Leadership Team

David Benson – Principal

David is the founding Principal of Kensington Aldridge Academy (KAA). He was appointed in March 2013 and took up his post in September that year. As Principal at KAA, David has led the school from it’s opening with just one year group in 2014, to an “outstanding” Ofsted rating in 2017, with an exceptional set of first A level results putting the academy in the top 3% of schools nationally in terms of the progress students make.

Prior to this role David worked for ARK schools, one the UK’s leading academy chains, for 8 years. He worked first at Burlington Danes Academy (BDA), a turnaround school, and then Ark Academy in Wembley, a start-up which – just like KAA – opened in new buildings with initially just Year 7.

In 2018 David was named by TES as one of the 10 most influential people in education and as one of the Evening Standard’s key “Change Makers” in London. David is also a published writer on education policy, examples include this comment piece for The Times on independent and state school partnerships or his 2014 book on school improvement.

He studied Politics at Cambridge University and graduated with a first class degree.

Anna Jordan – Senior Vice Principal (Academic)

Anna graduated from the University of  Sheffield with a BSc (Hons) in Maths & Philosophy. She joined KAA as Vice Principal for Assessment & Curriculum in April 2014. Prior to working at KAA, Anna was Assistant Headteacher at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College (BTHCC), an 11-18 school in South Manchester. Throughout her career Anna has been passionate about developing innovative approaches to teaching and learning within Maths. In conjunction with the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Mathematics in Education and Industry she developed new approaches to teaching the subject which have now been shared widely with other schools. She has supported many schools in the development of their Mathematics curriculum and teaching through her work within the SSAT and PiXL networks.

Ryan Bernard – Vice Principal (Pastoral)

Ryan graduated from the University of East London with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching. He then completed his PGCE in Physical Education at Middlesex University and a Master’s degree in Teaching & Learning at the Institute of Education. Before joining KAA, Ryan was Head of Boys PE at Phoenix Academy, an 11 – 19 school in Shepherds Bush, London. He joined KAA in August 2014 as Lead Teacher of PE. Since joining the academy he has founded a dynamic PE department, led Pankhurst as Head of House for 2 years, and been Director of Learning for Year 7. He was appointed Assistant Principal in February 2017 and promoted to Vice Principal in July 2019.

Jamie Clayton – Vice Principal (Teaching & Learning)

Jamie studied English Literature at the University of York before training with Teach First. He then completed a Masters degree in Education and Leadership at the University of Manchester. Jamie was Second in Charge of English at Walthamstow Academy and Key Stage 5 coordinator at City of London School before joining KAA in April 2016 as Director of English. Jamie was appointed Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning in September 2018 and promoted to Vice Principal in July 2020.

Niall Dumigan – Assistant Principal (Inclusion)

Niall studied a BA (Hons) in Music at Oxford University before completing a PGCE in Music at Canterbury Christ Church. Prior to joining KAA, Niall was the Lead Teacher for Behaviour at John F Kennedy School, a Special Needs Academy in East London. Niall joined KAA in August 2014 as Lead Teacher of Learning Support, he was promoted to SENCO in September 2016. Niall was appointed to an interim role as Assistant Principal for Inclusion in response to the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017. Niall’s experience in SEN, school inclusions, adolescent mental health and safeguarding help him to lead our therapeutic and counselling work.

Nick Edwards – Assistant Principal (Data)

Nick completed a BSc in Mathematics at the University of Nottingham before completing a Graduate Teaching Programme (GTP) with the Bromley Schools’ Collegiate. Before joining KAA, Nick taught at Ark Academy, an outstanding school in North West London, where he also held the role of Head of House. Nick joined KAA in 2016 as Second in Charge of Maths and was promoted to Director of Learning for Year 13 in 2017 before taking on the role of Director of Mathematics in 2018. He was promoted to Assistant Principal (Data) in July 2020 and took up the role in September 2020. Nick is a keen thespian and regularly stars in amateur productions in his spare time.

Rupert Greenish – Assistant Principal (Timetable)

Rupert completed an MSc in Physics with Astrophysics at University of Bristol followed by a PGCE at Goldsmiths, University of London. Before joining KAA, he was Head of Science at Oasis Academy Shirley Park; the school achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating in its last inspection before Rupert joined KAA. Rupert was appointed as Director of Science at KAA in February 2014 and took up this post in June 2014. Rupert was promoted to the role of Assistant Principal (Data) in January 2020.

Amy Gurnell – Assistant Principal (Pastoral)

Amy studied BA Drama at Queen Mary, University of London, prior to completing her Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at Goldsmiths, University of London. She joined KAA in 2016 as a Teacher of Drama and was promoted to Director of Learning for Year 7 in 2018. Amy developed the academy’s Year 6 transition process during two consecutive years as the Director of Learning for the incoming Year 7s. She was promoted to Assistant Principal (Pastoral) in July 2020 and took up the role in September 2020.

Carrie Sharman – Assistant Principal (Teaching & Learning)

Carrie completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Gender Studies, both at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, before completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at the UCL Institute of Education (IoE). Before joining KAA, Carrie worked at local West London schools, as a Teacher of Psychology and Head of Citizenship at Twyford High School and Head of Psychology at Acton High School. Carrie was appointed as Head of Psychology at KAA in 2016 and set up our popular A level and GCSE psychology courses. She was promoted to Assistant Principal (Teaching & Learning) in July 2020 and took up the role in September 2020. In her spare time Carrie has participated in teacher training and development programmes in Uganda, Tanzania and Malaysia.

Adam Whitlock – Assistant Principal (Sixth Form)

Adam studied Theology at the London School of Theology, when it was academically affiliated with Brunel University, before completing his PGCE and master’s degree in Religious Education at Kings College London. Prior to joining KAA, Adam was a Teacher of RE, Head of Faculty and Senior Leader at a range of schools including The John Lyon School in Harrow, St Clement Danes School in Hertfordshire, The Chalfont’s Community College in Buckinghamshire and Ark Burlington Danes Academy in West London. Adam joined KAA as the Director of Learning for Year 12 in 2018 and was promoted to Assistant Principal (Sixth Form) in July 2020, taking up the role in September 2020.

Laurence Weeks – Finance Director

Appointed as Finance Director in January 2019, Laurence had previously spent 5 years as Bursar and Clerk to the Governors at Archbishop Tenison’s School in Lambeth. After completing a History degree Laurence qualified as a Chartered Accountant at BDO Binder Hamlyn in 1991. Before going into education he held a range of financial management positions in organisations including housing associations, the BBC, the National Criminal Intelligence Service and HM Treasury. Away from work Laurence was a voluntary board member of a major housing association for many years. He is a very keen cricketer and although now very much a veteran still plays occasionally. He was secretary of the Essex County Cricket League for 7 years. He is also interested in football, politics and reading novels.