Who's Who

For GANF's Local Governing Body click here... 

James Ellis

Headteacher of Ambergate

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Stela Plamenova

Headteacher of Sandon

Palmenova Stela


I have worked at GANF since 2009.  I initially taught at Sandon and then over the years I have had the pleasure of teaching across most age ranges and abilities within the Fellowship.

I have a degree in History but my passion is working with pupils who have additional needs.  I feel very strongly about offering a balanced education for all, regardless of ability. 

As part of my role I provide support and challenge to the leadership teams across GANF to ensure we maintain an exceptional offer for all of our students. 

I have been designated as a Local Leader in Education (LLE) and as part of this role I support both mainstream and specialist schools in developing their provision to ensure the best outcomes for all.

Outside of work I enjoy taking part in extreme runs for charity and spending time with my family and friends.  

I was born and raised in Bulgaria.

I received my primary education at a Russian Language Grammar School until the age of 12, and then I moved to an English Language Secondary School.

I  hold a Master’s degree in Special Pedagogy and two further professional development certificates in Autism from the University of Cambridge.

I have worked in special education since 2003, starting as a class teacher and then progressing into senior leadership.

I have held senior leadership positions since 2010 with a particular focus on teaching and learning, project management and staff development.





 Ashley Caress

Deputy Headteacher of Ambergate


Sara Ellis

Assistant Headteacher of Sandon

Sara Ellis



I have had the privilege of working for GANF since 2013. During this time I have experienced teaching across both schools, but predominantly I have been based at Ambergate. My subject specialism is PE and I studied this at the University of Northampton, gaining a BA (Hons).

I became Deputy Headteacher in June 2018 and my main responsibility is the day-to-day running of Ambergate. As part of this role I lead on staff and pupil timetables, absence management, health and safety and work closely with other leaders in regard to their role. I am a Specialist Leader of Education in conjunction with our teaching school (LEARN). I feel very passionate about providing a safe, happy and inclusive school environment where pupils can succeed at all levels through personalised learning.

Outside of school I enjoy playing lawn bowls and I am very proud to have represented my country in the sport.

I have worked for the Organisation since 2002 working firstly at Ambergate before moving across to Sandon School.

I have a BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Studies in Education as well as a P.G.C.E for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, which focuses on teaching Post 16 Students. I have studied Autism through Sheffield Hallam University and have more recently completed the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL).

Within my role as Assistant Headteacher I am involved in assisting with the everyday running of Sandon School. I am also in charge of attainment and pupil progress as well as Enrichment Lead across GANF.



 Alison Redfern

Assistant Headteacher of Ambergate/Senco

Alison Redfern

I graduated from Worcester University with a BA(Hons) in English Literature and then went onto gain my PGCE from Nottingham Trent University.

I have worked in special educational needs all of my career and I started at Ambergate in 2013. Whilst being at Ambergate, I have taught across all of the four key stages and for the past two years my teaching commitments have been with the GCSE group.

During my time at Ambergate, I have gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Education - Addressing Difficulties in Literacy Development. This allows me to conduct a number of formal assessments and submit the required applications that allow the appropriate exam access arrangements to be put in place for individual students.

In February 2018, I obtained the National Award for SEN Coordination from Nottingham Trent University. My role as SENCO involves me conducting annual EHCP reviews for all of our students and liaising with a range of agencies to ensure that the appropriate level of support is provided.

In March 2019 I became a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) with the LEARN Teaching School Alliance. Last year I undertook the role of Specialist Partner in the LENS project which was a focussed school improvement programme whose main target was to improve outcomes for pupils with SEND in mainstream schools.

Vicky Chapman

Assistant Headteacher of Ambergate

Vicky Chapman

I have worked at GANF since 2013. I studied at Bishop Grosseteste University, where I obtained a (BA Hons) Primary Education with QTS degree.

I have had the pleasure of teaching both lower and upper school pupils at Ambergate, which has supported me with my role as curriculum lead, ensuring that all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum in order to progress to the best  have of their abilities.

My time and experience at GANF has allowed me to develop my skills and expertise within Special Educational Needs. My current role as assistant head at Ambergate will continue to enable me to have an impact on the teaching, learning and assessment of pupils ensuring that the very best provision is being provided.



 Kate White

Assistant Headteacher of Sandon

Kate White

I started teaching at Sandon School in 1998 and continue to be passionate about providing a balanced and holistic education for all of our learners. I have enjoyed teaching across all key stages on both Sandon and Ambergate sites.

I have lead Early Years provision and Communication across both sites for the last 3 years and I am also responsible for PMLD provision on Sandon site. I am currently leading Curriculum on Sandon site with a focus on the ongoing development of a broad, balanced and personalised curriculum for all of our learners at Sandon.

As part of my role I also support with the day to day running of Sandon site and have lead on the EHCP review process at Sandon.

I have a BEd (hons) teaching qualification and a postgraduate certificate in Autism from Northampton University.

For full Leadership roles and responsibilities please contact GANF

For press enquiries please email jacki.bartram@citacademies.co.uk


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