About TheMoat School

Educational Aims

Children with dyslexia have difficulty in reading, writing, spelling and sometimes numeracy. They often experience difficulties with time concepts, spatial awareness, physical co-ordination, organisation and social interaction. Without specialist help many dyslexic children fall rapidly behind their peer group; they under-achieve and their prospects in life are severely impaired.

Unsuccessful experiences and results in mainstream schools often mean that a specialist intensive learning environment is the best setting. At The Moat School, we recognise that SpLD learners often face great difficulties closing the gap between their potential and their performance. Therefore, every aspect of the education provided is designed to support pupils whilst they meet the challenge of bridging this gap.

Our aim is that each pupil will:
  • realise their full intellectual and academic potential
  • develop and nurture self-esteem, skills and natural abilities
  • motivate pupils towards independence in learning and everyday life
  • take public examinations and prepare them for further and higher education or vocational training.
To support these aims the Moat School offers:
  • A whole-school approach to learning for pupils aged 9 to 16 years (year groups 5–11)
  • Specialist teaching with highly-trained staff
  • Structured and individual learning programmes
  • Class sizes based on 10 pupils with individual and smaller group teaching as necessary
  • Development of organisational and study skills, and advanced use of Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
  • The National Curriculum and GCSE qualifications
  • A wide range of sporting and extra-curricular activities.

Cavendish Education

The Moat School Is part of the Cavendish Education group.

This small group of day and boarding schools provide an all-round, mainstream-style education with a particular focus on small class sizes, a warm and friendly atmosphere, a broad curriculum and specialist support for additional learning needs.

Schools within the group focus on educating young people with SpLD diagnoses such as dyslexia and dyspraxia, as well as schools which provide support for Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) specifically high functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

The Moat School continues to focus on providing a mainstream style education to pupils who have not found success in mainstream education, allowing all children to achieve in an environment that understands and supports their needs.

Cavendish Education believes that education is about developing a love of learning and not just focusing on results. However, through their distinctive approach, and the expertise of the staff within the group, they deliver outstanding outcomes for all pupils.

Chairman & Governor – Mr Aatif Hassan
Finance Director & Governor – Mr Jon Pickles
Operations Director & Governor – Ms Deb Carr

To contact Cavendish Education, please:

Telephone: +44 (0) 203 696 5300
Email: info@cavendisheducation.com
Visit the website: www.cavendisheducation.com

Cavendish Education Ltd
14 Waterloo Place

Governing Body

Mr. Aatif Hassan

Aatif is the founder and chairman of Cavendish Education.

As well as having a successful career in private equity, Aatif is also the Chairman of Governors of Minerva Education, a mainstream independent schools group in the UK, and Founder and Chairman of The Dukes Education Group, which offers global admissions consultancy for independent schools and universities, a summer schools programme and operates three colleges in the South East of England.

Growing up with dyslexia, Aatif had to work hard to find his own way to succeed and credits the encouragement and support of his family and school as crucial to this success. He founded the Cavendish Education Group in 2013 with the simple aim to ‘give others the chance to succeed against the odds and in the face of obstacles.’

Aatif is Deputy Chairman of Governors at St. James Independent Schools (including Chairman of the Finance & Estates Committee and Chair of St. James Junior School) and is part of the CReSTeD Council (Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils).

He has a first class degree in Mathematics and Economics and a British Army commission, which he uses to work with Army Cadets.

Mr. J Pickles
Finance Director

Jon is the finance director of Cavendish Education

He is an experienced Finance Director with a strong background in technology and learning companies with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity fundraising, business coaching, financial and HR management.

Prior to joining Cavendish Education, Jon was Finance Director of ILX Group PLC, an AIM-quoted training and technology business with operations in Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Denmark, mainland Europe, and the United States.

Jon supports Cavendish and its schools in all areas of financial management and planning.

He is a Chartered Management Accountant and has a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from King’s College London.

Jon is also a Governor at St James Independent Schools where he holds the responsibility for finance across all schools, chairs the Bursary Committee, and is Trustee of the Pension Fund.

Ms. D Carr
Operations Director

Deb is the operations director of Cavendish Education

She has worked extensively with children and young people for many years in a variety of settings but primarily in education and the SEN area. Prior to joining the Cavendish Education Group, Deb was Regional Manager for a group of Children’s Homes and a School in the North West of England before being approached to become Principal to support a failing school in Shropshire.

Following the success of that project, she joined the team at Gretton School in November 2010. Whilst at Gretton, Deb successfully increased student numbers and widened provision; improving facilities and overseeing the School successfully gaining NAS accreditation.

Deb supports Cavendish and its schools in all areas of Safeguarding, compliance, complaints, HR, H&S, policies and accreditation. She holds a degree in Social Work, a Certificate in Education and has a Postgraduate Certificate in Autism.

Deb is also a local Parish Councillor and works on the Youth Working Party Committee and Community Communication Group. In her spare time, she supports many charities, enjoys creative hobbies and is a keen sports fan and spectator, having hung up her hockey boots… for now.

Mrs. G Doyle Carr
Marketing Director

Her career in marketing spans a variety of sectors including financial services and the uniformed services where she held Marketing Adviser roles both for the British Army Recruiting Group as well as the Police service.

She was Marketing Manager for a large further education college responsible for Post 16 student recruitment and has worked extensively with young people aged between 16-24 years old as part of a Safer Roads Partnership.

Gemma joined the independent schools sector in 2012 as Marketing and Admissions Manager for Bredon School, a specialist dyslexia boarding and day school in Gloucestershire. In 2015, she helped them to win a TES Independent School Award for marketing/communications campaign of the year.

She supports Cavendish Education and its schools in all areas of marketing, communications, PR and stakeholder management.

Gemma has a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is involved in a voluntary capacity with the Fundraising & Marketing Committee of a national child bereavement charity.

Mr. S Aiano
Deputy Operations Director

His career in education covers the full gamut of school categories: selective and non-selective, co-ed and single sex, boarding and day, senior, junior and even nursery level.  In the classroom, he was primarily an English teacher, but has additionally taught Latin, Theatre Studies and Film Studies, and was a producer of school plays.

He enjoyed fifteen years as the Head of a boarding and day school in Berkshire, and was on the Main Committee and Professional Development Committee of the Society of Heads, training new Heads on behalf of the Society.

He supports the work of Cavendish in a number of areas including compliance, health and safety, INSET and planning.

He also, separately, trains senior European teachers under the Erasmus+ programme, is an Associate of HorseHeard (delivering Equine Facilitated Learning) and is a Director of a local food and drink branding scheme for the Cotswolds. He is a Trooper in the Honourable Artillery Company Light Cavalry.


Leadership Team

Moat School Staff-17

Clare King

BA (Hons), Business Studies & ICT EMBA, PGCE, Cert SpLD, Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Deputy Head
Catherine Marchant

MA, BA Grad Dip Tcha & Lrng, Post. Cert Dysl & Lit, Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 

Assistant Headteacher
Matthew Potger

BA (Hons), Post.Cert. Dysl & Lit. (York), PGCE, Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

SENCo | DofE Co-ordinator

Charles Pinel

NASENCo, MEd, PGCE, BA (Hons), OCR Level 5 Diploma in Teaching with SpLD



Lower School

Colwin Bristol

Cert. Level 3 Dyslexia & Literacy (DA), Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Head of Design Technology

James Broughton

BA(Hons), Postgrad Cert in Dyslexia & Literacy, Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

HOD Science

Lucy Brown

BSc (Hons), PGCE, Post.Cert. Dysl& Lit. (York), Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Year 5/6 Teacher | Geography

Adam Ford

BA (Hons), MA (Hons), PGCE


Thomas Grimes

BBS Accounting and Finance, PGCE




Mathematics | Careers Officer

Sunita Magon

BEd, RSA, Post.Cert. Dysl & Lit. (York), Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD


Alba Fraile

BSc, Bsc (Hons), PGCE

Head of Department Creative Arts

Philip Mayer

BA (Hons), PGCE, OCR Level 7 Diploma in Teaching with SpLD

English and Media

Tim Pragnell

BA (Hons), Accredited Level 3 in Dyslexia Awareness, I-PGCE, Screening & Support, Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Head of English | Head of Media | Head of Palace House

Mark Quillfeldt

BA (Hons), PGCE, OCR Level 5 Diploma in Teaching with SpLD, Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Faculty Head – Humanities & ICT

Sabina Richardson

MA (Hons), OCR Cert. 5 in SpLD Tchng & Lrng, Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Performing Arts

David Lewis

PSc (Hons), PhD, PGCE

GCSE Music, Piano

Stuart Turnbull

BMus, MMus, PGDip (Royal College)


William Collier

ICT - Business Studies

Nadia Kamal

PGCE, CIM Dip Marketing, MSc Manufacturing Management, BSc (Hons) Finance & Accounting


Therapeutic Team

Counsellor / Therapist

Susan Bennett

MBACP, Cert.Int.Counselling, Adv Dip Therapeutic Counselling, Cert Ed, Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Occupational Therapist

Poppy Law

BSc (Hons), Occupational Therapy, Alert Programme, Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Speech & Language Therapist

Elizabeth Nimmo

BA (Hons), MSc in Speech & Language Pathology & Therapy, MRCSLT, Level 3 Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)


Matthew Green

BA (Hons), Dip in Counselling SpLD Level 3

Speech & Language Therapist

Alison Hall

BSpPath (Hons), MRCSLT


Support Staff

Head Learning Support Assistant

Melody Carter

OCR Level 3 SpLD

Learning Support Assistant KS3

Francis Fiore

Learning Support Assistant

Jehu Henry

BA (Hons) Performance & Thearte


Raffaele Torella


Ester Afaago


Jemima Prah


Alan Drewett

Admin & Finance Staff

PA to the Headmistress

Amanda Rix

BA (Hons), SpLD level 3


Claudio Comoli

BA (Hons) AAT

Academic Administrator

Laurel McKay

Marketing Associate

Luke Harris

Therapy Dog


Cert. BA(rk)


Pupil Destinations

Moat School Pupils have great success in a large of number of different placement Post-16. Some of the places Moat School pupils have moved on to in the past few years have included;

At these placements, pupils have taken a number of different courses, which include:

BRIT school
Blossom House sixth form
Capel Manor College
Collingham Independent College
Elite Athletes’ Academy
Esher College
Mark College
Plumpton College
Richmond College
Riverston School
William Morris College
St Bede’s College
St Charles College
St David’s College
St Martha’s School
The Charter School
Westminster College

A level Art
A level Classics
A level Computer Aided Design
A level Drama
A level English
A level Film Studies
A level History
A level Mathematics
A level Philosophy and Religion
A level Photography
A level Psychology
A level Sciences
A level Politics

BTEC Art and Design
BTEC Blacksmithing
BTEC Business Studies
BTEC Community Outreach Arts
BTEC Drama
BTEC Extended Diploma in Animal Care
BTEC Health and Social Care
BTEC Physical Education
BTEC Carpentry
BTEC Animal Management
BTEC Art and Design
BTEC Technical Drawing
BTEC Motor Mechanics
Level 1 Diploma in Animal Care

School Inspections

The Moat School is subject to regular inspections and in March 2016 ISI rated The Moat School as EXCELLENT in every section relating to teaching and learning, pupils’ welfare and leadership and management.

The ISI report noted The Moat School as ‘Pupils’ achievement is excellent. The School carefully nurtures pupils’ talents and creativity to enable them to flourish, fully in keeping with its aims… Teaching is excellent, grounded in strong relationships and expert knowledge of the needs of each pupil… Pupils’ personal development is excellent, the result of the school’s extremely successful work to fulfil its aims to develop pupils’ self-esteem and to motivate them towards independent learning. As a result, pupils’ behaviour is exemplary… Leadership and management are excellent. The school fully meets its aims because school life is well organised and staff are united in common clear purpose and direction… Pupils show exemplary attitudes, both to the school and to their work and learning. Their behaviour in the classroom responds to the nurturing care provided by staff and fully supports their overall achievement… Teaching is lively and adaptable, and is highly effective in enabling pupils to make rapid progress, fully supporting the aims of the school…Pupils’ spiritual development is excellent. Through the school, the increase in their self-esteem and self-belief is rapid.’

The Moat School is also inspected by CReSTeD, the authority responsible for schools teaching children with dyslexia. In 2014 CReSTeD described The Moat School as a ‘compact and welcoming inner city specialist school. Pupil behaviour is excellent with rapport between staff and pupils firm but friendly. The school is fully supported by the parents who state that the school has worked beyond expectations for their children’s academic and pastoral welfare.’

View Latest Reports

Pupil Performance

  • This year we congratulate our highest performing pupil for achieving 2 A*, 3 A grades or equivalent, and 4 B grades or equivalent.
  • History, Further Additional Science and Physical Education have all out-performed their last year’s scores.
  • Pupils achieved A*s in both Additional Science and Further Additional Science and an additional A* was achieved in French.
  • A number of pupils gained 8+ grades higher than their MidYIS* prediction in Year 9.
  • *MidYIS is part of a suite of monitoring systems established by CEM. Part of Durham University, CEM is recognised around the world for its pioneering educational research and school monitoring. MidYIS uniquely measure developed ability – students’ underlying raw learning potential, free of the influence of curriculum-based teaching.