Meet The Team

Robert Gasson – Chief Executive Officer & Executive Principal

Rob has worked in education for over 25 years, the last 14 as a Headteacher, with Masters Degrees in Economics and Education Management he has worked extensively with pupils who exhibit challenging behaviour and those who are unable to access school due to their health. He has contributed to a number of policy groups both regionally and nationally in this area and is a passionate advocate of inclusion, and proud father of two.

Gaynor Boyden - Business Manager

Gaynor qualified as a chartered accountant after studying for a degree in European Finance & Accounting and has worked in education since 1996, more recently as Head of Administration Finance and Resources, in industry in France as Head Accountant for a CD Mastering company as well as in practice in the UK. Her skills include financial management & analysis, leadership & management and devising and implementing continuous improvement strategies as well as speaking fluent French. Gaynor believes that her hands-on management approach builds excellent relationships helping both people and the organisation to prosper and flourish in a happy environment. When not constrained to the office she enjoys spending time with her extensive family & friends on the beach in the summer and around a rugby pitch in the winter

Haydn Pearse – Principal, Caradon

Haydn has been a teacher for 14 years. He completed his degree in Sport and Biology in Liverpool before going on to complete a PGCE in Secondary Education.
Haydn taught secondary PE in Worcestershire for 6 years before relocating to Cornwall and taking a teaching post at CAPA and subsequently Deputy and Acting Principal post.
Since University Haydn has consistently been involved coaching and working with youngsters on summer camps and running sports teams.
Outside of work Haydn loves Rugby and spending time in the outdoors with his family and dogs.

Richard Triggs – Principal, North Cornwall

Richard graduated from Plymouth University with a first class honours degree in Biological Science (BSc Hons).  He then attended Exeter University to complete PGCE in Science/PE. Richard taught Science at Brannel since 2000, along with a pastoral role as Head of House.  He has always been committed to making a positive difference to the most challenging pupils in his care.  Richard is fortunate enough to have played football for the County Senior team, and now coaches an under 10’s team, keeps fit primarily by cycling, but enjoys many sports.  He enjoys spending time with his family (wife and two children).


Helen Casson - Principal, CHES

After graduating from the University of East Anglia in PsychoSocial studies, Helen completed her PGCE at Sheffield Hallam University. She then taught in Sheffield for a few years before moving to an inner London school as Assistant Headteacher, leading on student and staff wellbeing. After a move to Cornwall in 2011, Helen became Deputy Headteacher at Looe Community Academy. Helen is a trained SENCo and a Thrive practitioner and is passionate about ensuring the needs of all young people are met.

Helen sat on our Acorn MAT board for number of years and is delighted to have now joined the Acorn team.

Lianne Ward - Principal, Restormel

Lianne Ward has been a teacher for 18 years after completing her education degree in Cardiff. She then spent 13 years employed as a Year 6 teacher in a local Primary school. In 2002, Lianne travelled the world for 2 years which also gave her the opportunity to work as a teacher in Peru and Thailand. In 2011, she was appointed lead teacher of an area based Nurture Group as part of Restormel AP Academy before taking on  the post of Vice Principal and SENDCo.  Appointed as Principal in 2017, Lianne is passionate about providing positive educational experiences for our vulnerable pupils. In her spare time she enjoys being active, sewing and spending time with her family.

Clare Barden- Principal, Penwith

Clare completed her Degree in London, and moved to Cornwall in 1992. She worked for a few years in a Secure Unit for adults with Severe Learning Disabilites in Falmouth, before completing her PGCE in London in 1996
and working at Pool School (now Academy) for 10 years. In 2007 she took up post as Deputy at Penwith AP Academy, before taking the post of Head at Restormel APA in February 2015.  Clare became the Principal at Penwith APA in April 2017.  Clare is passionate about giving vulnerable young people every possible opportunity to succeed in life, striving for ways to help them academically, socially and emotionally. Her interests outside of work include playing saxophone and keyboards, walking, travelling, gardening, cooking…..and sleeping!

Jonathan Stocker - Principal, Nine Maidens

Jonathan has worked at Nine Maidens since 2003. During his teaching career he has worked in a number of local schools initially as a SENCO and then as a Deputy Head.
He was born in Hayle and considers it a privilege to be able to give something back to his local community by working at Nine Maidens. Jonathan is an active member of Portreath Surflife Saving Club and coaches the Nippers (7 – 13 year olds). He has 4 children, a dog and in his spare time enjoys surfing, kayaking and cycling.

Ryan Brokenshire - Principal, Carrick

Ryan has been a teacher for 15 years.  He trained initially as a primary teacher, working in two local primary schools giving him experience teaching all age groups.   Prior to moving to Glynn House in 2011, Ryan taught both Maths and ICT at Nine Maidens Short Stay School and became the school’s SENCO.
Born in Redruth, Ryan feels very privileged to be appointed Headteacher of Glynn House and enjoys working each day with young people with unique personalities, experiences and ideas.  Ryan is an active member of a local surf life saving club, coaching both the Nipper and Junior sections, enjoys going to gym and spending time with his family.