Board of Governors

There are three essential bodies that make up the governance structure at Kent College Dubai.

Kent College Dubai Executive Board

The Executive Committee, made up of Aldar Education and Kent College Canterbury executives, alongside a Finance Committee, decides all matters of policy relating to the school, which are implemented on a day-to-day basis by the Principal and Senior Leadership Team.

Welcome from Mr. Mark Turnbull, the Headmaster of Kent College Canterbury and Executive Board Member of Kent College Dubai.

I want to welcome you all into the family of schools that now make up Kent College. We have a history that stretches back over 135 years, and in that time, we have developed a reputation for excellence in education. We are regularly ranked as one of the top IB schools in the UK, and our A level results are also excellent.

This year, KCC sent children to top universities across the UK, including Oxford, Cambridge and Russell group institutions, and universities across the world.

At the heart of a Kent College education is the individual and valuing who they are to give them the confidence to embrace all the opportunities to learn and thrive at school. All Kent College schools are founded on the shared values of integrity, respect and tolerance. This means that we’re always true to our shared aims, that we welcome people of all abilities and all backgrounds, and we continue to hold a respect for ourselves, for each other, and, just as importantly, the world in which we’re growing up.

We very much hope that in the years ahead Kent College Dubai will grow with Kent College Canterbury and Kent College West Cairo to share the learning opportunities for all our children.

Kent College Strategic Governance Group

The School is also supported by a Strategic Governance Group, comprising of industry partners, parents and teachers who;

  • understand and uphold the school’s and KCD’s vision and values;
  • monitor, advise and support the school on matters of strategy and policy;
  • help monitor the school’s standards and performance; and
  • support the school and the Principal and seek to provide wise counsel.

Strategic Governance Members are a group of experienced and skilled individuals from diverse backgrounds, who add a great deal to improve the school’s performance.

Members are mindful of the role and responsibilities of the Principal, and understand and appreciate what it means to be an Aldar Education school and the relationship Kent College Dubai has with its sister school, Kent College Canterbury.

They assist with monitoring the activity and performance of the school by supporting the school’s senior leaders to be fully accountable for the school’s outcomes. Working in partnership with the school and the Executive Board they actively collaborate, engage and challenge the school through constructive dialogue at all times.

The Strategic Governance Group are not involved in financial or operational matters or operational matters.

The SGG is divided into several sub-committees, each focusing on key aspects of our school’s operation, including Leadership, Safeguarding, Teaching and Learning, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships.

Members’ expertise and insights will be invaluable as we work together to enhance our school’s overall performance and the well-being of our students.

Each group has a member of the Senior Leadership Team attached to ensure that members remain informed and updated on all activities.

Strategic Governance Group

The Strategic Governance Group plays a vital role in shaping the strategic direction of our school. This advisory board is responsible for overseeing the achievement of our strategic aims and objectives. Members of the SGG will:

  • Understand and uphold our school’s and Aldar Education’s vision and values;
  • Monitor, advise, and support the school on matters of strategy and policy;
  • Help monitor the school’s standards and performance;
  • Support the school and the Principal, providing wise counsel.

The SGG is divided into several sub-committees, each focusing on key aspects of our school’s operation, including Leadership, Safeguarding, Teaching and Learning, Inclusion, and Community Partnerships. Members’ expertise and insights will be invaluable as we work together to enhance our school’s overall performance and the well-being of our students.

Each group has a member of the Senior Leadership Team attached to ensure that members remain informed and updated on all activities.


Mr Paul Kelly

Paul has just a little over thirty years of experience in the education field, in both the United Kingdom and the international setting. Born and raised in New Zealand, Paul graduated from Otago University, Dunedin with a Bachelor of Education (Hon) degree. However, it was in London, England where Paul began his teaching career. The attraction of the academic independent preparatory schools of North London had Paul ‘hooked’ and for the following twenty-two years Paul built his career teaching and preparing children for their next schools – the premier league of Public Senior Schools in the United Kingdom. Paul moved into leadership roles, and not separating the two, he led as Head of Department (academic) and pastorally as Head of Year. Strategic thinking, logistical planning, assessment and curriculum review are considered areas of strength, Paul has been an integral part of developing and expanding existing schools and their facilities. His passion for educating the ‘whole’ student has been the dominant feature of his time in Education. 

Paul is an avid sportsman. He has a keen interest in the extra-curricular life of a school, and in his time as a teacher, led many national and international school sports tours.   

In addition to his role as Chair, Paul also lends his expertise to the Teaching and Learning Governance Group.


Timothy Hollis
Timothy Hollis
Acting Principal

Tim Hollis, originally from Shrewsbury, UK, embarked on a distinguished career in education in 1998. Starting as a PE and Mathematics teacher in a high-achieving state school in Dorset, he transitioned to international education in 2003, spending the last 19 years in the UAE. Tim's leadership roles at two outstanding schools in the UAE culminated in his appointment as Head of Seniors at Kent College in 2019, showcasing his dedication to academic excellence.

Throughout his career, Tim has demonstrated a fervent commitment to lifelong learning and team dynamics. His diverse skill set, including leadership, logistics, and innovative teaching methods, underscores his proactive approach to personal and professional development. As a former international sportsman, Tim's motivation is fueled by the challenge, stress, and excitement that come with pushing boundaries, qualities that have undoubtedly contributed to his success in the dynamic field of education.

Beyond his professional achievements, Tim is a devoted family man with strong values centred around community development. Actively promoting a sense of belonging, he strives to create positive environments both within and beyond the classroom. Tim’s journey reflects not only a commitment to educational excellence but also a holistic approach to leadership that encompasses personal growth, competitive spirit, and a genuine desire to positively impact the lives of individuals and communities.

Alexander Lee
Chief Commercial Officer

As Chief Commercial Officer, Alex is responsible for executing the group’s cohesive commercial strategy to enable Jumeirah’s portfolio of businesses to grow revenues, profits, market share and brand equity. He was appointed Chief Commercial Officer in May 2018 and oversees Sales, Marketing, Revenue, and Commercial divisions for Jumeirah’s global portfolio of hotels and resorts.

Over the last 13 years with Jumeirah, Alex has played a pivotal role in the launch and positioning of over 15 hotels, Jumeirah’s loyalty programme “Jumeirah One” and its lifestyle brand “Zabeel House". He has led a number of transformative projects supporting the company’s growth and profitability objectives through global sales missions, modernizing revenue and pricing models, and implementing world class systems and processes to enhance brand performance and profitability.

As a well-respected industry expert in Commercial and Revenue Management, Alex is a key spokesperson and brand ambassador for Jumeirah Group. Alex is a British national with over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector. Prior to joining Jumeirah in 2010, he worked for leading brands such as Marriott and Hyatt International Hotels and Resorts.

Lamia Salmin Steward

Lamia has had a diverse career beginning in hospitality, entertainment and event management then moving on into Prop Tech management and Fin Tech advising to support family businesses.

She served from 2017 to 2022 as an Executive Board Member of an international not for profit school in Dubai and is passionate about fostering a nurturing school community.


Andrew Spencer
Acting Head of Senior School

With over 20 years of leadership experience in comprehensive and independent schools, Andrew is a senior leader dedicated to student welfare. Having specialised in pastoral care for six years as a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), he believes in the importance of emotional intelligence, safety, and well-being as fundamental to academic success. Andrew advocates for holistic education, aiming to create environments where students excel academically and grow into well-rounded global citizens.

Aalap Ghosh
Aalap Ghosh

Aalap Ghosh is a versatile technology leader and entrepreneur, with expertise in early-stage technology setups and IT security. He is dedicated to helping startups navigate technical debt and threats to foster sustainable growth. Outside of the virtual world, he enjoys delving into books and Marvel movies, and supporting the Indian cricket teams. A junior school dad at Kent College Dubai, Aalap brings his expertise in IT security, which he understands to be more about people and processes than the technology, to the safeguarding sub-committee as part of the SGG.

Amanda Carl
Amanda Carl

Amanda, Originally from the UK but I’m pleased to have called Dubai home since 2019.

In my earlier years, I thrived as a businesswoman, steering my own small business to success. However, a pivotal moment led me to a fulfilling life change. I decided to retire from the business world to support and be closer to my family. The heart of this decision was my granddaughter, who became the centre of my world.

As a dedicated grandmother, you'll often find me donning the hat of a chauffeur, shuttling my granddaughter to and from school as well as her various after-school activities. It's a role I cherish, providing not just logistical support but also building cherished memories during those rides.

My connection with the KCD family began in September 2019 when my granddaughter joined FS2. During our time at KCD, I've enjoyed actively participating in the former PFA, serving as a class representative for WhatsApp groups, and engaging in various school activities. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to KCD's Strategic Governance Group (SGG) and look forward to being an integral part of its initiatives.

Beyond the responsibilities of family life, I find joy in my personal pursuits. Reading has always been a favourite pastime, Travel, too, is a passion that continues to shape my worldview, introducing me to new cultures and creating a kaleidoscope of memories.

Emily Patridge
Emily Patridge
School Counsellor

Emily Joy Partridge is an experienced School Counsellor, with a background in the Social Work field. Currently positioned as the Whole School Counsellor at KCD, she is dedicated to working towards ensuring that we are protecting our students to the best of our ability, promoting KCD as a safe environment. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, has completed her level 3 Safeguarding training and is currently undergoing a postgraduate Honours degree in Public Mental Health.. She is one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads at KCD, and fulfilled this role at her previous school too. She has worked in high end Child Protection in South Africa and the UK and aims to bring elements of her experience and training as well as the policies in the UAE together to contribute to the Safeguarding protocols and practices at KCD. Emily is proud to be part of the school team, and really enjoys being part of the KCD community. She moved to Dubai two and a half years ago with her husband and their dog, and loves calling it home.

Teaching and Learning

Kerry Conlon
Kerry Conlon
Deputy Headteacher

Originally hailing from Gloucestershire in the UK, I now consider Dubai my home after residing here for 18 years. My professional journey began as a Mathematics teacher, having obtained a BSc in Mathematics from Liverpool University. Subsequently, I pursued a PGCE to secure my teaching qualification. From Liverpool, I took my first International post in the Canary Islands before heading to the UAE. With a short two year stint in Malaysia before returning back to Dubai.

From an early age I knew I wanted to be a Mathematics teacher. I enjoy the challenge that Mathematics brings and I have a passion for helping students, especially those who find Mathematics difficult, to discover enjoyment in the subject. Over the years, I have had the privilege of working in diverse schools across the region. Each institution presented unique opportunities for personal and professional growth, whether through exposure to new curricula, undertaking various roles of responsibility, or interacting with students from different nationalities. I believe that these varied experiences have significantly contributed to my growth as both a teacher and a leader.

In 2022, I joined Kent College as the Head of Mathematics and was subsequently promoted to Deputy Head this academic year. Witnessing numerous transformations in a span of three years, I am enthusiastic about the school's future developments and proud to be part of its journey toward excellence.

Cassie Crisp
Cassie Crisp
Deputy Headteacher

Since joining Kent College Dubai in 2017, it has been a privilege to work with dedicated and skilled educators who share a commitment to nurturing the complete well-being of every student. With a 20-year teaching career that includes experiences in schools both in the UK and the UAE, I have had the opportunity to work with children of all ages across the Junior School spectrum.

My passion lies in the nurturing of all children within an engaging and inclusive atmosphere that promotes the collaboration of diverse nationalities in order to foster and broaden academic and social growth.
My role in SLT allows me to contribute to the educational journey of each and every child, helping them to create memorable lifelong experiences.

Wynn Haupt

My name is Wynn Haupt. I am a parent of two kids at KCD. I have 14 years of education experience which includes 5 years of leading schools. I've led various schools, both public and private, spanning primary to secondary levels with a focus on intentional school improvement. It is a great privilege to serve on the SGG and use my experience and skills to assist the school achieve its goals for the benefit and well-being of the learners, staff, and stakeholders.

Tom Kirby
Tom Kirby
Head of Year 6

I have been a teacher for ten years both in the U.K and Dubai. This is my seventh year working at Kent College Dubai, primarily in Upper Key Stage 2. Previously, for three years, I was the Head of Primary Mathematics; and for the past four years, I have been the Head of Year 6 alongside my class teacher responsibilities. I am passionate about children receiving an innovative, progressive and enjoyable curriculum delivered through high quality Teaching and Learning. I strongly believe that in the classes we teach "the line between learning and fun should be invisible." As educators, we have a responsibility to inspire the children we teach to encourage them to be self-motivated, resilient and lifelong learners.


Lisa Reilly

I am a dedicated and highly qualified professional with a genuine passion for inclusive education. With over 11 years of teaching experience in both mainstream and special education settings across the UK, Ireland, and Dubai, I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to my role.

My approach to inclusion is centered around providing a personal and bespoke support system for each student. I believe in going beyond traditional models of education to create an inclusive culture that permeates every aspect of school life. I am dedicated to making sure that all students at Kent College Dubai come to school feeling happy, supported, and confident in their individuality while also fostering respect for the differences of others.
I am truly passionate about creating an inclusive educational experience that empowers students to embrace their differences and appreciate the diversity within our school community. Through our tireless efforts, we aim to contribute to a school environment where every student feels valued, respected, and has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Since joining Kent College Dubai this academic year, I am immensely proud of the significant strides our team has taken to enhance our inclusion provision. It is an exciting journey to be part of, and I am optimistic about our collective efforts to elevate our inclusion provision to an outstanding level. The support of the KCD staff, students, and the wider community has been invaluable. I am thankful for the warm welcome I received upon joining, and I appreciate their ongoing support in implementing positive changes.

Jane Deek

Jane graduated from Flinders University, Australia, in 2018 with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology. She is bilingual, and fluent in English and Arabic.

Jane has worked across a range of private and public organizations, school settings, and within the wider community. She has experience in working with children with diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and receptive and expressive language disorders.

Jane is committed to providing support to all children and their families, and is a strong advocate for person-centered care and collaborative practice.

Michelle Russell
Michelle Russell

Hello, I am Michelle Russell a qualified accountant with a 30 year career in Finance – spanning Leisure, Travel and Pharmaceutical industries. My most important job (and certainly the most rewarding!) is being mother to my 3 children.
I am originally from the UK and have been in the UAE for the last 2 years – presenting the opportunity for me to take a step back from my career and enabling me to dedicate some of my time and skills to the school community.
In my free time I love to read, cook (but not bake!) and travel.

Community Partnerships

Muireann Carroll
Muireann Carroll

Muireann Carroll, the Head of Junior School at Kent College, brings over 20 years of dedicated experience to the field of education. Her passion for fostering a love of learning spans from early years and beyond, reflecting in her dynamic approach. Possessing a diverse array of qualifications in education, leadership, safeguarding and inclusion; Muireann continuously demonstrates her efforts to be a lifelong learner.

Having worked both in Ireland and internationally, Muireann takes pride in her contributions to various outstanding schools. Her primary focus at KCD is to prioritise student wellbeing, believing that this involves creating an environment where all children feel safe, healthy and academically and socially challenged. Muireann's deep-rooted commitment to wellbeing underscores her dedication to ensuring a holistic and positive experience for every student and staff member at Kent College.

Lauren Welfare
Lauren Welfare
Head of Year 3

Year 3 teacher and Head of Year. I have been teaching for 10 years. This is my 7th year working in the UAE and my 5th year at KCD. I have been lucky enough to work in both KS1 and KS2 and I am passionate about inspiring young minds and making a positive impact on children's lives through creating exciting and engaging lessons which suit the needs of all learners. My priority as a teacher is building strong relationships with the children so that they feel safe and ready to learn in an engaging and inclusive classroom. In my spare time, I love to travel and experience different cultures. You will often find me either at the gym or at the beach reading a book on my kindle. I am a big bookworm and love sharing my passion for reading with the children in classroom, immersing them into magical fictional worlds!

Perinaz Bhada-Tata
Perinaz Bhada-Tata

Perinaz Bhada-Tata is an accomplished sustainability consultant, with over 15 years of experience in solid waste management, urbanization, and climate change. She works with the World Bank and various international organizations, focusing on diverse regions such as South and East Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. Passionate about fostering sustainability, Perinaz is eager to contribute her rich professional expertise to KCD. As part of the SGG, her aim is to propel the school as a role model in sustainability in Dubai and the region by complementing ongoing efforts of the school while, at the same time, fostering and expanding community partnerships. Perinaz holds a BA from Franklin & Marshall College, Pennsylvania, and received a dual Master's in international affairs and environmental engineering at Columbia University, New York. She and her husband are proud KCD parents and are pleased to call Dubai their home for over a decade.

Adam Barker
Adam Barker

Kent College Dubai is truly a unique school. Our community of pupils, parents and educators create the most welcoming, friendly and caring environment that I have ever had the privilege to be part of.

I am a proud dad of two Kent College pupils with a third joining soon. I studied Business Management at university before starting a career in aviation. The education that I received undoubtedly was the reason for the opportunities that I have had in life and as such I am passionate about improving the already amazing education that our Kent family provides. My goal is to strengthen these community partnerships so that we can create an environment for all our students, and parents, to thrive.

Parental involvement in school helps students have better attendance and behaviour, attain better grades, demonstrate better social skills and adapt to the school environment. Parental involvement sets these students up to develop a lifelong love of learning.

I look forward to collaborating with the Kent Community to fully develop the potential of every individual at our wonderful school.

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