Aspris Children’s Services is led by an executive team with extensive knowledge and experience in specialist education and care, as well as a range of other relevant sectors.
Chris Strong - Chief Operating Officer
Following his leadership of Priory Education and Children’s Services, Chris is now Chief Operating Officer for Aspris Children’s Services. Chris has a wealth of experience in special education, fulfilling a range of high profile roles across the sector. He is a qualified teacher with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Management. Chris is passionate about working with children, maintaining voluntary positions in a national charity and local authority provision.
Chris spends most of his free time either playing sports or transporting his two children to play sports. He enjoys spending long walks in the countryside with his dog, which is a great way to recharge the batteries. Chris is also a local School Governor and is the Treasurer for the Northern branch at the Wooden Spoon Foundation.
John Anderson - Managing Director, North Region
John worked for Priory Education and Children’s Services for over 10 years before moving over to Aspris Children’s Services. John held various roles within Priory, including Regional Manager and Operations Director. In 2018, John was appointed as one of three Managing Directors for the division, with responsibility for the delivery of safe, high quality services throughout the North region.
John began his career as a Process Engineer in the IT sector before moving into education. He has a degree in Mechatronics and is a qualified teacher, having completed a PGCE at the University of Strathclyde. John is motivated by supporting and enhancing the wellbeing of children and young people.
Barry Eannetta - Managing Director, Midlands Region
Before joining Aspris Children’s Services, Barry was the Managing Director for the Midlands at Priory Education and Children’s Services. Barry has worked continuously with our client group since his entry into employment, and has over twenty-two years’ experience within the social care and education sector. Barry’s experience has come from several agencies ranging from Department of Health facilities before moving on to local authorities, where he held senior positions both within the secure estates and residential environments.
Following extensive work within the public sector, Barry moved to the private sector working with a number of large providers across the country, undertaking both operational and strategic positions. In his spare time, Barry remains committed to the continued support of children and young people within grass roots sports.
James Imber - Managing Director, South Region
James worked for Priory Education and Children’s Services for 13 years before moving over to Aspris Children’s Services. James joined Priory in June 2008 as a Head Teacher and held roles including Principal, Regional Manager and Operations Director, before he became Managing Director for the Southern region in March 2017. Within his role at Aspris Children’s Services, James continues to lead a diverse portfolio of services for children and young adults aged between 5 and 25 years. James is determined that the young people we support achieve their potential, overseeing services that deliver bespoke packages to support and engage vulnerable children, and provide real solutions for stakeholders.
James worked in a variety of roles in local authority maintained special schools before joining Priory and Aspris Children’s Services. He studied Philosophy at the University of Sussex and for his PGCE at the University of Exeter, taking inspiration from educationalist Ted Wragg. He is passionate about the development and delivery of innovative services in the education sector. James’ interests include politics, economics and travel.
Mandeep Gill-West - Service Development Director
Before joining Aspris Children’s Services, Mandeep worked across Priory Group’s Education and Healthcare divisions. Mandeep joined Priory Education and Children’s Services in 2016 as a Service Development Manager, with over 10 years’ experience working in NHS and private healthcare service development and commissioning roles. At Priory, Mandeep progressed from Service Development Manager to Head of NHS Partnerships, and returning to Education and Children’s Services in 2019 as Service Development Director. Mandeep has a wealth of commissioning and service development experience in primary, secondary and tertiary care across London and Surrey, commissioning person-centred services across a range of different models. In her last role at Priory, Mandeep embedded a team of Service Development Managers to work with operational colleagues, to grow existing services and develop new ones, which met the needs of the individuals supported and the local authorities who placed them. Mandeep is passionate about services and pathways that support children and young people to achieve positive outcomes.
In Mandeep’s spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and always looking for new dining experiences to enjoy. Mandeep’s most valued thing is weekend countryside dog walks with her Labrador, having recently relocated from the city to a lovely village where there is lots to discover and explore, as well as making new friends.
Louise Watts - HR Director
Louise was the HR Director for Priory Education and Children’s Services and Central Services before moving across to her new role at Aspris. Louise joined the Priory Group in July 2017 as In-house Solicitor and took on the role of Head of Central HR later that year, becoming HR Director for Education and Children’s Services and Central Services in August 2019.
Before joining Priory Group, Louise worked as a Solicitor and Head of HR for a residential and community drug addiction service. Her career has involved working in HR and employment law for a number of legal firms, progressing to Partner at an East Midlands law firm. When not working, Louise can usually be found out walking her fox red labrador Ruby or dreaming of, and planning, adventures around the world.
Steven O'Neill - Finance Director
Steven joins Aspris having previously held the position of Finance Director for Priory Education and Children’s Services since June 2016. Having joined the Priory Group in January 2011, Steven worked as a Finance Manager for both Education and Adult Care, in addition to roles in the central accounting function.
Steven has held a range of financial posts within the education sector, at a local authority level, as well as in the private sector. He is also a qualified Chartered Management Accountant. Steven enjoys both playing and watching football in his spare time.