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JFK Special School
Enhancing life through learning

Staff List

Meet the staff at our school!

Diane Rochford OBE  - Executive Head

Diane has extensive  experience working in the field of Special Education Needs and Disability as a Headteacher and Senior Leader. She is a qualified and active Ofsted inspector with accredited SEND.  

Diane as led the  school to be  an Outstanding provision for learners within and beyond the school. She is a recently  appointed member of the Eastern Region Headteacher Board and was awarded an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours 2018.

Additionally, she worked with the DfE in 2012  developing Teachers Standards, representing special schools and most recently Diane has chaired the Rochford Review which was to consider and define statutory assessment for pupils working towards the standards of the end of KS1/2 tests. This review (which is still ongoing)  has looked at statutory assessment for pupils with SEND alongside improved curriculum balance and  personalised pedagogy  linking  areas in the Code of practice to a more holistic assessment approach .

Her successful experience has been one of  managing positive culture change around the thinking of SEND in order to deliver positive outcomes by

  • developing different specialised provisions for a wide range of learners with SEND

  • supporting strategic planning within the Trust and LA.

  • Leadership and Management of Special Schools and specialist provisions within mainstream.

  • Assessment  without levels for learners with SEND in a variety of settings

  • Curriculum design for learners with SEND in a variety of settings.


Safeguarding: Diane has  enhanced DBS clearance


Julie Newman - Co Head Teacher

Julie started her teaching career in early years education and has since worked across mainstream, resourced provision and special education. She has worked in a local authority advisory team and been an Inclusion Development Officer. More recently Julie has been Assistant Head at TreeHouse school and Deputy Head at The Bridge School. Julie joined JFK in 2010 and has worked closely with Diane to drive the school improvement strategy. Her field of excellence is in autism spectrum condition and she has delivered accredited courses from Canterbury Christ Church University and the Institute of Education to teaching assistants and teachers in areas of SEND and delivered the NASENCo course. She is an advanced Team Teach tutor who delivers training across Newham .

With a Masters Degree and postgraduate Certificate in Educational Research she believes in continuous professional development for all staff and has developed a culture of evidence based teaching and learning across the 2 sites of JFK.


Shaun Dodds - Co-Head Teacher



Shaun, who joined us at JFK in 2016, is an 

experienced successful school leader with significant experience of mainstream secondary, primary, PRU, hospital and special education settings. Shaun also has a broad range of experience of advisory and school improvement work including roles as head of a successful behaviour outreach service and as a PiXL associate raising attainment for pupils with additional needs. An active Ofsted inspector, currently inspecting mainstream primary, secondary and special schools, Shaun has completed the Professional Training for School Inspectors PTSI.  Shaun has also completed the NPQH and is a designated safeguarding lead.