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Ed Watkins – Head Teacher

After gaining a degree in Psychology, Ed spent over 20 years working in a wide variety of care and education settings, including managing a respite service for adults with learning disabilities in Doncaster, lecturing in Further Education in Chesterfield and Wakefield and as a middle leader in a local authority special school. During his time as a teacher, he gained a PGCE in FE, his QTS qualification and a Postgraduate Certificate in Autism. He was appointed Deputy Head Teacher in August 2016 and is currently Acting Head Teacher.


Graham Norris – Head of Service

Graham has over 20 years’ experience working in Residential Schools for Children with Autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs and has worked with Options Autism since 2005. Graham has worked in both the voluntary and private sector, qualifying as a social worker in 2003. Graham is responsible for leading the ASC Residential Schools and is the Responsible Individual, ensuring the best possible quality Care and Education is delivered to our vulnerable young people. Prior to Joining Options Barton, Graham was Head of Social Work Services at a National Autistic Society Residential School, where Graham had worked for over ten years.


Joanne Carter – Operations Manager and Registered Manager

Jo has over 20 years’ experience working in schools, children’s homes and community homes for children and young adults with varied complex needs. She has worked with Options Autism since 2014. Jo has worked in both the voluntary and private sector and has an MSc in Health and Social Care and a Registered Manager’s award. Jo’s role at Options Autism is as the ‘Operations (Registered) Manager’. The role includes being the registered manager for the 26 bed children’s home as well as taking responsibility for other operational matters across the whole site. Jo is also part of the senior management team at Barton.


Drew McAnespie – Clinical Lead

After initially working for seven years in mental health nursing, Drew has worked for the last 20 years in Clinical Psychology. He has worked in a wide variety of areas, including CAMHS, Mental Health Personality Disorder and Forensic Psychology. For over two years, he has worked for Options Barton in the capacity of Clinical Lead and Consultant Clinical Psychologist.


Helen Whyte – Administration Manager

Helen has over 20 years’ experience in Contracts Management and administration working in the Social Housing sector for the local authority and the private sector. She worked for North East Lincolnshire Council initially and then moved to the private sector as Partnership Manager to manage various repairs and maintenance contracts for a company named Mears for Shoreline Housing Partnership. She has recently joined Options Barton as Maternity cover for a 12 month period. Responsible for the overall management of recording documentation, reporting and communicating from within the Options Barton team of administrators, she will be ensuring all information is accurate for both the school and care.


Clinical Team

Options Barton’s clinical team is made up of a number of professional roles, all committed to supporting each student within our setting. Collectively our role is to work closely in collaboration with both the residential and teaching staff in order to ensure that each child has the best quality of life, and is in the best position to access their educational curriculum. Roles we have within Options Barton include: Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Assistant Psychology and a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who doubles as our Clinical Lead.

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