Senior Leadership Team | Best British Nurseries in Dubai, UAE

Leadership Team


The Jumeirah International Nurseries is a diverse organisation made up of dynamic and caring leaders and teachers who seek to improve education through the establishment of innovative Nurseries that help children realise their potential.

We are able to deliver and accomplish our goals because of our team that brings teaching expertise from around the globe, innovative education programmes, operational excellence and continuous investment in staff training and development.

Leadership Team

Janet O’Keefe – Director of Operations, Fortes Education

Janet is an educator at heart whose career has spanned teaching positions in the classroom to headship posts. Her guiding principle as an educator has always been to provide students the means to achieve excellence and realise their full potential. Janet has held various senior leadership positions in reputed schools and has been instrumental in setting up Fortes Education's various Schools and Nurseries.

Janet works closely with the range of stakeholders (School Leaders, Teachers and Staff, as well as Students and Parents) at each school to craft and implement both school development and strategic plans. She works in concert with the Heads and Senior Management teams at each Fortes School to ensure high standards of student conduct and student academic achievement, as well as excellence in curriculum delivery, school administration, school governance and school operations. Janet graduated with a Bachelors in Education from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland.

Katrina Mankani – Managing Director, Jumeirah International Nurseries

Katrina is responsible for strategic development, curriculum development, marketing, and human resources at the Jumeirah International Nurseries.

Katrina’s heart remains with young children which has led her to developing a career in early childhood education and childcare. Katrina found her calling in the classroom. She spent several years teaching in Jumeirah International Nursery and then moved to Regent International School, a leading British National Curriculum school, where she spearheaded the embedding of the Education in Human ValuesTM Programme across the school with a team of teachers. With her first love always being early childhood education, Katrina returned to JINS to pursue her first love, the education of young children.

Katrina is a committed educationist with over a decade of teaching experience. She brings passion, innovation and an indefatigable spirit to developing the JINS Nurseries, as well as an intellectually deep fascination to how the minds of young children develop.

Katrina graduated from Russia’s leading university, Moscow State University, with a Masters in Public Administration, and also holds a PGCE and CACHE Level 3 certifications from the UK.

Since 2016 Katrina also leads the Positive Education initiative across all Fortes Institutions to ensure that students of all ages develop their emotional intelligence."

Samina Khanyari – General Manager, Jumeirah International Nurseries

Samina’s core belief has been that ‘every child deserves the best start in life' which has guided her developing an accomplished career in early education. Samina is an educator par excellence who has a wealth of over 12 years in Early Years Education. Her strong leadership skills and remarkable determination supports the vision of the group.

Samina is an inspiring leader who manages a large team of senior leaders and teachers. She is responsible for strategy, educational standards and operations of the Jumeirah International Nurseries.

Samina has been at the forefront of developing JINS into one of the best Nursery brands in the U.A.E. She is extremely solution-focused and energetic in running the Academic and the Operations of the Nurseries for the group. She has a hands-on approach with children, parents and staff, motivating everyone to continuously deliver an outstanding education and the best childcare to the children. Through her passion, determination and strategic outlook not only does she strive for the very best for the families of JINS but works tirelessly within the group, to improve outcomes for the Early Years. Samina holds a Masters in Business Administration with the core focus on Management.

Linzi Hammond - Head of EYFS at Sunmarke School

Linzi Hammond

Linzi Hammond - Head of EYFS at Sunmarke School. In 2010, she joined as the Deputy Head of the EYFS Department in Regent International School, whose EYFS department has been rated 'Outstanding by KHDA’s DSIB.

Linzi is trained as a Forest School Leader and has brought its unique way of building independence, self-esteem and a positive attitude towards learning in children and young people as they explore and experience the natural world for themselves and ensures to implement this with her setting. They believe that teaching methodology imparts valuable life skills, and communication, teamwork and responsibility to children.

Linzi strongly believes in learning through play to empower children and to unlock their creativity and imagination. Her educational values enables children to be secure, engaged and equipped for life as they develop through the school years. Linzi believes education is a partnership between parents, children and teachers and is committed to work with parents to develop their children.

Prior to relocating to Dubai, Mrs. Hammond worked in a number of schools in the UK. Her passion lies in Early Years. Mrs. Hammond holds a BA (Honours) with Qualified Teaching Status in Education, specialising in Early Years Education and Physical Education and has had significant impact teaching across all phrases from Nursery to Year 6.

Nicola Hayday – Nursery Manager, JINS Sunmarke JVT

Nicola Hayday

Nicola Hayday and her team aim to provide an exciting, inspiring and loving environment for all children, giving them the best possible start in life. Her determination and strong leadership skills coupled with her love of children and their families gives Nicola and the JINS Sunmarke JVT Team the required tools to continuously deliver exceptional childcare and education.

With the JINS’ bespoke approach focusing on each individual child’s development goals, we believe that we offer an Early Years Education which is second to none. We pride ourselves on our strong parent partnerships and have a constant open door policy which allows you, our parents to have complete confidence that your child is in the best care.

Our facilities have been planned and designed keeping in mind the overall development of your child. The naturalistic interiors provide a comfortable environment which is also stimulating while the outside areas are created to help maximise your child's sensory, physical, cognitive and social development. JINS Sunmarke JVT showcases classrooms that are specifically created and adapted to allow and encourage your child to engage fully with their environment, facilitating world class Early Years Education.

Nicola is thrilled to be leading this branch and is looking forward to watching each and every child learn, laugh, grow and build special friendships throughout their time at JINS Sunmarke JVT.

Nicola has been associated with our Nurseries for over 7 years, and brings with her many years of experience in Early Years Education, working both in the Middle East and the UK and has extensive knowledge of the EYFS. She has a BSc Psychology degree with a QCF Diploma in Childcare, Learning and Development both completed in the UK.

Poppy Loughran – Nursery Manager, JINS Downtown Dubai

Poppy Loughran

Poppy Loughran is the Nursery Manager of JINS, Downtown branch. She joined our team this year and brings with her over 9 years of Early Years’ experience. Poppy’s belief is that every child is unique and deserves the very best early years start in life. Teaching is a vocation and one that all of the JINS teams posses with a passion towards everything that they do.

It is important that children arrive at Nursery feeling safe, secure and loved and that you, the parents know this too. All our teachers are CACHE Level 3 minimum qualified with strong experience and passion towards their role as Early Years Practitioners.

With our bespoke approach to each individual child’s development goals, we believe that JINS offers an early years education that is second to none. We pride ourselves on strong parent partnerships and have a continued open door policy that allows you, our parents to have complete assurance and trust towards all within our settings.

Mrs. Loughran has qualified with her Level 3 and 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership in the Early Years. Mrs. Loughran has been Nursery Manager and Operations Manager for well-established Nurseries and has experience in both running and setting up new Nurseries within the UAE.

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