Learning to live, living to learn
For referrals email Angus Burnett or call 01865 300202


Andy Lole, Executive Head Teacher, M Ed

Andy was headteacher of the Mulberry Bush School 1994 – 2016. As executive headteacher he has oversight of the Mulberry Bush Organisation’s education provision. 

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He trained and worked as a primary school teacher in Nottingham, before moving to the Cotswold Community in Wiltshire where he worked for eight years. He trained as an Ofsted inspector in 2002, and now regularly leads inspections in independent, primary and special schools. He is an accredited School Improvement Partner, with experience of working with a wide variety of schools in this capacity. In 2011 Andy was designated a National Leader in Education and the school has been recognised as a National Support School. Now that the Mulberry Bush is also a National Teaching School Andy heads up our School to School support work.

Fiona Dall, Head Teacher, BA (Hons), PGCE, Nurture Group Network leader, MA (Ed), National Professional Qualification for Headship

Fiona has worked at the Mulberry Bush school since 1996 when she first joined as a supply teacher.

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After time spent working in different classes and in the houses Fiona became the classroom teacher of the Foundation class in 2000. Fiona continued to work with Foundation children becoming Head of Foundation with responsibility for two Foundation classes. In 2009 Fiona became a class based Deputy Head of Education but, in 2014, moved out of the classroom to take responsiblity for the running of the Education Day. In October 2016 Fiona was appointed as Head Teacher of the Mulberry Bush School.

Fiona Dall

Claire McCarthy, Head of Group Living, BSc (Hons) Behavioural Science, Pg Dip in the Theory, Practice & Psychodynamics of Residential Care, Level 6 Leadership & Management, Grad. Cert. in Systemic Family Therapy

Claire has worked with children, adolescents and families in community and residential settings for over 24 years.

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In 1992 she worked part-time as a Youth worker in Northamptonshire, volunteered at a young offenders institute and worked with brain injured adults in the community. Later she began working at the Peper Harow Foundation at Thornby Hall Therapeutic Community (which subsequently was taken over by Childhood First) for emotionally traumatised children.

Having begun as a therapeutic care worker, she progressed to team leader and went on to become assistant director at Thornby Hall.

During her career she has taken a lead on collaborative projects working with different LA teams including therapeutic fostering, family support and adoption support.

Claire McCarthy

Angus Burnett, Referrals and Partnerships Manager, PG Dip. Dramatherapy, MA in Therapeutic Child Care

Angus has worked for over twenty years with emotionally damaged children and adolescents in a wide variety of settings.

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He began at the Cotswold Community in 1989 which gave him the opportunity to work alongside pioneers such as Barbara Dockar-Drysdale, Eric Miller and Isobel Menzies-Lyth. He is skilled in understanding and working with the inner worlds of children, families, staff and the dynamics of organisations.  He has consulted and delivered training to, amongst others, Inner London Schools.  As well as working with families and professionals who have children placed at The Mulberry Bush, Angus works with various organisations and local authorities to help develop innovative practise within the sector.

Caryn Onions, Head of Therapies and Networks Team, BSc (Hons.), CQSW, M.A.C.P

Caryn has worked at the school since 2004. At the beginning of her career, before trainingas a child psychotherapist, she worked residentially with adults with mental health problems and also worked as a child and family social worker.

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She moved into the NHS and was employed for eight years in a team which specialises in treating children and families who have emotional and mental health difficulties. She has a particular clinical interest in early parent-infant relationships, has written about this work, and is particularly interested in how unresolved parental difficulties can affect children. She teaches at the British Association of Psychotherapists, runs training for social workers and supervises and consults to others working with children.

Dave Roberts, Head of The Mulberry Bush Outreach Teaching School, Dip. SW, BA (Hons.), MA in Therapeutic Child Care

A qualified Social Worker, Dave has worked in residential child care since the early 1990’s. He became head of the training department in 2006 and has led the Mulberry Bush to two National Training Awards, in 2007 and 2012.

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He was integral in developing the “Foundation Degree in Therapeutic Work with Children and Young People”, with the University of the West of England, for which he is programme leader. He has developed a range of training programmes that he has delivered across the UK and Europe and facilitates reflective practice sessions for professionals from acrossOxfordshire.




Showing the way in therapeutic child care


Providing hope and positive outcomes for troubled children who are looking for a way to learn and live again.

feature-school The Mulberry Bush Outreach

Behaviour Support for Schools and Professionals helping those who help others. National Specialist Outreach for Social Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMHD).

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feature-mboxThe Mulberry Bush School

By improving the life chances and social inclusion of traumatised children and young people, we create long-term benefits to society by reducing anti-social behaviour and its impact on families, schools and communities.

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feature-nationalcentreNational Centre Logo

Our free alliance whose aim is to share knowledge about therapeutic care for children and young people, and to support the use of reflective practice and research, in order to improve service quality and ensure excellent outcomes.

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Latest News

Mulberry Bush Outreach Summer Newsletter

We have just published our Mulberry Bush Outreach Summer Newsletter, which provides information about our courses, a case study on a child causing concern, OFSTED advice, an update on SEN and EHC Plans by the DfE and an article about our work in developing nurturing practice in schools. You can read the Outreach newsletter here.  

‘Leadership for an Emotionally Aware Environment’ course

We are now taking bookings for our new ‘Leadership for an Emotionally Aware Environment’ course which is suitable for current and aspiring leaders from education and care settings, who work with children and young people experiencing social, emotional and mental health difficulties. The course will be led by Dawn Davidson and Andy Lole from The more »

A Foundation Degree in Therapeutic Work With Children and Young People

We are taking applications now for this three-year course for child-care professionals working in education, care and health services. The degree is accredited through the University of West of England. The closing date is 6th June. You can find full details about the course here.