Senior Leadership Team

SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM

Our staff come from a diverse range of backgrounds and many have enjoyed previous careers in academia, industry and commerce. Many of our teachers have been educated at the UK’s top universities, and we are fortunate to have senior examiners within the staff body.

LIZ ELAM, PRINCIPAL

Liz has been the Principal of Abbey College Manchester for over 10 years. She joined the college in 1999, and before becoming Principal held the posts of Head of Sixth Form, Head of Geography and Vice-Principal. Curriculum innovation is high on Liz’s agenda ensuring that the courses offered by the college meet the needs of the students. Links with universities are a priority and the new Academic Studies with football programme is proving to be very popular.

Originally from Reading, Liz studied Geography at the University of Manchester and gained her PGCE from Manchester Metropolitan University. She has examined for a major examination board and has written several A-Level revision guides.

In her spare time Liz enjoys travelling and long distance walking, sings in a choir and makes craft items to raise money for Wateraid.

Chris Randell, Assistant Principal

Chris joined Abbey Manchester as an Assistant Principal in September 2019 having spent the previous 9 years in various senior leadership positions at international schools both in the Czech Republic and in the South of England.

Before moving to Prague, Chris was a languages teacher and Head of Department at various large independent schools in the UK and is delighted to be back in Manchester where he went to university and lived for a number of years.

Chris is a keen runner (3033km in 2018) and is still contemplating the wisdom of a marathon. During the holidays, he can usually be found somewhere in France or Switzerland walking, running, practising his French with anybody who will listen and enjoying the local produce. Having owned a season ticket since 1990, Chris is also looking forward to easier visits to the Etihad, and not having to set off at the crack of dawn or the previous day.  Chris also enjoys gardening, reading and films and is currently attempting vegetarianism in his bid to help save the world.

NIGEL WALKER, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AND DIRECTOR OF HUMANITIES FACULTY

Nigel is an Assistant Principal with responsibility for teaching and learning in the college.  He joined the college in 1999 and has had many different roles within the college including Head of History, Politics and Sociology; Head of Year; Director of the Humanities Faculty; and Head of UCAS.

Before joining Abbey Nigel taught Politics at the University of Leeds. He completed his PhD in 1996 which examined the role of urban struggles South Africa and which was based on research carried out in Johannesburg. His publications include a study of community development in a number of townships in South Africa.

IAIN STEWART, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AND DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE OPERATIONS

Iain has been at Abbey College Manchester since 2007 during which time he has presided in a strong growth of student numbers. His responsibilities cover the managing of domestic marketing strategy and activities; international student applications; visa compliance and operational matters.

As well as a first class degree in Economics and an MBA, Iain brought to the college over 20 years top management experience, acquired most recently with Manchester Enterprises (now Manchester Solutions), and previously with blue chip brand organisations Guinness, Dawson International Plc (home of high end designer brands Pringle and Edina Ronay) and ConocoPhillipsUK.

In his free time he is an avid walker, traveller, reader and photographer. During weekends he is often to be found pottering in his garden or down at his allotment in his attempts at growing perfect fruit and vegetables.

“The Senior Leadership Team work effectively together to provide clear educational direction in support of the college aim to provide an education which guides students to academic success and ensures mutual respect. They share a fundamental belief in, and a firm commitment to, the ethos of the college – ‘achieving success together’ – and this is reflected in the good quality of the education provided and the students’ excellent personal development”

Independent Schools Inspection report (ISI, February 2015)

“The proprietor ensures that the leadership and management demonstrate good skills and knowledge, and fulfil their responsibilities effectively, so that the other standards are consistently met and they actively promote the well-being of the pupils”

Independent Schools Inspection report (ISI, March 2018)
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