a winning team

  • Amy Smith
    Amy Smith
    Managing Director
    Amy Says: "Interactive technologies bring magic into the classroom."
  • Jodie Butler
    Jodie Butler
    Operations Director
    Jodie Says: "A fantastic opportunity for learners who otherwise would be without."
  • Lisa Fellows
    Lisa Fellows
    Office Administrator
    Lisa Says: "The way students interact with their teachers and the progress they make with online learning is a huge advantage our students enjoy."
  • John Rees
    John Rees
    Sr. Leadership Consultant
    John Says: "I am committed to reducing inequalities & supporting the development of educational professionals working with, and for, children & young people."
Meet the team here

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Meet the Team

Amy Smith

Amy Smith

Managing Director, AB, M.Div., S.T.M., PGCE

Before joining Apricot Online, Amy taught in mainstream schools and colleges in both the UK and the US. She has been a guest lecturer at a variety of university, seminary, and civic groups, as well as a practicing theologian and iconographer. As an iconographer, she knows how connected mind and body really are. As a theologian, she is aware of all the opportunities (missed and taken) for closeness between people. It is these sensibilities that brought Amy to manage the work undertaken at Apricot.

Amy has also worked as an Ethicist for NIH (National Institutes of Health) in their Animal Care and Use protocol committee for the Neurological Disease and Disorders Institute. There she worked with scientists and surgeons who were discovering cures and procedures to combat a number of diseases; chief among them, Parkinsonism.

Amy also has over 30 years of IT experience – another important skill set she brings to Apricot. Amy is the driving force behind all of our technical innovations and has joined forces with several partners to create an arena for students to author their own interactive learning modules.

Amy is an avid musician and when she is not jamming or out on the hills with her beagles, she is easily persuaded to curl up with her pups and a good movie.

Jodie Butler

Jodie Butler

Operations Director, BA

Jodie has been working as a Project Coordinator in the Finance industry for the last 10 years and has, happily, decided on Apricot as her challenge for the next 10 years! She has a wealth of Admin experience and is already streamlining our systems at Apricot HQ. With exceptional multi-tasking and organisational skills, Jodie is a highly motivated, confident young woman who never shys away from taking the initiative. She is known for her discretion and professionalism when dealing with clients and colleagues.

Jodie has 2 grown up children. Kirsten, 23, runs her own Dog Grooming business and Jake, 19, is currently serving in the British Army. She enjoys hearing all about their adventures as they make their own way in the world!

On weekends Jodie likes filling her time with Clay Pigeon Shooting, walking, or curling up with a good book. But her new found love is definitely travelling the country on the back of a big old motorbike!

Lisa Fellows

Lisa Fellows

Office Administrator,

Lisa joined the Apricot team in January 2017.  Before taking time out to raise her two children, Lisa was a Manager working in Vehicle Logistics for White Arrow Express Ltd. – who also contracted with Vauxhall Motors, where she arranged new vehicle launches and dealt with customer enquiries.  Lisa has an extensive background and experience in Customer Care & Service.  She also managed a team and contract for Mini Lease Fleet.  Lisa has set up many systems and procedures and has excellent administration and organisational skills, along with HR experience.

Lisa is now organising all student referrals and inductions, as well as administering our tracking systems for both staff and students.

Lisa’s spare time is taken up with her family, but she’ll find any excuse to socialise and to travel – sometimes with her husband on the back of his motorbike!  Lisa also enjoys walking the Malvern’s and baking.

John Rees

John Rees

Sr. Leadership Consultant, Cert. Ed., B.Ed, M.Ed

John is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management (FILM), Fellow Royal Society for Arts (FRSA), and Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health (FRSPH).

John is passionately committed to enhancing the achievement and life chances of children and young people through educational improvement and by supporting the professional development of individuals and organizations. Having taught for 12 years, latterly as a senior leader, John led the transformation of ‘APAUSE’ – a schools-based sex and relationships education programme from a 2-school research project into an effective multi-agency programme in approximately 200 schools across the UK and overseas. The programme has exhibited unique evidence of health benefit and educational improvement.

John became an independent educational consultant in 2006 and has enjoyed repeat commissions with a range of Local Authorities, charities, and commercial organisations supporting health and educational improvement across the UK.

Currently John is an ‘Achievement Coach’ with ‘Achievement for All’; a Facilitator and Coach supporting middle leaders through ‘Ambition School Leadership;’ and, a Coach with Mentor UK.  He also works for TES Global, supporting ITE learners in addition to a range of coaching, training, and consultancy roles to support the attainment and the wellbeing of children and young people across the UK and overseas.

When not supporting educators, John is a passionate Wales rugby fan (which is sometimes great) and a devoted family man (which is always great!).

Clare Robinson

Clare Robinson

Head of English, PGCE, BA Hons

More than a decade ago Clare began working with vulnerable children in an Inclusion Unit. She saw first-hand the challenges education professionals face in supporting students with a wide range of additional needs – and how support can be effectively achieved! It ignited her passion for SEND education. Clare has taught both English and Humanities, was an NQT mentor, and a peer coach for effective SEND education provision.

Accepting the Head of English at Apricot has provided her with the opportunity to lead a department and teach for an alternative provision in an online classroom – a ground-breaking development in education! It was just the exciting and distinct challenge she was looking for in the next stage of her career. Clare loves a bit of research and is relishing seeking out new ideas, methods, and resources to develop effective pedagogy for the online classroom that ensures the consistent delivery of an innovative, bespoke, engaging, and effective learning experience for our students.

Clare has 4 teenage sons and enjoys exploring the beautiful countryside near her home with her cocker spaniel, Trigger. But, her absolute favourite is travelling and she spends as much time as possible exploring the world by train with her chap.

Meet the English Team

English Team

Melanie Veness

Melanie Veness

Head of Maths, BSc Ed

After a successful career in IT, Mel decided to follow a long-held dream of becoming a teacher and attained a BSc.Ed Mathematics. Straight away she realised how much she enjoyed working in the “harder” schools. Mel loves being at the forefront of new developments and was selected to be one of only five teachers to author a suite of lessons for Cardiff Education Authority in her NQT year, as well as being invited to work for The Education Achievement Service.

The opportunity to work for Apricot revitalized Mel's love of teaching, as she rediscovered the creativity in mathematics teaching students who often need reassurance in their ability. Her role as Head of Maths has given her the opportunity to build on her previous work of mentoring new teachers, leading CPD, and becoming the Numeracy Development Coordinator. It also allows her to research and develop the latest thinking behind teaching – especially from a pedagogical perspective – and connect to other leaders in a way that are, frankly, restrictive in a mainstream school.

Mel loves spending time with her family in South Wales; and, if not teaching, can most likely be found on a rugby pitch cheering on family members – and even playing in the occasional invitational herself!

Meet the Maths Team

Maths Team

Lynne Hann

Lynne Hann

Head of Science, PGCE, PhD, BSc

Lynne joined Apricot in October 2015 as Head of Science. Since joining Apricot she has enjoyed learning many new things, including how to use innovative online resources to help engage the students that we teach. She is always  amazed at how well students have engaged with their learning during lessons and how keen they are to learn using this approach.

Prior to teaching at Apricot Lynne taught in a variety of different schools ranging from the special needs department in a large comprehensive school, a sixth form college, and a girl’s grammar school. She graduated from Birmingham University with a degree in Biochemistry and then stayed on to gain a PhD before deciding to complete a PGCE in Biology and going on to teach.

To relax, Lynne enjoys spending time with her husband and three children – and also walking her two completely mad springer spaniels.

Meet the Science Team

Science Team

Emily Clutterbuck

Emily Clutterbuck

Head of Computing & Business, PGCE, BSc

Over the course of the last seven years, Emily has worked at various schools across Gloucestershire. As the youngest member of the Head of Department team, she has bags of energy for her work with students! Emily has now been with Apricot Online since 2015, and the time has flown by!  While she originally graduated with a specialism in Business Studies, her work has now grown to include a number of other subjects, including Economics, Computing, and Humanities.  Emily is a motivated and conscientious teacher who enjoys her work and the interactions she has with both students and clients.

In 2016, Emily married Daniel, who works in the business sector. They share a general love for Ceroc dancing (must be seen!), along with her own interests of swimming, reading, and anything technology based!

Meet the Social Sciences - Computing - Humanities Team

Soc Sci Hums Comp

Apricot Teachers

Apricot’s teachers are vetted for safeguarding, quality assured, and Blackboard Online Teaching & Learning Certified. Our ever-expanding pool of teaching talent enables us to offer an increasing breadth of subject expertise and the ability to match online teaching personalities to those of the students with whom we work. Merging traditional teaching with the capabilities of the virtual classroom, our teachers create stimulating lessons, bursting with interactive opportunities to engage learners. Apricot’s growing reputation as a provider specialising in meeting the needs of young people who are not accessing mainstream education is a direct result of our teachers’ expertise in improving learning outcomes for those most vulnerable to failure in education.

See what our teachers say about working with Apricot!



Welcome to Apricot
a company small enough to be like family,
yet big enough to provide a global solution to
alternative educational provision.