Meet Our Staff

Meet the Staff


Jane Dancaster

Principal & Managing Director

After a few years working in France I joined WSE as a teacher in 1989 – I used to love teaching grammar, and Cambridge Proficiency was my favourite course. In 1990 I became Director of Studies and really enjoyed working with our wonderful team of teachers. I then left and worked for another excellent organisation for a couple of years, but I missed Wimbledon School of English, its fantastic staff, its friendly atmosphere and its beautiful building & garden, and I was delighted when I was invited back as Principal in 1999. Nowadays I spend a lot of my time on marketing, which means I travel all over the world. I am very proud of this school and everyone who works here and I really do believe we are one of the best schools in the UK.


Sandro Saviolo

Operations Director

I came to Wimbledon School of English as a student in 1982 and liked the atmosphere so much I stayed on as a part-time general assistant after taking my English exams. Then I was lucky enough to be offered full-time employment in the administration of the school, working on the introduction of computers into every aspect of the School's activities from courses to accommodation to leisure activities and developing the examination centre side of the business. I am here to ensure you have an enjoyable, profitable and smooth-running time at our friendly school.


Fiona Dunlop

Academic Director

I have been at WSE since 2001. My door is always open and I am happy to advise our students on anything from which course or exam to take to how to solve a grammar problem. I also work closely with our team of highly experienced teachers to make sure they are happy and provide the best service for our students. I love my job as I have great opportunities to meet people from all over the world and be part of people's learning experience. Our school is a fantastic place to work with a welcoming atmosphere, lovely building and friendly people. We are all very dedicated to our jobs and to offering the highest quality in English language teaching.


Blanca Rey-Surman

Social Programme Organiser

I joined the staff at WSE in 2008, after having worked for British Airways, Thomson Holidays and the British Tourist Authority. My background in tourism, travel and cultural events is very useful when it comes to organising the social programme. We offer a varied programme for our students, from sports activities and day trips, to theatre outings and guided tours of some of England's top attractions – as well as social gatherings here at the school. Working with our students is like having a (very) large extended family! My outside interests include poetry, music, baking, gardening and going to a mountain hideaway in northern Spain.


Barbara Goodson


I am the Registrar at Wimbledon School of English. I first came to work here in 1994 and since joining the school I have enjoyed meeting people from many countries. I enjoy my job enormously as the students and staff create a very happy atmosphere. In my free time I like gardening, seeing my grandchildren and retail therapy!


Julie Ransley

Accommodation Manager

I have recently joined  the WSE as the Accommodation Manager. I have been a host parent for a number of years and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting many interesting students. My background is varied, from Youth Work, Educational Support, Property letting and the NHS. My role here at WSE is to ensure all students enjoy their stay with their host family or the independence of one of the residence houses.

In my spare time I swim, cycle and spend time with my children and grandchildren.


Elaine Sinclair Johnson

Assistant Registrar

I started working at WSE in March 2010 after working at the Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh. As the Assistant Registrar here, I work with Barbara to enrol students, confirm bookings and all other administration duties. I love working here because of the friendly students and staff I spend my spare time looking after my children and the students who stay with me – I've been a host family for quite a few years now and love welcoming people from all over the world.


Kieran Hayde

Sales, Marketing & Groups Manager

I really enjoy my job and love working in a school. No two days are the same here at WSE and I’ve had the opportunity to meet lots of great people from all around the world. I am responsible for marketing the school internationally and I also take care of all group bookings. I enjoy travelling, trying new foods and I love all things Latin American.


Yasmin Mohuidin

Digital Marketing & Communications Executive

I joined the industry in 2013 as an EFL Teacher and have had some wonderful and very rewarding teaching opportunities in China, Thailand and Cambodia.  I started working at WSE as a Teacher in 2015, and am now responsible for marketing the school through various digital and offline platforms. I work on direct student recruitment across three continents - Latin America, Africa and Asia, and along with the rest of the staff, ensure that students have the experiences they deserve here at Wimbledon School of English. I love working for WSE, I get to meet people from all over the world - everyone is equal yet at the same time, we all share unique ideas and traditions. It's a very special environment to be in. Music, training and travelling are my biggest passions; very closely followed by food!


Agnes Proc

IELTS Co-ordinator

I joined WSE as an IELTS coordinator in March 2011 and since then I must have dealt with over 5000 candidates. It is very rewarding to see our candidates achieve great IELTS scores. Working on the IELTS desk involves a lot of hard work and dedication. When I am not at work I enjoy swimming and skiing. While here, I achieved Proficiency level English following a part-time course at the school, during which I was fortunate enough to experience our excellent teaching first-hand.


Hibba Azman

Examinations Assistant

Joining WSE in the examination department with Agnes has been great.  We have a busy scheulde that keeps me learning everyday.  It is nice to have the variety of office based work and then busy more active work on exam days. Our candidates are from many different countries taking the exams for several different reasons and it is lovely to see when they get what they need to move to the next stages of their life plans. We work well as an exams department team which is a great environment. 

Out of work I love a film, all Thai cuisine or spicy food and I am partial to a little knitting and spin classses. 


Hira Din

IELTS Co-ordinator

After finishing my degree in Business Management, I started working for the IELTS centre here in June 2013. My main duties include processing exam applications and answering candidates' queries by phone and in person. The atmosphere here is very friendly and welcoming. When I'm not at work, I like to read, travel and listen to music.


Renata Havrillova

Examinations Officer

I've been the Cambridge English exam officer since 2008. I'm responsible for the whole exam process from registration to the posting of certificates. I am pleased that we can offer our students the opportunity to take the Cambridge English exams at our school, in a familiar and supportive environment. I am committed to making sure that our students' exam experience is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. In my free time I enjoy lots of activities, especially dancing and badminton.


Fabiana Ottini

Examinations Assistant

I started working in the exam office in 2015. I specifically work with Cambridge English exams and having taken one myself, I can definitely empathise with candidates and understand the importance of an efficient exam experience.

Outside of work, I enjoy listening to music, going to the cinema and watching (too many) TV series. 


Gvidas Seibutis

General Assistant

I've been working here since early 2010, helping to take care of all the students. It's a great job because it gives me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. In my spare time, I love clothes shopping at Westfield Shopping Centre and spending time at the park.

Meet the Teachers


Shanel Ali

Director of Studies

Since becoming a teacher in 1998, I have led teacher training courses, examined for IELTS and Trinity, and was Learning Technology Manager for our school for many years.  During this time, I achieved a masters in ICT in Education. As Director of Studies, I am responsible for courses and teaching. I am really proud of working for such a prestigious school and feel lucky to be part of such a successful team. My favourite place in the school is the beautiful garden. When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my little daughter exploring the beautiful countryside around London.


Duncan MacInnes

Assistant Director of Studies

I've been teaching English since 1997 and have been in language teaching management since 2004. I have taught and managed in schools in Japan, Italy and Vietnam. I came back to the UK permanently in 2010 and since October of that year I've been working for WSE. I'm a relative newcomer to London, which is very different to the north of Scotland, where I'm from, so I will understand how you feel when you first arrive here. While I enjoyed my time living and working overseas, I have no plans to do so again for the foreseeable future and I am enjoying teaching and interacting with a wide range of students here at WSE. As well as in the classroom, you may see me in the academic office or leading a social programme excursion to Cambridge or to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club. I look forward to seeing you here in whatever capacity I meet you.


Julian Oakley

Assistant Director of Studies

I've been at Wimbledon School of English since 2001, having spent a year teaching in Macedonia followed by a few years teaching and teacher-training at another London school. While here I have written numerous courses which I have found extremely stimulating, and in the past few years have taught many of the IELTS courses held in the school. I have recently been involved in the new Certificate in Teaching English for Business teacher training course. When I'm not busy writing new courses or teaching I enjoy cycling – a few years ago I was mad enough to cycle from Land's End at the bottom of the UK to John O' Groats at the top!


Hilary Busso


After spending five memorable years at Wimbledon School of English, I left in 1984 to further my horizons and experience by living and teaching English in South Africa, the USA and Japan for a total of 8 years. I had always kept very fond memories of my years spent at the Wimbledon School of English and on coming back to Wimbledon in the early 1990s (with the addition of a young family!) I couldn't imagine working anywhere else! I taught part-time 'au pair' classes for a number of years and am now teaching full-time general English classes. I love having the opportunity of meeting so many wonderful students from all over the world and helping them to make good progress in a very special and unique school!


Helen Dennis-Smith


My career began with a year teaching English in a primary school in Shanghai, and continued with a variety of international business roles. Some years as a teaching assistant in London state schools followed while my children were growing up. I returned to teaching English as a foreign language in 2009. On completion of my DELTA I started work at Wimbledon School of English in 2013. I grew up in Wimbledon, so I have also come back to my roots. I teach all levels of general English and I particularly enjoy teaching the Cambridge exam classes. In my spare time I love travelling, cooking, listening to jazz and learning other languages.


Helen Galer


After teaching at the Wimbledon School of English since 1991, I still look forward to a day's teaching and leave feeling I've done something fulfilling. I've taught a whole range of courses from Beginners to Proficiency. One of my favourite courses is English and Culture which allows me a chance to indulge my interest in art and literature. I also keep fit playing tennis with the students once a week and have been known to appear on stage in funny costumes for our Christmas show! It's simply wonderful to work with a fantastic group of people and meet such lovely students from all over the world. Work here really is a pleasure.


Megan Haggie


My love of travel brought me to the world of Teaching English as a Foreign Language. I taught in South Korea for a year and a half and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Living there also enabled me to take up taekwondo which I still practise now. I then taught in Australia for 2 and a half years combining my love of travel and teaching. I returned to the UK and was lucky enough to get a job working at Wimbledon School of English in 2012. I love this profession and I love the people I work with and really enjoy being a part of this great school.


Sean Hodson


My wife tipped me off about the school and how good it was, as she was a student here in 2000 from Korea. I came to work at the school in 2012 after eighteen months teaching in South Korea and I love working here! The students always put a smile on my face, and it’s so nice to see so many different nationalities together all achieving the same goal. Furthermore, it’s fascinating to see their communicative competence develop during their stay and to be a facilitator of this. As a teacher, the school has a great working atmosphere, with helpful colleagues and there’s a strong focus on career development. Away from teaching, I also enjoy learning Korean, food, football, Leicester City FC and fishing!


Rob Julian


I taught in Australia for many years, then worked for a spell in Madrid before moving to London in 2007. I consider myself lucky to have landed on my feet at Wimbledon School of English, where I've taught ever since. It's a unique place to work; challenging, but with a unique sense of fun and camaraderie. I teach a wide range of courses from beginners to proficiency, as well as Cambridge exam preparation courses, and find all of them satisfying in their own way. I really enjoy the cultural mix in the classroom and helping people to make progress in our wonderful language!


Jo Krousso


I’ve been teaching English in London since 2002, and I still love teaching students and helping them get to know our amazing city both in and out of the classroom. After 6 years as Director of Studies at another London school, I missed teaching, and joined WSE in September 2013 as a teacher. I teach all levels, and am particularly experienced at IELTS and Academic English, which I thoroughly enjoy. I was delighted to be offered work at WSE for several reasons: it is a very friendly and beautiful place to work; the staff are professional and dedicated; the students are lovely; and last but not least, Wimbledon is my home town where I was born and raised! I love this area and one of my favourite things to do is taking the dog for a walk on Wimbledon Common, except when it’s raining, when I enjoy staying home and making things.


Charlotte Newman


As soon as I had obtained my CELTA at the end of 2010, I contacted WSE! Like many of the students, I was impressed by the lovely school building and garden, as well as the great atmosphere amongst both staff and students. Since starting at WSE at the beginning of 2011, I have taught a variety of General English classes from pre-intermediate to advanced. I like to encourage creativity in the classroom, and for me the best thing about teaching is helping students to develop not only their language level, but their confidence, too. Before training as an EFL teacher, I undertook various internships in the arts. I have a love of words and language, hence I studied for a degree in English Literature while I was at university in Bristol. I enjoy travel and have done so extensively around Europe. It's great to interact with so many international people at my place of work! In my spare time, I write and study singing. One day I hope to improve my French!  


Vittorio Pelosi


I've been teaching English since 2004. I have taught both General English and exam classes. Although I have worked in various language schools, in my opinion Wimbledon School of English uniquely combines great teaching with the most warm and friendly atmosphere. To relax, I'm a big fan of jazz and I enjoy painting.


Kim Selby


I have lived and taught in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and now the UK, where I have been very fortunate to find WSE. I have been teaching here since 2010 and enjoy teaching General English as well as Cambridge exam classes. I enjoy a variety of sports and can often be seen helping out with the amazing social programme available to all of our students. In my free time I enjoy reading, running, pottery, and travelling to exotic (and not so exotic) parts of the world!


Mark Smith


I started teaching in Barcelona in 2000 and a year later came back to London and have been at WSE ever since. I teach all levels and many types of ESP as well, including Cambridge exam and IELTS courses. I am also involved in teacher development, leading teacher training workshops in schools in the UK, and have taken this role to China, Poland, and Kurdistan. As well as teaching, I'm also a student because I believe in lifelong learning. I am a part-time student of philosophy, which although a rigorous subject, I consider to be my hobby.


Cathy Yarrow


After teaching in several European countries, Australia and the USA, I ended up in London at the Wimbledon School of English. I've been here for over 11 years and the reason for this is simple: I love the people I work with, both staff and students! It's a pleasure to come to work every day. I'm also lucky because I get to write our courses regularly, such as the IELTS and Business courses, as well as teach them. So it's job satisfaction all round!


Zahirra Dayal


I've been an English teacher since 2001 and have taught in London and the UAE. The most rewarding aspect of my job is being able to build a great rapport with my students and empower them with the skills they need to achieve their personal and academic goals. I joined WSE in March 2016 and am really proud to be part of such a dedicated and experienced team of teachers. It is the best language school I've worked for! When I'm not teaching, I enjoy running and hope to run the London Marathon one day! I recently did a skydive over the Palm Island in Dubai to raise money for the NSPCC charity in London.


Natallia Novikava


I started teaching in 1998 and have worked in Belarus, Italy and the UK. I have never regretted choosing teaching as a career as I get to meet people from different countries and all walks of life. It is also incredibly rewarding to see how students’ language proficiency improves and they are able to achieve their goals. I am also a keen language learner and a bookworm, and spend most of my free time absorbed in reading books. When I do get out and about, I enjoy walking and hiking in the mountains.


Charis Ballard-Ridley


After studying French and Italian at university here in the UK, I moved to Italy in 2009 and spent 6 years teaching English there and took both the CELTA and Delta teaching qualifications in Verona. Originally from Somerset, I moved to London in 2016 and am delighted to be working at WSE because it has such a great atmosphere among staff and students. I love teaching all kinds of courses so the variety offered here is great. You may also find me helping out on the social programme as I love exploring all that London has to offer and helping our students make the most out of their time here by doing the same. I enjoy seeing shows, watching foreign films and walking – I recently did an overnight marathon walk across London (42km!) for a charity and am always looking for the next challenge! 


Michael Joyce


I have been teaching English for around 25 years, usually in this country but also in Hungary (in scenic Szolnok) and in Shanghai. I started working here in March and have been really impressed by the atmosphere in the school, the dedication of the teachers and shortness of my walk to work. Outside of the school I am a supporter of the local football team, AFC Wimbledon, and write film reviews that appear in a number of North London newspapers.


Wojtek Koszykowski


I have been an associate professor of Management & Marketing and my current research interests involve innovative practices in Human Resources and creativity assessment. I have taught in prestigious universities around the world and can speak seven languages. Yet, it is teaching English that has always been my hobby and a childhood dream which came true in 1996. Today I enjoy teaching advanced levels, English for Academic Purposes and courses for teachers. Having always strived for quality teaching and fostering creativity, I joined WSE where I would love to share with my students everything I have learnt and prove that they are able to succeed faster than they think.


Helen Merritt


I began working in education in 2001, and until 2009 spent my time supporting teenagers with learning difficulties and behavioural problems to complete their courses.  During my time in this role I started working with young people who were refugees, and this sparked my interest in English language teaching.  I completed the CELTA qualification in 2009 and have been teaching in London since.  I have taught a range of levels and I really enjoy encouraging genuine communication with students and finding out about their different life experiences.  I find people fascinating! I qualified with Cambridge DELTA in Summer 2016 and began teaching at WSE in March 2017.  It is rewarding to work in such a comfortable and welcoming environment with so many gifted teaching professionals.


Stephen Rogers


I became a teacher in 2012 and have experience of teaching in Vietnam and the UK. I’ve travelled all over the world in search of new adventures and fascinating cultures, and now I’ve returned to the UK, I consider myself lucky to have found a job in which I can interact with so many new and interesting  people from across the globe right here in my own capital city. I have experience of teaching a variety of different levels of English to an array of different age groups. Every day at WSE is different, challenging and most importantly, an opportunity for me to learn new things in an ever changing environment. 


Marta Rybarczyk


I like to encourage my learners to think critically and creatively about the world around them. After teaching mainly young learners in Vietnam, I am looking foward to teaching adults. However, I still like to incorporate dynamic and exciting ideas from the realm of children’s education into my classes. Learning languages is one of my passions as well as drawing and painting. 

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