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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.

Alex Naidoo

Alex obtained a Masters Degree in Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria and went on to finish his PGCE.

He employs an eclectic teaching style with some focus on meta-learning and the holistic development of students.
His goal is to pass on not only a passion and understanding of science but of life as well.

As hobbies, Alex is learning the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira and also learning to play the harmonica
and ukulele.

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.

caitlin cockeran

Subject Teacher: English Literature, English Language for Foreign Learners, French

Caitlin Cockeran began studying languages at the University of Pretoria in 2010. She completed her BA:Languages degree in 2012, majoring in English and French. She continued with English Literature and Creative Writing in her post-graduate studies and attained herBA (Honours) degree in English in 2014. She is currently studying towards a research MA degree, focusing on Children’s and Young Adult Fiction. Caitlin has been involved in education projects since her own high school career and has tutored English Literature and Language for home language and foreign language speakers at the University of Pretoria since 2012.

She has participated in various national Model United Nations debating championships and has been involved in coaching initiatives in collaboration with the United Nations Association of South Africa and the South African Institute of International Affairs. She has also been involved in performing and producing several drama productions for community theatres and the University of Pretoria’s Literary Society.

Caitlin has a passion for language and language teaching and firmly believes that multilingualism is both a necessity and a source of great pleasure. She possesses a love of all things linguistic and creative, including drama and literature and she aims to teach in a manner that helps her students find that same sense of joy in language learning.


Mariya obtained a Bachelor’s degree with specialisation in Marketing and Economics from UNISA in Pretoria, South Africa. She has been working in Cambridge system for the last 11 years and has achieved exceptional results in IGCSE/O Level Mathematics and IGSCE/O Level Accounting with many students obtaining  A*, A and B symbols in these disciplines.

Mariya is a fourth-generation teacher who came to South Africa as a student from Russia. She has completed her studies in Cambridge system and went on to obtain her International certificate. Mariya speaks 4 languages and worked as a translator/interpreter in diamond mining industry, translating between English and Russian.

She is passionate about working with children and fosters the atmosphere of mutual respect and open communication in her class. She employs a philosophy that ‘honesty is the best policy’.

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.

Knysna Campus

KNysna 1

juliet de waal

Registrar Knysna Campus

Juliet de Waal is the Registrar and Administrator at The British Academy Knysna.

Juliet is originally from Pretoria and completed her diploma in Jewellery design and manufacturing at the Pretoria Technikon

She gained experience in online as well as face to face tutoring while working in the UK for 3 years.

She has a good track record of working as an administrator as well as customer care relations.

Hutton Heyns

Subject Teacher: Mathematics, Biology

Hutton Heyns obtained her BSc in Human Genetics at the University of Pretoria, majoring in Genetics, Microbiology and Biochemistry. Other subjects also included Statistical Mathematics and Medical Latin.


She went on to complete her Med (Hons) in Molecular Biology at the Medical University of South Africa. Her Honours was aimed at developing a genetic screening procedure for leukaemia patients. During her studies she taught part time mathematics at high school level where she developed her passion for teaching.


After her Honours she was given a bursary to complete her MSc in Wine Biotechnology at the University of Stellenbosch. Her research project involved genetically modifying industrial wine yeast to produce less ethanol during wine fermentation, the statistics data and finding was published in a research paper in 2013.


After completing her studies she worked as an analytical scientist at one of South Africa’s largest wine cellars. During this time her passion for math still drove her to help students with extra math in her spare time.


Hutton’s passion for Math and Biology can be seen in her personalised approach to her students. She is able to influence and connect with both left and right brain orientated students with her whole brain teaching style. In spite of her extensive studies she is able to reach students at their varying levels and explain even the most complicated topics in functional and easy-to-grasp terms.


Hutton believes in living a balanced life and enjoy activities such as deep sea fishing, scuba diving, long distance cycling, sketching and the odd painting.


She aims at helping students reach their full potential by honing in on their individual strengths.

Lorenza Allan

Subject Teacher: English Language and Spanish

Lorenza read her Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in English Literature and Philosophy at Rhodes University in 2008. Before embarking on a year of travel through South America, she completed her TEFL course. She taught English in several countries in South America and learnt Spanish while doing do. Her second language is Italian.

She then went onto teach English in Germany and Spain and encountered a vast range of people, ages and nationalities which allowed her to teach people as individuals despite a standardised curriculum.

Lorenza has an adventurous spirit and an enthusiasm for life that encourages young learners to engage with the world around them; she believes in using the immediate environment as a basis for her teaching, where experience and imaginative experiment equals understanding. Her approach is inductive and she finds new, interesting and innovative ways to encourage learning.

Her loves are travel, literature, passion for cuisine and her baby boy.

Angeline Kruger

Subject Teacher: Mathematics and Afrikaans

I obtained my Bachelor of Education, Intermediate and Senior phase at UNISA.

I also had professional training in remedial teaching in Maths and Afrikaans from Integra Education and Training.
I taught Checkpoint Maths and Afrikaans second language IGCSE and A-Level according to the Cambridge system for about 3 years.
My hobbies are reading, Ballroom and Latin dancing and Horse riding.



Subject Teacher:  Computer Studies

Lex Faure was born in Pretoria and after 5 years at Arcadia Primary School, moved to Port Elizabeth where he attended Grey High School to matric.

He completed a BA in English, Philosophy and Theory of Literature at UPE (now NMMU) and an Honours in Theory of Literature. He also completed additional electives in Mathematics and Computer Science.

He worked in IT straight after university and for the following 15 years worked as a programmer, a system analyst and ran his own software development company. During this time, he attended the MBA program at the University of Stellenbosch and completed his Honours in Business and Administration.

Lex moved into media in the 1990’s with documentary work, advertising and 7 years with Top Billing. He also worked as a Technical Director for an animation studio with some time spent in the UK during this period as well. He managed a number of TV production studios as well as working on full-length feature films.

He was invited to assist schools struggling to find CAT and IT teachers and found a new passion teaching IT and Computing. Currently, he is an official IT marker for the final IT matric examinations.



Subject Teacher:  Chemistry, Physics and Design and Technology

Jamie Fearon obtained a B.Sc. at the University of Cape Town, majoring in Zoology. Other subjects included Physics, Chemistry, Applied mathematics and Astronomy.

He went on to take up a post in the Department of Sea Fisheries, publishing two papers on the abundance and distribution of pelagic species.

During this period he completed his HED through UNISA.

Having moved up to Knysna in 1991 he started teaching physical science and biology at the newly opened Oakhill School in 1992.

In 1998 he opened Heatherhill College on his farm, the first Cambridge Examination Centre in Knysna. The college was moved into Knysna central in 2003.  He also opened Bay College in Plettenberg Bay, handing it over to the parent group one year later..

Having run the college for 10 years (teaching physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, information technology, design and technology all mostly on HIGCSE and As level) he sold it and returned to the farm to join his wife working in their nursery and to spend time in his plant tissue culture laboratory.  For a number of years he also helped out part-time at Tsiba Eden Campus teaching mathematics, information technology and managing their network.

However, his passion has always been the teaching of the sciences. Concerned about the general decline in students taking science as a subject, his motivation is to showcase science as a must do subject. Through innovative teaching he wishes to engage students to discover, to query and to experiment and have fun with science.



Subject Teacher:  Drama, Art and Design, Thinking Skills and History

Gesina completed her B-tech Fine Art degree at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. During her studies she majored in Printmaking and Stained Glass.  Gesina did her Post Grad in Education while working at Krugersdorp High School, my didactics were Art and English.

In 2015 she moved to De Aar where she was part of a very exiting community project at ‘Khazimla Centre of Excellence’.  Gesina was blessed to work in such a driven environment where a difference is made through education and mutual care and respect for learner and co-worker. Looking back at 2015 she have learned plentiful about how to apply this enthusiasm and passion for education into a school environment. The opportunity at The British Academy come at a perfect time in her life, she want to continue her career as an artist and what greater place to live in then the eclectic town of Knysna.  she believe in education as the golden key to shaping a society of forward thinkers.




Subject Teacher:  EMS, Business Studies and Physical Education

Yolandi Loots was born in New Castle (KZN). She attended school in Middelburg (Mpumalanga), and matriculated in 2006. Her absolute passion for sport started the day Dr. Henning Gericke (then the Springbok Psychologist) came to her school to give a motivational speech. She studied BA Sport development, and graduated in 2010 from the University of Johannesburg. She has dedicated her whole life to improve the lives of all people that come to be in her path. She decided in the end of 2011 to do her Post Graduate Certificate in Education (EMS, Life Orientation, Business studies, Accounting & Physical Education).


Christelle Greyling

Receptionist Knysna Campus

Christel grew up in Tarkastad, a small farming community in the Eastern Cape. She was an academic achiever in her local school and obtained several leadership roles.

She continued her studies at EBS in Port Elizabeth, where she graduated being a top achiever with both ITE and CIBTAC international qualifications. Being part of the Health and Skincare industry she has the ability to converse with people from all cultures and a variety of personalities.

Christel has a friendly and caring and positive persona always willing to listen and help in any way




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.




IT Support

Chad is from the Western Cape, Somerset West.

In 2011 he completed his MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) Certification) which includes A+ N+ and Basic business and communication skills.

He has experience from many different jobs, from assisting at a guest lodge wine tasting assistant to account management to IT tech support.

He has been building his my own computers and has had a passion for gaming since a very young age, and pursued this competitively, winning money and participating in numerous professional gaming tournaments.

He moved to Gauteng in May of 2015 to pursue his IT career, and as a person is very open, honest, caring and logical.


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.

verna nieuwoud


Facility Staff



nobesuthu zena

Facility Organiser


Facility Organiser

Stephina Leqwai

Facility Organiser


Board of Directors




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.