Leadership Team 

E. Howard

Emma Howard, Headteacher 

Emma joined Swanwick Hall School in April 2024 as Headteacher. She is determined to ensure that every child leaves Swanwick Hall with the grades they require to go on to their next destination and the personal qualities that will enable them to make an excellent contribution to the world that we share.

Prior to joining the Trust, Emma worked as a Headteacher in a Secondary school in Nottingham. During her time there, she oversaw a massive shift in the culture of the school and secured ‘Good’ in the schools most recent Ofsted inspection. Emma graduated from Coventry University with a degree in Geography and completed her PGCE and Masters in Education at the University of Birmingham.

Emma’s legacy sentence is “She encouraged others to be brave and make the change’.

Shane Worrall, Deputy Headteacher 

Shane gained a degree in Education with Mathematics from Sheffield Hallam University.  He has now worked in five secondary schools in Lincolnshire and Derbyshire, three of which as a senior leader. 

He joined Swanwick Hall School in 2014 and has been responsible for our inclusion provision, leading on Safeguarding, our pastoral system and being the leadership team link for Special Educational needs and Disability since 2019. 

Karen Whitehead, Deputy Headteacher 

Karen gained a degree in German at the University of Hull. After studying for her PGCE at Sheffield University, Karen began her teaching career at Swanwick Hall School in 2001. Fluent in German and Spanish, Karen spent several years leading the Languages Faculty, before joining the Leadership Team in 2018. As Deputy Headteacher for Curriculum, Karen’s responsibilities include leading the design and delivery of a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum for all our students. Karen also oversees the professional development of staff and the induction of new colleagues. Another important aspect of Karen’s role is supporting teachers in the early years of their career though high-quality training and instructional coaching.

Paula Shanahan, Assistant Headteacher 

Paula started her teaching career in 2013, after completing a joint honours degree in Geography and Sport Science at Loughborough University. Part way through her degree, she spent a year living in Sweden as part of the ERASMUS programme, where she spent her time studying master degree level modules in Geography at Lund University. Realising a passion for working with young people, Paula went on to complete her PGCE in geography secondary education at the University of Nottingham. She has spent her career working within the Two Counties Trust, leading a successful geography department, then progressing to become head of humanities in 2016. In 2018, she was successful in her application to become a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) specialising in the geography curriculum and differentiation, supporting schools outside of her own including primary and secondary schools as well as universities. Paula joined Swanwick Hall in 2021 as an assistant headteacher where she is responsible for teaching and learning, in particular the progress of disadvantaged students, literacy, careers and cultural capital. 

Lucy Owen, Assistant Headteacher KS3

Lucy gained a BA (Hons) Degree in French and International Relations from Nottingham Trent University and then a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages from the University of Sheffield. She spent her first two years working as a French and German teacher in a school in Nottingham and gained her Masters in Applied Professional Studies in Education from the University of Sheffield during this time. Since working at Swanwick Hall School as a French and Spanish teacher, she has undertaken the roles of Assistant Student Progress Leader and Student Progress Leader for Key Stage 5, as well as Progress and Achievement Leader for Year 7. She is currently the Progress and Achievement Leader for Year 8 and an Assistant Headteacher within the Inclusion Team. 

Rob Warren, Assistant Headteacher KS4

Rob completed his teaching degree at Nottingham Trent University in 2006, with a specialism in Design and Technology. He joined Swanwick Hall School in 2006 as an NQT, and has remained with us ever since. Through his journey as a teacher at the school he has held a number of responsibilities including Assistant Student Progress Leader for Technology and over the past 6 years as a Progress and Achievement Leader who has worked across all of the year groups within KS3 and KS4. Rob has always been passionate about working within a pastoral and inclusion based role, and outside of this now mainly now teaches Construction and Engineering within Design and Technology. Rob has recently been appointed as Assistant Headteacher within the Inclusion Team.