Key Staff

Senior Leadership Team

Email: Call: 01782 236412

  • Mrs Yvonne Lawson

    Head Teacher

    Now Head Teacher of Merit Mrs Lawson was Deputy for several years both here and at mainstream secondary schools. She has taught for a long time in inner city Manchester and is a highly qualified English teacher. As a personal life and business coach she juggles the many and varied demands of a school as diverse as Merit.

  • Mrs Josephine Bullock

    School Business Manager

    As a qualified and experienced Business Manager Mrs Bullock’s responsibly at Merit cover: HR, finance, procurement, premises / facilities management, health & safety and marketing. Jo has a wealth of experience in schools in different authorities and has already hit the ground running.

  • Mrs Mel James

    Deputy Head Teacher

    Deputy Head and lead of therapeutic team along with being responsible for pastoral care Mrs James qualified as a teacher of the deaf and has taught in a range of settings including both mainstream and residential. Mrs James is an English specialist.

Teaching Staff

Email: Call: 01782 236412

  • Mr Carl Turfrey

    Maths Teacher/Self-defence

    Specialist teacher of Maths Mr Turfrey also teaches self-defence to all students as part of their activity lessons. He has his own Martial Arts school in Cheshire, which is why he teaches at Merit part time.

  • Mr Jonny Amos

    Musician – The SongLab Limited

    Jonny Amos who teaches music is a professional musician who used to have his own band. He has a very broad knowledge of music and the success of his after school club shows clearly that students enjoy his lessons and many want to stay on at school to receive more!

  • Mr Steven Winrow

    Maths Teacher/Senco

    Highly qualified maths specialist, Steve comes from a financial background originally but has plenty of experience working in schools. He has taken the lead with data and data analysis and is a fully qualified Senco.

  • Mrs Gemma Pender

    Drama Teacher/Performing Arts

    Mrs Gemma Pender teaches Performing Arts and have been commissioned to work at Merit from the Academy for Performing Arts Limited based at Betley. As a talented performer in her own right Mrs Pender has lots of experience and practical knowledge with which to engage the students.

  • Mrs Grealdine Evans

    Science Teacher

    A skilled and experienced science teacher who brings a wealth of new ideas and exciting practices. She is also offering core and applied science to Year 11.

  • Mrs Kirsty O’Keefe

    Humanities Teacher

    A Qualified teacher of Humanities. Kirsty has come from a large academy and her experience and enthusiasm will take Humanities from strength to strength. We are lucky to find such a talented teacher.

  • Mrs Sarah Whiteley

    English Teacher

    Mrs Whitley joined Merit in April 2015. As a highly qualified teacher with considerable experience she has taken over the running of the English department. She has already made a great impact! She also co-ordinates home and personal tuition ensuring that students receive as much education as possible, as well as organising and monitoring that provision.

Support Staff

Email: Call: 01782 236412

  • Mrs Jackie Stephen

    Senior Teaching Assistant

    As senior teaching assistant Mrs Stephen leads the team of support staff co-ordinating their many and varied responsibilities. Responsible for assessment on entry and overseeing all reintegration.

  • Mr Mark Hamilton

    Teaching Assistant

    Qualified as a music teacher who teaches saxophone on a 1:1 Mark works as a member of the support team at Merit. He has also taught in FE. Mark has taken responsibility for assessment on enrty and also updates the website.

  • Mr Mark Williams

    Teaching Assistant

    As a member of the support team Mr Williams works with further education and college placements as well as supporting challenging students and guiding them through difficult times. Mark leads with independent travel of travel and specialises in year 11 support.

  • Mrs Donna Pierce

    Clerical Assistant

    Donna works alongside Kira in the school office and has responsibility for student attendance, policies and personal tutor administration.

  • Kira Stanaway

    Clerical Assistant

    Kira provides the day to day student administrative duties; parental, calls home, registers and transport.

  • Mr Dave Dale


    Dave helps to keep all areas of the school site secure and tidy.

Hospital Staff

  • Mrs Dawn Keates

    Hospital and Merit Teaching Assistant

    Dawn has worked across the whole of the primary setting for a number of years and her knowledge and expertise in the SEND area is invaluable. Mrs Keates provides outstanding support within the Merit PRU, leading intervention and withdrawal for SEN.

  • Mrs Donna Mitchell

    Hospital Teacher

    Although she teaches literacy at Merit, Donna’s main responsibility is education within the hospital. She coordinates staff and provision making sure that sick children do not fall too far behind with school work. As an experienced Primary school leader, Donna is able to offer both secondary and primary provision.

  • Mrs Julie Warrington

    Teaching Assistant/ICT Teacher (at Merit)

    Julie has a huge amount of secondary experience in all of the core subjects and she also runs a local playgroup for pre school children. Julie works as a teaching assistant at the hospital and leads the teaching of ICT within Merit.

Therapeutic and Counselling Staff

Helen Brunt - Counsellor (New Member of Staff)

  • Dr Andy Cornes

    Consultant Counselling Psychologist, Family & Systemic Psychotherapist

    A highly qualified psychologist Dr Cornes assesses and treats students and provides consultation to staff and parents to enhance their emotional health and wellbeing.

Personal Tutors

Email: Call: 01782 236412

  • Miss Helen Dempsey

    Home Tutor

    Helen also works for the local authority Send team and specialises in dyslexia assessment. Helen teaches children in the home who have medical needs.

  • Mr Kevin Shaw

    Tutor/Teaching Assistant

    Kevin is a highly respected English specialist who teaches on a 1:1 basis in the home and who also provides class support at Merit.

  • Mrs Amanda Bleackley

    Tutor/Teaching Assistant and Exams Officer

    An experience Primary teacher Amanda works on a 1:1 basis with home tuition. Provides in class support within PRU and has taken on the responsibility for GCSE exams through out Merit.