Our Support Team in the UK


Tara Sabi

Tara is co-director of the SEP, alongside Emmanuel and Ashley, and our Primary Education Specialist. She spent six months in Saltpond training our teachers, setting up an ICT suite and our play-based Kindergarten, and helping to manage the project. 

Tara has worked as a primary school teacher in London for several years and also teaches yoga.

Her favourite book is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, which she read on an early trip to Ghana and absolutely loved. 


Ashley Barras

Ashley is another co-director and our project management specialist. A legal and HR professional, Ashley is passionate about education and immersing herself in the happy world of SEP. She spent an initial three months in Saltpond, training the staff in project management.

Her favourite book is Matilda by Roald Dahl.



Rachel Mann

Rachel is a co-founder and trustee of the project, having met Mike Ofori in 2007 and been inspired by his passion for teaching.

Rachel has taught English at secondary level in the UK but is now a children's publisher – allowing her to bring the perfect combination of education and literacy skills to the project.

If she absolutely had to choose a favourite book, it would be I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.


Laura Percival

Laura is a co-founder and trustee of the SEP. A deputy headteacher, English teacher and Special Educational Needs director in Derbyshire, she is also a Teach First Ambassador and has an MA in Educational Leadership.

Her favourite book is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.


Ian Burbidge

Ian is a co-founder and general champion of the project, and spends his days as a primary school teacher in Nottinghamshire. He is also really good at cooking Ghanaian food, a talent which the rest of the team exploit as often as possible.

Ian is careful to ensure that the acquisition of the English words for animals at SEP Happy School are accompanied by accurate impressions - ask him to do the 'lizard'.

His favourite book is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.