↑ Return to About Us

School Leaders

Stephen Passey (Headteacher WNS/JWS)

StephenNoData0065 has worked for Oxfordshire Local Authority for over 25 years. He began his career in a local village Primary and then moved into several promoted teaching positions, taking his first Deputy post in 1996 and remaining in Primary Education until 2004 when he moved into Special Education. After completing his Masters in Education and National Professional Qualification of Headship he worked in several special schools. In 2010, an opportunity to tour special school across New Zealand with national leaders in education inspired him to take on the headship at Bishopswood the following year. He was delighted to  become headteacher of Wheatley Nursery School and John Watson School in September 2013. He is married to a nurse, and has three children who are at school/university. He is a keen musician.


Debbie Ball (Deputy/job share WNS/JWS)

Debbie began her career as a Nursery Nurse. After a few years as a private Nanny, she joined Wheatley Nursery when it opened as a stand alone Integrated Nursery in September 1993. She then completed a work based BEd and became a teacher whilst still working at Wheatley Nursery. Once qualified she worked at Pegasus Primary School before returning to John Watson and Wheatley Nursery in 2004. She taught in KS1 and KS2 and also some time in the secondary department too. She took a job share role with Sue Woodward within the Nursery and then as Deputy of both schools in September 2013. She enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 children and they all enjoy regular holidays in Dorset.



Sue Woodward (Deputy/ job share WNS/JWS)

NoData0096Sue grew up locally and went to Wheatley Park School and has fond memories of John Watson School learners in her lessons. Voluntary work in John Watson whilst in the Sixth form led to a career in SEN teaching. She returned as a teacher in 1996. Since then she has  taught across the school spending several years in KS2. In 2002 she was delighted to be employed by both John Watson and Wheatley Nursery School. She took a job share role with Debbie Ball as Wheatley Nursery School and Primary Deputy in September 2013. Sue has 2 children so is often out and about with them. She enjoys watching cricket at all levels and participating in Garsington Pantomimes, usually playing animals with not too many lines!


 Karen Fourie (Assistant Head JWS)

Karen grew up in sunny South Africa where she studied for a BEd in Early Years and Foundation, taking Psychology  and Childhood Development. Whilst studying she supported Special Needs pupils and this inspired her to move to work in the Special School sector. She came to the UK in 2006, first living in London working at Downsview Special School, as a KS2 teacher. She took up her first post  at John Watson in 2007 as a KS3 teacher,and since then has worked across the full age range. She became Maths Lead and KS2 Leader in 2013. In September 2017 she  was promoted to the post of Assistant Headteacher. She has a teaching commitment and takes the Operational Management responsibility for the Secondary site, as well as being Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and an Associate Governor. She enjoys singing and spending time with her young family.


Rachel Forsyth (Interim School Business Manager WNS/JWS)

Rachel F

Rachel began working at John Watson and Wheatley Nursery Schools in 2014 and is currently employed in the position of Interim School Business Manager. She is also currently a Staff Governor at John Watson School and a Parent Governor at a local primary school. Prior to working here she held a number of education and other roles including for a time running her own equestrian business. While no longer working in this area she still has an interest in all things equestrian and the great outdoors generally, often going offroading in the family Land Rover. She also has two children attending local schools, one at primary and the other at secondary.




Jennie Eyles (Reception& KS1 Teacher / Senior Management Team – KS1 & English Lead JWS)

NoData0004Following her BSc in Psychology, 2001, Jennie worked as a TA supporting a child on the Autistic Spectrum in St Helens. She then worked as a manager at a Preschool in St Helens before moving to Oxfordshire to complete her Post Graduate Certificate in Education in 2004. Jennie worked as a mainstream Foundation Stage Teacher in Littlemore before moving to John Watson School where she has taught in KS1 and 2. In 2013 she took up the role of SENCO for John Watson School and more recently has moved back into a teaching role covering Jo McGill’s maternity leave as Key Stage 1 and English lead. In her spare time Jennie looks after her two young children both of which have attended Wheatley Nursery school with her youngest being one of the first at Little Windmills.



Alex Wilson (Teacher/ Senior Management Team – KS3 Science / Computing Lead JWS)

WilsonAlex completed a business studies degree before starting work as a teaching assistant at the school in 1992. He qualified as a teacher while working at the school in 1995 and achieved a postgraduate diploma in Special Education from Westminster College under the tutelage of Barry Carpenter. Alex has taught classes from KS1 through to KS4 in his time at the school and specialises in computing and using technology.  Alex had a short break from Special Education in 2003 working as a peripatetic percussion teacher for the County Music Service before returning to John Watson School in 2005. Alex has expertise in Team-Teach and has responsibility for Computing, E-Safety, Team-Teach training and is KS3 leader. In his spare time Alex is a full-time taxi service for his children’s sporting hobbies, and when allowed time-off is a keen mountain biker and road cyclist, photographer and musician.


Kevin Larsen (Teacher/ Senior Management Team – Sixth Form 14-19 Lead JWS)

Most of Kevin’s career has been spent working in day and residential special schools. He has been involved in school leadership since 2002 and has had two Headship roles, the most recently being at Chilworth House Upper School. He has worked for two Local Authorities an independent charitable trust and for the Witherslack Group of Special Schools and Children Homes. He gained a Bachelor of Education in Special Needs in 1982, a Master of Arts in Special Education in 1992 and a Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Management in 1999. Since coming out of Headship in September 2014 he has worked as a Consultant in School Improvement and Inspection and for the Virtual School whilst it underwent a management restructure. He became the Lead Educationist within the Oxfordshire MASH in June 2015, before joining John Watson School in January 2017. Since then he has been further developing the Sixth Form, with a particular focus on planning and assessment practices linked to different forms of accreditation. He has two teenage daughters who are both studying at Matthew Arnold School.