Our School Team

Nikki Teague


NNEB, PGCE, BEd HONs Degree, Masters in Education

Hello my name is Nikki. I began my career at Battledown as their first NQT and have since worked across school in different classes and obtained my Masters whilst working. I have been a  member of the Senior Leadership team and I am now Interim Head teacher. A position which I never imagined I would accomplish, but it is a challenging and rewarding role, that is made possible by the great team I have behind me supporting me all the way.

Seeing the school develop and the children enjoying the wonderful facilities we have is amazing, no day is the same and the Battledown family ethos is something I am very proud to be part of.

Sarah Moran

Class Teacher – Orange
Subject Coordinator for PHSE


Hello, I’m Sarah and I am a part time teacher.  I have a BA hons degree in English and Drama and PGCE degree.  Previously a parent and parent governor at Battledown, I was delighted to get the opportunity to join the teaching team in September 2005.  I feel very privileged over the years to have worked and continue to work with such wonderful children and their families and with such a dedicated and supportive staff. Every year at Battledown has been new and exciting as is every day!

Leah Vellam-Steptoe

Assistant Headteacher
Green Class Teacher
Subject Coordinator for Physical Development

BSc (Hons) Psychology, PGCE Primary

Hello everyone, I’m Leah. Although I have not been at Battledown long, I have been in special educational needs since I left University. I have taught for over 7 years, starting as a NQT at Frank Wise School, Oxfordshire (SEN School). I absolutely love working with the children and their families, it is extremely rewarding and I love the challenges it brings day to day. I am excited to be a part of the Battledown team as it continues to develop and grow.

Carissa Palmer-Little

Class Teacher – Panda’s
Subject Coordinator for Communication, Language and Literacy

BA (Hons) PGCE

Hi, I’m Carissa, I am Class Teacher and Key Stage 1 Lead Teacher. I have been working at Battledown since September 2020. I have been working with children with special educational needs for almost 20 years in a number of roles. I love being able to inspire and motivate the pupils I teach, seeing them develop and achieve their potential.

Emma Willmore

Orange Class Teacher 
Subject Coordinator for Expressive Arts and Design

BEd (Hons)

​Hi, I’m Emma. I am a Part time teacher and the designated teacher for Looked After and Previously Looked After Children. My first experience of Battledown was as a volunteer in 1994. I really felt I had found my ‘niche’ and from there went on to train as a teacher. In 2015, after working at schools in Gloucester and later at a local playgroup, I returned to Battledown on Supply. A year later I was delighted to be offered a teaching post for a job share in Orange Class. Everyday at Battledown brings new and exciting challenges, it is totally exhausting but immensely rewarding! It is a privilege to be part of the Battledown family, working alongside a fantastic team for the benefit of our inspirational children and their families.

Fran Bellotti

Purple Class Teacher 
Subject Coordinator for Maths


My name is Fran and I started at Battledown for my NQT year in January 2019.

Jo Doyle

Blue Class Teacher
Subject Coordinator for Understanding of the World

BEd HONs Degree, Masters in Education

My name is Jo and I have worked at Battledown as a Teacher since 2001.  

Jane Davis

Safeguarding & Premises Administrator


My name is Jane, I am married with two boys and I have been involved with Battledown since 2001, starting as parent, BFG chair for 3 years and then working on the Admin team. My current role is a Continuous Improvement & Communications Coordinator. I feel very passionate about the school and what support it offers children and families. My outlook in life has changed considerably during my Battledown journey, I feel very privileged from what the school has given me during my time here both as a parent and member of staff.

Pauline Phillips



Hi, I’m Pauline I am a HLTA and Deputy DSL. I have worked at Battledown since 2007. Prior to this and after qualifying in 1997 I have worked with children in both mainstream schools and nurseries. I have gained a great deal of experience in special needs since working at Battledown and I’m lucky to be part of such a wonderful team. The children are inspiring and make each day fun and rewarding. I have a background in art and design and so I really enjoy all things creative especially seeing what the children can create at school.

Nikki Baker

Specialist Early Years Practitioner

Diploma of Higher Education

My name is Nikki Baker and I am a Specialist Early Years Practitioner at Battledown.  I have been involved with Battledown since 2008 when I became a volunteer.  Prior to volunteering I had taken a break from my teacher training course to have my third child.   Battledown was an amazing discovery for me full of caring, opportunities and learning. I soon found myself as part of the supply team and then a member of staff.  I now work part time supporting children’s communication outcomes across all classes.  Building trusting relationships with children and helping them achieve their goals is an incredibly rewarding job.

Helen Tharia

Early Years Practitioner


Hello, I’m Helen and I am an Early Years Practitioner. I have worked at Battledown for many years and during my time here I have had a lot of experience working with children with a wide variety of special needs. I really enjoy being with the children and working with such a great team here at Battledown. My role is fun, inspiring and rewarding. I am the horse riding coordinator.

Debbie Benton

Finance & Staffing Administrator

Hi, I’m Debbie and work in Finance and HR, I have been at Battledown since April 2007. I previously worked in the Private Sector as a “change’ consultant. Everyday at Battledown is a challenge and very rewarding. Being part of such a great team ,that everyday gives it everything in order that our children can continue to learn and have fun, is very inspiring.

Caroline Tharia

Early Years Practitioner

Level 3 Diploma Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

Hi, I’m Caroline and I have been working as an Early Years Practitioner at Battledown since 2014. I started my Battledown journey as a member of supply staff whilst studying for my law degree. It didn’t take me long to have a complete change of career plans – Battledown is such a special place and I knew I wanted to stay! I graduated two years later, and was thrilled to accept a permanent position at the school. I soon went back to education to complete my Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools. I love working with the children and their families, as well as the amazing Battledown team – my job is rewarding, inspiring and lots of fun!

Sarah Bell

Family Worker

My name is Sarah Bell and I am the Family Worker. My younger son was a pupil at Battledown so I know how valuable support and understanding is when you have a child with additional needs.   In Early Years, when you are making sense of everything, finding your way and have a lot of questions, I can listen and signpost to services and support which might help you.  I believe parent carers are stronger together and a big part of my role is to create opportunities for families to get together and build friendships which continue long after the children leave Battledown.
In my spare time I like to try a variety of creative projects and activities with varying degrees of success! 

Karen Cooke

Yellow Class Teacher 
Subject Coordinator for Forest School

NNEB,ADCE, HLTA, BTEC Forest School Leader, RSH Diploma

Hi, I’m Karen. I am a class teacher and Forest School Lead. I have worked in child care since qualifying in 1986. My eldest child benefitted from attending Battledown and I joined the staff team in September 2005 as a TA.   Since joining Battledown I have qualified as a Forest School Leader and have undertaken courses on PECS, Total Communication, Portage and Behaviour Management. I thoroughly enjoy working with our children and being able to make a difference to them and their families.

Ali Holtom

Early Years Practitioner


Hi, I’m Ali. I started as a volunteer at Battledown in 2008. I soon went on to do supply work and become a full time Early Years Practitioner.  I am a qualified Nursery Nurse and was a nanny (special needs and mainstream) for many years before I had my own family.  I love my work at Battledown. I am so grateful to work with  such an amazing team and with such inspirational children and families.  I am constantly learning new skills as every day brings new challenges.  Each day is full special achievements and always lots of fun. I am always busy and the days go so quickly, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Sue Douglass

Speech and Language Therapist

B.MedSci(speech) Hons

Hello, I’m Sue and I am a Speech and Language Therapist. I am employed by Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust and I am a registered member of the Health Professionals Council and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. My role is to identify needs and help develop the skills of parents/carers and education colleagues who support the child in their every-day environment. This ensures that therapy becomes part of the child’s daily life. .

Zoe Hadden

Elephant’s Class Teacher 
Subject Coordinator for Sensory

BA (Hons), PGCE

Hello! I am Zoë, I am a class teacher and I started at Battledown in September 2020. I have been teaching for over 20 years, working with children in both Mainstream and Special school settings. I am so excited to join the wonderful Battledown team, to bring my skills and experience and work with all the amazing children who attend the school.

Georgia Thomas

Early Years Practitioner

Hello my name is Georgia. I started working as an apprentice in 2015. Throughout the last 6 years I have worked across all of the classes in school. 


Louise Sherlock

Learning Support Worker

Supporting Teaching and Learning Level 2 and 3

Hello my name is Louise and I am a learning support worker. I have worked at Battledown since January 2020, starting as supply, before moving to a permanent role. I really enjoy working at Battledown and working with a great team.

Cristina Muntean


QTS and Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

Hello my name is Cristina, and I am proud to be part of the Battledown team as an HLTA. I have been working as a Special Education Needs teacher for almost 9 years and before that as a mainstream teacher. I am fortunate and blessed to be teaching in an amazing school that has a nurturing, loving environment where children can learn and experience new challenges that will help build their confidence while they play. I look forward to continuing to have a positive impact on the children’s growth and to new discoveries with an amazing team of teachers.

Sarah Broderick

Early Years Practitioner

B-Ed (Hons

Hello my name is Sarah. I spent many years working and travelling abroad before settling back in England and working in mainstream settings. I first began volunteering at Battledown in 2016 and then in September 2017 I began working as an early years practitioner part time. No two days are ever the same, I work with an amazing team and fantastic children. It is sometimes challenging but always fulfilling.

Toby Jones

Admin Apprentice

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business Studies

Hello my name is Toby. I have been involved with Battledown since September 2001 starting out as a pupil in Green Class for 3 years with Nikki Teague as my teacher. Although I had left the school as a pupil, I still came back to assist with BFG events. I returned to the school as a volunteer in June 2016 as I wanted to give back to the amazing school that has helped me so much and I have been here ever since. Working as an admin apprentice is varied, challenging and rewarding. I am very lucky and proud to be part of the wonderful team at Battledown and to be able to see and hear about the progress the children in school are making.

Holly Prince

School Administrator

Hello my name is Holly. I work on reception. I maintain the children’s records, liaise with parents and professionals, and organise EHCP review meetings. 

Carla Finneran

Early Years Practitioner

Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Autism

Hello my name is Carla. I joined Battledown in 2019. I thoroughly enjoy my role within the school. I feel I have gained a considerable amount of knowledge which has been invaluable to me. Watching the children grow and develop has to be one of the best parts of my job role. I feel lucky to be part of the Battledown team.

Katie Medhurst

Early Years Practitioner

Hello my name is Katie and I am a part-time Early Years Practitioner. I started volunteering at Battledown in September 2012 and then worked as a supply EYP. It wasn’t long before I became a permanent part-time member of the team. I am a qualified Occupational Therapist and worked in the NHS before having my own children, so it has been great to draw on my previous experience when working with our amazing children at Battledown. I feel privileged to work within such a committed team, and absolutely love working with our inspirational children and their families. No two days at Battledown are alike! Each day brings lots of fun and new challenges so there is never any time to get bored!

Sue Birch

Midday Supervisor


Hi my name is Sue and I’m a lunchtime supervisor and have worked at Battledown since September 2020. I trained as a nursery nurse but had different job as well working with adults with learning disabilities.  Before l came to Battledown l was previously a Lunchtime supervisor in a mainstream school doing a one to one with a child with learning disabilities. I joined Battledown as l would like to work in special needs education as l find it rewarding whilst working as a lunchtime supervisor and everyday is different

Tracey Cadogan


Hello my name is Tracey. I joined the cleaning team in September 2020, and usually clean Elephants and Pandas. I also clean the reception area and sensory room. I really like how the school includes all the staff in it’s organisation. As well as working at the school, I am also a trained artist, and sell my own ranges of greetings cards, and original paintings. I also paint murals, and completed a commission for Priors Park community church in Tewkesbury at the start of 2020. I am also in Gloucestershire Dyslexic association, and run a local art group.

Sally Bradley

Early Years Practitioner

Hello my name is Sally and I have been working at Battledown since 2010. I previously worked for many years as a registered nurse and became involved with Battledown when my son was attending. I work part time in class and also support ‘Stay and Play’ sessions for families and very young children offering them support and opportunities to meet with others in similar situations. I enjoy my role and it is a privilege being with the children and their families.

Jess O’Hare

Early Years Practitioner

Hi, I am Jess and I am an early years practitioner. I have worked at Battledown since October 2019. I started off being a volunteer in the school and then was able to take a full time EYP position. I love being part of the Battledown family especially since my youngest child started school this then meant I was able to join the team full time! One of the best things is that no two days are the same and I am always kept on my toes, learning new skills every day. I have found it incredibly rewarding being able to work with such inspiring children and staff.

Angela Summerfield

Learning Support Worker

Level 3 Children and Young People’s Workforce

Hello my name is Angela and I am a learning support worker. I’ve been working at Battledown since Oct 2020 and I’m really enjoying it, learning new things everyday just like the children and the staff have made me feel very welcomed. Before Battledown I worked in a mainstream school for about 6 years and a playgroup for 4 years before that gaining lots of qualifications on my way such as, level 2/ 3 in children and young people’s workforce, Sendco training, autism awareness, First aid, safeguarding and many more. I’m always wanting to extend my knowledge and I know Battledown is a great place for me to do this.

Reina Wood

Early Years Practitioner

BTEC National Diploma in Early Years

Hello I’m Reina. I’ve been working at Battledown since November 2019. I am enjoying working here with all the lovely children and very kind and caring co-workers.

Julie Dobbs

Learning Support Worker

NVQ Level 3

Hello my name is Julie. I started working with children in 2000 as a childminder. After 12 years, I went into nurseries, where I worked up to deputy manager but I decided to work in schools as a SEN 1:1 teaching assistant. I joined Battledown in September 2020 and I am really enjoying the diversity of each day.

Sharde Moxey

Early Years Practitioner Apprentice

Hi I’m Sharde, I joined Battledown as an apprentice in September 2020. Since then I have gained lots of knowledge and experience so far, and I can’t wait to continue to do so.  My younger brother attended Battledown so it was very exciting to start working here. I enjoy working with my team and the children at Battledown.

David Wright

Learning Support Worker

Hi, I’m David, I am a Learning Support Worker. I first worked at Battledown between 2008 and 2012, then continued to work with many of our children at Bettridge School. Completing the circle, I returned to Battledown in September 2020 and it has been absolutely lovely to be so welcomed back. I love and consider it a privilege to work with special needs children and their families and look forward to doing this for the remainder of my career

Kellie Evans

Learning Support Worker

NVQ Level 2

Hello my name is Kellie. My daughter attended Battledown Centre for 7 years which she absolutely loved & thrived in this wonderful school. I also volunteered for 2 years as I found it helped to develop my own skills & passion for doing support work. I was also employed as a lunch time supervisor for 8 months but I wanted a more hands on role. So then went on to work for 3 years in a specialist college & gained my NVQ level 2 in health and social care. Its only recently that I returned to this great school. I’m happy to be apart of this amazing team as a Learner support Worker & look forward to meeting some incredible pupils & families.

Sue Ireland

Midday Supervisor

Hello my name is Sue and I am a midday supervisor. I have worked at Battledown since November 2007. I love my job and working with the children. Being able to see the children grow and develop in and out of the classroom environment is rewarding. I love being a part of the Battledown team and working with each and everyone.

Battledown Centre for Children & Families. Harp Hill, Cheltenham GL52 6PZ Tel: 01242 525472 • Fax: 01242 257557

Battledown Centre for Children & Families. Harp Hill, Cheltenham GL52 6PZ Tel: 01242 525472 • Fax: 01242 257557