High Grange School.

As well as teaching a number of different subjects, within School Chris has many roles:

  • Deputy Designated safeguarding lead
  • School Health and Safety Officer
  • In charge of careers, work experience, off site provision and college placements
  • In charge of vocational qualifications and preparation for adulthood curriculum

Matt Cottrell – Senior Teacher

Matt Cottrell is a Senior Teacher at High Grange School. Matt graduated from University in 2011 qualifying as a Physical Education teacher. He has an interest in cricket and football and has played both at a semi-professional level. Matt is also a qualified swimming and trampoline teacher. Matt has worked at High Grange since 2011 and was part of the development of the schools’ curriculum before it opened for pupils in September 2011.

At High Grange Matt has extra responsibilities for monitoring pupil’s assessment and behaviour, as well as his teaching responsibilities. Prior to working at High Grange Matt worked as a mainstream PE teacher and also during his studies he worked as a Teaching Assistant at a school for children with Autism. Matt has over 12 years’ experience working with children and young adults with Autism and is an integral part of the school’s leadership and management team.

Daniel Hunnisett – Senior Teacher

Daniel Hunnisett is a senior teacher at High Grange School, mainly teaching Computer Science and ICT. Daniel has worked at High Grange School since 2013, and he has a wide variety of experience in supporting young people with additional needs, including international development work in Guyana as a Special Needs Advisor.

In Daniel’s teaching role he aims to give all students the opportunity to gain the skills they need to safely and confidently navigate the today’s fast changing digital world. Daniel ensures that students with a deeper interest in Computing can take their first steps towards a possible future career through studying Entry Level, GCSE and AS level Computer Science. Some students have gone on to study specialist Level 3 courses in a mainstream college setting that is linked to High Grange School this is an amazing achievement in light of previous challenges the students have faced in previously accessing education.

Daniel has responsibility for whole-school staff training. Daniel is passionate about finding and sharing ways to better understand the perspective of our students and in working with staff and with students themselves to find creative ways to overcome their barriers.

Daniel feels proud and very lucky to be a part of the High Grange School community. Daniel believes that the most important thing we offer, more than any qualifications or strategies, is a place of understanding, belonging and acceptance for young people who may have struggled to find this before.

Alison Seager Spicer – Senior Teacher, Head of KS2 and KS3 as well as pastoral care

Alison Seager Spicer is a Senior Teacher at High Grange School. Alison has twenty years’ experience of working in a SEN educational setting with children and young adults with Autism. Alison was initially an early year’s educator specialising in children between the ages of four to eight, working in a SLD school for children with Autism for 13 years. In her time at the school Alison gained her Degree in Education with the focus being the education setting for pupils with Autism. Alison developed an interest in the pastoral side of education raising awareness and understanding of the need for pupils and staff to have a strong understanding the emotional and social needs of pupils to achieve in education.

Alison continued to develop her skills by training as an animal therapist looking specifically at how animals helped young people with Autism control and understand their emotions and emotional responses.

Alison joined Highgrange at the start of its journey and was involved in the setting up of the school, developing its ethos and core values. Working as a Key stage three teacher and having responsibility for pastoral care over the school site. Alison now heads the Key stage two and three division as well as pastoral care. To add to her role Alison qualified as a counsellor from the Institute of Counselling specialising in crisis counselling, gaining her Diploma after two years of study with practical and theory practices.

Audrey Bullock BSc (Hons) – Independent Paediatric Occupational Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner

Audrey qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2006. Following a very brief period in hospital and community settings, Audrey began to specialise in the field of Paediatrics.

Audrey is also an Advanced Practitioner for Sensory Integration and a Case Manager with extensive experience of working with children and young people in different settings.

Audrey has worked for the National Health Service in the community, in both special and mainstream schools. She has extensive experience with completing assessments and treatment for children and young people with a wide range of paediatric conditions including Acquired Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Development Coordination Delay and Dyspraxia.

Audrey has wide experience of working with children on the Autistic Spectrum and with children with complex sensory integration difficulties and very challenging behaviour. She has completed post graduate training in sensory integration to an advanced level (Module 4 – Advanced Practitioner).
Audrey works part time at High Grange as part of the multidisciplinary team. Audrey works with individual students and also completes group work. Audrey is very involved in developing the Occupational Therapy service at High Grange to meet the needs of the students and school.

Dr Joanne Harrison – BSc Psychol., D.Clin.Psychol., NNEB, Clinical Psychologist


  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
  • Intermediate Counselling Skills Certificate
  • BSc Psychology
  • NNEB
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Psychoanalytic Infant Observational Studies (M7)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Supervision for Children & Young People’s IAPT

Jo Harrison has been working as a Clinical Psychologist at High Grange since 2016. She has a special interest in working with children, young people and families with attachment difficulties and complex needs. She has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Coventry & Warwick University), a Post-Graduate Certificate in Infant Observation (BTPP) a Post-Graduate Certificate in CYP-IAPT Supervision and is a trainer in Skills-based Training on Risk Management (STORM).

Prior to joining High Grange, Jo worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for almost ten years, where she specialized in the assessment of neurodevelopmental disorders and early intervention and worked extensively with parents to help them to understand the developmental and neurodevelopmental needs of their children. Since leaving the NHS Jo has been working in specialist schools and is also contributing to the assessment of children in care proceedings, including those with developmental disorders, and working with the Post-Adoption Service to develop the attachments and mental health of children and young people placed in care.

Jo’s work at High Grange is varied, ranging from the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders using CBT to working directly with parents to understand their children’s mental health needs and develop strategies for developing emotional resilience for the future. Collaborative working with OT and SALT is also part of the psychology role within school.

Jo is registered to practice with the Health & Care Professions Council and is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society.

Lindsay Macleod – Speech and Language Therapist

Lindsay gained her Speech and Language Therapy degree from De Montfort University in 2017. She is a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and is registered to practice with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Lindsay previously worked for the NHS in a community role with children in Derby City. As well as managing and delivering a Saturday club for Adults with Learning Disabilities in Leicestershire.
Lindsay joined the High Grange Team as a part-time Speech and Language Therapist in April 2017.
Lindsay is interested in developing life skills and supporting students in developing the cognitive skills needed for self-advocacy and problem-solving in a range of challenging situations everyone faces regularly.

Lindsay works with students individually and in small groups as well as indirectly where appropriate. Lindsay enjoys working at High Grange due to the strong and close Multi-Disciplinary team as well as a knowledgeable and friendly staff group throughout the school.

Marie Wilson – Speech and Language Therapist

Marie gained a BSc Hons degree in psychology before qualifying as a speech and language therapist in 1992. She is a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and is registered to practice with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Marie has enjoyed a variety of working environments in the NHS and educational settings. Her roles have been in the community, Cannock Child Development Centre and various special schools supporting children and adults who are on the autistic spectrum.

Marie joined the speech and language therapy team at High Grange in 2015 in a full-time post.

She is interested in the development of understanding and using social language plus the impact thinking socially has on interaction. As part of her clinical professional development, she is mentored by an independent speech and language therapist who has trained with Michelle Garcia Winner, the SLT who coined the term “Social Thinking” and created the related teaching framework.

Marie works with students individually, in pairs and small groups. Marie enjoys being part of the close working multidisciplinary therapy and education teams to enhance the High Grange communicative environment.

Maike Schubert – Occupational Therapist

Maike graduated in 2000 with a Masters of Education in Special Needs Teaching from the University of Dortmund, Germany. She then worked in Germany as a teacher in a variety of Special Needs Schools for children and young people (aged 4 to 22-years) with complex learning, social and emotional difficulties. She also used Therapeutic Horse-Riding in her work with her students.

In 2002 Maike came to the UK and successfully completed her Postgraduate Occupational Therapy Degree (DipCOT) in 2004 from Queen Mary University of London. She spent two years on an Occupation Therapy rotational post in London in a variety of clinical settings before relocating to the East Midlands where she accepted a senior post in a special school for children and young people with speech and language difficulties. She worked here for 11 years where she developed the Occupational Therapy provision in the multi-disciplinary team and also introduced animal-assisted interventions.

Maike has also completed post graduate training in Sensory Integration through Ulster University (PGCertSI) and is a member of the Sensory Integration Network. Maike is a full member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT), RCOT Specialist Section Children, Young People and Families; RCOT Forum ASD and is also registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Maike’s special interests are ADHD, DCD, ASD and Equine Assisted Learning.

Michelle Kendrick Jones – Therapy Assistant

Michelle Kendrick-Jones has been a member of the high grange team since 2014, over this time she has gained a wide range of skills and experience working with the students as a Teaching Assistant.

The variety of students Michelle would support varied over the years, many having access to the therapy team. Michelle would often enjoy encouraging the students to access OT, SLT and Psychology. In doing this Michelle gained some understanding and wanted to explore therapy more within the setting.

Seeing the students have positive outcomes from accessing therapy and already having an established relationship with many of the students, Michelle now supports the Multi-Disciplinary team, working with individual students and group work.

Liz Broad – School Nurse

Liz has been a qualified nurse since 1993. She has worked at High Grange school since May 2013. She is a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Liz is a qualified general nurse (RN (adult) and trained at Leighton Hospital in Crewe. She has worked in a variety of settings including residential special schools and within the NHS. She works closely with staff at High Grange School, parents and carers and professionals outside the school to optimise the health and wellbeing of the students, helping them to gain skills to maximise their independence.

She has also worked as a lecturer in a Further Education college and has a teaching qualification and Masters degree in education (MA(Ed). She taught Child Studies and Health and Social Care courses during this time.

Within High Grange School Liz has the responsibility of being a Safeguarding Officer and works closely with other members of the team to provide advice and guidance to staff, taking action if there are concerns around the students or their families. She has a First Aid at Work qualification and oversees the First Aid provision around the school as well as co-ordinating the storage and administration of medication.

Nathan Barrington    Lower 1 class Teacher

Nathan Barrington’s journey into education started a bit differently to most, when Nathan was originally training to become a firefighter he helped run a charity event along side a group of Special Educational Needs (SEN) students. During this Nathan felt inspired to change his life journey and begin working with Children. Nathan Barrington then went to Liverpool John Moores University and originally studied Child Education with a focus on Early Years and Maths, as Nathan has a keen interest in how the mind of the child develops. As well as how we can help mould the mind using approaches from theorists such as Piaget, Montessori, Bowlby, Vygotsky and more to gain a deeper understanding of each child’s mind and their individual needs. 

After Nathan completed his first course, he went on to Edge Hill University to complete his Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). After completing his PGCE Nathan worked as a supply teacher for some time in Liverpool, to gain a broader range of experience among different age groups and School settings. Nathan then brought himself to Derby for a job at High Grange School where he took over as Lower Class 2 teacher in September 2015. Since then Nathan has then moved to Lower Class 1 where his skills in child development and his experience with younger students can be utilised to their fullest.

 Nathan is currently taking his interests in developing technologies and the online world and using it challenge himself with a new focus by developing new strategies for the ever changing online world and helping ensure High Grange school continue to work at the highest standard possible.

Tom Halloway – Teacher with Website Coordinator Responsibility

Tom Halloway studied Sports Development with Coaching at Sheffield Hallam University gaining a BSc (Hons) in 2015. Tom’s aim was to follow his passion in education and specialise in Special Educational Needs (SEN). Tom began his journey by undertaking a PGCE in Education with a specialism of SEN at Sheffield Hallam University, gaining a Postgraduate certificate in Education. Tom came to High Grange School as a trainee teacher and focused on teaching Physical Education. Tom spent one year on placement before joining High Grange School full time in June 2016 as a lower school teacher.

While starting the journey at High Grange School Tom’s professional CPD continued as he began a Masters in Autism and Education. He is currently in his final year of his Masters undertaking a research project that will include piloting a study at High Grange School. Tom is keen to research new areas of Autism and hopes to complete a PhD within the next five years specialising in SEN and Education.

Tom’s new challenge and focus while teaching will be to take up the new role as Website Coordinator, ensuring the quality and high standard High Grange School sets is maintained on a daily basis.

Jonny Salt   KS3 Class teacher, Staffing Cover Supervisor and Performing Arts coordinator

Jonny Studied Musical theatre performance at the London College of Music and Theatre Arts at the University of Derby earning a BAHons degree in 2011.

In 2012, Jonny completed his MA in Humanities focusing on film music.
Jonny Completed his PGCE in 2016 but has been teaching at High Grange School since September 2014.

Jonny has always specialised with SEN teaching and has worked as a teaching assistant in other SEN settings prior to his employment at High Grange School.

As well as teaching Jonny has worked as a professional performer and uses these skills to inspire the performing art students with their own performances.

Alex Patrick  Physical Education Teacher/ Upper 2 form Tutor

Alex Patrick started of his career is sports when he gained his Basketball EBBA coaching qualification when he was 14, from this point he coached and played while studying a National Diploma in sports and exercise at Bath College. From here he started his own basketball coaching company based in Somerset. Alex went on to study Sports Coach Education (BSc hons) at Edge Hill University. Alex began teaching Physical Education at High Grange School in 2013 completing his PGCE in education specialising in SEN and behaviour.

Alex has continued to develop at High Grange School and began to take more responsibility in the vocational side of Physical Education running the Sports and Dance leaders’ courses, BTEC Extended Certificate as well as DofE. Alex has consistently run varied lunchtime clubs in school including swimming, Pokémon and Dungeons & Dragons.

Alex has always been interested in sports and exercise, playing basketball at county level from age 14 onwards and then progressing to men’s national levels playing for Bristol Storm gaining both team and league MVP awards. Alex is now pursuing goals in strength and conditioning through weightlifting and yoga.

Nicola Foyle – Teacher, ASDAN Co-ordinator and DofE award manager

Nicola graduated from York St John University in 2007 with a BA (Hons) in Performance: Dance. Part of her passion during her degree was teaching young people through several different dance projects in York. This lead to completing a PGCE in Secondary Dance at the University of Exeter in 2008. Once qualified Nicola worked at a Secondary Mainstream school in Telford where she taught Dance and Drama across the different key stages including some primary and Special Educational Needs Children. After a career break in 2011, Nicola crossed over into Specialist SEN teaching in which she found a new passion for teaching.

Nicola joined High Grange School in March 2013  firstly as a Key Stage Three teacher before moving into Post 14 phase in September 2014 and took on extra responsibility for ASDAN courses and Duke of Edinburgh award. Her specialist areas of teaching are now Geography, History and Citizenship at both Entry Level and GCSE level.

The highlight of the school year for Nicola, is facilitating students through the expedition section of the DofE award in the summer term. During this Nicola supports students so they can challenge themselves and learn outside of the classroom environment by walking through the countryside and camping. Through the rain, heat and fog students have shown with their own motivation determination they can achieve something they thought impossible.

Beth Edwards  Post 14 Teacher and Upper 7 form tutor

Beth Edwards graduated from the University of Derby in 2014 with a BSC (Hons) in Psychology. She has gained 1 year of experience as a Teaching Assistant at a mainstream school on the Isle of Man. She then returned to the University of Derby to complete her Post-14 PGCE with a specialism in Special Educational Needs and graduated in 2016.

Beth first came to High Grange School as a student during her PGCE and stayed to take a Post-14 teaching and tutor role. Beth has taught a variety of subjects in her time at High Grange but is currently teaching English, CoPE, Geography and Religious Education.

Alan Beeson   Post 14 Maths Teacher and Upper 8 form Tutor

Alan qualified as a teacher in 1976 at what is now Leicester De Montforte University. During this time he was a keen sportsman, representing his university at football, cross country and middle distance running.

He did not enter the teaching profession until much later, spending his early career working in industry, specialising in accounts, international banking and currency exchanges. During this time he travelled to USA and studied American Football, followed by further courses at USAF Lakenheath and USAF Chicksands. On his return to the UK he founded both the Nottingham Hoods and Locomotive Derby American Football teams. Alan played as a wide receiver for both teams until serious injury required he retired from all sporting activity.

Alan retrained as a teacher in 1995 gaining a PGCE from Nottingham Trent University. He worked on long term supply, mainly in SEN schools until joining High Grange as Maths teacher in 2015.

Vicky Sheridan Food Technology and Textile Teacher 

Vicky Sheridan graduated from Derby University in 1996 with a BA (Hons) in Textile Design specialising in print designs. Vicky worked as a Design Assistant in Somercotes for a year before returning to Derby University to study for a Masters Degree in Textile Design with a sponsorship from Courtaulds to carry out research into their new fabric Tencel. After graduating in 1999, Vicky joined the design team at William Leicester, working primarily on new baby clothes for Mothercare.

In 2002 Vicky and her husband took a career break and worked in La Plagne in the French Alps as chalet hosts and ski guides for the winter season. Vicky enjoyed planning meals and cooking for holiday guests as well as guiding them around the slopes.

The textile design industry in the UK has suffered from cheaper products being made in the Far East and many businesses have closed across the Midlands. It was with this in mind that Vicky decided on a career change whilst on maternity leave and began training to be a Design Technology Teacher. In 2012 Vicky gained her Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Nottingham Trent University specialising in Textiles and Food Technology. Vicky has since worked in many schools across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire as a supply teacher teaching Design Technology. In early 2016 it was time to put down some firm teaching roots and Vicky was excited to join High Grange School in July 2016 as a Food Technology teacher but who could also offer Textiles as a Post 14 option for pupils.

Vicky is passionate about preparing and cooking healthy and tasty good food and encouraging pupils to try new skills and taste different ingredients. Learning how to cook is a lifelong skill that can enable pupils to become independent, keep themselves healthy and even save money by using fresh ingredients.

Jane Burns –   Post 14 Science Teacher 

Jane Burns achieved a 2:1 degree in Biology and Chemistry at Keele University and Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). She has 7 years of teaching experience at Stoke-on-Trent college, including being team leader of the Access to Higher Education team. Jane then worked for 2 years at the prestigious Abbot’s Bromley school, teaching Biology and Chemistry to A-level. Jane has gained a Graduate Diploma in psychology at distinction level, specialising in Autism and a Masters degree in Education, Specialising in academic motivation. Some of Jane’s work has been published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Post-Compulsory Education.

Jane currently leads the science department at High Grange, offering GCSE science and BTEC level 2 applied science to post-14 students, and is in the process of developing courses at A-level and BTEC level 3. Jane is a trained school first-aider. 

Malcolm Gardner- Teaching Assistant (TA) Co-Ordinator 

Malcolm Gardner is a TA Co-Ordinator at High Grange School. Malcolm attended Stafford College where he qualified in Sport and Leisure. Malcolm became a Gym Instructor whilst also working as a Youth Leader for Stafford Council. Malcolm has an interest in all sports, his most played sports are football, golf and cricket. 

in 2003 Malcolm took up a position in a ASD residential school moving on from there to work in a EBD residential care home in a senior management position. Malcolm has worked at High Grange as a teaching assistant since 2011 where he qualified as an HLTA then gaining the position of TA Co-Ordinator in 2014. 

Malcolm is also part of the schools transport team supporting pupils safely to and from school. 

Malcolm to current has over 15 years experience of working with children and young adults with Autism  

Verity Rex-Byrd- Behaviour Watch Team

Verity Rex Byrd has come from a very caring background where she worked with Adults who have learning difficulties. During her time helping many adults achieve their best Verity then wanted to broaden her own experience and continue to help others so went and began working on a intensive care unit as an assistant practitioner. After some time supporting many people who needed help and support Verity wanted to seek new challenges again still helping those who need it.

Verity then came on as a teaching assistant at High Grange School providing support for so many of our students, helping all of our students academically and emotionally. Verity then began working along side our behaviour team and developed an interests in the behavioural side of the job. Wanting to develop a deeper understanding of why some of our students can present certain behaviours and how we can positively impact on these providing the best support possible. Verity now works as a key part of our behaviour team. Supporting all our students on a daily basis.

Sam Collins-HTLA and Behaviour Watch Team

Sam Collins originally trained as a nursery nurse. Sam started working at a residential school for students with low functioning autism in 2005 as a residential learning assistant. This role was supporting a small house of younger students to follow a 24 hour curriculum and learn life skills whilst managing challenging behaviour. During this time Sam completed an NVQ level in Health and social care. After 3 and a half years at the residence Sam changed role from the residence to their school and became a school learning assistant. Sam really enjoyed her 8 years in this school and found the daily challenges and building relationships with students who had such complex needs very rewarding.

In 2013 Sam was ready for a new challenge and wanted to expand her knowledge and experience of working with students with different needs and high functioning autism. Sam started at High Grange as a TA and has enjoyed getting learning more about ASD and the varying needs of our students. Sam has completed an NVQ level 3 in Supporting teaching and learning since joining the High Grange team. In 2017 Sam was appointed as a HLTA and completed the relevant NVQ level 4 qualification. Sam thrives on the challenge of covering lessons when teachers are unavailable and adapting them to assist students to attend and engage. Sam also uses the benefit of her experience to give advice and support to the teaching assistants she line manages.

In 2018 Sam also became part of the behaviour specialist team who work closely to support challenging behaviour across the school and monitor data to implement strategies to through interventions.

Jemma Jones

Jemma’s journey with young people started when she began working as a Nursery Nurse after completing her diploma in Child Care and Education Level 3. After a few years Jemma sought new challenges in her work, as well as new and interesting ways to help those who need it and became a family support worker for Derbyshire Autism Services. Here Jemma provided vital respite and support to families/careers in the community. While working for the Charity Jemma worked alongside many different professionals from social care to schools ensuring the correct support for the families and the young persons was in place to help them grow and achieve in society. During her time working for DAS Jemma helped set up and run a holiday activity scheme for children and young adults with disabilities at Lea Green Activity Centre.
In 2011 Jemma became part of the High Grange Team, continuing her pursuit to help those who need it. Originally Jemma started work on the residential side before making the move to School as a teaching assistant in 2012. Jemma has a passion for behavior looking at why and how certain behaviors happen as well as how to help prevent the behaviors. Jemma then went on to training as an intermediate Team Teach Tutor. Jemma wants to share values around positive behavior support having a large focus on 95% de-escalation, implementing individual strategies alongside the behavior team. Jemma then went on to completed her Advance Team Teach course and Level 3 in Supporting Teaching and Learning in schools.
Jemma is passionate in supporting all students at High grange school to “Develop, Grow and Achieve” in every way possible!

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