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The Kings’ Leadership team is a group of highly qualified and experienced people, whose focus is to ensure that Kings’ achieves its commitment to deliver ‘The Best By Every Child’. This is done by providing outstanding support and direction for our team of highly experienced and talented teaching staff.

  • Team
    Rebecca Gray Director of Education & Principal, Kings' School Al Barsha

    Rebecca graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2002, and went on to complete her PGCE at the University of North London. She began her teaching career in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, where she gained her first senior leadership post, and progressed to further senior leadership responsibilities in Peterborough.

    Rebecca became Deputy Headteacher at a school in Huntingdon, during which time she also completed her National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). Rebecca has since been the Headteacher of a primary school in Northamptonshire, the founding Principal of a preparatory school, and an Improvement Cluster Lead for the David Ross Education Trust where she led on whole-school improvement for seven of the Trust's primary schools.

    Rebecca joined Kings’ School Al Barsha as Primary Headteacher in September 2016 before progressing to Principal. Rebecca is also now the Director of Education for the Kings'Education group.

  • Team
    Kevin Stedman Senior Education Adviser and Chair of Governors

    Kevin is Senior Education Adviser and Chair of Governors to the Kings’ family of schools. He is also the Director of his own education consultancy, operating internationally and specialising in all aspects of school design and the engagement of outstanding school leaders.

    Kings’ School Dubai, the flagship Kings’ Education school, is the only school in the United Arab Emirates to have achieved the rating of outstanding every year since inspections began in Dubai. Kevin’s foresight and vision, together with the ambition and creative ability of the company’s Chairman, have ensured that Kings’ has become a world-class leader in independent education. Two other Kings’ Schools are now open in Dubai, at opposite ends of the city, and the work continues to do ‘The Best by Every Child’.

  • Team
    Bede Higgins Principal, Kings’ School Dubai

    Bede obtained a degree in Mathematics and Psychology from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, followed by a Diploma of Teaching in Mathematics, Physical Education and Outdoor Education from Christchurch College of Education. He began his teaching career at Tauranga Boys’ College, New Zealand, where he taught Mathematics and Physical Education. Moving to the UK, Bede continued teaching and specialised in Physical Education at Thomas’s London Day School.

    On relocating to Dubai, Bede was appointed Head of Physical Education at Jumeirah Primary School. During this time, he joined the Leadership Team with a specific brief for Curriculum Design. It was here that Bede also completed his National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).

    In September 2010, Bede joined Dubai English Speaking School as Assistant Headteacher, again with responsibility for Curriculum, and in 2012, Bede successfully completed a Master’s degree in Leadership and Management.

    Since joining Kings’ School Dubai as Deputy Headteacher in 2014, Bede has led on Curriculum and Assessment in collaboration with our other Kings’ Schools. Now, as Principal, Bede continues to lead on this area ensuring that Kings’ exceptional standards remain high.

  • Team
    Kerry Dalton Principal, Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba

    Kerry joined Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba from Kings’ School Al Barsha where she fulfilled the role of Deputy Headteacher. Kerry's leadership experience includes six years as Headteacher in a village primary school in rural North Yorkshire, leading her school through several highly successful inspections, and taking an executive role in the development of a 60-school-wide Teaching School Alliance, as lead on mathematics and CPD for its School Direct students across the region.

    With a First-Class BSc (Hons) degree in Primary Education with Mathematics, there is nothing Kerry loves more than making connections between the classroom and the world beyond it, supporting teaching, and seeing children thrive as they learn.

    Appointed Local Leader of Education in 2017, Kerry developed a highly successful ‘Developing Effective Support in Mathematics: TA Toolkit’ training package with Yorkshire Ridings Maths Hub and STEM; is a published author of ‘Hands-On Maths’; and has worked as a mathematics consultant, working with schools in the UK, Channel Islands, and Dubai.

  • Team
    Lisa Passante Vice Principal, Kings' School Al Barsha

    Lisa’s teaching career spans over 20 years with experience gained both from the UK and internationally. Whilst in the UK, Lisa worked closely with the Local Education Authority as a Team Teach Tutor, training hundreds of teachers, administrators and support staff to develop teaching and learning strategies that improved pupil outcomes.

    In 2006, Lisa relocated to China where she undertook senior leadership roles, including Head of Primary and Principal. Working in highly competitive education markets in both Shanghai and Beijing, Lisa took a particular interest in educational marketing, which formed the basis of her thesis when completing her Masters in Educational Leadership in 2014.

    Lisa has been a Lead Improvement Partner with the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), supporting British international schools worldwide in achieving the COBIS Compliance and Patron’s Accreditation. She is passionate about ensuring all students have access to outstanding education and is immensely proud of the fact that she can support schools in their improvement journey to achieve this. Lisa’s educational philosophy is based around the notion that there are no limits to what each and every child can achieve, and as a school leader, sees it very much her role to facilitate these opportunities, enabling all learners to realise their dreams, no matter what they are.

  • Team
    Paul Taylor Secondary Headteacher, Kings' School Al Barsha

    Paul has extensive school leadership experience, in a range of sectors, spanning eleven years across three very different schools. Prior to joining Kings’, Paul was the Principal of a UK-based private, all-through, co-educational day and boarding school which dates back to 1753. In this role, Paul gained a wealth of knowledge across both the Primary and Early Years, as well as Secondary, giving him a great appreciation of the educational journey of a child from age three to eighteen.

    Whilst Paul has a proven track record for achieving record results at both GCSE and A-Level within his schools, he is a passionate believer in the development of the whole child, with a clear educational philosophy that emphasises individual growth in an all-round sense.

    Paul is a hands-on leader who enjoys spending time in the classroom with pupils, hearing firsthand how they are progressing. Valuing his broader responsibility, he ensures that all pupils have the academic, extra-curricular and pastoral systems that will allow them to develop the intellectual and personality traits to succeed in the exciting but challenging world of today.

  • Team
    Wendy Prior Vice Chair of Governors

    Wendy has many years experience as a parent governor with Kings' schools and brings fifteen years’ experience in post 16 education. Additional to this, Wendy has worked as a lecturer, assessor, manager and consultant.

    Wendy has considerable experience supporting work-based training providers to become inspection ready as well as personal performance and professional coaching experience.

  • Team
    Robert Phillips Director of Inclusion, Kings' Education

    For the past 3 and a half years, Robert Phillips has led the development of Kings' Education's Alternative Pathway provision across the group. Robert's background in Special Educational Needs stems from his clinical work as a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) in Dubai, where he managed clinical settings and provided inclusive practice consultation to over 30 different schools in the UAE.

    Robert relocated to Dubai in 2014 from the UK, where he worked in social services, advising mainstream schools and specialty settings on behavior and inclusive practice. Robert leads on Kings' Education's strategic vision for inclusive education.

Please see the pages for individual schools for their respective leadership teams.

Kings’ Education Team

  • Team
    Akshay Khanna Director of Corporate Services

    Akshay brings over ten years of experience in business development, corporate finance, financial due diligence, commercial due diligence, and statutory audit, to the Kings’ Education team.

    In the past, Akshay has worked at the likes of KPMG and GEMS Education and joined Kings’ Education in 2016.

    Since then, Akshay has played an instrumental role in the impressive developments seen at each of our schools. He has ensured we have invested, enhanced, and committed our resources to delivering the best educational experience possible to each student.

  • Team
    Basheer Appadath Head of Finance

    Basheer brings to the team more than twenty five years of diverse experience in financial forecasting, business plans for new ventures, financial analysis & management reporting, corporate & project cost accounting, treasury & cash flow management, business valuations & financial due diligence, and statutory audits.

    Basheer joined Kings’ Education in 2015 and has made immense contributions to our community since then.

  • Team
    Hugo McGlue Head of I.T.

    Hugo began his career in the I.T. services division of the UK’s Open University Head Office. Following several senior engineering, consultancy, and advisory roles, Hugo was appointed Director of I.T. Managed Services at the Aztec Group.

    In 2016, Hugo joined Nord Anglia Education. Hugo’s management roles covered the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe, where he became part of the central I.T. Change Advisory Board (CAB) for group-wide I.T. projects and implementations.

    Hugo Joined Kings’ Education in 2021 as Head of I.T. with a clear vision to further develop and transform the best-in-class I.T. facilities, alongside the outstanding academic provisions that Kings’ Education is known for.

  • Team
    Saeeda Jaffrey Head of HR

    Saeeda brings a wealth of HR experience to the team. She worked for PWC London and Middle East for ten years; working as a management consultant in the UK practice for five years, leading to a five year secondment as internal HR Business Partner in the Middle East practice.

    Saeeda has been involved in highly successful workforce transformation projects; has implemented staff engagement practices; and been instrumental in enhancing people strategies across a range of industries. We’re delighted Saeeda has brought the learns from such work to Kings’ Education.

    Saeeda is a passionate advocate for children's education and is the Patron and Board Member of the One Degree Academy School based in London UK.

  • Team
    Khayyam Abdu Head of Infrastructure

    Khayyam is an experienced Infrastructure, Facility Management and Project Management specialist, possessing 22 years of experience in construction management. He has been an active contributor in complex construction projects over a 20-year span in the UAE; and brought this expertise to Kings’ Education in 2020.

    Khayyam joined Kings’ Education as a site engineer, and has since progressed to become the Head of Infrastructure. He brings a keen eye for design brilliance to the role, delivering impressive expansion and enhancement projects to all our campuses. Alongside his team, he drives the seamless management of our facilities, and ensures every pupil is accommodated for in an impressive educational environment.