Our Staff
Who are the staff at SAFE?
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Our Teachers

The SAFE family

Here you can learn more about SAFE’s wonderful team of staff

Ruth McWeeney

Ruth McWeeney

Headteacher

Ruth is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and plays several instruments. 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.
Lisa King

Lisa King

Assistant Head (SEND & Admin)

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.

Mick Hunter

Mick Hunter

Assistant Head & English Teacher

Mick graduated at the University of York with a BSc in Television and Film Production, specialising in screenwriting. He seeks to bring his enthusiasm for story and style to GCSE English Language students.

Dre Edwards

Dre Edwards

Sports coach

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 Casey

Outreach 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.
Hannah Payne

Hannah Payne

Humanities Teacher

Alison Allison

Alison Allison

Science & History Teacher

Having graduated with her initial teaching degree, Alison taught for ten years at a South London primary school where she became the science coordinator, responsible for the whole-school science curriculum. Her teaching was also recorded by the local authority as a professional development resource for other London schools. During this time she acted as an educational consultant on projects for the UK Government’s Intellectual Property Office. Following this, Alison led the home-education of her sons through their GCSEs, and professionally tutored a number of other children. She ran several community science and arts programmes during this time, leading groups of children to a number of John Muir Awards and prestigious science prizes. She also obtained a Master of Science Degree (Distinction) and is cited in published public health research. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, she supported children’s education by marking science and humanities GCSE papers. Alison believes that children should directly engage with science in practical ways, and sees science education as an essential tool in developing critical and independent thinking. In her spare time, she performs renaissance music, takes part in educational living history, studies ancient languages and is an enthusiastic volunteer for English Heritage.

 

Ant Francis

Ant Francis

IT Teacher

Ant started at SAFE teaching ICT and has since gone on to join Royal Park Academy where he is now the ICT specialist. He has substantial experience of working in the IT sector and has a degree in Animation practice. Ant has found that working at SAFE has allowed him to really hone his skills in many fields of technology and allowed him the autonomy to develop in conjunction with the other staff new and interesting methods for education, including using role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons to help teach important life skills.

Andy Hoang

Andy Hoang

Tech Advisor

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!

Hannah McCann
Hannah McCann

Therapies Teacher

Hannah combines a gentle, approachable, nurturing manner with a wealth of experience of working with children with SEMH difficulties and neurodifference. Her degree in psychology led her to go into the field of SEND education, and allows her valuable insights into the struggles experienced by her students. She has worked at  both Riverside School and the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School, and brings the experience and knowledge she gained in these two very different provisions to her planning and implementation of therapeutic sessions and interventions at SAFE. 

Tanya Woolford

Learning Support Assistant

[Biography being updated]

Becky Voller

Learning Support Assistant

[Biography being updated]

Jack King

Maths Teacher

[Biography being updated]

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