Senior Leadership Team

The senior leadership team at Witton Park has a wealth of knowledge skills and expertise which is supported by the breadth and depth of expertise in the teaching, support and administrative staff. Pen portraits include the key responsibilities and expertise of the team.  All staff are contactable directly using their email address.  For general queries email

Andy Burton


Andy has been a Science teacher for twenty years and a senior leader in schools for the last fourteen. He has been Chair of the Local Governing Body for two schools and a Lead Practitioner for Specialist Schools and Academies Trust for curriculum, advising schools in the North West and presenting at national conferences. He was appointed Deputy Head of Witton Park Academy in 2013 and promoted to Associate Headteacher in May 2017. He has a BSc in Chemistry, PGDip in Education Management and NPQH. Andy has taught in secondary schools across the North West and has extensive experience in school leadership and improvement. Andy has a wealth of senior leadership experience including monitoring and improving provision; managing change; interrogating and using data; financial management; pastoral provision and impact on progress and attainment; science; SEN and early intervention and the development of quality first teaching. Andy is the main contact for all parents, staff and pupils in the school.

Helen Cook

Assistant Headteacher

Helen has been working for Witton Park Academy for over nineteen years starting as a teacher of English and then becoming the school’s SENCO. She has specialised in, and has advised the local authority, Government and other schools in areas of special educational needs. For the past four years, she has been the Assistant Head Teacher for Student Support, developing approaches and strategies for the mental health and wellbeing of pupils and staff. Helen’s other responsibilities in school are attendance and admissions, as well as close liaison with primary schools, developing a transition package for all pupils from primary to secondary.

Vicky Whiting

Assistant Headteacher

Assistant Headteacher

Melanie Porter

Deputy Headteacher

Melanie is proud to have started teaching at Witton Park in 1999 as a PE teacher. She has been a Head of PE, Assistant Headteacher and has been Deputy Headteacher for the previous six years. Melanie has also supported schools with their leadership, most recently as Associate Headteacher of Bowland High School. Melanie has a passion for education which has led her to roles outside of school on Governing bodies. She is currently Vice Chair of the Local Governing Body for Settle College. Melanie has a wealth of senior leadership experience is currently responsible for the pastoral/behaviour system in school and developing Teaching & Learning alongside Phil Caslake. Although her role as Deputy Headteacher has wide ranging responsibilities, teaching PE remains her passion.

Phil Caslake

Assistant Headteacher

Phil Caslake arrived at Witton Park in September 2016 as Assistant Headteacher following eleven years’ experience teaching across three different schools in Southport and Liverpool. In these schools, he held a number of different roles within the science departments culminating in combining leading the science faculty with an associate assistant Headteacher role. One of the driving factors for Phil when applying to join Witton Park was the emphasis the school and staff placed on supporting the development of the whole person in a supportive and caring environment and not just focusing on the academic achievement. In his current role as Assistant Headteacher, Phil’s main responsibilities are for teaching, learning and assessment at Witton Park.

Rukshana Rafique

Operations Manager

Rukshana has recently joined the school following a successful nineteen year career in Central Government. She is looking forward to working at the school and, utilising her skills and experience to ensure from an operational perspective a highly efficient, and professional service is provided to parents, pupils and the wider school community.

Gavin Coleman

Assistant Headteacher

Gavin started working at Witton Park in 2001 as a Teacher of Mathematics. During his career at Witton Park, he has had various roles: second in Mathematics, Head of Mathematics and latterly Assistant Head Teacher. During his time as Head of Department, the pupil outcomes for mathematics rose to be consistently above national averages year on year, an achievement which brought great pride to all members of the Mathematics team.In all of the roles Gavin has held, he has always been pupil focused, with the success of Witton Park students as his number one priority. In his current role as Assistant Head Teacher, Gavin is responsible for developing the timetable and assessment, recording and reporting. His primary aim is always the securing of success for Witton Park pupils.

Jeannie Credie

Assistant Headteacher

Jeannie joined Witton Park as an Assistant Headteacher in 2017 after gaining over fourteen years’ experience, across a variety of school settings, as a teacher and Curriculum Leader of English. She has also provided school-to-school support in her role as a Specialist Leader of Education and has worked with the local education authority on collaborative projects to raise achievement in schools across Lancashire. In her current role as Curriculum Leader for English at Witton Park, and Director of English for Achievement through Collaboration Multi Academy Trust, Jeannie is passionate about securing the best possible outcomes for all pupils.