Senior leadership team

Rachel Kitley


Rachel Kitley, BAHons, Dip, MA, NPQH, NPQEL, 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 and the Permanent Secretary for Education. The academy is now ranked as the best on the island for the progress of 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. Rachel currently sits on a Government Taskforce for National Shipbuilding Skills.

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.

Hazel Walker

Vice Principal

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.

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.

Adam Brown

Assistant Principal

Adam Brown is responsible for Key Stage 4 as well as exams, assessment, data systems and reporting.

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.

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.

Roger Lyon

Assistant Principal

Roger Lyon is responsible for Safeguarding and Child Protection.

Roger graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury in Law in 2000 with LLB Honours. Prior to teaching he worked as a police officer with the Hampshire Constabulary and then in hotel management.

Roger has been a teacher for 11 years and has previously worked across both primary and secondary provisions. For the entirety of his teaching career, he has had a heavy pastoral responsibility and been a lead DSL for nearly six years.

Roger has also got his National SENCO Award which he achieved in 2016. Most recently, in May 2022, he has also achieved his NPQH.

Roger is passionate about safeguarding and feels that the welfare of students is paramount. With his SEN background Roger also firmly believes that all pupils can achieve at school and at Cowes Enterprise College all students will be educated for life.

Danielle Godfrey

Assistant Principal

Danielle Godfrey is responsible for Personal Development, including the delivery of our Everyone Matters (E1M) curriculum. 

Danielle graduated with a B.Sc (Hons) in Politics and Human Rights before training as a teacher in 2012. More recently Danielle achieved the NPQSL. Danielle joined Cowes Enterprise College in 2022. 

Leading on our personal development programme, Danielle is keen to break down any barriers to learning and to ensure that all of our students have equality of opportunity to succeed, as well as contributing to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Danielle has a wealth of pastoral and safeguarding experience and is passionate about staff and student wellbeing. Through our Cowes Charter, enrichment opportunities, social action projects and our unique PSHE curriculum our students are prepared and educated for life beyond Cowes Enterprise College. Danielle believes in a culture of “no limits” and is enthusiastic about preparing our students to be respectful, safe and responsible citizens.

James Milligan

Assistant Principal

James is responsible for Teaching & Learning, CPD, Literacy and the Middle Leaders Forum

James was awarded his PGCE at the University of Southampton and has worked in a number of schools and colleges along the south coast. James is passionate about teaching and has held a number of teacher development roles. Trained as a PE specialist, he has held a wide range of PE specific responsibilities including Head of Department, and Subject Lead of both A-Level and HND in Sport.

James completed his Masters degree in Education with Distinction in 2015.  He is currently in the latter stages of a PhD at Loughborough University focusing on privatisation of education and the impact of curricula on young people. He has written several publications for the national association for PE – afPE.

James is passionate about helping all young people pursue aspirational ambitions and providing the best possible experience in education.

Karen Clifford

Assistant Principal

Karen Clifford is responsible for Cover, the academy calendar, trips, parental engagement and the Creative faculty.

Karen graduated from the University of Reading with a BA Hons in Fine Art and has been a teacher for 33 years, working in both the Independent and State sector on the mainland. She is about to complete her MA Education Artist Teacher Practice from Oxford Brookes University.

Karen is passionate about all of the practical subjects and firmly believes in the lifelong benefit of participation in the arts to support wellbeing and mental health. She considers herself an artist teacher and continues to create her own art work. Karen has a painting on permanent display in the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel, Pangbourne, Berkshire.

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.