Our School Team
Our school team are passionate about helping young people reach their full potential. Our talented team of instructors, tutors, teachers and support staff are highly trained and on hand to support our students through their learning and social emotional development.
Executive Head Teacher
Mike is the Chief Executive Officer of Releasing Potential, having founded the organisation in 2001. Mike holds a B.Ed and is a PE teacher by training; he is qualified in a range of outdoor activities at the highest level. Mike still enjoys teaching, and, when he can, delivers Outdoor Education across the School. Mike has strategic responsibility for the School and for the organisation as a whole.
Senior Executive Officer
Catherine joined Releasing Potential in 2012 as Operations Manager of what was then a small charity. Catherine’s background is in education, having taught in secondary, tertiary and Higher Education; she has also worked for many years with vulnerable young people in a range of day services and residential programmes. Catherine oversees operations for the whole charity, and her role within the School is to lead on HR and Safeguarding as well as the work of the Releasing Potential Institute.
Lara is a qualified teacher who discovered a love and a talent for working with children with Special Educational Needs whilst on a supply teaching placement. Lara first worked for RP as an Engage Tutor before leaving to live and work in New Zealand. Lara returned to the UK and took on the task of developing the Releasing Potential School curriculum and of ensuring that we fully meet all Independent School standards.
Deputy Head Teacher
Fran joined Releasing Potential in 2012 after working at a local Pupil Referral Unit, and after a period as an Intensive Foster Carer for the Local Authority. Fran has extensive experience in SEN and has always been drawn to the 1:1 format as an effective way of working with vulnerable children. Fran co-ordinates our Post-16 provision across the School as well as Releasing Potential Virtual Education. Fran also works with Lara as Assistant Head of School and deputises as Head of School in Lara’s absence.
Deputy Head Teacher
Katy spent her student placement at Releasing Potential in 2007 and joined the team full time the following year. Katy was instrumental in designing the Engage programme and delivered on it as Engage Lead from its inception in 2011 until 2016. Katy leads our Engage team and is responsible for the programme across a number of groups; she deputises for Lara as Assistant Head of School and helps to deliver our Level 3 in The Management of Challenging Behaviour as part of the Institute team.
Deputy Head Teacher
Wayne joined Releasing Potential in 2012, having been introduced to us whilst working at a local Pupil Referral Unit. Wayne has designed the Activation programme, which has developed out of Wayne’s love for the outdoors and his previous career in the Royal Navy. Each Activation programme involves outdoor or sporting activities, usually with a competitive edge, and often based on exciting narrative scenarios. Wayne heads up all Mentoring across the school, and also delivers the RLSS National Water Safety Management Programme.
Food Studies Subject Lead
Lee joined Releasing Potential in April 2020. He comes from a background in catering of over 30yrs, spending 17 of those in both the Royal Navy & Royal Air Force. During his time in the military, Lee was employed as a Chef Instructor teaching NVQ cookery & craft skills to Chef recruits. More recently, Lee was involved in providing the catering for 3000 for the commissioning of the new aircraft carrier HMS The Prince of Wales. Lee is married with 2 children and his main passion is his Motorbike, as well as cake decorating & sugarcraft.
Physical Education Subject Lead
Martin is a qualified teacher and joined Releasing Potential in March 2020. Martin has a wealth of experience in teaching a range of Post 16 courses, as well as SEN provision in sixth form education. Alongside this, Martin has worked as a football coach in both the USA and Africa. With teaching and development being Martin’s passion, he is currently completing a Masters degree in Sports Development & Management.
PSD Subject Lead
Maths & English Subject Lead
Pete joined Releasing Potential in 2019 after having worked in both Further Education and SEN for many years. Pete hold both a Masters degree and a PGCE and specilaises in delivering English, Maths and Functional Skills across the school. Pete has a background as an LSA and has worked for a long time with students with additional learning needs.
Chrissie is a highly qualified and experienced teacher, having worked in the primary sector for the past 27 years. Chrissie hold a B.Ed in Art, History and Education. She joins Releasing Potential as a 1:1 Mentor; as part of this role she delivers creative technologies and arts and crafts sessions to students, with a focus on inclusion for those students who struggle to access other areas of our curriculum. From Sept 2019 Chrissie will deliver on our Explore programme.
Duncan joined Releasing Potential in 2018 as a Tutor, having worked in Youth Work for several years. Duncan has extensive experience as an outdoor-qualified instructor (sailing in particular) and has a BSc in Sports Sciences from Edge Hill University as well as a BTEC in Sports and Exercise Studies. Duncan works with students on a 1:1 basis and brings his passion for sport and the outdoors to his role.
Emma joined Releasing Potential as a Mentor in Autumn 2018, having worked previously as an Outdoor Instructor. Emma has extensive experience of sailing and water sports in particular, and holds a BA in Outdoor and Adventure Education from the University of Chichester. Emma works with students on a 1:1 basis, and, from September 2019, will be heading up one of our Post-16 Traineeship projects based at Northney Marina.
Greg is an Outdoor and Adventure Education graduate from the University of Chichester. He has a sincere love of all things natural and a background in climbing instruction. Greg has recently joined Releasing Potential as a Mentor working within our Engage provision.
Helen joined Releasing Potential as a 1:1 Mentor is 2020. She has worked in mainstream schools for the past 10 years supporting young people in maths and science, either in the classroom or as part of small group teaching and 1:1 sessions. Helen loves being outdoors and enjoys outdoor ed. Helen is a qualified Mediator and practices mediation in her spare time.
Jemma joined Releasing Potential as a 1:1 Mentor is 2020. Jemma has 6 years’ experience in mainstream education and has delivered PE as a subject during this time. Jemma holds a BSc (Hons) sports coaching. Jemma is passionate about helping young people progress and brings her love of sports to her role working 1:1 with students who struggle to access other parts of the curriculum.
Karl has a background in Outdoor Education and in SEN, and he draws on these experiences in his work as an Engage Mentor. Karl has recently completed his Level 3 qualification in The Management of Challenging Behaviour (NCFE) and Level 4 qualification in The Management of Challenging Behaviour in Sexually Exploited Children and Young People. Karl is studying for a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training through which he hopes to become a fully qualified teacher.
Lesley has worked in Primary education for 12 years, specialising in working with children with SEMH difficulties. She holds have a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and has a passion for textiles and dance. Lesley joins Releasing Potential in 2019 as a Mentor working 1:1 with students and hopes to bring her considerable creative talents to this work.
Louise joined Releasing Potential as a Mentor in 2020. Prior to this Louise worked in a Pupil Referral Unit for 13 years and has extensive experience working in Alternative Education. She is a qualified counsellor and volunteers at a drop in centre for young people. Louise has a love of animals and enjoys spending time with her chickens on her allotment.
Mike joined Releasing Potential in 2018. Having started as part of our Mentoring team, Mike will run his own Engage provision from September 2019. Prior to Releasing Potential, Mike worked in a specialist school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and he holds a PGCE in Secondary Education. Mike enjoys outdoor activities and has recently completed his Level 3 training in The Management of Challenging Behaviour (NCFE).
Milly joined Releasing Potential in 2011 as an assistant to an Engage group whilst studying Water Sports Studies and Management at University. Milly has experience working with SEN and vulnerable young people. Through her time at Releasing Potential she has run an Engage group and supported with sailing through the summer. Last year Milly went away to train as a Primary School teacher and has returned to help run our Explore provision.
Sarah joined Releasing Potential in 2019 as an Engage Tutor and 1:1 Mentor. Sarah has extensive experience in supporting young people in a variety of education and youth work settings and is particularly passionate about engaging young people in the arts. In her spare time Sarah is a freelance musician and Lecturer in Community Music.
Sarah has worked in education and the community for 22 years. She has developed a passion for working with children with SEMH difficulties, which she has had experience of in the primary sector. Sarah has a BA (Hons) in Childhood Studies, and enthusiasm for the outdoors. Sarah joined Releasing Potential in 2019 as a mentor working 1:1 with students; she hopes to bring her love of the outdoors to this work.
Steve has been with Releasing Potential since its very early days, initially as a sailing instructor. Over the years this role has developed and he is currently working as a Mentor with Post-16 students. In addition to his skills as a RYA-qualified Senior Sailing Instructor, Steve has a background in business particularly in engineering, which makes him ideal to support students in their work experience placements during Years 12 and 13.
Toby has worked for Releasing Potential as a Freelance Outdoor Instructor and now delivers on our Mentoring and Activation programmes. He is a highly experienced and highly qualified instructor in Outdoor Education, and regularly takes young people out on our residentials. Toby is also our Duke of Edinburgh manager for external groups.
Theresa joining Releasing Potential in 2017, initially working for the Professional Services team as a Mediation Co-Coordinator. Since then she has moved to the Chichester school team and supports the Head of School across a range of administrative duties. Theresa has a real way with students and can occasionally be found helping out at lunch and break times!
Havant School Site:
Releasing Potential School
7 Kingcroft Court
Charity No: 1097440
DfE number: 850-6093
Chichester School Site:
Releasing Potential School
4 St James' Works
© Releasing Potential 2017