Biography: I was privileged to lead a group of talented professionals on our successful bid to open the free school. I was appointed Principal since January 2014 and prior to that I have worked as Assistant Head Teacher at Forest Gate Community School for six years, bringing considerable leadership skills to the group. I have also served as a governor in two secondary schools and have worked closely with governors in my most recent place of work. I have been involved in a number of voluntary organisations working with young people in inner city areas. I have a passion for education and a sincere belief that every child can transform their lives through education. I bring extensive experience to the governing body including leading teams, managing projects and change, excellent understanding of finances having set and delivered positive budgets for the past six years. I have an excellent understanding of the Tower Hamlets community that we serve and good links with businesses and community organisations.
Dr. Michael Harpham
Role: Associate Principal
Biography: With twenty-five years' teaching experience, fifteen of those at senior leadership level, including headship, in a broad range of schools in London and the Home Counties, Michael has extensive educational and leadership experience to share. In addition, with two master's degrees, completing a doctorate in education and author of two books, he also brings significant authority and ability to his work. His passion is for education. He set up his own consultancy, School Leader Development Ltd, to develop and deliver training programmes for teachers and school leaders. He also enjoys supporting and developing staff and teams to reach their potential and as such, tours universities with a training programme for PGCE and BEd students based on his first book, "Progress Plain and Simple" and is a highly experienced mentor and coach.
Role: Vice Principal - Designated Safeguarding Lead
Biography: Becoming an English Teacher gave me the opportunity to inspire through reading and writing. I realised that while it is true that "there’s magic in the web of reading and writing" (Shakespeare’s Othello), my students could not fathom or begin to appreciate the liberation the written word provides due to their low literacy levels. This ignited the passion to become a SENDCO to find solutions through support and interventions in order to diminish the gap between non-SEN/D and SEND. I witnessed the impact of this last year, when one of my very low ability students who could not read in year 7, finished from University of Southampton with a First-Class Honours degree!
The latter part of my career has made me realise that as well as effective teaching, we need to be more conscious of the external factors that may hinder learning. What impact would an outstanding lesson have on a child if they were unsure of where their next meal was coming from, or they are dealing with bereavement? Or too scared to come out of their homes due to the fear of gangs and county line culture? Bullying? Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality of some of our learners and my role as a safeguarding lead has helped me to be an advocate for such students. I believe teaching children about risks they might face, and equipping them to manage those risks, will ultimately allow true education to operate in its fullest capacity within any school and especially at LEA. Having such an impact on the lives of our learners is real education!
Role: Vice Principal
Biography: I have been teaching for over 20 years in various schools all around London and the last 10 years as a Senior Leader. I was educated and grew up in the East End when I was a teenager. Hence joining the LEA as Vice Principal is not only an exciting chapter of my life which I am looking forward to, but feels like I am coming back home!
Throughout my teaching career I have always believed that education is for all and no one should be disadvantaged because of their socio-economic background. Growing up in Whitechapel in the 70’s and 80’s was very difficult but I have to thank my teachers for motivating, inspiring, keeping me safe and challenging me to do my best at school, thus giving me the best life chances.
I want to play a pivotal role in making LEA a school we can all be proud of and firmly believe it is only a matter of time for this to be a reality if we all work together.
Role: Vice Principal
Biography: I have 20 years of experience working in school settings including primary, secondary, independent, faith based, non-denominational, single sex, co-ed and free schools. I have worked as an Educational Consultant in School Improvement as well as running a small perfume business in London. My previous roles include working as a Curriculum Development Advisor for a MAT in Newham, Vice Principal in LEA and prior to that as an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) in Maths. Further, I am an accredited WRAP trainer from the Home Office and hold a Masters in Education as well as National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH). All of the above gives me a sound set of skills and experience to be in a position to support and challenge the Principal at a strategic level in order to help the Academy progress.
Role: Associate Assistant Principal
Biography: I have been teaching maths for well over 20 years in a number of secondary schools in London. In the last 8 years, I worked in Senior Leadership positions of a varying nature in my teaching experience, including work in a British International school in Southern Africa where I had an absolutely wonderful experience of a different culture to the UK. Not only that, but I also got a taste of what it means to teach at a boarding school where I worked as Deputy Head in charge of Academics. This is my second job in Tower Hamlets and I hope that I will make a positive impact on teaching and learning here at LEA and contribute to the next set of achievements that the school will acquire.
Role: School Business Manager
Biography: I have a School Business Management degree and 14 years of experience in different school settings. I have worked as a School Business Manager in a special needs and secondary school. I have completed a postgraduate certificate in coaching and firmly believe that happiness leads to success, and I want to be a part of a student’s journey to success. I speak Arabic, Italian, and English fluently and enjoy hiking, especially in the summer. I am happy to be a part of LEA; it is a diverse environment with students from all walks of life, and it is great to be here.