Who's Who

To speak to a member of our team, please call us on 020 8807 2656 or email office@westleaschool.co.uk

Paul Quinn - CEO

Paul Quinn has a multi-sector background, as well as exceptional experience in the education sector. His ambition for West Lea is to facilitate a culture that is ethical, positive, impactful and happy. He believes this will breed success and produce an environment where staff, pupils and families can flourish.

Paul became CEO in September 2021, having previously served as director of operations, responsible for the daily management of all non-teaching activities and staff, which has helped give him an holistic understanding of the school. Paul has over 20 years’ experience in school and trust governance, having served as a Chair of Governors, trustee and Chair of Trustees in two Multi-Academy Trusts. In 2017, Paul was ordained as a Deacon in the Catholic Church and is in part-time ministry. Paul has degrees in Pastoral Ministry and Theology, as well as a National Professional Qualification in Executive Leadership (NPQEL). Additionally, he is a founding and pivotal member of Enterprise Cooperative Trust, an organisation dedicated to improving the life chances of children and young people across Enfield in ways that benefit the community.

Renee Flourentzou | Director of Education​

Renee has a wealth of experience in education and working with young people. As Director of Education, she believes that all young people deserve the opportunity to flourish and if we dream big and work together as a community we can make a real difference to the lives of children and young people.

Renee has worked at West Lea for many years, previously as Head of School for the Learning for Life Campus (Secondary and Post 16). She established West Lea’s Supported Internship and Work Experience Programmes, bridging the gap between education and the world of work for students with SEND.

Before joining the school, Renee founded and ran the charity Edmonton Community Partnership, bringing together 23 schools in a collaboration that raised aspirations and improved outcomes for children and families in disadvantaged communities. She holds an MA in Child Studies from KCL, focused on law and policy related to children’s rights, education and child protection, and holds a degree in English Literature. Outside of her professional roles, Renee actively contributes to various organisations dedicated to advancing opportunities for children and young people. As a trustee of the Enterprise Cooperative Trust, a member of the Children First Academy Trust, and a trustee and Chair of the Learning for Life Charity, she advocates for equity of opportunity for young people across Enfield.

Melanie Bignold | Director of Education

Melanie joined the school in 2022 as Director of Education. Prior to this she spent 14 years in secondary and further education, with many leadership roles, including deputy head, assistant head, head of year and head of department.

Most recently, Melanie served as vice principal for quality of education at Aylward Academy, where she oversaw the whole academy curriculum. She is passionate about developing excellent CPD opportunities and has worked as a specialist leader of education to develop routes for all.

Melanie has an undergraduate degree in Modern Greek and French Studies from Kings College London University and undertook her PGCE in Religious Education at the Institute of Education, London.

Melanie passionately believes in the school’s vision of a world where everyone can flourish. She is driving this through the development of the West Lea curriculum, which aims to break down barriers for students with special educational needs and disabilities.

Emma Driver | Head of School, Meridian Campus

Hello, we welcome you to meet Emma Driver, the Head of School at Meridian Campus. She’s passionate about leading our youngest children to flourish as they take off on their journey at West Lea School.

Emma has been teaching for over 20 years, 10 of those within specialist education. After graduating from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama she qualified as a primary school teacher and taught across key stages 1 and 2 in Islington. She transitioned to specialist education in 2014, teaching secondary pupils in Hackney and leading teaching and learning across the school, completing an NPQML in leadership. After joining the West Lea team in 2019 Emma undertook a professional qualification in Headship and was excited to take on the Head of School role at Meridian Campus in 2021.

Emma is passionate about supporting the youngest children at West Lea and their families to develop their independence. She strongly believes in creating learning environments that support our children to flourish and develop their communication and interaction skills through personalising the curriculum. She has personal experiences of living with a person with special educational needs and her mission is to break down barriers to help our children and families flourish within the West Lea and wider community.

Daria Kohls | Head of School, Haselbury Campus

Daria joined West Lea School in May 2024 as Head of School at Haselbury Campus. Born and educated in Germany, where she studied Maths and Chemistry at university, she moved to the UK over 25 years ago to continue her career in education, first as a science teacher and then in various roles of leadership. Most recently, she served as Deputy Headteacher in a secondary school in Hertfordshire. In 2023 she also joined the governing body of a primary school to contribute her experience to support in her local community.

Daria’s passion for education and her commitment to ensuring the best possible learning experiences for all young people, regardless of their starting points, sits behind her desire to join the West Lea community. Having a brother with special educational needs, she is acutely aware of the importance of an outstanding education, as well as developing young people’s independence so that they can flourish and achieve their personal goals.

As a committed life-long learner, Daria enjoys the challenge of acquiring new skills and knowledge and recently qualified as a yoga teacher for adults and children. She also has a keen interest in photography and open water swimming.

Thespina Skarpellis | Head of School, Learning for Life Campus

Ms Skarpellis, or Ms T as she is known to the learners, has been with West Lea for almost 3 years which makes up over 20 years in teaching altogether. Ms T started her teaching career in a local mainstream school teaching predominately Dance and PE, however as her love of teaching developed so did her subject expertise, going on to teach Art and Personal Development.

Ms T believes that as educators her role is to provide every learner with opportunities to flourish and that the West Lea values support this journey. Ms T believes that every single child matters and that through the curriculum offer at West Lea, every child will realise their talents and their potential as they move into adulthood.

Ms T is passionate about travelling around the world and she wants to share this passion with her learners. As such she is an advocate for learners having the opportunity year on year to travel abroad as part of a residential experience. This year it is Barcelona and Paris, next year the world is our oyster!

Kika Charalambous | Head of School, Horizon Campus

Kika has worked at West Lea since 2018 and is responsible for the day-to-day running, management and organisation of post-16 provision which includes a Sixth Form supporting students to make decisions on their next steps and a very successful Supported Internship Programme which has seen 80% of interns move into employment.

In her role she seeks to achieve the highest standards of staff performance and student achievement whilst maintaining a focus on high quality of teaching and learning as well as positive outcomes for students.

Prior to joining West Lea, Kika worked in a variety of roles within the areas of education & adult social services including as a Partnership Coordinator for Enfield Council, a Project Manager for Edmonton Schools Partnership and a Governor Support Adviser for a portfolio of schools.

Angela Poplar | Head of Curriculum

Angela is committed to empowering learners with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. She graduated with BSc honours in Computer Science & Education studies. She then completed a PGCE in Secondary Computer Science, which equipped her with both computing expertise and pedagogical skills.

Throughout her career, Angela has accumulated invaluable experience in various roles in educational settings, from teaching in large mainstream secondary schools to providing support and guidance to all primary, secondary & special schools across a local authority. These experiences have deepened her understanding of the challenges and opportunities in education and reinforced her passion for fostering inclusive and engaging learning environments.

Angela is Head of Curriculum for the Numeracy, Problem-solving, and Personal Development domains at West Lea. She oversees, Science, Maths, Computing, Life and Work, PSHE, and PE. She values creating a curriculum that is inclusive and exciting, that inspires curiosity, creativity, and lifelong learning. By integrating real-world experiences, fostering critical thinking, and embracing diverse perspectives, she strives to equip our learners with the skills and mindset necessary to navigate an ever-changing world.

Angela is deeply passionate about ensuring that all students have access to high-quality education and opportunities for personal growth. She is dedicated to excellence, alongside a collaborative leadership style, which drives to continuously innovate and improve educational practices for the benefit of our learners and our communities.

Tanveela Haidar | Head of Curriculum

Tanveela has been part of the West lea family since 2021 and is passionate about seeing all children excel. She believes that every child, regardless of their background, has the right to the best educational provision to achieve and succeed.

She has a wealth of experience in the education sector and held a variety of senior roles in schools and a Children’s Centre. Her most recent role before joining West Lea was as a Head of School in a mainstream primary school in Hackney.

As the Head of Curriculum for Social and Communication, she leads on English, Reading, Knowledge of the World and the Creative curriculum. In addition to completing her NPQH at the Institute of Education, she has a BA (Hons) in Politics and a PGCE in primary education specialising in History.

Tanveela aspires to embed an ambitious, enriching curriculum that enables pupils to express themselves as knowledgeable, creative, independent and multi-skilled learners. She works across all campuses to support in the implementation of a high quality educational experience. She is passionate about preparing our learners for life beyond school and supporting them in finding their place in wider society.

Cath Goodwin | Head of Pastoral Development

Cath joined West Lea School in 2019 as an Assistant Headteacher after working for 23 years at St Ignatius College. She then became Head of School for the Learning for Life Campus in 2020. In September 2023 Cath took on a new role as Head of Pastoral Development, overseeing the Holistic offer to learners and families, which includes safeguarding, attendance, behaviour, medical and therapeutic support.

'Cura Personalis' is a Latin term coined by the Jesuits, a religious order, to describe 'care of the individual' or care for the whole person. Having spent the first half of her career working in a Jesuit school, 'Cura Personalis’ is her guiding principle and one that eloquently outlines her vision for the pastoral care of learners and families at West Lea School.

Despite the enormous growth West Lea School has undergone in recent years, the personalised care for each individual child's needs is something that has remained consistent and will be able to be further developed through the work undertaken by the Pastoral Development team. Cath is also passionate about understanding each learner as an individual so they are not defined by their needs.

As the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, Cath is committed to ensuring our young people are safe as they navigate the real and digital world. Growing up, living and working in the Borough of Enfield and being a mother to two sons, Cath is acutely aware of the challenges that exist for young people and families and of the additional vulnerabilities children face as they navigate through their lives.

Patrick Robinson | Head of Quality and Standards

As Head of Quality and Standards Patrick leads on assessment and outcomes with particular focus on supporting all adults working at West Lea to understand the strengths and needs of the children and young people. Patrick joined West Lea as a Head of School in 2016 having previously worked for over 20 years in Secondary Mainstream where he promoted a collaborative community-centred approach to achieving excellent outcomes for all.

Patrick graduated from The University of Aberdeen with a Degree in Divinity and went on to complete a Secondary PGCE (Religious Studies and History) at Durham University. Once he had established himself in the classroom, Patrick successfully held a number of pastoral and curriculum-based rolls through which he was able to provide support and opportunity to all children and young people and their families.

Patrick's passion is to support children and young people to be as successful as possible in their adult lives with no limits as to what they can achieve. He is delighted to work at West Lea School as his values fully align with the school's vision for all learners.

Skip to content