Nicola McDonald, Head Teacher
Hi, I am Nicola McDonald, I am the Head Teacher for Holistic Childcare and Education Schools based in Lochmaben and Closeburn. It is my privilege to work with the young people and the whole team here, I am passionate about supporting our young learners to achieve their fullest potential and to build the foundations of better outcomes for each of them. I believe the key to achieve this goal is to place relationships at the centre of everything we do. I am committed to maintaining positive, effective relationships with the entire school community, from pupils to parents, carers and education professionals – relationships which are key to ensuring our pupils receive the very best education and go on to lead happy, fulfilling lives.
Grace Little, Head of Care
Hi, I am very pleased to introduce you to myself. I am Grace Little. I have worked across numerous roles here for over 14 years. Through continuous workplace training and stepping outside comfort zone on occasion I was offered the role of Registered Manager in 2018, the rest so to speak is history. I love the role and work within a team of dedicated staff at Closeburn House and Maben House where we all strive to deliver outstanding support and care to all our young people. I look forward to sharing our journey in the future with you.
Julie McNairn, Registered Manager at Closeburn House
Hi, I’m Julie. I am the Residential Manager at Closeburn House. I have supported in this home for almost five years and have grown in knowledge and experience along with many of those that I have supported. I believe that through a person centered, therapeutic approach, we can truly empower our young people to believe in the beauty of their dreams and support successfully in making these come true. I have a passion for making a transformational difference in young people’s lives. With our nurture-based approach, I believe we can victoriously support our young people to successfully learn and grow, to build on their confidence and self-esteem and effectively make their way in the world. I actively encourage positive growth, providing an empowering environment enabling both staff and children to believe in themselves and their achievements.
Alison Goodman-Vaughan, Deputy Head Teacher
Hi, I am Alison Goodman-Vaughan, I am the Deputy Head for Holistic Childcare and Education. Working with the team and the young people here is an honor. Every day is different, and I thrive on the challenges this brings. My focus is on the students and their wellbeing, I believe that every student can unlock their potential if supported and motivated appropriately. I work closely with our school community to ensure that students are supported by everyone involved in their care. This allows students to access their education more effectively and they can go on to achieve to their highest potential.
Charlene Murray, Principal Teacher for Maben House School
Hi I am Charlene Murray. I am the Principal Teacher for Maben House School with Holistic Child Care and Education. My vision is to be able to help our young people to develop the cognitive, language, physical and social skills they will need to succeed. As our young people discover and explore new ideas in a safe, welcoming learning environment, a foundation for them to flourish is created. I am passionate about, and committed to, crafting individualised learning experiences to support our young people. Principally, building positive relationships is a crucial part of what we do. It is a privilege to be working with the dynamic team and incredible young people of Maben House School.
Iain Owens, Relations & Admissions Manager
I’m Iain and in my role as Relations & Admissions Manager, I help both Local Authorities and parents/carers who want to place children and young people in our schools and home. This involves guiding parents and carers through the sometimes complex and lengthy process of submitting a placing request, or assessing the needs of a young person to see if we can meet their needs.
I’ve previously worked in fostering for over 9 years, and in education and care for the last few years so really understand the need for good education and care for young people. I thoroughly enjoy helping parents, carers and Local Authorities access the provision their young people need, knowing it will make a huge difference to their lives.
Michael James – Wellbeing & Clinical Service Lead/Senior Clinician
I’m Michael, and I’m the Wellbeing & Clinical Lead for our Scottish Hub of services. I’m a Psychotherapist with over 25 years experience and I’m registered with the BACP as a full practicing member, having also gained a master’s degree in Integrative Psychotherapy.
I have worked within residential care and schools for over 20 years, gaining a practical and theoretical understanding of children with ASC and SEMH, and use this knowledge to work within our ‘Ask, Accept and Develop’ (AAD) approach. This approach recognises that despite underlying shared traits, autistic individuals are vastly different to one another, and it ensures that children of all abilities have been considered and included.
I’ve delivered several programmes of Reflective Practice and Trauma Informed Practice to those supporting children and young people with additional needs – I also oversee our team of Clinicians.