Since moving to England from Northern Ireland in 1984, Paul has worked in various Special Schools in the South of England and is now about to enter his 12th year as Headteacher of Beaucroft School, (which caters for children between 4 – 19 yrs. with complex learning needs including those with an ASD), situated in Wimborne Dorset.
Paul lives in Hampshire, with his wife Ros and children Jack and Ellen and although having lived in England longer than Ireland, he is still a proud wearer of a green shirt whenever rugby is mentioned!
Jackie Shanks joined Mountjoy School as Head Teacher in September 2014. Mountjoy is a day school for pupils, between the ages of 2.5 and 19 years, who have severe, profound and/or complex learning difficulties.Jackie began her career working with horses, before deciding to train as a teacher. She has been the Head Teacher of two other schools, one a day maintained SEBD school, the other, an independent school for pupils with complex needs, where she was also responsible for the management of five care locations.
Jackie lives in Somerset and has one daughter. She enjoys running, riding and looking after her ever growing menagerie.
Andrew Penman is the headteacher of Westfield Arts College, a 4-19 Dorset special school in Weymouth. Westfield serves the needs of 180 pupils with moderate/complex learning difficulties and autism. Andrew’s first headship was of a 4-16 mainstream school. Prior to headship, Andrew was Deputy Principal of a non-maintained special school for young people with a visual impairment and other complex needs. Andrew lives in West Dorset and is the father of five mostly grown-up children.
Bruce Douglas is Head Teacher of Wyvern Academy in Weymouth, which is a special school for children and young people aged 2-19 years with severe learning difficulties, autism, challenging behaviour, PMLD and complex health care needs. Bruce has worked in a number of special and mainstream schools over the past 30 years and has previously been the Head Teacher of a mainstream primary school and a similar special school in Wiltshire.
Bruce lives in Weymouth with his partner and has two children of his own, two step sons and a canoe.
Seán Kretz has been Head Teacher at Yewstock School since September 2011. Yewstock is an all age special school for pupils aged from 3-19 with moderate, severe and complex learning difficulties and autism. Prior to this he was Head Teacher of St Giles School in Croydon which provided for pupils with physical disabilities and complex medical needs. He began his career as a mainstream Primary teacher before becoming a special school class teacher.