Assistant Headteacher
Brian McGowan

Brian McGowan is a graduate of the University of Manchester where he gained an Honours degree in Modern Languages & Literature (Italian & French) after which he completed a PGCE programme at the University of Bristol.

A teacher of over 22 years experience, Brian has worked in large Sixth Form Colleges (Winchester, Hampshire), Schools with consortium arrangements (Camden, London) and stand-alone school sixth forms (Southwark, London).

In addition to Modern Languages, Brian has also taught AS/A2 level History and Government & Politics and has developed an extensive network of contacts with Higher Education providers and UCAS. He is originally from Derry in Northern Ireland and lives with his family in Islington.

Brian is Director of Sixth Form at Hackney New School.


Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral)
Hannah Notowitz

Hannah graduated from Lancaster University with a First in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2008. Hannah knew she wanted to be a teacher, but decided to teach horse riding before going into the classroom. After a short spell as a nursery school teacher, she trained to be a teacher in 2012, and has now taught English in three schools across southern England. She is passionate about every aspect of the subject, and one of the reasons she became a teacher was because she loves sharing that love of books and words with others.  Hannah is the Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral) and Designated Safeguarding Lead at Hackney New School.
Steve Darragh

Head of PE
Steve Darragh

Steve gained a Bachelor of Education, majoring in Secondary Health and Physical Education at the University of Canberra, Australia. He also studied additional units in Science and Psychology. He has been teaching in a wide variety of schools and colleges for the last 10 years most recently South Thames College, Merton.

Steve is also a qualified and experienced Science teacher, spending much of his teaching career as both a PE and Science teacher.

Steve’s sporting philosophy is about experiencing a wide range of activities, and this is reflected in his own sporting background which includes rugby, cricket, basketball, tennis, athletics, swimming, triathlon and handball amongst many other sports.


Head of Maths
Letty Newton

Letty read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Manchester and was awarded a 2:1. Following that, she was elected to the position of General Secretary of the University of Manchester Students’ Union and spent a year leading union strategy, budgets and staffing as well as representing students at the highest levels, including as a Governor of the university.

Letty moved to Hong Kong in 2012 and spent two years teaching and running an English support program in a university. She returned to the UK in 2014 to embark upon the Teach First program and spent two years teaching Mathematics in Knowsley, Liverpool, for which she was graded ‘Outstanding’.

In her spare time, Letty is the Chair of the Cotesbach Educational Trust which provides education opportunities in the fields of environment, heritage and art. She also serves as a Director on the University of Manchester Alumni Advisory Board. She is also completing a Masters in Education and has been awarded a place on the Teach First School Leadership Pathway.


Acting Head of English
Jacklyn Smith

Jacklyn studied a BSc in Psychology at the University of Leeds, before obtaining her MSc in Neuroscience. Since embarking on her career in teaching through the Teach First programme, Jacklyn has worked in several inner-city schools across London. She is Deputy Head of English at HNS and has led on several KS3 interventions and extra-curricular activities that aim to extend the curriculum beyond the classroom, injecting a passion for debating and poetry into her pupils.

Whilst at university, Jacklyn taught English for two months at an orphanage and local school in rural Cambodia, which inspired her decision to pursue a career in teaching. She is also a keen traveller, planning her next trip whenever she can, and enjoys yoga in her spare time.

Head of Core/Religious Studies
Martin Scott

Mr Scott is the new Head of Core/Religious Studies (maternity cover). He has 18 years of teaching experience behind him. He has taught Sociology, History and Philosophy together with RE. He is actively involved in both music and sports playing drums and football being his particular favourites. He is also a person who believes in reading everyday and learning something new constantly. His future ambition is to own a self-sustaining farm, where he will live ‘in harmony with nature’ and read the ‘100 best books ever written’. Martin is a very welcome addition to the staff of Hackney New School.

Head of Art
Olabisi Ikuomola-Andre

Olabisi Ikuomola-Andre completed Foundation Studies at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and then moved on to degree level at Camberwell College of Art. Olabisi has taught Art and Design/Design and Technology (at key stages 3, 4, 5 and BTEC) for eleven years in mixed ability state schools in inner and outer London. She is creative,passionate,caring, motivated and resourceful

Olabisi’s naturally engaging personality and dynamic teaching style gives her the ability to inspire her students towards greatness.

She is part of ‘That Network’ in Tower Hamlets and regularly takes part in the Notting Hill carnival and mini marathon. As a hobby Olabisi likes to play basketball and is an accomplished athlete.

Head of History
Kate Figueira

Kate Figueira is a graduate of the University of Toronto where she earned an Honours degree specialising in History of Religions and Modern World History after which she achieved her teaching degree from York University.  

Kate has been teaching in London schools since 2015, during which time she has gained experience in a variety of different schools (all girls, mixed and academies), subjects and varying responsibilities.

Kate’s professional pedagogy is to develop well-rounded pupils who, upon completing their secondary education, are not only academic and independent thinkers, but who are also resilient and socially responsible young adults.  Kate is Head of History at Hackney New School.

Head of Geography
Rathish Ramlall

Rathish is a graduate of the University of South Africa having majored in Education and Geography. He also completed additional units in History and Art History after which he completed a PGCE at the Institute of Education(London). He is currently completing a MA in Geography at UCL.

Rathish has worked at St.Bonaventure’s, Norlington School for Boys, Stoke Newington School and Sixth Form and most recently Willowfield Humanities College. He strongly believes that no one can stop one if they are willing to learn as an expert was once a beginner. Rathish enjoys a variety of sport and was awarded national colours in volleyball whilst at university. He is Head of Geography at Hackney New School.

Head of Music
Zelda Marshall

After achieving a 2:1 Joint Honours degree in Music and Drama at The University of Birmingham, Zelda subsequently attended The Royal College of Music studying on the Postgraduate Diploma programme under Judith Webster (London Sinfonietta, Nuance Ensemble) before being selected to enrol on the Teach First training programme where she worked at Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton, achieving ‘outstanding’ in her PGCE in Music in 2012.
Since then, Zelda has gained a wealth of experience across a wide variety of educational contexts, heading up Music departments in state schools in inner-city London, Bristol and Devon in addition to working in PRUs. She then emigrated to the Indonesian island of Bali to lead the Music department in a prestigious international school where she specialised in the delivery of A Level Music. Zelda has also taught her second subject, Drama, across KS3/4/5.

Zelda is an accomplished pianist, composer, vocalist and clarinettist and has worked on professional projects with a number of high profile recording artists, alongside composing her own album of solo piano music.

More Staff

For a full list of all staff, please click on the link below.

More staff.