Staff Team – Homewood

Fiona Rafferty
Head of School
Julia Holford
Deputy Head of School
I grew up in Brighton and returned to live by the sea after living in London for many years. I went to university and gained a degree in Furniture Design - I had my own interior design business before I got 'the calling' to become a teacher. I have never looked back!
Originally, I taught Resistant Materials and Graphics,  then PSHE and some ASDAN and pretty soon I found myself mainly focused on helping the young people who found being in school really hard. 
I have now been a teacher for over 20 years and for about half of that time I have been working with young people who are not in mainstream education. 
I have an interest in collecting curiosities when I am not at school. Two of my favourite objects are a ring that is also the key to a long-forgotten Roman treasure and a 350-million-year-old (or thereabouts) trilobite fossil.
Gail Woodward
Lead for Safeguarding and Attendance
I have worked in pastoral roles in schools for 17 years, focusing on Attendance and safeguarding for 15 of those.
I have learned a great deal about supporting young people by working alongside parents/carers and other professionals. I find working in schools and helping young people to be extremely rewarding.
Before working in schools, I managed pubs and clubs and had a particular interest in the catering for these venues.
I live by the sea with my partner and enjoy beach walks, swimming, cooking, and reading.
I have 2 grown up children that both work in education and I am extremely proud of them.
Teacher of Art and Humanities

I’m responsible for teaching KS3 and GCSE Art & Design, GCSE Photography, and Entry Level Humanities. I also manage our new student induction and administrative processes. 

In my spare time I read novels, have a collection of matchbox vehicles and look after our pet rabbit and chinchilla. I’m also researching our family tree and have got back to 1280.

Lucy Thompson
English Teacher
Louise Acton
PE Teacher

I qualified as a PE teacher in 2000 and previously spent 18 years teaching PE in a mainstream secondary school. I have also taught a range of other subjects alongside PE, leading me to now, teaching PE and Science at Homewood. I have been a teacher here since January 2019 and enjoy working with such incredible students and a committed staff team. My spare time is consumed by sport. Now as an armchair fan, rather than a performer!! I am a swim mum to 2 children who both swim for Brighton Swimming Club - one at a National level, so weekends are often spent travelling to galas.

Steve Allen
Maths Teacher

I am committed to enabling students to access mathematics in whatever way I can. I qualified as a secondary maths teacher in 2003 and have previously worked in mainstream education and have run a nursery. I have worked at Homewood College since September 2019 and have enjoyed working with the students there more than any other job I've ever had; working with such a dedicated and skilled staff team has been a highlight of my teaching career. I have 3 children 2 dogs and I am actively involved with Whitehawk Football Club, where I spend most of my weekends.

Caroline Watts
Science/Food Teacher

I teach Science and Food & Nutrition here at Homewood. You can normally find me concocting experiments either in our science room or the kitchen. I have worked here just over 2 years and love the fact that every day is different.
I have always taught young people with a variety of SEN and behavioural needs and have done for over 20 years.
When I'm not at Homewood I enjoy making my own clothes, going out in my classic car a 1960 Ford Consul or baking cakes at home that I sometimes bring in for the staff.

Lisa Heathfield
Teaching Assistant

I feel very lucky to work at Homewood College and am inspired by the students and staff on a daily basis. My husband and I have three secondary-aged sons who all go to local schools. I've a BA (Hons) in English and Theatre Arts and a PGCE Secondary English. I worked as an English teacher in London and Sussex, where I trained to be a Teacher of the Deaf. During a break to bring up our boys, I had four Young Adult novels published. I love to read, write and swim in the beautiful Brighton sea!

Chantelle Denner
Teaching Assistant

I recently joined Homewood as a TA after being on supply and enjoying the place too much to leave. I have loved every second since I’ve started. I am very passionate about helping others and encouraging children and young adults to work hard and achieve their full potential. As well as working at Homewood I enjoy drama; I have always enjoyed using theatre to pass messages across about relevant topics happening around us in the world. I’m a very creative individual and love to bring the fun into learning. .

Bonnie Crocker
Teaching Assistant

As well as working at Homewood College, I'm a voluntary youth worker for a Brighton charity promoting youth wellbeing through weekly socials and activities. Homewood College is the first school I've had the pleasure to work in and I enjoy it hugely! 

I live in Hove with my husband and two children and when I'm not working I love yoga and reading.

Reuben (Tino) Rowe
HLTA Music Educator

I started working at Homewood College in 2014 as a Music Educator.
I had previously worked for three and a half years at a mainstream school in London, Teaching Music Technology after gaining an MEP Diploma in Music Education.
Currently, I work as a HLTA and teach music. In my spare time I enjoy composing and recording music and I like most sports.

Jo Adams
Teaching Assistant

I'm an HTLA and have worked here for three years, I used to work at the KS4 PRU. I am an Arsenal fan and love art and films and I'm a secret gardener. Next year I will be doing more 1:1 and small group work with the young people in all year groups and I'm really looking forward to doing the themed curriculum as it sounds fun.

Laurence Ackary
Teaching Assistant

I started this incredible journey in February 2019 as a supply TA then basically after that I did not want to leave! When the opportunity came up, I applied for a TA position and was successful in this. Before I came to Homewood College, I was a garden machine mechanic so I would fix lawn mowers, strimmer’s, tractors, etc. In my free time I like go for walks and gaming. I am also a bit of a Viking fanatic and love my sports especially watching Arsenal FC.

Jola Czyzewska
Teaching Assistant

I started working at Homewood College in January 2019. I really enjoy working here. I love the friendly atmosphere and working with our team and students. I consider myself to be an inspiring teaching assistant who motivates our students to better themselves.
Outside of school I'm a football mum, taking my two boys training and to matches. I also enjoy swimming, reading and camping.

Tom Ferrier
Teaching Assistant

I am a music and teaching graduate and have been a part of the Homewood team since late 2020.  Since graduating in 2013 I have worked in both mainstream and special school settings and have taught martial arts full time.  I love the energy and unique challenges the students at Homewood present, and the chances to constantly need to adapt and think on my feet - no two days are the same!  I believe in offering everyone equal opportunities to learn, be creative and thrive and Homewood is the perfect place to put that into practice.  My other passions and interests include teaching and learning traditional Japanese martial arts, studying Japanese language, and creating and performing my own music.

Jo Oerton
Teaching Assistant

I'm Jo and have worked at Homewood College for two years now. My current role is as a 1:1 tutor for the students who are educated offsite, mainly in libraries across the city.
I worked for our sister organisation the Pupil Referral Unit for six years before joining Homewood. I have worked with children and families all my life, including youth work and teaching in Cambodia, South Korea and Egypt.
In my spare time I like to dance and always have creative projects on the go.

Lynne Halls
Pastoral Team

I have worked at Homewood College for the past 16 years. I began as a teaching assistant, went on to be a higher level teaching assistant, and am currently now part of the pastoral team within the school. Outside of work I enjoy singing especially at karaoke bars, and dancing. I am also a football fanatic and support Chelsea football club having been to Stamford Bridge on numerous occasions, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers who have done well since coming up into the Premiership League.

James Clark
HLTA Pastoral Team

I started working at Homewood in June 2008. Since starting as a TA all those years ago I have taken on many different roles at the school; PE and Drama teacher in 2016 and an HLTA cover teacher. I am a trained Restorative Justice facilitator and currently I am part of the Engagement team; we are responsible for student welfare and behaviour.

Before working at Homewood I was a TA at Varndean school, and Raines Foundation School in London. I also worked as a professional actor for 12 years which included roles as a drama workshop facilitator in schools, colleges, youth centres and prisons.

Off-site Coordinator / Exams Officer
Siobhan Justice
Finance and HR Assistant

Hi I'm Siobhan. I deal with finance and HR at Homewood College and have worked here for around a year and a half.  When I'm not at work I will either be on the beach, on a dog walk, or eating cake. Sometimes all at the same time

Alan Whyte
Maths/English/ASDAN Teacher

I teach English, Maths and the ASDAN Personal Development Programme at Homewood College. Working in Education is the second half of my career after spending the first half making money for a corporation, and a national charity, in sales and marketing roles.
I have worked in special education since 2018 after gaining valuable experience in mainstream schools. I am proud to support children with additional needs and have a young son who is thriving at school following a move out of mainstream to an amazing special school.
In my spare time I like to enjoy time with my family, mountain-biking, kayaking and reading modern history and fiction.

Tom Pannett
I recently joined the Year 7 team at Homewood College. In 2012, I qualified as a teacher and absolutely love my job. I have previously worked in mainstream Primary Schools but now I have the pleasure of working here with such wonderful staff and children.

When I am not working, I am the father of two energetic boys, who love the outdoors! In my spare time, I am mostly at a skate park, rock climbing, a park or cycling with the boys.

I am a huge football fan, a reader of books and general sports enthusiast.

Staff Team – Central Hub Brighton

Lucie Broadbent-Smith
Safeguarding Lead

I have held pastoral roles in schools for over 10 years, focusing on attendance, behaviour and safeguarding. I have a BA Hons in Art and Music and qualifications in Counselling and Art Therapy. I taught Art at The Connected Hub for over five years. In September 2019 I became the Safeguarding Lead, supporting the whole staff across the Central Hub Brighton. Before working in schools my roles included community event manager, youth leader and art workshop facilitator. I sing backing vocals for a covers band and love spending time gardening. I enjoy my commute over the downs, as I live outside Brighton.

Karen Prout
Senior School Business Manager

I have worked in Special Schools since 2007 starting at Patcham House School. During my time there I undertook three qualifications to become a School Business Manager. I started working at the PRU as Business & Commissioning Manager in 2012. In 2015 I was seconded to Homewood College for two days per week for six months and then in 2016 to the CDP Federation of Special Schools two days per week. In November 2018 I became Senior School Business Manager for the merged Central Hub Brighton. I really enjoy my job and find supporting our children and young people very rewarding.
I live with my partner and two daughters, my mother also lives with us. I have two dogs, Dexter and Percy. I enjoy walks with my dogs and reading.

Shelley Dunbar
PA to Executive Headteacher

I work across all sites, providing admin support for the Executive Headteacher and the senior leadership team. I live in Brighton, have three children and a dog. I love reading, and to keep fit I swim and run regularly. My favourite place is the beach.

Gavin Thorp
IT Manager
I have been working for CHB for over 15 years and responsible for keeping the schools IT systems working to support the teaching and administration of CHB across all sites. In my spare time I enjoy running, cycling and swimming as well as watching Brighton and Hove Albion