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Vanessa Whay

Principal - Durham School for Girls Doha

Vanessa Whay has been a Head of School for over 17 years and a teacher for over 25 years. Vanessa is delighted to be the founding Principal of Durham School for Girls Doha. As Founding Head of the first British all girls School in Doha, she aims to pioneer a new environment for Qatari girls combining Qatari National Values and beliefs with strong a British Curriculum. Leading a school where values underpin the whole school and ensuring girls can be the best they can be. This is the second school she has founded with her sister Samantha Whay- Jenkins, who is the Executive Director of Operations in the school.

Durham School for Girls opened with record numbers and now in its 4th Year and has over 1200 Girls from EYFS1 to Y13

Vanessa is a true champion of children being the best they can be regardless of circumstance or culture. Durham School was the first all-girls International School to become an accredited High Performance Learning World class School in 2022. The school is also fully accredited with the British Schools Overseas Inspections (BSO) and the Qatari National Schools Accreditation (QNSA)

Having been the founding Head of King’s College Panama, Vanessa has the experience needed for starting and establishing British schools of excellence in the International Market. King’s Panama was the first British school in the country and only one of four accredited schools in the region. Working closely with the British Embassy, The Ministry of Education for Panama and other various Ministry and Governmental bodies, Vanessa understands both the Educational side and the business logistics of leading such a project.

Vanessa graduated from Cambridge and has since worked in both the UK and International market. Vanessa has experience in both the IB and the English National Curriculum and is a qualified International Schools Inspector. She has led teacher training Programmes with the Panamanian Government for local teachers and has worked closely with various Ministry’s with the design and building of a new school campus. In Qatar she is a member of the Museum Committee working to ensure all children have access resources and educational Programmes in Qatar.

Vanessa combines her professionalism with a strong passion for education and learning. Her dedication, experience, empathy and sense of humor are her true characteristics that enable her to be a strong leader for her team and create a successful school.  As a recently elected member of the Executive Committee for the Association of British Schools Overseas, Vanessa continues to support and promote quality British Education Internationally.