THE TARKA TEAM

TARKA is run by a team of young, charismatic professionals who are dedicated to bringing out the best in your child. All members of the team have considerable experience in both leadership and development, and look to apply these skills to the most malleable period in a child’s development.

All members of our team are DBS, Child Protection, and paediatric first-aid certified.

rufus

RUFUS GORDON DEAN
FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR

Rufus was educated at Harrow and Oxford Brookes University before joining the British army in 2006, where he commissioned into the Household Cavalry and went on to complete a tour of Afghanistan as well as ceremonial duties in London. He also spent a year at a training regiment instructing phase one recruits which he adored.

After leaving the army in 2014, Rufus embarked on a career in property development but missed the challenging and rewarding nature of army life, as well as the opportunities it presented for working with young people. TARKA was therefore set up as an opportunity to go back to what he enjoys the most. Rufus loves all sports, particularly rugby, cricket and skiing. He has bicycled across the United States, completed the Marathon des Sables twice and rowed the Atlantic Ocean.

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years Safeguarding

ARCHIE

ARCHIE LEON
Director

Archie was educated at Stowe School where he was Head of House and represented Middlesex County Club. He then worked at GQ magazine and Kelly Capital in San Diego. On returning to England he became a ‘manny’. Realising that he loved working with children, he became a teacher at Sunningdale Prep School where he taught English and History. During his time at Sunningdale, he won 50 school matches in a row as a coach of cricket, football and Rugby. A first for any teacher since the school was founded in 1874!

In addition to teaching in the classes, Archie sets the class syllabus for each term and oversees all Instructor training as well as ensuring the quality of classes are hitting the high TARKA standards.  

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years Safeguarding

tom

TOM LONG
DIRECTOR

Tom studied Sport Science at Durham University while playing professional rugby at Newcastle Falcons before joining the Army. After Sandhurst he served in the Household Cavalry Regiment (with Rufus) for 12 years completing multiple tours of Afghanistan and ceremonial duties in London.

 

On leaving the Army he worked for Goldman Sachs and BlackRock before joining TARKA to help develop the business. He has two young children who are both TARKA addicts.

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Designated Safeguarding Officer (Level 3) 

LEO-2

Leo bell

Leo was educated at St. Mary’s School Ascot and read Early Childhood Studies at Oxford Brookes University. For two University summers, she worked at Camp Echo, located in Upstate New York, where she helped run the aquatic activities for children.

Upon leaving Brookes, Leo worked at Pippa Pop-ins Nursery School where she built on her knowledge of the developmental process of the brain in young children. She chose to move to TARKA as she strongly believed in the importance of physical activity and making learning fun and active.   

Outside of her TARKA role, she is a keen skier and tennis player.

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Designated Safeguarding Officer (Level 3) 

OLLY

Oliver Lockhart

Ollie was educated at Ludgrove and Oundle school where his love of sport saw him represent the school in all his chosen sports including Athletics and Rugby.

Following school, he spent a season as a ski instructor in Austria. His favourite lessons were with younger children as he could see the rapid improvement in their confidence and ability as well as their sheer joy and excitement.

Ollie came to TARKA through his father, who was Rufus’s Commanding Officer in the Army, and brings with him some of his military upbringing balanced with being young enough to remember what is like to be a kid and what is currently cool!

Since starting at TARKA Ollie has quickly risen to become a Lead Instructor in our classes and birthdays and has travelled to several countries as a Mentor with some of our TARKA families over the holidays.

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years Safeguarding

ludo

Ludo Hughes

Ludo was educated at Sherborne School, University College London and Drama Centre London at Central St Martins. Alongside his acting he has worked in the service industry in London for many years in management and training roles.

Ludo was introduced to TARKA shortly after his niece was born. Needless to say, his sister now enjoys having a professional child-mentor in the family. He brings his imagination and bottomless energy into every class he leads. He is a keen runner and cyclist.

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years Safeguarding

NICK

Nick Hely-Hutchinson

Nick was educated at Eton and read Politics and Economics at Exeter University before pursuing a post graduate degree in law. 

 

Nick moved away from a career in law and started as a teaching assistant at London Nursery Schools – Bluebelll Cottage in High Street Kensington.

 

He has a great passion for exercise which influenced his move to TARKA and believes strongly in the importance of an active lifestyle paired with early education.

 

Outside of TARKA he can be found riding his motorbike and doing martial arts.

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years Safeguarding

fred

FRED LANCASTER

Fred was educated at Brighton College. He trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and obtained a 1st Class Honours Degree. Having left drama school Fred worked all over the UK, US & Europe both acting, directing and teaching. 

Closer to home, Fred is a keen supporter of Liverpool FC and has taken part in a number of Marathons and Triathlons.

He was introduced to TARKA by his good friend Tom Machell and was instantly drawn to the dynamism, discipline and fun vibes of the company.

Paediatric First Aid, DBS checked, Designated Safeguarding Officer (Level 3) 

RUPERT

RUPERT LOYD
OFFICE MANAGER

 

Rupert was educated at Bryanston School and Nottingham University. Before TARKA, he worked in outsourcing and mental healthcare. In 2008 and 2012, he went to work on several US political campaigns which is one of his passions.

 

At TARKA his encyclopaedic knowledge of the children’s names and schools helps with all class, private and birthdays bookings.