Meet the Team

“Our friendly staff are always on hand to help students feel comfortable throughout their stay”

– James Knott, Director of Studies.

James Knott

James Knott

Hi, I’m the Director of Studies here at Bath Academy of English. I’ve been involved with teaching English for nearly 20 years now and in many different countries, including Russia, Sri Lanka, U.A.E, Libya and Saudi Arabia. I am particularly interested in learner-centered teaching and second language acquisition theories, which formed the subject of my Master’s degree in TESOL. Outside of work, my interests are playing guitar and tennis, travel and following the best ever football team – Chelsea

Teaching Team


John Desmond

Hi. I’m John and I have been an ELT teacher here at B.A. for 12 years. Originally, I trained as a modern languages teacher, my subjects being Spanish and French. I taught English as a foreign language in Spain for about a year in Cordoba, Andalucia before teaching at Prior Park College in Bath. I really enjoy being with young people, in particular, students from abroad and learning about their cultures. One of my main interests is using different media to bring in the ‘outside’ world into the classroom as well as a little ‘drama’ or ‘role play’. I am about to start on a ‘DELTA’ course to enhance my professional development

Rachael Trainor 

Hi I’m Rachael. As a modern languages graduate, I love language learning and know well just how challenging and rewarding the experience can be. I’ve been teaching English since 2002, spending most of my time living abroad, in Turkey. Having just completed my Trinity Diploma in TESOL, I’m really enjoying helping the students here at Bath Academy of English to improve their language skills. I’m also particularly interested in preparing them for academic study in English. In my free time, I like to keep fit, eat out and enjoy the English countryside.


Kamala Boardman 

I trained to teach EFL in 1998 and I moved to Taiwan where I began my English teaching career. I have extensive experience in teaching General English at all levels and preparing students for IELTS. I really enjoy helping students develop their skills in English. With a Master’s degree in Business and experience in Banking, I also teach English for Business. My interests include music, cinema, bird-watching, reading and horticulture.


Tracey Ellis

BA (Hons), CELTA

I’m Tracey and I’ve recently joined Bath Academy as an ELT teacher and Marketing Officer. Originally from Canada, I moved to the UK in 1997 and recently returned after living abroad. In Paris I worked as a Web Editor and Content Marketing Manager for a French company, and in Florida I volunteer tutored students learning English. The challenge of living in different countries and learning a language has inspired me to teach others, so I completed my CELTA at City of Bristol College and am pleased to be using my skills both as a content marketer and teacher at the academy. I also have a Diploma in Journalism and am a freelance writer/photographer and regular contributor to Project Calm Magazine.

Tracey Ellis

Administration Team

 Our friendly and supportive administration team are here to help you during your visit. Please ask them any questions you may have; whether it is about your course, your accommodation or finding a place to eat in Bath.

Sam Hollingshead – Admissions Registrar 

MA (Hons)

Hello I am Sam. I undertook my BA:Hons and MA:Hons at Bath Spa University which both focused on the academic field of history. Having undertaken research from various countries around the world my Masters Degree Dissertation uncovered a logbook of an eighteenth century Slave Ship. Upon completion of my academic achievements I became the Assistant House Parent of the Bath Academy Boys Boarding House. In 2017 I was appointed as the College Registrar and am responsible for applications to the College of both UK and foreign students. Away from the College, I continue to Umpire Cricket Matches in the West of England Premier League during my spare time.

Sam Hollingshead New

Natalia Knott – Accommodation & Welfare Officer


Nicola McMillan – Bookkeeper



Joanna Leytham – Marketing & Administration Officer

BA (Hons), CELTA

Hello, I am Joanna. I recently started at the Bath Academy as a Marketing and Administration Officer. I also attend to Human Resources. I attained a BA (Hons) in Anthropology and Sociology from Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2008. Since then I worked all over London in various media and creative offices. I then went to live in Thailand to teach English as a foreign language in Bangkok. After this I studied a Yoga teacher training course in India before traveling there. I returned to the UK in 2014 and I have since been teaching Yoga at various studios in Bath, including the University of Bath and Bath Spa University. I enjoyed my time teaching English and completed a CELTA course at the City of Bath College in 2016, going on to teach at language schools, Kaplan and Elac in Bath throughout 2016. I am currently studying an ITEC in Massage. In my spare time I enjoy cycling, tennis, the gym and film.

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