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Meet our staff

The quality of our staff is the main reason that Newington Green has improved so rapidly over the past few years.

The quality of our staff is the main reason that Newington Green has improved so rapidly over the past few years. Our staff are recruited through highly rigorous processes that ensure they are of a standard we expect at Newington Green.

You will find our staff to be warm, friendly and committed when you visit our school.  Don’t be surprised to see us being very strict, or laughing out loud!  Both these elements fit firmly within our values of aiming high, accepting no excuses, but also caring and having fun!

  • Abi Misselbrook-Lovejoy

    Our Executive Headteacher
    Abi has an honours degree in Geography and Education and a Masters degree in Teaching. Abi has worked in Inner London schools since she qualified.   In April 2010 Abi began work at Newington Green as the Headteacher.  In 2012 Abi trained as an OFSTED inspector, and completed her Professional Qualification in School Inspection.  In February 2017 Abi became the Executive Head over Rotherfield Primary School, and Newington Green.  In this new role Abi is accountable for the improvement of both schools, and is assisted in this by Mairead, who is Newington Green's Head of School.  In 2019 Abi won the Islington Headteacher of the Year award.
  • Mairead McDonnell

    Our Head of School
    Mairead Mc Donnell, completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Education in London in 2002 and took up her first teaching post in Islington in 2003. Mairead became Deputy Headteacher at Newington Green Primary School in 2007 and was acting Headteacher from September 2009 until April 2010, when the new Headteacher was appointed. Mairead completed a Masters in Teaching and Learning in 2013. In February 2017, Mairead became the Head of School when Abi took on the role of Executive Head of Newington Green and Rotherfield Primary Schools. In this new role Mairead is responsible for the day to day leadership of Newington Green and ensuring the school continues to improve.  
  • Helen Bennett

    Deputy Headteacher (Achievement and Inclusion)
    Helen Bennett completed her PGCE in Manchester and moved to London in 2005 to start her first teaching post in Islington. She became Assistant Head at Newington Green Primary School in 2008 and took over the role of Inclusion Manager in 2010. She has completed the Postgraduate National Award for SEN Coordination and the Postgraduate Certificate in Ethnic Minority Achievement.
  • Jessica Beesen -Smith

    Deputy Headteacher (Curriculum)
    Jessica Beesen -Smith has a BA Hons in Drama, Theatre and Television Studies, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and a Masters Degree in Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment from the Institute of Education. She has also completed the Developing Primary Leaders training at The National College for Teaching and Leadership. After training to be a teacher in Haringey Schools, Jessica taught in Islington for 6 years, before joining the leadership team at Newington Green Primary School in September 2012. This year, Jessica is working on curriculum development across both Newington Green and Rotherfield primary schools.
  • Nicola Andrews

    Our Assistant Headteacher Lower Phase (2 & 3 Year old Nursery, Reception & Year 1)
    Nicola has an honours degree in Education from Nottingham Trent University. Nicola started working at Newington Green in 2003, having started her career in teaching at Hargrave Park, another Islington school. Nicola has been a class teacher and phase leader before taking on her current role. Nicola has special interest in Early Years education, and has been instrumental in driving improvements in Early Years provision here at school.
  • Cheska Tyler

    Our Assistant Headteacher Upper Phase (Years 4, 5 & 6)
    Cheska has a BA Honours degree in Primary Education from the University of Brighton. In 2011, Cheska began her career in teaching in a school in East Sussex where she became leader of Assessment and Physical Education. Cheska moved to Islington in 2013 after accepting a role here at Newington Green Primary School as class teacher and Science subject leader before taking on her current role of Assistant Headteacher and Maths subject leader.
  • Carmel Old

    Our Assistant Headteacher Middle Phase (Year 2 & Year 3)
    Carmel has a BA honours degree in Primary Education from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff. After moving to London in 2010, Carmel started her teaching career at Gainsborough Primary School in Hackney where she worked as a class teacher, a Phase Leader and English Leader. During this time, Carmel developed her knowledge of teaching literacy skills across the different year groups and used it to write an engaging curriculum for her school. After 5 years she made the move to Newington Green Primary School where she took on her current post as English Leader.
  • Leonie Barnard

    Partnership Business Manager
    Leonie has a Diploma in School Business Management from Anglia Ruskin University and a Postgraduate Level 7 Professional Certificate in Financial & Operational School Leadership from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA). Leonie has also completed a Widening Leadership Programme at the Institute of Education. She re-trained as a School Business Manager in 2009 following a 20-year career in advertising and marketing. Since 2009 Leonie has worked in 3 primary schools (including Drayton Park Primary School in Islington) and a secondary academy in Enfield. She joined Rotherfield and Newington Green as the partnership School Business Manager in September 2019 and leads all operations across both schools, including Finance, Admin, HR, Premises and Health & Safety.
  • Satya Maremanda

    Assistant Headteacher Digital Strategy
    Satya has an honours degree in Multimedia Technology and Design from Brunel University and a Primary PGCE from the Institute of Education. She has worked in schools across Greenwich, Brent and now Islington. She became Assistant Headteacher – Digital Strategy in January 2020, working across both Newington Green and Rotherfield Primary School. Satya was a class teacher and Computing subject leader before taking on her current role, where she is responsible for the development and teaching of the Computing curriculum and the use of technology to support all areas of school life, including organisation and the curriculum for staff and pupils.