Our Senior Team

Thomas Keaney - CEO and Schools' Proprietor

Thomas Keaney

TCES Group’s Chief Executive and Schools Proprietor, Thomas Keaney, is a Qualified Social Worker with a Post Graduate Diploma in Therapeutic Child Care.  Thomas has 25 years of management experience, both in the public and private sector, including managing Local Authority Children’s Homes with Education, Social Work Recruitment Agencies and a Therapeutic Community. In these management positions Thomas has been responsible for the financial management of the companies as well as the marketing and management of the businesses.

All of Thomas’s management experience is in the field of social work and education services, thus providing TCES Group with the benefits of his extensive and successful management experience. Thomas has been managing TCES Group from its inception as a Social Care Company to its transition into the niche market of education for pupils with special educational needs. The Company has evolved in its focus over the past 15 years from an initial provider of alternative education services to one of the larger providers of Independent School Education in London and the Home Counties.


Debbie Johnston - Group Business Director

Debbie Johnston

Debbie is CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Financial Accountancy) qualified and has a Diploma in School Business Management and a BTEC in HNC Business and Finance.

She has 25 years’ experience in the field of finance, administration and business management. She has previously worked as School Business Manager in a large secondary grammar school and a large maintained primary school. Her experience includes managing all financial aspects within schools and negotiating the procurement of contracts ensuring value for money at all times. She has set up new policies and procedures to streamline and improve efficiency and overseen various property re-builds and refurbishment projects.

Before working in schools Debbie was a lecturer, teaching the CIPFA qualification in higher education and has a Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice. Her previous roles have been in public sector financial management in various local authorities.

As Group Business Director for TCES Group Debbie leads and manages the support functions of the Group. Her key areas of responsibility include Finance (including strategic budget/resource planning and financial reporting); Facilities (including property acquisition and management, contracts and IT) and Human Resources. She is a full member of the Senior Management Team and will contribute to the strategic and business planning and development of TCES.

Peter Finn - Director of Inclusion and Clinical Services

Peter Finn

Peter is a qualified teacher and Group Analyst who works as an independent consultant with expert and specialised interest in consulting to multiagency services for children and young people with complex needs.

He has worked in therapeutic communities to Director level and has experience of leading preparation of family assessments for child care proceedings and as an expert witness to the High Court in civil litigation proceedings. Peter has been a visiting lecturer in therapeutic childcare and psychosocial care to postgraduate level at the Universities of Essex, Middlesex and Exeter.

More recently he has held clinical roles working with young adults at the London School of Economics and at King’s College London. Peter currently holds a position as a senior NHS psychotherapist at the Maudsley Outpatients Psychotherapy service where he provides individual and group psychotherapy to adults in the community.

For the last ten years he has worked as a consultant to services for children and young people who are excluded or at risk of social exclusion. Peter’s research interests and areas of expertise include service user advocacy and peer support; risk management; communication skills training and well-being and positive psychology.

Cheryl Rutter - Head Teacher at Essex Fresh Start School

Cheryl Rutter

Cheryl is both Head Teacher of Essex Fresh Start School and is also a member of  the TCES Group Senior Management Team and School Improvement Team respectively.

As Head Teacher, Cheryl manages Essex Fresh Start School, the largest of the TCES Group schools which has the most pupils across three sites. Cheryl’s role in the Senior Management Team expands upon her invaluable knowledge and expertise across the company in teaching,  learning, assessment and curriculum. Cheryl provides the Senior Management Team with invaluable quality assurance and support across all schools and sites.

Cheryl has previous leadership experience teaching pupils with special educational needs in challenging circumstances  at our East London Independent School.