Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Chris Nichols: Head Teacher

I’m Chris Nichols and proud to be the headteacher of Danesgate community school. Having joined the school 10 years ago as part of the Senior Leadership Team, I have been part of developing the school, encouraging it to grow and flourish into the thriving provision it now is. Having recently been successful in becoming the headteacher, I have a passion and commitment to the school, its students and whole community. I strive to make the school the best it can be and to give its students opportunities and experiences to allow them to flourish and achieve despite their learning and SEMH needs. I am keen to develop the school further to ensure those young people who are most disadvantaged, vulnerable or struggle with mainstream education in York are supported with an enriched and diverse curriculum to ensure the best outcomes, future studies and career pathways.

Sarah McKinley: Deputy Head Teacher

I have worked at the Danesgate Community since 2005, starting as an SEN teacher and then developing to the SENCO, for which I hold the National SENCO qualification, and more recently the Deputy Head. My passion is to support each young person to be the best they can be and to help them grow holistically and not just academically. I am also the Lead teacher for children who are looked after by the Local Authority. I am a published author on mental health and wellbeing in secondary school and the Lead for mental health and wellbeing in school. My hobbies are gardening and opera. My favourite days are taking my dogs to the beach.

Dom Horsley: Assistant Head Teacher

I’m Dom Horsley, the Assistant Headteacher for Primary at Danesgate. I have worked for Danesgate for over 10 years in a variety of teaching and management roles. I am passionate about SEND and I am constantly looking for new ways to excite and enthuse our learners in primary. 

Kim Mower: Designated Safeguarding Officer

I’m Kim Mower, the Pastoral Care Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead at Danesgate Community, supporting safeguarding, behaviour management and inclusion across the school.

I am passionate about supporting our young people and their families and want all our pupils to  achieve their full potential. 

As Pastoral Care Manager I try to ensure that all pupils’ well-being is constantly reviewed and developed, and that strong links are made between school and home.  

As Danesgate’ s Designated Safeguarding Lead,  I will be your first port of call for any safeguarding concerns and may also be in touch with you regarding any safeguarding issues.

Mel Shephard: School Business Manager and Headteacher’s PA

I’m Melanie Shepherd, I have worked at the school for over 20 years. My role is to ensure that the resources and facilities are the best they can be for the students that attend Danesgate- making sure the school invests wisely and appropriately in not only the buildings and teaching resources but also through a staff team that can deliver a broad and exciting education offer for every young person that attends. I thoroughly love working at Danesgate and seeing the positive impact it has on families and the surrounding community…my commitment and drive is to give all the students at Danesgate a quality learning experience.  

Extended Leadership Team

  • Lynn Henderson: Schools Examination/Data Manager
  • Steven Nicholson: 

Provision Leads

  • Primary: Rachel Duffield
  • Primary Outreach: Petra Henman
  • STEPS: Andrea Ford
  • Talk About: Clare Kendall
  • Bridge: Jackie Blake
  • Respex: Nick Bradley
  • The Skills Centre: 

Subject Leads

  • Maths: Paul Chapman
  • English: Jackie Blake