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Staff Biographies

Mrs Sue Knight Fotheringham - Principal - B.A; PGCE, NPQH

Sue was born and brought up in a close knit mining community in South Yorkshire. Surrounded by musicians and colliery bands, she developed a love of music and started to play the cello when she was 6 years old.

In 1983, Sue moved to Kent to study for a B.A. Hons degree in Performing Arts specialising in cello, voice and piano. For ten years she worked as a professional performer and music teacher, inspiring young people across Kent to take up a musical instrument for their own enjoyment and pleasure.

Following the birth of her two daughters she returned to university in 1995 to study for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education specialising in the primary age range.

Sue has a particular passion for working in the Early Years and has piloted a number of Nursery projects including the formation of Pebbles Nursery. She believes that an outstanding education in a child’s formative years is essential to their future success and in creating happy and confident children. Sue is particularly committed to developing and nurturing the school and college leaders of the future.

Having had a number of senior leadership roles, she joined White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts in April 2007 as Principal.

Working with the children, parents, staff and the Federation Leadership Team, Sue took the college to Ofsted graded Outstanding.

Outside of College she is a wife, Mummy, Nanny, Sister, Auntie and friend as well as being an active member of St. George’s Church in Deal. Her interests include music and theatre, reading, walking and shopping!

There is no doubt that she is passionately committed to White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts, Pebbles Nursery and the DFAMAT. She always says that ‘every day is a good day’ when she comes to work!

Mr. Simon Paget - Vice Principal - B.A.Ed Hons; NPQH

Simon has worked in Kent Schools for over 25 years, having had considerable experience across various Early Years and Primary settings. Simon began his career working in Aylesham, before moving to Herne Bay where he led Mathematics in a large Junior school. He joined the Federation in 2008 as a class teacher at Barton Junior School and later became Vice Principal at White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts. Having served on the Federation Board since 2009 (initially as a teacher governor,) he has a keen interest in technology and has worked in all the Federation schools on information and data management systems. With an interest in Technology, he has also been responsible for leading the creative design team behind the College websites.

Mrs Helen Castle - Assistant Principal & Inclusion - B.A.Hons; PGCE

Helen is Assistant Principal and Director of Inclusion and Key Stage 1 at White Cliffs. She commenced her teaching career in London where she was a Senior Leader within the school.

After returning from and living and working in the USA for 6 years, Helen joined White Cliffs in January 2008 and has loved teaching children across Key Stage 1 and 2.

Helen is passionate about how teaching and learning can be enhanced and extended through the development of an exciting and inspiring curriculum and is dedicated to ensuring that all children at White Cliffs receive Quality First Teaching throughout their education at the College.

Helen is the Lead Mentor and link between White Cliffs Primary College and the Teacher Training University and is enthusiastic about the training and development of staff. She is also a County Moderator for Key Stage 1.

Outside of College Helen enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching her children play for their sports teams, walking the dog and music.

Miss Sammie Lowe - Director of Foundation Stage - B.A.Ed

Sammie has been working for the Federation since 2015. She is currently on maternity leave following the recent birth of her daughter.

Mrs Sandie Kemp - Director of Pupil and Parent Support

Sandie was born in Dover and has lived most of her life in the Folkestone area. During her various roles of employment she has worked with children and young people of all ages and levels. She has been an Education Welfare Officer for the Attendance Service, a Placement Officer helping the NEET (not in employment, education or training) and with post graduates/graduates supporting them find work experience/employment.

Sandie has transferred many of her learnt skills and life experience to her current role at White Cliffs, she is also responsible for the smooth running of the Breakfast and Care After School Clubs, dealing with admission enquiries and driving the mini bus when needed to. Sandie was a Home Start volunteer supporting families with different difficulties.

Sandie is well travelled and during the later years of her life spent time back packing in Australia and New Zealand. She has also done a tandem parachute jump, ridden quad bikes and been on the longest/fastest zip wire in the world.


Mrs Amanda Pallett - Reception A Class Teacher -  B.A.Hons Primary Education,Foundation Degree in Early Years

Amanda joined the Federation in 2016 having previously worked as a Foundation Stage Manager in service children’s education and a Learning Mentor in primary and secondary schools in Germany.

Her expertise is in Early Years where she hopes her enthusiasm and passion for learning will encourage all children to achieve their best throughout their school life and beyond.

Amanda’s interests are horse riding, reading and shopping.

Miss Emily Davidson - Reception B Class Teacher, Lead Early Years Teacher - B.A.Hons

Emily has worked within the Federation for 4 years. She has led and taught at both Shatterlocks Infant School nursery and Pebbles nursery at the beginning of her teaching career. Following that, Emily has continued teaching at White Cliffs, working within the Reception classes.

This year Emily is embracing the role of Lead Early Years teacher, a role which she is excited about taking. She believes all children should have access to a varied, creative and inspiring curriculum and strives to achieve this in her teaching. She hopes the changes and ideas she has for her Key Stage will allow the children to blossom into independent, resourceful and well-rounded members of the White Cliffs family.

Emily’s interests include travel and shopping.

Mrs Claudia Friend - Year 1A Class Teacher


Claudia is a qualified teacher with 16 years experience in Key Stage 1 and has a passion for maths. She has worked as a teacher and a Teaching assistant in different local primary schools, including Shatterlocks Infant school.


Outside of College, Claudia has been involved in running children’s clubs for primary school aged children in Dover.

Miss Amy Bacmeister - Year 1B Class Teacher - B.A.Hons


Amy has been working across Key Stage 1 and Reception for a number of years. She joined the White Cliffs team as a Study Support Manager whilst studying with the Open University and has recently completed her teacher training.

During her NQT year this year she will be shadowing Mrs Prettyjohn to support in maths.

Amy enjoys swimming and is a keen triathlete, taking part in many competitions and events.

Mr Warren Uden - Year 2A Class Teacher - B.A.Hons;Primary Education


Warren has been teaching Key Stage 1 at White Cliffs since 2013. He is Director of PE and is also a qualified athletics and squash coach.

Outside of College, Warren enjoys playing football and running.

Miss Robyn Carter - Year 2B Class Teacher - B.A.Ed Hons

Robyn has recently joined White Cliffs as a class teacher after spending nearly 3 years as an Early Years teacher at another school. She has taken on the role of Director of Science, which is a passion of hers after studying Primary Education with a science specialism for 4 years at Plymouth University.

Robyn is excited to start this role as she believes that children should have a wide range of experiences in all subjects, especially science, and that learning wherever possible, should be practical and hands on.

Robyn’s outside interests include going to the gym and reading.

Mr David Stafford - Year 3A Class Teacher - B.A.Hons

Dave has worked with children and young people for 14 years, both as a youth worker and qualified teacher. He is experienced in teaching Year 6, is a County Moderator of writing and has moved to teach Year 3 this year to increase his wider school experience.

  1. His passion lies in helping others, pupils and staff alike, in learning more about themselves and others. He is also leading the College in the development of our Learning for Life curriculum.

Dave enjoys all things musical and has recently taken up cycling.

Mr Nathan Grylls - Year 3B Class Teacher - BSc.Hons;PGCE

Nathan is entering his first year as a class teacher at White Cliffs after previously working as a student teacher at the College last year. He has a keen passion for both science and sports in particular. Nathan holds a degree in Sports Coaching and Science and has been working with children in a sports coaching setting for 6 years. He is excited to continue his journey at White Cliffs.


Nathan enjoys playing and watching sport, football in particular, and is a keen Arsenal fan.

Miss Kayleigh Pitcher - Year 4 Class Teacher - B.A.Hons;PGCE



Kayleigh began her journey at White Cliffs as a Study Support Manager in 2010. With the support of the Federation, Kayleigh qualified as a teacher in 2014. She specialises in Early Years, with a degree in Early Childhood Studies, and has recently taken on the role Director of English.

Kayleigh enjoys going to the gym, winter sports and long walks with her dog.


Mrs Helen Prettyjohn - Year 5 Class Teacher - B.A.Hons

Helen has been teaching at White Cliffs Primary College since 2009, having been a solicitor for 10 years previously. She leads maths and art at the College and loves to explore how subjects can be taught in a cross-curricular way.

Helen gets passionate about stretching children’s vocabulary, reasoning and spoken language and loves to have a classroom full of energy and fun. As part of the College Development Plan, Helen has delivered aspirational middle leadership training and has also overseen the revitalisation of maths teaching and learning to focus on the use of creativity and manipulatives.

Helen has taught in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and is an experienced mentor of students and staff. Outside of College, Helen is a Street Pastor and also trains in Kung Fu.

Mrs Rachel Bagshaw - Year 6 Class Teacher - B.A.Hons; PGCE

Rachel has been employed by the Federation since 2013, delivering interventions firstly as a Teaching Assistant then as a Study Support Manager.

After gaining experience across both Key Stage 1 and 2, Rachel took on the role of Year 3 teacher in 2014 and has gained her QTS via the assessment only route into teaching.

Her studies in fashion promotion and past roles in Visual Merchandising mean that she enjoys delivering lessons with a creative flair, which she believes is fundamental to the children’s development as learners and individuals.

Rachel’s outside interests include visiting local and national art galleries and exhibitions and going to concerts. She is also a keen up-cycler, putting her creative talents to good use transforming retro / vintage furniture.

Miss Charlotte Lavender - School Direct Trainee Teacher Year 6 - BSc.Hons

Charlotte joined the Federation in 2015 as a Study Support Manager in Year 3 and has helped students in their transition from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2. She is currently undergoing her Schools Direct training in Year 6 after receiving her degree in Social Sciences. Her past experience of enabling children to transition across Key Stages scan be transferred into Year 6 where she will help them prepare for secondary school.


Charlotte enjoys running, reading and visiting cities.

Miss Bernice Bourner - Reception A Study Support Manager

Bernice has worked within the Federation for 3 years based in White Cliffs Reception classes, originally as a Teaching Assistant. After 2 years she was promoted to Study Support Manager and became the Speech and Language Specialist for Early Years.

She is looking forward to working back in the classroom, providing beneficial and exciting interventions and working closely with the class teacher to create a stimulating work environment.

She is currently studying Childhood Studies at university with the goal of becoming a teacher.


Bernice’s spare time is taken up with her 3 horses – she is a keen rider and takes part in local horse shows and competitions.

Mrs Tracey Cox - Reception B Teaching Assistant

Tracy joined White Cliffs in 2014 as a volunteer to help Year 1 and 2 children with their reading. In 2015 she became a Teaching Assistant in Year 1, moving to Reception classes in 2016.

She continues this year in Reception and is looking forward to using her creative skills to provide exciting and imaginative learning and interventions.

Tracey also runs the College gardening club, encouraging the children to grow their own vegetables and fruit, from sowing to harvest.

Tracy enjoys spending time with family, crafts and gardening. She is also a section assistant with the local Cubs.

Miss Vikki Pawley - Year 1A Study Support Manager

Vikki has been a Study Support Manager at White Cliffs since 2011. Her area of interest is PE and sports and has qualifications in gymnastics and yoga. She is also a qualified Level 2 football coach and runs several after school clubs. Vikki is an active member of the local community and works voluntarily for Dover Athletic Football Club as their Community Development Manager.


Vikki also enjoys watching scary movies and is a keen supporter of Dover Athletic FC.

Mr Matthew Lund - Year 1A Teaching Assistant - NVQ Level 3 Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in schools.

Matthew joined White Cliffs since 2015, working within our Reception classes where he has gained valuable experience working on a one-to-one basis and also providing support during group and class activities.

Matthew has a great interest in skateboarding and mountain biking and is also an accomplished artist, using acrylic on canvas to paint landscapes.

Miss Imogen Hopgood - Year 1B Study Support Manager - B.A.Hons

Imogen recently joined White Cliffs as a Teaching Assistant and is passionate that every child learns and develops in different ways and at a different pace. She believes that as teachers it is our job to adapt and teach accordingly to each individual child’s needs.


Imogen enjoys dance and Zumba.


Miss Megan Arpin - Year 1B Teaching Assistant

Megan has worked for the Federation since 2015, primarily as a practitioner in Pebbles Nursery specialising in one-to-one support.

Megan has helped to give children access to education whilst working alongside outside agencies.

Whilst developing her background in education, Megan hopes to get her teaching qualification and become a teacher.

Megan has been an Army Reservist for the past year and regularly trains with her unit. She is also an avid reader and enjoys learning new languages.

Mrs Linda Hale - Year 2A Study Support Manager

Linda was born and raised in the Dover area, attending Whitfield Aspen Primary School, where she later ran as Parent Governor for 9 years, and Dover Girls Grammar School where she achieved both O and A levels.

After over 20 years of working in the insurance industry as both a training manager, and specialist claims investigator, Linda joined the White Cliffs team in 2014, progressing to Study Support Manager in Year 2. She is happiest when she sees children growing emotionally into strong, independent young people.


Linda’s interests include Zumba, walking and doing sudoku.

Miss Measha Kirtley - Year 2B Study Support Manager

Measha started at White Cliffs in 2015 as a Study Support Manager. She has previously worked in Years 4 and 5 and is now working in Year 2. She has A levels in Sociology, English and Health and Social Care.

Measha is our Junior Road Safety Officer Co-ordinator, leading our Road Safety Officers in delivering teaching and assemblies to the wider College about how to be safe on the roads. She aims to be a teacher once she has gained a few more years experience within the classroom. As White Cliffs is a recognised partner with Canterbury Christchurch University, Measha hopes to gain her teaching degree there.

Measha’s interests include craft, reading, Zumba and dance fitness.

Mr Darren Elgar - Year 3A Study Support Manager

Darren has worked as a Study Support Manager at White Cliffs since 2009.

He has worked with all year groups over this time and has a particular interest in Special Educational Needs (SEN), phonics and Numicon maths.

Darren is also a Federation First Aid Trainer and is fully qualified in first aid.

A keen cyclist and traveller in his spare time, Darren has spent a year touring Australia and New Zealand, and has cycled to both Norway and Germany and back! He would like to do a cycling tour of Europe.


Mrs Rebekah Sausset-Peel - Year 3B Study Support Manager - B.A.Hons MA

Rebekah has been a Study Support Manager at White Cliffs since 2016. Rebekah’s education and area of interest is in the arts. Having lived in France for the past 15 years, she is a fluent French speaker.


Rebekah’s enjoys family life, walking, reading and loves dogs.


Mrs Fiona Abbott - Year 4 Study Support Manager - B.A.Hons

  1. has been a Learning Support Assistant since 2006 and joined the Federation as a Study Support Manager in 2014. She has since achieved a First Class Honours degree in Childhood Studies, graduating from Christchurch University in January 2017. Her passion is to support children’s development academically in addition to ensuring they attain healthy emotional and social growth.

Married to a Pastor, Fiona is very involved in working with the church and has been a Worship Leader for many years, providing pastoral care across the community. Fiona has a love of singing and music and enjoys being a mum and grandma.


Mr Paul Thompson - Year 5 Study Support Manager - B.A.Hons; PGCE

Paul joined White Cliffs in September 2016 as Year 3 class teacher. Prior to teaching, he worked for British Telecom.

With his educational background in media, Paul is passionate about children having the opportunity to explore different forms of visual mediums to enhance and support their learning in the classroom.

Paul enjoys reading, foreign and independent cinema, and being a husband and father.

Miss Alison Green - Year 6 Study Support Manager

Alison has been a Study Support Manager since March 2009. Throughout this time she has been positioned mainly in Year 6 where she has a passion for providing a tailored education for individuals to prepare them for their Key Stage 2 SATs and their next journey on to secondary school.

Alison is currently studying with the Open University for a Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies, where she hopes to gain a BA Hons in Childhood and Youth Studies.


Alison’s interests include handicrafts and gardening, and she is an active member of the local church.

Miss Clare Hodgson - Speech & Language/First Aid

Born and bred in Dover, Clare attended St. Richard’s RC Primary School and Dover Girls Grammar School. After her daughter was born in 1995, Clare began her career working in various local primary schools as a Teaching Assistant, joining White Cliffs in 2014. Clare works as a Language Support Specialist, working with children who require additional help to achieve their maximum potential. She is also responsible for all first aid within the College, including devising and maintaining Health Care Plans with parents and outside agencies for those children with long-term health needs. Clare is passionate about providing a happy and fulfilled school experience for all children.

Outside of College Clare enjoys spending time with family and watching horror movies.

Ms Susan Watson - PA to Principal and Office Manager

Susan joined the Federation in 2014 as an administrator before taking on the role of Office Manager and PA to the Principal. She is also fully qualified in paediatric and emergency first aid, IOSH Level 1 and is a Fire Warden for the College.

Susan began her career as an interior designer / PA to the Design Director for a London based company, working on many exciting projects. She then went on to become a Director’s PA for an asset management company before joining the Civil Service. After raising her children, Susan joined a local company as PA to the Director where she implemented quality management and environmental management systems, gaining accreditations in both (ISO9001 and ISO14001) and was also instrumental in gaining Health and Safety accreditations for the company.

Throughout her life Susan has also undertaken many voluntary roles, including working with young people, the disabled and in the arts. She has a passion for learning and has studied Environmental Technology, International Development and Law with the Open University, as well as British Sign Language, IT, and Radio, Film and Television.

In her spare time Susan enjoys spending time with family, football, history, politics and reading and is a Practitioner of Krav Maga. She is a lifelong Arsenal fan.

Mrs Alyson Ward - Finance Administrator

Alyson has worked at White Cliffs since September 2007 and has worked in schools for over 20 years, starting as a Learning Support Assistant then Administration. As well as being our Finance / Office Administrator, Alyson is also the Federation Minibus Assessor and is qualified in First Aid.

Previously she worked for Nat West in Dover and as a Foreign Exchange Clerk for Thomas Cook at the Eastern Docks.

Outside of the school gates Alyson is a fair weather kayaker, enjoys exploring Britain and loves to walk.

Miss Helen Seymour - Office Administrator

Helen has worked for the Federation since early 2013, including a brief spell at Astor College.

Prior to joining the Office team, she studied Adult Nursing at Canterbury Christ Church University.

She is fully First Aid trained for White Cliffs.

Outside of College, she enjoys spending time with her two children, walking her dogs and jogging to keep fit.

Mr Phil Mills - Director of Site

Phil is the Director of Site at White Cliffs, having joined the Federation in 2010.

He is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of all the children, staff and visitors on the College site.

Mr Mills also does the Road Crossing Patrol at the beginning and end of each day ensuring all the children can cross safely to and from school.

Outside of College Mr Mills has a daughter and son who he dedicates his time to and a cuddly dog.

Mr Robert Uzzell-Childs - Site Assistant 


Bob joined the Federation as a Site Assistant in July 2016, assisting Mr Mills in his role as Director of Site.

In his spare time Bob enjoys spending time with his family and is an instructor for the local Sea Cadets.

Ms Heidi Matthews - Breakfast Club and Cleaning Team

Heidi joined the Federation as a lunchtime supervisor in April 2012, joining our site team later that year. She has also taken on the role of Breakfast Club Supervisor in 2017.

Outside of College, Heidi enjoys spending time looking after her horses.

Ms Gabby Ingleby - Cleaning Team

Gabby joined the Federation in 2010, becoming a member of our site staff team at White Cliffs.

In her spare time Gabby enjoys gardening and spending time with her grandchildren.