Meet Our Team

VanessaExecutive Headteacher

Before being appointed as Executive Headteacher in 2020, Vanessa was been a Deputy Head at Downs View. Prior to this she was Deputy Head at Downs Park School. Vanessa is committed to ensuring the best outcomes for all children and young people with learning difficulties through outstanding education and care.


“I think that what makes the college a great place is our nurturing and ambitious aims for our students. Seeing people progress is amazing! I especially enjoy building community links and exploring ideas in art.”


“I have worked in education since 2004 and without a doubt Downsview Life Skills College is one of the most rewarding places I have worked in. I love working with our learners in a purposeful and meaningful way, which I feel is reflected in their clear enjoyment in attending college.”

LisaJob coach and Lead Teaching Assistant

“I have felt very welcome at DVLSC since my first day. Life Skills College is a great organisation; it gives the students lots of different opportunities to learn and to practice social and life skills.”

GlennSenior Teaching Assistant

“It is a privilege to work with incredible young people. People learning together every day.”

JohnTeaching Assistant

“I enjoy working with all students, in particular supporting them in life skills lessons such as cooking.”

RoryTeaching Assistant

“I really enjoy supporting students at DVLSC to explore new and familiar activities, particularly using art and music to express how they feel.”

JadeMidday Supervisory Assistant & Teaching Assistant

“I really enjoy working at the Life Skills College and have loved working with all the learners. It is so great to be in a place that has such a wide variety of characters. I look forward to my future here and meeting all the new learners we have.”

RaulHead of College

Raul is a qualified teacher with a PGCert in Autism. Raul has been part of Downs View since 2012.
“The Life Skills College has become my passion. Since we opened in September 2016 I have worked with each learner to develop their individual interests and potential. I am proud to lead a committed team who support the learners wholeheartedly in their best interests.”


“Working at the Life Skills College is brilliant. Everyone is extremely welcoming and hard working. I am very proud to be part of the Downs View team.”

AnnaLead Teaching Assistant

“Such dedication and passion from all staff to help learners build up self confidence, develop independence and life skills in a safe, fun and caring environment. All learners achieve and develop. It is a pleasure, amazing, to see our learners build and grow into young independent adults.

MelLead Teaching Assistant

“The Life Skills College is an incredibly inspiring, rewarding and supportive place to be. Every day provides learners with constant opportunities to further discover and develop their independence and autonomy as young adults. I feel very lucky to be a part of the team here.”

CairTeaching Assistant

“When I started working here I felt very welcomed and the environment is very homely. The learners teach me something new every day. I enjoy doing cooking and communication with the learners.”

KarenTeaching Assistant

“Downs View is such an inspiring place to work. Everyone works hard to create a safe and nurturing environment for students and staff alike. I feel privileged to be part of this team and to work alongside our amazing students.”

SimonTeaching Assistant

“It has been amazing working at the Life Skills College. The atmosphere is very welcoming and I feel like everyone has a real understanding of the students.”

OuldouzMidday Supervisory Assistant & Teaching Assistant

“I am a music teacher and also I play violin in Lewes Concert Orchestra and London Symphony Soul Orchestra. I love the environment and working with staff and all students. I like to maintain good relationship the students. I am so happy to work here.”

HelenOfficer Administrator

“I have worked in special needs schools since 2013.  I started at Downs View Life Skills College in 2017 as a TA and have enjoyed the role of administrator since 2018.”
Helen is our first point of contact for parents, students and members of the public.


Ben qualified as a teacher in 2013, and has worked in a variety of SEN settings ever since. He is passionate about fostering independence in learners, and is loving his new role at the Life Skills college. Away from teaching, Ben represents England at beach soccer, and is a keen climber and mountaineer.

ElenaLead Teaching Assistant

“One of the best things to happen in my life is to work in an organisation for people with special educational needs like DVLSC. I really enjoy the atmosphere working with the learners and I have learnt a lot from my colleagues and twilight sessions.”

TishLead Teaching Assistant

“From the moment I stepped into the college, I felt at home; both staff and students made me feel welcome.”

FlorTeaching Assistant

“I am a Spanish teacher and I really enjoy being part of the DVLSC team. I like the team work atmosphere at college, seeing the learners’ engagement in lessons and their progress. I hope to continue further developing my skills within the college.”

MillieTeaching Assistant

“DVLSC is one of the most welcoming places. I felt part of the team as soon as I started.”

SonyaTeaching Assistant

“Since the day I started I have been made to feel very welcome by both students and staff.”