The role of staff

The role of staff members within the Sudbury model is very different to that of a traditional educational setting.  We do not look specifically for teachers, though staff may be called upon to teach, their primary purpose is quite different.  Staff act as role models to students, as examples of what it means to be a grownup, to be self-directed, to set a goal and work towards it and as models of responsible behaviour. 

Our staff are also responsible for the work that it takes to keep our setting open and running smoothly. Whilst students are free to take on management and administration roles they are not obliged to do so, staff have a duty to take on the remainder of the work.  And of course, staff also support students in their learning; this role can sometimes take the form of a teacher, but more often it will be that of a friend, facilitator or mentor.  As a result we seek to provide variety within our staff team – variety of interest, of background and of personality.

If you’d like to know more about the role of staff within a setting like EKS, we recommend the following posts:


We invite expressions of interest from anyone seeking to work in our setting as a volunteer intern.  Anyone interested in applying to work with us as a volunteer staff member should get in touch for more information.  There is no deadline, applications will be considered as and when we receive them and according to our needs at that point in time.

Specialist skills

We often invite in external facilitators to assist our students with their interests. Our students are currently particularly interested to work with anyone with specialist knowledge in:

  • IT / programming – especially game design and programming
  • Fashion and textiles – especially dress making
  • Chinese

If you’re interested in working with our students in pursuing their passions either on a regular basis or as a one off workshop or talk, get in touch we’d love to talk to you.

Current staff

Kezia Cantwell-Wright

Having experienced varied educational styles growing up, Kezia, attended both mainstream schools and the world’s first democratic school, Summerhill in Leiston, Suffolk, an experience which left a lasting impact.  Later on Kezia graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2003 in Fine Art going on to establish a career in digital design and marketing, heading up a creative team at a London marketing agency before establishing her own company Draw().  Now mother to two daughters Kezia chose to stay home with her family and home educate her children before embarking on founding East Kent Sudbury.

View all blog posts by Kezia

Kate Coleman

Mother of three boys.  Kate had been looking into alternative education after the public school system failed and damaged her sons mental health. She has always been very politically active and believes in democracy wholeheartedly. After reading Peter Gray’s ‘Free to Learn’ Kate immediately knew that a Sudbury model school was what she wanted for her own children, what she passionately believed in and what she wanted to help bring to the UK. Shortly after, Kezia unveiled her plans and things soon slotted into place. Kate is enthusiastic about sociology and psychology and has spent most of her working career within the adult education sector, managing the office and day to day needs of both students and trainers. Kate also ran her own successful business for a number of years before deciding to home educate her own children. She is passionate about cookery and loves to read.

View all blog posts by Kate

Rachel Jones

Rachel has a background in classics and an interest in history and literature. She is also an active member of her local church and is passionate about school reform and promoting better mental health and special needs awareness.  She home educated her four children for 11 years before joining the staff at East Kent Sudbury.

View all blog posts by Rachel

Joseph Atkinson

Joe first trained as a teacher in 2008 but quickly became concerned about the impact that mainstream schooling was having on children’s well-being and mental health.  He then built on his original passion psychology, retraining as a play therapist and has worked for the past few years private tutor assisting home educating families with children of all ages and abilities, including students with a variety of special needs and learning disabilities.

View all blog posts by Joe

Antoinette Reid

Lisa Rist

Lisa has worked as an educator of children for twenty years. Upon graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in English she then qualified as a teacher of English as an Additional Language and taught in London and Rome. Later, whilst working as an EAL specialist for newly arrived refugee children in a secondary school, Lisa undertook her teacher training and gained Qualified Teacher Status in 2004. Since then she has worked as a Secondary School English Teacher and English GCSE and A Level Subject Leader within Kent and London. She is a qualified children’s mindfulness instructor and passionate about childrens’ well-being. She is currently studying for an M.A in Early Childhood Education and is an avid supporter of child-centered education. 


Our staff are also supported by the members of our founding group that helped bring East Kent Sudbury to fruition and by many friends, family and supporters.  If you’d like to get more involved whether in the setting or as a supporter, please get in touch we always like to hear from those that share our vision for education that truly gives a voice to children.