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Annabel Leaver - BA Hons
Annabel Leaver - BA HonsHead of Centre
Annabel first set up SAFE soon after gaining a teaching degree, specialising in special educational needs.  She now manages and co-ordinates SAFE and also teaches various subjects.  Her expertise lies in the teaching of children and adults with autism and associated learning and social differences.  Annabel also trains staff on implementing the SPELL framework, which allows students to learn in centre that instils Structure, Positive approaches and expectations, Empathy, Low arousal and Links.

Alongside running SAFE since it opened in 2012, Annabel worked hard at registering SAFE as an examination centre. She plays a crucial part of the exam team at SAFE, making sure the centre maintains its integrity of the examinations procedure.

Andy Hoang - BSc Hons
Andy Hoang - BSc HonsE-Comms Manager
After graduating with a Physics degree from Warwick University, Andy chose to pursue a career in Education. He trained at Roehampton University as a science teacher and then travelled the world teaching Physics and English as a foreign language for 5 years, developing an interest in learning and teaching technologies along the way.

On his return to the UK, he worked at Roehampton University for 5 years as an e-learning advisor. These days he freelances as a coding teacher and web designer from his home in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he works on projects related to the use of learning technologies.

An integral part of launching SAFE from a concept to a reality, Andy coordinates the website and manages all inter-communications behind the scenes at SAFE. He also visits the centre to deliver one-off workshops from everything from LEGO to Human Relations!

Ruth McWeeney - BMus Hons LRAM
Ruth McWeeney - BMus Hons LRAMDeputy Head of Centre
Ruth is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and plays several instruments, including the oboe and piano and performs professionally on occasion. She holds a teaching diploma and home educated her own children for several years, becoming skilful at tailoring lessons to suit each individual within a group.

She studied maths to A level as it is a subject she is passionate and enthusiastic about. Her goal is to transmit this enthusiasm to her students. Ruth has experience of teaching children with autism and has a sound understanding of the condition. Ruth's caring and sensitive nature makes her the ideal tutor to support students who come to us with very real fears of mathematics. Her knowledge and understanding of the subject also makes her the perfect coach to challenge those who are extraordinarily gifted in the subject. Ruth is also a professional artist and designer. Mainly working with pencil, watercolour, acrylic and graphic design, Ruth has made a successful career out of not only selling her work, but also allowing others to follow their creative paths.

Ruth is the exams officer at SAFE and is integral to the day-to-day running of assessments, data sharing and organisation of exams administration.

Louise Kirkman - BSc Hons
Louise Kirkman - BSc HonsMaths Tutor
Louise graduated with a 2:1 Psychology degree to further her studies in education and child development. She has mainly worked within the education setting, supporting children with complex needs, including those with autism spectrum conditions, and holds qualifications in Team Teach, First Aid and administering medication, Epilepsy training, Level 3 safeguarding adults and children, Mental Capacity Act and IPSEA Foundation SEND Law training.

Recently she has become a mentor at MIND working as an advocate to support adults with a range of mental health disorders and also a Support worker for Carers Support working with adult carers and supporting those with disabilities.

Louise uses her experience to create multi-sensory, interactive learning environments for students studying Mathematics at Level 1 Functional Skills. She uses a mixture of mindfulness, art and games to keep students focused, engaged and alert to address abstract concepts that are commonly misunderstood.

Mick Hunter - BSc Hons
Mick Hunter - BSc HonsScience and English Tutor
Mick graduated at the University of York with a 2:1 in Television and Film Production, specialising in screenwriting. He has experience writing screenplays for shorts and feature film, and currently is writing for a graphic novel in pre-production. He seeks to bring his enthusiasm for story and style to GCSE English Language students.

Although fascinated by all science, Mick specialises in Biology, which he studied at A level. His Science lessons focus on recent advancements and how they might impact the world, bringing the lessons away from apples falling from trees, and towards re-usable rockets, augmented reality, and genetically engineered astronauts.

Mick's classes are fun, engaging and are packed with discussion and enthusiasm. Students often work from a shared drive allowing Mick to assess and feedback instantly during written task time. Mick uses his knowledge of technology to ensure students access the curriculum with ease and efficiency and also accessible from home, should they not be able to make it into class.

Lisa King
Lisa KingAdmissions Facilitator and Afterschool Club Leader
Lisa has worked in schools as an administrator and also as learning support for a number of years and is now SAFE's admissions facilitator after sending her own child to the centre three years ago. Lisa understands the fears and concerns families may feel when making the transition from school to home education and does her uttermost to help families come to an informed and supported decision. Lisa is a friendly ear for those who feel lost and confused in the world of SEND education.

Lisa is a valuable asset to the team, ensuring centre records are up to scratch, reward schemes are followed through and makes sure students who may feel too anxious to enter a class have someone to chat to. Lisa helps families with everything from impartial DLA form advice to signposting to local workshops and training sessions.

Susan Garland BEd Hons
Susan Garland BEd HonsHumanities Tutor
Sue is a retired secondary school teacher with a wide range of experience in both subject and pastoral areas.  Her specialism is geography and humanities and has taught other subjects such as leisure and tourism, PHSE and religious education, history and physical education.  Along with supporting children with special educational needs, Sue has acted as Head of Year, Head of Geography, Humanities and Literacy Co-ordinator.  She has also worked as an examination scribe and invigilator.

Sue visits individual students in their homes to tutor humanities at KS3 and GCSE level.

Dre Edwards
Dre EdwardsSupport Assistant and Boxing Coach
Dre is our newest member of the team and has already made a great impression. Dre brings his unique perspective as an autistic individual to further support the pupils of SAFE. He is a prolific gamer, and provides companionship and guidance to the students when supporting and mentoring them.

Dre uses his knowledge of games to interact with students who find formal learning difficult, sharing different platforms of gaming to access a range of skills and understanding; including creativity and imagination in his creative development sessions; social and life skills in role play and narrative gaming sessions and problem solving and tactical skills in board and card gaming sessions.

Dre also works in and outside of SAFE as a trainee boxing coach, training children and young adults of all capabilities. Dre will be teaching a number of boxing sessions for the GCSE Physical Education course.

Dre' s hobbies include art, gaming and fitness. He has an extensive anime, manga and computer game collection of all genres and also enjoys making music.

Maggie Casey
Maggie CaseyCover Teacher
After completing a degree in English and Sociology, Maggie trained as a Secondary English and Drama teacher. She cut her teeth in a large all-boys comprehensive in South London then moved on to learning about the challenges to learning that many children with disabilities encounter daily by working in an all- age special school.
Ten years of working in an alternative educational unit teaching all subjects and supporting teenagers who had dropped out of full-time education was underpinned by studying for an MA in Emotional Factors in Teaching and Learning.
Working on the wards and in pupils’ homes as part of the educational provision in a large London hospital taught Maggie that learning and teaching is valuable no matter what the medical and psychological circumstances may be. She still loves English and Drama but has a sneaking interest in most things to do with the world about us.
Maggie also works as a part-time exam invigilator and plays lots of traditional music in Folk Clubs and Irish music sessions on whistle and fiddle.

Thank you for being amazing with my daughter. She said she read out in class today which is something she never would of done, she wouldn't even put her hand up in case she got something wrong and people laughed.

Anonymous, Thank you

SAFE has been a Godsend for us. Our son is extremely sociable but found mainstream state school, with it's reliance on rules and detentions, almost unbearable. At SAFE, he is encouraged to learn and express himself in his own, positive way - Annabel's teaching, along with that of the other members of staff, is so wonderfully tailored to each child's abilities and strengths, that our son is thoroughly engaged in 'learning' a varied curriculum probably for the first time ever! 'Annabel and her 'team' will have our thanks and gratitude for ever. We are so glad we found SAFE and would encourage any parents of un-engaged children at state schools, to try it and see.