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Drumbeat School & ASD Service

At Drumbeat we are very fortunate to have an eclectic blend of staff with a range of talents, skills, expertise and experience all working together seamlessly to deliver a high quality education for pupils with Autism.

We have a leadership team made up of 6 members:

Executive Headteacher - Marie Neave

Deputy Headteacher - Katie Denton (Downham)

Deputy Headteacher - Denise Gallagher (Brockley)

Sean Richings - School Business Director

Marina Olympidis-Slattery - Assistant Headteacher, Primary

Bryony Bowen - Assistant Headteacher, Secondary

We have a Teaching Team of 23, with each and every one bringing a range of skills and experience to the classroom. Eight of our staff have studied autism and special educational needs at a higher level and hold Masters qualifications in these areas. We also have specialist teachers in English, maths, art, music and PE included in the team.


As a school we employ our own team of Therapists to work integrally across the school with pupils and staff. As a result we have developed a very successful format of trans-disciplinary working where the therapy often takes place in the classroom with staff learning from one another. This in turn means that the impact of the therapeutic approach stays in the classroom long after the therapist has left, having a far-reaching affect.

 Check out our Therapy pages.

We have a strong team of 8 Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) working across the school. They perform a range of key roles, including supporting teaching in classes and leading on delivering specific interventions and subject specific qualifications. HLTAs also lead on supporting and nurturing Teaching Assistants when they are new to the Drumbeat team.

Drumbeat believes that staff are our greatest resource in supporting our children and young people with Autism. As a result we have 53 Teaching Assistants working across the school. All staff receive a robust training program and are encouraged to look for opportunities to expand their own continuing professional development. All staff at Drumbeat are trained and accredited to Level 2 by the Autism Education Trust.

Drumbeat is supported by an Office Team on each site

Drumbeat Downham

  • Sean Richings - School Business Director
  • Sara Gambier - Adminstration Manager
  • Sarah Mays - School Administrator (HR)
  • Nicola Allen - School Administrator
  • Karen Peachey - School Receptionist
  • Hendrina Smith - PA to the Executive Headteacher

Drumbeat Brockley

  • Sean Richings - School Business Director
  • Alison Effah-Mensah - School Administrator
  • Alex Cronin - Outreach Administrator

We have a Premises Officer, Jason Taylor who works closely with the Facilities Management Team at Drumbeat Downham and a Premises Manager, Andrew Porter at Drumbeat Brockley.

In addition to our large school based staff team we also have an Outreach Team working in schools across Lewisham. The team is based at the Drumbeat Downham site and is led by Sonia Gannon, Lead Outreach Teacher. In the Schools Team there are 3 teachers and 3 co-ordinators, in the Early Years Team there is 1 teacher and 2 co-ordinators.

 Check out our Outreach pages.