The Senior Leadership Team
George McMillan: Principal
Mr McMillan has been Principal of Harris Academy Greenwich since January 2011 and is a National Leader of Education (NLE). Originally from Glasgow, he graduated from Aberdeen University with an MA in English Literature, and then from Edinburgh University with a PGCE and a burning desire to teach. Mr McMillan taught English for five years at a secondary school in Edinburgh serving one of the most deprived areas in Scotland, latterly having a whole school remit in charge of promoting positive behaviour. Shortly after moving to London in 2006 he met Dr Tomlinson who was then the Principal at Harris Academy Chafford Hundred, and joined his Senior Team at the school which at the time was in ‘Requires Improvement’ and is now Outstanding in every category.
After working together at Chafford for five years, they came to what is now Harris Academy Greenwich to lead the turnaround and help the school achieve Outstanding status in every category – and they have loved every minute. Dr Tomlinson is now the Regional Director of the Harris Federation, but remains committed to the school and is one of our Governors.
Mr McMillan has a Diploma in Educational Leadership, has the NPQH and is a Senior Practitioner with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). As part of his role in the Harris Federation Teaching School Alliance, he trains staff on the NPQML, NPQSL and NPQH leadership programmes. As an accredited ORSC (Organisation and Relationship Systems Coaching) facilitator he works with teams both inside and outside the Federation, helping them to become more resilient, sustainable and effective. He believes that students should feel inspired at school and that teachers should be happy and highly motivated at work. Having a safe and positive environment at school where everyone can have fun, work hard and thrive is a key part of the Academy’s success story. Mr McMillan is "fiercely proud" of the students and staff he leads.
Ben Keely: Vice Principal
Mr Keely graduated from Warwick with a First in History and Politics but instead of following his head into the City he followed his heart into teaching. He taught history, politics and economics for two years on the Teach First programme and decided to stay in teaching for good. Mr Keely has a wealth of experience in senior leadership in three outstanding schools across London. Originally from Greenwich, he is delighted to have the opportunity to make a real difference in his own community, becoming Vice Principal at HAGR in September 2014. Mr Keely deputises for the Principal in his absence and is responsible for many of the day-to-day operational aspects of the school.
Graham Cripps: Business Manager
Following a career in banking in the city Graham Cripps came into education in 1977 and steadily progressed through the education system from Facilities Management, Local Management of Schools to Business Management, obtaining a NCSL Certificate in School Business Management and Institute of Administrative Management Diploma. He has been a member of senior management for numerous years and has developed a clear understanding of how an effective school needs to be managed to maximise the impact on teaching and learning. He is a qualified Senior Leader of Education (SLE) and is currently also supporting a failing school in inner London as well as providing finance training to other school leaders via the Harris Training School NPQML programme. He is supports the Principal in all aspects of finance management and compliance, as well as advising on the strategic planning of our school buildings and facilities.
Sue Cable: Assistant Principal
Educated at Queen Mary and Westfield College and Kings College London, Sue Cable has a first class honours degree in English and a PGCE. She entered the world of teaching at the age of 31 after working for ten years in the National Health Service. Having grown bored with the world of administration, she relished the opportunity to return to her passion for literature as a teacher and cites the fact that she often acts as a bridge between the words of a writer and the minds of reluctant readers as “the most rewarding’ part of her job. She taught English at a tough inner city boys’ school for fifteen years moving from second in charge of the English department to Head of Year before qualifying as an Advanced Skills Teacher. She has worked at Harris Academy Greenwich since 2005 when the school was known as Eltham Green and held the post of Curriculum Area Leader for English until promoted to Assistant Principal in 2013. Currently she has whole school responsibility for behaviour, attendance, admissions and safeguarding
Dan Sofianos: Assistant Principal
After graduating from Queen Mary’s, University of London, with a degree in Drama, Mr Sofianos found his love for teaching in Hong Kong. He returned to the UK to follow his passion where he qualified as an English and Drama teacher through the Institute of Education. He has since held roles as Head of Department, Advanced Skills Teacher and Specialist Leader of Education. He holds the NPQSL qualification and is immensely proud to be part of the Senior Leadership Team as an Assistant Principal, leading the SEN department as well as other responsibilities. He is passionate about the lives of young people and feels strongly about developing the ‘whole’ student and building strong community links.
Darren Pearce: Assistant Principal
Darren grew up and went to school in South East London and is highly committed to serving the local community. He read Modern History at Oxford University before working as an Executive Search Consultant for a leading retail bank. After three years, he decided that he wanted to pursue a career that allowed him to mix his passion for history with a sense of moral purpose and pride, so completed a Graduate Teacher Programme with The University of East London. After teaching at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knights Academy for four years he moved to Harris Academy Greenwich to take up the joint position of Assistant Achievement Director for Humanities and History Lead Practitioner. After a year in this post, he was promoted to Achievement director for Humanities, which he carried out for two years before his appointment as Assistant Principal in 2016. His remit entails leading the Academy’s ‘outstanding’ sixth form, which continues to grow not only in capacity but in academic strength with its most successful set of results to date. Darren’s vision is for every student at Harris Academy Greenwich to leave education equipped with the skills to overcome life’s challenges and make the choices that will make them successful.
Stephen Donovan: Assistant Principal
Stephen grew up in Dublin, Ireland, where he studied Geography in Trinity College. After graduation, his passion for teaching and travel took him from South America to Spain, where he taught children from disadvantaged backgrounds for 5 years. Stephen completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education in Trinity College Dublin and is a qualified EAL teacher. Three years ago, Stephen started working in Harris Academy Greenwich where he quickly accredited as a Lead Practitioner. Since his appointment as Assistant Principal in 2016, his remit is to oversee Initial Teacher Training in the school and to continue teaching great Geography lessons.
Jack Docherty: Assistant Principal
Mr Docherty has been with Harris Greenwich since 2011. Originally from South London, he graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bath. After spending a few years in medical research field he realised that his passion lies in the classroom and qualified to teach through the Teach First programme. He has a great interest for educational systems and has visited schools in USA, Central America, India and Nepal. At Harris Greenwich he has worked as a Lead Practitioner and as Head of Science before appointment as Assistant Principal, and has enjoyed being part of the school on its journey toward the outstanding academy it is today. Mr Docherty is responsible for leading teaching and learning at the Academy, a post he is incredibly passionate about.
Rachel Sofianos: Assistant Principal
Rachel grew up in Manchester before moving to London in 2002 where she studied Vocal Studies at Trinity College of Music. She has worked at Harris Academy Greenwich since 2008, when the school was known as Eltham Green, and has since seen it become the outstanding Academy it is now. She is committed to serving the local community and is passionate about equipping young people with the qualifications and skills they need to thrive after their school careers. Rachel has worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher, Lead Practitioner and Specialist Leader of Education before she began her role as Assistant Principal in September 2017. Currently, Rachel has whole school responsibility for student commission, Lead Practitioner Delegate programme and homework within the school.
Jennifer McMillan: AAP
Mrs McMillan (no relation to Mr McMillan!) has been a teacher at Harris Academy Greenwich since 2013. Born in Canada, she graduated from Ottawa University with an Bachelor of Arts in Honour Mathematics and a Bachelor in Education. Mrs McMillan moved to the United Kingdom in 2008 with her husband, to pursue a teaching job in Essex where she worked for five years as a maths teacher, later with a departmental responsibility as the Gifted and Talented coordinator and also as second in department. After having her son, Mrs McMillan sought a new role at Harris Greenwich as a Lead Practitioner with the whole school remit of High Attainers Coordinator. After two years of improving and raising the profile and provision of High Attainers, Mrs McMillan was offered the opportunity to become Head of Maths. Now in her third year as Head of Department, Mrs McMillan takes on a new role as Associate Assistant Principal, in charge of KS3. Mrs McMillan has always felt called to a career in education and fulfills her passion every day helping her students achieve success that will lead them to a greater purpose beyond the four walls of school.
Si Ali: AAP
Mr Ali grew up in South East London, attending one of Deptford’s most challenging schools and yet graduating with excellent results – he knows the value of hard work and resilience. After completing a degree in Graphic Design at The University of Central Lancashire and a PGCE at Edge Hill, he returned to London to pursue his passion in Art education.
Mr Ali taught in Croydon for 7 years, before joining Harris Academy Greenwich in January 2013 as Head of Department. He was promoted to Associate Assistant Principal in 2017. He has a joint remit of leading on High Attainers provision and continuing in his role as Head of Faculty for Creative Technologies. Mr Ali is a trained coach and in the process of achieving his formal EMCC accreditation.
An avid supporter of the school’s vision, Mr Ali is delighted to have the opportunity to return to his local community and provide students with opportunities to step into their greatness.