Meet the Team

Ellern Mede Derby School’s highly qualified staff team provide SEN teaching and support of the highest standard, at a pace and level to suit students who are struggling with mainstream school, for whatever reason.

The teaching and support staff are committed to safeguarding the welfare of students. Teachers are able to focus individual attention on students and, given the smaller class sizes, offer greater support. We take a therapeutic approach, delivering education and excellent results for all our students. We recognise each student’s personal skills, aptitude and learning style. We build on these in order that they may return to their home school, or continue their education with us following their recovery, or with another establishment.

We are a dynamic educational team working together across multiple school sites. We work in partnership with the staff at Ellern Mede Services eating disorder hospitals to bring about real recovery in the lives of the students we serve.


Chris Johnson

Head of Site, Teacher of Humanities

Chris joined the Moorgate school in 2020 as a Geography and History teacher. He has a BA(Hons) in Human Geography and has been teaching in secondary schools for over nine years. Chris enjoys working with young people, and he appreciates how teaching humanities subjects gives him the opportunity to help students explore place and develop their understanding of relevant issues such as climate change, habitat loss and resource management.

Chris lives in Sheffield and likes to spend time with his family (including Bella the Border Collie). He tries to get outside as often as possible and enjoys walking, mountain biking and camping.


Emma Heeley

Teacher of English Literature and Language

Emma has been a teacher of English for 23 years after gaining an English and Literature degree BA (Hons) from Liverpool University. She has taught across the age and ability range in a variety of school settings. Emma has had numerous leadership roles during her career and worked alongside Huddersfield University as a mentor to ITT and PGCE students.

Emma joined Ellern Mede in October 2019. Emma has always been passionate about working with pupils with complex behavioural difficulties; supporting them to develop their confidence, promote positive attitudes towards education and to ensure that they achieve their full potential. Emma has also gained much experience of working with pupils with EAL, SEMH issues, PDA and Autism.

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