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The Duke of York's Royal Military School

A co-educational boarding school for students aged 11-18

Health and Wellbeing

Mr Steff Dowle, Assistant Principal Behaviour, Welfare and Safety (Designated safeguarding Lead) would like to introduce the safeguarding and welfare support team and support available. 

Steff has been at the school for 12 years and previously the deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and is also the School RSM.

The safeguarding team consists of: Mr Alex Foreman, The Principal, Mr Steven Saunderson, Miss Fiona Dunn, Mrs Avril Saunderson, Mr Dave Wozencroft, Mr Ed Pallant, Mr Jolyon Marsh and Mrs Emma Dixon and supported by Miss Holly Mullins our safeguarding admin support. Working closely alongside this extensive and experienced team are Mrs Pinky Agrawal, Occupational Therapist and Mrs Colette Thorns,  School Nurse, and they comprise The Wellbeing Team alongside Steff.

Pinky trained in Oxford. She has worked in a variety of mental health settings in the past 30 years. Her last post in the NHS was as Head of Occupational Therapy in a Mental Health Unit at a London hospital. She has a wealth of experience working with adults and children with mental health problems. She is also a volunteer therapist for Cruse Bereavement Care, counselling children and young adults.

She uses a combination of various therapies to help students deal with the issues that trigger or exacerbate their mental health problems and behaviour issues. She teaches strategies to enable them cope with their issues and develop better well-being habits. Pinky has her own private practice based in Sandwich.

Mr Steff Dowle
Assistant Principal Behaviour, Welfare and Safety (Designated safeguarding Lead)

Colette has over 30 years of nursing experience having worked in accident and emergency and outpatient clinics within the NHS before coming to work at the Duke of York’s Royal military school four years ago to join the school medical centre team of three qualified nurses.

She has the additional role of working as part of the wellbeing team, liaising with house staff and meeting with all our students when they are new to our school and she enjoys promoting and developing wellbeing strategies which are central to student learning and achieving full potential. Colette also has a degree in health studies and has attended many courses to train in the role of promoting well-being and is a mental health first aider´┐╝.

The team aims to educate and empower students so they make positive life choices and benefit from good physical and mental health. The team provides support through individual therapy and well-being chats, helping our students understand their emotions, teaching strategies to regulate them, developing habits of kindness, acceptance and tolerance towards everyone. Additionally, they run workshops throughout the year for all the students, teaching them important life skills that will help them to navigate life as they progress from students to young adults and beyond. This year, the team is introducing a student led Well Being Club.


For Students


Safety net kids 

Think you know



Eating disorders 

Mind eating disorders 

Childline bullying

Reducing Exam Stress: Ideas for teachers and parents

For Parents

What not to do if a child is self-harming

Understanding self-harm and finding safer alternatives 

If a young person is self-harming does it mean they are suicidal? 

Depression - warning signs and when to worry 

How to start a conversation about mental health when you're worried about a friend 

4 ideas for supporting a child with anxiety 

Box Breathing Technique - simple strategy to calm anxiety

Promoting positive body image - ideas for teachers and parents 

Eating Disorders: I think my child has an eating disorder – what should I say? 

Let's mean it when we ask "How are You?"   

B-eat Website – Eating Disorders 

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust website – Mental health and wellbeing