Leadership Team

Two Heads are better than one….

Joint Heads and Co Directors - Hellen Lush and Gareth Wright

With combined experience of over 40 years in education, 30 within the SEN sector and 20 within senior leadership and Headship, Hellen and Gareth are accustomed to the drive, resilience and knowledge required to channel the rigour, accountability and pressure associated with leadership to move a school forward towards excellence.

Hellen and Gareth have a track record of impact and whole school improvement at senior level, with improved outcomes for students, and raised quality across all judgement areas at inspection.  They are experienced in working collaboratively with all stakeholders including governance and outside agencies to effect maximum school development and student progress.  

Both are Designated Safeguarding Leads, and above all else, hold young peoples' wellbeing as the priority.  

Feedback from professionals:

'...extremely hard-working and dedicated individuals continually going above and beyond ...'

'...extensive experience as extremely effective designated safeguarding leads and senior leaders with proven, quality impact...'  

'...consistently impressed with their diligence, work ethic and integrity...'

'... implemented systems and procedures with clear direction which effectively raised standards...'

Hellen Lush

Member of our Senior Leadership Team

Lead Teacher for Science and PSHE

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

  • responsible for the whole school curriculum, beliefs and ethos
  • community links and business development

Gareth Wright

Member of our Senior Leadership Team

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Lead for Health & Safety

Gareth’s role will encompass:

  • strong links to all aspects of Pastoral Care
  • oversight of compliance related to Health & Safety and Estates
  • support for outdoor activities and learning sessions as appropriate
  • focus on marketing, community links and business development

​​​​​​​Alongside the serious stuff….

Gareth is obsessed with all sports, particularly football. He runs a local sports radio show and his specialist quiz subject is The Beatles.

Hellen loves being outdoors, especially the ocean, running, music and being with her children (most of the time).

Kate Rogers


Lead for our Student - Led Learning approach

Member of our Senior Leadership Team

Kate is a highly experienced, effective teacher and tutor, in both private, mainstream and special needs schools.  Calm, compassionate and instinctive, she builds and sustains positive, effective relationships with students, staff, parents and other stakeholders.  Students make expected progress under Kate's leadership and achieve their potential

This SENCo role marks the start of a new phase for Kate and will harness her competence and leadership experience.  She brings an understated drive and commitment to assuring our student-led learning approach, and monitoring and tracking student progress and outcomes.

Alongside her SENCo role, Kate will develop, lead and deliver ‘Nurture’, a programme woven through our Learn to Thrive curriculum, for students who require a specific, regular intervention further to personalised support provided within learning sessions.

Outside of work, Kate enjoys an active lifestyle with her young family. She has recently bought a puppy so puppy training is high on her list of priorities at the moment!

Alf Thompson

Lead teacher for Mathematics, ICT and Sport

Member of our Senior Leadership Team

Alf brings extensive leadership and business management experience to Abbot's Way.  He has taught Mathematics and ICT in SpLD schools in both private and mainstream sectors for over twenty years, and has proven impact in effecting student progress and facilitating whole school strategic development.

Alf’s specialist expertise fosters self belief and achievement in young people.  His passion for his subjects is evident in the progress of his students and the vibrancy of his teaching.  Alf is equally at home within a classroom, leading field trips or on the sports field.  

His knowledge, flexibility and collaborative approach is a valuable asset to Abbot’s Way.