Montessori St Nicholas Charity is very pleased to welcome four new trustee members to our board, further strengthening the organisation by bringing a wealth of both Montessori and academic experience. Two are highly acclaimed Montessorians, one a former student at MCI which is fantastic and is a great testament to the reach of our students, and the fourth is well-known for her prestigious career as an early years academic.

Competition for this role is fierce, we received over 50 applications for these positions, and each has been carefully considered by our panel.

CEO Leonor Stjepic said: “I’m so thrilled to welcome our new Trustees, they each bring key qualities and strengths which will greatly support the Charity’s mission in the years to come.”

Bella Barron 

Bella Barron is the Director of The Parent Collaborative, a parent support initiative based in Bath, and a Trainer Consultant for Young Minds, a leading UK charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health.

Bella is a highly accomplished Montessorian, with 27 Years of teaching experience in global Early Years Settings including the UK, Canada and Kenya, with her settings consistently graded Outstanding by ISI and Ofsted regulatory bodies.


Jayne Osgood

Professor Jayne Osgood has a prestigious career as an early years academic. She has published many books and media, and undertaken funded research extensively throughout her career. Jayne is Professor of Education (Early Years) at the Centre for Education Research & Scholarship at Middlesex University. Prior to that she started her research career at the National Foundation for Educational Research in 1997, and then moved to London Metropolitan University (from 2001-2014) working within the Institute for Policy Studies in Education.


Amira El Aghel 

Amira studied at MCI, on both our EYE Diploma course and then onto our Foundation degree.

Amira graduated from the University of Tripoli with a degree in French. Her work with children started as an EAL teacher, teaching English to children in Libya. She then worked as a teaching assistant to various age groups, with a focus on nursery at the British School of Tripoli.

As a mother of four, Amira’s childcare experience started at home, leading her to explore the field of childcare and child development. Seeing her younger two boys flourish at Montessori settings, compared to their older siblings whose early years’ experience was in Libya, Amira was inspired to become a Montessori teacher. First achieving the Montessori diploma and then the Foundation degree from MCI.

Amira is passionate about children having the best foundations in life, and for Montessori education to be accessible to all children all over the world.


Maelys de Rudder 

Maelys de Rudder is the Founder of Bloom, a Montessori Preschool, Primary School, and International High School for children and youth ages 3 to 19, located in Sarajevo.

After graduating from the UCL Law Faculty in Belgium, and an internship at the European Parliament, Maëlys worked a stint in Human Resources. During that time, Maëlys became convinced that most people were not where they could express their full potential and thrive. Having experienced a few very different educational systems as a child, she was also convinced that in order to contribute to changing this, she had to go back to where it all begins: education. At the same time, she became a mother (she now has five children with Oscar-winning director, Danis Tanović) and desperately wanted her children to have the opportunity to enjoy their learning experience and to discover their inner potential.

She decided to open her own school, Bloom, and has gradually placed herself at the forefront of education by developing a holistic educational approach inspired by the most recent and progressive educational theories and practices.


For further information about our trustees, click here.