31 Alumhurst Road

Bournemouth BH4 8EN

+44 (0)1202 75 27 77

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Welcome to Westbourne Academy!

Meet The Staff

Meet the Westbourne Academy Team


One of the strengths of Westbourne Academy is the warm welcome we offer to all our students.

We wish you a successful and enjoyable experience in the UK and we look forward to seeing you at Westbourne Academy soon! 

Meet the Westbourne Academy Team

Our Staff

Richard Surtees


Managing Director



Principal/Designated Safeguarding Lead

Kathryn C


Head of Administration

Vanessa Elphick


Head of Accommodation/Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead

Louise Ingham


Director of Studies



Academic Administrator

Erin Fry


Language School Manager

Meet the Westbourne Academy Team

Our Staff

Richard Surtees

Richard Surtees

Managing Director

I am a senior manager at New City College in London and Managing Director at Westbourne Academy. The school has a good mix of dedicated and friendly staff, perfect location and competitive prices. It has been a pleasure working with the team to develop all aspects of the school, and I am proud of what we have achieved.

My background is English language teaching and I have an MA from Kings College, London.

In my free time I enjoy visiting art galleries and walking in the wonderful English countryside.

Mark Halls

Principal / Designated Safeguarding lead / Director of Studies

I started at WA in 1996 as the Director of Studies and as a teacher and I am now Principal, Male Welfare officer and the Safeguarding lead. Previously I taught in other schools in the UK and also in Italy and Germany and have been involved in this industry for over 30 years. I really enjoy the day to day contact with our International students and still keep in contact with some of my original students I taught over 30 years ago.

In my free time I enjoy playing golf and tennis and going to the gym.

Erin Fry

Erin Fry

Head of Administration

I joined WA as a temporary role in 2015 and never left! My current role as Head of Administration is very varied and every day is different, which I enjoy very much. As a child growing up, we had international students at home and I loved being able to meet people from across the world and learn about their different cultures, some of whom I am still in contact with now. 

Outside of WA, my time is often spent chasing around after my little boy who loves to visit the beach (whatever the weather!)

Vanessa Elphick

Head of Accommodation / Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead

I am the Head of of Accommodation, Female Welfare Officer and Deputy Safeguarding Lead. I started hosting students over 20 years ago before joining the team at Westbourne Academy in 2014.

Westbourne Academy is like a big family, with lovely colleagues and  with a great ethos. My job in accommodation is very varied, I place students with our homestays, talk to families daily, visit new homes, welcome students on arrival, and also help them with welfare issues.  Outside work I love walking, spending time with my family and cooking.



Over the last 17 years I have been fortunate to have worked in education in different countries including Slovakia, Vietnam, Spain, Kazakhstan, Myanmar and Thailand. I have worked in various teaching, training and management positions. Here at Westbourne Academy, I am the Director of Studies. I love the varied mix of nationalities and diverse cultures we work with and just how motivated and committed our students are to learning English. 

I am originally from the North-East of England, but I love living in Bournemouth and being able to go for walks along the beach. In my free-time I enjoy going to fitness classes and I am also passionate about music and the theatre.


Mr Garfield

Academic Administrator


Clare Vincent


Martin Pierce



Mr Jacob



Simona Restifo Pecorella

Office Assistant

I started at Westbourne Academy in 1996. I left in December 1999 to teach English in Brownsville, but returned to Westbourne Academy in 2011. I have been teaching English for over 30 years in various countries, including Panama and Mexico, where I had my own school.

I try to make the learning experience as enjoyable as possible for the students as I believe that a relaxed mind absorbs more and enables students to learn quickly. At Westbourne Academy, all the staff help the students feel welcome and relaxed, which also helps my job as a teacher.

In my free time I enjoy relaxing with my family, visiting local places of interest and we try to go back to Mexico as often as possible to visit my wife’s family.

I started at WA in 2016 after leaving London and moving to Bournemouth to retrain as a CELTA teacher.

I love teaching and supporting students in their exam English courses. I have also enjoyed hosting students in recent years.

I lived in Warsaw, Poland as a child and this developed my interest in international travel and culture.

In my free time, I like walking in the New Forest and on the beach, art, cooking and going to the charity shops in Westbourne!

Teaching English at Westbourne Academy lets me meet people from many different countries. It’s interesting to learn about their culture and, as a teacher, it’s great to see how students develop with their language.

I came here after teaching in Italy and Poland and I find Bournemouth is a wonderful place to live. I enjoy walking on the sandy beach next to the sea and visiting beautiful places near here. I also like painting and relaxing to music in my free time.

Having completed the Cambridge CELTA course in 2012, I joined Westbourne Academy as a summer school teacher. On completion of the summer term, I was asked to continue at the school and became a full-time member of staff shortly after that.

I have gradually progressed from teaching students with little to no English knowledge or ability, to advanced speakers and students who are willing to work hard and complete an exam qualification, such as the Cambridge CAE or the Proficiency exam. I am often engaged in teaching one-to-one lessons to students of all ages from differing careers and nationalities.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy reading and fitness.

I feel I was destined to get a job at WA, as the majority of my housemates in my previous home stay had studied here and had always told me brilliant things about the Academy!

My background is Interpreting & Translation and I have also got a Master’s Degree in Cinema & TV Translation and Subtitles. So, watching movies is my favourite hobby. Plus I am always happy when the film is made in one of the other 3 languages I speak!  

My hobbies are living in different Countries; new journeys; languages; karaoke, brisk walks by the beach, cooking and coffee.   


Justyna Kucharska

Finance Administrator

I joined WA in February 2022 and I work as a Finance Assistant. English is not my first language, therefore I can relate to the students coming to our school and wanting to learn and improve their linguistic skills.

I enjoy working with numbers and I can always count on my colleagues’ help, if needed.

Outside of work, I attend dance classes and enjoy running. My favourite time of the year is summer, where I can savor the seafront, dancing and having barbeques with my friends.

Where We Are Based


31 Alumhurst Road, Westbourne, Dorset, BH4 8EN, UK.

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