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Highgate Tottenham Hotspur



 lead teacher of chemistry and head of house: mr zabed ahmed

Zabed is a graduate of King’s College London with a Master’s degree in Chemistry. He has predominately worked in sixth form colleges and has over 15 years of experience in post 16 education. In his previous colleges he has been the Head of Chemistry as well as managing the pastoral side of the curriculum. He has also taught abroad in a sixth form boarding school, teaching the more challenging Cambridge International syllabus.

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.                

 lead teacher of computer science: ms michelle alexander

Michelle embraces the computing vision with drive and a sense of fun. Qualified to Masters level in Computer Science, she is also a recognised Master Teacher for Computing.  Technology has always served her well, having worked in industry as well as teaching of Computer Science at University and School level.

 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.

 teacher of mathematics and further mathematics: mr leigh baxandall

Leigh (pictured right) has a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, and after a career in finance which saw him work in New York, London and Tokyo he has taught for the last decade. After training at the Institute of Education,Leigh has worked as a Teacher of Mathematics at St Marylebone School and held a variety of roles including STEM director, and Oxbridge and Level 3 Maths Coordinator. Leigh is a Specialist Leader of Education in STEM and Maths and also a part-time curriculum adviser to a newly opening UTC.

Teacher of french: ms mandy bolster

Mandy studied French and Italian at Cambridge (BA), then French at Birkbeck (MA) and English at Anglia Ruskin University (MA). She has taught in 6th form colleges and secondary schools in London and Cambridge. She very much enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for the cultural aspects of A level learning, especially literature, film, and history of art, as well as encouraging students to become confident in their chosen language.

 HR Manager: ms Lisa cardinali 

Lisa completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management and gained Chartered status of the CIPD whilst working at The Crown Estate. She then joined the HR team at Highgate School where she advised LAE Tottenham on employment matters during the pre-opening and opening stages. Lisa is now based at both Highgate School and LAE Tottenham.

 deputy head pastoral: mr John clark

Johnny studied History at The University of Leeds, before completing the Teach First programme. He worked at King Solomon Academy for 6 years, as both the founding Head of Humanities and founding Head of Sixth form. More recently, Johnny has worked as Vice Principal in a large comprehensive in Wembley, overseeing Teaching and Learning.

 teacher of chemistry: mr joe connor

Having completed an honours degree in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol, Joe Connor has spent the last two years teaching Chemistry and Biology in numerous schools around London, including the London Academy of Excellence Stratford. Joe Connor is on secondment from Highgate School, where he coordinates the School's partnership teaching. 

 teacher of history: mr tom deasy

A graduate of the Teach First Programme, Tom taught at a comprehensive school in Plaistow after reading History at Peterhouse, Cambridge. Tom is returning to teaching after a spell working for AlphaSights, a global information services firm, based in the City of London.

 lead teacher of physics: mr ashley dyson

Having read Physics at Exeter College, Oxford, Ashley worked as an IT project manager for Shell for over a decade. He then returned to his first love, physics, training to be a teacher at the Institute of Education, University of London. During his teaching career, Ashley has taught at a leading North London grammar school where he coached pupils onto the UK Physics Olympiad team, as well as into Oxbridge Physics and engineering courses. He is seconded to LAE Tottenham from Highgate School.

 director of academic studies: mr david fotheringham

David studied Latin and Greek at St Andrews University before teaching Classics at the Cheltenham Ladies College for twelve years, where he was also the University Adviser. On moving to Highgate School in 1992, he was first Head of Classics, then Assistant Head and until 2017 the Deputy Head (Academic). He is currently also Chair of Governors of Keble Prep in Winchmore Hill and regularly serves as a team inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate.
Teacher of English: 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 to toddlers in Japan, CEOs in Italy and university professors in 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.  He will be working at LAE Tottenham on secondment from Highgate.

 lead teacher of mathematics and further mathematics: Mr giancarlo grasso

Having completed a degree in Mathematics from UCL, Giancarlo trained at King’s College London and received a PGCE. Subsequently, he taught Mathematics and Computing at Highgate School as well as co-ordinating the co-curricular program for years 7-8. He is seconded to LAE Tottenham from Highgate School.

Teacher of Mathematics and Further Mathematics: Mr Timothy Grundy 

Tim studied Physics with Theoretical Physics at the University of Manchester before completing an MRes in Complexity Science at the University of Bristol. For the past three years, he has taught mathematics and further mathematics at a highly successful academy in Wembley, where he completed his Schools Direct training.

lead teacher of design and technology (engineering): MR Pritam Gungar 

Pritam studied Electrical Engineering at Manchester University and following graduation he swiftly embarked on a career in engineering. 

Working comprehensively for several years in two distinctive areas of engineering from the practical, hands on side with P&O Cruises on board cruise ships to the theoretical side of designing electrical systems for warships at VT Shipbuilding. Although he has a love for engineering, his passion for teaching for over a decade has led him to the position of Lead teacher of Engineering at London Academy of  Excellence Tottenham.

Teacher of Spanish: Ms Claire Hammond 

Claire has been teaching Spanish for over 13 years. She has taught languages and worked as Head of Department across North London and has now worked in Tottenham for over 4 years. She enjoys the lifelong process of learning a language as there is always more to learn. She does this through travelling to Spain and Latin-America whenever she can, giving her a real understanding of the culture, arts and politics of the Hispanic world. She is committed to community development in Tottenham, following a Post Graduate Course and working in collaboration with Citizens UK in the area over the last two years.

ict support technician: 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. 

 deputy head academic: mr joe hoddy

Joe studied English at Exeter University, before graduating from the Teach First programme.  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. 

DATA analyst: ms nicola johnson 

Nicola studied Mathematics and Physics at the University of the West Indies and also completed postgraduate studies in Data/Records Management at Northumbria University. Before working in secondary schools, she was a statistician in the areas of education and international trade.

In the most recent 12 years, she had full responsibility for assessment data systems and analysis for key stages 3 to 5 in her service as Data Manager at Hornsey School for Girls, Haringey and Highbury Fields School, Islington.

Learning Support Lead: ms Klaudia Kacica 

Klaudia recently graduated from the University of Leicester with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She previously worked on summer programs and volunteered with young people where she discovered her interest in SEN. Klaudia is passionate about supporting students in reaching their full potential in their academic career. 

Klaudia plans to continue her own personal academic journey through gaining a Doctorate and becoming an Educational Psychologist. 

 teacher of biology: mr rob kocho

Rob began teaching Science in 2004, after completing degrees in both Science and Education in his native Australia. He has worked in numerous educational environments around the world before settling in London where he has been teaching A level Biology in an outstanding London college since 2009. During this time he worked as assistant director of studies, head of faculty and head of year. 
Rob is passionate about the environment and conservation, an avid traveller and a master scuba dive instructor. He has combined these interests working on various marine research projects around the world, and loves to share this enthusiasm for Biology with students in his classroom. 
 lead teacher of geography: ms grace kwong

After the completion of a degree in Geography at University of Cambridge, Grace spent two years at University of Oxford for an MPhil degree in Comparative Social Policy. Specialising in education policy inspired her to train as a teacher (PGCE at University of Oxford). Grace joined Highgate School in 2014 as a teacher of Geography. Bilingual in Chinese and English, she has personal links to Hong Kong, a Newly Emerging Economy. Her academic interests spanning both human and physical geography, Grace will be working at LAE Tottenham on secondment from Highgate.


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.


Karel graduated from the University of Greenwich with a Media Arts Production degree (Media and Communications). She has a wide range of experience working with young people from various backgrounds as well as facilitating internal and external communication strategies.
 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.
Lead Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages: 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.

business director: mr paul martin 

Paul completed a degree in Computing and Business Administration at the University of Kent in 2004 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 latterly he has also been responsible for a range of support services from Finance through to Estates and Facilities.

  Associate SLT (Pastoral) and Lead Teacher of Psychology: Ms Juliette Massey-SMith

Juliette completed her degree in Psychology at Bologna University, in Italy. She then moved to the UK and while leading the psychology department at a comprehensive school in North West London obtained her teaching qualification on the Graduate Teacher Programme. Her passion for Psychology led her to pursue further studies at the Tavistock Clinic and the Portman Trust, where she obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Systemic Theory. Prior to joining LAE Tottenham, she worked at JFS School, first as Head of Psychology and, more recently, Head of Year in its outstanding Sixth form.

 lead teacher of biology and head of house: mr simon maunder

Simon Maunder has an Honours degree in Zoology and over fifteen years experience teaching Biology in an outstanding 11—19 school in East London, during which time he has been both Head of Year and KS5 Coordinator for Sciences. 

 lead teacher of english: mr alban miles

After completing a degree in English Literature at the University of Oxford, Alban worked for four years as an Editor in book publishing in London before becoming a teacher. His nine years’ experience as Teacher of English includes a year teaching in Hong Kong and five years at Ibstock Place School in south-west London, where he set up the programme to support application to Oxbridge. He joined Highgate in 2014 to teach English; for the last two years he has also been Deputy Head of Sixth Form.  He is working at LAE Tottenham on secondment from Highgate.

 lead teacher of art: ms marina nimmo

After completing a degree in Visual and Performance Arts, Marina set up her own art studio practice in the UK and France. Since completing her teaching degree 14 years ago from the Institute of Education, University of London, Marina has taught in a wide variety of schools within London and the South West including Millfield School in Somerset where she taught Art and was a pastoral House Master. More recently Marina was Director of Art at Highgate School for five years and is currently completing her Masters of Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art.

 Co-curricular and careers Lead and head of house: mr obi onyido

Obi completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Youth and Community Work at Brunel University having worked as a youth worker for over 10 years. As a qualified youth worker he has worked in the community, from primary schools and more recently at The College of Haringey Enfield and North east London as enrichment co-ordinator, in which time he led on developing workshops, mentoring and outreach programmes. He is a qualified college lecturer teaching Business Studies having worked in retail management over a number of years. He has a passion for his local community and in his free time participates in various fundraising physical challenges annually, for example one involving a cycle ride to all London premier league and championship football clubs over two days. 

Head's pa and office manager: ms sheila pyke 

Sheila studied at Fortismere School and has previously worked within the service industry at management level. She is experienced in working within a sixth form environment and passionate about supporting students well being as well as helping them to achieve their goals.

Teacher of Physics: DR Serena Repetto 

Serena holds a PhD in Astrophysics from Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, a PGCE from Canterbury Christ Church University/Imperial College London and a master's degrees in Theoretical Physics with honours from Pavia University, Italy. Before becoming a teacher with the primary goal of transferring students her enthusiasm for Physics, Serena was working 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. She is seconded to LAE Tottenham from Highgate School.

 Lead teacher of economics: ms liane ryan

Liane has a Business & Management degree and had a successful career in Buying and Merchandising for high street retailers including Next, River Island and Top Man before entering the teaching profession. After completing a PGCE she has taught at a top performing boys’ Grammar School in Barnet, holding the position of Head of Economics for the last 11 years. Liane has coached students to the finals of the Bank of England’s Target 2.0 Competition and the LIBF Student Investor Challenge as well as into Oxbridge entry for Economics and related courses.

Librarian: ms Katie Scholey

Having completed a degree in English Literature at Queen Mary, University of London, Katie moved to Northamptonshire where she worked in public libraries for three years, setting up and managing a brand-new library for the last two years. Katie is enthusiastic about libraries and literature and looks forward to bringing this enthusiasm to the sixth form environment.

Teacher of Economics: Ms Kirti Shah

As a former student of Gladesmore Community School, Kirti went on to achieve a First Class Honours degree in Industrial and Business Economics at the London School of Economics. Following a masters degree in Economics taken at Emmanuel College Cambridge, she worked for Accenture as a Management Consultant for 7 years.

Have now been teaching Economics for 20 years and was Head of Economics at the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School before moving to be the Director of Studies in charge of a variety of academic matters and scholarship across the School.  

Kirti is on secondment to LAE Tottenham from Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School.

 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 been working for the last 4 years as a founder staff member and Science Technician in a recently opened Hackney secondary school. 

He has been a school governor and is currently the Treasurer of a Hackney primary school parents' association and charity. 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.

  Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Lead and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: mr paul spraggs

Paul completed a degree in Theology at the University of Chichester in 2011 before moving on to pursue an additional qualification in counselling from the University of Essex. Paul is a registered member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and for the past 2 years has been working in secondary schools with Place2Be, a charity that provides counselling services to students in schools across the UK.
 Head Chef: MR Emil Sudomir 

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.

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

Vincent (pictured right) studied Economics at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Before teaching, Vincent worked in finance, living in New York, Tokyo, London and Singapore. Trained to teach at the Institute of Education, Vincent has been instructing in London schools since 2012, most recently at Nower Hill High School where he also developed and led mathematical enrichment activities.

Teacher of Economics: ms Linda Vu

Linda became motivated to make a difference by entering the teaching profession. After obtaining her BSc (Hons) degree in Economics, Linda worked for a large successful retail company and subsequently, completed her PGCE from UCL Institute of Education. More recently, she helped to build a new Economics department in a large girls’ school in Tower Hamlets.

Teacher of Psychology: ms josephine williamson

After completing a degree in Psychology at The University of Sheffield, Josie trained with Teach First and went on to teach in Tottenham. Initially, Josie trained as a primary school teacher before transferring to secondary in order to teach her specialist subject.

Caretaker: mr Angel Zehlyazkov

Angel moved to UK after he graduated with his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Transport and Aircraft Equipment and Technologies department. He has worked in a variety of engineering companies, mostly as a Testing Engineer.  The last few years he made the decision to spend more time with his family and enjoy being more involved in bringing up his children.