Our Staff

Greg McDonald


Greg originates from Australia where his career was initially in International Banking. After many years in banking he decided to chase his dream of working with children and in 1993 left for upstate New York. He stayed for four years where he worked alongside children and adults with mild to severe learning difficulties before moving to London.In London Greg worked as a classroom teacher at Dr Rolfe’s Montessori School before progressing to deputy and finally Headmaster in 2004. As Headmaster Greg took the school from strength to strength. The school received excellent Ofsted Reports and under Greg’s leadership the school became a highly sought after Nursery in Notting Hill. Rolfe’s Nursery (as it is now known) is part of the prestigious Alpha Plus Group of private schools.Whilst at Rolfe’s Greg decided to always include children with special needs. He works in close partnership with parents and staff to ensure the children reach their full potential and as a result, Rolfe’s has become well known in the private sector for accepting special needs children.Greg is actively involved with all aspects of Early Years Education. He has served on committees for Training and Development in The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea as well as heading the committee for The Children’s Workforce Development Council.Greg believes that every child deserves the right to a happy, carefree education that is play based and child centred. He strongly feels that children should be able to learn at their own pace guided by good quality teaching; that every child is an individual and that no child, no matter what their abilities, should be discriminated against.

Jacquelyn Starley

Deputy Head

Jacquelyn originates from Zimbabwe and has taught in schools in Qatar, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa. She holds Post Graduate qualifications in Special Educational Needs and Autism in Children. Jacquelyn has an in-depth knowledge of the British National Curriculum, Key Stages 1 – 4 and many years of experience in curriculum development and as a school SENCO.

Laurice NascimentoSEN Class Teacher
Laurice is of South African origin, although she has spent many years in Portugal. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology & social work, as well as a PGCE gained through Sunderland University in the United Kingdom. She has a very good understanding of SEN and has worked at The Children’s Academy since 2009.
Tasmin Greig SEN Class Teacher
Tasmin is from the UK and holds a Bachelor of Arts with QTS in Primary Education from Leeds Trinity University, UK. She has a wide knowledge and foundation of SEN having undertaken many courses and training in this field.
Janine Walters Early Years SEN Teacher
Janine originates from the United Kingdom and holds a PGCE in teaching as well as a BA in Criminology. Before undertaking her PGCE Janine was a teaching assistant at The Children’s Academy and has a comprehensive understanding of our children’s needs.
Fiona Greig Early Years SEN Teacher
Fiona is Scottish and holds a NNEB from the UK. Previous to The Children’s Academy Fiona was a kindergarten teacher at The British School, a post she held for 11 years. Fiona has worked with youth programmes in her native Scotland and is activiely involved with the Dreamflight charity.
Helen Sheerins SEN Class Teacher
Helen originates from the United Kingdom and has many years teaching experience. She is a graduate of the National University of Ireland with a BA Science and Higher Diploma in Education. She has worked in both mainstream and special needs schools in the UK with Key Stages 1 – 4.
Emily Wales SEN Teacher
Emily is Irish; she has a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Archaeology and a PGCE from the University of East London. She has been teaching since 2004 and has extensive experience working with SEN children. Emily has taught in London, Ireland and Abu Dhabi.
Abdulla Al Alawi SEN Teacher
Abdulla is from Bahrain and has a BSc in Sports Science from London Metropolitan University. Abdulla joined The Children’s Academy in 2011 as a teaching assistant before progressing to his PGCE studies with the University of Sunderland, UK; he became a class teacher in 2018.
Ameer Alzeera SEN Teacher
Ameer is Bahraini; he has a Bachelor of Business and gained his PGCE from the University of Nottingham, UK. He worked as a teaching assistant for several years before being promoted to a class teacher.
Susanne Eiseman Occupational Therapist
Susanne is from the United Kingdom and has worked extensively with special needs children. She holds a BSc in Psychology and a Diploma in Occupational Therapy. Susanne established Hopscotch Children’s Therapy Centre in Harley Street, London and is passionate about sensory integration.
Lynn Daly Speech and Language Therapist
Lynn is from Ireland and holds a BSc in Speech and Language Therapy from the University of Ireland in Galway. She has worked with the NHS in the United Kingdom as well as the Health Services Executive in Ireland and has experience working with children from ages 3 -20.
Florin Nistor Physiotherapist
Florin has been working as a physiotherapist since 2012. He has a Bachelor of Physical Therapy from Cluj-Napoca in Romania and has extensive experience working with special needs children and teenagers.