Our Patron and Senior Team
We have extensive expertise within our Senior Team and Board of Governors, who are dedicated to transforming the lives of neurodiverse children and young people.
Dame Esther Rantzen — Our Patron
Dame Esther Rantzen, Founder of Childline and presenter of the UK’s iconic TV programme ‘That’s Life’ became our patron in 2019 to help raise awareness of how specialist therapeutic education for children and young people can positively transform their lives.
“I’m delighted to be Patron of TCES and to champion these young people. I have seen first-hand how this unique formula for therapeutic education can work — how the positive environments and supportive staff team help children to build trust and respect.” — Dame Esther Rantzen.
Click on the buttons below to meet our dedicated Senior Team, Non-Executive Directors and Governors.
Thomas Keaney - CEO and schools' proprietor
TCES Founder and Chief Executive, Thomas Keaney, is a Qualified Social Worker with a Post Graduate Diploma in Therapeutic Child Care. He has 30 years' of management experience in adult and children’s services, both in the public and private sector in London and New York.
Thomas has managed TCES from its inception in November 1999 as a Social Care company, to its transition into the niche market of therapeutic education for pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs and/or an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). The company has evolved in its focus over the past 20 years from an initial provider of alternative education services to one of the larger providers of Independent Schools’ education in London.
Thomas says: "TCES has inclusion at its heart through a number of unique focusses: Therapeutic education, Group process, Pupil leadership and L.I.F.E programme, the Arts, Pupil and Parent voice and participation and all delivered within the context of clear community values. The TCES way is to deliver these focusses in the most forensic and dedicated way possible to ensure the best outcomes for children and young people. Future focusses will include our Integrated, Systemic, Milieu Therapy (ISMT), our Step-down programme, our National Online School division, our pupil entrants to employees programme, an intensive focus on family support and a focus on Care Experienced pupils.”
Thomas was shortlisted for the ‘Lifetime Achiever’ National Diversity Award in September 2019 and In October 2019, Thomas was awarded the ‘SEND Leader of the Year’ by Nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs).
Nick Martin — Head of Finance
Nick is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has over 20 years of experience in Senior Management roles of growing SME’s, including developing and delivering strategy, running finance functions and business partnering.
His experience covers a broad range of sectors, including audit, engineering and, more recently, welfare to work. Having seen the dedication of front line staff in helping vulnerable people in the welfare to work sector, he decided to work in organisations with more of a social focus. This led to him joining TCES in May 2018, where he helped the schools and services become more commercially and financially aware, as well as running the finance, facilities and IT functions.
He is also a Trustee for 2 local charities: ‘The Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation’, who support young people to make safe choices about drugs and alcohol, and ‘Sutton Schools Work’, whose aims are to increase the knowledge and understanding of the Christian Faith, and support students in their social, moral and spiritual development.
Melissa Dunn - director of people, culture & performance
Melissa joined TCES in 2023 bringing almost 20 years’ experience within People/HR functions, 17 of which working within mainstream education, specialist SEN and Health.
Melissa has a deep commitment to workforce development through transparent leadership and strong governance. Supporting managers and key stakeholders to set priorities, drive values, deliver results, and maintain high standards in people-related processes.
Staff voice and well-being are Melissa’s passion, where she takes a solution-focused approach to working with stakeholders to create a positive and stable working environment whilst supporting ongoing success and growth.
Also, a Trustee for a local charity providing advice to the board and supporting the development and drive of all HR related priorities.
Matthew tighe - commercial director
Matt has worked in international education for thirteen years, running academic programmes for junior students from all over the world. The majority of this time was as MD of an internationally renowned short-course provider within large, privately owned education groups for one of the largest groups of international schools in the world. More recently, he has also worked at board level within a start-up online tuition company.
Throughout his career, Matt has always carefully balanced successful commercial growth with educational values and outcomes for students, always prioritising the best educational experience possible, and leading to a global industry award for academic provision in 2019.
He also volunteers as a co-opted governor for a primary school in Greenwich, which recently received an Outstanding rating.
KAtrina medley - executive headteacher
Katrina has a wealth of experience and expertise in education and special educational needs and is passionate about supporting pupils to achieve their full potential.
As a qualified social worker, Katrina’s passion for SEND began in 2009 when she was part of the Government’s ‘Troubled Families Programme’, where she provided support to schools across the borough that were struggling to meet the needs of children and young people, often affiliated with local gangs and those whose attendance was significantly below average.
Katrina originally joined TCES in 2014 as Inclusion Manager at the TCES North West London school where she worked for five years, working her way up to Headteacher, embedding the TCES Vision and Core Values by creating a culture of high expectations for all, leading by example and working collaboratively with pupils and their parents and carers and staff.
During this time, her drive for ‘Authentic Real Inclusion’ led Katrina to begin TCES Groups first Parent Group, an initiative which is still going strong today.
Since leaving TCES in 2019, Katrina has gone on to hold senior leadership roles within Primary and Secondary schools and in Local Authority SEND services before re-joining TCES in February 2023 as Executive Head.
Krishna purhboo - Interim executive headteacher
Krishna joined TCES in September 2023, as Interim Executive Headteacher and, with over 17 years’ experience leading Alternative Provision and Special Schools, brings with him significant operational knowledge of multi-site provision for vulnerable children and young people with complex SEMH needs. Krishna’s passion is for exceptional holistic and therapeutic educational provision for learners who have struggled to access the mainstream.
Appointed to headship in 2006, Krishna’s more recent roles have included Executive Principal for an Alternative Provision MAT and Education Operations Director for an independent provider.
Marva Rollins - Non-Executive Director for Education
Marva Rollins retired as Executive Headteacher in August 2019 after almost 25 years of leading two primary schools in inner city London boroughs, and continues to work as the Director of Rollins Education Consultancy Ltd. which aims to support and strengthen leadership in schools. Marva is also a trustee of the Success Club, a charity that works on motivation and mindfulness, and a patron of The Reach Society, a social enterprise that works to inspire young black people. She is a governor of three schools, including two for pupils with neurodiverse identities.
She is the recipient of an honorary degree from the College of Teachers, a Windrush Education Champions, a Barbados government 50th Independence Award and, was awarded an OBE for her contribution to education in January 2017. In 2009 the Evening Standard named her one of the 1000 most influential people in London, and in 2011 she was featured in the Metro’s top 50 Black Heroes.
For over 25 years, Marva has played a key role in increasing the percentage of BAME leaders in education through co-writing and leading a series of national programmes through the National College, the Institute of Education and other organisations.
John Diamond - Non-Executive Director for Integrated Therapeutic Milieu
John is the former CEO of the Mulberry Bush Organisation and his career has focused on residential therapeutic community work with children and young people.
John has published and lectured on his work in the UK and internationally. He is Chair of the Dartington Centre for Social Policy, Chair of the International Centre for Therapeutic Care and a Trustee of The Consortium for Therapeutic Communities.
John trained in group work at the IGA, Tavistock and with OPUS and has an MA in ‘Therapeutic Child Care’ (Reading University) and in ‘Consultation and the Organisation; Psychoanalytic Approaches’ (Tavistock and UEL).
Nick Pratt - chair of governors
Nick is a qualified Social Worker and has worked in statutory child protection for over 20 years. He has managed LADO Services across a number of Local Authorities and is a coordinator for the London Region and National LADO Networks. He is the co-founder and Director of the Independent Safeguarding Service, a Community Interest Company specialising in safeguarding policy and training provision across the UK. He has worked closely with a number of Safeguarding Partnerships, including authoring Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews.
His extensive consultancy experience supporting early years settings, schools, the NHS, faith settings, third sector, Premier League football and numerous private sector organisations has developed a passion for organisational safeguarding, which he brings to his role as Governor for TCES, which he describes as the 'most innovative and inclusive education solution in the country'.
David Young - Education Governor
David Young has more than 30 years’ experience as a qualified teacher, working in secondary schools in London, Wiltshire and Luton. He also led a successful secondary school as headteacher for five years before moving on to the role of Head of School Improvement Services for a local authority. David combines a passion for ensuring that each individual pupil has equal access to the full breadth and depth of the school curriculum, together with opportunities to build teamwork and independence through outdoor activities including sports and camping.
David trained as an Ofsted inspector while working for a local authority and has extensive experience of leading school inspections in maintained secondary schools and independent special schools. David took on leadership roles in managing educational projects for the DfE, including the oversight of Ofsted inspection services in independent special schools nationally, while working for Cambridge Education. His inspection work developed a particular emphasis on work with pupils with social, emotional, and mental health needs and/or an Autism Spectrum Condition. This work first brought David into contact with the inspirational and unique educational services of TCES. David has worked for the past ten years as an educational leadership consultant with individual special schools and national groups providing education and care services for young people.
kirstie Harvey - safeguarding governor
Kirstie is the Head of Inclusion and Safeguarding and has experience of strategic and operational, education safeguarding improvement. Kirstie has experience of the development of effective organisational cultures, systems, and processes and a wealth of consultancy experience. She is an experienced trainer for a variety of sectors including, Faith, Education, Private Organisations and Youth Services.
Kirstie is passionate about delivering an inclusive, progressive education and brings to TCES an intrinsic passion to ensure pupils thrive.
A Governor for safeguarding, who is an experienced head of safeguarding who has led teams within different educational sectors, and an experienced safeguarding consultant and trainer.