Priory Education and Children’s Services is led by an executive team with extensive knowledge and experience in specialist education and care, as well as a range of other relevant sectors.
Chris Strong - Chief Operating Officer
Chris joined the Priory Group in March 2020 to lead the Education and Children’s Services Division. He has a wealth of experience in special education, fulfilling a range of high profile roles across the sector. Chris is a qualified teacher with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Management. Chris is passionate about working with children, maintaining voluntary positions in a national charity and local authority provision.
John Anderson - Managing Director, North Region
John joined Priory Group in April 2010 and has held various roles within the Education and Children’s Services division, including Regional Manager and Operations Director. In 2018, John was appointed as one of three Managing Directors for the division, with responsibility for the delivery of safe, high quality services throughout the North region. John began his career as a Process Engineer in the IT sector before moving into education. He has a degree in Mechatronics and is a qualified teacher, having completed a PGCE at the University of Strathclyde. John is motivated by supporting and enhancing the wellbeing of children and young people.
Barry Eannetta - Managing Director, Midlands Region
Barry joined the Priory Group in November 2019 having worked continuously with our client group since his entry into employment, and has over twenty-two years’ experience within the social care and education sector. Barry’s experience has come from several agencies ranging from Department of Health facilities before moving on to local authorities, where he held senior positions both within the secure estates and residential environments. Following extensive work within the public sector, Barry moved to the private sector working with a number of large providers across the country, undertaking both operational and strategic positions.
James Imber - Managing Director, South Region
James joined Priory Group in June 2008 as a Head Teacher and has since held roles including Principal, Regional Manager and Operations Director. James became Managing Director for the Southern region in March 2017 and leads a diverse portfolio of services for children and young adults aged between 5 and 25 years. James is determined that the young people we support achieve their potential, overseeing services that deliver bespoke packages to support and engage vulnerable children, and provide real solutions for stakeholders. James worked in a variety of roles in local authority maintained special schools before joining Priory. He studied Philosophy at the University of Sussex and for his PGCE at the University of Exeter, taking inspiration from educationalist Ted Wragg. He is passionate about the development and delivery of innovative services in the education sector.
Bonny Anderson - Director of Quality Assurance and Improvement
Bonny joined the Priory Group in September 2017 as Director of Quality Assurance and Improvement. Prior to this, Bonny had provided leadership and management consultancy to Priory Education and Children’s Services. Bonny has experience of operational and strategic leadership and directorship of private and third sector early years’ settings, specialist further education, adult social care, children’s homes and independent specialist schools. Bonny is also a qualified post-16 teacher and holds a degree in Early Childhood Education, as well as a Master’s Certificate in Practical and Therapeutic Education.
Mandeep Gill-West - Service Development Director
Mandeep joined Priory Education and Children’s Services in 2016 as a Service Development Manager, with over 10 years’ experience working in NHS and private healthcare service development and commissioning roles. Mandeep has worked across Priory Group’s Healthcare and Education divisions, progressing from Service Development Manager to Head of NHS Partnerships, and returning to Education and Children’s Services in 2019 as Service Development Director. Mandeep has a wealth of commissioning and service development experience in primary, secondary and tertiary care across London and Surrey, commissioning person-centred services across a range of different models. In her more recent role at Priory, Mandeep has embedded a team of Service Development Managers to work with operational colleagues, to grow existing services and develop new ones which meet the needs of the individuals supported and the local authorities who place them. Mandeep is passionate about services and pathways that support children and young people to achieve positive outcomes.
Louise Watts - Director of HR
Louise joined the Priory Group in July 2017 as In-house Solicitor and took on the role of Head of Central HR later that year, becoming HR Director for Education and Children’s Services and Central Services in August 2019. Before joining Priory Group, Louise worked as a Solicitor and Head of HR for a residential and community drug addiction service. Her career has involved working in HR and employment law for a number of legal firms, progressing to Partner at an East Midlands law firm.
Steven O'Neill - Finance Director
Steven became Finance Director for Priory Education and Children’s Services in June 2016. Having joined the Priory Group in January 2011, Steven has worked as a Finance Manager for both Education and Adult Care, in addition to roles in the central accounting function. Steven has held a range of financial posts within the education sector, at a local authority level as well as in the private sector. He is also a qualified Chartered Management Accountant.