Who’s Who

We have a fantastic team at Reading's Adult Community College

Meet the team at New Directions College, Reading

Andrea Wood

Adult Learning & Skills Manager for Reading Borough Council and College Principal
Andrea has been the Principal at New Directions College since August 2020. A qualified and practiced leader and teacher in Further Education and a member of the Society of Education and Training, Andrea has worked in further and adult education for the past 22 years. Andrea has gained her senior leadership skills through her work in the further education sector and within roles for two large local authorities. Andrea is the HOLEX Policy Lead for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Green skills and LSIPs outside of London and is currently leading the exploratory work for Berkshire's County Deal and the possible devolution of the adult education budget. Email:andrea.wood@reading.gov.uk or Phone: 07811 685850

Lisa Welch

Deputy Principal
Lisa has been the Deputy Principal – Business Support at New Directions College since September 2019. Lisa has been working in the Adult and Community Learning Sector for the past 11 years in Senior Business Support roles. Lisa has experience of working both within a local authority and for an independent College both within the Adult learning sector. Lisa is passionate about transforming the lives of adults through education and the role support services play in enabling learners to learn. Lisa was born and raised in Reading. Lisa is a keen gardener and when not supporting her family with caring duties spends her spare time studying on line for an RHS qualification in horticulture. Email: lisa.welch@reading.gov.uk or Phone: 07966189883
Cutout of Aliea

Aliea Rashid

MIS & Performance Manager
Aliea has worked at New Directions since September 2007 where she started as a math’s Tutor. Aliea spent the majority of her time as the Curriculum Manager for Skills for Life before moving on to Quality Assurance. A qualified and practiced Teacher in Further Education and a member of the Society of Education and Training, Aliea has worked in further and adult education for the past 14 years. She has previously worked at Natwest Bank and O2. Aliea’s passion for education comes from her volunteering experiences and her love for math’s. Aliea thrives on helping local people back in to education and achieving their goals. Aliea is also a Governor at a local secondary school in her spare time, and enjoys her time bringing up her four children. Email: aliea.rashid@reading.gov.uk

Fiona Hale

Associate Principal - Quality
Fiona’s interest in ‘the transforming power of education’ began when she worked as a PA to senior school Principal at an international school. She then qualified as a Montessori Early Years Teacher and worked both in Montessori Early Years and Primary schools. In 1999 Fiona started working in Adult Education, initially training Montessori teachers to understand and implement the Early Years Foundation Stage and Ofsted requirements. This led to teaching, assessing and internally verifying a wide range of courses in further education colleges. From the start of her career in education Fiona has always been interested in how the quality of teaching, learning and assessment can be improved to ensure better outcomes for learners and that is why she enjoys her current role as an Associate Principal for Quality. The journeys our learners take to reach their personal and professional goals is humbling and inspiring, it is a privilege to be a part of that. Email: fiona.hale@reading.gov.uk

Holly Bowden

Associate Principal - Quality
Lead Tutor Early Years Childcare

Besmir Baxha

Apprenticeships and Vocational Curriculum Manager
Bes joined New Directions College in June 2020. Bes has worked in training, apprenticeships and further and adult education for the past 9 years, working for one of the largest apprenticeship providers in the country. With significant experience within the work-based education sector, Bes enjoys helping, developing and supporting people to enhance their skills to progress with their career. Outside of work, Bes enjoys traveling, outdoor activities such as walking/hiking, mountain biking and swimming. Email:besmir.baxha@reading.gov.uk

Ivana Tasker

Skills for Life Curriculum Manager
Ivana has been the Skills for Life Curriculum Manager at New Directions College since April 2020. A qualified teacher in Further Education and a Member of the Society of Education and Training, Ivana has a wealth of experience in teaching and managing English, Maths and ESOL courses at all levels, from Pre-entry to GCSE level. Ivana has worked in Further and Adult Education for the past 17 years. She has worked as a teacher and curriculum manager at three large Further Education Colleges in London and Surrey. Ivana is passionate about supporting learners of all ages to develop new skills and progress in their work and life. In her spare time Ivana enjoys spending time with her family, travelling and cycling along the quiet country lanes. Email: ivana.tasker@reading.gov.uk

Laura Jordan

Foundation Learning Curriculum Manager
Laura joined New Directions College in August 2021 after having worked for the local colleges for the past 8 years, focusing on Adult Education and Employability programmes. Laura enjoys helping people gain and develop new skills and grow in confidence. Outside work Laura enjoys travelling abroad, exploring new countries and loves walking and swimming. Email: laura.jordan@reading.gov.uk

Rossella Kench

Marketing and Publicity Officer
Rossella joined New Directions College in November 2021, and brings with her eighteen years experience in business development, customer retention, consultative selling, account management, events, new product development, website management, market research, product life cycle management, project management, CRM systems and international business. For all Marketing and publicity enquiries please email rossella.kench@reading.gov.uk or contact me on 07929 853 707

Zillah Puri

Art, Leisure and Wellbeing Learning Manager

Marta Johansen

Senior Business Support Officer


Project Support Officer

Sarah MacSwan

MIS & Performance Officer

Helen Spence

Quality Officer

Cheryl Ives

Quality Officer - Learner Support

Natalie Ercilla

Lead Tutor - ESOL

Dawn Townsend

Lead Tutor Mathematics

Julie Anderson

Lead Tutor English

Leanne Henderson

Lead Tutor - Apprenticeships

Cathy Lamsdale

Lead Tutor
Education & Training and Supporting Teaching and Learning

Bridget Parslow

Lead Tutor Foundation Digital Skills

David Wall

Lead Tutor Employment & Skills

Colin Oatway

Business Support Officer

Trudy Spicer

Business Support Officer

Danielle Spicer

MIS & Performance Officer

Maalani George

Apprentice - Business Administration

English Tutors

Julie Anderson, Angela Gonzalez, Caroline Bennett, Yasmeena Hanief

ESOL Tutors

Natalie Ercilla, Emily Reith, Sunny Surdeanu, Susan Cane, Shelha Minhas, Preeti Singla, Judith Hansford, Anubha Shah

Maths Tutors

Dawn Townsend, Dhanita Tiwari, Sheila Thompsett, Susan Cane, Shelha Minhas

Early Years Tutors

Holly Bowden, Nikki Hodgson, Mharulnisa Ejaz and Cathy Lamsdale

Digital Skills Tutors

Bridget Parslow, Moniza Shafi

Business Management Tutors

John Holland, Holly Bowden, Andrea Wood

Employment Support Tutors

Leanne Henderson, David Wall, Moniza Shafi, Ruby Mehjabeen, Simon Cullimore

Supporting Teaching and Learning Tutors

Bridget Parslow, Cathy Lamsdale, Amanda King

Creative Arts & Crafts Tutors and Instructors

Zillah Puri, Jeanette Cole, Amanda King, Dipak Mani, Sophie Durand-Smele, Anthony Piercey, Debbie Page, Joanne Kennedy, Emma O'Donnovan, John Murdoch, Shelley Montague, Sharazad Telilani, Caroline Streatfield, Areej Abdi

Learning Support

Janette Bushnell, Genna Hale, Caroline Stallwood, James Fergusson, Imogen Robinson, Stephanie Lemmer, Nicola Lecky-Thompson and Rachel Lohan
Learning Support Photos