Our staff and Governing Body - London Academy of Excellence

About LAE

Our staff and Governing Body

Our staff

LAE benefits from a highly educated teaching staff. Of the 32 LAE teachers, 26 attended Russell Group universities, nine attended the universities of Oxford or Cambridge and nine were awarded a first class degree. Over a third hold masters qualifications or PhDs. In addition to our core LAE teachers, we also welcome staff on secondment from our partner schools such as Eton, Highgate and Brighton College.

If you are interested in joining our team, please check our job vacancies page.

If you wish to speak to a particular member of staff, please contact reception

Senior Leadership Team

  • Mr Scott Baker, Head Master

  • Ms Claudia Harrison, Deputy Head (Academic)

  • Mr Ben Webster, Deputy Head (Pastoral and Organisational)

  • Mr James Kane, Assistant Head (Staff)

  • Ms Madeleine St-Amour, Assistant Head (Academic)

  • Ms Doreen Agbodo, Business Director

 

Board of Governors

LAE has very experienced Governors who are committed to ensuring its success.

The Board oversees the Head Master's day-to-day leadership of the school and works with him to plan strategically LAE's future. The governors support and challenge LAE to ensure that it is fulfilling its vision, not only for the sixth formers but also for the wider community. A rich and diverse range of skills, knowledge and interests are represented on the Board of Governors, and this makes it a very effective "critical friend" to the school and the leadership team. 

A copy of our Governors' Declarations of Interest can be found here

Barnaby Lenon (Chair)

Barnaby Lenon taught at Eton for many years and was Head Master of Trinity School Croydon and Harrow.  He is currently Chairman of the Independent Schools Council and Vice-President of the Royal Geographical Society.  He has been a Governor of over fifteen schools.

  • Link governor for Health & Safety
  • Member of the Management, Governance and Remuneration committees

Richard Cairns (Vice-Chair and Chair of Governance Committee)

Richard Cairns has been Head Master of Brighton College since 2006. He was previously Usher (Deputy Head) of Magdalen College School, Oxford. He was educated at The Oratory School, Reading, and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where he gained a first in Modern History.  His time at Brighton College has been marked by innovative changes not least to make Mandarin compulsory for all Year 9 pupils and to introduce a Year 7 entry into the college. Brighton College’s A Level results have risen consistently over the last five years and in 2011 was crowned ‘The Sunday Times Independent School of the Year’.

  • Member of the Management, Governance Remuneration and Education committees.

Paul Westbrook (Chair of Finance Committee)

Paul Westbrook has been Director of Finance and Deputy Head at Brighton College since July 2009. Prior to that he was a Director at KPMG, leading its Corporate Finance Team on the South Coast and real estate mergers and acquisitions in London.  He has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Warwick and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales.

  • Chair of the Finance committee and also sits on the Management, Governance and Remuneration committees

Dr Ian Archer (Chair of Education Committee)

Ian Archer is Sub-Warden and Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at Keble College, Oxford.  His primary research interests lie in the history of early modern London. His current research ranges over a variety of issues in London history: charity, popular politics, taxation, and governance.  He is currently Literary Director of the Royal Historical Society.

  • Chair of the Education Committee

Julia Aisbitt

Julia Aisbitt has been a Justice of the Peace in Sussex since 1994 and Chair in the Magistrate’s Court since 2004. She has also been Chair in the Youth Court since 2006. She was recently appointed as the North Sussex Benches Co-ordinator for Domestic Violence Issues. Prior to this she had extensive experience in catering management.

  • Link governor for careers

Mark Beard

Mark J Beard joined University College School, Hampstead as Headmaster in September 2013 after seven years at Brighton College as Deputy Headmaster, including a period as Acting Head Master.  After graduating with a First Class degree in Chemistry from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he began his teaching career at King Edward's School, Birmingham (1995-99) and then served as Head of Chemistry at St Paul’s School (1999-2006).  He also obtained a Master’s Degree in Education Management from King’s College London. Mark is married with two young children, resides in North London and enjoys squash, reading and ancient history.

Marcus Cliff-Hodges

Marcus Cliff Hodges is currently Warden of Forest School having previously been Deputy Warden and Head of Boys' School since 2005. Before moving to North East London he was Assistant Head at Latymer Upper School. He has also taught at Bedford School and Gstaad International School. Marcus has degrees in English Literature and Educational Management from Cardiff University and London University respectively. Forest School is London's only diamond structure school and one of the few in the country.

Harriet Creamer

Harriet Creamer read law at Cambridge and qualified into the corporate department at Freshfields, where she worked for several years before becoming the firm's first professional support lawyer. She became a partner in 1991 with responsibility for knowledge management and training across the firm's international network.

  • Link governor for fundraising and grant applications and also alumni relations
  • Member of the Finance committee

Joan Deslandes

Joan Deslandes has been Head Teacher of Kingsford Community School since 2001. She has twice been named amongst London’s 1000 most influential people by the Evening Standard. In 2010, she was awarded the SSAT Confucius Institute Excellence Award for her ‘outstanding contribution’ to Chinese learning within the United Kingdom. She currently sits on a number of government forums and together with Richard Cairns established The 100 Group, enabling leading state and independent schools to work together.

  • Member of the Management committee
  • Link governor for staff and Prevent-related issues

Kate El-Mokadem

On graduating from the University of Birmingham, Kate El-Mokadem trained in retail and human resource management with Marks and Spencer. She then worked as a senior manager in Accenture’s change management practice specialising in financial markets. She subsequently became Head of Human Resources for the firm’s outsourcing operations in London and then took on a central policy role. Kate now supports educational charities with a focus on providing access for all regardless of background or means. She also holds a Diploma in Personnel Management and has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development for over twenty years.

Nick Fraser

Nick Fraser has been Deputy Headmaster (Innovation and Development) at Brighton College since 2006. He was previously Deputy Head (Academic) at Magdalen College School, Oxford. He was educated at Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen and at the University of Aberdeen (with spells at the universities of Zürich and Grenoble) and gained a first in French and German. His role at Brighton College encompasses areas such as innovative approaches to learning, teaching and classroom design, and links with schools such as the LAE and Brighton’s international schools.

He is a member of the Education and Compliance Committees.

 

Simon Henderson

Simon Henderson is Head Master at Eton College. He took up his post in September 2015 having previously been Head of Bradfield College. Prior to joining Bradfield he was Deputy Head (Academic) at Sherborne School. Simon is a History graduate of Brasenose College, Oxford and has experience as a governor at a range of schools in both the independent and state sectors.

Ceri Jones

Ceri Jones is Headmaster of Caterham School in Surrey, a co-educational day and boarding school. He was educated at a comprehensive school in Bradford and attended Cambridge University.

Before becoming Headmaster at Caterham Ceri was Second Master (Deputy Head) at Tonbridge School in Kent, having run a boarding house at the school for 6 years. He is an historian by training and specialises in Modern American history and early modern literature and religion.

He has worked in education for over twenty years and in 2013 was seconded from his role at Tonbridge to be Principal of the Marsh Academy in New Romney, Kent. In 2013, in collaboration with The Sutton Trust and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, he set up the University Access Programme, working with the 6 independent schools and 6 non-selective maintained schools across Kent. The essence of the programme is to support bright but disadvantaged students from these academies from year 9 through to year 13 with the goal of these students making successful applications to top ranking universities.

  • Link governor for Safeguarding

 

Rachel Lister

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Adam Pettitt

Adam Pettitt has been Head Master of Highgate School since 2006. He read French and German at New College, Oxford and began his teaching career at Eton College. He was subsequently Head of German at Oundle School and Head of Modern Languages at Abingdon School. In 1998 he was appointed as Second Master (Deputy Head) at Norwich School. Highgate School leads the Chrysalis Programme which has created partnerships with over twenty maintained schools in Haringey, Camden, Brent and Islington, providing a wide range of support.

  • Adam is a member of the Education Committee

Simon Smith

Simon Smith was Project Co-ordinator of London Academy of Excellence from inception to opening. He was educated at Dauntsey’s School in Wiltshire, and read English at King’s College London and took a PGCE at Worcester College, Oxford.  Apart from a stint at Appleby College, Ontario, he spent his career teaching English at Brighton College, latterly becoming Second Master.

  • Simon is the link governor for co-curricular activities at LAE
  • Member of the Finance, Management Governance and Remuneration committees

Dr Martin Stephen

Martin Stephen was High Master of St Paul’s School from 2004 – 2011.  He was previously Head of Manchester Grammar School and the Perse School, Cambridge.  He has also taught at Haileybury and Sedbergh, where he was Second Master.  He read English at Leeds University and did his doctorate at Sheffield University. He is a noted author of historical novels and literary criticism.

  • Link governor for LAE’s more-able programme