Angelou School

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We promote and celebrate growth mindset within the school and as Maya Angelou said,

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.


Joint Head of Angelou School - Elise James

Following my degree in Winchester, I moved to Brighton to qualify as an English teacher. Since graduating I have worked in several schools in the South East. My Varndean journey began in 2013. I became Assistant Headteacher in 2021 and am proud to lead Angelou School alongside Mr Whiteman. I am passionate about inclusion at Varndean and empowering all learners to succeed.

Deputy Head of Angelou School - Sam Whiteman

Hello, my name is Mr Whiteman and I am the Deputy Head of Angelou School. I studied teaching at the University of Brighton completing a BA (Honours) in Physical Education. After completing my degree, I went on to teaching PE and later introduced the teaching of English as well. I progressed my career on to middle management with a real focus in the pastoral element of school life and have been enjoying this role for the last 7 years.

My vision and ethos is to be firm, fair, consistent and approachable. I want Angelou to be the best school at Varndean and will strive to make this happen. If you have any questions or need any support please either contact me by phone or email on 

School Leader - Andrea Longueira

Hello, my name is Mrs. Longueira. Before coming to Varndean, I studied Physical Education in Santiago de Chile and worked in a British School as a P.E teacher and pastoral tutor. Prior to this, I was a professional triathlete, representing my country in races around the world. Since I moved to the UK last year, I have loved working at Varndean, firstly in the ILS department and now as a School Leader in Angelou. I am also the Assistant Coordinator for the school's Duke of Edinburgh programme. Above all, I am very passionate about pastoral care, diversity and inclusion; I want all students to feel comfortable, appreciated and supported whilst in school, so please feel free to contact me by phone or email at to discuss any issues, questions or concerns you may have.


Outside of school, I love being active by running, riding my mountain bike, doing CrossFit or swimming. I also love art, baking, reading and am more than happy to talk to you about any and all of those things.

School Leader - Jo Goatley

My name is Jo Goatley and I am a School Leader in Angelou Base. I have had a long career in education, working with young people in various roles.

It is a privilege to be part of the Angelou Team, where we support students' wellbeing, enabling them to feel supported and motivated to realise their own potential. 

As School Leader I believe it is important getting to know students as individuals, linking with families to offer a holistic approach.

Please contact me on extension 260 or email me at