At Ark Helenswood Academy we pride ourselves in the quality of our staff. They are, after all, the backbone of the academy and the level of education we provide. As well as the teaching staff the academy also boasts a full quota of support staff.

Please visit to get in touch.

Tracy Dohel


I have thoroughly enjoyed my first weeks at Ark Helenswood Academy and know that it has great potential to improve. Having been at the forefront of effective school leadership for eight years in two inner London schools, I intend to apply my rich experiences to the role of Principal at Helenswood Academy.
My aim is to ensure that students receive excellent teaching and a calm, orderly place that they can learn in. Helenswood teachers are experts in their subjects and are passionate about sharing their knowledge. If you combine this with students who are inquisitive, have embedded independent learning skills and a love of learning means one can guarantee the highest of achievements. Some of our girls will find learning in a school environment more challenging and for them we have a multitude of inclusive strategies that we are happy to talk to you about. I welcome regular communication and strong partnership between school and home because I know that this is critical to secure the success of your daughter. 
I am committed to improving the life chances of children and my skills, experience and passion are well suited to making this happen at Helenswood. I want the girls to leave Helenswood well educated, confident, creative, ambitious and successful, with an excellent understanding of the world they live in.

Chris Connor


Teaching is an addictive vocation. Seeing that moment when a student grasps a concept or adjusts a behaviour is the reason why I do this job. My role this year involves ensuring students are performing towards their target grade and that they achieve the best results possible as well as designing the curriculum and writing the timetable. I enjoy working with teachers to ensure they are delivering high quality, bespoke lessons to ensure they inspire students to achieve and excel beyond their believed capabilities. 

Being a Maths teacher I enjoy analysing the data on students’ performance and ensuring they know what they need to do to succeed, and through hard work I know this success can become a reality. My main responsibilities this year are:

  • Target setting
  • Reporting to parents
  • Using student data to inform planning
  • Ensure assessments are carried out
  • Ensure assessments are moderated
  • Line manage the Science faculty
  • Designing the curriculum
  • Writing the timetable

Matt Keyes


Our vision at Helenswood Academy is to ensure that all of our students are inspired and challenged constantly to help them succeed. My role as Vice Principal is to foster a culture of high expectations and a sense of belonging to all of our girls. This also carries through into the Vision and Values of Helenswood Academy which are respect, cooperation, excellence and commitment. We want to make sure all of our students are taught exceptional lessons  in a focused and calm environment both in the classroom and around the site. My role includes the Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare of our students and I am the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the Academy. I also have a key focus on Raising Aspirations within school and developing a robust Careers program. I want our girls to have the drive and determination to be the best and compete and develop successfully in the wider world.  I have been privileged to teach and be a Senior Leader at a number of schools around the country including inner city Manchester and London as well as more rural establishments. I bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to my role as Vice Principal and I have a passionate belief that every student can succeed and achieve.

Jonathan Rutland


Our aim at Helenswood is to ensure that all students leave with not only fond memories of their time with us, but a wide range of life experiences, life skills and the best academic grades achievable to help them in their futures.  A key part of my role is to ensure that each pupil at Ark Helenswood achieves this excellent academic progress across the range of subjects that they study. Alongside this, I am responsible for ensuring that high standards are consistently met across the academy.

I work strategically across the academy to ensure students who need additional guidance in order to achieve their potential are identified and are given the support that they need. To do this, I assist in overseeing all teaching staff to ensure that the students whom they teach are given the opportunity to excel.

Stephen Weakley


My passion lies in Teaching & Learning and increasing student participation within lessons to help students achieve outstanding progress. I am very privileged in my role at Helenswood Academy as I get to work with teachers, both new to the profession and longer serving, to develop their practice in order to continue to improve the overall quality of the learning experience within the academy.

As a Professional Tutor, I am responsible for the progress of trainee and newly qualified teachers. I work strategically within the academy and network to ensure that these staff have access to high quality professional learning which will facilitate the development of their teaching practice and impact on the progress of our girls. 

I am also responsible for coordinating and facilitating the school coaching programme as part of the wider professional learning structure of the school. By working collaboratively staff will continue to improve the overall quality of teaching and learning within the academy.

Jo Gardiner


I adore working at Helenswood and am inspired by our students and staff every day. I am passionate about helping people to learn and develop, and aim to create a supportive environment for that to happen. My role is to lead on teaching and learning as part of a dedicated team. My aim is to provide opportunities to reflect on development, commit to implementing actions to make learning better and enjoy and appreciate sharing of practice so that we can learn from one another. Our common goal is to provide opportunities for all students to be able to succeed, enjoy learning and have the best chance of opening doors to the future. 

Jen Lelliott


I am proud to be working at Helenswood alongside a team who are dedicated and motivated to ensure the success of our girls. My experience in education lies within the personal development and welfare of students, and it is this role that I enjoy here at Helenswood. I work to ensure that behaviour across the lower school allows our students to achieve their potential. Further to this, one of my primary concerns is ensuring that all of our students attend school as regularly as possible, and arrive at school ready to learn and to excel. I aim for all students at Helenswood to feel that they have effective support and guidance throughout their time here, and to ensure that they leave us fully equipped to succeed in their lives beyond school and that they are ‘proud to be at Helenswood’.

Lucy Culshaw


As SENCO at Helenswood I am privileged to work with a team of Inclusion Faculty staff who are dedicated, intuitive, empathetic, kind and inspirational. We work to support those students with additional and or different needs to ensure that they achieve their potential in the classroom. From EAL provision through dyslexia support. From maths intervention to in-school counselling. No two days are ever the same.

We work with classroom teachers to ensure that work is adapted so that students can access it.  In addition we offer 1:1 and small group interventions in literacy, numeracy, speech and language. life skills and emotional well being. Beyond that we work with other local schools and agencies to ensure that students have the broadest possible access to services and opportunities.

After varied roles in the civil service, management consultancy, the restaurant trade and the charitable sector, I trained as a teacher. And finally, I've found my niche.  It's such an honour to support our girls to achieve their dreams, especially when some of them have to overcome significant hurdles in the process. All the skills and experience that I've gained across all the sectors that I've worked in come together in this role. From rustling up toast at breakfast club to strategic planning for our soon to open Learning Support Unit, I love my job.

Heads of Year

  • Mrs H Phillips - Head of Year 7
  • Mrs E Walker - Head of Year 8
  • Mrs C Brand - Head of Year 9
  • Mrs C Fautley - Head of Year 10
  • Ms J Atkin - Head of Year 11

Interested in working for Ark Helenswood? Find out more here.