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.
Mike King (school team)

Mike King

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.

Catherine Brennan (school team)

Catherine Brennan

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 Penfold (school team)

Lara Penfold

Head of Education


Lara is a qualified teacher who discovered a love and talent for working with children with Special Educational Needs whilst on a teaching placement. Lara first worked for RP as an Engage Tutor before leaving to work in New Zealand. Lara returned to the UK and took on the development of the Releasing Potential School curriculum and ensuring that we fully meet all Independent School standards.

Katy Green (school team)

Katy Green

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 Education.

Wayne Peters (school team)

Wayne Peters

Deputy Head Teacher


Wayne joined Releasing Potential in 2012, having worked previously at a 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. Activation 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.

Mark Francis (school team)

Martin Beeson

Head of Curriculum


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.


Wayne Peters (school team)

Lee Sheard

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. Lee is married with 2 children and his main passion is his Motorbike, as well as cake decorating & sugarcraft.

Mark Francis (school team)

Steve Palmer

CDT Subject Lead


Steve is a qualified teacher and joined RP September 2020.  Steve has a wealth of experience gained through 25 years of secondary and post 16 teaching.  In addition he has over 30 years’ experience of voluntary youth work.  Steve enjoys outdoor activities including walking, running and cycling as well as DIY and gardening.

Donna Sewell (school team)

Aiysha Khan

Functional Skills Tutor


Aiysha joined Releasing Potential in 2020 and delivers English and Maths Functional Skills. With a background in languages and having lived and worked abroad, Aiysha has taught children from all cultures and backgrounds and strongly believes that education is every child’s right. She has worked in education since graduating from the University of Leeds in 2016.

Donna Sewell (school team)

Duncan Stanway

Engage Tutor


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.

Donna Sewell (school team)

Emma Jones

Coastal Centre Manager (on MAT Leave)


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 heads up one of our Post-16 Traineeship projects based at the RP Coastal Centre Nortney. 

Donna Sewell (school team)

Georgia Siddle



Georgia joined Releasing Potential as a Mentor in Autumn 2019. Georgia has worked as a fully qualified Countryside Ranger in the Chichester and Hampshire areas for over 14 years. She has led conservation and building skills outdoor classes with many local SEN and Mainstream schools. She holds Countryside and Wildlife Conservation management qualifications. Likes Beachcombing and Bird watching.

Donna Sewell (school team)

Greg Chartier



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.

Donna Sewell (school team)

Harry Stansfield

Engage Tutor


Harry joined Releasing Potential in 2020 as a one-to-one mentor but has since moved onto mentoring in the Engage team. Harry studied psychology at the University of Edinburgh and then pursued his love of the outdoors by working on an organic farm in Somerset. He then worked in Hong Kong in drug rehabilitation before returning and joining RP. 

Donna Sewell (school team)

Helen Chapman



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.


Karl Stepney (school team)

Ivan Pigott



Ivan is a qualified teacher and has worked previously in mainstream primary schools, while also pursuing an interest in outdoor education.  He now splits his time between mentoring at Releasing Potential, and working on his own ‘green woodworking’ projects, as well as running spoon carving and stool making courses in the woods.  Ivan loves incorporating woodworking into his mentoring at RP where possible.

Karl Stepney (school team)

Karl Stepney

Activation Tutor


Karl works on our Activation programme; he has a background in Outdoor Education and in SEN, and holds a Level 3 in the Management of Challenging Behaviour (NCFE). Karl is studying for a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training through which he hopes to become a fully qualified teacher.

Karl Stepney (school team)

Kat Robbins

Coastal Centre Manager/Mentor (MAT Cover)


Kat has been at Releasing Potential since 2020. She is an experienced watersports instructor and works with our post 16 trainesheep students based at Northney Coastal Rowing Centre. 

Karl Stepney (school team)

Lesley Brown



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.

Karl Stepney (school team)

Lisa Norris



Having worked in retail and animal welfare, Lisa qualified as a Football Coach in 2006. In 2008 she went to work for Albion in the community (at Brighton & Hove Albion FC) as a Community Coach in the disability department. She adores being out and about in the town & countryside and spending time with & around animals.

Karl Stepney (school team)

Louise Wise



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. 

Mark Francis (school team)

Mike McClure

Engage Tutor


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).

Mark Francis (school team)

Milly Joseph

Explore Mentor


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.

Mark Francis (school team)

Nick Coe



Nick joined Releasing Potential in 2020 as a Mentor and works across 1:1 and Engage groups. His a Flag (American) Football coach/player and comes from a media and film background. 

Mark Francis (school team)

Parize Cody

Farm Manager & Mentor


Parize joined Releasing Potential in September 2020 as the new Farm Manager. She has over 10 years experience in animal management and agriculture. She has worked in a variety of roles caring for many different species and educating the public in animal conservation & the importance of agriculture. Her biggest passions are showing sheep in county shows and bouldering. Other hobbies include hunting & fishing.

Mark Francis (school team)

Sarah West



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 brings  her love of the outdoors to this work.

Sian Gregory

Sian Gregory



Sian is a qualified teacher and joined RP this July. She had been in mainstream education for 6 years and has experience teaching outdoor education to children with SEN needs. She works as a mentor and teaches bushcraft skills to students in Explore; she hs a Forest School level 3 qualification and adores all things nature, especially going on adventures on her mountain bike and snuggling with her cat Luna.
Steve Skinner (school team)

Steve Skinner



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 Armley (school team)

Toby Armley



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.

Toby Armley (school team)

Theresa Bailey

School Administrator


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

St Pancras


West Sussex

PO19 7NN


 © Releasing Potential 2017