Anna Ging


B.A. (Hons) Children and Families: Child, Young People and Family Studies.

Anna has worked in early years settings before joining the Dales school in 2019. Anna has recently moved into a speech and language support role and has completed specialist training in the picture exchange communication system (PECS).

Deborah Hill

Occupational Therapist

B.Sc. (Hons) Occupational Therapy, PgCert. Sensory Integration.

Deborah has joined The Dales School in 2019 as an OT with interest in Children's Mental health. She previously worked as an OT for 23 years, 19 of these years in specialist CAMHS/CYPS. Experiences and interests include: working with parents around managing sensory issues, ASD, ADHD presentations, anxiety, and managing challenging behaviour. 

Donna Godsmark

Speech and Language Teaching Assistant

Donna joined the Dales in September 2020 as a Speech and Language Assistant.
She has previously worked at Central Primary for 21 years,  17 of  those years as the lead Speech and Language Assistant working with TAs and teachers using her specialist knowledge and training to ensure that the speech, language and communication needs of the children were met and maintained effectively. She has an NNEB qualification.

Emma Ward

Music Therapist

B.A. (Hons) Music, M.A. Music Therapy

Emma trained as a Music Therapist at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has previously experience in a range of special schools and has recently relocated to the North East.

Jackie Herron

Occupational Therapist

B.A. (Hons) Childhood Studies, M.Sc. Occupational Therapy

Jackie began working for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust for the Children's Physical Disability Service in November 2015. She now works two days a week in the community with a wide range of children from 0-18 years with a range of physical and sensory needs. She started working in The Dales School as part of an enhanced OT service in September 2018, initially for 2 days, but more recently, 3 days a week. Her focus in school is to ensure that children are able to participate and engage in 'occupations' that they want, or need, to do every day. These occupations are functional activities such as self care, (dressing, washing, using cutlery) productivity (writing, marking making, scissor skills) and leisure (play skills, e.g throwing and catching). She assesses children and provides activity plans to develop underlying skills and/or equipment  to further support the children to progress. She works closely with other therapeutic staff in providing interventions, such as 1-1, targeted group work and whole class programmes. Jackie also delivers regular staff training and supports staff to apply therapeutic knowledge in class situations.

Jill McCartney

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Jill trained as a HLTA at Newcastle University. She has worked at the Dales School for 13 years. She started as a 1:1 support worker at East Hartford and also became a Family Learning Worker alongside the role of TA. She developed understanding and an enthusiasm towards meeting the sensory needs of the children and a therapeutic approach to learning. She is now working across The Dales as an Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Ranelle Denholm

Speech and Language Therapist

Ranelle works into school to meet the needs of pupils with speech and language difficulties. She works closely with other therapy staff and class teams to support The Dales School to be a communication friendly school for all children.

Sarah Donnelly


Sarah completed a Level 4 Foundation Degree in Children and Young People and has worked in a number of school settings; however, her passion is working with children with additional needs, especially focusing on speech and language skills. She works with Speech and Language therapists in school to ensure that children's individual speech and language needs are being met. She has also set up focus groups to meet pupils shared targets and develop social communication throughout the school. She has completed a number of training courses which include;  PECS, SCERTS, Tacpac, Attention Autism, Portage Workshop, Autism Awareness and Moving and Handling. Sarah is also a trained in First Aid and is able to administer medication.