Group Director of Schools
Ian McNiff is the Group Director of Schools at Athena Education. Ian has over 35 years of experience working for the government regulating bodies and schools within the Middle East as well as in the United Kingdom. He has been the Director of UK schools as well as one of the largest Catholic school groups in the UK. Ian has also worked in public office in the UK for various ministries, and he brings a vast amount of experience, knowledge, and passion for learning and teaching to the organization and its portfolio schools.
Dr. Timothy John Huges
Group Director of School Improvement
Dr. Timothy John Huges has over 30 years of experience spearheading numerous groups of schools to better provide for its students both within the Middle East and the United Kingdom. He has held various positions from Principal to Chief Education Officer leadership roles providing an all-round knowledge, experience, and expertise required to improve a school’s overall standing to cater to the best student experience. He is a member of the Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Member of the Institute of Physics and gained a distinction in his PGCE (Science) and hold the NPQH. Dr. Timothy’s educational philosophy is that nothing is more important than your education, and the role of staff and parents play in a child’s learning is pivotal. However, knowledge should not be solely about the grades, but about all those unforgettable experiences we have and the broader skills that are acquired to help us become upstanding citizens.
Group Head of Operations
Jan Horn leads and guides Athena Operations to achieve sustainable growth and development by ensuring efficiency, productivity and profitability. As a member of the Academic Board, Jan is responsible for the overall efficiency and performance of the group and to ensure all operations support an environment that optimize teaching and learning impact for each child. In consultation with the directors, senior managers and school leadership he develops strategic plans and works with the Principals to translate these into operational projects. Jan has a lifelong commitment towards education and people development, and has more than 25 years of experience in the education sector, more than half of this time in management positions ranging from junior to senior management level.
Dr. Gihan Fradi
Group Head of Curriculum & Assessment
Dr. Fradi is responsible for coordination and development of academic curriculums across all Athena Schools. Informing schools are meeting graduation requirements as well as conducting internal and external assessments. Ensuring various standards and curriculum are being met such as Grade Level Curriculum standards and the National Agenda Education Requirements. Dr. Fradi has been working within schools for the past ten years. She brings a vast amount of information in regards to curriculum development and assessment.
Group Head of Inclusion
Catherine O’Farrell is the Group Head of Inclusion across all Athena schools. Catherine has been leading inclusion internationally from Ireland to Australia, spending 8 years in the UAE. She is regularly published in educational magazines and is a director on the Dubai Inclusion Network. Catherine is passionate about removing barriers to learning to ensure that every child can reach their full potential in an inclusive, caring environment.