Senior Leadership Team
The school has outstanding staff who are dedicated and demonstrate kindness and commitment towards the children they support. The Senior Leadership team are responsible for delivering on the strategy of Crosfields School.
Mrs Caroline Townshend, Head
BSc, Psychology (University of Southampton)
Caroline grew up in California before moving to England to study GCSEs and A-Levels. She read Psychology at the University of Southampton, completing her PGCE at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Mrs Caroline Purdom, Bursar
OBE BA(Hons) CMgr MCMI
Caroline studied Economics at Reading University before joining the Royal Air Force as an Administrative (Secretarial) Officer. Her 19 years flying a desk included a wide variety of roles including accounts, HR, property management and strategic planning in the UK and operational tours in Italy and Turkey. Her last tour was as Officer Commanding Support Wing at RAF Northolt where she oversaw a multi-million pound rebuild project and the expansion of support services. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2011.
After a short stint as Head of Communications and Client Relations at ISS, Caroline took a career break and was Vice-Chair of the Friends of her daughter’s Prep School, Treasurer and Trustee at the Battle of Britain Bunker, Uxbridge and provided governance support to the Military Wives Choir Foundation.
Caroline joined Davenies Preparatory School in January 2013 and project managed the operational logistics of the building of a new prep and junior school, developed a new health and safety framework, and ran the Gardening Club.
Caroline joined Crosfields in January 2019 as Bursar and Clerk to Governors.
Away from School, Caroline is a Brownie Leader, a fair-weather cyclist, and a keen gardener. Caroline is married to Mark, has a netball mad daughter and 2 Irish Setters.
Mrs Karen O’Leary, Director of Studies
BAHons QTS (Surrey)
Karen has a teaching degree from the University of Roehampton, London and began her teaching career in Wimbledon in 2000.
Karen started at Crosfields in 2009, shortly after moving to the local area and choosing the school for her son to attend. She joined initially as a Form Teacher in Year 5 before being appointed as Head of Year 5 in 2010.
In 2016 she became Head of Drama and leads the school productions. Karen joined the Senior Leadership Team in September 2017. She was appointed to her current role as Director of Studies in January 2018.
In addition to a son who attended Crosfields Karen also has a daughter who currently attends the school. Outside school life Karen enjoys an active lifestyle, loves travelling and enjoys supporting and taking part in triathlons.
Mr Andrew Norwood, Director of Digital Strategy
Andrew began a teaching career in Newbury, following the study of his PGCE at Reading University. While in Newbury, he served in a variety of roles, including Head of Computer Science.
Following a move to Australia, Andrew taught at schools in Sydney before becoming Director of Digital Learning across a college with five schools in Adelaide. He joined Crosfields in 2022 after returning to England with his wife and daughter.
Mr Gareth Edwards, Director of Co-Curricular
Gareth trained to be a teacher of PE and Maths at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham, and began his teaching at Waingels College, Woodley.
He joined Crosfields School as a PE teacher in 1998 and became Director of Sport in 2003. Since joining the school, Gareth has seen Crosfields change from a boys school to co-ed and more recently from a prep school to an all-though school.
Outside of school Gareth played Minor Counties Cricket for Berkshire in the late 90’s and now enjoys playing Golf as often as possible and playing the Guitar.
Mr John Ireland, Deputy Head of the Junior School (Academic)
MEd (Reading), PgCert SENCO (Reading), PGCE (Reading), BAHons (Kent)
John started his career in teaching at a large local primary school before moving to Ashford Prep where he took up post of Head of Learning Support. Here he worked as a Boarding House Tutor, Form Tutor and took games alongside teaching commitments such as Science and Maths. During his time at Ashford Prep he completed his Masters in Education at the University of Reading before being appointed Deputy Head of Juniors at Crosfields in September 2017.
Mr Tom Goodhew, Deputy Head of the Junior School (Pastoral)
BSc (Hons) (UWIC), PGCE (Reading)
Tom joined Crosfields School as a PE and Games Teacher in 2013. Prior to this he spent three years teaching in the Middle East and before that, four years as a PE Teacher at a local secondary school. Tom’s natural abilities shone through quickly and since joining Crosfields, he has been promoted to Head of Year 6, Head of Middle School and as of September 2021 was appointed to his busiest role to date, Deputy Head (Pastoral) for the Junior School.
Tom’s passion for helping young people develop confidence and character combines well with his aim to create a sense of togetherness and community within each class and the wider school body. A natural team player, outside of school Tom has played Rugby, Football and Cricket and is driven by a strong sense of celebrating the different attributes within a community and recognising how when brought together they empower all within.
Mrs Janey McDowell, Head of Pre-Prep
BScHons (Reading), PGCE (Cantab)
As a child, Janey lived in many different countries. Born in Zimbabwe, she then lived, and was educated, in Sudan, Iran and South Africa. Janey gained a B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology/Zoology. This was followed by a PGCE(Biology) from King’s College, Cambridge.
Having taught A-level Biology for a few years, she realised that it was the children’s development that interested her more than the subject, so she moved gradually down the age range, eventually teaching a Nursery class at Rupert House School in Henley for 12 years.
When Crosfields became co-educational, Janey joined as a Reception teacher, before being appointed as Head of Pre-Prep in 2008.
Bringing up four children (three daughters and a son who attended Crosfields), has given Janey an insight into, and understanding of, parents’ concerns and expectations.
Mr Richard Ebbage, Deputy Head of the Senior School (Academic)
BSc (Roehampton), MSc (Southampton), QTS, NPQSL (UCL)
Richard Ebbage joined Crosfields from Shiplake College, bringing with him considerable expertise in teaching and mentoring children and adolescents.
As well as leading the way on teaching and learning, he was also Assistant Housemaster and Head of Football, and has taught Maths and Psychology at GCSE and A-level.
Having spent seven years at Shiplake, Richard initially joined the College as Head of Psychology before moving into the role of Deputy Head, Academic.
Mr Adam Mallins, Deputy Head of the Senior School (Pastoral)
BSc (Birmingham), PGCE (Buckingham)
Adam began his education at Donhead Prep School in Wimbledon, before moving across the road to Wimbledon College. He then earned a BSc Hons degree in Geology and Geography at the University of Birmingham before entering a career in television production at the BBC. Adam returned to education in 2010, becoming a teacher and Housemaster at Shiplake College.
Outside school, Adam loves sport, both watching and playing, with rugby being a particular passion. He is married to Elizabeth, a primary school teacher, and has two children at Crosfields.