Our key people
Gabbitas are synonymous with independent education and have been since 1873. Our staff have a great deal of experience of the sector and come from a number of different backgrounds, from school Heads, teachers, to pastoral staff. We pride ourselves on service excellence and exceeding the expectations of our clients and educational partners. In addition, our Schools Placement, Guardianship and Recruitment teams have a vast array of experience in relevant fields, while our Executive Group of school consultants can assist with all school management issues
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Ian joined Gabbitas as Managing Director in January 2012 after beginning his career in education at Millfield School, undertaking many roles including Senior Tutor and Senior Housemaster, where he ran three different houses. In 2004, he was appointed Senior Deputy Headmaster at Wellingborough School, Northamptonshire and in 2008, he moved on to become Warden (Headmaster) of Llandovery College where he successfully raised both pupil numbers and academic performance.
Ian has also been MD of his own sports education company, organising events at all the major indoor arenas in the UK and working with major companies such as Nike, Channel 4 and the NBA. He is also a regular contributor to numerous publications like The Times, The Telegraph and Huffington Post where he offers his views on education.
Ray Auvray is Executive Chairman of the Prospects Group and has managed the company since its foundation in the summer of 1995. In that period, Ray has grown the Group from a company holding a single contract in South London to a national organisation with a turnover of between £70 and £80 million, employing over 1,300 staff and delivering a wide range of education, training and employment services to the Department for Education, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Skills Funding Agency, Ofsted, local authorities, schools and colleges.
Prospects is now a wholly employee-owned company, with over a thousand staff shareholders. As a ‘mutual’ it is offering support to other mutuals spun off from local authorities or central Government. Having led the Prospects Group to its current role as a major provider of educational support services, he is keen to see it diversify further and develop a wider range of services for its customers.
Kevin joined Prospects in January 2006 as Group Finance Director and has responsibility for financial reporting, facilities management, HR, ICT and legal services. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1995 with Price Waterhouse and was admitted as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 2006.
Prior to joining Prospects, Kevin was Chief Financial Officer of Moneybox plc, an independent operator of cash machines, where he was instrumental in floating the company on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange and subsequently negotiating a trade sale to a listed competitor. While working at Price Waterhouse, Kevin appeared five times as the independent adjudicator on the National Lottery Saturday night TV show.
Dave has over 25 years' experience working in the IT industry and joined Prospects in May 2011 to grow the IT team in order to support our ever changing business.
He is responsible for the strategic lead on all aspects of ICT and technical development across the Group and the central ICT team. He has broad and up-to-date business insight into the problems faced by IT managers in today's world, having worked in many sectors during his career.
As Company Development Manager for Prospects Services Ltd, Maureen has been involved with Gabbitas since 2008, when she acted as Transition Manager following the acquisition of the company by the Prospects Group. With 15 years senior management experience, she managed staff and business operations during 2011 as interim Managing Director before becoming part-time Operations Director in January 2012, following Ian Hunt’s appointment.
An adept project manager, Maureen is heavily involved in the Gabbitas Associate School Programme, international development and staff management. As a qualified Careers Adviser, she has also covered Higher Education and careers guidance, particularly with international students. Maureen also continues with her company development role working directly with the Prospects Group Executive Chairman, leading on business critical tasks linked to the company strategic plan and developing partnerships with external clients and stakeholders.
Preeti joined Gabbitas in June 2012 as our new Commercial Manager. She is responsible for the company’s business development and marketing operations. A highly entrepreneurial person, she also works alongside the company’s directors and Managing Director to develop and launch new ideas commercially.
Prior to her career at Gabbitas, Preeti started up her own education business which specialised in after-school tuition for children. She organically grew the company to 20 learning centres across London and the South East. She has an MSc in Entrepreneurship from Bristol University and speaks three languages.
Former journalist Andy joined Gabbitas in April 2011 after undertaking various media-related roles in London and Yorkshire, including working for major radio stations, newspapers and national websites. He additionally has extensive experience in marketing and PR as well as corporate photography. Andy spent a year in Australasia in 2002 and enjoys travelling, sports, current affairs and technology.
Andy’s role is to generate content for the Gabbitas site by liaising with schools and running all social medial channels. He keeps the Gabbitas online portfolio up to date on a daily basis, helps manage events and deals with many aspects of the company's marketing operations.
After spending eight years in Asia teaching at a private school in Taiwan and working with underprivileged children in Thailand, Jennifer decided to return to the UK to further her career working with international students. With an understanding of various cultures, she believed her rich experiences as a teacher and as a citizen of Asian countries would be best put to use by supporting overseas students who are coming to the UK to study or looking to improve their academic outcome in their own countryspan>
Jennifer started with Gabbitas in September 2009 as Client Co-ordinator for our busy Japan office. She has recently become involved in the new business development of our China offices and is now running our China operations from our London HQ. Besides supporting the Chinese students in the UK under our Guardianship services, her role is to ensure all aspects of new business potential in China are explored with companies both here in the UK and in partnership with our General Manager in China with Chinese companies. Jennifer is always keen to speak with people who are looking to expand their business in China who may wish to work in partnership with Gabbitas.
Marco has a wide reaching career in education marketing, publishing and research spanning 13 years. As Publishing and Higher Education Manager, he has successfully published five editions of The Independent Schools Guide and Schools for Special Needs, introducing full colour and eBook versions and is responsible for the development of a number of key research initiatives for the company in the fields of independent education and Special Educational Needs.
He previously worked for The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) company Hobsons Plc, working in a variety of marketing and publishing markets including boarding schools, school leavers, careers and consumer. After a spell managing key education and consumer accounts for marketing agencies, he joined Capita Plc’s business services division with responsibility for Department for Education (DFE) initiatives.
Born in Romania, Daniela graduated from the Faculty of Letters in the French-English Department. In her final year at university, she was awarded an Erasmus Scholarship at the University of Letters in Porto, Portugal. Daniela has a teaching Diploma and has taught both primary and senior school pupils French as a foreign language.
After graduation, she worked in Bucharest as Assistant Manager and Administrator and moved to London in in 2009, joining Gabbitas in October 2011 as a Receptionist/Office Systems Co-ordinator. She is the main point of contact for all visitors and callers to the London office and speaks five different languages.