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King Edward's Witley welcomes new head of learning support / SENDCo


Zoe Marsden has been appointed the new Head of Learning Support and SENDCo at King Edward’s Witley, a coeducational independent day and boarding school for children aged 11-18. Mrs Marsden will also be responsible for the School’s Gifted & Talented programme.

Mrs Marsden graduated from Keele University with a degree in English & Russian (with a subsidiary in Physics). She brings a wealth of experience to King Edward’s having worked for eight years’ in the learning support and special educational needs sector, spanning both single sex (boys’ and girls’) and coeducational schools, preparatory and senior, day and boarding schools. Most recently Zoe headed up the Learning Support department at the boys’ RGS (Royal Grammar School), Guildford. Prior to this role she was at The Royal School, where alongside her role as Head of Learning Support she was also Head of Girls’ Pastoral Care. At Halstead Preparatory School for Girls, Mrs Marsden worked as a Specialist Intervention Teacher.

Mrs Marsden took her PGCE at Kingston University qualifying in 2000. She has since added special needs to her qualifications both as a specialist teacher and Specialist Assessor and holds a Specialist Learning Difficulties (SpLD) Assessment Practising Certificate. Mrs Marsden’s career in teaching has covered Reception (aged four) through to lecturing in further education, working in independent as well as state-funded establishments. She is also the Safeguarding Trustee at a local college.

Prior to embarking upon a career in education, Mrs Marsden qualified as a lawyer and after training as a solicitor with a firm in Guildford, Mrs Marsden was retained by the business, becoming a specialist in criminal law. She then went on to start her own legal business as well as studying for an LLM in Criminal Law and commencing a PhD in this subject.

Commenting on her new position at King Edward’s Witley, Mrs Marsden said “I’m already enjoying working with a broad spectrum of children with a range of backgrounds and ages. My experience represents a good match for King Edward’s and the School’s excellent bursary offering, international cohort and breadth of academic ability ensures my role is a fulfilling and stimulating one, underpinned by a strong strategic intention to the provision of dedicated and skilled guidance to those with special learning needs - whether they are dyslexic, non-native English speakers (who may also require help adapting to the British education culture) or those navigating the challenges of the gifted and talented pathway.

The facilities at King Edward’s are amazing and I’ve been impressed by the strong pastoral systems in place and the clear evidence of a nurturing environment aided by the impressive tutoring system. Since each child is attached to a House, regardless of whether they are a boarding or day pupil, there is the opportunity to deliver an extra level of pastoral care so that they benefit from the expert support of an extensive pastoral team which includes House parents, House Matron, an academic tutor, the Chaplain, the Medical Centre staff and myself. We all work collaboratively to ensure a cohesive approach to the wellbeing of every child in our care and as a result, any potential ‘issues’ are identified and dealt with very quickly. This also means that for children with special needs or for those who come from a more challenging background, there are a number of suitably trained members of staff on hand to provide the necessary support to help them adapt and thrive at King Edward’s.”

Mrs Marsden has four children, the younger two have enrolled in Year 7 at the School.

Published: November 13 2019

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