- Mr Vernon Hales, BEd (Hons) Headmaster
- Mrs Claire Hales, BEd (Hons), Dip Sp LD
- Mr Christopher Schanschieff, BSc (Hons), Deputy Headmaster
- Mr Steve Lott, BEd (Hons), Director of Studies
- Mrs Helen Pendell, BSc (Hons), Head of Individual Development and Public Benefit
- Mrs Ann Baxter, BSc (Hons), Head of Pre-Prep and Year 1 Form Teacher
- Major (retd.) Ianek McLaughlin, MSc, Bursar
Vernon Hales was educated at Langley Park Grammar School before moving onto the University of Exeter. During this time he represented England at hockey at Junior level. Vernon started his teaching career in the state system but he quickly moved into independent boys’ prep schools starting at Papplewick School. Living and working in an environment that enables “boys free to be boys” has always been important to him. Time spent teaching in New Zealand broadened his educational horizons, before returning to England to further his career in boys’ prep schools. He was deputy head at Elstree School, Newbury, before moving to Aldwickbury in 2003.
As a Governor at St Martin’s, Northwood and St Joseph’s in the Park as well as being a trained ISI Inspector he has an all-round knowledge of prep schools. He is also one of the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads at Aldwickbury.
He argues “we are a modern school that champions traditional values which are still important for boys today.
Claire Hales was educated in the state system and went onto further education at Exeter University where she and Vernon met and married! Starting her career teaching the younger boys at Papplewick School it gave her the foundations of knowing how boys’ prep schools work. The years spent in New Zealand confirmed to her that teaching the younger boys was the best place to be! With time spent raising their family Claire moved to one to one teaching gaining her SPLD qualifications. As the family moved to Aldwickbury she took on the traditional role of Headmaster’s Wife but was able to combine this with creating the admission and marketing roles as their two sons grew older.
“From the moment we first walked into Aldwickbury we felt it to be a happy place. It has been so rewarding to build upon this to help develop the Aldwickbury community through the Aldwickbury Friends Association as well as creating more spaces for the boys to play."
Chris Schanschieff is Deputy Head, the Designated Safeguarding Lead, teaches Maths and PSHCEE. He heads the School’s pastoral systems, and takes the lead on many aspects of the day-to-day management of the School. He was educated at Oakham School and then studied at Exeter University. He taught for ten years at Spratton Hall Prep becoming Head of Middle School and then Head of mathematics. He was then Deputy Head and Head of maths at Old Buckenham Hall Prep School for 11 years and prior to his appointment was Deputy Head at South Lee Prep School. He joined Aldwickbury in September 2015.
“It is a pleasure teaching and working with the boys at Aldwickbury, seeing them grow in confidence as they involve themselves in the many opportunities that are available to them. It is great to see the support that each boy shows for one another and how proud they are of their achievements and their school. It is also a privilege working with such a talented, committed and friendly staff”.
Mr Stephen Lott is our Director of Studies. He graduated from the University of Wales in 1992 and has been teaching ever since. He taught in the state sector before moving into the independent sector, at Bancrofts in north east London. He joined Aldwickbury in 2006 as Head of English.
His interest in education stretches beyond the classroom and he has edited and contributed to professional journals; chaired the National Prep Schools’ English conference and been involved in action research projects - most notably work for the International Boys’ School Coalition researching what makes boys successful writers.
His current role has a wide remit and a key part of it is to liaise with parents with regard to the procedures and requirements of entry for the many senior schools that Aldwickbury sends boys to.
Helen Pendell is responsible for Learning Support and teaches English to Years 5 and 6. Helen is one of the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads for the school. She also looks after the school’s Community Links, overseeing our partnership with The Shared Learning Trust’s primary schools in Luton and Dunstable, as well as a wide range of educational programmes offered to local primary schools. She is a Governor at Templewood Primary school in Welwyn Garden City. Helen joined Aldwickbury in 2011 as a newly qualified teacher in the Junior department. Prior to doing her PGCE, and retraining as a teacher, she worked at Goldman Sachs Asset Management in London and Hong Kong, specialising in Marketing Communications. She has a BSc. Hons from the University of Liverpool and a Postgraduate diploma in Marketing. Her two sons have been educated at Aldwickbury as well. She fully appreciates everything the school has on offer for the boys and how busy life at Aldwickbury can be.
Ann Baxter is responsible for running the Pre-Prep Department. She joined Aldwickbury in 2008 having previously worked in the state sector, where she completed her GTP (Graduate Teacher Training Programme) to become a qualified teacher. Her main area of interest was the Early Years and she specialised in Nursery and Reception education.
She initially joined Aldwickbury as a Reception class teacher, but gradually increased her responsibilities taking on the Early Years Coordinator role, followed by the Deputy Head of Pre-Prep role, before becoming the Head of Pre-Prep in 2020. She is also one of the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads at Aldwickbury.
Prior to teaching, Ann worked for many years in Pharmacovigilance (drug safety) for GlaxoSmithKline and for Relsys (a Californian company). She project managed the implementation of drug safety systems across Europe and worked closely with a number of drug companies to ensure compliance of reporting regulations.
Ianek McLaughlin is the Bursar and has responsibility for all areas of the School’s business management; working closely with the headmaster and the Governors. Ianek was an Officer in the Army before joining Aldwickbury and brings with him a range of expertise in Human Resources, Logistics and Operational Planning. He gained his Masters in Logistics management from the University of Lincoln and has studied Leadership at Post Graduate level with Kings College London:
“When I first arrived at Aldwickbury I was struck by the atmosphere and warmness of the school; full of happiness. The staff have welcomed me as one of their own and I feel I have left one family for another”
NVQ Level 3, Supporting Teaching and Learning
ACBCHE Level 3 Child care, Learning and Development