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Our Schools Placement team
It can be a very confusing process choosing the right independent school or university for your child. Gabbitas independent education consultants' expertise covers all stages of education from pre-prep schools to universities, careers and beyond. From a quick telephone conversation, to a more in-depth process involving several face-to-face meetings, our services are tailor-made to the needs of each of our clients. Their years of combined experience of not only working as consultants, but as parents and teachers makes them the ideal people to speak to regarding every aspect of British independent education.

If you would like to have an initial discussion on any aspect of your child's education, please contact us so we can advise you of the best way for your family to benefit from our expertise. Personal consultations are available at our London offices or in your home country, and we can communicate by telephone, email and Skype.


To contact the Schools Placement team, click here.

Paul Kelly - Head of School and University Placement

Paul KellyPaul is Head of the Schools Placement and Higher Education team and joined Gabbitas permanently in August 2013.


He has spent many years teaching in the independent sector in a range of academic and pastoral roles and has extensive knowledge of the sector. His major responsibilities were directing the Higher Education and Careers departments at Millfield School and Wycombe Abbey and he has much experience gained over many UCAS cycles of successfully guiding and advising a diverse selection of students, numerous with an International background, in their applications to the complete range universities. He has published a number of articles and presented to peers at several conferences.

Catherine Kelsey (formerly Walters) – Director

Catherine WaltersCatherine is the Director of the Schools Placement team. With many years’ experience in the independent sector, she has an unrivalled understanding of boarding schools and the London day school sector. She has had many articles published in national magazines and newspapers and her opinion is regularly sought by educational journalists. Catherine also heads up the Gabbitas corporate client team advising partners and senior corporate executives on the best choice of school for their children.


Educated at St Mary’s, Cambridge and St Mary’s, Ascot, Catherine went on to run Boxford House Language School, originally founded by her mother, The Lady Hilda Swan. Catherine joined Gabbitas in 2002. She has three children, all of whom attended independent boarding schools and are currently at university. Catherine has been a guardian to several overseas students at school in the UK.

Deirdre Donegan - Schools Consultant (Special Educational Needs)

Deirdre DoneganDeirdre’s calm and knowledgeable approach to the world of Special Educational Needs (SEN) advice is much valued. She has a wealth of knowledge in this area, and her main aim is to enable families to develop a clearer understanding of what support there is available for their child. She guides families through the minefield of options to make the right school choice.


She has two children who attended independent schools, has a good knowledge of private education in the UK and particularly schools catering for Special Needs. She is also a French and Spanish speaker.

Fiona McKenzie - Head of Dubai Office

Fiona McKenzieFiona joined Gabbitas in 2014 to open and head up the Dubai Office.  She was educated at Rugby and St Andrew’s University and for the past 30 years has been involved in independent education in Australia, the UK and the UAE. Her roles have been varied and have encompassed teaching a range of subjects from Art History to Hospitality, marketing and recruiting, and most recently as President of the alumni organisation for Rugby School.  Fiona has a comprehensive understanding of how schools run from experiences as a Head Master’s wife and as a Governor at a state primary, a small boarding prep school and Rugby School.


Fiona has four children all of whom have been educated in the UK independent boarding sector and at universities both in Britain and Italy.

Jeanne Anderson - American University Placement Consultant

Jeanne Anderson

Jeanne has an undergraduate degree from Kent State University in Vocational Education, a Master of Arts in Counselor Education from The Ohio State University and a PhD in Counselor Education from The Ohio State University. She has more than 12 years experience as a school counselor (careers advisor) and enjoys helping students with university research, selection and applications. Her school counseling experience includes an International Baccalaureate World School.

Bethany Schweitzer - American University Placement Consultant

BBethany Schweitzerethany has an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University in Music Education and a Juris Doctorate (postgraduate law degree) from Capital University Law School. She also has a PhD in higher education administration from Ohio University. When she finished law school, she decided her true calling was not as an attorney, but as a university consultant. She has been working in university admissions since 2004.

Beverly Lin - Schools Placement Co-ordinator

Beverly LinBeverley, born in Hong Kong, has worked previously in the education field in Hong Kong, Canada and the UK. Having experienced life as an overseas student, Beverley can testify to the benefits of such an opportunity. Whilst residing in the UK and Canada, she obtained an Education degree and two Masters degrees, she is also able to converse in three separate Chinese dialects.


Beverley has international business and marketing experience, having travelled extensively throughout the world at the behest of her employers. She is able to call upon her wealth of experience in placing students along the correct path.

Darshna Vadera - Schools and Finance Administrator

Darshna VaderaDarshna is usually the initial point of contact on our schools placement team and her comprehensive knowledge of the department and schools ensures that she guides each client to the consultant that will best suit their needs.  

Ana Morris - Consultant Support Administrator

Ana MorrisAna provides back-office support for the Schools Placement team. Ana has a deep understanding of the UK independent education system and provides excellent service for Gabbitas’ many clients from all over the world.