It is an absolute pleasure to be headteacher of Heath Farm School and to be a part of so many success stories for our students. I initially came to Heath Farm in a consultancy role to help develop the curriculum and very quickly fell in love with the school and just had to apply for the vacancy headteacher post.
Since starting in that role in April 2019, I have overseen many elements of the school develop further and have been able to support staff in all roles in being able to provide the best support possible to our wonderful students, both academically and socially. The values that I introduce when I started (Love, Commitment, Opportunity) really do drive me in my work to ensure that both I and the staff are always putting our students first and helping them to be successful learners and later, successful adults.
Prior to joining Heath Farm, I worked as a headteacher within two different Primary Mainstream schools over 5 years. The last of those was at a school with an Autism Unit. I have managed to build and develop a great team of staff here at Heath Farm School in all roles and feel very proud to be their headteacher and supporting them to meet the full holistic needs of all our students.
Outside of being a headteacher, I am a keen musician as both a drummer and lead singer in a band. I have also played guitar from a young age as well as performed in many musical shows and this is something I still do on occasions, so look out, you may see me in a local theatre or music venue near you!
Claire Harrap-Stanley – Deputy Head: Quality of Education
I have over 23 years of experience in education, across a diverse range of both SEN and mainstream contexts both as a teacher and senior leader. I have responsibility for ensuring that the Quality of Education is of an exceptionally high standard within the school throughout all key stages. Over the past couple of years, the width of the curriculum offer has substantially grown, including KS4 Options with a wide range of accreditation pathways set in place to ensure that every student has the opportunity to meet their full potential.
I am a governor at a mainstream primary school with responsibility for SEND, PSHE and Church distinctiveness. I have two children, both at secondary school, two dogs and a love of reading and running.
Mark Jones – Deputy Head: Wellbeing
My name is Mark Jones and I am the Deputy Headteacher with lead responsibility for well-being and safeguarding. I take a lead in all pastoral, wellbeing and behaviour related practices and procedures at Heath Farm School. Having been at the school for more than 28 years, I know the school very well and have seen the amazing developments over this time. I am actively able to use all my SEND experience to ensure there is consistency of care across the provision. A key part of my role is to support the children, parents, carers and staff alike and I often take the lead in working with social services professionals, safeguarding colleagues and other external agencies on behalf of our children and their parents. I also establish positive collaborative working relationships with a range of external providers so that all the agreed education, health and care responsibilities are supported and prioritised for the children we take care of.
Sharron Humphrey: Assistant Head: 6th Form
I am an Assistant Headteacher at Heath Farm School and I have responsibility for our 6th Form cohort, I have been in post since September 2019. Since I started at the school the 6th Form has been evolving and developing. The provision has a hardworking and committed team of staff facilitating the learning of our young adults as they begin to forge their way into adulthood. This is such an exciting journey and it is so rewarding to work with the young adults who attend our centre.
Before joining Heath Farm School I had the privilege of working in a wide range of educational settings, since 1995, including two music trusts and three large, fully inclusive, mainstream comprehensives. For the majority of my career I have worked in large inner London comprehensives, all of which had their own smaller specialist provisions within them. I have been fortunate to work in all phases from nursery through to higher education. I decided, in the year 2000, to specialise in the secondary and 6th Form phase. I am also a trained coach.
I am trained dancer, musician and teacher of performing arts. Therefore when I am not at work I really enjoy theatre trips and other arts events. I also enjoy walks with my family and spending time with my six cats. I am a Fellow of the RSA.
Jackie Yates: Assistant Head: Therapy
I have worked in SEMH provision for 20 years, my role at Heath Farm School is Assistant Head/ Therapy Coordinator.
‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is something I hold close to my heart so working with the systems around a child, I feel, is a must. Within my role of leading on therapeutic interventions and delivering training, I also bring teams/ families together and facilitate child focused work. My passion is developing therapeutic relationships with our students enabling them feel safe and secure, developing their sense of self. I believe that when a student is able to express their feelings freely and have their needs met they thrive within the classroom environment.
Chris Atkin-Reeves: Assistant Head: CPD Lead
My name is Chris Atkin-Reeves and I am an Assistant Head teacher at Heath Farm School with responsibility for CPD, staff support and development.
I have had a varied career in special educational needs across Kent, beginning as an Art/Drama/Maths teacher in a Moderate Learning Difficulties school and moving on to become a Key Stage 3 Co-ordinator and an Advanced Skills Teacher for behaviour.
I also worked for KCC as a National Strategies Consultant for Behaviour and Attendance, before working as a freelance Teacher Trainer and School Adviser. During this time I gained a wide experience of working in many different kinds of schools and settings.
In 2014 I took up the post of Deputy Head teacher in a school for pupils with SEMH and just prior to working at Heath Farm I spent some time supporting two Pupil Referral Units in Essex.
I thoroughly enjoy my job and working at Heath Farm; in particular the ethos of the school, not only as expressed in the values of ‘Love, Commitment and Opportunity’, but in the way that the staff work together so positively for the benefit of the children and young people. From the moment I arrived I felt I was in the right place and that no matter the sometimes challenging nature of our work, everyone strives for the best for our students in the best way possible.
The school itself has progressed enormously in the relatively short time that I have been here in ever-improving outcomes, resources and expertise; all within a beautiful rural environment that is a pleasure to be in.
I have many interests outside of school and enjoy walking my dogs with my wife, going to the theatre and the occasional football match. My son is a professional musician and I have always loved art, music and live performances. I occasionally play drums (not expertly!) in a band with my friends.
Liz Thorne: School Business Manager
I am the Business Manager at Heath Farm School. This means that I manage all the ‘back room’ things that are not directly related to education – finance; administration; HR; recruitment; premises; janitorial; and catering services. I am qualified in Business Administration, and for many years ran my own business. I came to Heath Farm from the voluntary sector, where I had a variety of CEO roles in Kent-based charities.
I love the culture at HFS and the great things that we do for our young people; everyone shares a collective responsibility for the wellbeing of all.
When not in the office, I love watching live music and creating things with my sewing machine.