Leadership at Eltham Hill

Erika Podmore
Head Teacher

I am extremely proud to be the 9th Headteacher of Eltham Hill School. I am passionate about teaching and learning and about the difference that education can make to the lives of young people.

I was born in Lincolnshire, went to a comprehensive school in Sussex and moved to London to do a degree in History at Kings College. After a year of working in an office, I decided that I wanted to make more of a difference in the world and started a PGCE at the Institute of Education. I then discovered the joy of teaching and I have been teaching in Inner London schools since 1990. After completing a diploma in Educational Leadership and then completing my NPQH I recently took up the position of Principal and am looking forward to continuing to teach and learn in this role.

Rebecca Crean

Rebecca Crean
Deputy Head Teacher

I came to London to read Spanish and Latin American studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London and stayed after I completed my degree. After a year of teacher training, I went straight into schools and I have been in education ever since! I have previously taught in a Sixth Form College and an international school in Shanghai and I have learnt a lot from these experiences. In addition, I completed my Masters in Education and Professional studies at Kings College London.

I was very excited to become Vice-Principal for Post 16 and Partnerships as I really love working with students as they make their journey from school to University, Apprenticeships or the world of work. I am also extremely proud to be the coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Career-Related programme.

I am passionate about education and believe that everyone has the right to a successful future. I feel we offer this opportunity to all our students at Eltham Hill School.

Victoria Delaney
Deputy Head Teacher

I grew up as an avid reader amongst the Lancashire hills and later achieved a BA (Hons) in English. After volunteering with a homeless teens’ charity I discovered I loved working with teenagers and decided to go into teaching.

I completed a PGCE in English at Leicester University and moved to London where I have taught for the past 21 years. I completed a Masters Degree in Leadership and Innovation in Education and passionately support the school’s vision of excellence, happiness and success for all.

My role is to lead outstanding teaching and learning across the school to ensure that all learners are prepared for life in our increasingly interconnected, global society. To do this we use evidence informed strategies and support colleagues to develop as reflective practitioners to ensure all our young people are challenged and able to access their learning.

Noelle O’Kelly
Deputy Head Teacher

I read Biochemical Sciences at the University of Ulster and completed a Diploma in Higher Education from Trinity College, Dublin.

I have worked for 20 years as a Science teacher. My passion for teaching led me into Science Consultancy and School Improvement Advisory work for the Royal Borough of Greenwich. I worked to ensure all pupils received an excellent scientific education in every secondary school across the borough.

From advisory work I moved into education leadership. As the Vice Principal for Assessment and Standards, I am committed to ambitious standards for all. Assessment has been at the heart of recent government changes in education and is rightly often described as “an engine that drives student learning.” At Eltham Hill we strive to ensure that assessment is purposeful, rigorous and helpful to all our learners and teachers. This approach allows students to evaluate themselves, to make judgements about their own performance and improve upon it.

My aim is to ensure all pupils achieve success and celebrate their progress during their learning journey at EHS.


Maxine Ferguson
Deputy Head Teacher

I grew up in the midlands and even as a teenager I was very politically aware and had a strong belief in fairness and equality for all. I later went onto achieve a BSC (Hons) Social Science degree (Sociology and Economics). After university, I knew I wanted to be a teacher but also wanted to gain some experience of working with teenagers in a range of other fields first.

I spent some time working in social work with young people who had recently left care, who had been excluded from school or were homeless. I then went onto complete my PGCE in Social Sciences at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

I believe that learning is a lifelong journey and I have recently completed a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Innovation in Education.

I love teaching and I am equally passionate about my role as Vice Principal for Curriculum and Inclusion. The curriculum is at the heart of the school learning experience. At Eltham Hill, we are committed to providing a broad, ambitious and rich curriculum. This offers a variety of learning experiences that provides students with continuous opportunities for the acquisition of new knowledge. All students can make progress and achieve success regardless of their starting point.

I am strongly committed to our school values of excellence, happiness and success and believe education is the key to improving life chances for all young people.


Polly White
Deputy Head Teacher

I studied Fine Art at the University of Leeds and went on to work in retail for some years before deciding to put my art skills to better use and to train as a teacher. I completed a PGCE in Fine Art in 2007 at The University of Goldsmiths and have taught in all girls’ comprehensive education since.

I am the Designated Safeguarding Lead here at Eltham Hill School and work closely with the Inclusion team to ensure the safety and welfare of our children and therefore their academic success.


Joanne Smith
Director of Resources

Having lived overseas for most of my childhood I then moved to Lancashire in my teens where I attended a large comprehensive school. I was always interested in politics and the impact of policy on the community. I moved to London to attend Goldsmiths College, completing a degree in Sociology and Anthropology.

Working in education, specialising in school business management is a fantastic role. I am committed to ensuring all the support functions in school are the best they can be to support students and teachers.