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Who's who

Executive Leadership Team
Nicolle Deighton
Executive Headteacher
I have been working in education for 20 years now, the majority of which have been in the Special Educational Needs sector. I have been the Headteacher and later Executive Headteacher of Briarwood since 2018. Over the course of my career, I have worked with a range of pupils from age 3 right the way through to 19 across many needs. I have supported the school in its growth and development and have opened new sites and buildings in my time at Briarwood, seeing the number of pupils more than double. I am passionate about providing high quality education for all and my expertise is in school improvement and development. I have worked as a specialist leader of education and I also currently work as an Ofsted inspector as I feel that all children and young people deserve, and should receive, a high quality education. I am proud to lead such a dedicated team of staff and work with such inspirational children and families.
Rosie Wells Head of Provision & Inclusion

I have had the privilege of working as part of the Briarwood Team for nearly 10 years. I studied Psychology BsC with focus modules on Child Development before completing a PGCE with SEND Specialism Masters. I started my journey at Briarwood as a Class Teacher.  First at Juniors, then, Secondary and Sixth Form. I feel honoured to have taught across so many key stages and have learned so much from this. I then had the opportunity to complete my management training before becoming Behaviour Lead and later Head of School for Post 16. I am a TeamTeach Trainer, Trauma Informed Practitioner Trainer and have completed several trainings surrounding behaviour and mental health, and safeguarding, areas which I am particularly passionate about. I am now Head of Provision and Inclusion and Safeguarding Lead and welcome opportunities to expand my knowledge and practice that positively impacts school development and ensuring the pupils have access to an inclusive education that is meaningful and appropriate to their individual needs.

Georgina Andrews
Head of Provision & Inclusion

For the past decade, I have had the opportunity to work alongside many inspirational children, young people and staff within Briarwood School. I am passionate about developing an inclusive culture where, with the right direction and support, every child can become motivated to achieve their full potential. As the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), I am fully committed to safeguarding and child protection and ensuring and promoting the welfare of children is at the heart of everything we do. My strengths are managing and leading change, developing new initiatives and processes, and using data analysis in order to identify learning barriers (and overcome them at the earliest possible stage!). I place a strong emphasis on collaborative, multi-agency work with all stakeholders to ensure we meet the needs of the child as a whole.

Rachel Moles
Head of Education & Skills

I am very proud to work with such a talented and committed team at Briarwood. Throughout my career, both within teaching and through leadership, I have had a passion for developing the curriculum. It has been incredible to be part of creating a tiered, sequential curriculum that has clear pathways for our pupils. I am very passionate about raising standards and ensuring our pupils have access to high quality teaching that puts pupils at the centre of what we do. Feedback from visitors and staff often highlights the warm, positive and welcoming environment we have at Briarwood. We are very proud of what our pupils achieve and look forward to continuing our school improvements to maintain high standards of education and provision.

Jessica De-La-Mare
Head of Education & Skills

For the past 14 years, I have been involved in the teaching of SEND children both in mainstream and special school settings. For the past 10 years, I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside the wonderful children and staff at Briarwood and am passionate about raising standards and providing outstanding opportunities for children both in my own setting and in the local area. I am passionate about the development of the curriculum and the effective use of assessment.  My strength and passion is educational research and using knowledge of pedagogy, creativity, and my experience in teaching and coaching teaching staff has allowed me to support the development of a curriculum and assessment system that suits the needs of our pupils.

Rebecca Hunt 
Head of Operations

I am the Head of Operations at Briarwood. I assume responsibility for the non-education operational management of the school, covering Finance, Human Resources and Estate Management. I have worked at Briarwood for over ten years and previously worked as a Finance Manager for Barnardos, a leading Children's Charity in the UK.

Senior Leadership Team
Tina Oram
Pastoral Assistant Head

I have been working in Education since 2008, starting my career in Early Years education before becoming a SENCO in mainstream settings. I soon realised that I wanted to make an impact on special education and provision and joined Briarwood as Assistant Headteacher in 2019. As part of my work, I am privileged to work across all of the age ranges and departments within Briarwood School and see the fantastic support our students receive from the Early Years all the way up to Sixth Form. I am a Specialist Mental Health Lead and a Trauma Practitioner, and I lead on Attendance, PSHE, Mental health and Wellbeing across the school. As Family Link lead you will also meet me during our coffee mornings and parent’s events where we provide support, networking and access to external services.

Antonios Petropoulos Pastoral Assistant Head

I am truly grateful to be part of our school’s community. My journey in education commenced in Greece, where I studied Classics. With a passion for education, I furthered my studies and knowledge, obtaining an MEd in Special and Inclusive Education with distinction. Over the past ten years, I have had the privilege of working with students with SEND, an experience that has profoundly shaped my approach to teaching and learning. I have been part of Briarwood’s amazing team since 2016. I have worked in various phases of the school as a class teacher. I am particularly focussed on how we can foster aspirations in all our students through a robust employability offer. Currently, I am a Pastoral Assistant Headteacher, where my role revolves around nurturing behaviour and pastoral practices, and supporting our students and their families through transitions to adulthood. I am here to learn and grow alongside our students. It is an honour to be part of this community.

Aggie Bennett 
Head of Infants

I have been working in Education since 2004, completing my PGCE in 2010 and developing my specialist career in Early Years ever since. I am as passionate about striving for excellence for children and families in Early Years now as I was when I began my teaching career in Nursery and Reception in mainstream schools.  As Head of School, I am privileged to bring my experience to Briarwood Infants to deliver, along with my incredible team, the very best Early Years play based,  challenging and inspiring provision, ensuring our amazing children access the high-quality learning experiences they deserve.  I am a Local Specialist Leader working throughout Bristol supporting Early Years settings and delivering Early Years training, and benefit from learning from the very best practice across our city. 

Alistair Mackintosh
Head of Juniors


I am the Head of School for the Junior site. I have been working at Briarwood School for nearly 15 years now – before that I worked at two other SEN schools in Bristol, as well as for the Brandon Trust as a Home Support Worker for adults with Learning Disabilities.  I started at Briarwood as a teacher of autistic pupils on our Secondary site, before moving over to Primary where I found I really enjoyed teaching PMLD children. I have always had a passion for encouraging children to develop their skills and learning through the use of technology and have led ICT across the school, as well as delivering training both internally and externally at the BETT Technology Show in London. I have been a Head of School for four years now.  I always love seeing our children grow and develop as they move through the school – the children who I first taught are now in Post 16! In my spare time I like spending time with my family, swimming outdoors, seeing bands play live and helping out as a Scout Leader.
Cathryn Davies Head of Secondary

I have been Head of School for Secondary and Nexus in Briarwood School since 2019. I gained my PGCE in 2004 and have experience across different settings, from Secondary Mainstream to Social and Emotional Mental Health settings.  I have always been passionate about helping children with additional needs, by supporting Playschemes and charities throughout my adult life. I am passionate about creating a positive learning environment where all children can access learning and develop the skills they need for life after Education. This means I put the children at the heart of everything I do, making sure that all their needs are met, and positive strategies are in place to support them and their families. I am incredibly proud to be a part of such an inspiring school where I get to watch the children grow to be such wonderful young people, in turn the students here inspire me to continue to grow and learn as a leader to ensure they get the best experience of education as possible.

Sarah Lane-Batt
Head of Sixth Form

It has been a privilege to have been working in SEND for 20 years, beginning my journey as an LSA.  I studied for a BA Hons whilst working as a HLTA in another SEND school in Bristol.  Shortly after joining Briarwood in 2016, I undertook Schools Direct Teacher Training, where I have been ‘home grown’ and mentored by members of the Briarwood Team.  I have worked across the different phases of the school as a class teacher for pupils with PMLD and ASD.  I have been Head of School since January 2023, and lead a highly skilled team at delivering bespoke learning for amazing young people.  Watching our students flourish into adulthood is an absolute pleasure, and I am very passionate about them each leaving sixth form with the skills, knowledge and experiences that allow them to be meaningful members of the community. 

Jacqui Jackson Finance & Business Development Manager

As Briarwood’s Finance and Business Development Manager I work with the operations team to support the school with financial processes, income generation, compliance and procurement. I’ve been working at Briarwood since 2021 following roles in the voluntary, public and private sectors. It’s a privilege to work with such a passionate and committed team, in an environment where pupils’ needs are absolutely prioritised, ensuring that they thrive and truly enjoy their educational journey. There’s a strong culture of collaboration and positivity at Briarwood School, which is a pleasure to a part of.


Briarwood School
Whole School Vision, Values and Ethos

The values of Briarwood School are that all pupils should Enjoy their time with us, so that they can Engage and Learn to their full potential.

Contact Us Briarwood Infants 0117 9038727 Briarwood Juniors and Briarwood Sixth Form 0117 3532651 Briarwood Secondary and Nexus Provision 0117 3773042