Meet the Team

All Leadership Faculty Heads Subject Leaders Teaching Pupil Experience Support
Michael Mcculley
Principal (ADSL)

Michael Mcculley

Principal (ADSL)

University of Stirling: 

BA English Studies/Expressive Arts
DipEd (QTS) Drama/English


Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: 

Licentiate in Acting (Musical Theatre) 


Professional Qualifications/Honours:

Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teachers
Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts
Additional Designated Safeguarding Lead

Born in Scotland before growing up in Warwickshire, Mr McCulley is an experienced school leader and educational professional.  He is a graduate of Expressive Arts and English from the University of Stirling and trained in Acting (Musical Theatre) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and enjoyed his early career performing.  When his attention turned towards teaching it began at the prestigious all-through Jordanhill School in Glasgow.  He has worked in a variety of high-performing urban and rural contexts, including a life-changing opportunity to work with children in Somerset West and its neighbouring township schools with the Imibala Trust near Cape Town, South Africa.  To this day, he credits this humbling experience with being transformational and informing his educational philosophy of ‘equality of opportunity for all’: 

Education was an emancipation for me; teachers unlocked possibilities and a future I never knew was possible, nor that I deserved.  This underpins my aspirations for every child who joins our family at Houlton.

Mr McCulley also spent some years at the Local Authority as a School Improvement Consultant, at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) as a Senior National Curriculum Adviser and as a Senior Qualification Development Researcher for the UK Department for Education.  An authoritative voice in arts education, he is a founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.  Additionally, he has held a variety of voluntary positions of responsibility as Chair of Community and Arts organisations.

Mr McCulley is a strong advocate for the promotion of diversity in education and global citizenship; he has taken groups all over the world as part of their co-curricular education, including visits to the Great Wall of China, language immersion visits to Paris and French châteaux and cultural trips to a number of global destinations, including Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain and New York City, USA.

More recently, Mr McCulley has been supporting schools in a variety of challenging circumstances and has delivered the NPQSL qualification to aspiring educational leaders.  His current focus is on the launch and development of the Transforming Lives Educational Trust’s brand new flagship academy – Houlton School.

Chloe Buckenham
Vice Principal / Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

Chloe Buckenham

Vice Principal / Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

University of Warwick:
LL.B Law

Innes of Court School of Law:
BVC – Barrister of Law

University of Cambridge:


Professional Qualifications/Honours
National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership
Designated Safeguarding Lead

Miss Buckenham is a highly skilled school leader who brings with her a wealth of experience to Houlton. She
is a graduate of Law from the University of Warwick, then went on to the prestigious Inns of Court School of
Law where she qualified as a Barrister in 2003. She made the decision to transition into teaching in 2006,
qualifying with the University of Cambridge having realised her desire to effect change in education and to
be a catalyst for young people to realise their true potential. Miss Buckenham has worked in a number of
settings and has taken a lead on projects across the secondary sphere that have pioneered lasting change.
She is a firm believer in the value of a globally aware curriculum, in positive behaviour management and in
Restorative Justice. She is a strong advocate of Student Leadership, encouraging pupils to have a positive
voice across both primary and secondary phases.

Miss Buckenham has travelled extensively and has experience working with schools in Asia and Africa. She
has worked with World Class Schools, most recently leading a World Class international accreditation in
Uganda, the first of its kind in Africa. Miss Buckenham has led a number of excursions for both staff and
pupils to Uganda and her experiences there have inspired her to help young people in the UK to not only
understand the privileges afforded to the western world, but to appreciate and strive to reach their full
potential. She is a passionate advocate for the importance of the culture in schools and spoke candidly at
the SSAT19 Conference on the importance of a character and culture curriculum; her determination to ensure
pupils are given equal opportunities to succeed is unashamedly relentless.

Miss Buckenham has supported a number of colleagues as a mentor for the NPQSL as well as delivering
CPD on a broad range of school leadership stands across a number of settings. She prides herself in her
unyielding positivity and has extremely high expectations. Her current focus is working in close partnership
with Mr McCulley to develop and launch TLET’s visionary, brand new flagship academy, Houlton School.

Miranda Barker
Transforming Lives Educational Trust SEND Strategic Adviser

Miranda Barker

Transforming Lives Educational Trust SEND Strategic Adviser

University of Warwick:
BA (QTS) Primary Education


The Open University:
MA Ed Leadership and SEND

Mrs Barker is a highly experienced SEND professional and formerly worked with the team at Warwickshire County Council before joining TLET as Trust SEND Strategic Adviser.

Mrs Barker works with all schools across the Trust and we are delighted to have access to her wisdom and expertise at Houlton.

Sián Warde
Head of Faculty: English & Literacy

Sián Warde

Head of Faculty: English & Literacy

University of Birmingham:
BA Drama and Theatre Studies

Birmingham City University:
PGCE Drama and English with French

Mrs Warde is an accomplished practitioner who is passionate about delivering quality education to all pupils,
regardless of their circumstances. She believes that young people have limitless potential; they are deserving
of learning and teaching through which they can explore their personal philosophy and develop their unique
voice. Her classroom culture is aspirational, supportive and challenging, meeting individual pupil needs to
ensure that pupils can emerge from Houlton School as successful, compassionate and empowered young

In the seven years prior to joining the Houlton team, Mrs. Warde worked in a high performing school in
Coventry. There she taught a range of subject areas, including: English Language and Literature, French
and Drama. This breadth of experience has combined to inform her pedagogy, which encourages pupils to
be engaged, curious and enthusiastic about their learning; she is an advocate of creating curricula which
reflect the diversity of (and explores issues faced within) the modern world. This ethos was commended in
an independent audit of curriculum planning, in which inspectors were impressed by the programme of study
that Mrs. Warde pioneered. She was subsequently commissioned to deliver training in syllabus planning for
schools across the city of Coventry.

Mrs. Warde has further conducted research projects into, and delivered training on, areas as diverse as the
PHSRE curriculum, mental health, Shakespeare in Action, mantle of the expert and performance art
education. This, in addition to her love of reading, her interest in physical theatre (which led her to direct
performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and being a self-proclaimed Francophile (having been
bilingual from an early age and taken many pupils abroad to France and Belgium) demonstrates her
commitment to life-long learning and to education beyond the classroom.

When not in school, Mrs.Warde spends time with family and credits her young son as the motivation behind
her pupils receiving an education as thoughtful and rigorous as she would want for him.

Jasmine Etheridge
Head of Faculty: Mathematics & Numeracy (ADSL)

Jasmine Etheridge

Head of Faculty: Mathematics & Numeracy (ADSL)

University of Birmingham:
MSc Mathematics

University of Warwick:
MA Professional Education
PGCE Mathematics


Professional Qualifications/Honours:
Additional Designated Safeguarding Lead

Miss Etheridge is a passionate, creative, and enthusiastic teacher who enjoys sharing her love for
mathematics with her pupils. She completed her Master Science in Mathematics at the University of Birmingham and regularly volunteered in local schools to support pupils. Following her degree, she was awarded the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications scholarship for teaching and completed her PGCE at the University of Warwick, when she began her teaching journey at Ashlawn School in Rugby. Within her department she has explored best practice within mathematics teaching and designed schemes of learning to develop fluency, reasoning, and depth as well ensuring pupils enjoy learning maths. She has enjoyed creating a positive learning environment, awarding pupils for their effort and perseverance in maths.

Miss Etheridge continued her pedagogical development working on a Teaching Advance Mathematics course with the University of Warwick; this then led onto her completing a further Master of Arts in Professional Education, which involved independent research and a project in Mathematical Anxiety and developing strategies to support pupils.

Miss Etheridge also has experience of working within the pastoral teams as a Head of Year for both Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils. She found the opportunity to build strong positive relationships with her pupils vital in these roles as well as incredibly rewarding. She believes pupils deserve respect and understanding within school and strives to ensure they feel heard and supported.
Miss Etheridge is incredibly excited about joining Houlton School and cannot wait to welcome our first Year 7 pupils in September to the Houlton family.

Aaron Griffin
Head of Faculty: Science & Computer Science (ADSL)

Aaron Griffin

Head of Faculty: Science & Computer Science (ADSL)

University of Newcastle:
BSc Zoology

Newman University:
PGCE Secondary Science (Physics)

Professional Qualifications/Honours:
Additional Designated Safeguarding Lead

Mr Griffin is a highly dedicated science teacher with subject knowledge spanning across a large spectrum of
the various science disciplines. He has spent the majority of his educational career within the Transforming
Lives Educational Trust at nearby Ofsted Outstanding Ashlawn School.

At Ashlawn, Mr Griffin worked in a highly successful science department as Head of Physics, promoting all
aspects of science education to all age groups. He is particularly interested in current research based
learning and teaching strategies, and incorporating these within his team. He has mentored many teachers
within his department, from trainees to more experienced members of staff and developed their classroom
practice to benefit pupils. This has resulted in consistently outstanding outcomes for GCSE and A level, far
beyond the national averages. He endeavours to make science education enjoyable, accessible and
successful for all pupils.

Alongside the academic qualities that his pupils gain, they have also had opportunities to take part in various
extra-curricular activities, such as the CREST award, Royal Society courses and Women in Physics
conferences. Additionally, he has many years of experience with international visits, including the popular
ski trips and intends on continuing this for pupils at Houlton. Mr. Griffin believes that these opportunities are
just as important for the rounded development of children as classroom based ones and strives to ensure
that the pupils in his care develop to the best of all their abilities.

Rebecca Cooper
Head of Faculty: Inclusion (SENDCo, ADSL)

Rebecca Cooper

Head of Faculty: Inclusion (SENDCo, ADSL)

University of Northampton:
BA History
PGCert National Award for SEND Coordination (in progress)

University of Warwick:
PGCE History

Mrs Cooper is an experienced school leader with a passion for inclusive education and meeting the needs of
all learners. She graduated from the University of Northampton in 2006 with a BA (Hons) in History before
embarking on a career in property law. Experience of volunteering in a variety of school settings made her
realise her passion for education and working with young people. She went on to study for her PGCE at the
University of Warwick in 2009. Mrs Cooper also completed her school-based training at Ashlawn School
and, after achieving QTS in another local school, was invited back to Ashlawn as a history teacher. Mrs
Cooper has successfully undertaken a number of leadership roles during her 11 years at Ashlawn, including
Curriculum Leader for History.

During this time Mrs Cooper was approached to provide temporary maternity cover for the role of SENDCo
at Ashlawn, and it was this experience that ignited her interest in inclusive learning, propelling her in her
pursuit of providing high quality education for all learners. After 10 transformational months, which happened
to fall during the 2015 application of national SEND reforms, she was promoted to the Head of Faculty for
Learning Development at Ashlawn School. Over the past five years, Mrs Cooper has led a large department
dedicated to supporting and raising the achievement of pupils with SEND. Recently she has played in pivotal
role in developing strategies for accessibility across the curriculum, working closely with a number of
professionals and practitioners.

A mother of two young boys, her personal connection to the importance of transition in ensuring young people
and their families and carers are at the very heart of the SEND process, is undoubtable. She is thrilled to be
joining the Houlton family, alongside her existing role within the trust. She sees this as an opportunity to
realise her vision for high quality, inclusive education which allows opportunities for all to excel.

Jamie Abbott
Subject Team Leader: Humanities

Jamie Abbott

Subject Team Leader: Humanities

University of Leicester:
BA History/Politics
PGCE History

Professional Qualifications/Honours:
National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders

Mr Abbott is a highly successful middle leader, bringing a wealth of experience to the role. He is a graduate
of History and Politics from the University of Leicester and has been in the education profession since
graduating in 2005, undertaking a variety of different roles ranging from teaching assistant to leading learning
and teaching.

Mr Abbott has recently led a department ranked at the top of the league tables for performance in post-16
History teaching by the British Association of Selective Schools. Having grown up in Rugby, he is committed
to providing a world class educational experience at Houlton School ensuring that local children have the
ability to achieve their potential.

Mr Abbott’s career has taken in a range of settings, from inner city comprehensives to leading selective and
schools. He has most recently taught at a leading independent school in the Midlands. Having successfully
led both History Departments and Humanities Faculties, he fully understands the demands of delivering a
21st century curriculum.

Through his previous experience of working with the Institute of Education and Justice to History, Mr Abbotts
has led projects on diversifying the wider school curriculum to make sure that it is representative of multicultural Britain. He prides himself on offering an educational experience that includes all learners and allows
them to fully understand their place in the world as culturally aware citizens.

Mr Abbott is a strong advocate of developing well rounded, confident individuals. Having led a variety of
different enrichment opportunities, from sports teams to debating clubs, he understands the value of learning
outside of the classroom. He has led successful trips Berlin, the WW1 Battlefields and the USA as well as
developing relationships with outside agencies, including the Holocaust Educational Trust, to ensure that a
diverse range of voices are heard in the classroom. He truly believes that every child should have the
opportunity to broaden their own horizons and understands the vital role that Houlton School will play in this.

Matthieu Raffy
Subject Team Leader: Modern Languages

Matthieu Raffy

Subject Team Leader: Modern Languages

University of Toulon, France:
Licence en Langues, Littérature et Civilisations Étrangères avec spécialisation en Langue Anglaise

Master en Arts, Lettres et Langues avec Spécialité en Français Genèse Littéraire Imaginaire

Cervantes Institute, Spain:
Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera

University of Oxford:
PGCE Modern Languages

Born and bred in the South of France, Mr Raffy is an indefatigable languages teacher, striving to unlock a
wealth of opportunities for his pupils through languages. He is a graduate of the University of Toulon, France,
and spent his Erasmus year abroad at Exeter University, where he fell in love with Great Britain and its
beautiful countryside. Giving up the French riviera for the English one, he remotely completed his Research
Master’s Degree in French Literature, focussing on myth and utopia; he then went on to complete his DELE
Diploma in Spanish with the Cervantes Institute, while working as a Foreign Language Assistant in Dawlish,
Devon. This is where Mr Raffy developed a passion for teaching languages in secondary schools in England,
prompting him to complete his teacher training at the University of Oxford. During his training, he focussed
on Content and Languages Integrated Learning (CLIL), as an approach to teaching foreign cultures, arts and
civilisations through the lens of languages. He has since shared his cross-curricular practice with PGCE
tutors and trainee teachers at the University of Oxford.

Before joining the Houlton family, Mr Raffy worked as a languages teacher in a large, successful secondary
school in Oxfordshire. Not only does he strive to get the best out of his pupils, he is also committed to the
training of new entrants to the profession, having previously worked with Oxfordshire’s SCITT training
programme as a mentor and visiting tutor, and joining the interviewing panel for the University of Oxford’s
PGCE courses.

Mr Raffy values highly co-curricular visits, which he sees as life-changing opportunities, as he first visited
England on a school trip himself. He has organised and run several trips abroad during his career, ranging
from day trips to the University of Oxford, to foreign exchanges with a school in Brittany, and trips to Spain
and France. He aspires to give his pupils the chance to learn and use languages beyond the classroom. 

"I am very excited to join Houlton School, to be at the foundation of a world-class, international school,
and I can’t wait to share my passion for languages with our first year group, inside and beyond the
languages classroom… À bientôt ! ¡Hasta prunto!"

Russell Hill
Subject Team Leader: Creative

Russell Hill

Subject Team Leader: Creative

Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London:
BA Fine Art

Royal College of Art:
MA Sculpture

Birmingham City University:
PGCE Design and Technology

Mr Hill is a skilled teacher of creative subjects, specialising in Art & Design and Product Design. He is a
graduate of Fine Art from Wimbledon College of Art and of the prestigious MA Sculpture programme under
the guidance of Professor Richard Wentworth CBE at the Royal College of Art. At the time, he appeared in
the Catlin Guide to the 40 most important Emerging Artists in the UK, and was listed in the Independent’s
‘Artists to watch’, subsequently winning the Annual Catlin Art Prize in 2011.

Mr Hill has worked in a number of settings and has contributed to the cultural development of arts charities,
theatres and most recently managing events at the Royal Academy of Arts, prior to entering the education
sector. He is a firm advocate of challenging pupils’ ideas and encourages creative experimentation.

Gaining significant experience as a Visiting Lecturer at the Brit School, University of the Arts, London and
Warwickshire College, Mr Hill was then keen to further develop his professional practice within secondary
education. Training with Birmingham City University whilst teaching full time, he was part of a fast-paced,
provocative creative department and was instrumental in introducing new technologies, thus broadening the
curriculum and establishing innovative enrichment projects, such 3D printing, photography and sculpture.

Mr Hill has an innate passion for the power of the arts to effect change and believes that every child has the
potential to contribute to the cultural landscape of our communities, and has been invited to contribute to a
TEDx event on this; he is a keen advocate for synthesising academic progress with pastoral guidance and
has mentored pupils throughout their school career. Most recently, he has undertaken training in restorative
practice, which is a cornerstone of Houlton School’s approach to positive relationships at school.

Mr Hill’s current focus is creating a department that acts as a creative sandbox, where pupils learn, grow and
foster critical faculties around current affairs, cultural happenings and social issues; together, we’ll grow the
emerging and exciting future creative outputs of our Houlton family

Abbie Hartfield
Physical Education & Mathematics

Abbie Hartfield

Physical Education & Mathematics

Sheffield Hallam University:
BA Physical Education and School Sport

University of Nottingham:
PGCE Physical Education

University of Plymouth:
TSST Secondary Mathematics

Miss Hartfield is an enthusiastic and innovative practitioner. She is a graduate of Physical Education and
School Sport from Sheffield Hallam University and joined the teaching profession with a desire to inspire
future generations, enabling them to reach their full potential.

Following on from Miss Hartfield’s undergraduate degree, she embarked on her training year at the University
of Nottingham gaining invaluable experiences in variety of secondary schools, as well as a SEND school.
This year built the foundations for the beginning of her professional career in teaching.

Miss Hartfield’s career began at a well-established rural secondary school in the local area, which offered
opportunities such as a house lead position to promote and enhance the school’s rewards system, celebrating
pupils’ successes.

Promoting success is a strong passion of Miss Hartfield’s, as she believes that every pupil should have equal
opportunities to become the best version of themselves and be rewarded for their accomplishments. Whilst
her initial subject specialism lies in Physical Education, her teaching experience encompasses Mathematics
as well, for which she went on to undertake an additional qualification through the University of Plymouth.
From an early age, Miss Hartfield has worked within the educational system undertaking an array of
responsibilities across a broad range of age groups, which has enabled her teaching to be adaptable and
innovative. In her early career, she attained numerous professional qualifications to enrich her subject
specialist knowledge, which allow her to maintain high quality teaching across two departments. Miss
Hartfield is eagerly awaiting the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead on this new and exciting journey
at Houlton School.

Thomas Baidoo

Thomas Baidoo


Coventry University:
BSc Music Technology

Birmingham City University:
PGCE Music

Originally from South East London, Mr Baidoo embarked on his teaching career in 2018 after graduating with
in Music Technology from Coventry University. Upon completion of his PGCE at Birmingham City University,
he began his career at one of our partner schools, Ashlawn School, and he will work across both Ashlawn
and Houlton.

His rapport with pupils is second to none. In particular, he prides himself on his work as a ‘learning mentor’
and feels that his influence and advice has had a positive impact upon a number of pupils’ mental health and
attainment in recent years.

He also aims to challenge and inspire pupils through his dedication to co-curricular activities. His passion for
guitar led to the creation of a club where pupils of all years would come to play together, as well as
successfully running a music technology club that has aided in a number of school performances such as:
Fame and Rock of Ages. Leading by example, Mr. Baidoo’s ‘tech club’ enables pupils to gain experience in
setting up and running the technical equipment required in the production of the shows, further enhancing
his pupils' knowledge and abilities. He is, therefore, very much looking forward to working with the pupils in
Houlton’s professional Radio Studio.

As a personal hobby, Mr Baidoo enjoys spending his spare time producing music with various undiscovered
artists across the country. Alongside this he is an avid musician and often attends music events both for
enjoyment and to perform.

Within Houlton School, his aim is to create a new generation of music composers, artists and producers. His
current focus is on the launch and development of a holistic music curriculum, ‘catering for all’ which will
inspire and incept new and innovative concepts. Mr Baidoo has a ‘can do’ attitude and is confident in his
ability to ensure pupils’ motivation through his pastoral focus.

Jonathan Williams
Specialist Coach: Physical Education & Games

Jonathan Williams

Specialist Coach: Physical Education & Games

University of Gloucestershire:

BSc Sports Coaching


Professional Qualifications/Honours: 
Specialist coach in Rugby, Football, Multi-skills, Fencing, Gymnastics and Handball

Mr Williams has always been a keen sportsman, with an enthusiasm to engage in a diverse range of sporting activities and to learn new skills. This developed into a passion for coaching and sharing his knowledge and experience with others. He completed his degree in Sports Coaching at the University of Gloucestershire and after graduating delivered coaching at a number of different schools and settings. Over the years he has gained additional specialist qualifications in coaching Rugby, Football, Multi-skills, Fencing, Gymnastics and Handball.

Whilst he enjoys coaching across all sports and fitness activities, Mr Williams’ greatest passion is for Rugby and he was privileged to previously play to a high level; he has since coached a number of teams and has contributed to grass roots initiatives, including one focused on inspiring girls to play Rugby. Indeed, he is currently the coach for the Rugby Lionesses and is looking forward to the new season starting. Mr Williams also loves cycling and promoting the benefits of this activity to maintaining a healthy lifestyle: he has even cycled all the way to Santander, Spain!

Mr Williams is looking forward to working with Miss Hartfield and introducing Houlton’s pupils to a range of new sports in order to facilitate pupils’ discovery of their individual passions. He firmly believes that there is a sport out there for everyone and hopes to encourage and support pupils to enjoy sports so that they enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle into adulthood.

Mr Williams is incredibly excited to be a founding member of the Houlton family and looks forward to helping shape the future of sport, health and fitness at Houlton School. 

Bernadette Fleck
Associate Teacher: Pupil Intervention & CfC (ADSL)

Bernadette Fleck

Associate Teacher: Pupil Intervention & CfC (ADSL)

The Open University:

DipHE Health and Social Care


Professional Qualifications/Honours:

Restorative Practice Instructor
Additional Designated Safeguarding Lead


With over 14 years of experience, Miss Fleck has gained a wealth of knowledge working across all key stages and across both the secondary and primary phases; she also has also worked within specialist schools, including SEMH and SEN settings. She has held positions in both pastoral and welfare teams, as well as working as a specialist Teaching Assistant supporting students with special educational needs including Autism, ADHD and moderate learning difficulties. Over this time she developed successful strategies to promote inclusion and participation for all pupils.

Miss Fleck promotes pupil wellbeing, understanding the link between academic achievement and developing good social and emotional intelligence. She support pupils individually and in small groups, assessing the need and implementing strategies and interventions to support accordingly. She have supported pupils with their behaviour, social skills and how to manage and cope with their emotions, including with emotional issues, self-esteem, bereavement, divorce, friendship issues and anxiety and she strive to build reciprocal relationships with pupils built on mutual respect, supporting them through life’s challenges and helping them find strategies to cope.

In her most recent role, Miss Fleck was restorative practice facilitator, supporting pupils to strengthen their connections with both staff and their peers to repair harm and restore relationships following transgressions; the central aim is helping pupils to keep connected to a positive school community.
Throughout Miss Fleck’s career she has continued to develop her skills and knowledge by undertaking professional development beneficial to her role and she continues to ensure she maintains a well-rounded knowledge of the issues affecting young people.

At Houlton, Miss Fleck will support individuals and small groups with both their academic studies and their social skills. She will be based within the Malcom Hancock Centre for Communication (our library, information and broadcast hub), which sits at the heart of our Grade II listed Transmission Hall.

Miss Fleck enjoys promoting co-curricular opportunities, including sports, life skills and enrichment activities such as Forest school to enable pupils to enjoy positive experiences. She is passionate about supporting the educational journey for pupils, ensuring they have access to high quality support, aspirational goals, and successful outcomes: accordingly, she is delighted to be joining the Houlton family to embark on this very exciting journey!

Phoebe Forrest
Teaching Assistant

Phoebe Forrest

Teaching Assistant

Open Study College:
NVQ Working with children with Additional Needs
NVQ Early Years Foundation Stage

Mrs Forrest has spent her career to date working supporting young people within social care and educational settings, including experience with the scouts, early years, social care, and as a teacher within her own dance school. She thrives upon helping children and young adults learn, and supporting them in achieving their full potential, whether that be on a 1:1 basis or in group situations, so that they develop the essential skills to work as a team, respecting and learning from others.

Mrs Forrest has undertaken a number of specialist qualifications in support of her work with young people and those with SEND needs, working in early years before embarking upon her most recent role supporting families within social care; she is also looking forward to building upon her experience as a choreographer when working with children and young adults at Houlton.

Living in Houlton herself, Mrs Forrest was particularly attracted to the family and community ethos of the academy and its traditional values. As a performing arts specialist herself, she is excited to get involved in the co-curricular programme of enrichment opportunities across dance, drama and music, the power of which she has seen first hand with building confidence in young people.

Mrs Forrest looks forward to working with Mrs Cooper, Mrs Divver and the whole Inclusion team in welcoming our founding pupils this September!

Bethany McCabe
Teaching Assistant

Bethany McCabe

Teaching Assistant

Coventry College:

Apprenticeship in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Miss McCabe is an experienced learning support professional, who is looking forward to bringing her depth of knowledge and experience to supporting pupils at Houlton School.

Having lived in Rugby since birth, Miss McCabe was fortunate to enjoy a wonderful experience at both primary and secondary school herself, which inspired in her a passion for giving that back to future cohorts of pupils and working with young people within education. After completing her ‘A’ levels, she embarked on an Apprenticeship, and went on the gain a number of sector-specific qualifications in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools.

Miss McCabe has number of years of experience working with children of secondary school age and she enjoys supporting pupils with varying abilities and needs, enriching their learning, development and opportunities; she is proud of her track record of building and maintaining positive relationships with young people, including those who are vulnerable or lack confidence; accordingly, she enjoys being to catalyst to empowering young people to grow and flourish as confident individuals who feel valued and included, both academically and emotionally.

Miss McCabe is an enthusiastic and positive practitioner who leads by example and strives to support the holistic development of the pupils to help them to find their strengths and follow their dreams. She, herself, is passionate about sports and fitness, whether it be taking part or spectating, and enjoys supporting pupils’ development in this area, too.

Miss McCabe is excited about the opportunity to be part of an amazing new school and the new Houlton family and is looking forward to working with Mrs Cooper and Mrs Divver to support pupils’ learning - and, of course, she is eager to meet and welcome our founding cohort of pupils this autumn!

Liesel Kirsopp
Senior Science Technician

Liesel Kirsopp

Senior Science Technician

National STEM Learning Centre, Univeristy of York:
Cert. Skills for New Technicians
Cert. 9-1 Science Curriculum for Science Technicians 

Mrs Kirsopp is a highly experienced Senior Science Technician, having worked in similar roles in three local secondary schools. A career working in schools follows Mrs Kirsopp’s proud service as a Meteorologist for the Royal Navy, which presented her with many life-affirming experiences prior to starting her family and consequent career-change.

She is delighted to be joining the family at Houlton and looks forward to the challenge of working with Mr Griffin to set up the faculty from scratch in such state-of-the-art and impressive STEM facilities.

Darcy Hill
Creative Technician

Darcy Hill

Creative Technician

Nottingham Trent University:
BA Furniture and Product Design


Professional Qualifications/Honours:
Conran Award - Designer of the Future
Nottingham Award - Young Creatives

Miss Hill is incredibly passionate about creative subjects and specialises in hands-on, artistic outputs; she will support Mr Hill with pupils across their Art, Photography, DT and Food lessons. She recently graduated from Nottingham Trent University where she studied the BA in Furniture and Product Design. During this time, she was shortlisted for The Conran Shop’s ‘Designer of the Future Award’ and Nottingham’s ‘Young Creatives Award’; she is delighted her work is due to exhibit in Milan later this year.

Miss Hill has a diverse range of experience, including working within a busy ceramics studio and more recently within a university setting.

Having worked within workshop and studio settings for the past 8 years and throughout her studies, Miss Hill‘s specialities lie within woodworking and ceramics, though she also has experience working within art, jewellery, and textiles, documenting her work with a love of photography and film. Miss Hill believes that intertwining the current and traditional processes of creativity is imperative to ensuring that young people are given every chance to find a creative outlet that works for them. She is convinced that young people have some of the most imaginative and inspiring minds and that it is her responsibility to encourage them to have an enjoyable and successful experience at Houlton School.

Miss Hill believes it is paramount to inspire young people to express their imagination in fun and practical ways and is eager to support young people to find their creative outlet and is excited to pass on her skills to the next generation of future creatives within the Houlton family.

Annie Divver
Pupil Experience Leader: Year 7 and SEND

Annie Divver

Pupil Experience Leader: Year 7 and SEND

Lancaster University:
BA Nursing


Lakeland College of Nursing:
Registered Nurse (Learning Disabilities)


Cert. Team Leadership


Professional Qualifications/Honours:
First Aid at Work
Mental Health First Aider
Child Mental Health
Independent Advocacy

Miss Divver is an experienced, empathetic and motivational pupil support professional who particularly enjoys sharing her love of reading with pupils as a means of addressing challenges. She achieved her Bachelors degree in Learning Disability Nursing at the University of Lancaster, before then moving to Greenwich to work with the children’s service team as a Registered Nurse for Learning Disabilities. She then became the manager of a residential centre for disabled teenagers and worked there for almost a decade before moving to Rugby to raise her family and embark on a new career direction.

Miss Divver has worked across a range of settings, including community, residential and managerial, impacting the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of society. As the mother of four daughters, Miss Divver brings a wealth of personal experience to the role of Pupil Experience Leader, along with a sound professional knowledge developed over five years working at the heart of the pastoral team within another local secondary school.

Miss Divver is a firm advocate of empowering students to get the best they can from their abilities and talents, and advocates that barriers to achievement must be understood in order to be managed and overcome. She is also a campaigner for overcoming social inequality and Miss Divver’s guiding principle for life and work is, ‘Be a nice human…’. This philosophy extends to her voluntary work, from which you may recognise her as she has been an Assistant Leader at Hillmorton Rainbows for nearly 15 years; there, she supports the activities in which her daughters and their peers participate regularly.

Like Mr McCulley and Miss Buckenham, Miss Divver promotes cultural and global understanding; she supports a charity set up to provide help and resources to a school in Uzima (rural Kenya) and often describes her time at the school as a highlight of her career and life.

A life long West Ham fan, Miss Divver has recently caught the bug for researching family history and discovered how excellent a rare surname can be when tracing ancestors: she is thrilled to be bringing her wealth of experience to the leadership of Year 7’s daily school experience and working with Mrs Cooper within the SEND team at Houlton School.

Tracey Burns
PA to the Principal / Academic Scheduling

Tracey Burns

PA to the Principal / Academic Scheduling

Rugby College:

RSA Level 3


Professional Qualifications/Honours:

Nova-T Timetabler
SIMS Super User
SIMS Options Online

Mrs Burns is a dedicated executive support professional who, having previously worked as a PA in industry, transitioned to working in education nearly 20 years ago.

Having begun her school-focused work at a large, Warwickshire secondary school in 2002, Mrs Burns has since gained a wealth of experience, including having previously established (from their inception) many of the business support functions across two brand new schools.

Mrs Burns has undertaken a number of roles within school support, including as Office Manager, Administration Manager, Academic Scheduler and in her most recent role as PA to the Principal at our Trust partner-school, Ashlawn School. Since 2009, Mrs Burns has enjoyed leading on whole school timetabling, a role for which she has a real passion.

As well as timetabling, over the years Mrs Burns has covered many areas of the School Information Management System (SIMS) and takes great pleasure in learning and perfecting new processes.

Mrs Burns is delighted to be joining Houlton School and cannot wait to work closely alongside Mr McCulley and other colleagues joining the Houlton family; she is looking forward to welcoming the founding Y7 pupils in September.

Alley Harling
Front of House, Data and Attendance

Alley Harling

Front of House, Data and Attendance

Warwickshire College Group:
HNC Business and Finance
NVQ Business Administration


Dip. Reception and Market Relations

Mrs Harling has a wealth of experience in Front of House, Attendance and Business Support roles (both in and out of the education sector), most recently as Sixth Form Front of House at our partner school, Ashlawn.

Mrs Harling says that, like a stick of rock, Houlton runs through her very fibres as a local resident and strong advocate for our new family. She is delighted to have the privilege of welcoming visitors at Reception and on the phone, as well as working with families to ensure pupils are in school and safe.

Mrs Harling will also be working with Mr McCulley and Miss Buckenham to ensure you receive termly reports on pupils' progress towards their ambitious targets at Houlton.

Ross Cotton
Senior IT Systems Engineer

Ross Cotton

Senior IT Systems Engineer

Warwickshire College Group:

Dip. Information Technology
AdvDip. IT, Software Web & Telecoms

Having left school with a great interest in Computing Mr Cotton sought to broaden his knowledge in this area and completed his BTEC Level 3 Diploma in IT at Rugby College.

Whilst studying, Mr Cotton started his career with the Transforming Lives Educational Trust at Ashlawn School, initially as an Apprentice IT Technician and ultimately he completed his Advanced Apprenticeship in IT, Software, Web & Telecoms Professionals with the Trust.

As the Trust has grown, Mr Cotton has enjoyed the opportunity to support the IT Services team and having now worked as an IT Technician for nearly five years he has gained a vast amount of experience providing IT Support to staff and pupils across TLET, working closely with leaders and having been an integral part of a number of key IT projects.

Mr Cotton takes pride in his work and looks forward to applying his expertise when formally joining the Houlton family by delivering a high standard of IT Support as Lead IT Systems Engineer.

Vijay Mistry
Senior Site Services Officer

Vijay Mistry

Senior Site Services Officer

Warwickshire College Group:

Dip. Joinery and Furniture-Making

Mr Mistry is an experienced site and facilities professional whose career began in the construction industry initially with Warwickshire College; there, he gained a number of vocational qualifications in carpentry and joinery, as well as completing a specialist apprenticeship. He very much enjoyed many aspects of the roles he would go on to do, even describing the carpentry in particular as therapeutic.

Seeking to further his career to benefit the wider community, Mr Mistry reflected on the period spent working on social housing, from which he derived great job satisfaction in the knowledge that the work he was completing would help improve the lives, and life-chances, of others. This sense of moral purpose led him to explore similar opportunities within the local area, ultimately resulting in him securing the position of Site Service Officer at a large, city comprehensive school.

Since working within the school environment, Mr Mistry has realised that providing a well-maintained, secure and hygienic place for students to excel in their education is the perfect role, knowing he is part of a community that holds pupils’ future prospects in top priority.

Mr Mistry is, therefore, delighted to have been presented with the opportunity to work as a Senior Site Service Offer at the brand new Houlton School; he grasped the opportunity of becoming a founding member of the Houlton family with both hands and is now focusing on developing all the knowledge required to operate, maintain and improve the campus and its historic buildings for many years to come.

Charlie Wilson
Site Services Officer (Apprentice)

Charlie Wilson

Site Services Officer (Apprentice)

Warwickshire College Group:
Apprenticeship in Facilities Management
(Currently studying)

Mr Wilson is working with Mr Mistry whilst he completes his Apprenticeship and can’t think if a better place to learn about estates management than at Houlton, where heritage meets state-of-the-art.


Luella O’Hanlan

Luella O’Hanlan


North Lindsey College:

Cert Catering


British Institute of Cleaning Services:

Stage 1 and 2 Certificates

Mrs O’Hanlan is a highly experienced domestic professional with experience in catering, social care and cleaning; she is delighted to join the team at Houlton and to support Mr Mistry with maintaining such an impressive campus environment for many years to come.

Ryan Bullock

Ryan Bullock


Warwickshire College Group:

Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery
Diploma in Site Carpentry

Mr Bullock has experience in a number of hands-on trades, including gardening, joinery and cleaning services; he is delighted to join the team at Houlton and to support Mr Mistry with maintaining such an impressive campus environment for many years to come.