Meet the Southover Partnership team of experts.

Dayo Okunlola, Executive Headteacher

Dayo OkunlolaDayo has an extensive educational background, in the UK and overseas. During his career Dayo has worked as a university lecturer, a head of department; head of year and as deputy head teacher of a large secondary school in north London. He is passionate about the inclusion of pupils and students with special educational needs and disabilities.

In his spare time Dayo is a published writer (fiction and scientific) and has written and directed stage plays performed in the UK and the Caribbean.  Dayo also been a newspaper editor, written for CBBC, and is involved with Mantra Lingua in the production of Bilingual books for young learners.

Dayo’s extensive experience leading and managing inclusion over many years in secondary schools, and his commitment to giving children and young people the very best education, is palpable.​

Nia Wheatley, Head of Outreach Services

With 20 years of teaching experience in secondary school education, starting as a mainstream English teacher Nia then moved into special educational needs, and became a Deputy SENCo for a large secondary school before taking the lead role as Head of English as an Additional Language for thirteen years in the borough of Redbridge. She has had experience teaching in alternative provision as an outreach teacher specialising in working with children who have social, emotional and mental health difficulties. In post, she has provided numerous INSET to whole school communities, mentored newly qualified teachers, led on workshops in the Redbridge borough and in schools championed ‘quality first’ teaching by collating differentiated materials with cross curricular staff for the inclusion and progress for all. She is passionate about high quality education for all and raising standards in teaching learning and assessment.

Debbie Constantinou, Outreach Services Deputy Manager

Debbie ConstantinouDebbie joined The Southover Partnership in 2013. Prior to joining she worked as a Coordinator for Ethnic Minority Achievement for 15 years in various primary settings. This involved supporting children through their school careers and working closely with school staff at all levels, to ensure the needs of pupils were met. Throughout her career she has strived to provide a holistic approach to the learning environment of the pupils she has worked with.

Debbie regularly takes part in training in her determination to keep up-to-date with education and her drive to perform to a high standard has allowed her to develop an expert knowledge of special educational needs.

Debbie works closely with Annie to provide mainstream schools with specialist teachers and TA’s according to the children’s individual needs.

Maria Newman, Head of School, Kingsbury School Site

Maria NewmanMaria joined Southover at the beginning of January 2020, having previously working in SEND and Inclusion within primary, secondary and alternative provision settings. She has taught in Enfield and across Haringey in senior leadership positions.  In addition, Maria is experienced in mentoring NQT’s and training staff.

Maria has extensive experience of working with children social, emotional and behavioural difficulties with a particular focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder.  She is passionate about removing barriers to learning and providing engaging learning opportunities.

Heather Ellis, Head of School, Finchley School Site

Heather EllisHeather is a long standing member of the Southover team having joined the organisation in 2002. She has a background of 15 years teaching Art, Design and Photography in the mainstream secondary sector, working as Head of Department and Head of Faculty. Prior to joining the Southover Partnership she worked as an Art Education Consultant and an Arts Director for art educational charities: training teachers, writing curriculum materials and leading workshops.

Heather was involved in setting up the first Southover Partnership School, including developing and managing the curriculum, resources and unique methodology that makes the Southover School so successful today.

Jenny Merryweather, Head of School, Southgate School Site
Jenny MerryweatherJenny joined the Southover Partnership staff team in 2010 after previously teaching in both mainstream and SEN schools in North London and Hertfordshire. Initially appointed as the first Head of Maths in the school, Jenny worked across the school sites before being taking on the role of Head of School at the Southgate site.

During her time at Southover Partnership School Jenny has also worked with Outreach Services delivering INSET training in areas such as dyslexia and ASD.