About Us

St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle.

St. John’s is a non-maintained independent specialist school and independent specialist college, working with young people who have complex learning disabilities including some who may have difficulties resulting from Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC), Asperger’s Syndrome and Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (PDA) and other secondary needs such as hearing/visual impairment and mental health needs where there is already community mental health support. We also have strong expertise in supporting young people with autism who are also experiencing gender identity issues.

Our committed colleagues have high expectations for the students, helping them to achieve outstanding success in their learning and preparation for their young adult lives.

Young people can work with us on a residential, day, full or part time basis, in partnership with other providers, or on a sessional or outreach basis. The choice is yours.

 

Meet the Team

Simon Charleton
CEO
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Liz Dollin
Director of Operations
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Lou Harman
Head of Learner Services
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Karen Grist
Principal
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Fran Pass
Head Teacher
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Miranda Kemp
Communications and Marketing Manager

I joined St. John’s in August 2021. I have worked in communications and marketing for over 30 years, mostly in the voluntary sector, working for Macmillan Cancer Support, Citizens Advice and the National Autistic Society. Most recently, I worked at Sussex Community Foundation which is a Sussex-wide grant-making charity. I am excited about raising the profile of St. John’s, telling the story of the wonderful work the charity does in support of our amazing children and young people.

Angela Dobbs
Senior Education Co-ordinator
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Anthony Carlo
Vice Principal

I am very humbled and honoured to introduce myself as the new vice principal of St. John’s and to join this excellent school community. I can assure you that I share in this school community’s dedication to caring for our learners every day while providing them with a meaningful learning environment.  

My primary role will be leading Teaching and Learning across the College. I firmly believe that every child can exceed and that the cooperation between home and school builds trust and self-esteem in our learners. So, our learners can use their highest potential to shape their future, consequently, the future of our community. With my goal of advancing the culture of excellence here at St. John’s, I am devoted to continually exploring new ideas to meet the needs of all learners and to interact with parents and community members efficiently.   

Stay safe and stay well. 

Warmest Regards, 

 

Anthony Carlo 

Alexandra Harris
Autism Lead, Vice Principal

I joined St. John's as a Learner Support Worker in 2005, and whilst in this role I undertook my Teacher Training qualification at the University of Brighton. St. John’s places a lot of importance on the professional development of its staff team, and I am fortunate to have since worked in a variety of roles at both our school and our college, including a Tutor, a Teacher, a Pathway Leader, Head of Learning for Personal Development, and most recently Vice Principal at the college. I also became an Autism Champion for the education department in 2012. I am now responsible for St. John’s autism training, and I qualified as an Intensive Interaction Coordinator in 2016 and enjoy delivering this course to staff across the organisation.

 

In 2017, St. John’s was awarded Autism Accreditation status by the National Autistic Society. I am very pleased to have been appointed as the organisation’s Autism Lead as of September 2020. In this new role, I am overseeing and working with our Therapy department across our school, college and residential services. Our work is dedicated to providing best autism practice throughout our services, along with our goal of gaining Advanced Autism Accreditation status.

 

In 2018, I began undertaking a Master of Education in Autism at the University of Birmingham. I am now in my final year of this course and have recently commenced my dissertation which is focusing on how we can further promote the voice of autistic people at St. John’s in order to help continue to develop the service and achieve the best outcomes for our learners.

Christina Brown
Residential Care Manager

I joined St. John’s in 2018 have undertaken various roles within the Care Department such as Lead Residential Support Worker, Team Leader, and Deputy Care Manager. Since February 2021, I have been the Care Manager of College View and Preston Drove, two 52-week residential provisions in Brighton which are part of the post-19 service.

I hold a Level 3 Diploma in Lead Adult Care, as well as a BSc in Psychology, and am currently studying for my Level 5 Diploma in Leader in Adult Care.

I’m extremely lucky to be able to work closely with a team of Care Managers who take responsibility for other St. John’s houses across Brighton and Seaford. My primary focus in the houses I manage is to support our young people to be as independent as possible, developing their daily living skills, social skills and communication skills. I am passionate about providing highly person-centred care and am constantly seeking new ways to promote and provide opportunities for our young people, particularly in regards to community access and involvement.

Lia Timmins
Residential Care Manager
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Pam Smith
Residential Care Manager
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Stuart Terry
Deputy Head Teacher
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Jenny Root
SENCo and Teacher
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Robert Bilik, Residential Care Manager - Seaford
Robert Bilik
Residential Care Manager
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Ellie Crosthwaite
Safeguarding Manager & Designated Safeguarding Lead
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Sarah Mole
Occupational Therapy Supervisor
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Lois Lanyon
Learning and Development Manager
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Annie
Pips Class Dog
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Sue Evans
Transitions Co-ordinator, St. John’s School
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Jo Weeks
Transitions Co-ordinator
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Liz Coles, Admissions Manager, St. John’s School and College
Liz Coles
Admissions Manager
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Denise Pettett
Receptionist, St. John’s School
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 
Jennifer Teasdale
Receptionist, St. John’s College
St. John’s School and College is a place where learning is shaped around your hopes and aspirations; where our courses are tailored to meet your goals and where you are supported by a highly skilled staff team who respect your choices and lifestyle. St. John’s 

Trustees

Simon Smith (Chair)   Trustee/Trustee finance/Estates sub-committee
Bill Catchpole  Trustee/Trustee finance/Estates sub-committee
Anna Thatcher  Trustee
Linda McMillan  Trustee
Mary Fawcett  Trustee
Peter Redwood  Trustee/Trustee finance
Karen Nicholls  Trustee/Governor
Nadia Cowdrey  Trustee
Caroline Bell  Trustee

History

Caring for children & young people for nearly 130 years

Children and young people have been cared for at St. John’s for nearly 130 years. The founder, Miss Jane Borradaile, opened St. John’s as a seaside convalescent home in 1886.

Miss Borradaile had been campaigning for over 10 years to open a free institution for the care of the poor and needy from the East and South-East of London. She organised appeals to raise money for the project.

In her first appeal she wrote, “In the first place, I am anxious to make an entirely free home, no weekly payment to be required for any patient”.

In 1956, St. John’s transformed into a school for children with learning disabilities and it has continued to provide the very best in education, care and support to this very day, maintaining the vision of our founder in protecting and helping those most vulnerable in our society.

 

The Timeline

St. John’s has seen the turn of two centuries and is very proud of its heritage and the young people who have been the most important part of it.

  • 1875

    First appeal for funds made by Jane Borradaile

  • 1886

    Secured funds to open St. John's on Walpole Road (where we are to this day!)

  • 1890

    1890 Foundations laid for the chapel (now the performing arts studio)

  • 1918

    1918 Jane Borradaile died, leaving St. John's more than £500 (a lot of money in those days!)

  • 1956

    St. John's becomes a school for children with learning disabilities

  • 1971

    Walpole Road site refurbished

  • 1991

    New classroom block (Sea View) opened

  • 1994

    Further education unit opened to provide for students up to 19 years of age

  • 2001

    St. John's opens the school in Seaford

  • 2007

    Age range at the college extended to 25

  • 2007

    Age range at the College extended to 25

  • 2010

    New chief executive, Mark Hughes arrives and total refurbishment of St. John's begins

  • 2012

    Refurbishment work completed

  • 2013

    St. John's re-brands and launches new website.

  • 2016

    St. John’s celebrated its 130th year with a varied programme of events which culminated in a two day creative arts festival for our young people.

  • 2017

    Simon Charleton appointed as new chief executive.

  • 2018

    Launch of ten new service developments.

  • 2020

    Launch of new strategic plan.

Additional Information: Accounts