The Sheiling Ringwood is delighted to welcome Mike Gamble as the new Head of College and to welcome back Andy Walters as the new Head of School (Andy was Deputy Head during 2013/2014). Both incoming heads bring extensive experience in the fields of education and Special Educational Needs.
After graduating from Birmingham University in genetics and biochemistry, Mike spent time travelling the world and then moved onto working with youth groups through the Peterborough Arts Centre. He then spent 25 years working with Sense, the national voluntary organization working with, and supporting people of all ages, who have sensory impairments and additional disabilities including learning disability and autistic spectrum disorders. Here Mike worked as a support worker, teacher, Residential Manager, Education Service Manager and Area Manager and in 2011 he was appointed Vice Principal of Sense College.
Mike says: ‘’I loved my time working at Sense, but felt it was time for a new adventure, and I definitely have one here! The Sheiling is a unique and amazing environment and I’m really looking forward to learning more about its history and community. I want to be able to use my own individual experiences and skills to contribute to the student and staff development in the College, and within the wider Sheiling organisation.’’
Andy trained at Portsmouth University and has been a teacher for 15 years, originally teaching Science and Maths in secondary schools. He went on to work with children with autism, in the same company across two schools for 10 years, in both care and teaching roles. Andy took on the role of Assistant Head in 2010 and, since then, has remained in school leadership within several schools. Andy has particularly enjoyed working with education teams to develop practice in learning and teaching, and supporting schools to define, develop and improve their curriculum and assessment methods. He also has a passion for Computing and Design &Technology and has been involved in developing these subjects for SEN students.
Andy says: ‘’Every student I have worked with has taught me something and enabling these students to learn, grow, develop their self-esteem, social behaviour, communication and life skills has been the driving force for my work. There really is no school quite like the Sheiling and I am absolutely committed to making the school the very best it can be. I look forward to supporting the school to continue to improve and move forward, as part of the amazing team here, expanding and building upon the huge successes of the past several years.’’