Senior Leadership Team
Mr Chris Vizzard, Headteacher
Chris was appointed Headteacher in September 2014, after joining DESC as Deputy Headteacher in September 2012.
Before joining DESC, Chris spent four years as an Assistant Headteacher at Wellington School in Altrincham. There he had responsibilities for the Sixth Form, Teaching and Learning and Marketing & Communications. Before that he spent ten years at Wilmslow High School (Cheshire, UK) where early in his career he gained experience in leadership in both academic and pastoral roles, eventually becoming Curriculum Team Leader for PE and Sport.
Chris studied Human Movement at Carnegie College, Leeds Metropolitan University and stayed on to complete his PGCE, graduating in 1996. He was then given the opportunity to play and coach football in California where he developed his desire for success and high quality performance.
Mr Matthew Cotgrove, Deputy Headteacher
Matthew was appointed Deputy Headteacher in September 2014, after joining DESC as Assistant Headteacher in January 2011. He line-manages the team of Assistant Headteachers and the Core Subject Heads of Department as well as deputising for Mr Vizzard.
Matthew graduated with a first class degree in Applied Biology, from the University of Hertfordshire. He successfully completed his PGCE at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham and began his teaching career at St Thomas More High School in a leafy suburb in Essex. There he worked his way through the ranks to become Head of Science and was responsible for overseeing the introduction of the new science GCSE.
Shortly after, Matthew was appointed as a Senior Leader of the school with responsibility for student progress and the school’s maths and computing specialism. As part of a successful Senior Leadership Team, he guided the school to redesignation in the specialism and had an active role in improving the school’s examination results over a number of years.
Mr Stephen Green, Assistant Headteacher
Stephen joined DESC as Assistant Headteacher in September 2012. He is responsible for Assessments, Reporting, Examinations and is also a Teacher of History.
Stephen graduated from Leicester University with an honours degree in History and Archaeology (2:1), before embarking upon a PGCE at Nottingham University. After successfully completing this course, he worked in Nottingham for two years, having being promoted after one year to Head of Department.
He moved with his wife, Sian (Head of Desert House at DESC) to Doha, Qatar where they worked for eight years. In that time, Stephen was promoted to Head of History, then Curriculum Leader and finally Head of Sixth Form. It was during this time that he successfully completed and passed his NPQH. He then spent two immensely enjoyable years at Derby High School, a leading independent school in the UK, before being promoted to Head of Secondary at Kings College, Alicante in Spain.
Mr Roger Hancock, Assistant Headteacher
Roger joined DESC in June 2015 as Assistant Headteacher i/c Sixth Form. Roger’s main focus is the leadership and management of the Sixth Form at the College.
Roger is passionate about the Sixth Form and values the contribution that each individual student makes to the College community. He aims to develop independent, ambitious and successful students who have the highest expectations. He strives to provide an environment where students receive the right balance of independence and supportive guidance and in doing so, will challenge students to take responsibility for themselves and their learning.
Roger graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 1991 with a BEd (Hons) in education, specialising in Design & Technology. He started his career in a difficult inner city comprehensive school in Leeds, before moving to Wilmslow High School. Whilst working at Wilmslow, he undertook a variety of pastoral, curriculum and management positions before being appointed to the role of Head of Sixth Form some ten years ago.
He was a keen sportsman in his youth, representing Great Britain in Athletics, the North of England at rugby and being Britain’s Strongest Schoolboy. He has now turned his attentions to coaching and, during his time at Wilmslow, steered their rugby teams to Twickenham for the Daily Mail School’s Cup on two occasions.
Mrs Anna Lawlor, Assistant Headteacher
Anna was appointed Assistant Headteacher in September 2015. Since joining DESC in 2012 as House Coordinator, Anna has led the development and integration of the new House system as well as performing her duties as Head of Department.
Anna’s appointment as Transition Coordinator in 2013 has helped her further develop the links between DESS and DESC and has been an extremely rewarding experience.
In her current position as Assistant Headteacher, Anna’s main focus is to continue to develop and strengthen collaboration across the School and College. Anna is also responsible for Student Leadership across both schools, Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 Transition and House Allocations.
Anna graduated from the National University of Ireland Galway with an honours degree in Education. Following this, she undertook her first teaching position in Colaiste Bride Secondary School in Dublin. In her second year at Colaiste Bride, Anna was promoted to Deputy Head of Department and was appointed to the school’s Board of Studies, which involved leading strategic curriculum development within the school.
In 2009, Anna moved to the UAE and took up a position as Head of Department in a Dubai based school. During her three years at this school, she was appointed as Deputy Head of Sixth Form and was a member of the Advanced Teacher Committee which focused on developing teaching and learning across the whole school.
Mrs Louise Ford, Assistant Headteacher
Louise is responsible for Curriculum, Moral Education, Whole School Literacy and is also a Teacher of English. Louise was appointed Assistant Headteacher in September 2017, after joining DESC as Director of English in September 2012.
Before joining DESC, Louise spent seven years as an English Teacher with responsibility for Teaching and Learning at St Thomas More High School in Essex. There her other responsibilities included the School Production, New Staff Induction and the GTP programme. Before that she spent four years at Ravenswood School in Bromley where she taught English and Media and held whole school responsibility for Gifted and Talented.
Louise gained a 2:1 in Ancient History from The University of Wales, Swansea graduating in 2000. She worked in TV and Radio for two years before completing her teaching qualification. She has been in Dubai for six years, all of them spent at DESC.
Mr Michael Fallon, Assistant Headteacher
Michael joined DESC in September 2017 as Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Teaching and Learning.
Michael graduated from St John’s College York with an Honours degree in PE before gaining his PGCE, in the same subject, from Leeds Metropolitan University in 1997. He has undertaken a number of leadership roles within his specialist subject, in several schools in Yorkshire, and was appointed Assistant Headteacher at St John Fisher Catholic Academy in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, in January 2010. Michael’s responsibilities were initially to develop the school’s Specialist Sports College status to impact positively upon all students, before evolving to a role which encompassed Teaching and Learning and Curriculum Development. His success at St John Fisher led to him being appointed Deputy Headteacher of Holy Family School, Selby, North Yorkshire in September 2015.
Miss Lucy Ellis, Assistant Headteacher
Lucy is responsible for Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Innovation and is also a Teacher of Geography. Lucy was appointed Assistant Headteacher in April 2018, having previously been Head of Coast House. She has worked at DESC since 2013.
Prior to moving overseas, Lucy spent three years teaching Geography and leading Primary Transition and GCSE Humanities at an Academy in London. She gained her teaching qualification through the Teach First Leadership Development Programme and also completed a Masters in Educational Leadership at the Institute of Education, London in 2013.
Whilst studying at the University of Nottingham for her BA in Geography, Lucy spent one summer in rural Kenya researching female opinion on the importance of education. This was when her interest in Social Responsibility in Education really started and she has since been very passionate about enlightening students on global issues and providing them with the exceptional experiences they need to reduce them.
Mr Martin Nash, Assistant Headteacher
Martin was appointed Assistant Headteacher in September 2018. He is responsible for the Pastoral System, Wellbeing and Student Welfare.
Martin joined DESC in 2009 as a Teacher of Physical Education and has gained Leadership experience in both academic and pastoral roles, including Head of Physical Education, Director of Sport and Head of House.
Martin graduated with a first class degree in Sport and Exercise Science from Leeds Metropolitan University, before completing his PGCE at the University of Gloucestershire. Before moving to Dubai, Martin worked at Chosen Hill Secondary School for three years.