Submit an Enquiry
About Us

Meet our Staff


School Executive Team
Mr Mike Hall

Michael Hall


As a highly experienced leader in the independent schools’ sector, Michael Hall joined Ashford School in August 2018, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Previously, he spent almost eight years as Head of Bedford Modern School in what was a very successful period of growth.

His career includes significant experience in co-educational, all-through education, as well as both day and boarding settings. He studied economics as an undergraduate at the University of Liverpool before training as a teacher and completing a Master’s degree in Educational Management.

A keen adventurer, Mr Hall has undertaken treks in the Pyrenees and the Alps, and also enjoys cycling, rugby, swimming and many different forms of music.

Nicola Timms

Senior Deputy Head

Following eight years of experience in the state school sector, Nicky joined Ashford School in September 2008 as a Maths teacher.  From there she progressed through various roles including Assistant Boarding House Mistress, Educational Visits Coordinator and Director of Years 9-11, before taking on the Deputy Head Pastoral role five years ago. In this position, Nicky led a strong Pastoral Leaders Team incorporating Heads of Section, Heads of House, Heads of boarding Houses, the Health Centre, the School Chaplain and the Wellbeing Team. They all worked closely together to ensure that the Pastoral needs of the students were recognised and met.

Nicky is mother to her daughter Eva who also attends Ashford School, and in her spare time is a keen runner. She is a great believer that fresh air and exercise go a long way to ensure both physical and mental wellbeing.

Joanne Russell

Deputy Head (Academic) & Director of Staff Development & Training)

After initially qualifying with a degree in English and French, Joanne worked as a journalist in London. She then turned to teaching full time and worked in several London-based schools before moving to Ashford School as Head of English in 2013. Joanne took on the role of Deputy Head (Academic) in 2018. She has developed a Curriculum Philosophy for the Senior School and has overseen the introduction of new GCSE courses such as Global Perspectives. Working closely with Heads of Faculty and the Data Analyst, Joanne is committed to ensuring that academic rigour lies at the heart of the School’s assessment and progress approaches, as well as programmes of study.

Joanne is very supportive of continuing professional development and is experienced within initial teacher training. In recent years, she has completed the ILM Level 5 course in Coaching and Mentoring, as well as a Masters degree in Education with the University of Exeter.



Toby Grieves

Deputy Head (Operations Co-Curricular & Community Partnerships)

Toby graduated with a degree in Sport from Durham University before completing a PGCE with the University of Buckingham in 2013. In 2012, Toby joined Norwich School as a teacher of PE and Games, becoming Head of Rugby in 2014. From 2016 Toby combined his school commitments with work for Leicester Tigers, as Head of their Developing Player Programme for the Norfolk region, as well as administrative roles with the Eastern Counties Schools Union. Toby was promoted to Director of Sport in 2020, helping the school to be shortlisted for Independent Schools of the Year award for Sporting Achievement in 2022.

Toby is married to Claire with whom they share two children, both of whom attend the Nurseries at Ashford School.

Mr Tiley-Nunn

Nick Tiley-Nunn

Head of the Prep School

Joined Ashford School in September 2020, having previously been the Head of Prep School and Nursery at Norwich High School for Girls for four years during a time of substantial success where the School was named Independent Girls’ School of the Year and narrowly missed out on Prep School of the Year.

Nick has wide-ranging leadership experience in independent education in both all-through and stand-alone Prep School settings having previously also held roles of SENCo, Assistant Head (Pastoral) and Deputy Head. He is also Team Inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) and an educational consultant specialising in the field of Primary Mathematics, where he has been both a published author (How to Teach Primary Maths: Anyone Can Feed Sweets to Sharks) and a Regional Lead for a large academies group.

Having known that he wanted to be a teacher for as long as he can remember, Nick studied Primary Education as an undergraduate at Canterbury Christ Church University. Nick is at his happiest when outdoors; playing hockey and cricket, walking with his family or taking to the slopes as an enthusiastic skier.

Rosie Clifford

Deputy Head of the Prep School (Teaching and Learning)

Before becoming a teacher, Rosie worked for a leading schools expedition company for 6 years. She was able to combine her love of travel and adventure with working with young groups to explore and gain life-changing experiences. After many overseas adventures, she moved to Kent and decided she would like to be classroom-based, so she re-trained as a teacher. She joined Ashford Prep School in 2014; the adventurous learning ethos was a deciding factor, as she is passionate about both staff and children having the opportunity to explore and inspire each other as individuals and together.

Rosie is married to Jamie and both their children attend Ashford School. Out of school, life is just as busy. She has been a Brownie leader for 12 years and enjoys walking and other sports. Her passion for travel still exists and her backpack and tent are never far away.

Chris Neesham

Deputy Head of the Prep School (Pastoral)

After a career in the IT industry, Chris Neesham initially moved into teaching in order to develop modern foreign languages at Primary level. He started at Ashford Prep School in September 2016, after having spent a number of years working in international education and boarding.

Throughout his teaching career, he has embraced the use of technology and enjoys supporting others in learning new skills. Chris is married to Erin and enjoys playing golf and learning guitar; when he isn’t chasing his two young children around the house!

Kieran Dempsey


Kieran’s first career was in the Royal Air Force serving for 16 years around the world.  During this time, he was heavily involved in HR and infrastructure, once having the grand title of Property Manager South Atlantic.

Upon retiring from the Service, he became Bursar of Christ College, Brecon, a small boarding school in mid-Wales, spending 8 years there before moving to become Bursar/Chief Operating Officer of Dubai College.  In both schools he used the experience gained in the Royal Air Force to help with their development, providing the facilities the pupils deserved.  He also enjoyed being involved in wider school activities including coaching hockey teams, helping with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions and mentoring pupils undertaking the EPQ.

Kieran still enjoys being active, walking, cycling, skiing, sailing, having recently crossed the Pacific Ocean, and playing hockey, representing Wales in the Masters competitions.

Prep and Senior Leadership Team
Senior School Teaching Staff
Prep School Teaching Staff
Nursery Staff
Peripatetic Teachers
Support Staff
Boarding Staff
Health Care & Wellbeing Team

Visit Us

  • Ashford Prep School
    Great Chart, Ashford, Kent, TN23 3DJ
    +44 (0)1233 620493
    The Stables Nursery: +44 (0)1233 656865

  • Ashford Senior School
    East Hill, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8PB
    +44 (0)1233 625171
    Bridge Nursery: +44 (0)1233 636450

Contact Us