Welcome > Senior Leadership Team

Senior Leadership Team

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Headmaster | James Watson MA (Hons), FCA, PGCE

James Watson, Senior Deputy HeadMr Watson became Headmaster in September 2023 and was previously Senior Deputy Head, Head of Learning Development, and Head of History at Milton Abbey.

He graduated with a First Class master's degree in Ancient History and Classical Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh, before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte, and he later gained a PGCE from the University of Buckingham.

He moved into education after a successful 13-year career in accountancy, stockbroking and finance, mainly in Asia and the Middle East. This experience, and his previous roles here at Milton Abbey and as Second Master at Bruern Abbey, mean he is uniquely suited for the role of Headmaster.

Mr Watson enjoys sharing his expertise and his many enthusiasms with our students and has started numerous clubs such as the History Society, Commerce Society and even the Piscatorial Society (fishing club!), as well as coaching rugby, hockey and cricket.

Mr Watson and his wife Posy, their three young children and assorted dogs and ponies, greatly enjoy living in Dorset and look forward to meeting you if you don't know them already.

Senior Deputy Head

Senior Deputy Head | Chris Barnes BA (Hons) 

Chris Barnes, Deputy Head (Pastoral)Chris joined Milton Abbey as Athelstan Housemaster in 2012 after five years as a History teacher and Assistant Housemaster at Bradfield College in Berkshire. He has also held senior management roles as Deputy Head (Pastoral & Boarding) and Deputy Head (Co-Curricular), before being promoted to Senior Deputy Head in September 2023.

Before embarking on a career in education in 2007, Chris worked in the Finance and Travel industries following his graduation from the University of Manchester, spending time in Austria and Australia as a result.

Finance Director

Finance Director | Steve Lane BSc (Hons), ACA

Steve Lane, Director of FinanceSteve grew up in Dorset before completing a Maths degree at the University of Exeter and embarking on a career in Finance.

During his early career, he worked for Ernst and Young within their corporate finance practice, qualifying as a chartered accountant before moving into commerce.  For a number of years Steve held directorships in retail, manufacturing and  procurement businesses. Steve’s work took him overseas regularly to North America and South East Asia particularly and he was based in Sri Lanka for several years.

Steve returned to Dorset when his children reached school age and joined Milton Abbey as Finance Director in 2016.
Head of Operations

Head of Operations | Tracey Edwards

Tracey Edwards, Head of OperationsTracey joined Milton Abbey in September 2019 to undertake the role of Head of Operations. This varied role covers the management of Health & Safety, Human Resources, School Property and Site Operations. 

Tracey brings to the role extensive experience and knowledge across these key areas, obtained from working in both state and academy schools, and beyond education in the world of environmental services and HR - where Tracey has specialised in the field of  'people management'.
Tracey also has a special interest in English history, which enables her to bring an extra dimension to the heritage side of our special school site.
Deputy Head (Academic) & Head of Admissions

Deputy Head (Development & Admissions) | Claudia Hindle MA, PGCE, MEd

Claudia Hindle, Deputy Head (Academic) and Head of AdmissionsClaudia joined Milton Abbey in January 2022 as Deputy Head Academic to lead our academic programme and Learning Development provision. She also became our Head of Admissions, an innovative approach to the role, which brought academic enrichment to the heart of our admissions approach and helped to build Milton Abbey’s existing reputation for providing excellent education to children who learn differently.
Claudia joined us from Roedean, where she was Head of Classics and also undertook admissions work. She read Classics at St Andrews and took her PGCE and Masters in Education at the University of Cambridge, where her Masters research focused on the use of IT to support dyslexic learners. Claudia is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Education at the University of Bath, her thesis aims to establish how best to design a holistic curriculum for students, which teaches skills applicable beyond the classroom and inspires students for life after school.  She is committed to developing independent learners who are given just the right balance of support, stretch and challenge.
As a residential member of staff, Claudia is immersed in the busy boarding life of Milton Abbey and is enjoying all that the school has to offer. 
Deputy Head (Pastoral & Boarding)

Deputy Head (Pastoral) | Zoe Livingstone BA, PGCE, MEd

Zoe has recently joined Milton Abbey to undertake the role of Deputy Head, Pastoral.

Zoe grew up in Spain and studied for a degree in International Business from the University of Portsmouth before completing a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages at Liverpool John Moores University. She also holds a Masters in Education from the University of Nottingham where her research focussed on the importance and values of a holistic education for young people.

Zoe has joined us from Stonyhurst College, where she held several senior roles including, Acting Housemistress, Head of Spanish, Head of Playroom and most recently Designated Safeguarding Lead.

When not at school Zoe loves to travel, read and go to the theatre, she is particularly looking forward to getting to know Dorset and take advantage of living closer to the sea.

Deputy Head (Co-curricular) & Head of Lower School

DWill Fraser, Deputy Head (Co-Curricular)eputy Head (Co-Curricular) | Will Fraser MA MEd

Will grew up in London and attended St Paul’s School, before reading for a Master of Arts degree with a focus on English Literature at the University of St Andrews.

A gap year teaching in South Africa sparked his passion for the holistic development of young people. After three years teaching in the state sector in London, Will and his wife Zoe moved to Australia, where he taught English and was Head of Rugby at St Pius X College, Sydney. 

Will has a master's degree in Educational Leadership from the University in Buckingham, for which his dissertation explored the benefits of sport and co-curricular activities. Will passionately believes a broad experiential education brings out the best in young people, and that success outside of the classroom has a positive impact on academic outcomes. 

At Milton Abbey, he spent seven years living on-site with his family, for five years as Housemaster of Athelstan House, before becoming Head of Lower School. In his interim role as Deputy Head (Co-curricular) he is responsible for the incredible array of opportunities pupils have playing sport, taking part in Round Square activities on Wednesday afternoons, and during the busy weekend and evening activities programme, as well overseeing the amazing trips on offer at Milton Abbey.

Will has also served as a governor and Chair of Governors at several state and independent schools.

Assistant Head (Head of Sixth Form)

Deputy Head (Academic & Head of Sixth Form) | Josh Bradbury BA (Hons), MA, PhD, PGCE

Josh Bradbury, Assistant Head (Head of Sixth Form)Josh joined Milton Abbey in 2009 as a teacher of English and Assistant Housemaster. Prior to his arrival, he studied for a degree in English and European Literature at the University of Warwick before completing his Masters and then PhD in Arthurian Literature at the University of Wales, Bangor. Whilst there he also worked as a junior lecturer in the English Department, the Department of Lifelong Learning, and the National Institute for Excellence in the Creative Industries.

During his time at Milton Abbey, Josh has worked on both the academic and pastoral sides of the school as a resident member of staff and a teacher of English Literature, Film and TV Production, and Digital Content Production. For the past 8 years he has overseen the school’s university applications process and 6th form careers provision. More recently, he has taken on the role of Deputy Head (Academic) to bring his incredible experience to lead the academic provision. Alongside his academic work, he coaches cricket and supports both the football and mountain biking provision at the school. In all that he does, he is focused on finding the right pathways and outcomes for each individual student, knowing that success and happiness look different for each of us.

He has lived in Dorset since moving down from North Wales, and splits his time between a fascination with film, literature, and game culture, and a love of the outdoors, especially the coast and the mountains.

Director of Studies

Nick Anderson, Director of StudiesDirector of Studies | Nick Anderson

Nick joined us in 2018 as Head of Science, after moving back to the UK from a two-year post in Zambia as Deputy Head of an international school in Lusaka. His current role encompasses many academic aspects of the school, such as reporting, pupil tracking and lower school curricula.  
Nick read Marine Biology at Aberdeen University, then studied for his PGCE at Nottingham. He enjoys being able to incorporate much of his biological knowledge of the sea into his GCSE and A-level teaching and is passionate about all things marine.
On his days off, Nick looks after his two girls, Thea and Bonnie, and loves to explore the Dorset country and seaside.

Head of Personal Development & Community Engagement (Deputy DSL)

Head of Personal Development & Community Engagement (Deputy DSL) | Sarah Badley

Sarah Badley, Head of Personal Development and Community EngagementSarah joined Milton Abbey in August 2019 as Head of Personal Development & Community Engagement. She is also a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, our Online Safety co-ordinator, has responsibility for pupil voice and works alongside the Senior Deputy Head in investigating behaviour and supporting the housemasters and mistresses with pastoral and behaviour issues.
Prior to joining Milton Abbey, Sarah worked for six years as the Internet Safety Officer for Dorset Police's Safe Schools & Communities Team, where she supporting young people and schools by providing education and helping to resolve incidents. This followed nearly 20 years as an adult trainer in the police and other organisations, and roles in scientific journal publishing.

Away from work, Sarah plays hockey, and loves cooking and singing.