In this page you will meet our school's team. They will make sure you enjoy a problem-free and safe stay with us.
James Birrell, Head of School
Hello, I’m James and I’m the Head of School here at Hampstead – great to meet you!
I was born and grew up in a small village just outside of Cambridge. I have been lucky to travel extensively over the past few years for both work and pleasure, but the cobbled streets of Cambridge still remains to be one of my all-time favourite places. I love meeting people, experiencing different cultures and eating new cuisine which from an early age led me to travel. My top destinations have to be Greece for the fantastic food and beaches and France for the magic mountains, delicious cheese and amazing après ski. I am quite active in my free time, no more so than when I ran the New York marathon which has to be my greatest achievement. I also love reading and my top picks from the bookshelf would be anything by Stephen Fry who I think is a very imaginative writer.
Angela Signorastri, Academic Director
I was born and bred in London in a family of Italian origin. Growing up in a bi-lingual situation gave me an insight into language learning and has helped me in my career as an English teacher. I went to Italy in 1992 and was based in Turin for a number of years. I arrived at Hampstead School of English in 2000 and since then I have moved into management roles firstly as Assistant Director, then Director of Studies and now Academic Director.
Ellie Gilman, Director of Studies
Hi I'm Ellie, and I started at Hampstead as a teacher in 2010, moving into the Academic Team in 2011. I started teaching in 2006 and have taught a wide range of students and courses in both France and the UK (my degree was in French and I love spending time there!). I spent a lot of my early teaching career teaching ESOL students in a large further education college, which was really interesting as many of them were not able to read or write in their own language. This posed many challenges, but was incredibly rewarding. Apart from that, I have also taught Business and General English 1:1, as well as IELTS and other exam courses. In my free time I love spending time with my young daughter, visiting the cinema and art galleries.
Joe Thuraisamy, Operations Manager
Hi, I'm Joe. I'm from Texas (the land of the cowboys) although I have lived abroad for the last seven years, both in Spain and now in the UK. I love living in London as there is such a wonderful mix of cultures, architecture, sights and events. Best of all, the variety of food here is incredible!