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The Unicorn School

The Unicorn School

A Specialist School supporting pupils with dyslexia and related learning difficulties

Senior Management Team

Andrew Day – Head Teacher

Andrew Day has been Head of The Unicorn School since April 2015.  Prior to this he was Head of Calder House School in Bath where he spent seven happy years transforming a generally good school to an “Outstanding” school in all seven areas.

Andrew brings a wealth of experience with him as he has also taught at Bristol Grammar Lower School, Hornsby House School, Wycliffe Preparatory School and Cheltenham College Preparatory School. He was in charge of the academic side in the last three of these schools.

Married to Helen, and with two daughters, Andrew has made his home in Abingdon. Outside school Andrew’s main passion is Rugby. He has represented Cotham Park in Bristol over 500 times and has also represented London Welsh RFC. He also loves the great outdoors and has enjoyed numerous skiing and hiking trips to Europe and to the USA.

Vita Parvin - Deputy Head Teacher

A B.Ed. graduate of Westminster College, Oxford, Vita started her adult working life in retail.  She first worked in the US and then moved to Italy, where she lived for four years, before moving back to England to work in both Selfridges and Harrods.

After having two children, she moved into Social Care with a view to becoming a social worker but switched lanes to become a teacher in the late nineteen-nineties.

Her first teaching job was at Temple Cowley Middle School and then when that closed she moved to Blackbird Leys, where she taught for five years. 

Vita joined The Unicorn School in 2008 and became the Deputy Head in 2013.

Vita lives in Abingdon on Thames; her eldest son lives in Norwich and is a musical composer and producer and her youngest son lives in London, also a producer but this time in film and TV.

Rachael McMullen - SENCo

Rachael graduated with a degree in English from the University of York and following a PGCE, taught English at Secondary level for two years.  She then taught English in Japan and travelled widely in Asia.  Rachael worked for 15 years for a number of leading educational publishers, producing multi-media courses to teach English to Primary children across the world.

Rachael became interested in special educational needs after taking a MSc in Child Learning and Development, and has been working at The Unicorn School since 2008 as a one to one teacher, class teacher and SENCO.

Rachael is a governor at a large Secondary school in Oxford with responsibility for SEND. She lives in Oxford and is married with two teenage children.

Elizabeth Carter Shaw - Registrar

Lizzy graduated from Leicester University with a degree in Economics before moving to Thailand.  She founded the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School which she ran with her husband for 17 years. 

Upon returning to England she worked in the Admissions Department at Abingdon School being responsible for organising Open Days, the primary and prep school events and exam days.  Most recently she successfully ran an election campaign for a local MP.

Lizzy has her own company, Tongue Thai'd, teaching Thai cooking and regularly runs courses at Marlborough Summer School.  She has also written a couple of Thai cookery books.  She enjoys opera and theatre, playing squash and long walks.  She lives in Abingdon and her three children are all at university in London.

Clare Roberts - Outreach Coordinator & Specialist Assessor

Clare graduated with a Bachelor of Education Degree from University of Wolverhampton in 1994. She then worked as a Key Stage 2 class teacher, gaining a wealth of experience in a variety of inner city schools in the West Midlands.

In 2004 Clare and her husband relocated to a small village in the Chilterns where she focused on raising their two daughters in their early years. One of her daughters found school very challenging and was found to have dyslexia; this impelled Clare to retrain. She found her passion and qualified with a PGC in Supporting Children and Young Adults with SpLD from Oxford Brookes University followed by gaining Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA). With a particular interest in assessing Clare also studied assessment writing at Bath Spa University.

Clare joined The Unicorn School in 2010 as a Supply Class teacher and has not managed to leave yet!  Since this time she has developed the AMBDA Course in association with Oxford Brookes University now based at The Unicorn School.


Her daughters are now both studying at secondary school and her family has expanded to include an irrepressibly energetic cocker spaniel who enjoys many, many family walks.

Diane Kenyon - Office Manager & Clerk to the Governors

Diane started her working life as a fashion model, based in London but working around the world.  After having three children she then graduated from Reading University with a BA in English Language & Literature

She worked at The Cherwell School as Attendance Officer before moving into Property Management with Hamptons International, and joined The Unicorn School in 2014.

Diane lives in Abingdon on Thames; her eldest son is a musician, her youngest works for Annie Sloan in Oxford and her daughter teaches English at Matthew Arnold School also in Oxford.

Alison Jarratt - Financial Bursar

Alison graduated in French from Durham University before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand.  After working as a management consultant, she joined the Head Office finance team of a private investment company in London.  Since 2003, she has been the Finance Director of her family business.

Alison was Chair of Governors of her local primary school for 7 years.  She has 2 children and enjoys walking, jigsaws and motorsport.  She aspires to be a decent bridge player.  

She loves travelling, having lived in France and Canada, and met her husband whilst travelling in South America.