Senior Leadership Team


Catherine Dando was appointed DESS Headteacher in September 2014. Having gained a First Class Honours degree in Education at Brighton University, Catherine has developed a highly experienced career in education, with nearly 30 years spent in primary education in the UK as a class teacher, Literacy Leader, Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher: For two years she was seconded to Brighton University where she lectured in Early Literacy to teaching students.Since gaining her NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship) in 2010, Catherine has led a very successful team as a Primary headteacher in Worthing, UK.

A strong believer in working collaboratively with other schools, Catherine was also chosen to represent her region on the Heads Executive where she was able to have a real impact on leading change in schools. She is passionate about creating irresistible learning opportunities and empowering children to become independent and lifelong learners.  A mother of three grown up children herself, she is looking forward to welcoming new pupils and parents to DESS for the new academic year.

Jane Shaddick-BradyHaving graduated with a B.Ed (Hons.) degree in English, P.E. and Sociology of Education from Westminster College, Oxford, Jane developed her teaching skills in the Inner London Education Authority and was based in Islington for the first twelve years of her teaching career. In the first six years she was promoted to Deputy Headteacher of a large primary school and was actively involved in the community – chairing the Islington Deputy Headteachers Support Network and latterly taking the role of Acting Headteacher in the school.The following two years brought her to Dubai where she taught at JESS and was promoted to Year Six Coordinator but then returned to London to enjoy married life. Her interests in assessment and the curriculum then led her to further develop her career with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) in London, where she was appointed KS1 Manager in the Assessment Division, which involved the development of assessment questions and test papers in partnership with the National Foundation for Educational Research (NfER) and the Department of Education (DfE) and presenting at the Education Show and at local education authority (LEA) conferences. On moving back to Dubai in 2003 with her husband Gerry, Jane was appointed to DESS as a Literacy Specialist teacher in Year Six and over the following four years was promoted to KS2 Coordinator and then Assistant Headteacher. Jane is passionate about furthering her professional development, completing her NPQH in 2008 and the ILM Level 7 standard in Executive Coaching with the British School of Coaching in 2014. Having been awarded ‘International Learner of the Year: Highly Commended’ with the ILM last September, she is looking forward to continuing her learning with Coaching for Wellbeing and Coaching Supervision this year. Jane’s main responsibilities will be to work alongside the Year 4 and Year 5 teams this year and to lead on self-reflective learning. She feels privileged to have been appointed as Deputy Headteacher at DESS.

Tony Clarkson

Tony Clarkson graduated from the University of London with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography. He then spent time travelling, working as a Financial Planner before setting up his own company, ‘Total Soccer’ providing specialist football coaching for children aged 7 – 14 years. Returning to studies, Tony went to the University of East Anglia and, in 2002, gained his PGCE in Primary Education and joined Hautes Capelles School in Guernsey for his first teaching post; a Year 4 teacher. Six years later and with experience in Years 4 and 6 Tony was appointed Head of P.E. He also completed his Level 3 UEFA B Coaching Licence and worked with the Everton F.C. and Southampton F.C. Academies. In September 2007, Tony relocated to Dubai where he joined DESS as Year 5 teacher. In his time at DESS, he has developed a wide breadth of experience in Year 3, Year 4 as well as; Humanities subject leader, Year Leader Phase Leader for Years 3 and 4. He recently became an ILM Level 3 Workplace Coach. In November 2014, Tony was appointed to the position of Assistant Headteacher and his main responsibilities are for curriculum development, home learning and overseeing Foundation Stage 1 and 2.  When not working Tony is very passionate about football and running.


Anna graduated from the National University of Ireland Galway with an honours degree in Education. Following this, she undertook her first teaching position in Dublin. In her second year of teaching, 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 U.A.E. and took up a position as Head of Department. During her 3 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.

Anna joined DESC in 2012 and has fulfilled roles as as House Co – ordinator, where she led the development and integration of the new House system and Transition Co – ordinator,  where she further developed the links between DESS and DESC. In her current position as Assistant Head Teacher at DESSC, Anna’s main focus is to continue to develop and strengthen collaboration across the School and College and she is also responsible for Student Leadership at both schools. At DESS, Anna works closely with the Year 6 team, she manages the Key Stage 2 to 3 Transition process and also oversees Humanities.


Rebecca Eldred joined DESS in September 2015. After graduating with a BA (QTS) in Primary Education from Canterbury Christ Church University, Rebecca completed her first year of teaching in Kent before moving home to Cornwall. The next 5 years of her career saw her teaching from Foundation Stage

through to Year 4. During these years she was a subject co-ordinator, year group leader and served as a teacher governor on the curriculum committee before being asked to work as P.E advisor in the south west of Cornwall, travelling between local schools. In 2007 she took a year out from education and worked as a Childcare Resort Manager in France.

Moving to Dubai in 2008 and after her initial year here, Rebecca worked as an advisory teacher in Al Ain supporting a school to raise standards and expectations of teaching and learning, behaviour and middle leadership roles. She then spent 4 years at JESS Jumeirah as a Year Group Leader and supporting whole school improvement from a middle leadership position. At DESS her main responsibilities include Assessment and Reporting,  as well as overseeing Years and 2 and Learning Support. Outside of work Rebecca enjoys spending time with her 2 dogs and offers her time to support a local animal charity.