The Prepatoria Nursery & School Senior Leadership Team is made up of highly experienced degree qualified educators and qualified teachers.

Jane Smalley

School Principal and Owner

Shrewsbury Prepatoria is owned and managed by Jane Smalley who has twenty years experience and qualifications in the childcare sector.

Jane lectured in Childhood studies from 2000-2005 before launching Nurserywise, her training and consultancy service. Jane provided advice and guidance for local authorities across the north of England, supporting settings to raise the quality of education and care provided to children. Delivering training for early years teachers and practitioners and writing bespoke training packages, Jane was able to support settings to make considerable improvement. As an Associate trainer for the National Day Nursery Association (NDNA) Jane continues to provide pre-inspection visits to other settings across Central England and delivers training specialised training to day care practitioners.

In 2010 Jane joined a prestigious independent school where she led the nursery through a period of growth and change.

In 2013 Jane opened Shrewsbury Prepatoria, a unique preparatory school delivering the most comprehensive approach to Reggio Emilia education in the UK. Jane says:

“I have spent most of my working life trying to persuade other people that there is a better way to care for and to educate children. I have realised that the very best way to do this is to lead by example. That is exactly what we are doing at Shrewsbury Prepatoria.”

Jane is a mother of four children and grandparent to nine grandchildren. Jane lives in Shropshire with her husband, Graeme, who is also her business partner.

Our Senior Leadership Team

The nursery and school are supported by a well-qualified Senior Leadership Team, made up of degree-qualified educators and qualified teachers.

Joanne Lee

Deputy Headteacher, SENCO and teacher

​Joanne is a qualified teacher who has worked in childcare and education for over 15 years. She has spent 7 years working in a Specialist School for children with additional needs. Joanne has experience working with a range of conditions and needs and works with colleagues, outside agencies and families to provide support. She oversees The SEN provision at the Prepatoria and arranges any additional provision or support for children who may require it.

Joanne is also the English as an Additional Language (EAL) Coordinator and is responsible for overseeing provision for children whose home language is not English, to ensure they have the same opportunities to engage as their peers.

As well as supporting Mrs Smalley as the Deputy, Joanne teaches for some of the week and loves to share her knowledge and passion for baking with the children.

Helen Parke

Deputy Safeguarding Lead and Reception, Year One and Two teacher

Helen has been with the Prepatoria since June 2019. She teaches a mixed class of reception, year 1 and year 2 children and is also responsible for the well being and safety of the children as the Deputy Safeguarding Lead for the setting.
With over twenty years teaching experience ago Helen’s area of expertise is in teaching the early years and key stage 1 age range. She’s a qualified forest school leader and was previously involved in a government funded project linked to raising achievement through the forest school experience.
She enjoys working at the Prepatoria enormously and believes that we are able to offer the children a unique learning experience through our curriculum and enabling environment.

Melanie Eccleston

BA (Hons)
Foundation stage teacher


Kelly Adkins

Level 3 in Early Years
Toddler Room Lead

Jennifer Harris

NNEB, BEd with Honours specialising in Early Years
Pre-school teacher


Laura Vaughan

Foundation degree in Early Years
Deputy of Infant & Toddler Department and Baby Room Lead

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