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 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 Award.

Ms Haydon has gained national recognition for work in leadership, governance, teaching and learning and marketing in Schools. Ms. Haydon and her Senior Leadership Team have won the Independent Schools ‘Outstanding Senior Leadership Team of the Year’ and 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 in the UK and she has sat on the Governing Body of several Independent Schools in London. She is a Governor of Repton School UK.

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 has had the privilege of leading Harrow Hong Kong for the last five years.

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. Ms. Haydon is married to Nigel and has two step children.

Ms Laura Yandell (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire & Goldsmiths, University of London) from Ark Greenwich Free School, England

Ms Yandell graduated from 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.

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

Ms 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.

Ms Yandell enjoys travelling, visiting the theatre and reading, as well as keeping at the forefront of the latest research in education. She feels very privileged to have a job where she can help shape the leaders of tomorrow.

Mr. Tom Hicks (St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford) 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.

Mr Hicks is an experienced international educator, and 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 and acts as a lecturer and tutor. 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 now writes about the game and is a published author.

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.

Mr. Simon Mildinhall (University of York) from the London Oratory School, England

Mr Mildinhall grew up in the East of England before moving on to read History at the University of York (which would later be joined by an MA from King’s College London), before attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

After nearly eight years in the British Army, Mr Mildinhall decided to make the move into teaching. Since doing so, he has taught History and Politics in London, where he was also the head of the School’s Combined Cadet Force and assisted in the provision of outdoor education before moving to Harrow Hong Kong. After arriving in Asia six years ago, he has been both a Prep and Senior House Master (for Banks and Churchill respectively) and has taught both History and Politics whilst also establishing and coordinating the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme which gave him the opportunity to spend more time exploring the great outdoors.

Having been involved in Pastoral care within the Upper School at every level, he is determined to use this experience to support the House Pastoral Teams in ensuring that each and every child is nurtured and supported whilst at Harrow.

Mr Mildinhall and his wife Hannah, who is a Clinical Psychologist, reside at Harrow with their two young children and two dogs. In their spare time (what little of it remains), they enjoy keeping active, largely through hiking, exploring Hong Kong and hope, in the near future, to return to travelling around Asia with their family in tow.

Mr. James Brewer (Queen’s University Belfast) from Epsom College in Malaysia

Mr Brewer hails from Londonderry, Northern Ireland where he attended school at Foyle and Londonderry College. He graduated with a BSc in Physics before completing a MSc in Electronics and PGCE in Science, all from Queen’s University Belfast.

His first teaching post was teaching Physics at Bexley Grammar School in Bexley, Kent. In Bexley, he gained experience in the roles of Head of Physics and Head of Houses. Mr Brewer thought London was far from home until he moved to the Middle East to Qatar International School in Doha, Qatar. He was part of the senior leadership team that developed QIS into a teaching and learning school. He then moved further east to Epsom College in Malaysia, Epsom was his introduction into boarding school. He thoroughly enjoyed the additional aspects that boarding school brings to teaching and to the students’ school experience.

Mr Brewer enjoyed playing various sports at school, university and club level. He played rugby with Queen’s and City Of Derry and cricket with Brigade. After hanging up his boots, he coached rugby and cricket in schools as well as regularly playing golf.

Mr Brewer is married to Mrs Mitchell, who is Housemistress of Fry House, and their two children Noah and Ella who both attend the lower school.

Mr Jonny Franks (Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge) from Whittle School & Studios Shenzhen, China

Mr Franks attended the Royal Grammar School High Wycombe before studying Philosophy at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge. After graduation he joined the Religious Studies Department at Wycombe Abbey School in the UK, gaining Qualified Teacher Status as part of the Graduate Teacher Programme. He was appointed as Director of Higher Education at Wycombe Abbey in 2014 before taking on the role of Director of Sixth Form in 2016, overseeing the academic progress, wellbeing and higher education applications of around 200 senior students each year. 

After a total of 13 years at Wycombe Abbey, he moved to Shenzhen, China, in 2019 as founding Upper School Division Head at a new start-up school, Whittle School & Studios. He was later appointed Vice-Principal of the school, a wide-ranging role which included responsibility for all expatriate teacher matters as well as compliance issues, teacher recruitment and retention and accreditation. 

Mr Franks is thrilled to join Harrow Hong Kong as Deputy Head (Co-Curricular and Organisation). An enthusiastic advocate of the skills and competencies fostered by activities outside and beyond the classroom, he is looking forward to maintaining the excellence of the Harrow Horizons programme and developing exciting new pathways within it. 

Mr Franks lives on the school site with his wife, Isabel, who was born in Hong Kong. They enjoy hiking, travelling and exploring, usually with their naughty toy poodle, Evie.



Ms. Kim Gration (Magdalen College, University of Oxford) from Luanda International School, Angola

Ms Gration graduated from the University of Oxford (Magdalen College) with a degree in Music and then went on to La Sainte Union College of Higher Education to do a PGCE. 

 

After teaching at two schools in Portsmouth and running the extra curricular music programme, she left the UK to teach abroad “for a couple of years” and is still waiting to go back! Ms Gration set up the English programme at Komeetta School in Espoo, Finland and enjoyed a year teaching in New York at the United Nations International School as a Fulbright Scholar. She moved to Lucaya International School in Freeport, Bahamas as a Y6 teacher and then set up a Middle School programme there for Y7 – 9. After four years, she moved to Luanda International School, Angola, first as a Music Teacher and then as an IB Curriculum Coordinator. 

Ms Gration moved to Harrow Hong Kong in 2015 as Head of Individual Needs. She was then appointed as founding House Mistress of Anderson House in 2018. 

When not teaching, Ms Gration enjoys spending time with her children, one who graduated from Harrow in 2022 and one who currently studies at the school. She also loves exploring the hiking trails of Hong Kong and listening to and playing music. 

Ms Gration is passionate about Wellbeing and Pastoral Care and is excited to take up the role of Assistant Head Pastoral and Wellbeing. 

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 held a range of posts in his career including leading on PE, Maths, English, Safeguarding, Curriculum, Standards and Assessment. He was a headteacher in Westminster, where he was also the secretary of the Westminster South group of schools, before taking up the role as Head of Lower School at Harrow International 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. He also enjoys hiking and has completed all four of the Hong Kong trails.

Mrs. Lauren Berner (University of Leicester) from Discovery School Academy Trust, England

Mrs Berner joined Harrow Hong Kong in August 2017. During her time at Harrow she has held the position of Assistant Head of Lower School (Pupil Progress), developing the use of data to support Teaching and Learning and is currently Deputy Head (Pupil Wellbeing). 

Mrs Berner holds a BA (Hons) in Primary Education from Sheffield Hallam 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, Mrs Berner pursued her interest in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs 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. Mrs Berner 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.

Mrs Berner lives in one of Harrow’s senior boarding houses (Peel House) with her husband, Mr Berner and their son, Ignatius.

Ms. Dawn Chambers (Dublin City University) from Derwentwater Primary School, England

Ms Dawn Chambers graduated from Dublin City University with a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Art specialism in History.  After eight years living and teaching in London, she moved to Hong Kong, joining Harrow in January 2019. Preparing our young pupils for future success is her passion and she holds pupil progress at the heart of teaching and learning. She is a champion for all children and is passionate about seeing every pupil strive to achieve their full potential. 

During her time at Harrow, she has held the position of Humanities coordinator and has worked with the wider curriculum team to develop and implement a bespoke and rigorous curriculum for our pupils.

 She took on the role of Assistant Head of Lower School (Pupil Progress) in August 2021 and is looking forward to integrating assessment into teaching and learning and using data to enable every pupil’s pursuit of excellence.

Ms. Abi Hiley (University of Sheffield) from Kings’ School Al Barsha, Dubai

Ms Abi Hiley graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Financial Business Management in 2008, before going on to Edge Hill University to complete a PGCE in Primary Education.

She taught for four years in England, where she led on Maths and assessments, before moving to Dubai for two years where she was Year Leader at a British International School. Since joining Harrow Hong Kong five years ago, she has led the Theme curriculum and has been Year Leader in Year 1. Over the past two years, she has led the Computing curriculum, enjoying integrating new technologies and learning platforms throughout the Lower School. She believes that technology, when appropriately integrated into the curriculum, revolutionises the learning process for pupils.

Ms Hiley strives to ensure that the pupils in her care experience a broad, challenging, exciting and personalised curriculum within a safe, nurturing environment. For her, there is nothing more satisfying than watching children learn with smiles on their faces, beaming with confidence.

Taking on the role of Assistant Head of Lower School (Digital Strategy and Continuing Professional Development) in August 2021, she is looking forward to developing the digital strategy at Harrow Hong Kong and empowering pupils to be the competent and confident digital leaders of our future.