Senior Leadership Team

Ms. Ann Haydon (University of Surrey) from Surbiton High School, England

Ms. Haydon took up her position as Head of Harrow School Hong Kong on 1 August 2017. She is the first woman to lead a Harrow School.

After reading Economics and Geography at the University of Surrey, Ms. Haydon completed her PGCE at the University of Nottingham. In 2007 she gained the National Qualification for Headship from the University of London. In 2013 she was awarded a distinction in the Pearson UK. Headteacher of the Year Awards and has gained national recognition for work in leadership, governance, teaching and learning and marketing in Schools. In 2012, Ms. Haydon and her Senior Leadership Team won the Independent Schools ‘Outstanding Senior Leadership Team of the Year’ and in 2013 received the accolade of ‘Outstanding Governing Board of the Year’.

Ms. Haydon has held the position as HMC London Division Secretary and was a member of the HMC Sports Committee. She was a member of the United Learning Heads Reference Group working on strategic developments across a group of Independent Schools and Academies and she has sat on the Governing Body of several Independent Schools in London.

Ms. Haydon was Deputy Head at Guildford High School before taking up the position as Principal of Surbiton High School in 2008, an independent, HMC (Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference) and IAPC (Independent Association of Prep Schools) School with circa 1500 pupils aged 4 to 18, both of which are consistently placed in the Top Ten Schools in the Times League Tables. Ms. Haydon now has the privilege of leading Harrow Hong Kong.

As a leading educator, Ms Haydon is committed to getting the very best out of young people and preparing them for top universities across the world.

Ms. Haydon’s interests include travel, sport and the arts.

Miss Annabel Davies (Royal Holloway, University of London) from Surbiton High School, England

Miss Davies enjoyed a full British boarding school experience by firstly attending Forres Sandle Manor Prep School in Hampshire before moving to St Swithun’s School in Winchester. To further specialise in music, she moved to the specialist music school, Wells Cathedral School, for the sixth form. Having boarded from the ages of eight to eighteen she is passionate about the the benefits of a boarding school education.

On leaving school, Miss Davies graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London with a B(Mus) degree in Music and then went on to do a PGCE at the Institute of Education in London.

On gaining her teaching qualification Miss Davies started at Ravens Wood School in Kent where she spent time as a Head of Year before becoming Head of Music. She then went to Surbiton High School where she was Assistant Principal in charge of the co-curricular programme and the operational running of the school. She has also worked in both schools on developing teaching and learning and it is something she is very passionate about.

Miss Davies oversees the curriculum and teaching and learning at Harrow and is proud to be part of a forward thinking, dynamic school that is committed to preparing young people to thrive in the twenty first century.

Mr. Tom Hicks (St Catherine’s College, Oxford University) from Uppingham School, England

Mr Hicks comes from a family steeped in pastoral care. Having grown up in boarding houses in the South of England, Mr Hicks followed his father’s footsteps, becoming Housemaster at Wellington College, UK, having previously been Head of Sixth Form and Assistant HM at Lord Wandsworth College, Hampshire. Prior to moving to Hong Kong to join Harrow, he was Assistant Head: Pastoral at Uppingham School, one of the oldest and most prestigious boarding schools in Britain.

Although this is his first full-time post outside the UK, Mr Hicks spent three years as Head of Group Boarding for the Wellington Group of schools, paying annual inspection visits to schools in Tianjin and Shanghai. He also set up a national Prep Schools Boarding Conference, in conjunction with the Boarding Schools Association, for whom he has been a speaker at their annual national conference. Mr Hicks sat on the governing body and the academic committee of The Wellington Academy – a state boarding school in Wiltshire. At Uppingham, he spearheaded a brand-new Wellbeing curriculum, founded on the principles of Positive Psychology, following research in schools as far-ranging as the United States, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Although a teacher of English, Mr Hicks studied Modern Languages (French and Linguistics) at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University and gained his PGCE from the University of Buckingham. Whilst at university, he gained four Blues for cricket and was captain in 2000, the final first-class fixture between Oxford and Cambridge at Lord’s. He went on to captain his county, Dorset, for several years, and has also captained the MCC at the home of cricket and sat on the Players and Fixtures Sub-Committee. He is currently writing a book about his cricketing career.

Mr Hicks joined Harrow with his wife, Penny, who works as Head of Scholarships and Bursaries and in the Admissions Department at Harrow. Their three children all attend the school.

Mrs. Bella Nightingale (University of Reading) from Dulwich College Beijing, China

After reading Film and Drama at the University of Reading, Mrs. Nightingale worked in film production and script development for various companies in Los Angeles and South Africa. She then completed her PGCSE in English at the Institute of Education, University of London and taught at Mill Hill County High School for four years, where she became Deputy Head of English. Since then she has worked at Dulwich College Beijing in the role of Head of English for three years and continued in this post at Harrow Hong Kong for five years.

In her role as Deputy Head (Academic), Mrs. Nightingale’s main responsibility is on enriching the quality of teaching and learning across the Upper School. She works in collaboration with all Upper School teachers to ensure Harrow Hong Kong’s curriculum is rich, rigorous and enables all pupils to thrive.

Mrs. Nightingale places great importance on working with those less fortunate; she has taught refugees and asylum seekers English in London and worked for an NGO in Ethiopia. She enjoys travel, reading, running, hiking and being a mother of three little boys.

Mr. Ed Nightingale (University of Cambridge) from Dulwich College Beijing, China

Mr. Nightingale grew up in Hong Kong, attending Kellett and Peak Schools at primary level. He was subsequently educated at Port Regis Prep School in Dorset, followed by Eton College in Berkshire. He then read English Literature at Cambridge University.

After graduating, he worked in London as a management consultant for a few years before studying for his Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the Institute of Education, London University. He then taught for four years in a London comprehensive before moving to Beijing as Head of Sixth Form at Dulwich College, where he coached tennis, led the Model United Nations programme and oversaw university applications.

He joined Harrow Hong Kong when it opened in 2012 and, after seven years as House Master of Churchill House, he took on the role of Deputy Head (Pupil Wellbeing) at the School.

Mr. Nightingale’s wife, Bella, is Deputy Head (Academic) at Harrow Hong Kong and their three sons attend the Harrow Early Years and Lower School.

Miss Laura Yandell (University of London) from Ark Greenwich Free School, England

Miss Yandell graduated from the Birmingham School of Acting, now known as The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with a BA Honours degree in Acting. She then went on to do a PGCE in Drama and a Masters in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Miss Yandell worked as a Head of Department at Ravens Wood School in Kent and Sydenham High School in London before becoming Deputy Headteacher in charge of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum at Ark Greenwich Free School in South London.

Miss Yandell has a keen interest in the topic of women and leadership and has read and conducted a lot of research in this area. She is a keen member of the #WomenEd educational movement and has spoken at various conferences regarding the global in-balance of females in leadership roles in the workplace and how this can be changed.

Miss Yandell enjoys travelling, visiting the theatre and reading. She is delighted to be joining the senior leadership team at Harrow International School Hong Kong as Assistant Head Co-curricular and Organisation.

Mr Darren Bastyan (University of Warwick) from Trinity School, England

Mr Bastyan holds a Mathematics degree from The University of Warwick, a PGCE from Exeter University and a Masters degree in Teaching from The Institute of Education, University of London. He has been teaching Secondary Mathematics and Further Mathematics for more than 10 years, starting at Trinity School, Croydon, where he was appointed Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Scholars’ Mentor as well as Head of Cross Country. 

Mr Bastyan was then appointed as Head of Mathematics at Harrow Hong Kong in August 2015 and in August 2019 additionally took on the role of Associate Assistant Head (Data and Tracking). His main responsibility in this role is to empower teachers and house pastoral teams to provide the best education and support for each individual through intelligent use of data. He is excited to be developing this area of the Upper School.

Ms. Vicky Courtis (University of Plymouth) from Sydenham High School, England

Miss Courtis graduated from the University of Plymouth with a degree in Theatre and Performance. She then went on to do a PGCE in Drama at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Miss Courtis worked as Subject Lead (Drama) at Ark Globe Academy and as Head of Drama at Sydenham High School (both located in South London).

For seven years Miss Courtis taught at a summer programme in London, where pupils from Hong Kong would learn Dance, Drama, English and Music. Working with these pupils each summer created a desire to move to Hong Kong. She moved to take on the role of Head of Drama at Harrow Hong Kong in August 2019 and has really enjoyed her first year living and working in this vibrant city.

In her spare time Miss Courtis enjoys running and hiking. She also enjoys visiting the theatre, attending live music events and travelling. She is delighted to be joining the senior leadership team as Associate Assistant Head (Academic)

Ms. Freya Crofton (University of Leeds) from Saltus Grammar School, Bermuda

After graduating from the University of Leeds with a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature, Ms Crofton completed a Graduate Diploma in Law before returning to the University of Leeds to complete her PGCE.  She began her teaching career in a 2000-pupil comprehensive school in Leeds where as well as becoming EAL coordinator, she trained as a coach, sparking her interest in peer support and mentoring staff. She also directed several musical theatre productions both within the school and at a local theatre.

Ms Crofton joined Harrow Hong Kong in August 2016 and took on the role of Head of English in the following year.   This is her second international post: she spent 3 years teaching in Bermuda before arriving in Hong Kong where she took the opportunity to coach Debate and Public Speaking Teams for national and international competitions as well as completing her NPQML.

Last year, Ms Crofton co-authored an A-Level critical guide to ‘Hamlet’ and she is passionate about enjoying literature.  She also enjoys singing, theatre and travel.

Ms Crofton took on the role of Associate Assistant Head (Academic) in September 2020.

Mr Brendan Shanahan (University of Liverpool) from St Barnabas’ CE Primary School & Nursery, England

Mr Shanahan took up his position as head of the Lower School at Harrow School Hong Kong on 17th August 2020.

Mr Shanahan graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BA (Hons) degree in Social & Economic History in 2005. He then completed his PGCE at Leeds Beckett University before starting teaching in Kirklees. Mr Shanahan has help a range of posts in his career including leading on PE, Maths, English, Design Technology, Safeguarding, Curriculum, Standards and Assessment. He was a headteacher in Westminster before taking up the role as Head of Lower School at Harrow School Hong Kong.

He is a keen sportsman and represented his University at football, lacrosse, hockey and rugby league. He also represented Huddersfield and Yorkshire playing Gaelic Football.

Mr Shanahan is delighted to be joining the team at Harrow School Hong Kong and is committed to ensuring that every pupil reaches their full potential.

Mr Gary Hancock (University of East Anglia) from Bangkok Patana School, Thailand

Mr. Hancock holds a BA degree in Primary Education with a specialism in Sports and and PGCE and has been teaching in Lower Schools for over ten years.

Upon graduation, he worked in schools in the East of England before venturing abroad to teach internationally. He has worked in British international schools in China and Thailand where he held a variety middle leader positions, both academically and pastorally. He joined Harrow Hong Kong in August 2015 from Bangkok Patana School.

Mr. Hancock will lead the Lower School on all matters of Teaching and Learning.

Miss Serena Clark (University of West Coast of Scotland) from Ark Globe Academy, England

Ms. Clark holds a BEd degree in Primary Education with a specialism in English and Psychology and a distinction in teaching. 

After graduating, she worked in Bordeaux, France for a period of time before returning to the UK to hold teaching posts in Scotland and England. 

Ms.Clark has relocated to Hong Kong from London; having lived and worked there for the past ten years. Her most recent post was of Vice Principal at Ark Globe Academy, where she was part of a team that gained distinction in the 2014 parliamentary review for raising standards in education. 

Ms.Clark, will lead on all matters of pastoral care and pupil wellbeing in the Lower School. 

Miss Lauren O’Flynn (University of Sheffield) from Discovery Schools Academy Trust, England

Miss O’Flynn joined Harrow Hong Kong in August 2017 and has worked within the Year 2 team, temporarily taking on the position of Year 2 Leader. In August 2019 she took on the role of Associate Assistant Head Pupil Progress. Miss O’Flynn is excited to be developing the use of data in the Lower School to support Teaching and Learning.

Miss O’Flynn holds a BA (Hons) in Primary Education from Sheffield University and qualified as a teacher in 2006. She gained a Masters in Teaching and Learning at the University of Leicester. After teaching across the primary age range, Miss O’Flynn pursued her interest in Inclusion and completed the National Award for SENDCo’s. She has worked as part of the Senior Leadership Team at two schools in Leicestershire, much of this time was focused on pupil wellbeing and inclusion. Miss O’Flynn has also completed the NPQSL with the National College and became a Specialist Leader of Education in 2015, supporting and advising schools on a range of priorities.

Miss O’Flynn lives in one Harrow’s senior boarding houses (Sun House) with her partner, Mr Berner, who has recently taken up the role of Assistant House Master.