Dr Peter Gardener - Founder and Proprietor

Peter Gardner is founder of Appleford School. He is a Chartered Educational Psychologist, a Chartered Forensic Psychologist and a Chartered Counselling Psychologist of the British Psychological Society. He is a Full Practitioner Member of the British Psychological Society Division of Neuropsychology. He is a registered Psychotherapist (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) and was a committee member of the Psychology and Psychotherapy Association.

Much of his work is legal work, including the preparation of detailed court reports and submission of oral evidence, working for Crown Courts, Magistrates Courts and Guardian ad litem panels. He acted as an expert witness in the precedent-setting Phelps v London Borough of Hillingdon education negligence case in the High Court in July 1997 and was described by Mr. Justice Garland as “particularly well qualified, careful and fair.” His legal work is split roughly 50:50 between Claimant and Defendant work.

Dr Gardner takes an active role in all aspects of Appleford life. Our ISI Inspection 2012 rated the quality of governance at Appleford as excellent.

“The proprietor provides excellent oversight of all sections of the school, ensuring that it meets its aim. The proprietor makes frequent formal visits in which he participates in senior management team meetings and this enables him to effectively discharge his responsibilities for educational standards, financial planning, and investment in staff, accommodation and resources.”

“The proprietor exercises an effective monitoring role that enables excellent insight into the workings of the school. Due to his expertise in this type of education, this involves providing expert support, challenge and stimulus for growth and improvement of education for pupils with SEND.”

“The proprietor is highly effective in discharging his responsibilities for statutory requirements, including the annual review of safeguarding and child protection arrangements throughout the school and oversight of health and safety.”

Mr David King - Headmaster

David King B.Ed (Hons) MIA was appointed Headmaster of Appleford School in 2012. After attending The Wallasey Grammar School, Wirral and the University of Liverpool where he studied History and Art, his career in education began as a Primary School teacher, followed by Maths Coordinator and then SENCo. He gained Dyslexia Friendly Status for one of the first Somerset Primary Schools and was part of a pilot group which developed strategies for Teaching for Effective Learning, which has now become part of mainstream policy. After prior Headships of two independent senior schools, Mr King took time out of education for five years in business as owner and chairman of an Outdoor Adventure company.

Since joining Appleford School as Headmaster, Appleford has grown from a small Prep school of 58 pupils, to a successful Prep, Senior and 6th Form school with a 150% increase in pupil numbers. As a specialist dyslexia school, Appleford is particularly proud of its achievements.

Prep School Staff

Mikyla FrancisHead of Prep School
Janet HarrisHead of English
Katherine HillYear 6 Teacher and Head of PE
Laurie LeeYear 7 Teacher
Julie RidlerYear 8 Teacher
Andrew EdwardsYear 8 Science Teacher
Alice TuffYear 7 Teacher
Leah ClydeYear 4/5 Teacher
Henry WilsonPE & Games
Karen MillsPE & Games
Jasper ElwesPrep School Teacher
Beccy SanthousePrep School Teacher

Senior School Staff

Mark BallTeacher
Sarah BuesTeacher
Steve DawsonTeacher
Andrew EdwardsScience Teacher
Maia EnglishFood Tech Teacher
Dean FilkinsHead of History
Nichola FordMaths Teacher
Gwen GoodingsHead of English
Iona GrayHead of 6th Form
Sarah HallHead of Year 10, Head of PE
James LanganHead of Maths, Head of Year 9
Beth MillsTeacher
Tamsin ScottHead of Art
Jemma TaylorHead of Science, Head of Year 11
Alice TuffTeacher
Jeremy WhitworthTeacher

Specialist Staff


Janice MitchellHead of Learning Support
Shelagh KingPrep School SENCo
Della McGuckianAccess Arrangements Co-ord
Helen BoothCounsellor
Christine SawyerThrive Practitioner & Senior ELSA
Ellie CotsellELSA
Fiona StaniforthELSA
Fiona FilkinsHead of Pastoral and Designated Safeguarding Lead
Fay BillinghamOT
Sarah StonerOT
Amanda WhiteOT
Thomas CopeSaLT
James HewittSaLT
Molly HilsonSaLT
Ellen HalesSaLT

Higher Level Teaching Assistants and Support Assistants

Amanda BarnettHLTA
Susan DaviesHLTA
Karen MillsHLTA
Julie MoffittHLTA
Stevie PryerHLTA
Sarah SinclairHLTA
Vanessa StewartHLTA
Victoria ClementsLSA
Melanie AlisonLSA
Caroline DaleLSA
Danielle BrownLSA

Boarding Staff

Tony SherwoodCo Head of Boarding
Megan AllenCo Head of Boarding/Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Una ClenaghanHouseparent
Coral  WeddHouseparent
Tom AllenAssistant Houseparent
Helen McKellarAssistant Houseparent
Andy WeddAssistant Houseparent
Barbara WilliamsAssistant Houseparent

Administrative Staff

Carolyn ShipstoneHeads PA / Registrar
Sophie Campbell-SmithExams Officer
Justine PalmerFinance Officer
Katarina LoganAdministrator
Marcia BagguleyMedical Admin/Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Tory NelsonOffice Administrator
Claire CooperOperations Manager
Joanna GreenPA to Operations Manager
Jill ByfordScience Lab Technician
Tracy ChartersSchool Secretary
Sarah DawnayUniform shop
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