Skip to content ↓

Key Staff


Leanne Symonds


I was appointed as Headteacher of Ringwood School in 2016. I joined Ringwood from The Purbeck School in Wareham, which was my first headship. Before this I had a career in Gloucestershire having been a Head of Sixth Form, Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher in Cheltenham.

I have been lucky enough to have overseen every aspect of school leadership over my years as a senior leader. I was attracted to Ringwood School because it was a Teaching School which gave an opportunity to work closely with other schools in the area on developing educational provision; Ringwood also had (and continues to have) a fantastic reputation locally and when I had visited I was impressed by the polite and enthusiastic young people that come to school here.

I am committed to working with other schools as we can always improve what we do by working with others. Since 2016 I have become a National Leader of Education (NLE) and have undertaken a range of school improvement work locally. I am also a Trustee of a local Multi Academy Trust.

I feel very proud of Ringwood School and I enjoy all aspects of my job from teaching history to appointing great staff who will inspire our students and help them to achieve their potential.

Clare Adams

Deputy Headteacher

I joined Ringwood School in 2009 after having taught most of my career in the local area. I am an IT and Computer Science teacher by training but have also taught French and Business Studies. As Deputy Headteacher my roles are wide reaching and varied. I have been the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the past 7 years and now have the pleasure of working on Positive Parental Engagement and Attendance. Working at Ringwood School is a huge privilege and one that I’m very proud of. Our young people and staff are a pleasure to work with.

Louise Wornell

Assistant Headteacher

I started teaching French at Ringwood in 1999 and I’m not surprised I’ve stayed so long as this is the most brilliant place to work with fantastic students, teachers and support staff – a large Ringwood family!

I have had varied and interesting roles and am now proud to be Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning. We know that high-quality inclusive teaching has the biggest impact on learning so our aim is to create the most effective learning opportunities for all of our students in order to give them the best chances to learn and be successful.

Rachel Heaver Webb

Assistant Headteacher

After spending the first 13 years of my teaching career teaching English and Media over the border in Dorset, coming to Hampshire in 2011 felt like a big but exciting change! Since being in post as an Assistant Head at Ringwood School, I have had responsibility for assessment, teaching and learning at various different points, and for the last 4 years, for data, assessment and exams. I also teach English at all key stages and still love the times when I am in the classroom with the students. Particularly in the last few years, working with data and exams has continuously presented new and exciting changes and during Covid, challenges and I feel really lucky to work in such a great school with a fantastic senior team and also a brilliant and flexible data and exams team as well.

Michelle Barker-Garrod

Assistant Headteacher

I joined Ringwood school as Head of PE in 2015 having taught in Poole and Gosport previously. I moved into the Senior Leadership Team in 2017 as Assistant Headteacher in charge of the Curriculum & Timetable. This includes planning and implementing the options process at KS4 & KS5 and scheduling the timetable in the best interests of staff and students. I feel privileged to work at Ringwood School and can now add Design Technology and Drama to the subjects I feel confident to teach. I still get that buzz from working alongside enthusiastic colleagues who share my passion for teaching & learning and the joy from seeing our young people blossom and succeed.

Carla Bastow-Hart

Assistant Headteacher

I joined Ringwood School in 2018 as SENCo and teacher of Spanish, having previously been Head of Languages in other local schools. Now, I am Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for SEN and Inclusion and I feel fortunate to have a role that is incredibly wide-ranging, and in which I get to teach and support students who amaze and inspire me every day.

I am proud to work in a school alongside leaders, teachers and support staff who are as passionate and invested as I am in delivering a high-quality education that enables all our students here at Ringwood School to be successful.

Heather Jolly

Assistant Headteacher

I joined Ringwood School in 2012 as a teacher of Physical Education. In 2013 I became Head of Year 11, and I subsequently followed a whole year group through as Head of Year from Year 7 to Year 11, before becoming Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for student behaviour, personal development and welfare in September 2019. My role is incredibly varied day-to-day (I could probably write a book!) and I am very proud to lead the Heads of Year and the wider Guidance and Achievement (G&A) team in the work we do to support students pastorally at Ringwood School.

Andrew Walbrin

Head of Sixth Form

I joined Ringwood School in 2008 having taught in several local schools and in New Zealand. I teach Geography, Travel and Tourism and PSHE. As Director of Sixth Form it is my privilege to work and lead post 16 life at Ringwood.

It is an absolute pleasure working in such a positive environment, working with colleagues to support our young people through their sixth form studies.

Tim Broadhouse

Assistant Headteacher

I joined Ringwood School in 2017 after 15 years of teaching. Living locally and knowing what a fabulous school Ringwood was I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to join such a positive working environment with both students and staff being incredibly friendly and welcoming. As a Geology graduate I am lucky enough to teach that subject to A Level but I also teach Chemistry and Physics. As Assistant Headteacher my roles cover many aspects of school life, from trips and visits to student voice and encouraging participation in our House System and the many clubs on offer. Like others, I feel privileged to work at Ringwood School and can honestly say I love working here!

Richard Sismey

Head of Business & Finance

I joined Ringwood School in 2017 after a career of senior financial roles in large industrial companies. The change has been great! Supported by a happy and committed Finance team, our core role is of course to pay our staff and suppliers, manage money we receive and to meet our other accounting and compliance requirements. Most interesting and rewarding for me is to provide good financial clarity and discipline to facilitate investment to maintain and develop the School as a great place for students and staff, either from our ongoing regular funding sources or through application for additional grants. Recent successes include The Barn, The Stables and our new Food Tech room, as well as toilet refurbishments and annual IT related improvements, implemented by our highly capable Operations Manager and other teams.

Sam Coombes

Operations Manager

I started working at Ringwood School in 2003, and have been Operations Manager since 2020. I oversee all operational aspects in the school including the design, planning and project management of our building and refurbishment projects.

By far the biggest challenge of my career to date was co-ordinating the school’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We were one of the first schools in the country to implement in-school testing for staff and students in an effort to keep students in the classroom during this challenging time. More recently I was proud to be part of the team who bought the visions for "The Barn" to life. A fantastic new assembly hall and performance venue, that in turn has now also provided a wonderful new dedicated eating area “The Stables” for our students.

Ringwood School is a very special place to work with incredible staff and wonderful students. I am an enthusiastic advocate of #TeamRingwood!

Mario Massimino

Head of Year 7 and Induction

I joined Ringwood as a Head of Year in 2012 having taught in Hackney for the first 7 years of my career. I was first appointed as a Head of year in 2008 and have held a range of pastoral roles alongside that since.

I have been undertaking my current role as Head of Year 7 and Induction since 2018. This roles involves working closely with all our local feeder schools and Year 6 teachers to ensure a successful transition period for all students and then supporting them through their first year at the school. It wasn’t always my intention to remain at Ringwood School for so many years but the students, staff and families that I work with here have made it a place that I am proud to be a part of and that I want to continue to contribute to in the future.

It is a great pleasure to teach PE here from Year 7 to Year 13. Whether in lessons, clubs or fixtures our students show a great passion for their sports and always uphold values that make us proud.

Nick Roe

Head of Year 8

I joined Ringwood School having completed my bachelor's degree in Sport and Exercise Science and then a PGCE in Physical Education.

Ringwood School is a place that I take immense personal pride in working, owing to how our students approach each day of learning, uphold our House Values and exemplify the ethos of #TeamRingwood.
In my role as Head of Year I am honoured to work collaboratively with students, staff, parents and carers to provide a learning environment in which our team of devoted educators are able to work to making Ringwood School an environment that each student is able to thrive.

Growing up over the border in Dorset I have always had a passion for sports and led the outdoor lifestyle that living in our region brings and feel incredibly fortunate to be able to instil this same appreciation of sport to our students in my role as a teacher within the Physical Education Department delivering on all aspects of KS3 and 4 and the OCR Sport Studies examination course

Henry Nicholson

Head of Year 9

I started here at Ringwood in 2019 as a teacher of History, after completing my PGCE at Southampton University in 2018 having made the move from busy London down to the coast. I am fortunate enough to teach both KS3 and KS4 History and lead the annual Battlefields trip to Belgium and France with Year 9.

I became a Head of Year first on a part time position, taking on a maternity cover of the then Head of Year 9, taking the year group into Year 10. From this I was able to take on a full-time role of Head of Year and have been incredibly lucky to be the pastoral lead for the current Year 9s. The pastoral role allows me to work closely with both parents and students, and work alongside a fantastic G and A team.

Outside of the classroom, I am a big Football and Cricket fan and have been lucky enough to coach the current Year 9 team for both this season and last season.

Kristian Sheppard

Head of Year 10

I started my career as a science teacher at Ringwood School in 2011. I stayed for a year as temporary cover for a teacher on maternity leave before securing a job at a school in Poole. After 2.5 years there and then 2 years spent travelling, I returned to Ringwood School in January 2017.

Science has always been a great passion of mine and it is a great privilege to be able to share my enthusiasm for my subject and hopefully inspire a love for it in the students who I teach. I was appointed as a Head of Year in 2020, which has been an incredible experience ever since. This pastoral role allows me to work alongside parents / carers and their children in order to support them in all aspects of their school career and beyond. I feel very fortunate to work alongside such dedicated and passionate colleagues and thoroughly enjoy my two roles within the school.

Tom Cooper

Head of Year 11

I started my career as a teacher at Ringwood School in 2012 specialising in French and Spanish. This was mainly due to my love of communicating with people and learning all about different cultures and customs. I have been dedicated to imparting this enthusiasm to students in KS3 and KS4, and have been fortunate enough to run trips to French and Spanish speaking countries.

Within 2 years of starting at Ringwood, I assumed the role of Head of Year – a pastoral role which has afforded me the privilege of meaningful interactions with both students and parents and carers. Currently, I am actively contributing to the seamless transition of students into our thriving Sixth form, aiming to optimise their academic potential.

Naomi Conacher

Head of Year 12

Having completed my English PGCE teacher training in Plymouth, followed by my first year teaching in Basingstoke, I joined Ringwood School in 2013 being drawn back to the forest and the sea.

Since joining the school, I have taken my career down the pastoral route: I began by working with our Young Carers, before joining the G&A team as a Head of Year in the lower school. I stayed in this role for 5 years before taking time off on maternity leave to start my own family. In 2022 I joined the Sixth Form team as Head of Year. I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work so closely with our Sixth Form students, supporting them through this crucial period in their lives.

Chris Neale

Head of Year 13

I started my career in a local New Forest school, leading and teaching Business Studies. I became a Head of Year in 2017 and had the opportunity to oversee year groups in both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. Further to my teaching and Head of Year roles I was able lead the DofE Award and support the Pupil Premium Strategy. In 2022, I was fortunate to join the Ringwood Sixth Form team as Head of Year 12 and teaching Business Studies at GCSE and A-level.

It has been a pleasure to help and support students in the Sixth Form both, in and outside of the classroom. Since starting at Ringwood, I have felt lucky to work with fantastic families & staff to help enrich the lives of our students and to help them in their educational journey.

Vicki Lewis

Deputy SENCo and Head of Personal Development

I joined the SEN department at Ringwood School in September 2000. Working in education was quite a career change for me but I quickly realised how rewarding working with young people is.

I have been a member of the safeguarding team since 2010, a Head of Year for two fantastic year groups and was appointed as Deputy SENCo in 2013. Removing barriers to learning and ensuring all students have fair access to education has always been at the heart of everything I do and
it is now my privilege to be Head of Personal Development which includes the PSHE curriculum. Working in a school that puts student and staff welfare at the centre is definitely why I continue to love working here.