Ashbourne College Staff

Ashbourne was founded in 1981 by its current principal and director Mike Kirby. The college employs a large number of staff for both teaching and administrative purposes.

One of the great things about Ashbourne is the excellent and enduring relationships between staff and students. Students are encouraged to use first names with their teachers and are not required to wear school uniform, which helps engender mutual respect and approachability.

Senior Management


Michael Kirby

MSc (London); BApSc (Toronto); MInstD

mike kirby

Mike Kirby founded Ashbourne College in 1981 and has since presided over its continuing academic development and growth in reputation.

Mike studied Aerospace Engineering at the University of Toronto and Statistics in London. He is a key figure in the promotion of independent education in the UK through bodies such as the Council for Independent Education (CIE). He is a former main member for the Admissions Panel for Medicine at UCL.

Director of Studies and Head of Sixth Form

Lee Kirby

lee kirby

Lee oversees and ensures the academic and personal success of all Ashbourne students by investing time and effort in each individual student. He works alongside staff, as leader of Ashbourne’s Personal Tutor team, to support and motivate students to reach their full potential. He also supervises all UCAS issues in consultation with Heads of Faculty and Personal Tutors.

Lee has been instrumental in building a strong and dynamic team of staff and is responsible for supporting and facilitating staff development and overall operational management of the college. He is also Ashbourne’s SENDCO and Deputy Safeguarding Lead.

Lee has a passion for all things Vietnamese and has spent much time in the country performing as a singer songwriter and professional football player. He is a qualified FA coach and has also played semi-professionally in the UK.

Assistant Director of Studies and Leader of Faculties

James Wykes

MA Modern Literatures in English (Birkbeck, University of London); BA English Literature (University of Wales); PGCE English (King’s College)

James Wykes

Since joining Ashbourne in 2007, James has made an outstanding contribution to the academic development of the school. As well as leading an exceptionally successful English Department, he was instrumental in establishing Drama as a vital part of Ashbourne’s curriculum. He has enriched the college’s cultural life with initiatives that have ranged from the college newspaper to critical theory seminars. Above all, as Assistant Director of Studies and Leader of Faculties, he has guided and motivated countless Ashbourne students and has co-presided over the evolution of the college’s programme for critical theory with Wesley Rykalski.

Academic Management

Head of Faculty for Natural Sciences and Deputy Head of Sixth Form

Amy Youngman

BSc Neuroscience (Kings College, London)

Amy Youngman

Amy joined Ashbourne in September 2015 as Head of Faculty for Natural Sciences and teaches Biology. She also runs the Ashbourne Medical School Programme preparing students to go on to study Medicine and Dentistry at university.

As well being passionate about science, Amy also loves music. She plays the violin and has toured with King’s College orchestra.

Head of Faculty for Finance and Computing and Year 12 Personal Tutor

Ruchi Agarwal

MA Computer Applications (MCA, India); B.Com Hons (India); ICT and Computing PGCE (Institute of Education, London)

Ruchi Agarwal

Ruchi has a Masters in Computer Applications and Bachelors of Commerce with Honours from her native India. She started teaching ICT and Computing in the UK in 2001 and completed her PGCE in ICT from one of the most prestigious institutions, the Institute of Education, University of London. She joined Ashbourne in 2012 and has progressed to become a core member of our staff. She constantly tries to improve her teaching strategies and is passionate about promoting Computer Science at Ashbourne. Apart from her love for Bollywood, she enjoys reading fiction and aspires to play badminton well.

Head of Faculty for Multimedia and Social Sciences

Dennis Fulcher

MA Government and Political Studies (London Metropolitan University); BSc Hons Sociology (Kingston); NVQ L4 Print Journalism (Richmond Adult Community College); PGCE (Greenwich)

Dennis Fulcher

Dennis is a senior member of staff and has been working at Ashbourne for many years. He teaches a broad range of subjects including Politics, Film, Media, Law and Psychology. He is also a team leader for Politics A level examiners

Dennis takes a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and combines his technical expertise and years of experience to create lively and engaging classes for his students. As a result Dennis’ students consistently achieve excellent grades and rate their overall learning experience highly.

Dennis is a lifelong film enthusiast.

Head of Faculty for Languages

Alberto Lado Rey

MA Hispanic Studies (UCL); BA English Language Studies (University of Santiago de Compestela, Spain); Teachers Training Certificate (University of Santiago de Compestela, Spain)

Ashbourne College London Spanish teacher - Alberto Lado Rey

Alberto is Faculty Head of Languages at Ashbourne and has been teaching at the college since 2000. He has been an Edexcel examiner since 2004. Alberto specialises in Spanish and Latin American culture. Most recently he has started teaching Theatre Studies. Alberto is also responsible for Ashbourne’s IELTS programme and organises the college’s language trips.

Head of Faculty for Culture and Society

William Stockland

MA History of Art (University of Edinburgh); BA Art History (University of Edinburgh)

Ashbourne College London - History of Art teacher William Stockland

Will Stockland has studied both Western and Eastern art history at the universities of Edinburgh, London and Oxford. As well as being a teacher, Will has worked in charitable fundraising, in the wine trade and as a bookseller. He has been the editor of several magazines and writes book reviews for various publications. He has many hobbies, including book collecting and snooker, and he is an active member of his local church.

Will co-leads Ashbourne’s Oxbridge Entry Programme with Chris Masters.

Deputy Head of Year 13 and Designated Safeguarding Lead

Frances Burns

BA History and Drama (Liverpool); Master of Fine Arts (Ohio)

Ashbourne College London Drama and Theatre Studies teacher - Frances Burns

Fran is Ashbourne’s Deputy Head of Year 13 and Drama Teacher. She has also been, for many years, a practitioner in both Mindfulness and Meditation techniques and a senior facilitator for one of the country’s leading Arts Educational companies, helping to deliver specialist programmes in student health and wellbeing and various PSHE issues – all of which were excellent preparation for the next step in becoming the college’s Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Fran believes that students feeling truly supported in all the aspects of their lives can impact on their ability to reach their potential; she is a committed advocate in supporting young people develop the skills and techniques that allow them to be proactive in their own wellbeing, whether academically, emotionally or socially.

Deputy Head of Sixth Form and Careers Leader

Sean Pillai

MEng Civil Engineering with Business Management (Warwick University)

Sean Pillai

Sean plays a very active role at Ashbourne both in terms of helping students reach their academic potential and in enjoying their experience at the college. 

He heads Ashbourne’s Engineering Programme and runs weekly engineering sessions involving seminars, talks, group projects and activities. Students benefit from his expertise and experience in these sessions as well as his guidance throughout their UCAS application process.

Sean began his career as an investment banker but quickly realised that teaching was his preferred profession. He joined Ashbourne in 2015. 

Sean is keen sportsman and plays lacrosse, football and tennis in his spare time, as well as skiing, surfing, sailing and mountaineering. He is also plays the drums, and does volunteering and fundraising for charities.

Personal Tutor Year 12

Philip Arnold

MSc Climate Science and Policy (University of Bristol); BSc Biological Sciences (University of Warwick)

Philip Arnold Philip is passionate about environmental issues and not only brings his research experience in this area to his Biology teaching but also in genetics and evolution, animal and plant biology, clinical microbiology and ecology.

Personal Tutor Year 12

Emily Browne

BSc Psychology; PGCE Biology (King’s College, London)

Emily Browne - Psychology - Ashbourne College London

Emily joined Ashbourne in 2017 to teach Psychology and Biology after completing her PGCE and attaining a first class degree in Psychology. She is particularly interested in biopsychology and its influence on psychopathology.

Emily plays in a women’s netball league and loves coaching year 7 students.

Personal Tutor Year 12

Alex Goodwin

BSc (Hons) Medical Science (University of Birmingham); PGDipEd (University of Birmingham)

Alex Goodwin - Chemistry - Ashbourne College London Alex brings not only his passion for science to the classroom but professional experience and expertise in chemistry and teaching. He believes students should play a pivotal role in their own learning success and has been teaching the subject for more than four years with great results.

Personal Tutor Year 12

Katie Pettitt

MA Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism (Essex); BA English Literature and History of Art (Joint Honours) (Birmingham); PGCE (UEL)

Ashbourne College London History of Art teacher - Katie Pettitt

Katie has played various roles in the arts sector in London, including working for the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Anne Thorne Architects and most recently the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), for which she collaborated with internationally acclaimed artists on innovative and high-profile art projects in and around London’s Olympic Park.

Before teaching at Ashbourne, Katie established History of Art A level at the International School of Creative Arts (ISCA), the only specialist day and boarding school run in association with University of the Arts London (UAL). She joined Ashbourne in 2012 and now teaches History of Art, Media Studies and English.

Katie is passionate about engaging students’ interest and encouraging them to develop their enthusiasm for literature and art history both in and outside the classroom.

Personal Tutor Year 12

Elle Ryan

BA Theology and History with English Literature, Philosophy and Media (Australian Catholic University)

Elle Ryan - IELTS and English - Ashbourne College London

Elle draws on a broad range of fields including history, theology, philosophy and media to enrich and help contextualise English language and literature for her students. She has an excellent rapport with her English students and those in her personal tutor groups who she encourages to develop their own strategies and structures for effective learning making them stakeholders in their own success.

Elle has been teaching for nearly ten years first in Australia and the UK. She teaches English Literature and IELTS at the college.

Teaching Staff

Benvinda Alves

Maîtrise Lettres et Civilisations Étrangères, journalistic translation (University of Nanterre, Paris); PGCE, French, Spanish and Portuguese (University of North London)

Benvinda Alves

Benvinda joined Ashbourne in July 2016. She is an experienced teacher who has taught French, Spanish and Portuguese in a variety of establishments including King’s College and the London School of Economics. She is an avid learner of languages, and very keen runner.

Cristiana Botigella

MA Cultural Policies (London City Univerisity); BA Italian Literature and Contemporary Art (Milan Catholic University)

Cristiana Botigella

Cristiana Bottigella holds a Degree in Italian Literature and Contemporary Art from the Catholic University in Milan and obtained an MA in Cultural Policies from the City University, London. She had her first experience as an Italian teacher in a London College, after which she tutored numerous pupils at different levels in Germany, Austria and Italy. Cristiana has a strong interest in contemporary literature and art and currently teaches at Ashbourne as well as in other independent colleges in London

Arabella Bridge

BA Hons English Literature (Open University); PGCE (Sussex)

Arabella Bridge

Arabella Bridge has been an essential part of Ashbourne’s successful English Department for more than ten years. The department started with a handful of students and is now one of the largest in the college. Arabella is a very experienced teacher of more than twenty years.

As one might expect she is a keen theatre-goer and an avid reader. Perhaps not so expected is that she is a Brighton and Hove Albion season ticket holder.

Joanna Budden

BA History (Leeds); PGCE (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Ashbourne College London History teacher - Joanna Budden

Joanna Budden is a valued and long standing member of Ashbourne staff. She taught abroad for a few years before she joined the college in 2010. She is also an Edexcel examiner.

Joanna is a keen traveller and loves the great outdoors.

Gerardo Carballo

MA Film Studies (UCL); MA Foreign Languages applied to Business (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain); CAP (teacher training) (Instituto de Ciencias de la Educacion, Spain); BA English and Film Studies (University of Wolverhampton); BA English Philology (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain)

Ashbourne College London Drama and Theatre Studies teacher - Gerardo Carballo

Gerardo has been teaching Spanish for more than ten years including at Kings College London, City University and the Cervantes Institute, London.

Gerardo has a passion for Spanish and Latin American cinema and enjoys creating bespoke teaching materials in culture, film and politics for his students.

George Chaldezos

BA Hons (University of Thessaloniki); BA Hons (Cologne); PhD study (Cambridge); PGCE (London)

Ashbourne College London Classic Civilisation teacher - George Chaldezos

George teaches Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation, and has been head of Ashbourne’s Classics department since 2003. He is a member of the Association for Latin Teaching and is an assistant examiner for the OCR exam board and the Cambridge Pre-U.

Nick Cheeseman

MA Fine Art (Chelsea College of Arts, UAL); BA Hons Fine Art (Staffordshire University); PGCE Art and Design (Bath Spa University)

Nick Cheeseman - Art - Ashbourne College LondonNick brings a wealth of experience and passion for teaching art to Ashbourne. He is a practising artist who has exhibited his work across the UK and has been teaching for more than seven years. He has also been an Edexcel exam moderator for GCSE and A level. Nick joined the college in 2016.

Richard Clark

MMaths integrated masters (Bath University); PGCE Secondary Maths (Oxford University)

Richard Clark - Ashbourne College London Richard has experience teaching Maths from pre-GCSE level all the way up to first year undergraduate. He has taught in both state and private sector schools in the UK and Australia. Richard also worked as a software developer for a company providing services for major UK retailers. He currently teaches GCSE and A level Maths at Ashbourne.

Richard is a rugby union fan.

John Curran

MA Economics Education (Institute of Education, University of London); BA (Hons) Economics; EdD Policy, Research and Professional Practice (London Metropolitan University)

John Curran - Economics - Ashbourne College London

John taught Economics at London Metropolitan University for 35 years before joining Ashbourne in 2015. He is the author of Taking the Fear Out of Economics, an introductory text for A level and first year degree students.

In his free time John likes to run, play the piano and garden. All of which he does slowly. He supports Celtic and West Ham.

Rupinder Dhillon

BSC Industrial and Natural Resource Chemistry (Brunel); PGCE (Brunel)

Ashbourne College London Maths teacher Rupinder Dhillon

Rupinder earned a degree in Industrial and Natural Resource Chemistry from Brunel University before working as an analytical chemist for several companies including SGS and Oxford Agricultural Services. In 1996 she retrained to become a teacher and completed her PGCE.

Rupinder first taught at Ashbourne 19 years ago, before leaving for the States where she lived and travelled for three years. She came back to Ashbourne in 2013. Combined with her love for teaching Maths, her positive personality and sense of humour she is committed to encourage an uncompromising work ethic amongst her students.


In her free time Rupinder enjoys studying French and reading historical fiction. She has a passion for travelling and learning about cultures.

Philip Ellis-Martin

BA (Hons) Mathematics (Warwick University); PGCE Secondary Mathematics (University of East London)

Philip Ellis-Martin
Phil has a first class degree in Maths with experience teaching up to A level.Phil is also a session musician on the drums and bass and has performed in a wide variety of shows, events and venues in the UK and overseas. He also has his own band and music agency.

Louise Forster

BA (Joint Hons) German and Italian (Reading University)

Louise Forster

Louise has been teaching German at Ashbourne for many years. She is half-German but also speaks French and Italian. Louise has lived in Berlin, and studied at Munich and Bologna as part of her degree. She enjoys opera, art history and creating textiles.

Pete Franklyn

BSc Actuarial Science (London School of Economics); PGCE Secondary Mathematics (University of London)

Pete Franklyn - Maths - Ashbourne College London

Pete worked at Channel 4 TV for 11 years as Marketing Manager and later writing and directing TV trailers before becoming a teacher in 2002. He joined Ashbourne in 2010.

Olivia Gillman

BA Education with English and Drama (Cambridge University); Undergraduate Foundation in English Literature (Oxford University; dept for continuing eduction)

Olivia Gillman Liv is an actor, director and drama teacher with ten years’ industry experience producing and directing theatre, film and documentary productions. She has worked alongside producers such as Tom Bevan (SIX The Musical), collaborated with authors such as Tom Basden (ITV’s Plebs/ Ricky Gervais’ After Life) and produced feature interviews with Jude Law and Julian Assange (for Netflix).

Danielle Grover

PhD English Literature (Southampton University); MA English Literature (Warwick University); BA English (Southampton University); PGCE Secondary English (Durham University)

Danielle Grover - Ashbourne College London Danielle is a dedicated Jane Austen fan, and of eighteenth century novels in general, with a particular interest in how music is portrayed during this era. She has given many courses on this topic and is enthusiastic to share her passion for literature through talks and organised theatre and historical trips. She brings a wealth of expertise and many years’ teaching experience to enliven the classroom. Danielle also lectures in English Language at Surrey University.

Jane Gregory

MSc Advanced Information Technology with Multimedia (London South Bank University); BA English (Henan Education Institute, China); Certificate in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (SOAS, London)

Jane Gregory - Chinese - Ashbourne College LondonJane has been teaching English and Mandarin for more than 40 years in China and the UK, most recently to undergraduates at SOAS and Westminster University. 

Daniel Kedge

MA Drama in secondary education (Middlesex University); PGCE Drama (Middlesex University); BA Hons Drama with English Literature (Kingston University)

Daniel Kedge

Daniel has been teaching drama and preparing students for exams for the last eight years at comprehensive schools in London. He joined Ashbourne’s Drama department in 2018.

Daniel is passionate about theatre and has also directed his own productions including at Edinburgh Fringe festival. He’s a keen runner and footie fan who does regular charity runs and plays for a local 5-a-side.

Jak Kirby

BA in Applied Arts (Photography) (Silapakorn University, Thailand)

Jak Kirby

Before coming to Ashbourne Jak worked in the advertising industry and as a television director in Thailand. Jak began at Ashbourne teaching photography but has since established a flourishing Graphics department within the Art Faculty over the many years she has been at the college. She has a particular interest in film production.

George Kontos

MRes Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (University of Sussex); PGCE (University of Brighton); BEng Electronic Engineering (University of Surrey)

George Kontos

George has extensive experience as a computer scientist in the private sector developing and testing software as well as teaching software and games development, programming and lecturing in Computer Science. He is fluent in a wide range of programming languages, and is bilingual in English and Greek.

Caterina Lewis

MA and BA Fine Art (Central St. Martins); PGCE Art and Design (Institute of Education, University of London)

Caterina Lewis - Art - Ashbourne College LondonCaterina is a practising fine artist who has plenty of experience curating exhibitions and working with galleries. She has been teaching art and design for many years to a wide range of age groups including at GCSE and A level and joined Ashbourne’s Art Faculty in 2016.

Daniel Martin

BA (Hons) Economics (Essex University); PGCE (Worcester College of Higher Education)

Daniel is great proponent of independent learning and encourages his students to look at issues that affect them and the wider world to examine how economics shapes events. His goal is to help students achieve academic success and foster a lifelong interest in the subject.

Daniel is an experienced Economics and Business Studies teacher with many years of teaching under his belt.

Amina Mcdiarmid

PhD Neuroscience (King’s College London); MRes Biomedical Sciences (University of Glasgow); BSc Biological Sciences (University of Edinburgh)

Amina Mcdiarmid - Ashbourne College London Amina has experience teaching at GCSE and A level, as well as degree and masters level. She has developed cognitive-based teaching models to help improve students’ learning practices and is a founding fellow of KCL Academy of Educators. Amina teaches A level Biology at Ashbourne.

Amina does plenty of yoga and cycling to keep fit, is an aspiring baker and loves music and cinema.

Adam McMaster

Bsc Economics and Political Science (University of Birmingham)

Adam McMaster - Ashbourne College London Adam joined Ashbourne following his recent graduation from the University of Birmingham. As well as teaching economics he also runs the Ashbourne Finance Programme, designed to give students the best chance of gaining a place at top UK universities to study Finance and related subjects.Adam presents economics as a tool to explain the successes and failures of modern society and illustrates how better understanding of theory could propose solutions to such failures. He’s keen on the development and history of economic schools of thought, and closely follows the microeconomic changes in the housing market and higher education.

Chella Nathan

MSc Mathematics (The Open University); PGCE (University of Greenwich); BEng (Hons) Electronics and Communication (University of North London); BSc Physics, Pure Mathematics and Statistics (University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka)

Ashbourne College London Physics and Maths teacher - Chella Nathan

Chella has been teaching Mathematics and Physics for more than twenty five years. Year after year he remains one of Ashbourne’s most popular Maths teachers. He has also headed up the college’s astro-physics club for many years.

Chella’s research interests are number theory and the development of renewable energy sources.

Virash Patel

BSc (Hons) (CSci), CChem (FRSC)

Ashbourne College London Chemistry teacher - Virash Patel

Virash has been teaching at Ashbourne for many years. Before joining the college he held the roles of Director of Studies and Head of Chemistry, as well as teaching Biology and Chemistry. In addition to his teaching roles, Virash has worked as an analytical chemist in industry, and was awarded a fellowship from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Virash helps prepare students for entry onto medicine related courses, as well as Oxbridge and offers instruction and guidance to students in their UCAS applications.

Michael Peat

BD Hons, DipTheol (London); BSc Hons (Birmingham) Religious Studies, Mathematics and Philosophy

Michael Peat

Michael Peat has a broad academic background with his first degree in Physics. He did doctoral studies in methodology and hermeneutics in Philadelphia and returned to lecture to under- and postgraduate students in the UK. He has been teaching Philosophy at Ashbourne for many years now and enjoys a philosophical debate with anyone and everyone. Students benefit from his research, enthusiasm and knowledge.

Michael is also a keen chess player and runs Ashbourne’s club with Chris Todd who teaches Chemistry.

Leona Potter

BSc Psychology (Leeds University)

Leona Potter Leona was a former Head of Psychology and Forensic Science and has many years experience teaching in state and private sector education. She is also a qualified AQA examiner. Leona teaches A level Psychology at Ashbourne.

Leona loves snow and surf and is a ski instructor and competitive wakeboarder. She also rides horses, is a keen travel photographer and textile designer.

Dr Barry Rhule

PhD (London); BSc Hons (CNAA) Mathematics, Physics

Ashbourne College London Physics and Maths teacher - Barry Rhule

Barry has been teaching Maths and Physics at Ashbourne for many years and is traditionally one of our most popular tutors, well-liked and respected thanks to his engaging personality. He has a profound knowledge of Physics and has been an inspiration for many of our students who have gone on to study at Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London.

Barry is a member of the London Mathematical Society.

Wesley Rykalski

MA Medieval Studies (UCL); BA History (UCL)

Ashbourne College London Media Studies teacher Wesley Rykalski

As well as teaching History and Media Studies at Ashbourne Wesley runs a very popular Critical Theory seminar with James Wilkes, English teacher and Head of Faculties. Wesley is also responsible for research development for teaching at the college.

Wesley produces a teaching blog on Media Studies and contributes to a joint research blog on Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project and the seaside.

Wesley is also working on a PhD in Cultural Power in the Early Medieval World at Birkbeck, University of London.

Madeeha Saad

MSc Medical Statistics (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London); BSc (Hons) Mathematical Sciences (Open Univeristy); BSc Mathematics (Government Kinnaird College Women, Pakistan)

Madeeha SaadMadeeha teaches Maths and Further Maths at Ashbourne. She has been teaching Maths for more than 17 years in London and has been an assistant examiner for Edexcel.

In her spare time Madeena plays badminton, loves cooking and keeps up to date with current affairs and world development issues.

Dr Abdul Sami

PhD Algebra (Imperial College London); MSc Pure Maths (Queen Mary University of London); BSc (Hons) Pure Maths

Ashbourne College Maths teacher - Abdul Sami

Abdul taught Pure Maths at Michigan State University for three years before returning to the UK. He transcribed parts of Newton’s Principia at Sussex University before joining Ashbourne College. Some of his research is published in leading journals and he has given seminars and conference speeches in the UK, USA and Germany.

Abdul enjoys cooking, long walks and day trips to small towns and villages.

Simone Shaw

Diploma French (Institut Francais du Royaume Universite); SPLD Diploma (Hornsby International Dyslexia Institute)

Simone Shaw

Simone has been a specialist teacher working with students who have special educational needs for more than 15 years in London. She is Ashbourne’s SEN co-ordinator.

Imran Shah

BSc (Hons) Physics (Imperial College London)

Imran Shah - Physics - Ashbourne College LondonImran is an experienced Maths and Physics tutor who has been teaching at independent colleges in London since 1998.

Imran loves sport and plays football, basketball and badminton, as well as practising Tai-Chi and Chi-Kung. He takes a keen interest in scientific documentaries and science in society.

Arianwen Shoring

MA Graphic Design (Nottingham Trent University, UK); BA Fashion Design (University of Wales, UK); PGCE Art and Textiles (University of Worcester)

Arianwen Shoring - Textiles - Ashbourne College London

Arianwen is an experienced Art and Fashion course leader and has been teaching A level Textiles in the private sector and for the University of Arts, London, including Central St Martins and London College of Fashion, since 2006. She has a wealth of experience in preparing student portfolios for prestigious Fashion and Textile university courses.

Stefania Spinu

MA Economic Policy and Analysis, Economics of Sustainable Development (University of Nantes, France); BA Economics (University of Bucharest ASE); PGCE Economics (Institute of Education, UCL)

Stefania SpinuStefania specialises in economic analysis, and environmental and sustainable economics. She is also an Edexcel examiner for Economics.

Stefania loves painting and clay modelling, music and cinema, aquariums and space. She’s also a runner.

Peter Stanton

BSc Physics (Imperial College London); BSc History and Philosophy of Science (UCL); PGCE Secondary Science with Physics

Stefania SpinuPeter has more than ten years experience teaching GCSE sciences and A level Physics in London and as head of year in Brazil where he was also responsible for rolling out a teaching programme on the theory of knowledge.

Piers Tattersall

MA Music Composition (Royal College of Music); BA Music Composition (Royal Northern College of Music)

Ashbourne College London Music Teacher

Piers studied Composition at the Royal College of Music, and has worked extensively as a composer, writing many commissioned pieces. His work has been performed by the Britten Sinfonia, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The Composers’ Ensemble and London Children’s Ballet. Pier’s background makes him particularly suited to teaching the composition unit at A Level and GCSE. Piers also actively runs Ashbourne’s choir and music clubs.

Dina Taylor

BA English and German Philology (N. Tagil State Pedagogical Instititue, Russia); CEFR Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Goethe-Institut Bonn, Gemany); Cambridge ESOL (Bromley College), PGCE Modern Foreign Languages (Kent and Medway Training)

Dina is a Russian language teacher at Ashbourne. She completed her degree in the foreign languages faculty of Russia’s N. Tagil State Pedagogical Institute before moving to Germany, where she studied, worked and started her family.

Chris Todd

BSc Hons Chemical Sciences (East Anglia); PGCE Chemistry (Roehampton); HoD Biology

Chris Todd

After graduating Chris worked as a research chemist in the field of semi conductors, then in investment banking before taking his PGCE to become a teacher. He has been at Ashbourne for many years. He is a demanding but popular and successful teacher.

Chris’ particular passion is chess; he runs a team in the London Chess League and together with Michael Peat runs the Ashbourne chess club.


Sarah Thompson

MA (Oxford) MSc (UCL)

Sarah Thompson

Sarah has an MA in Human Sciences from Oxford University, and an MSc in Neuroscience from University College London. Before turning to teaching in 2010, she spent several years working in research, first at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge and at the Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University, and has published original research papers in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and psychophysics. In her spare time, she is a folk musician and a marathon runner.

Sakae Ueno

Teacher Training Certificate in Japanese  (Japan)

Sakae Ueno

Sakae Osakabe has been teaching Japanese for many years in a wide range of schools and colleges within London.

Sakae’s hobbies include travel, drawing and flower arranging.

Lauren Vanderhurst

MA English: Issues in Modern Culture (University College London); BA (Hons) English Literature (University of California); PGCE (Institute of Education, UCL)

Ashbourne College London English Literature teacher - Lauren Vanderhusrt

Lauren’s love and enthusiasm for English inspires her students to find their own passion and embrace all that the subject has to offer. She is one of Ashbourne’s most encouraging and effective teachers who has played a full and active role in the college’s academic and cultural life since joining in 2014.

Sebastian Weiss

BA Environments, Environmental Geography, Politics and Culture (University of Melbourne, Australia); PGCE Geography, (Cambridge University)

Sebastian Weiss

Sebastian has been teaching Geography and German (his native language) since 2011 in Australia, Southeast Asia and the UK. He also has experience as an AQA examiner in Geography.


Michael Wilkinson

MSc Politics Sociology (Birkbeck College, University of London); BA Politics (SOAS)

Ashbourne College London Government and Politics teacher - Michael WilkinsonMichael Wilkinson began teaching Government and Politics at Ashbourne in September 2009. Prior to this, he worked as a researcher at the Home Office gaining first-hand insight into the nature of the UK political system. Since leaving the Home Office he has been involved in freelance social research work at the University of Surrey, and he also tutors on some of their undergraduate courses in Sociology.

Yat-Soon Yeo

MA Music, Historical Musicology (King’s College, London); BA Music (King’s College, London); PGCE Harpiscord and Conducting (Guildhall School of Music and Drama); PCGE Secondary Music (Institute of Education, University of London)

Ashbourne College London Yat-Soon Yeo Yat-Soon is a professional musician, conductor and musical director who has performed extensively as a solo harpsichordist and in ensembles at many prestigious and historic venues in the UK and Europe. He has also conducted widely acclaimed productions of baroque opera and vocal music including for the London Baroque Opera and is musical director with Opéra de Baugé in France.
Yat-Soon has been sharing his love of music and wealth of professional and educational experience for many years as teacher and director of music at schools, including St Paul’s Girls and Lady Eleanor Holles, and Birmingham University.

Mark Youngman

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry (Southampton University)

Mark Youngman - Biology - Ashbourne College London

Mark teaches Science and Biology at Ashbourne. He has been teaching since 2011 and was head of Biology at his previous college.

Mark is a qualified tennis coach, keen cricketer and loves a visit to the zoo.

Nora Zegrir

MA English Literature and Civilisation (Unviersité Lyon III, France); BA English Literature and Civilisation (Unviersité Lyon III, France);  PGCE French (University of Nottingham)

Nora Zegrir - French - Ashbourne College LondonNora is a native French speaker with more than twelve years teaching experience. She joined Ashbourne in 2016. She loves literature and culture and believes it can bring language alive. She also speaks Spanish and has taught it to GCSE.

Nora is a fan of literature, cinema and museums and loves solving crossword puzzles.

Admissions Staff

Suzanna Liu

BA (Hons) French and German (King’s College London)

Suzanne Liu - Admissions - Ashbourne College London

Suzanna is responsible for all applications and admissions to the college as well as managing overseas visa requirements and working with educational agents worldwide. She also produces marketing materials for the college. Suzanna joined Ashbourne soon after gaining her degree in 2014.

Marcus Loudon

BA in English and American Literature and Spanish (University of Kent)

Marcus Loudon - Admissions - Ashbourne College London

As Ashbourne’s admissions officer Marcus handles all new enquiries and meets potential students.

Marcus joined Ashbourne after graduating from university. He spent a year abroad in Alicante, Spain where he studied translation along with developing his language.

Marcus loves literature and languages, and speaks Spanish and English, and some German and Italian.

Christopher Masters

MA (Courtauld Institute); BA (Hons) Law (University of Oxford)

Ashbourne College London Admissions Tutor - Chris Masters

Chris works closely with Ashbourne’s admissions department interviewing and welcoming prospective and new students, and regularly travels overseas to meet with students and international agents. He is the college’s Oxbridge UCAS tutor and co-leads Ashbourne’s Oxbridge Entry Programme with Will Stockland.

Chris first graduated from the University of Oxford in Law, then undertook postgraduate work at the Courtauld Institute before beginning his teaching career in Law and History of Art.


Chris Mutter

MA English Literary Studies (University of Exeter); BA English Literature (University of Lincoln)

Chris Mutter - Ashbourne College London

Chris rejoined Ashbourne after completing his Masters, having worked in the administration team previously. He works within the Admissions department and provides academic and pastoral guidance to students as one of our Y12 Personal Tutors. He also provides support to students with applications to overseas universities and helps to run the Ashbourne Allstars football team.

Anh Nguyen

BA (Hons) Graphics Design New Media (University for the Creative Arts)

Anh plays a main role in recruiting and welcoming new students to Ashbourne. She works closely with overseas agents to promote and facilitate student enrolment and often represents the college at recruitment events. She is also involved in producing marketing materials.

Anh loves world cuisine, performing arts and languages. She is fluent in English, Vietnamese and French.

Administration and Operation Staff

Head of Administration

Hien Nguyen

Msc International Finance (University of Westminster); BA Account, Finance and Management (University of Nottingham)

Hien Nguyen - Administration- Ashbourne College London

Hien manages Ashbourne’s administration team as well as offering support to students, teachers, parents and everyone else involved with the college.

Hien is also responsible for many aspects of the college’s compliance with current education legislation; she has played an absolutely essential role in fulfilling the college’s obligations. She also manages Ashbourne’s Easter Revision Programme.

Deputy Head of Administration

Georgina Prichard

BA Hons Management and Marketing (Newcastle University, UK)

Georgina Prichard - Administration - Ashbourne College London

Georgina has extensive experience in independent education both in terms of providing academic and pastoral support and in all aspects of college administration, examinations, health and safety and finance.

As well as playing a key role in managing Ashbourne’s admin team Georgina provides compliance support and oversees health and safety issues.

Georgina loves travelling, playing netball and doing triathlons.

Safeguarding and Middle School Support Officer

Blaize Campbell

BA Psychology (ongoing) (Richmond American International University, London)

Blaize CampbellBlaize assists in the day-to-day tasks that ensure the smooth running of our Administration team. She is also PA to the Director of Studies.

Blaize has been working in administration for four years as well as providing health and social care support.

Compliance and Registration Officer

Mani Giri

BA (Hons) Business Management (Glyndwyr University)

Mani Giri

Mani is part of Ashbourne’s admin team as a Compliance and Registration Officer. He has previously worked in Human Resource in the care industry.

Mani is interested in culture and language. He has been a volunteer and has been involved in raising funds for earthquake victims in Nepal.

Events and Careers Officer

Olivia Manning

BA (Hons) Modern Languages and Cultures (Durham University)

Olivia Manning Olivia works alongside Sean Pillai, Deputy Head of Sixth Form, to help students find the right career pathway through a wide programme of university and careers-focused workshops, events and enrichment opportunities. Olivia also organises and runs our extra-curricular activities and events.

College Administrator – reception

Kevin Chik

BA (Hons) Tourism and Hospitality Management (London South Bank University)

Kevin Chik

Kevin is one of the first people to welcome you when you arrive at Ashbourne’s Old Court Place premises. He works as a college administrator at reception. His previous experience is in hospitality including at Imperial College London and the Ritz Hotel.

Kevin speaks fluent English and Cantonese, with conversational Mandarin.

College Administrator

Juliana Rozensztajn de Mattos

Access to HE Humanities

Juliana Rozensztajn de Mattos

Juliana is responsible for keeping everyone up to date with what’s going on at Ashbourne through our social media platforms. She also works as part of the overall administration team.

Before joining Ashbourne Juliana worked in social media in Brazil and in a variety of administration jobs in London.

College Administrator

Tracy Nwokoma

Tracy Nwokoma

Tracy works with the Director of Studies, she provides academic support to students and runs personal mentoring programmes. She also helps recruits students from Nigeria and Ghana, and assists in college events such as the annual Revue.

College Administrator

Sean Yip

BSc Exercise and Sport Science (University of Exeter)

Sean YipSean is responsible for a wide range of clerical and administrative duties at Ashbourne largely at our Old Court Place premises.

Sean loves football, plays violin and took part in London Youth Games 2010.

IT and Facilities, Finance and Media Staff

IT and Premises Manager

Fabio Carpene

Fabio Carpene - Facilities Manager - Ashbourne College London

Fabio has been at Ashbourne since September 2005. He manages the day-to-day running of the college’s premises and communications systems. He is responsible for health and safety at the college as well as data protection and security of the college IT system. He has played a major role in the development of the college’s databases.

Fabio is passionate about football and has played professionally and semi-professionally in the UK. He recently led Ashbourne’s five-a-side team to the Independent Inter-college Championships in London.

Finance Officer

Ruggero Romanelli

BSc Financial Markets and Institutions (Tor Vegata, Italy)

Ruggero Romenelli - Finance and Exams - Ashbourne College London

Ruggero joined Ashbourne’s finance and exams team in 2016. He manages suppliers’ invoices, student payments and student certificates and transcripts. He also assists with organising and running the exams at Ashbourne.

Social Media Coordinator

Nancy Bui

MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Imperial College, London); BSc Investment and Financial Risk Management (City University, London)

Nancy Bui - Finance and Exams - Ashbourne College LondonNancy is responsible for social media at the college. She previous worked in finance and exams at Ashbourne, and before coming to the college she worked as project leader for CAPCO, consultants to the financial services industry and as a business analyst for HSBC global asset management.

Nancy is a video gamer, photographer and secret pâtissier.