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James Allen

Headmaster, Beech Hall School, Macclesfield

An interest in working alongside students with additional needs was sparked originally in the late eighties as James took part in residential PHAB summer weeks whilst still a student at Westminster School.  James has worked in the world of special education since he trained to be a teacher in Exeter in the early nineties, working initially on the pastoral side at The West of England School for the Blind.  Qualifying in 1995, James returned to London to begin working at a school for pupils with severe learning difficulties in Lewisham.  In the ensuing years, James became a leader in the field of inclusive education, developing innovative practices and supporting the inclusion of pupils with learning difficulties and autism in primary and secondary schools throughout Lewisham and its neighbouring boroughs.  During this time, James extended his expertise through research culminating in a Master’s degree in SEN, before gaining the National Professional Qualification for Headship.  

Having moved to take up the position of Director of SEN at Riverston School in 2011, James combined this role with that of Deputy Headmaster, with overall responsibility for the pastoral care of all students at Riverston School.  Developing the expertise and inclusive practice of the staff at Riverston, as well as creating wider opportunities for students with additional needs has been James’s priority during the past four years and the success of these and other initiatives can be seen in the school’s recent ISI Inspection report.  In his spare time, James has an active involvement in Explorer Scouting in Bromley and has led youth camps and expeditions in the UK, Europe and beyond.  James has a deep-rooted belief in the opportunities that can be created for every child through a truly inclusive education system.

James was appointed to the Headship of Beech Hall School in Macclesfield (a Riverston Group school) from September 2015.