Saplings Goresbridge School Staff

The Board of Management of Saplings Goresbridge complies with all recruitment procedures for staff as set out by the Department of Education and Skills. All personnel employed by the school or attending work placement comply fully with Garda Vetting procedures as laid out in legislation.

Saplings Goresbridge prides itself on employing a highly-qualified and motivated staff. The teachers are very committed and experienced in Special Education and undertake regular additional training in this area as a matter of course. Our Special Needs Assistants play an integral role in the high standard of care and support provided on an individualized basis to our students. Updating of skills and provision of training is a priority for the Board of Management.

Staff Roles


The Principal of the school:

  • Is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school, including guidance and direction of the teachers and other staff of the school, and be accountable to the board of the school for that management.
  • Provides leadership to the teachers and other staff and the students of the school.
  • Is responsible, together with the board, parents of students and the teachers, for the creation in the school of an environment which is supportive of learning among the students and which promotes the professional development of the teachers.
  • Under the direction of the board, and in consultation with the teachers, the parents and, to the extent appropriate to their age and experience, the students, sets objectives for the school and monitors the achievement of those objectives.
  • Encourages the involvement of parents of students in the school in the education of those students and in the achievement of the objectives of the school.

Deputy Principal

The duties of the Deputy Principal include assisting and supporting the Principal in the day-to-day organisation and supervision of the school and deputise for the Principal in her absence or unavailability:

  • Teaching & Learning – Monitor, review and evaluate the school plan in designated curricular areas.
  • Pastoral – Develop and plan for School Tours and Community Outings.
  • Administrative – Maintenance and updating school records, electronic Roll Books and registers.
  • Health and Safety – Coordinating the implementation of the recommendations in the school’s safety statement including all aspects of emergency procedures and fire drills.

Teaching Staff

All class teachers are fully recognized with the Teaching Council and qualified to teach in a Special School Setting. The Class Teacher is responsible for the co-ordination of each students Individual Education Plan in addition to planning and preparation for group activities in line with the National Curriculum and maintenance of records for same. The Class Teacher is responsible for the health, safety and welfare of all students in his/her class and works collaboratively with our the in-school management team or members of each child’s clinical support team to support the child’s education and development.

Behaviour Analyst

In Saplings, Goresbridge we currently have a full-time behaviour analyst, funded by the Department of Education and Skills. She works in close collaboration with the teaching staff to design positive behavioural interventions which enable children to access a broad curriculum and provide strategies for self-regulation, but which also work in the context of a busy classroom. Her work assists them to fully participate in the life of the school and in that of the wider community. Our behaviour analyst also collaborates with the Principal and Class teachers to offer advice and support regarding behavioural issues at home.

Special Needs Assistants

The role of the Special Needs Assistant is to ensure the students personal care and holistic needs are being met while also providing additional support to enable the child to participate to their fullest potential in educational activities. SNAs provide additional individual instruction toward IEP goals under the guidance of the class teacher and collect behavioural data to assist the class teacher and Behaviour Analyst in assessing and monitoring the progress of each child.

School Nurse

The HSE fund the provision of a school nurse due to the complex and varied diagnoses of the children in our care. Our students may require very specific support in relation to daily physiotherapy, occupational therapy activities, and sensory needs. Our nurse also supports and helps to implement the life skills element of the students’ programmes, devises and implements desensitization programmes, and provides daily OT and physiotherapy sessions for students where appropriate. She also liaises closely with parents and external agencies regarding issues such as continence and immunization.

In-School Management Team

  • Sandra Wickham, Principal
  • Stephanie Bowe, Deputy Principal / Class Teacher
  • Bríd Rafter, Class Teacher
  • Susan Owen, Behaviour Analyst

Special Needs Assistants

  • Anitha Lanigan
  • Deirdre Burke
  • Deirdre Geoghegan
  • Lauren Barcoe
  • Marie Hanlon
  • Melissa Kelly
  • Melissa Webster
  • Paula Lynch
  • Trina Kirk

Auxiliary Staff

  • Olive Doyle, School Nurse
  • Tom Bolger, Cleaner / Caretaker
  • Antoinette Dowling, Secretary


  • Ann Kehoe
  • Caoimhe O’Sullivan
  • Margaret Davitt
  • Tom Bolger