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Our Staff

headmaster Greg McDonald
HeadmasterGreg originates from Australia where his career was initially in International Banking. After many years in banking he decided to chase his dream of working with children and in 1993 left for upstate New York. He stayed for four years where he worked alongside children and adults with mild to severe learning difficulties before moving to London.In London Greg worked as a classroom teacher at Dr Rolfe’s Montessori School before progressing to deputy and finally Headmaster in 2004. As Headmaster Greg took the school from strength to strength. The school received excellent Ofsted Reports and under Greg’s leadership the school became a highly sought after Nursery in Notting Hill. Rolfe’s Nursery (as it is now known) is part of the prestigious Alpha Plus Group of private schools.Whilst at Rolfe’s Greg decided to always include children with special needs. He works in close partnership with parents and staff to ensure the children reach their full potential and as a result, Rolfe’s has become well known in the private sector for accepting special needs children.Greg is actively involved with all aspects of Early Years Education. He has served on committees for Training and Development in The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea as well as heading the committee for The Children’s Workforce Development Council.Greg believes that every child deserves the right to a happy, carefree education that is play based and child centred. He strongly feels that children should be able to learn at their own pace guided by good quality teaching; that every child is an individual and that no child, no matter what their abilities, should be discriminated against.
Jacquelyn Starley
Deputy Head
Jacquelyn originates from Zimbabwe and has taught in schools in Qatar, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa. She holds Post Graduate qualifications in Special Educational Needs and Autism in Children. Jacquelyn has an in-depth knowledge of the British National Curriculum, Key Stages 1 – 4 and many years of experience in curriculum development and as a school SENCO.
Peter Dunne
SEN Teacher
Peter joins us from England where he has many years extensive experience teaching special needs.He holds a Post Graduate Certificate in special needs together with many additional qualifications within the SEN remit.Peter has worked for the past 14 years in the UK with pupils of varying needs.
Sherry Khrushed
Occupational Therapist
Sherry originates from Ontario, Canada and has been working as an Occupational Therapist since 2005.She has worked with both children and adults and her experience with SEN children includes early intervention for children with Autism.She was also responsible for integrating and supporting SEN children into the community.
Laurice Nascimento
SEN Class Teacher
Laurice is of South African origin, although she has spent many years in Portugal. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology & social work, as well as a PGCE gained through Sunderland University in the United Kingdom. She has a very good understanding of SEN and has worked at The Children’s Academy since 2009.
Tasmin Greig
SEN Class Teacher
Tasmin is from the UK and holds a Bachelor of Arts with QTS in Primary Education from Leeds Trinity University, UK. She has a wide knowledge and foundation of SEN having undertaken many courses and training in this field.
Stephanie Potgieter
Senior Speech & Language Therapist

Stephanie originates from South Africa and holds a Masters in Education Psychology as well as a BA in Speech Therapy and Audiology.

Stephanie is highly experienced and has worked extensively in special needs schools. She has dealt with moderate to severe learning difficulties, communication problems and challenging behavior.

Stephanie is able to execute, analyseand interpret diagnostic speech and language therapy tests. Stephanie can also carry out otoscopic examinations and audiology for children and adults.In the UK Stephanie managed a private full-time audiology and speech and language therapy practice for 12 years.

Sharon Gerrard
SEN Teacher
Sharon is British and holds a B.Education (Music)together with a MA (Creativity in Education).

Sharon has a wealth of experience with over twenty years teaching in the UK and overseas; Sharon was a special needs teacher in the UK and has also held the role of deputy headteacher.

Janine Walters
Early Years SEN Teacher
Janine originates from the United Kingdom and holds a PGCE in teaching as well as a BA in Criminology.

Before undertaking her PGCE Janine was a teaching assistant at The Children’s Academy and has a comprehensive understanding of our children’s needs.

Fiona Greig
Early Years SEN Teacher
Fiona is Scottish and holds a NNEB from the UK. Previous to The Children’s Academy Fiona was a kindergarten teacher at The British School, a post she held for 11 years.

Fiona has worked with youth programmes in her native Scotland and is activiely involved with the Dreamflight charity.

Helen Sheerins
SEN Class Teacher
Helen originates from the United Kingdom and has many years teaching experience. She is a graduate of the National University of Ireland with a BA Science and Higher Diploma in Education. She has worked in both mainstream and special needs schools in the UK with Key Stages 1 – 4.

Gail Silcock
Speech & Language Therapist
Gail graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BSc in Clinical Language Science. She worked for the NHS in the United Kingdom and also did private clinical work. Gail also volunteered her time working in Borneo as a speech therapist.