Teaching team

Kandy Ackland MA (ELT), BA (Hons) Assistant Academic Manager

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Kandy became Assistant Academic Manager at ELC Brighton in March 2023 and first taught for ELC in 2017. She has taught on a wide range of ELC courses including general English, business and teacher development courses. She has also worked in Spain and the UAE. Before joining ELC, Kandy ran her own photography business.

Matthew Devere BA (Hons), DTEFLA, Cert IBET Head of Business English

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Matthew joined ELC in 2010. He has been teaching English for more than 10 years, in Barcelona and in the UK, and in most of that time has specialised in teaching Business English. He has a degree in economics and prior to becoming a teacher he worked for the Inland Revenue and Mobil Gas for 10 years. Matthew speaks very good Spanish and some Catalan. In his spare time he enjoys DIY and gardening, playing the guitar and spending time with his children.

Simon Cummings MA, DELTA Assistant Academic Manager

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Simon has been teaching English since 1996 before which he worked as an accountant for twelve years. Since becoming a teacher he has worked in Croatia, Thailand, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. He teaches on general English, business courses and specialises in IELTS and has been an examiner for six years. When not working Simon likes nothing more than to relax with a book, listen to music or watch a film.

Administration team

Alessia Maugeri BA (Hons) Administration Assistant

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Alessia is based at reception and helps students with any questions they have about the school. Alessia joined ELC in April 2022. She is originally from Italy and did a degree at the University of Sussex. She speaks fluent English, Italian, Spanish and French.

Ali Passmore MA, BA Operations Manager

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Ali is Operations Manager at ELC Brighton. She joined ELC in 2010 and worked in the accommodation department until 2022 as Head of Accommodation and Welfare. Ali is originally from Johannesburg but studied in the US for 3 years before coming to live in England in 1999. Before joining ELC she worked for a school in London. She loves travelling and playing squash.

Fergus Kavanagh BA (Hons), Cert TESOL Social Activities Organiser

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Fergus is responsible for the social programme at ELC Brighton. He joined us in 2017 having worked previously as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages in the UK and abroad. Before joining ELC he worked for a school in Canterbury, Kent. In his free time he enjoys travelling and going on long walks in the countryside.

Karen Hoyle Accommodation & Welfare Officer

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Karen joined ELC in February 2022, having worked in a similar role for another language school in Brighton for nearly 20 years.

Laura Gascoyne BSc (Hons), AAT Accounts Assistant

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Laura works in the accounts department at ELC, helping Sam with the day-to-day financial control of the 3 schools. She joined ELC in 2020, having previously worked in accounts roles for companies in Brighton and Eastbourne. She speaks French and loves travelling.

Mita Ghelani Assistant Accommodation & Welfare Officer

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Mita supports Karen in the Accommodation & Welfare department. She joined ELC in February 2023 having previously worked in the accommodation departments of other language schools in Brighton. Mita has more than 20 years’ experience in customer service.

Sam Woods MAAT Group Finance Manager

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Sam oversees the Accounts Department for the 3 schools. He joined ELC in 2015 following a number of Accounts and Sales roles. Sam studied for a Higher Diploma in Modern Music at Brighton Institute of Modern Music and has kept up his love of drumming ever since. He is also a keen photographer.

Management team

Jess Fynn BA (Hons), DELTA Academic Manager

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Jess is the Academic Manager at ELC Brighton and is responsible for all aspects of the academic provision at the school. She first started to work for ELC in 2014 as a teacher having previously been Academic Manager at other language schools in the area. She has more than 20 years’ experience in ELT. Jess studied in Spain so is a fluent Spanish speaker and worked in Mexico, Italy and Rwanda.

Phil Hopkins MA (TESOL), BSc (Hons), DTEFLA Chief Executive

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Phil has overall responsibility for the charity and the 3 schools it operates in Brighton, Chester and Eastbourne. Day-to-day he is primarily responsible for strategic direction, administration and marketing. He is also the designated Child Protection Officer in Brighton. Phil joined ELC in 2001. He has over 35 years' experience in ELT, as a Principal, director of studies, teacher trainer (CELTA and DELTA) and teacher in the UK, Greece, Spain and Kuwait. Phil speaks French, Spanish and some Greek.