Mr. Gary Benfield : Headmaster

Mr. Gary Benfield


Nationality: British

Qualifications: B.Ed (Hons), M.I. Mgt.

Gary joined the ABC International School as Headmaster in 2008. He started his teaching career in the UK in 1980, assumed his first Deputy Headship in 1983 and then his first Headship in 1990. In 1998 he was appointed CEO/Headmaster of The Berlin British School, an appointment which was to mark the beginning of his international career. Between Berlin and joining the ABCIS community he served as CEO/Principal of the International School of Penang, Malaysia.

Throughout his career Gary has also represented and served national and international professional associations and charities that further the interests of children and their education. He is a long-serving lead inspector of schools whose skills are employed by OFSTED, ISI and other accreditation agencies world-wide.


Mr. Ian Bosonnet : Head of School Standards, Assessment and Student Performance

Mr. Ian Bosonnet

Head of School Standards, Assessment and Student Performance


Qualifications: B.A (Hons) History, Ancient History and Archaeology, Trinity College Dublin (1992), Higher Diploma of Education, Trinity College Dublin (1994), QTS UK (all Primary and Secondary Schools), Level 2 Qualified School Inspector (all UK and international)

Previous Teaching Experience: Ian has 23 years teaching experience in both Primary and Secondary areas and 13 in management and leadership. He worked at schools in Dublin (Ireland) and South London (UK) for 6 years before arriving in Vietnam. He has held a number of middle and senior management roles throughout his career.

Present Responsibilities: Ian has a broad range of responsibilities within the school which extend from Nursery at the beginning of Primary to Year 13 at the end of Secondary. These include data analysis, reporting and advising about student performance to drive academic improvement, responsibility for child protection, admissions and health and safety management throughout the school, monitoring and advising on improvements in a range of different areas throughout the various key stages. He was the evaluator of evidence for the ABCIS during inspection by UK Department of Education inspectors in 2013, an inspection in which the ABCIS received an “Outstanding” rating as a British School Overseas. Ian has a leading role in the organisation and editing of school promotional materials such as ‘Connect’ magazine. He also teaches History to Year 9, runs the Model United Nations at the ABC international School and is leading the creation of the Parent’s Advisory Group.


Jim Botto : Head of EIP and EAL

Jim Botto

Head of EIP and EAL

Nationality: British

Qualifications: Bsc in Social Science, Bradford University [1989], PGCE Primary Education, Bradford University [1994]

Previous Teaching Experience: Jim has 21 years of teaching experience in both Primary and Middle Schools. Before joining the school in 2001, Jim worked in London and New Zealand. In his time at the school Jim has been a class teacher for Years 4- 6 and previously was Head of Upper Primary.

Present Responsibilities: Jim is presently Head of EAL throughout all areas of the school as well as coordinating the English Immersion Program in Upper Primary. Jim does some teaching with both EIP classes and also Year 4. He is the Senior Management member on the ‘Service and Charity ‘Aspects group. Jim helps coach the Boys Primary Football team as part of our ECA programme.


Kevin Reay : Head of Foundation and Early Primary

Kevin Reay

Head of Foundation and Early Primary

Nationality: British

Qualifications: BA Hons PGCE, Early Years, Northumbria University, Newcastle, England (2005)

Previous Teaching Experience: Kevin began his career as a primary teacher in Gateshead (UK) where he taught Reception for two years and Year 1 for one year before teaching in Shanghai, China for two years. In Shanghai he worked as a Year 1 and Year 3 class teacher. He then moved back to the UK and taught Years 2 and 5. Kevin taught Year 2 at the ABC International School for two years before he joined the Senior Management Team. He has also coordinated a range of subjects including ICT, PE and Humanities.

Present Responsibilities: Apart from his role as Head of Early Primary, Kevin is also the Senior Management Team member of the House Aspects Group.


Christopher Carr : Head of Upper Primary

Christopher Carr

Head of Upper Primary

Nationality: Irish

Qualification: BSc Management & Information Systems, Queens University Belfast (2004), PGCE Primary Education, Liverpool Hope University (2007)

Previous Teaching Experience:  Chris has 10 years teaching experience, beginning in the UK and then at the British International School of Moscow, before joining The ABC International School in 2009. He has taught across both Primary Key Stages, and was previously the Head of Year 4 before taking up his current position.

Present Responsibilities:In addition to his role as the Head of Upper Primary (Key Stage 2), Chris also oversees the curriculum development for the Primary core areas, working with Subject Coordinators and Heads of Year. Chris is also the Senior Management Team member of the Sharing Good Practice Group. Within Key Stage 2, Chris is involved with various Football ECAs.


Steve Shaw : Head of Secondary/ Maths Teacher

Steve Shaw

Head of Secondary/ Maths Teacher

Nationality: British

Qualifications: BSc (Hons), The University of Birmingham. PGCE, The University of Cambridge

Previous Teaching Experience: Steve spent 10 years working in the UK in city comprehensive schools in Cambridge, Derbyshire and Nottingham before moving to the UAE to support educational reform in Abu Dhabi. He then spent 2 years working in local government schools training Principals and Vice Principals in school improvement before moving to the British International School Abu Dhabi as the Head of Academic Studies. He spent three years there helping set up the Secondary school, overseeing the school application to become an IB World School, managing the curriculum, reporting and assessment and the tracking of student progress.

Present Responsibilities: Steve currently teaches Year 12 and 13 Statistics as well as being the Head of Secondary, writing the whole school timetable and managing the Secondary curriculum. He is a member of the Future Directions Aspects group which is investigating how we improve the school’s use of the technological advances available.


Paul Rispin : Head of Sixth Form/ Maths Teacher

Paul Rispin

Head of Sixth Form/ Maths Teacher

Nationality: British

Qualifications: BSC (Hons) Probability and Statistics, University of Sheffield. PGCE Mathematics and Physical Education, University of Southampton, UK.

Previous Teaching Experience: Paul has worked in two secondary schools in the UK as a Maths teacher and has also been Head of Mathematics in two sixth form colleges. In the last one he was head of a department of 22 teachers, and has vast experience in assisting students with University applications. He has also worked in summer schools in Ethiopia and Tanzania. He is a keen sportsman and has run many different football teams throughout his teaching career.

Present Responsibilities: Paul’s present responsibilities include guiding students through the University application process to attend Universities through the world. He is also a member of the Service Aspects Group. Paul is also currently completing a masters in Education with the University of Bath


Stephen Ford : Head of Key Stage 4 /Physics Teacher

Stephen Ford

Head of Key Stage 4 /Physics Teacher

Nationality: British

Qualifications: First Class BSc (Hons), Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Trent Polytechnic Nottingham, UK. PGCE Physics and Science, Nottingham University, UK.

Previous Teaching Experience: SStephen has over 25 years of teaching experience and has taught in three different schools in the UK. He has over 20 years educational leadership experience, both as a Head of Science in two different schools and additionally as a SMT member in a large secondary school.

Present Responsibilities: Stephen is currently Head of Key Stage 4 at the ABCIS and teaches physics to Years 11 and 13. He is the SMT link member for the Vision and Ethos aspects group. Stephen runs a Physics Olympiad ECA, helping students to prepare to study physics and engineering at some of the top universities worldwide.


Amy Austin : Head of Key Stage 3 / Examinations Officer / Geography Teacher

Amy Austin

Head of Key Stage 3 / Examinations Officer / Geography Teacher

Nationality: British

Qualifications: TeachFirst – Geography PGCE, NQT at Canterbury Christ Church University. Geography BA at University College London.

Previous Teaching Experience: Amy has 11 years teaching experience in both British and International Schools. She worked in East London and Brunei prior to joining the ABCIS and held the position of Head of Year 8 in her London school.

Present Responsibilities: Amy has worked for The ABCIS for 6 years as a Geography teacher and was formerly Head of Humanities. This year Ms Amy is the Head of Key Stage 3 and is a member of the Green Team Aspects Group.