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Highgate Tottenham Hotspur
The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2021 - Sixth Form College of the Year


HR Manager: Mr Mark Adams 

Having graduated in History & Sociology from the University of Surrey, Mark spent the early part of his career working in the commercial sector of the construction industry. Over time he became more and more involved in the HR side of the companies he worked for and found that he enjoyed that aspect of the business. With many years of HR experience, he decided post-pandemic to study for a formal HR qualification and is currently working towards his CIPD Level 5. A relative latecomer to HR within education, this is his second HR position in a school environment having previously worked at a three-academy trust in west London.

Mark is also a qualified ESOL / TEFL tutor and has worked part-time teaching adults for the London Borough of Hounslow since 2008.

Data Coordinator: mS jASMINE aKHTAR
Teacher of mathematics and further mathematics: mr Mohammed al-akari 

Senior Catering assistant: mr aziz al-ami 

Aziz has a degree in Geography and History which he completed in France. He has worked as a manager for a large coffee company for a number of years. He is also passionate about catering and likes to experiment with new dishes. 


Student Services Officer: Mr Imran Ali

Imran has a wealth of experience from various sectors including the Civil Service and Museums, which he brings to his new role in education.

Now embarking on his first venture within a school environment, Imran is eager to leverage his skill set and understands the importance of this role to positively impact students' lives.

With a dedication to service and a commitment to making a difference, Imran aims to make a significant contribution to LAE Tottenham. 


Dan studied Politics and Modern History at the University of Manchester before completing a law conversion course at Manchester Polytechnic and working as a commercial litigation solicitor. He subsequently worked as a photojournalist until 2010 when he began teaching A-level history and politics in London.


Jessica obtained her first degree in Economics at the University of Nottingham. She then went on to complete the Teach First Programme teaching Mathematics at a secondary school in Derby, whilst completing a PGCE from The University of Nottingham and MA in Educational Leadership from Warwick University.

Following on from her time in the East Midlands, Jessica joined Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre in East Ham as one of the originating members of staff, teaching A Level Mathematics and took on the role of Pastoral Year Leader. Prior to joining LAE Tottenham, Jessica taught at Harris Academy St John’s Wood, where she was a Lead Practitioner in the Mathematics department. 

 Headteacher: mr Jan balon

Having completed a degree in Politics from the University of Warwick, Jan initially trained through the Teach First programme and subsequently taught Humanities in schools in Tottenham and Edmonton, latterly as Vice Principal for the Curriculum at a large 11-18 Comprehensive - a position he held for three years. He was the founding Headteacher of the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham and has been in post since January 2017.

Co-curricular & Enrichment Activity Co-ordinator: mS Maayane Ben-Ari
partnership primary coordinator: ms ally birchall 

After completing her degree in Ancient History at UCL, Ally worked for 6 years in the city across the Legal and Accounting sectors. Ally completed her PGCE in Primary Education at Middlesex University and now has over ten years of experience working in primary schools across Haringey.

As Head of English, Ally oversaw the development of the curriculum and teaching policies at two schools. Specialising in teaching upper key stage 2 highlighted the importance of early intervention in academic and extra-curricular programmes and in transitions between key stages of education.

Ally now runs the primary school outreach programmes for Chrysalis East, within LAET, supporting local primary schools and the children of Tottenham.

Chrysalis Fellow: Ms Holly Bokolo Wa Mbengi
Teacher of MFL: Ms Mandy Bolster 
PARTNERSHIP TEACHER OF CHEMISTRY and us university coordinator: MS JOAN Bomfim Wallace 

Joan completed her master’s degree at Rensselaer (Troy, NY) in 1999, having researched heteronuclear coordination compounds.

While completing her Master’s she oversaw the lab component of the general chemistry course required by all undergraduates.  She has taught middle and secondary school at both public and independent schools in the US for over 15 years.  Most recently, she was an independent contractor, working with schools, families and students on increasing student confidence, navigating school policies and administrations, academic and test-taking skills, subject-specific learning, and US college admissions.

Joan started her academic life as a theatrical lighting designer and worked on off-Broadway and Broadway (contract electrician).  She is a cook, hiker, reader, writer, drawer, jewellery maker and a budding tenor recorder player.  Joan brings everything into the classroom with her, believing in a fully collaborative and integrated learning experience that fosters curiosity.

LEAD Teacher of Physics: dr Stefano Boseggia 

After completing a degree and a master in Physics Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Stefano moved to London where he completed a PhD in Physics at UCL. After leaving full time research, Stefano has been teaching Physics, Maths and Further Maths in a school in North London and has been a visiting scientist at the London Centre of Nanotechnology UCL, carrying out research in condensed matter Physics.

Assistant head (partnerships): mr stephen bovey 

Stephen read Theology at The University of Cambridge before completing his PGCE at King’s College, London. Since then, he has taught in a variety of large North London schools, including Latymer, Edmonton, where he was head of Gifted and Talented and Citizenship, and Highgate School, where he ran the Religion and Philosophy department.

Stephen is now based at both Highgate School and LAE Tottenham. At Highgate, he remains Senior Teacher responsible for staff development and training. At Tottenham, he is responsible for the important network of partner schools that help LAE Tottenham to achieve what it does.

teacher of politics and economics: mr Daniel brade 

Daniel studied Urban Planning at UCL for his undergraduate degree before moving to Tokyo for a few years as a teaching assistant. Upon returning to London, Daniel completed his Masters in local economic development from The London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) before embarking on a PGCE at Oxford University. He is about to embark on a 2nd Master’s degree in which he hopes to look at how case studies can be contextualised in social sciences.

deputy Head pastoral (AND Designated Safeguarding Lead): ms elaine brown

Elaine studied History at the University of Cambridge, where she also completed her PGCE and Masters in Education. Elaine has a wealth of experience, supporting young people and their families pastorally for over 15 years in education.

For ten years, before arriving at LAET as Assistant Headteacher in 2019, she taught History and Politics in three secondary schools in Hertfordshire and London with leadership roles including Head of Year (Sixth Form), Lead Teacher and Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator. She also worked at the London School of Economics as an Admissions and Access Specialist.

Elaine has observed that students can only achieve their academic potential when they are supported pastorally to thrive. She is now proud to lead the pastoral team in a school with approachable staff which truly values personal development and wellbeing.

lEAD teacher of politics - dr Lucy cane 

Originally from the UK, Dr Lucy Cane completed a first-class honours degree in Philosophy at the University of Sydney in 2008 and worked for a small refugee advocacy organisation in Australia. In 2010 she moved to the US, where she earned an MA and PhD in Political Science from Northwestern University.

She taught at several American universities and a prison, and published her first book, before returning to the UK in 2021 to teach in schools. In addition to leading the Politics Department at LAET, Lucy enjoys films, reading and, on occasion, writing.

She has recently published articles in newspapers and magazines on themes such as the Australian republic debate, UK teachers' unions, and the importance of including LGBT history in the secondary school history curriculum ON Weimar Germany.

teacher of biology: mr george carter 

George graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in Biological Sciences in 2016. He went on to study a MSc in Physiotherapy, graduating from Brunel University in 2020. His interests include genetic engineering and behavioural psychology, areas he researched for his undergraduate and master’s dissertations. George is delighted to have the platform at LAE Tottenham to pass on his enthusiasm for learning to the next generation and is excited to begin his PGCE soon.


Hannah graduated from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design with a Textile Design degree and, after working in industry quickly returned to university to complete a PGCE.

After a couple of years teaching in North London, Hannah returned to study again, this time a master's at Chelsea College of Art and Design. The master's degree created a plethora of opportunities for Hannah, including a collaboration with UAL, becoming a founding teacher at an independent art school, and teaching art and design to young children, young adults and adults in different community settings.

Hannah joined LAET after 2 years as a Course Leader in Beijing, China, where she taught art and design students who aspire to study creative subjects at London-based universities in London.

When not teaching, Hannah continues to develop her own work - focusing on weave and print.

partnership teacher of mathematics: mr sandipan chowdhury

Sandipan Chowdhury

 Born and initially raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sandipan spent the rest of his upbringing in east London, and went on to study Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London. During his second and third year, he realised that whilst he enjoyed the subject and loved designing and creating things, he wanted to have a greater impact in the world. It seemed even more imperative given the truths of the Iraq War, the changing politics and discourse within the UK, the Arab Spring, and the refugee crisis and the washing ashore of two-year-old Alan Kurdi. In his final year, he was enticed by the Teach First aims and objectives, and thus decided to train as a maths teacher through their graduate programme.

He started teaching at a school in Islington, and went on to work in various others in the borough and the wider north London region. Whilst working full-time at his previous school, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, he undertook and completed a master's in Human Rights (LLM) from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Given his experiences as a first generation immigrant and growing up in inner London, Sandipan strives to connect and build positive relationships with all in order to inspire and motivate students to do their best and achieve their goals. He is thrilled to be a part of the Chrysalis East project and work with Tottenham students from primary all the way to sixth form.

assistant senco: ms Lisa Cleveland

As an undergraduate Lisa read Theology and Philosophy at Oxford and did a Masters in Pastoral Theology in London before completing a PGCE.

After teaching Religious Studies and Philosophy in a number of London schools, alongside Chaplaincy roles, she wished to dedicate more time to working with those who have additional needs, to enable them to develop academically and personally through the educational opportunities on offer. Further study was awarded a postgraduate certificate in SEND, specialising in Autism. A postgraduate qualification in psychometric testing, and membership of the British Psychological Society, led to the role of Access Arrangements Co-ordinator at LAET.

Parternship teacher of biology AND SECOND IN command OF BIOLOGY: ms Rachel Crowdy 

Rachel graduated from Durham University with a degree in Natural Sciences, specialising in Biology, Philosophy and Anthropology. She trained with Teach First to become a science and biology teacher, and worked in schools in South London for five years. Rachel returned to study in 2016, completing a Masters in Science Communication from Imperial College London where she embedded her love for interdisciplinary modes of thinking and learning, and exploring the intersection between the arts and sciences. Rachel taught for some years in Paris, and worked as an educational impact evaluator for a social enterprise before joining LAET. 

chrysalis teaching fellow - CHEMISTRY: ms viktoriya cuartas


tEACHER OF PSYCHOLOGY and Diversity and Inclusion Lead: ms rizma daS 

Rizma is an experienced teacher of Psychology having spent over two decades teaching A-level Psychology at London sixth forms. She has always wanted to be a teacher, and it was as a student during one of her own A-level Psychology lessons that she decided that was the subject she wanted to teach!

She went on to read Psychology at Goldsmiths College and obtained her PGCE at the Institute of Education, University of London. Her particular interests are in mental health and cultural psychology. She is also the Diversity and Inclusion Lead, aiming to make all members of the LAET community feel a sense of belonging.

Teacher of italian: ms veronica DE FELICE 

Kitchen Porter: Mr Abdi Dirie Hersi
Director of chrysalis east: ms helen drummond

With a degree in French and Italian and an MA in European Culture and Society from UCL, Helen originally trained as a secondary MFL teacher and has taught in secondary and primary schools in both England and Colombia.

Since leaving the classroom, Helen has dedicated her career to promoting access to university, working at several organisations including Imperial College and Causeway Education, and now at LAET running the school's innovative outreach programme -Chrysalis East.

Helen is a governor at two other Haringey schools; Chestnuts Primary and Greig City Academy, and is on the board of trustees for a black-heritage mentoring charity - With Insight Education.

Director of External Relations (maternity cover): Ms Ginevra Earle

Ginevra studied English Literature at the University of Bristol. After a two-year Teach First placement in a Hayes secondary school teaching English, she completed the Management Trainee programme in Marketing at L’Oreal, working primarily on cosmetics and hair campaigns as well as in market research. Realising that her true passion lies in the education sector, Ginevra returned to Hayes as 2IC and then Head of English.

She has nine years of experience as Head of English in three secondary schools and has spent the majority of this time working in East London schools, including LAE Stratford. After maternity leave following the birth of her second son, Ginevra decided to pursue a new challenge in the education sector.

As Director of External Relations at LAET, she works in internal and external communications, marketing, admissions, events, fundraising and alumni support.

Digital marketing & multimedia officer: Mr Andre ediagbonya-davies

Andre's journey began as a member of the first LAE Tottenham cohort in 2017. From there he pursued his passion for the humanities and graduated with a History degree (BA Hons) from the University of Cambridge in 2023.

Andre has since returned to LAET and currently serves as the Digital Marketing & Multimedia Officer, where he aims to spread awareness about the academy's achievements and foster a strong sense of community amongst students, staff, and members of the wider LAET community.

Apart from his official role, Andre has also been a member of the LAET Alumni Board since 2022. His focus is on empowering alumni to give back to the school, and he currently holds the position of the chair of the 'Offering' committee.

higher education coordinator: ms rosie emery 

Rosie read French and Philosophy at Pembroke College, Oxford before completing an MSc in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating, she went on to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and subsequently trained as a teacher, working in a multi faith secondary school in Central London for a decade as a Teacher and Librarian. Outside of school, Rosie trains in aerial circus arts and has recently completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training.

Chef: Mr Zahreddine Ezzaouche 
Teacher of Biology: MR TYLER GARTON

Having completed a degree in Biology at the University of Nottingham alongside building a career in veterinary care, Tyler began his teaching career lecturing BTEC students at an animal and land-based college in North London. Realising this role was fulfilling not only due to working with animals but also for the enjoyment of working with young people, Tyler returned to university and qualified with a Biology education post-grad from the No.1 university worldwide for teacher training; UCL's Institute of Education.

Tyler joined LAET in September 2023 coming from his previous role as Head of Biology at a leading secondary school. He brings a passion for nature and animals from his hobbies alongside his career history and knowledge in neurodevelopment and cancer biology from his time studying at the University of Nottingham.

Lead Teacher of English and Drama: Mr Ewan Gault

Having completed a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University, Ewan spent five years teaching English as an additional language in Japan, Italy and Ethiopia.

Since returning to Scotland in 2010, he has taught in secondary schools in the Highlands, Oxford and London.

Ewan is a keen long-distance runner and short story writer. His most recent novel, 'The Sound of Sirens', was published in 2021.

teacher of physics: mr christoffel goosen

Christoffel has a BSc in applied maths and physics and a PGCE from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He taught physics and maths for 3 years in South Africa, with the last year spent as head of the physics department and educational technology lead.

He then moved to London where he taught Maths, Physics and Further Maths in a school in North London for 3 years.

Now at LAET, he teaches physics and runs the Computational Physics club.

Teacher of Mathematics and Further Mathematics: MR Angus Grogono 

Angus studied Maths and Philosophy at Edinburgh University, and then Critical and Cultural Theory at Brighton University. He has been teaching Maths, Further Maths, Philosophy and Critical Thinking at Secondary schools for 20 years. Outside the classroom, he is an Area Coordinator for the Advanced Maths Support Programme, and a Principal Examiner for Cambridge Assessment. He loves sailing, reading and Maths.

Teacher of turkish: ms arzu gunaydin 

Teacher of mathematics and further mathematics and teaching and learning coach: mr Andrew Hanna

Andrew holds a degree in Mathematics and Biophysics from Cairo University, followed by a PGDip in Health Physics. He worked as a Medical Physicist before moving to education. He has been teaching Maths and Further Maths at Secondary schools for over 20 years.

Andrew is a Teaching for Mastery Specialist, NCETM PD lead and NPQLTD.

Learning Support Assistant - ms kate harley-chambers

Kate has a master's degree in Psychology and is working towards her second master's in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy & Psychodynamic Counselling.

She has experience working with both young people and adults suffering with their mental health. The majority of her experience is with individuals aged 14-18, who are struggling with disordered eating. Kate’s vast experience of working with individuals in many different settings from hospitals to schools, has allowed her to approach her collaborative work with the students at LAET with compassion and patience.

Kate strives to ensure that the students are at the centre of the support they receive, whether it is due to Special Educational Needs or safeguarding.

it & Operations Manager and Data Protection Officer: mr Nathan hatch 

After graduating from the University of Liverpool with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Nathan worked in a variety of roles across the Hospitality and Events industry, during which he developed significant customer service experience.

However, his love and enjoyment of technology and computers never left him. As a result, after retraining he worked as an IT Technician for a number of Primary Schools within Haringey before joining LAE Tottenham.

During Nathan's time at LAET, he has worked in a variety of roles across the Operations team of the school and is now the IT & Operations Manager, overseeing the IT, Facilities and Catering teams.

Teacher of ChemistrY: MR William HemS 

William Hems studied chemistry at Exeter University, University of Cambridge and Nagoya University, Japan.  He has spent nearly 20 years in research particularly looking at the use asymmetric catalysis in the synthesis of drug molecules. Since 2015 he has been teaching A-level Chemistry part-time at a number of schools in the south-east of England.


Imani studied psychology at De Montfort University and moved to London to become a civil servant. During this time Imani worked towards reducing re-offending in the prison service and simultaneously completed a Masters degree in Leadership. Imani has always been interested in education and decided to leave the prison service to become a teacher. Imani completed her PGCE at UCL in 2020 and is now a psychology teacher at LAET. 

Teacher of English: ms eMMA Henshaw

After studying an honours degree in English Literature (with a specialism in Victorian Literature and Sherlock Holmes) at the University of Southampton, Emma went on to do a graduate scheme in finance. Deciding her heart lay more with her degree and teaching, she went on to work with SEN children before undertaking a Schools Direct PGCE. Since then, Emma has taught English Literature in an inner city London school and the IB at an international school in Munich. Between running, skiing and cycling with friends, Emma can be found devouring detective fiction. 

Deputy head academic: mr joe hoddy

Joe studied English at Exeter University, before graduating from the Teach First programme and holds a Masters in Leadership from UCL. He worked at St Mary Magdalene Academy for eight years, a large all-through Academy in Islington, teaching English and leading on pupil achievement as the Deputy Head of Sixth Form. More recently, he held the position of Head of Sixth Form overseeing the school's co-curricular A-Level and International Baccalaureate programme.

Co-lead teacher of art: Ms carla honess 

Carla graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Fine Art in 2011, winning the University's prize for her immersive degree show installation. She then worked with a lithographic studio before moving to London and building her own textiles business, designing and selling pieces both in the UK and internationally. During this time Carla also worked as an Art Education Practitioner delivering workshops at different schools and galleries across London, which gave her the hunger to return to train as an Art Teacher. Carla first taught at Holland Park School in West London for several years before moving to LAET in 2020.

Senior IT Technician: mR jAMES HOOPER
assistant head (academic): mr Matt inniss 

 Matt studied History at the University of Cambridge. After an MPhil in Economic and Social History, Matt spent seven years at HM Treasury as a policy adviser in the early 2000s, completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Economics at Birkbeck, University of London, along the way. 

 In 2008 he left the Civil Service to retrain as a secondary school teacher with TeachFirst at Paddington Academy in North West London. He has taught History and Economics and held a range of leadership positions at both school and Academy Trust level. 

 Prior to joining LAE Tottenham, Matt was the Head of the Sixth Form at Paddington Academy for four years.

lead teacher of history and epq coordinator: ms penny jackson

Teacher of mathematics and further mathematics: Mr Greg Jefferys

Greg studied Maths and Philosophy at King's College London and has a post-graduate diploma in pure mathematics.

After teaching abroad as a volunteer for two years in East Africa, he returned to the UK and took a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics, going on to teach Maths and Further Maths in FE colleges in London for 15 years, latterly as Coordinator of Maths and Computer Science at a large central London sixth-form.

Greg is part of the teaching and learning team at LAET as well as a member of the London Sixth Form Teacher Network.

dATA & eXAMS MANAGER: ms nicola johnson 

Although Nicola was raised by parents who were headteachers parents and has a spouse and sibling who are both teachers, undergraduate and postgraduate studies led her away from the front of the classroom, to the office.

Her eye for detail, and love for manipulating and presenting data grew out of a decade's experience as a statistician, managing education and international trade statistics.

Nicola has worked as a school Data Manager since 2005 at schools in Haringey and Islington and has passed on training to previous colleagues, who are currently Data Managers in Barnet and Enfield.

Her exams journey started soon after she joined LAET in 2018, and she believes planning and organising these "not-so-fun-events" allow additional opportunities to support students and further share professional skills.

Outside of work, Nicola enjoys reading, cross stitching, supporting drama productions (props or acting), not least, uplifting the mood with a song and dance.

Second in command of English - dr Helena kaznowska 

After completing her fully-funded doctorate in English at the University of Oxford in 2018, Helena moved to Santiago, Chile, where she worked as a Research Associate in art history. She was then appointed as a Senior Lecturer in English at Bath Spa University and a Tutor at the University of Oxford. Helena subsequently retrained as a secondary English teacher, completing her PGCE in 2022 and starting at LAET later that year.

Catering assistant: MS IRUM KHAN

Irum completed her A-levels in Pakistan. After coming to the UK Irum studied level 2 in adult  Literacy and Numeracy. Irum has also completed her NCFE level 2 award in support work in school and had worked in a primary school before finding her interest in catering and joining LAE Tottenham. Irum's passion is cooking and baking and is always keen to learn and cook food from different cultures.

partnership teacher of English: ms Salina Kumbu 

Salina has taught Literature A level for over twenty years in London. She graduated from King’s College London with a degree in English Language and Literature and gained her Post Compulsory PGCE teaching qualification from the Institute of Education. 

Outside of teaching, Salina writes fiction and is working on her second novel.

lead teacher of geography and teaching and learning coach: ms grace kwong 
Teacher of French: MS Alice Le Page
Events, lettings and admissions coordinator: ms crystal leung 

Crystal studied and worked in financial auditing at Deloitte before switching careers to event planning through wedding planning. She comes from Washington D.C. and moved to the UK after completing her Master's degree in Global Hospitality Leadership from Georgetown University with a focus on meetings, events, and hospitality.

Crystal has over five years of experience executing events in high-pressure environments such as the higher education, food & beverage, and wedding industries. She is passionate about connecting attendees through audio and visual tools, event design, and show production and is experienced in collaborating with stakeholders and vendors for events of 200+ people.

In her current role, Crystal plans all-school events such as Open Houses, Alignment Consultations, Enrolment Day, Results Day and Prom/Prizegiving. She also supports prospective students and parents during the LAE Tottenham Admissions process.

Teacher of Chemistry and Head of Year 12: MS WING LI

Wing is passionate about science and it was her A-Level chemistry teacher that inspired her to read Chemistry at University College London (UCL). During her degree she took part in outreach programmes centred on teaching science in local secondary schools and inspiring young people to “Aim Higher” and go on to further education and university.

After a few years working as a chemistry researcher at UCL and in investment banking in the City, she was missing the classroom and the opportunities to engage young people with science. In 2012, she retrained as a secondary school teacher completing her PGCE from the Institute of Education. She is seconded to LAE Tottenham from Highgate School.

Assistant Head (Pastoral): MS Sarah Lloyd 

Sarah studied French and Hispanic Studies at Nottingham University before embarking on a PGCE at the Institute of Education, University of London.  Early in her career she taught English in Mexico, France and Spain before spending several years teaching French and Spanish in Essex and London schools.

In recent years Sarah has worked in the assessment and publishing sector, playing a key role in the development of the reformed GCSE and GCE MFL qualifications. Alongside her teaching role at LAE Tottenham, Sarah is principal examiner, materials writer and a teacher trainer for a leading exam board.

 Finance manager: mr Simon Longstaff

Simon is a qualified accountant and an ACCA member. He has extensive accounting experience gained at Arnold House School, The Crown Estate and The Law Society of England and Wales. After a year's sabbatical to go travelling in South America, he joined LAE Tottenham
Assistant Science Technician: Mr Oliver LUK

Oliver completed his Biology degree at the University of Manchester, choosing to specialise in climate change and marine biology after his year abroad in Denmark. Through these experiences, Oliver confirmed that his passion lies in the lab.

He worked in a research role for a healthcare company and subsequently pursued a COVID-19 medical laboratory technician role during the peak of the pandemic. During this time, Oliver acquired core laboratory skills, putting theory into practice while navigating the fast-paced and demanding work environment of the lab.

Oliver has now returned to what initially drew him into science - the practicals. At LAET, he utilises his skillset to ensure that the students have a fun, insightful, and smooth learning experience.

Lead Teacher of computer science: MR Hamada Mahdi 

After completing a Maths degree at UCL and a PGCE from KCL, Hamada ventured out into the real world as a software developer. After getting his hands dirty with code Hamada decided he wanted to return to teaching and share his knowledge, Hamada's goal is to inspire, motivate and empower the next generation of coders who will utilise their coding skills for the betterment of humanity and the world! Hamada loves Python (not the snake) and JavaScript and simply can't choose between them!

Finance assistant: ms charu makwana

Charu studied at University of Alberta in Canada, Charu studied further to gain her AAT Qualification and has worked in various finance roles for various different industries.  Prior to joining LAET in 2018 Charu worked for an Early Years Educational Charity working with children under 5 years old as an Accounts and Payroll Assistant. Charu is now looking forward to working and supporting the young people at LAE Tottenham. 

Teacher of Arabic: ​​​​MS Oureida Mansouri 

Oureida studied Architecture and Arabic language at university in Algiers then moved to the UK and graduated from Anglia Ruskin University. She has taught Arabic for over 17 years at GCSE and A-Level. Oureida is an A-Level examiner at Edexcel. She speaks 3 fluent languages, Arabic as a mother tongue, French and English, and enjoys sharing her passion for these languages with students.

Business director: mr paul martin 

Paul completed a degree in Computing and Business Administration at the University of Kent and has since worked for a Japanese University and group of High Schools in the UK and Japan. His career began in IT management, but lately was responsible for a range of support services from Finance through to Estates and Facilities.

Lead teacher of biology: mr simon maunder 

Simon Maunder studied Zoology at Swansea University and has over twenty-five years of experience teaching Biology in London. He feels very lucky to be sharing his fascination for the living world with younger generations. Simon also runs the LAET Medicine Society and coordinates support for our students' applications into Medicine, Dentistry and other healthcare careers.

Lead Teacher of MFL: Ms Hannah Mond

Hannah studied French and Spanish (BA Hons) at the University of Manchester, spending her year abroad working in Buenos Aires and Paris. She completed a PGCE at the Institute of Education upon graduating and has been teaching for the last decade in London schools.

In between jobs Hannah moved to New York for an MA in International Education Development at Columbia University and worked as a curriculum consultant with several NGOs. She then worked at the charity Researchers in Schools, part of The Brilliant Club, as the curriculum and development officer, before returning to the classroom as Head of Department.

teacher of chemistry: mr Andrew montgomery 

Moving from Northern Ireland to Scotland, Andrew completed a degree in chemistry at the University of St Andrews. This included a final project on the synthesis of antimony compounds under an inert atmosphere; upon contact with air, these substances would be instantly destroyed.

As part of his degree, he also took a final year course which involved teaching in a local school in St Andrews. He enjoyed this experience so much that, after a period spent travelling, he enrolled at the University of Cambridge on its PGCE course, which he completed in 2021. His first year teaching was at Woodford County High School where he taught science, and chemistry up to A-Level. This year he is also completing a Master of Education degree part-time at the University of Cambridge.

Outside teaching, Andrew enjoys travelling, the outdoors, and learning Spanish, salsa and bachata.

Chrysalis East Programme Manager: Mr Alex Murtough

Before joining LAE Tottenham, Alex was Chief of Staff at UnLtd, a UK-wide charity that supports social entrepreneurship. Prior to working in the voluntary sector, Alex spent time in a variety of roles in the Civil Service and start-up sector.

Outside of LAE Tottenham, Alex works with the charity GoodGym in Camden; is a trainee counsellor; and is also a trustee for a grassroots community organisation tackling health inequalities in East London.

Alex supports the management of LAET's Chrysalis East outreach programme.

Teacher of psychology: mS Zainab Nabi
Teacher of mathematics and further mathematics: MR DAN NELSON 

Dan read Maths and Statistics at Oxford before completing a PGCE as part of the Teach First teaching programme in West London. He has taught mainly in London sixth forms over the past decade, with a brief stint teaching abroad.

He chose to specialise in teaching A-level maths early in his career as he believes this is where he can be most effective as a teacher.

Teacher of Biology: dr gwen Nneji

Dr Gwen Nneji has a first degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Biophysics. She has spent her career working in the university environment. Initially, for over 20 years, as a Research Scientist in muscle research and protein crystallisation at Imperial College, London. After her time at Imperial, she moved to Birkbeck, University of London, where she is an Associate Lecturer teaching on one of the Certificate Programmes.  

Community Partnerships Lead (Highgate):  Ms Chanel Noel
Catering Assistant: Ms Andrea norman 

Andrea has a real passion for food and people, so she loves that she can combine them both, after completing catering courses at City of Bristol College. She went on to gain many years of experience within the catering and education sector.
I have been working as a catering supervisor in a private boarding school for the past 4 years before moving to London and joining LAET.

Teacher of MFL: mS Charlotte O'KEEFE 

Charlotte read French and Spanish at the University of Leeds and has lived in France, Spain, Argentina and most recently, Italy, where she added Italian to her list of languages. Her main hobby is theatre directing, having created her own foreign language theatre troupe to make 17th-century plays more accessible to language learners.

catering assistant: ms Jennifer obamase 
catering assistant: ms Joyce ofori 
Careers and Employability Lead: mr obi onyido

Obi has a background in delivering grassroots youth work and enrichment/co-curricular provision within further education. He is passionate about the community and has had over 15 years of experience delivering youth work in Tottenham, developing outreach programmes, participating in various physical challenges, fundraising for local youth work, and empowering and developing employability skills in young people.

As the careers and employability lead, Obi recognises the importance of a joined-up approach and continues to build up relationships with local primary and secondary schools as well as employers. This is significant in ensuring that there is a strategic, thought-out approach to providing a quality careers programme for local students from Key Stage 2 through to college.

In previous years at LAET, he worked alongside various local organisations to ensure that hundreds of students volunteered and gave back to their local community. 

Senior Catering Assistant: mR Abdelaziz Ouali Alimi
Partnership Teacher of Physics: dr Justin Palfreyman 

Following an MSci in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics from the University of Birmingham, Dr Palfreyman went on to complete his PhD at the Cavendish Laboratory (University of Cambridge). He spent a number of years conducting research, playing cricket and supervising undergraduate students, which is how he caught the teaching ‘bug’. He stayed in Cambridge to complete his PGCE before beginning his teaching career at LAE (Stratford).

Dr Palfreyman spent several years working with the Institute of Physics and The Ogden Trust offering Physics-related outreach through masterclasses, CPD, trips and competitions to encourage engagement and stretch students to their limits. He continues to help students through his roles as an Isaac Physics Ambassador and lecturer at the Preparing for the (Oxford) Physics Aptitude Test course, whilst producing S-level papers for Cambridge International Assessment.

lead Teacher of chemistry and timetabler: dr Paul pickavance 

Paul studied Chemistry at the University of Sheffield where he completed his Bachelor's degree, Master's degree and his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry.

After a couple of years working in polymer research, he trained as a teacher and moved to London where he has taught science in sixth-form colleges for the last 10 years. He is a keen musician and sound engineer, and when not enthusing about all things Chemistry he can often be found pointing microphones at musicians. 

hr assistant: prerna prerna  

Prerna is an HR assistant with a passion for helping employees reach their full potential. Alongside being a Psychology graduate with relevant experience in the field she possesses a master's degree in HR and holds a CIPD level 7 qualification. She has a passion for HR data analytics and aspires to specialise in this area.

Prerna relishes working in global teams and specialises in creating and implementing processes and streamlining procedures using data. She aspires to establish her own NGO in the future to empower women with employment opportunities in her small hometown in India.

hr assistant: prerna prerna 
Teacher of Music: Ms Ghislaine Reece-Trapp

Ghislaine Reece-Trapp is a composer, organist, singer and music teacher. She studied music and was an organ scholar at Christ Church, Oxford, following organ scholarships at Wells and Guildford Cathedrals. Her organ and choral music is published by Encore Publications, Oxford University Press, The Royal School of Church Music, and Stainer and Bell Publications.

Her works have also been performed at the BBC Proms 2023, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and performed by ensembles including the BBC Singers, Magdalen College Choir, Oxford, and Clare College Choir, Cambridge.

Ghislaine is a founder and former co-chair of the Society of Women Organists, a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, and a Trustee of the Royal College of Organists.

Data & exams Assistant: ms natasha reid 

Learning Support Assistant: Mr Alejandro Rendon-Salazar  

Alejandro is an accomplished educator, holding both a BA (Hons) and MA in Education from the London Metropolitan University.

With 14 years of diverse experience, Alejandro has seamlessly transitioned between classroom and extracurricular roles. Currently, Alejandro serves as a valuable asset to the school, contributing to the SEN and the MFL (Modern Foreign Languages) departments.

Beyond his educational prowess, Alejandro is a devoted storyteller and quote writer, using his creative talents to inspire others. As a staunch advocate for learning diversity, Alejandro passionately believes in the possibility of social mobility through education, reflecting his commitment to fostering an inclusive and equitable learning environment.

Teacher of Physics: DR Serena Repetto 

Serena holds a PhD in Astrophysics from Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, a PGCE with distinction in Physics with Mathematics and Outreach from Canterbury Christ Church University/Imperial College London, Master's Degrees in Theoretical Physics with honours from Pavia University, Italy (with a master's thesis written at Lund University, Sweden), and a Bachelor's Degree in Physics.

Before becoming a teacher with the primary goal of transferring her enthusiasm for Physics to students, Serena worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Israeli Institute of Technology, Israel. Having lived in five different countries, Serena considers herself a citizen of the world. Since 2018, she works at LAET on Mondays and Tuesdays, and you will find her the rest of the week teaching the younger students at Highgate School. Apart from Physics, she strives to inspire the younger generation with running, yoga, and languages.


After studying piano at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and music at the University of Cambridge, Emma worked for fifteen years as an opera director in the UK and abroad. She then trained to teach on the School Direct programme at the Institute of Education.

She enjoys all genres of music and loves being educated about new styles. She is seconded to LAE Tottenham from Highgate School where she unexpectedly uncovered a rap scene.

Teacher of Chemistry: Ms Preeti Rosario
Chrysalis East Teaching Fellow - Maths: Mr Ali SAkali
teacher of psychology: Ms nafisa sardar 

After studying Psychology at UCL, Nafisa spent a year working in PR and marketing, before pursuing her passion to teach Psychology. She subsequently completed a PGCE at the Institute of Education. She has experience of teaching in a large Sixth Form College in South London and has a particular interest in psychopathology, cognitive psychology and child development.

Teacher of mathematics and further mathematics: mr darshan shah 

Darshan read Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Warwick, spending 4 years in Coventry and qualifying for the integrated master's degree. He remained in Coventry teaching at a secondary school for a further 3 years, studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and training with Teach First during that time. In his free time, he loves to listen to rock and metal music, watch football, play Fantasy Premier League and is a keen traveller, having been to 30 countries so far.

Teacher of Economics and politics: Mr Michael Shapland
Academic Coach: Dr Alexander Smith

After a degree in Chemical Physics at UCL, Alex pursued a Physical Chemistry DPhil at University of Oxford where he developed an interest in surface forces, electrolytes and molecular lubrication mechanisms. Subsequently, he worked at the University of Geneva as a Research Associate and helped organise and supervise the Chemistry lab course for first-year students.

Alex recently joined LAET as an academic coach to explore a career in education.

Second in command of Mathematics and further mathematics: Mr Michael Smith

After spending his formative years in the sleepy riverside town of Reading, Michael completed an undergraduate Master's in Mathematics at the University of Oxford. There he developed his burgeoning love for the subtlety and beauty of mathematics, as well as the addictive thrill of problem-solving. He went straight into teaching and is now in his 8th year.

He began his teaching career at a school in Barnet, before moving to Highgate School and spending a year at LAET. He then took a two-year hiatus to Hanoi in Vietnam, where he taught Maths, including the IB, before returning to LAET in 2023.

Michael's favourite areas of Maths are group theory and proof, and he spends a disproportionate amount of his spare time watching mathematical YouTube videos. He tries to bring enthusiasm and deep insight to all of his teaching and firmly believes that to truly excel, mathematicians must understand the "why", rather than just the "how".

Outside the classroom, he is a keen yet unskilled rugby player, as well as a board game enthusiast.


 Senior science technician: mr tom smith

Tom has over 10 years experience in the research laboratories of pharmaceutical, technology and healthcare organisations. He has extensive practical science knowledge and holds a Chemistry degree from Imperial College, London which included a year of study at the Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy.

He has worked at LAET since it opened in 2017 and prior to that worked for 4 years as a founder staff member and Science Technician in a Hackney secondary school. He is a competitive sportsman and has represented his university, club and country at rowing as well as cycling in races in the UK and abroad.  

librarian: Dr Melanie socrates
  Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Lead and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: mr paul spraggs

Paul is a BACP Accredited therapist with 8 years and over 1500 hours of clinical experience working therapeutically with young people and their families.

Specialising in compassion-focused therapy (CFT) Paul's approach fosters empathy and understanding and empowers young people to navigate life's challenges with resilience and growth.

tEACHER OF POLITICS: MS Anna-Liisa Springham 

Anna-Liisa did a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences: World Politics at Leiden University College in the Netherlands, followed by an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Leiden University.

She went on to study entrepreneurship and education in Amsterdam leading her to start two small businesses, one of which enabled her to sing professionally.

During lockdown, she completed her PGCE at UCL and has been teaching Politics, Citizenship, PSHE and Religious Studies since.

Partnership Teaching coordinator and partnership teacher of English: DR Camilla Stanger

Chrysalis East Primary Teaching Fellow: Ms Rihana Ssesaazi  

Rihana, a member of the 2018 LAET cohort, graduated from school in 2020. She went on to study History and Politics at Queen Mary University of London. After earning her degree, she worked as a teaching assistant at an SEN school and has now joined Chrysalis East as a Primary Fellow.


Gabriel studied for an undergraduate degree Mathematics at the University of Leeds before going on to complete his Masters in Mathematics at the same institution. Before joining LAET, Gabriel studied for his PGCE and taught at a secondary school and sixth form in west London. There he went on to be the KS5 lead in a successful Mathematics department. Gabriel loves climbing, football, board games and all things nerdy. 

Head Chef: MR Emil Sudomir 

Emil has completed a Cambridge English Language course and a professional cookery Level 3 course at Richmond Upon Thames College. Emil has worked in the catering industry for 14 years and is passionate about cooking and running a happy efficient professional kitchen. Emil enjoys creating new dishes to be enjoyed by all. 

Teacher of geography and Lead teaching and learning coach: ms deborah syme 

Deborah is a highly experienced teacher of Geography, a Head of Department for 10 years in different London schools, and was most recently a Head of 6th form at Skinners' Academy.

Deborah studied Geography at Cambridge University and has particular interests in Medical Geography, development and hazards. Deborah has set up and run the Duke of Edinburgh award, run cookery classes, charity micro-business challenges and celebrations of diversity.

Deborah has a master's in Educational Management from St Mary's University and is currently studying with Teach First, as she is passionate about improving attainment and ensuring equity in education.

Receptionist: MS Joanne Thompson

Prior to joining LAE Tottenham, Joanne has been working as a photographer for 11 years. Her photography work has involved working with schools across the UK on various projects such as graduation day and general photos. She enjoys working with young people and is looking forward to her new role at LAE Tottenham.

lead teacher of economics - mr ben tobias 

Ben has an Economics degree from Birkbeck College, University of London, which he completed while working for the mental health charity MIND. After his  studies, he worked at HM Treasury before working as an analyst in the financial sector. Finding this career path unfulfilling he decided to move into teaching, where he has happily worked for the past seven years. He is currently on secondment from Highgate School.

Chrysalis East Teaching Fellow - English: Ms Najwa Umran
deputy head of year 13 and chrysalis teaching fellow - English: MR Joseph unadike 


Music and Arts Assistant: Mr Oren Valek 


Lead Teacher of Mathematics and Further Mathematics: Mr Vincent Van Pelt

Vincent (pictured right) received a degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently studying Mathematics at The Open University. Before teaching, Vincent worked in finance, living in New York, Tokyo, London and Singapore. Trained to teach at the Institute of Education, he has been instructing in London schools since 2012.  At LAET Vincent enjoys organising the school's UKMT and maths enrichment activities, working with the maths team and encouraging his students to read The New Yorker.


Having studied Anthropology at Durham University, Tricia began a career in documentaries, working in Spain and London. After a few frustrating years, she completed an MA in Philosophy at Kings College, London and began her PhD at the same institution, intending to stay in academia. Ill-health led to another rethink and after some time away from work, she trained as a teacher. Since then, she has worked in Guernsey, London and Singapore and has taken two sabbaticals to indulge her love of writing (and painting).

She is seconded to LAE Tottenham from Highgate School.

Teacher of Maths and Computer Science - mr rufus walkden 


Teacher of Maths: Mr Olimi Wamara
Safeguarding Officer and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: Ms Serenea Wellington 

Serenea joined LAET following safeguarding roles in schools and external agencies. She has developed extensive experience and knowledge working as an Early Help practitioner for over eight years and then as a safeguarding officer in a previous school.  These roles have provided Serenea with a broad perspective on how to work in partnership with families and professionals across the board.

She believes that everyone deserves to have a good quality of life and to have their fundamental human needs upheld by a strong pastoral team. Serenea is committed to continual reflection and development in her role as a safeguarding officer. 

TEACHER OF BIOLOGY and director of partnerships: MR BEN WESTON 

After completing a degree and PhD in biochemistry at King's College London, Ben spent five years working at Imperial College as a post-doctoral researcher before becoming a teacher.

He has taught Biology at Highgate School since 2003 and, since 2015, he has been an Assistant Head with oversight of teaching and learning.

He is on full-time secondment from Highgate to LAET as the Director of Partnerships.

receptionist and administrator: ms madeleine weymouth 

Madeleine has worked in various Reception and Administrative roles over the years and is passionate about Safeguarding, Education and Learning.

site manager: mr Chris white

Chris left school to work as a groundsman at Queen's Park Rangers Football Club and then moved on to Brentford Football Club.

At age 18, he moved into the engineering industry for over 35 years, from which he then moved into education 3 years ago, which Chris has enjoyed ever since.

Academic Coach: Mr David Wolffe
lead teacher of psychology; mr imran yad 

 Imran graduated from City, University of London with a degree in psychology in 2015. Before gaining his PGCE from the Institute of Education, Imran worked as a tutor at Explore Learning and went on to be a learning support assistant at a primary school in West Hampstead, working primarily with vulnerable students with special needs.  

Imran has always loved being creative, from drawing and painting to graphic design and even fashion design. He is passionate about exploring creative ways to teach psychology and is very keen to work at LAET to develop his teaching and learning. 

Teacher of computer science: dr nader yazdi