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We are extremely proud of our highly experienced and dynamic teaching corps. Our teachers have been handpicked and most of them have been teaching international curricula for many years and with great success.

Brooklyn Campus

Academic Management Team



Our Principal, Mrs Marilís Pieters, is  a visionary leader with a real passion for education and students.  Marilís is especially keen to further establish the reputation of TBA’s excellent academic track record which has gone from strength to strength.  Her focus for 2015 is to grow and expand what is the best academic programme in Pretoria.

She has taught Biology, Life Sciences and Food Sciences for more than 25 years at both Secondary and Tertiary level of education.

Marilis completed her studies and teaching qualification at The University of the North West (Potchefstroom Campus).

Most recently she has taught at Cornwall Hill College, as well as the Technical University of Tshwane, where she has been involved in teacher training.

Marilis has an interest and compassion in the holistic development of a young adult. She believes education involves more than just conveying subject knowledge, it also involves the responsibility of educators to mould and guide the students in their care towards well balanced young adults.

She has been involved in numerous social awareness projects such as Rhino poaching programs and has assisted Rotary International in fund raising projects.

Marilis served on syllabus task committees throughout her teaching career and was also involved in compiling new course material which was used at various Technical Colleges.




Head of Humanities & Literature

Dr Peter Farrands has achieved exceptional results in A Level Literature and History examinations over the last five years with no less than 6 students achieving a top ten world result in their disciplines.

Peter began teaching in Zimbabwe back in 1984 working for one of the new rural secondary schools teaching Literature under the Cambridge system. Since then he has worked on three continents at all levels including; Sixth Form college, University and a Teaching College.

He returned to England in 1986 where he attended Westminster, Oxford to earn his Post Graduate  Certificate in Education before completing a year’s probation in an inner city school outside Portsmouth, England.

Around this time he began work on his doctoral thesis on Southern African Literature and Politics, which he completed in Botswana in 1994 during South Africa’s first democratic elections. The early nineties were spent teaching Literature and running a new Media Studies department at The Sixth Form College Farnborough before the pull of Africa became too much and he returned, ending up taking a position in the English department at Molepolole Teachers College, near Gaberone, Botswana.

In 1997 he moved to Nicaragua in Central America where he worked for the University of Mobile’s Central American campus and from there to Peru. It was during this period that his two sons Samuel and Oliver were born.

He returned to South Africa in 2001 and has worked for both the English department of the University of the Witwatersrand and for UNISA.

His results include a catalogue of top ten students in the world for both A’ Level Literature and A’ Level History.

Academic Staff

Carolina Christians


Carolina obtained a Bachelors’ degree in International Relations at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Quito, Ecuador. She also obtained an Honours degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Pretoria. She speaks six languages.

She is passionate about children and has always loved working with them. She strives to integrate Occupational Therapy principles in her teaching and to transform learning into a multisensory experience so that all learning styles are catered for. By including all, she endeavours to make the subject meaningful and relevant for every child.


She also has great interest in the psychiatric field and attempts to help her students with the usual psychiatric issues of adolescence by means of activities and informal groups as teaching time allows.

Stéfan Smit

Mr Stéfan Smit is a native Pretorian, born and raised. In 2006, he began studying English at the University of Pretoria. It was during this time that he first discovered his love of teaching, after being engaged to privately tutor primary school children struggling with language development.


He completed his BA English Studies degree 2008, but discovered a passion for philosophy which he pursued in his postgraduate studies. He attained his Honours degree in philosophy in 2009, and his Masters in philosophy in 2014, both with distinction. Over the course of his postgraduate studies, Stéfan began accumulating extensive teaching experience acting first as a tutor and then lecturer for the University of Pretoria’s Department of Philosophy.


From 2011, he also began teaching English at the St. John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria, teaching English Language on second-year level and Academic Literacy on third-year level. In addition, for the latter half of 2014, he worked as a Language Skills Tutor on the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus, as part of a bridging initiative aimed at aiding students from educationally underprivileged backgrounds to acquire the linguistic aptitudes necessary to cope with tertiary education.

Nicole Smout

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics

Nicole Smout obtained her B.Ed (FET) Natural Sciences degree majoring in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics at the University of Pretoria.

She achieved great academic results at the University and became a part of Golden Key.

Nicole’s passion for Mathematics and Physical Sciences is exemplified in her approach to learners where her focused and individual attention ensure that her students truly achieve their potential.

Nicole’s aim is to obtain her Masters in Educational Psychology in order to help learners obtain their full potential inside and outside of the classroom.

Samantha McGregor

Business Studies, Economics and Accounting

Samantha McGregor obtained her Bcom Statistics (majoring in Economics) degree at University of Pretoria where she obtained Golden Key status and her PGCE.

Being heavily involved in extracurricular activities (she is still an active swimming instructor and enjoys a multitude of sports), she understands and promotes a balanced lifestyle and helps students with day to day problems, from time management to peer pressure.

In her role as a coach, tutor and mentor Samantha promotes both academic growth and personal development. Her aim is developing holistic well rounded individuals.

Shazna le Grange

Subject Teacher: English Language, History, Geography

Shazna le Grange, an English major, has just completed the coursework for her Honours in English. Following the submission of her dissertation early this year, she will be awarded her BA Honours by the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, her home university. She also holds a Diploma in International Relations and a Diploma in Human Rights.


Shazna has a passion for teaching and has taught History, Geography and English for several years in Sri Lanka. She has also been involved in an English teaching project among underprivileged children in Colombo.


Shazna’s desire is to convey the enthusiasm she feels for her subjects to her students, that they may come to enjoy them too. She strives to give each student the attention and the assistance he or she needs to excel. One aspect that she has enjoyed in her career as a teacher has been the opportunity she has had to mentor students. It is her desire to help her students grow to be well-rounded individuals and to encourage them to reach their full potential.

Shazna enjoys debating and drama. She has participated extensively in debating tournaments at university level and in several drama productions.


Samuel Ugboke

Chemistry, Mathematics

Samuel is a passionate teacher and mentor who is academically driven and strong and went on to achieve his Degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Lagos, Diploma in Mathematics Education at Abeokuta Polytechnic , teaching certificate where he starts his teaching training ACCOED(Lagos) and Chemistry at Allison University Ireland.

Samuel achieve great academic results both in high school and university becoming a vital member and coordinator of JETS group (Junior Engineer, Technicians and Scientist) and also a top ten national winner at the cowbell sponsored Mathematics and Science competition and he since then have a great affinity for teaching which he did in secondary and tertiary level.

Samuel`s Philosophy in teaching involves improving students confidence in and outside school environment and as well to improve their practical approach to solution as well as their theoretical approach.

His aim is to be able to help make the world a better place through education and environmental healthiness. He aim to finish up his Master`s in Environmental Science so as to improve great standard of life.




Mrs. Esmé van Dyk was born and raised in Pretoria.  After she matriculated she moved to Bloemfontein where she completed her degree in Drama and Theatre arts.  After her degree she decided to continue her studies and obtained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.

During her four years in Bloemfontein she coached several residence voice groups and she started her own children’s theatre company.  In 2011 she started her teaching career where she taught English, Drama and Arts and culture. Esmé is known for her directing and writing skills in Pretoria.  She has produced productions for several years and showcased them in theatres such as The Pierneef Theatre and the Barnyard Musiekskuur in Pretoria.

Esmé has been nominated for several awards at the ATKV regarding her playwriting skills.   She adjudicates and coaches different genres for competitions such as: Eisteddfod, orators festivals and cultural weeks. She enjoys anything that is creative and challenging.  Her passion and drive encourages learners to reach for more than they think they are capable of.


Joanie Erasmus

Subject Teacher: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics

Joanie Erasmus studied at the University of Pretoria, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Education: Sciences for the FET phase. She is currently busy with a Youth Development Diploma at UNISA.

She also attended an International course on Health Care Issues (Gent – Belgium – Europe) with the University of Pretoria in her final year of her studies.

This year will be her eighth year teaching science. She started her teaching career at Generaal Hertzog High School, teaching Physical Sciences and Life Sciences to ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade students, she also taught Science to fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students at Reyno Riff Primary for the past two years.

Her philosophy for teaching and learning is that each child is unique, and each child learns in a different way. One of the functions of a teacher is to help a child discover his or her individuality and work alongside them to maximize it. She believes in hands-on experience, learning creatively, and learning though interaction. Her goal is to help students leave a classroom feeling confident that they can apply what they’ve learned in school to real life situations.

Andrea Altmann-Herbst

Art and German 

Andrea completed her Bachelor of Arts, Fine Arts at UNISA.

She has taught Art and Design and German second language IGCSE and A-Level  according to the Cambridge system for about 7 years.

Andrea exhibits Art at Galleries around Pretoria and she plays the flute in the orchestra PYPO.


The British Academy has a number of excellent and helpful support staff.


Financial and HR Manager

Diane has been working for The British Academy as their Bookkeeper since 2012 and is committed to the accurate recording of all financial data. She has gained valuable work experience during the last 25 years, working for various companies.

She has worked for Deloitte & Touche in Nelspruit in the 1990’s as Head of their computer department and processed the books for some of their major clients, like Cybele Forest Lodge and Malelane Toyota. She also reported directly to the Senior Partner Douglas James Gordon and enjoyed the benefits of extensive internal training.

She joined StratsInc in Johannesburg in 2002 until 2011 (a well known Marketing, Brand Architecture and Strategy Company) and was employed as their Office Manager and Bookkeeper, where she worked with corporate clients like ABSA, Standard Bank, Peregrine, Old Mutual, Netcare and Hertz to name a few.

She went to school at Pretoria Girls High in the 1970’s and then spent a year at the Technickon. She completed a bookkeeping course through Liefs College while working and taking care of her two children.

She is also passionate about Latin and ballroom dancing, which has become her weekly exercise and therapy for the body and the mind.  For quiet time she likes to read and paint or just to go for long walks.

Firdaus Ali Jaffer


Firdaus obtained her degree in psychology at Unisa with a double major in psychology.

She previously worked at the Central Islamic School as Bursar where she gained invaluable experience in student administration and Cambridge exam management.

She regularly assists in community outreach programmes for the Islamic Institute and enjoys volunteering in their children’s literacy programme

Her hobbies are reading, swimming and has a great love for the outdoors and frequently participates in parkrun events.

She is currently completing her honours in psychological counselling at Unisa and has goals of working within the adult literacy project


Facility; Health and Safety coordinator and Administrative facilitator


Receptionist Brooklyn Campus





Laboratory Supervisor

Clement has a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in analytical chemistry obtained from The Vaal University of Technology. Clement was a tutor for first year students in chemistry theory and practical. Clement worked as a laboratory analyst and also as a research and development technician. His hobbies are reading and soccer. His goal is to make sure that every learner has a better understanding of physics, chemistry and biology and how to apply it in our daily lives.



Marié Venter


Marié Venter completed her B-Ed degree and her Honours in Educational Psychology at the University of the North-West (Potchefstroom Campus). She completed her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Pretoria. She completed all her degrees with distinction and received the reward for the best Honours student at the University of the North-West. She was also a member of the Golden Key Society. At University she was part of the student council where she was the head of Student Community Service in which she was involved in numerous community projects.


Marié worked in the UK for 4 years where she worked as a teacher, reading specialist and therapist. She also has experience working with learners in Thailand and The Netherlands.  She worked as a psychologist at Via Nova School and Duo Edu Independent School. Her philosophy as psychologist is to ensure that all learners reach their full potential while focusing on their assets and strengths.

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Niel Bester


Niel Bester is the CEO of The British Academy Holdings where he provides the leadership and vision at a national level.

Niel is driving the national expansion of TBA and states that “We are hoping to bring the same focused, high quality approach to education to all the major cities in South Africa.

Parents want something more from private education today – we are here to provide that little bit extra”.




Yolanda Bester is a founder and Board Director of TBA.

In addition she also holds positions of Registrar and Head of Administration at The British Academy.

Yolanda has lived and worked in the UK for 15+ years.  With a background in the financial services sector Yolanda plays an invaluable role at TBA, especially with regards to the wide range of administrative tasks that keep a school ticking over.