Senior leadership team

Rachel Kitley


Rachel Kitley, BAHons, Dip, MA, NPQH, is the Principal of Cowes Enterprise College. Rachel is an experienced head, having moved to the island in 2017 for her second headship. Under Rachel’s leadership the academy has been recognised for its strong results and progress, including by the Minister for Academies for the government. The academy is now ranked as the best on the island for the progress students, and has received widespread praise for the innovative, holistic approach to education being championed. 

Aside from teaching, Rachel has long shared advice, guidance and best practice across the sector, including speaking on panels, presenting and regularly writing for the TES on effective practices in the classroom and also writing curriculum resources for Heinemann.

Jemma Harding

Vice Principal

Jemma Harding is responsible for Safeguarding and Child Protection and is the Mental Health Lead for the academy. She strategically leads on behaviour and welfare, attendance, personal development and enrichment.

Jemma graduated with a BSc (Hons) 1st class in psychology. After working at the University of Portsmouth as a Psychology Research Assistant and then for social services, she trained to be a teacher. She joined Cowes Enterprise College in January 2013.

Jemma is particularly passionate about student and staff wellbeing and keeping everyone safe.

Mark Palmer

Vice Principal

Mark Palmer is responsible for the implementation of the academy’s curriculum offer, the development of middle leadership, performance management and professional development. He also works with our partners in the Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth Teaching School Hub.

Mark studied for his Bachelor of Education degree in Winchester, following which he spent 10 years in industry before returning to teaching full time in 2005. He joined Cowes Enterprise College in September 2021.

As a drama teacher, Mark is passionate about the Arts and thrives on using a creative approach to problem solving. He believes that, with imagination and tenacity, anything is possible.

Victoria Wells

Vice Principal

Vicky Wells is responsible for teaching and learning, professional development and literacy across the curriculum.

Vicky graduated with a BA (Hons) in history from University of Manchester. After working as a learning support assistant in mainstream and special schools she trained to be a teacher. She joined Cowes Enterprise College in September 2018 having taught previously in London.

Vicky enjoys helping staff develop especially those at the start of their career. Her favourite history topic to teach is the development of British democracy in the interwar period specifically looking at female suffrage.

David Sanchez-Brown

Assistant Principal

David Sanchez-Brown leads our vibrant, successful sixth form and is responsible for careers.

Born in Ecuador, South America and relocating to the UK, David overcame language and cultural challenges to graduate from Cambridge University with a degree in music.  He joined Cowes Enterprise College after a varied career in performing and music teaching.

David is passionate about enabling students to pursue their goals, aiming to achieve the very best for their futures and successfully gaining aspirational university places, inspirational apprenticeships and fulfilling careers.

Tom Harding

Assistant Principal

Tom Harding is responsible for leading KS3.

Tom graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Accounting and after working as a manager for Macquarie, he trained as a teacher. He joined Cowes Enterprise College in September 2018 after a successful career in primary school leadership as a Deputy Head Teacher and Head of School.

Tom holds a Masters level Maths Specialist Teacher qualification and is passionate about bridging the gap between primary and secondary education.

He has also developed the school accelerate curriculum to support students to make quick progress to reach age-related expectations after joining year 7.

Hazel Walker

Assistant Principal

Hazel Walker is responsible for exams, assessment, data systems and reporting.

After graduating from the University of Leeds with a BEng (Hons) in electronic and electrical engineering, Hazel took her PGCE in secondary mathematics at the University of Southampton.

Hazel has taught in a variety of different schools across the country and is passionate about school improvement and ensuring that all students have the support and challenge they need to be successful. 

Adam Brown

Assistant Principal

Adam Brown is responsible for Key Stage 4.

Adam graduated the a B.Sc. in Sport Science from the University of Brighton before completing an M.Sc. in Exercise Physiology at the University of Chichester. After working as a part-time lecturer, Adam trained to be a teacher.

Adam joined Cowes High School in 2008 having previously taught in Devon and Spain. Adam’s favourite topic to teach is human anatomy and the physiology of fitness.

Adam is a keen sportsman and, although his competitive swimming and rugby days are behind him, he still enjoys fitness training.

Dursel Oboh

Assistant Principal/Director of Learning MFL

Dursel Oboh is seconded  onto Cowes’ Senior Management Team for a year.

Dursel is responsible for initial teacher training, internal professional development, teaching standards and quality assurance and languages leadership.

Dursel graduated with a BA (Hons) in French teaching from University of Uludag. She is also Specialist Leader in Education with a passion of learning new languages.

Richard Marinelli

Finance Director

Richard Marinelli is responsible for the strategic oversight and operational management of the academy's finances.

Richard has a Certificate in School Business Management, a professional qualification in management accounting, an HND in Business and Finance and a Level 3 in Health & Safety.

He has over 23 years’ experience of working as a Financial Accountant both in the private and education sector and is currently studying for his Chartered Management qualification in Operations/Departmental management.

Richard is an avid musician and has had music featured on MTV and BBC Radio.

Stephen Williams

Facilities Manager

Steve Williams is responsible for the management of Health & Safety, and the strategic oversight of the academy’s premises and facilities. 

Steve previously came from a surveying background in the commercial and residential sectors and has a BSc (Hons) in Building Surveying, which was gained at Reading University. 

He has over 30 years combined experience working in the construction and surveying industry for clients such as, Housing Associations, Councils, Ministry of Defence, and large corporations. Steve is particularly interested in the thermal performance of buildings and relishes the opportunity to work with such an innovatively designed academy.