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Senior Leadership Team

Michael Chanter

Michael Chanter joined Willington in 2013 having previously been a Headmaster and Deputy Head in boarding and day schools in the South East of England and the Midlands.  His career has seen him work in both the independent and the state sectors in a range of all-age through schools and senior schools across England.  His undergraduate degree is in Politics and Modern History and he has a Masters Degree in War Studies.  Michael is a member of IAPS (Independent Association of Preparatory Schools) and enjoys the theatre, cinema, opera and reading as well as a wide variety of team sports.


Peter Luard

Peter Luard spent 32 years in the British Army with The Royal Green Jackets, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He served on six operational tours in Northern Ireland and one in former Yugoslavia.  Peter commanded 4(V)RGJ and as SO1 G1/G4 was the ‘bursar’ for the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.  Since leaving the Army in 2001, he has been the Bursar at a number of leading independent schools around the country before arriving at Willington School in October 2013.


Deputy Head
Marcus Tattersall

Marcus Tattersall joined Willington in 2000 after starting his teaching career in Liverpool and Lancashire.  Initially recruited to the position of Head of Geography and subsequently Head of Football, Marcus is now Deputy Head.  Although he has seen many changes at the school he believes a constant throughout has been the caring, friendly and happy atmosphere created by the staff, parents and most importantly, the boys. This has enabled countless boys to fulfil their potential in whatever field that may be. 

Away from school, Marcus enjoys spending time with his young family.  He is a lifelong Blackburn Rovers supporter and has also discussed football matters in the media.  He  has a passion for music (despite not being able to play an instrument) and enjoys the opportunity to don some headphones and DJ events such as the  Parents of Willington Ball and Disco, if and when the time allows.


Head of Juniors
Liz Rissen

Liz Rissen trained at Exeter University's St Lukes College, and began her teaching career in a mixed C of E School in Dorking. After taking a career break to look after her three sons she spent several years teaching teenagers and adults in Further Education. In 2001 she realised her heart was really in teaching young children and she started two days a week in Year 2 in Willington. Since then Liz has taught mainly in the Juniors but has also enjoyed the opportunity of teaching some older classes, as well as her main role of steering the Junior School team. Her outside interests are gardening, singing, antique hunting and exploring the local parks and riverside by bike and on foot.


Head of Years 4-8
Ruth Henson

Ruth Henson has always lived locally and attended Wimbledon High School before studying English and Latin at Leeds University. After obtaining a PGCE from Brunel University, Ruth’s first teaching job was as a KS1 teacher at Twickenham Preparatory School. Ruth joined Willington in 2001 as a Year 1 class teacher and later taught in Year 3. She currently teaches Religious Studies in the Junior School and Latin to Years 4-6, as well as running Sparrows Choir for Years 1-3. Ruth is Head of Years 4-8, and her role is to support the boys pastorally, ensuring that school is a happy place where they can thrive.  Willington is renowned for its family atmosphere and Ruth loves being part of such a nurturing and successful learning environment. Outside of school, Ruth loves travelling, singing, reading, going to the theatre and cinema, and following the highs and (more often) lows of Leeds United.


Director of Studies
Debbi Codling

Debbi Codling gained a PhD from the University of London where she focused on medieval History, writing a thesis on The Kingly Style of Henry IV: Personality, Politics & Culture.  She also has a Masters Degree in Medieval Studies and a First Class Honours degree in History.  She has been at Willington since 2002 and is Head of both the History & Latin Departments.  Nowadays, she divides her time between teaching Years 7 and 8 for Latin and History, advising parents about Future Schools' destinations for their sons and overseeing teaching and learning through the School.


Deputy Head of Juniors
Sally Lawrence

Sally Lawrence is originally from Somerset and after finishing a degree in Sociology and Social Policy at Liverpool University she went on to spend several years living and working abroad in Japan and Australia.  On returning to England, she completed her teacher training in London at the Institute of Education teaching in inner city London schools. Sally went on to spend two years in a school in Brixton which she found both challenging and rewarding in equal measure, she then spent another year living abroad until returning to take up a maternity post at Willington.  Although her role has stayed predominately as a Year 3 class teacher, Sally has additional responsibilities as the Deputy Head of the Junior School and is responsible for running the ever vibrant School Council.  Sally has a special interest in the pastoral care of the boys and has furthered her skillset by completing a Master Practitioner course in NLP and two Mindfulness courses. In her spare time, Sally continues to love to travel and keeps fit by running, cycling and practising yoga.  Her challenges for this year include a half marathon, the Prudential 100 mile cycle ride and climbing Kilimanjaro.