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Meet the team

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    Victoria Duke

    role: Headteacher

    Victoria has 18 years secondary school experience and has held academic and pastoral leadership roles in schools across England and Wales, as well as completing her NPQH and Masters in Education.

    She left her last school senior role 2 years ago after leading on all aspects of school life within the 5 years, from safeguarding and supporting children in care to progress tracking and training. She also led as a CfBT Peer Reviewer within local primary schools and trained as a HMI Peer Inspector.

    After working in Bristol a School Improvement Officer and System Leader for Children in Care in Bristol for a year, she was determined to work in a role where she could make an even bigger difference.

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    Trish Rolfe
    role: Admin

    My first job in education was as admin/receptionist in Oldfield School for 14 years. I subsequently became admin officer for B&NES Learning Support Service based in Threeways School. I’d been in post 7 years when LSS was closed in 2013 and I went into B&NES redundancy pool and became admin assistant for B&NES Children in Care and Moving on Team/Virtual School.

    I am now full-time admin assistant for B&NES Virtual School. Over the decades I’ve experienced lots - from preventing skiving teenagers from getting past me at reception to celebrating exam success, from manual typewriters to complicated computer programmes. I love it!

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    Julia Wallcroft
    role: Education Co-ordinator for Early Years

    Julia spent 12 years teaching English in a secondary school in Coventry. She returned to Bath and North East Somerset after the birth of her son and became involved with her local Pre-School. She discovered she really enjoyed working with this age group and retrained in early years. Julia became Lead Teacher, Deputy Manager and Senco over 14 years working at the Preschool. During that time she was seconded to Bath and North East Somerset as an Area Senco Advisory Practitioner for 2 years and for the last three years has worked in this role.

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    Sarah Gunner
    BSc (Hons), PGCE, M.A (Education)

    role: Senior Education Co-Ordinator

    Sarah has 20 years teaching experience across key stages 1 through to 4. She started teaching Science in inner Portsmouth secondary schools and within 4 years progressed to lead her own department.

    Sarah then moved to a middle school as an academic deputy head responsible for leading teaching and learning across early years and key stages 1 – 3. It was here that she completed her Masters in Education, specifically looking at supporting individual needs.

    Most recently, Sarah has taught and been the senior lead teacher for vulnerable pupils across an infant and junior school with the specific responsibility to close the attainment gap between vulnerable pupils and their peers. Sarah left this senior leadership role 2 years ago to join the virtual school, taking on the responsibility of early years through to Year 8.

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    Lisa Pollard
    role: Education Co-ordinator for Secondary and Post 16

    Lisa has many years of experience working with young people and their families in order to support them at difficult periods within their education. 

    Working with secondary schools in London and based at the Pupil Referral Unit she has encountered many challenging situations and has created bespoke programmes to keep young people engaged in education and tailored to their academic and personal requirements.  With a strong foundation in multi-agency working and the barriers facing young people in care.

    More recently Lisa has worked in promoting Apprenticeships within the Bath & North East Somerset Council and is able to utilise this knowledge particularly at post 16 phase.

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    Dr. Alish Rodgers BA(Psych), H.Dip.Ed (prim), DECPsy, C.Psychol.
    role: Registered Educational and Child Psychologist

    Dr. Rodgers completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology before she undertook a Post-Graduate Diploma in Primary Teaching. She was employed as a Primary Teacher for three years before being accepted onto the Doctoral Programme in Educational and Child Psychology at University College London. During this time she completed her Doctoral Thesis on the 'Impact of the FRIENDS for Life emotional resiliency programme on reducing anxiety and promoting positive school adjustment in secondary school students'. Over three years, she worked in community settings and specialised in the assessment and therapy of children and adolescents on a wide range of presentations including social, emotional and behavioural difficulties as well as learning difficulties.

    On graduating in 2010, Dr. Rodgers was given the position of Educational and Child Psychologist with the Daughters of Charity Intellectual Disability Service. She worked within multidisciplinary teams to assess and plan interventions for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities. She then worked with the National Behaviour Support Service in Ireland as a Consultant Psychologist. During this time, she assessed and planned interventions to support secondary school students with emotional and behavioural difficulties alongside evaluating the National Pilot Project of the ‘FRIENDS for Life’ emotional resilience programme. She travelled to Australia during this time to become an accredited facilitator and trainer of the ‘FUN FRIENDS’ early years emotional resilience programme, the ‘FRIENDS for Life’ primary school emotional resilience programme, the ‘My FRIENDS Youth’ emotional resilience programme for secondary school students as well as the Adult ‘Resilience for Life’ programme for adult cohorts. These evidence-based programmes have been shown to decrease anxiety and depression and to improve self-esteem, positive future outlook and coping skills in clients.

    Dr. Rodgers moved to Melbourne in 2013 and worked as the Clinician of the Casey Cardinia Headspace Project which provided a targeted, intensive response to secondary schools in an area that had been significantly impacted by youth suicide contagion. During this time, she worked with secondary school students who had disclosed or demonstrated suicidal risk, students, parents and staff members who were bereaved by a suicide, students who had significant mental health issues as well as those with self harming behaviours.

    Dr. Rodgers returned to the UK in 2017 and is now employed on a part-time basis as an Educational Psychologist for BANES Local Authority. As part of her role, she is the Educational Psychologist for the Virtual School Team which involves completing consultations, therapy, training and resource development. Referal to Dr. Rodgers is only via the Virtual School team and is often as part of the PEP meeting and process.