Francesca is Co-Founder, Consultant and Director at the Centre. Originally from Scotland, she was also raised in Belgium and experienced first-hand what it was like to be educated in a new language in secondary school. Francesca speaks 6 languages, including Mandarin. She has been an EAL Coordinator in several international and local schools across the globe.

Francesca previously co-founded the educational company, IngeniousEd, in Dubai. She has led high-stakes school improvement projects and created the Literacy Intervention Programme (LIP), a specialised intervention approach for accelerating students’ reading and writing skills.

Francesca now works closely with educators, teachers and parents and enjoys sharing new insights about bilingualism, multilingualism and literacy. In her spare time, she is an avid collector of modern art, Chinese costumes and enjoys traveling.


ALISON SCHOFIELD, Master of Teaching BEd, B.A. Psychology, Developmental Services (Diploma)

Alison is Co-Founder and Consultant at the Centre. She started her career as a disability and behavioural therapist before training as a special education teacher. She has worked for Community Living in Ontario and with youth in psychiatric  treatment settings in Alberta.

Alison gained rich experiences working with indigenous children in Canada. She later became a Learning Support coordinator and Literacy Specialist in local and international schools in the UAE. She has worked extensively with Emirati children. Together with Francesca, Alison co-founded IngeniousEd and ran school consulting projects, teacher-training initiatives and developed the Literacy Intervention Programme (LIP) for struggling readers and writers.

Alison grew up in Northern Ontario, Canada. She speaks conversational Arabic and loves traveling and learning about other cultures. She also enjoys sketchnoting about educational topics, has a passion for learning and loves to write.

ALVEENA SALIM, B.A.(Hons) Education & Community Studies, P.G.C.E.

Alveena holds the role of international Education Consultant. She is a master teacher-trainer who has supported teachers and international schools across a wide variety of professional development activities. She has also carried out teacher-training programmes for high-stakes, school improvement projects within the Middle East.

Additionally, Alveena has worked in Dubai as a Literacy Specialist with IngeniousEd. There, she ran the intensive, Literacy Intervention Programme (LIP) for children from 4-18 who experienced reading and writing challenges. She performed literacy assessments and created targeted learning plans that focused on accelerating their literacy progress by 6 months to one year, in just one month.

She has also been an international teacher in the Middle East and has worked in local schools in London, UK, where she gained a wealth of expertise supporting bilingual and multilingual learners as well as students experiencing issues related to poverty, racism and special educational needs.

Alveena currently lives in Abu Dhabi, UAE with her husband and children. She is a bilingual Urdu and English speaker and is also raising bilingual children. Alveena is an avid reader and writer. 

AYESHA MAQSOOD, (Bcom) Marketing 

Ayesha works as Community Outreach Manager. Her goal is to help us spread our mission and vision so we can make greater impact. She is passionate about storytelling and connecting with people.

Ayehsa grew up internationally as a ‘third-culture kid’ and is a natural when it comes to relating to other cultures.



Vanessa is our Administrative Support Manager. She provides high-level support to members of our team as well as our schools and teachers.

Vanessa has lived internationally and is originally from the Philippines. She is a bilingual English and Filipino speaker.








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