About Us

Exceptional Academics is one of London’s leading tutoring agencies, established by Matthew Chan, Director of Maths, and Dara Hanley, Director of English. Both highly experienced teachers for the past twenty years collectively, and Ofsted Grade 1 ‘Outstanding’ teachers, both Matthew and Dara are extremely passionate about learning and helping their students to reach their full potential.

As former Head of Literacy across the Curriculum and Head of Mathematics, their vast experience and expertise makes Exceptional Academics one of the most trusted, reliable and personal tutoring companies in the U.K.

Our Philosophy

With teaching that inspires; a positive attitude to learning; high expectations from our tutors; a positive attitude to learning; determination and hard work from our students and consistent parental support, we believe that every child is able to succeed academically.

Why we do it

It is very simple: we love learning; we love our subjects and we love fostering that love of learning in our students, which we hope will continue into their adult lives.

We have even been known to inspire our students to have aspirations to be educators themselves. One of our students who we had the pleasure of assisting to gain entry in the number one girls grammar school in the country, Tiffin Girls’ School recently said, “I want to teach English in a fun way like Dara when I grow up. I want to inspire others like she inspired me.”


I have a 10 year old son who has been working with Dara and Matthew both privately in one on one tuition and through the holiday courses at the Chelsea Library. I can honestly say that Exceptional Academics are first class and in a league of their own.

I can honestly say, that having had no less than probably 25 tutors across 3 other children (all older now), that Exceptional Academics have been the best. What I rave about most is that they get kids and this is so important. I highly recommend them and would be happy to speak to any parent about my experience!


The Directors

Dara Hanley

English Specialist

Graduating with a first class honours PGCE from University College Dublin in 2004, Dara began her teaching career in London ten years ago. Prior to this, she read English and French at UCD where she obtained a high 2.1; however, her academic achievements were first evident while attending Mount Anville School. Her Leaving Certificate (A level equivalent) results placed her in the top 5% nationally.

Over the past ten years, she has gained a breadth of experience teaching in inner-city state schools, where she was Head of Literacy across the Curriculum, to the elite grammar school, Tiffin Girls' School. consistently rated outstanding or good with outstanding features from The Lead Inspector of Ofsted and Heads of English, Dara has a consistent exceptional track record of facilitating students to excel in English at both Primary and Secondary level. While teaching at Tiffin Girls' School, Dara achieved the highest early entry GCSE results in English.

In the course of her work as an English tutor for 11+ and 13+ Common Entrance, her students have gained entry into elite academically selective schools including: Tiffin Girls' School, Eton College, Winchester College, Wellington College, City of London, Latymer, Lady Eleanor Holles, St Paul's Girls and Boys Schools, Alleyns, Dulwich College, Kings College Wimbledon, Wimbledon High and Putney High.

With Dara's input, our son was offered places at all three highly selective schools he applied for including an academic scholarship at Alleyn's school. She has been a real star! GA, Paddington

She has excellent teaching skills, is engaging, academically rigorous whilst making the lesson fun and interesting for my daughter. AG, Chelsea

Matthew Chan

Mathematics Specialist

Matthew read Mathematics and Education Studies at the University of Cambridge and graduated his Bachelor degree in 2007 with honours. He obtained qualified teaching status in 2008 and further completed his Masters in Mathematics Education in 2011 while he was teaching full time.

Matthew is an experienced Maths teacher who also worked as a Head of Maths for several years. He has been teaching the subject for over 7 years in both the state and the independent sector. With his extensive knowledge within the field of Mathematics education, his love and passion for the subject, he is very effective at helping students of all abilities to excel, and at the same time, he makes the subject fun and ensures it stays engaging for all his pupils. His teaching has been rated 'outstanding' or 'good with outstanding features' in all his lessons observed by either Ofsted inspectors or the headteachers in his previous schools. He uses a variety of resources in his lessons, including interactive electronic lesson slides, games, hands-on objects, exclusive past entrance and exam papers.

With his tutees, he has a proven track record for achieving predicted GCSE grades, and a 100% successful rate in gaining admission places in 11+ and 13+ entrance exams, such as St. Paul's, Latymer, Goldolphin & Latymer, City of London, Cheltenham Ladies College, Tiffin's Boys, Tiffin’s Girls, Alleyn’s School, Harrodian, etc.

Matthew is a highly organised and effective
Maths teacher JC, Kensington

Matthew has been tutoring my daughter for approximately one year. During this time, he has moved her from being an average Maths student to the winner of the Maths cup this year at school.  AG, Chelsea

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0203 002 3770
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