Meet our expert Senior Leadership Team; each bringing extensive experience from highly reputable schools in Dubai and beyond. The school's founding leaders are committed to bringing the values and mission statement of Bloom World Academy to fruition through partnership, transparent communication and cohesion in their educational approach.
John Bell is a highly experienced, senior educationalist who brings significant experience from the education sector across the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East. He has been a successful Headteacher and Executive Headteacher of outstanding schools in the UK and Spain and, most recently, he was a Director of Learning responsible for the quality of education across a highly successful group of schools in Dubai.
Born and educated in London, UK, John graduated with BA double honor's degree in Politics and Geography from Keele University and an MA from the University of Cambridge. Prior to arriving in Dubai in 2018, John was Director of Education for a worldwide international schools’ group and a large local authority in the UK.
John has also served in an advisory capacity to national governments and also co-chaired a working group of the Council of International Schools on safeguarding. Besides having worked extensively across Europe, John has a long track record of leading school inspections and training teachers and school leaders around the world including the UAE, Jordan and Singapore.
Vice Principal of Student Development
Joining the school as Vice Principal of Student Development, Nicola Upham has more than 18 years of teaching experience and ten years’ experience as a Senior Leader in both UK and Dubai based schools. In her most recent role in Dubai as whole school inclusion, safeguarding and well-being lead, Nicola introduced well-being lessons as part of the curriculum which resulted in the school’s climate being highlighted as a strength in the BSO outstanding rating.
Before moving to Dubai in 2018, she was an integral part of the transformational leadership team at Hammersmith Academy in the UK, an Inner London Academy that has been nationally recognised for highly effective well-being initiatives.
In her role at Bloom World Academy, Nicola will put student well-being at the forefront of everything the school does to allow for the rollout of personalised curriculums which will promote the discovery and celebration of each student’s unique talents. Her leadership will also ensure that the school has the ideal components needed for each student to reach their full potential and personal goals.
Vice Principal of the Primo Centre and Junior School
Damien Marshall will join the school in August as Vice Principal of the Primo Centre and Junior School, bringing with him 15 years’ experience in the education sector which includes nine years in the United Arab Emirates.
Damien has extensive experience in the IB curriculum through his previous role as a Senior Leader at a well-established IB school in Dubai and as Head of Digital Learning for a large UAE-based educational group. Damien has a Masters in Educational Leadership, as well as expertise in educational assessment, digital learning, and educational policy and has a proven track record in developing and overseeing programmes and initiatives within schools to improve teaching, learning and student well-being.
Passionate about developing strong relationships between students, parents and teachers, Damien will play an integral part in developing Bloom World Academy’s family-first approach.
Senior Vice Principal of Secondary School and the Nexus Pre-University Centre
Having worked in education for over 20 years across Canada, the UK and the UAE, Nishi Saran is Senior Vice Principal of Secondary School and the Nexus Pre-University Centre, bringing a rich secondary school experience in the British, IB and American/AP curriculums to his role.
Nishi holds a Bachelors in Kinesiology (B.H.K) and Bachelors in Education (B.Ed) from the University of British Columbia and also a Masters in Education (M.Ed) from Cambridge University with expertise in independent learning. In addition to senior leadership roles held in Dubai, Nishi has also carried out inspectorate work and consultancy to the Crown Prince Court, Education Strategic Office (Abu Dhabi) where he project managed a nationwide initiative.
He is regularly recognised for his exceptionally dynamic, positive and proactive leadership approach and has an integral role in helping Bloom World Academy develop personalised student-centred pathways so all learners aspire to reach their chosen university or career ambitions.
Nishi’s work beyond the school setting stretches to philanthropic initiatives, governance and mentorship within the UAE Oxbridge Society, all of which are highly valued at Bloom World Academy.