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-Brady, Deputy HeadteacherHaving 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 has been at DESS since 2007 and is now beginning his third year as part of the Senior Leadership Team.

After graduating from the University of London, Tony spent time working as a financial planner before taking time out to travel. He then returned to University in East Anglia where he completed his PGCE (QTS) in Primary Education. Tony then returned home to teach in Guernsey. During his 6 years in Guernsey, Tony taught across KS2 and was Head of P.E.

Upon moving to Dubai, Tony started at DESS in Year 5 and has since taken on several different roles; Subject Leader, Year Leader and Phase Leader as well as teaching in different year groups.

This year, his main responsibilities include Teaching and Learning, Learning Skills and Innovation, as well as overseeing Year 5 and 6, Maths and Social Studies.

Outside of work Tony can often be seen running the streets of Dubai as he attempts to stay fit enough to keep up with his two young boys.

Rebecca joined DESSC in September 2015 and is beginning her third year in the Senior Leadership Team at DESS.

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. During her 5 years in Cornwall, she taught from Foundation Stage to Year 4, was a subject coordinator, year group leader, and served as a teacher governor before being asked to work as P.E advisor.

Moving to Dubai in 2008, and after her initial year here, Rebecca worked as an advisory teacher in Al Ain before taking up the position of Year Group Leader at JESS for 4 years.

This year her main responsibilities include leading Assessment and Reporting, The National Agenda, Learning Environments, as well as overseeing Arabic and Foundation Stage.

Outside of work Rebecca relaxes with her dogs and invests her time volunteering for a local animal charity.

Ruth joined DESS in 2016 as Year 3 Leader and is beginning her first year in the Senior Leadership Team.

Ruth graduated from University of Wales with an Honours degree in Early Childhood Studies. Following on from this, she gained her PGCE in Primary Education and joined Badock’s Wood Primary School in

Bristol for her first teaching position. Whilst working in this school, Ruth was promoted to Inclusion Leader and completed her SENCo qualification. During this time, Ruth also worked alongside the Local Authority as an advisor, where she supported other schools in their Inclusion and Behaviour Management.

In 2014, Ruth moved to Kenya and took up the Position of Deputy Head Teacher. During her two years there, she introduced the new National Curriculum and developed new Assessment and Reporting procedures.

This year at DESS, her main responsibilities are curriculum development, Student Leadership and overseeing the Learning Zone and Year 3 and 4.

Outside of work, Ruth enjoys Yoga and travelling.