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Senior Leadership Team

Mrs Sue Knox, Head

Sue has been Head of Duke of Kent School since 2019. She has experience in leading independent schools both in the UK and Australia. Following a career in Marketing for Procter & Gamble and British Telecom, Sue began her teaching career at Pymble Ladies’ College in Sydney, Australia as a French and German teacher before becoming Head of Department. A promotion to Deputy Head of the Upper School was followed by her appointment as Head of the Junior School where she introduced a number of innovative teaching and learning initiatives such as Open Learning Environments and Service Based Learning. Sue and her family moved back to the UK in 2016 where Sue took up the Headship of Wellingborough Prep School before moving to Duke of Kent School.

Sue is a Trustee of the Independent Schools Association and Chair of the Finance Committee and is also an Inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

Personal interests:

Sue is a keen walker and an avid reader. She also enjoys cooking and is learning how to paint with watercolours. This last activity is very much a work in progress! Sue’s husband, Tim, is a boat builder and he manufactures solar electric narrowboats. Their three children, now in their 20s, have left home and are pursuing various career paths.

Tom SoutheeMr Tom Southee, Deputy Head and Head of Safeguarding (DSL)

Tom joined Duke of Kent School in 2011 as an English maternity cover and has since held the roles of Head of Boarding, Head of English, Head of Safeguarding and Head of Digital Strategy before taking up the role of Deputy Head in 2022. Tom has a passion for pastoral care and believes strongly in a holistic approach to education, ensuring that learning is about achieving personal goals and making mistakes teaches as much as getting things right. Having completed his PGCE in English at University of Chichester, Tom taught in a range of state schools before joining Duke of Kent School. Tom also serves as the Safeguarding Trustee at Peaslake School and enjoys supporting the team there.

Tom is a Mental Health First Aid (Youth) instructor, as well as an FA qualified coach and referee. He enjoys the variety that the role of Deputy Head brings; from taking the U13A football team, to teaching PSHE, to running clubs for Pre-prep. Tom enjoys working alongside pupils, staff and parents to ensure a collaborative approach with the child at the centre of decisions.

Personal interests:

Tom loves spending time with his two children and wife, Peach, who all attend or work at Duke of Kent School. He loves to travel each summer with his family to a variety of places to experience different cultures, history and foods. Tom is also an avid reader of historical fiction, a keen (veteran!) footballer, fair weather golfer and a shared season ticket holder at Tottenham Hotspur.

 John WilsonMr Adam Wyllie, Head of Senior School 

After teaching for several years at a local state school, Adam joined Duke of Kent School's Senior School in September 2018 as a Science teacher, specialising in Physics. Alongside his teaching duties, he managed the School’s SMSC programme, served as the British Values coordinator, and co-managed the DofE Award. 

In 2020, Adam completed a Master's degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Buckingham, which he found both enriching and rewarding. This experience further fuelled his passion for education and leadership, equipping him with the knowledge and skills to drive positive change, which subsequently led to him assuming the position of Examinations Officer. Adam has also previously held the positions of Stretch and Challenge Coordinator and Head of Careers, roles which have allowed him to significantly contribute to the academic and personal development of students, ensuring they are well prepared for their future endeavours.

In September 2024, Adam became the Head of Senior School, a diverse role in which he oversees the academic and pastoral progress of pupils in Years 7-11. In this capacity, Adam particularly enjoys collaborating with staff, students, and the entire school community to ensure that Duke of Kent School continues to thrive as a nurturing, supportive, and exceptional learning environment.

Personal Interests: 

Outside of school, Adam enjoys a rich personal life alongside caring for his menagerie of animals. When not working, he can be found indulging his love for the outdoors and exploring remote corners of the UK on adventurous holidays.

Chris WrightMr Chris Wright, Head of Prep & Pre-prep and Deputy DSL

Chris came to teaching relatively late in his career, having previously worked for six years as a Senior Conservationist at the Born Free Foundation, where he worked in close collaboration with the UN and the University of Oxford and, before that, as an Art Historian at the National Gallery and Hayward Gallery in London. He holds a First Class degree in History of Art and Italian (BA Hons), a Master’s of Research in Environment and Development (MRes) and, since completing his Primary PGCE at Goldsmiths, Chris has taken on several roles with increasing responsibility at Duke of Kent School over the past ten years. These include Class Teacher, Pre-prep Coordinator and Deputy Head of Prep & Pre-prep. He is now the Head of Prep and Pre-prep, and Subject Coordinator for English across Key Stages 1 and 2.

Chris takes great satisfaction from supporting children – and colleagues – to make the best of their potential. He is a creative and inspiring influence in the classroom, and cares deeply for the welfare and progress of those around him. Having worked in several and varied sectors beyond education, he is energised by the dynamic nature of the School environment and relishes the challenges that come with leading such a busy and successful department.

Personal interests:

In his spare time, Chris is a renowned professional artist, a keen (decidedly aging) hockey goalkeeper and an enthusiastic (but deeply flawed) gardener. When his beloved Norwich City are inevitably disappointing, he finds solace spending time with his family and pets.

Alex SeeleyMr Alex Seeley, Director of Teaching and Learning

Alex is an experienced and energetic educator with over 20 years' experience in independent schools. He began as Head of History and a boarding master at Copthorne Prep, before joining Brighton College, where he collaborated with one of the UK’s most dynamic educators, Sir Anthony Seldon, the then Head. Alex holds a BA (Hons) in History and a PGCE from Exeter University, and also completed a Master's in Educational Leadership (with distinction) at the University of Buckingham, through Duke of Kent School’s staff development program.

Alex is an innovative, dynamic teacher who embraces challenges with enthusiasm. His approachable, fun-loving demeanour creates a relaxed yet disciplined learning environment, in which young people can develop good character, as well as passing exams. He is well-versed in ISI regulatory and curriculum requirements and keeps up to date with educational trends, including AI's impact on education. As Director of Teaching and Learning, he fosters a collaborative, empowering atmosphere, guiding teachers in adopting effective innovative instructional methods.

Personal interests:

Outside the classroom, Alex is an avid mountain biker in the Surrey Hills, a passionate skier, and a dedicated cricketer, opening the batting for Loxwood CC. He's also an enthusiastic supporter of Brighton and Hove Albion FC.

Damian AllenMr Damian Allen, Head of Pupil Progress and Head of Geography

Damian has worked in a number of roles in several schools here in the UK and internationally. After graduating in Geography and completing his PGCE he began teaching in the Midlands before embarking on extended periods of travel and then working internationally in Asia. He has held the roles of Head of Department, Assistant KS5 Coordinator and Data Coordinator.

Damian has taught Geography from Year 6 through to Year 13, as well as taking the lead on the enrichment component of the AQA Baccalaureate for A Level pupils and teaching AS Critical Thinking. He also has experience of being a GCSE Geography examiner. Whilst here at Duke of Kent School he completed his Master’s Degree in Education and is now a supervisor, assessing post-graduate assignments.

Personal interests:

Damian is a keen runner, participating in a range of endurance trail events including ultra-marathons, although in truth he mostly enjoys a long distance amble at his own pace! He also enjoys the endurance of supporting Tottenham Hotspur.

Keith StaceyMr Keith Stacey, Bursar

At the age of 16, Keith started his career in retail banking working for NatWest Bank and, latterly, Royal Bank of Scotland. Over a period of 24 years in banking, Keith worked in a number of roles including, Credit Control Manager, Branch Manager and Personal Account Manager. In 2001, Keith was headhunted by a client to become Bursar and Company Secretary at Broadwater Manor School, a Prep school in Worthing and in 2014 facilitated with the proprietors a transfer of the school to Lancing College. Seeking new opportunities, Keith joined Duke of Kent School as Assistant Bursar and then became Operations Bursar culminating in the overarching role as Bursar in January 2022, responsible for many of the School’s support functions. Keith has enjoyed overseeing a number of development projects including the construction of the all-weather pitch, changing room improvements, refurbishments of the science laboratories and the Pre-prep playground. Keith is a member of the Finance and IT Committees and is Chair of the Health and Safety Committee.

Personal interests:

Keith is married and has three boys and an old Labrador called “Chester”. Keith is a FA qualified football coach, having coached at youth level for several years and enjoys walking, travelling, gardening and DIY – time permitting! He will be retiring at the end of August 2024 to pursue other interests where time may not be such an issue.

Caroline InstoneMrs Caroline Instone, Head of Learning Development

Caroline Instone is a qualified specialist teacher with many years of experience. She has had a varied career, qualifying from Leeds University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy and going on to have a successful career producing and directing science documentaries for broadcasters such as Channel 4, Discovery and the BBC. After university, she qualified as a Secondary English teacher from the London Institute of Education and then in 2011, after having had a career break to have a family, retrained as a Specialist Teacher. She completed the OCR Level 5 Certificate for teaching learners with Specific Learning Difficulties in 2011 at the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, and has worked in this field ever since. At Duke of Kent School, she is Head of the Learning Development Department and teaches English and Study Skills across the year groups. She still gets a buzz from the challenge of identifying what makes each individual tick and believes that children have to be happy to be successful learners, which is why she enjoys working at Duke of Kent School!

Personal interests:

In her spare time Caroline loves to run (very slowly!) and finds it very hard to resist getting into open water even if it's freezing cold (though now more often than not she succumbs to wearing a wetsuit!). She loves travel and exploring new places, as well as the comfort of a good book or a dog walk with her family.