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 is a PE teacher by training and is qualified in a range of outdoor activities. 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, her role within the School is to lead on HR and Safeguarding.
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 one to one format as an effective way of working with vulnerable children. Fran co-ordinates our Mentoring provision across the School. Fran also works with Lara as Assistant Head of School and deputises as Head of School in Lara’s absence.
Head of Sixth Form
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 is now leading our Post-16 programmes and supports Lara as Assistant Head of School.
Wayne joined Releasing Potential in 2012, having been introduced to us whilst working at a local Pupil Referral Unit. Wayne has designed the Activation programmes, which have 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, such as the ever popular Zombie Apocalypse! Wayne also delivers the RLSS National Water Safety Management Programme.
Ashleigh’s background is in sports science and sport therapy, and she brings this knowledge and experience to her role as a Tutor across the School. Ashleigh enjoys sharing her understanding of human anatomy through the School curriculum through Exercise Studies and Science. Ashleigh’s expertise also comes in useful when colleagues injure themselves playing for our staff five a side football team!
Donna joined Releasing Potential in 2017 as a Tutor, having worked with us previously as a Forest School Leader. Donna is a Level 2 qualified Forest School practitioner, and is currently working towards her Forest School Level 3 qualification. Donna works with students at our allotments, and brings her love of the outdoors, and of horticulture in particular, to her work with young people as a mentor.
Duncan has recently joined Releasing Potential 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.
James is a keen sailor, and an accomplished outdoorsman with a range of qualifications in different fields. Before joining the team at Releasing Potential, James worked as a Water Sports Coach, and in a range of roles caring for people with learning difficulties. James draws upon his outdoor experience as well as his creative side in the school workshop, to help hard-to-reach young people in our Mentoring and Activation programmes.
Joe has recently started at Releasing Potential, and brings a wealth of teaching experience to his role as a tutor. Joe’s background is in English teaching, having worked in a range of mainstream and specialist settings including secondary schools, SEN provision, and Pupil Referral Units. Joe is a qualified teacher of English as an Additional Language, and will be part of our team of Functional Skills tutors Releasing Potential.
Joshua has worked as a tutor for Releasing Potential for a number of years. Joshua has a passion for travel and exploration, and takes part in expeditions leading groups all over the world. Joshua’s educational background is in English Literature and Creative Writing, and he will be undertaking his postgraduate teaching qualification at the University of Southampton from September 2018.
Karl has a background in outdoor education and in SEN, and he draws on these experiences in his work as a 1;1 mentor. Karl enjoys climbing and is developing an in-house scheme to qualify staff and students in climbing and bouldering. Karl is also responsible for managing the Linkenholt Adventure Centre in Hampshire.
Mark joined Releasing Potential in 2015; his role is Tutor for one of our Engage groups based in Havant. Mark’s previous role was in a special school for students with Emotional Behavioural Difficulties, and he has enjoyed the chance at Releasing Potential to build relationships with a very small group of students and to support them through one or more years until the end of Year 11. Mark’s has an interest in martial arts, which helps him unwind after work – so far he has not found a way to incorporate this into his delivery!
Phil came to Releasing Potential in 2014 as an Apprentice in Business Administration. It quickly became clear that in addition to his admin skills, Phil was a natural at engaging our students. As a result of this, Phil’s week is divided between office days and days supporting our Engage groups in Havant and Chichester. Phil also supports the Forest School team during holidays, for which he has recently undertaken training in bushcraft skills.
Simon is a highly experienced Engineer, having spent many years in the Royal Navy. Most recently, Simon has been employed as a teacher of Computer Science at a school in Portsmouth, and brings his skills in engineering and IT to working with young people on projects in these areas. Simon works primarily as a mentor with 1:1 students, but can also be found supporting Engage groups with his skills in science and technology.
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 Tutor 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.
Tom is an accomplished sportsman, and plays semi-professional rugby for a local team. Tom’s background is in Sports Science and in SEN. Tom leads on our PE provision, and has recently developed the Youth Coastal Rowing Scheme, which delivers nationally recognised qualifications in rowing. The YCRS offers our students the opportunity to experience coastal rowing and to gain additional qualifications if they are interested in pursuing this.
Will currently works with our post-16 students in years 12 and 13, providing supported small-group provision for young people with a range of learning needs. Will has extensive experience as a Water Sports Coach, and draws on his knowledge of outdoor activities to engage young people whilst delivering a functional skills curriculum. Will has a BA in History and a keen interest in this subject area that he imparts to his sixth form students.
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