David joined Brewin Dolphin in 1998. His expertise covers a wide range of financial planning areas, including tax efficient investment, pension and retirement planning, investment planning, Inheritance Tax planning and trusts, and offshore investment. He holds the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning, and is a Chartered Financial Planner. He is also a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).
Alastair has always had a strong sense of international identity having spent his formative years studying for a European Baccalaureate at The European School, Culham. He graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from Edinburgh, but quickly realised he lacked the patience to be a research scientist. He subsequently worked for several years in London recruiting finance staff for a range of clients in the oil industry before returning to Edinburgh University to retrain as a teacher. Subsequently, as well as successfully producing two offspring, he taught in a state school in London before moving to Abingdon School where he taught biology and ran the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme. He moved to St. Edward’s, Oxford in 2008 and held various posts including Head of Year and Head of Biology before being promoted to lead the IB Diploma programme. Five years of effort saw IB numbers eventually eclipse the numbers studying A levels. Alastair joined St Clare’s in November 2018 and continues the development of the highly successful IB diploma programme at the college.
Alex Koch de Gooreynd
With over 12 years’ experience working within the Swiss residential real estate market, Alex is based in London responsible for Knight Frank’s extensive Swiss network. Alex also represents the firm as the Knight Frank private wealth ambassador for Switzerland, spending much of his time working closely with the private wealth advisory community, assisting clients to navigate their Swiss property plans.
Swiss certified Tax expert and Partner of Transforma, Aline specialises in international tax law for private individuals, national and international corporate tax law. She has more than 20 years of experience in relocating families and companies to all regions of Switzerland and with her team is able to advise on migration, tax, insurance, real estate purchase, succession and all other issues in connection with a relocation and also for Swiss resident persons. Aline speaks English, French, German and Italian.
Andrew Jack is global education editor for the Financial Times, writing on educational issues around the world and editorial lead for the free FT schools programme. He was previously head of curated content, deputy editor of the big read section, pharmaceuticals correspondent, and a foreign correspondent in France and Russia.
Head Master of Harrow from 1999 to 2011, Barnaby Lenon taught at Eton for twelve years, was Deputy Head Master of Highgate School from 1990-95 and Headmaster of Trinity School, Croydon from 1995-99. He has been a governor of twelve schools and is currently a governor of the Chelsea Academy and chairman of governors of the London Academy of Excellence in Newham, the first Free School to be set up for sixth formers and the first sponsored by a consortium of independent schools. He is Chairman of the Independent Schools Council, a Board member of Ofqual, and a trustee of the New Schools Network.
Ben Evans takes up the headship of Windlesham House School this September. Founded in 1837, Windlesham was one of the first prep schools in the UK and the first to go co-ed. Windlesham children have that rare combination of excellence, happiness and aplomb. We believe that children only truly achieve if they are happy in their environment. This permeates the school with a big emphasis on pastoral care, making sure the school becomes a genuine ‘home from home’. Devonshire born and bred, Ben Evans spent a large part of his childhood on Dartmoor where his mother now breeds Dartmoor ponies. He enjoyed lots of riding across the moor and worked at a trekking centre for many years during the holidays, plus broke horses to harness – quite a dangerous occupation at times. After graduating from the University of Exeter his first appointment was at Bramdean School (3-18 independent school) where he was a resident Housemaster and Head of History. He moved on to Brighton College as Head of History and continued to coach games and swimming.He then went back to Bramdean as Deputy Head. His next move was further afield – this time to Sri Lanka to be the Deputy Head at The British School in Colombo (he was also KS2 co-ordinator and Year 5 teacher). After two years he took over as Head. He met his wife, Alexandra, whilst in Sri Lanka and they married in 2008. Their son Edward was born in 2011, followed by Thomas in 2014. Ben joined Edge Grove in 2012 and has overseen the growth of the school from 320 to 528 pupils. Ben is currently an elected Councillor for Aldenham Parish Council, a Director of the Spiral Partnership Trust (a multi-academy trust of six primary schools) and a member of the Board of Reference for St Peter’s Prep school in Devon. In his spare time he enjoys all sports, has run 4 marathons, the most recent in 2017 and 2019, and spending time with his young family.
Brandan Pavey has over twenty years’ experience as a teacher as a headteacher, working across the age groups and with experience of both single sex and co-educational environments. Since joining as Headteacher in 2017, North Bridge House Senior School has achieved record results for two years in a row and secured its prominent ranking in the Sunday Times Results tables, whilst instilling a passion for a forward-thinking approach to teaching and learning. Brendan's philosophy is that schools should be great fun places to come to work and to learn - and that by setting the expectations levels very high, whilst supporting rather than pressurising pupils, excellent academic outcomes will follow. Brendan studied Geography at Durham (Hatfield College) before completing his PGCE in Secondary Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. Following that he completed his MA in Geography in Education. Brendan is married to Sarah and together they have four teenage children (Madeleine, Isabelle, Grace and Freddie). As a result, Mr Pavey brings an innate sense of understanding with regards to the challenges and rewards of guiding children on the transition from pre-teen to young adult. He has been a guest speaker at the Wellington Festival of Education as well as at many Cognita Conferences, and featured in the press on educational topics including mixed ability, noisy classrooms, and student wellbeing.
Candida trained at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford and studied History of Art with the University of Buckingham. She founded Fine Arts College with a colleague in 1978 and has been Principal ever since then. Candida is also a practising painter & playwright. Her plays have been performed at the Royal Academy, British Museum, Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery, London theatres, and for the British Councils in Florence, Bologna & Rome.
Charles Bonas is an acknowledged expert in the private education sector. He often features in articles in the national press on educational issues. In 1992 Charles founded Bonas MacFarlane. Recognised as ‘London’s leading educational consultancy’ (Tatler), Bonas MacFarlane consultants and tutors have helped thousands of children succeed at the leading schools and universities in Britain, Switzerland and the USA.
Charlie Taylor has worked across a wide range of property markets, including 8 years in central London, followed by 11 years in Winchester. Since 2009, Charlie has been Partner and Office Head at Knight Frank's Bath's office. Charlie specialises in prime city properties and country houses, working closely with the country house team in London, and other Knight Frank departments, including residential development, international, farms & estates, equestrian, professional valuation and Knight Frank finance; enabling him to provide a first class service within all property disciplines.
Charlotte Phillips, an Oxford graduate, is an SEN consultant and schools reviewer at The Good Schools Guide. A parent and former music specialist at a SW London prep school, she has also written on education and family life for The Telegraph, Times and Guardian, among others. Her three children, one with SEN, took very different educational paths, attending 12 different schools between them with one child home educated through GCSEs. All have ended up doing well. As a veteran of some wonderful moments but some dreadful ones too, she enjoys putting her experience and knowledge at the service of other parents for whom finding the right education is not always straightforward.
Chief Executive of GDST, Cheryl Giovannoni was born and brought up in South Africa and has a BA in English, Communication and Psychology from the University of South Africa. During her career at WPP she ran three of its companies, most recently Ogilvy & Mather, the advertising agency. Before this, Cheryl was European President of Landor Associates, a global brand consulting firm, where she was responsible for managing seven units across the region and worked with clients including P&G, Diageo and Kraft. Cheryl had previously been CEO of Coley Porter Bell, a consumer design and branding business. Cheryl enjoys mentoring and coaching and supports many young women, either informally as their mentor or through programmes run by WACL (Women in Advertising and Communication London).
David joined Knight Frank Finance in the spring of 2019 to run the Later Life Finance team, providing advice to wealthy older homeowners on Equity Release and other forms of finance. David has focused on the Equity Release market since 2005. Prior to Knight Frank, David worked for Retirement Advantage (Now Canada Life Home Finance), a lifetime mortgage provider, and the Financial Conduct Authority. David spent 2 years as a member of the Equity Release Council Standards Board and is now a member of their advisory panel and Risk Committee. David writes articles for Knight Frank and is often asked for comment by the press.
Dr Andy Mayfield
Dr Andy Mayfield studied Mathematics at Manchester and Oxford Universities and joined St Paul’s School as a Mathematics Teacher in 1992. In his time at the school he has been President of the Boat Club, Head of Year 12, run the School’s Outreach and Charity programme and for the past ten years been Director Of Admissions.
Dr Anthony Wallersteiner
Headmaster of Stowe since 2003, Anthony Wallersteiner was a History Scholar at Trinity College Cambridge and completed his Doctorate in Art Theory at the University of Kent. He was shortlisted for the Daily Telegraph and Spectator Young Journalist of the Year Competition for a report on dissident writers in Eastern Europe. Anthony taught History, English and General Studies at Sherborne, St Paul’s and Tonbridge. In 2003 Anthony was appointed Headmaster of Stowe and won the title of Tatler Headmaster of the Year in 2006. He governs at Maidwell, Ashfold and Winchester House School. Trusteeships have included membership of the Council of Tate St Ives, Children in Crisis (Chair) and, from March 2018, Chair of Street Child.
Dr Dominic Luckett
Dominic has been Headmaster and CEO of Sherborne School since January 2016. Dominic received a congratulatory first-class degree from the University of Leicester before studying for his doctorate on Henry VII at Magdalen College, Oxford. He then taught for eleven years at Harrow School before moving to Worth School as Deputy Head. In 2007, he became Headmaster of Mill Hill, a coeducational day and boarding school in North London. He has published various articles on early Tudor history, is a governor of several schools and was a member of the Council of the University of Leicester between 2009 and 2018. In September, he was named as the Tatler Best Head of a Public School 2020. His interests include music, antique clocks, indoor rowing and, when time allows, skiing and paragliding. Dominic is married to Cara, a barrister specialising in clinical negligence, and they have two young daughters, Charlie and Jemima.
Dr Kevin Stannard
Dr Kevin Stannard joined the GDST from University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE – now Cambridge Assessment International Education) where he was Director of Education. He was responsible for initiatives and international education reform projects including the introduction of the Cambridge Pre-U in both state and independent schools, the promotion of bilingual education in Spain and the Netherlands and the development of a new curriculum for model schools in Egypt. He has also been an advisor on curriculum reform to the Singapore Ministry of Education. Before joining CIE, Kevin taught at a number of independent schools including Eton College, where he was Head of Geography. While there he wrote a number of geography textbooks, conducted research on a range of geographical themes and was responsible for UCAS applications.
As a parenting specialist and London Director of The Parent Practice with over ten years experience, Elaine helps parents raise competent and confident children, through parenting classes, private coaching & keynote speaking in schools. She also delivers seminars to working parents in the corporate world, helping them find the holy grail of parenting, keeping calm! She faced the challenge of parenting her son, who had undiagnosed learning difficulties & at age seven, had been excluded from three schools. He experienced failure at a young age and was written off in society .However through the use of life changing positive parenting skills, her son’s self worth improved & he finished his schooling as Head Boy. Her mission is to impart her knowledge to other parents, to ensure all children, whether ‘different’ or ‘difficult’ ,survive and thrive in their educational years and beyond. She trained initially with The New Learning Centre in North London, then as an Effective Parenting Educator with Bonnie Harris, has accessed Neuro Linguistic Programming & done couples therapy work with the Gottman Institute. She regularly appears on SKY news, speaks on BBC radio & is quoted in the broadsheet press. In June 2016 Melissa and Elaine were featured in the Mail on Sunday ‘You’ magazine as two of the leading parenting experts in the UK. She is the author of a best selling book My Child’s Different , which was published September 2018. In her leisure time, she’s found on the golf course, often in Scotland, trying to compete ( in a healthy way) with her single handicapper daughter and visiting hospitals and care homes with her therapy dog Bonnie.
Emma began her career in 2004, in investment banking (RBS, Bank of America Merrill Lynch) before joining Brewin Dolphin in 2014. She works with family lawyers, accountants, IFAs and private clients to help create financial security for the future.
Having graduated from New College, Oxford with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Emma started her career in teaching at Stowe School. She was a Housemistress to Sixth Form girls there before moving on to Canford School in Dorset to run a 13-18 day house in addition to teaching Economics and being responsible for Oxford and Cambridge entrance. In 2001, Emma was appointed Admissions Tutor and then Senior Mistress at Dean Close Senior School and worked there for six years before taking up the Headship of Christ College, Brecon, the first female Head in that School’s 475 year history. During her 10 years at Christ College, Emma oversaw the enhancement of academic results, expansion of school numbers, significant building work including new facilities for Science and Creative Arts, the opening of a Junior School and a partnership with a Malaysian company to open a sister school in Kuala Lumpur. Emma is a champion for co-education, for the benefits of boarding, and for both excellence and inclusivity inside and outside the classroom. She has contributed extensively to BBC Radio and TV in Wales as well as writing and speaking on educational issues across the independent sector. Knowing Dean Close well, Emma was delighted to take up the leadership of the Foundation at an exciting time in its development, with ambitious and inspiring building work planned for the senior school and with growing and deepening relationships between the family of schools and nurseries, now offering outstanding care and education from the first months of life into adulthood.
An international/national Neurodiversity consultant and trainer. Former Head teacher of the Centre Academy from 1996 -2002, the first specialist school in the UK for students aged 7-19 specialising in ADHD, ASD and ODD. Fin is an associate lecturer for Leicester University, the National Association of Special Needs, the Institute of Education, the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre and the former Vice Chairman of the UK ADHD Network and of the European ADHD Alliance. Currently, Fin works as trainer and consultant for schools and school support systems including, Social Services, Health, the Police and Foster carers. He specialises in providing behaviour management strategies for children and families struggling with SEND and behaviour issues and has authored several books and scholarly articles on the subject of ADHD, ODD and a range of Learning, Behaviour and Socialisation issues.
Gareth is Principal of Cardiff Sixth Form College. After serving 17 years in boarding schools in the UK and internationally, fulfilling pastoral roles of Housemaster, Head of Boarding, Head of Pastoral and Headteacher as well as teaching, marketing and admissions roles, he joined Cardiff Sixth Form College in 2015. Gareth is a passionate exponent of international, boarding education and is proud to be associated with such a highly academic and top-performing institution as Cardiff Sixth Form College. As a Welshman, he is honoured to be able to contribute not only to one of Wales’ leading educational establishments, but also to one of its leading businesses.
Grace has worked for the Guide for over 14 years. She has extensive experience of advising parents about schools and education. With four school age children of her own, all at different kinds of school, Grace understands the pressures and anxieties that parents experience surrounding decisions about the education of their children.
Director of Tuition at Bonas MacFarlane, Harry Cobb spent two years working as a residential tutor out in Kazakhstan. Since 2013 Harry has worked with Bonas MacFarlane and overseen thousands of successful tutoring placements and homeschooling assignments.
Helen Lowe has been Head of Bute House Preparatory School for Girls since 2012. During her thirty years’ career in education Helen has worked extensively in both the maintained and independent sectors, at secondary and primary schools, teaching English and Drama. She is a Governor at Hampton Boys’ School, a member of the Governors’ Education Committee at Latymer Upper School, a Team Inspector for ISI and sits on the Members and Accreditation Committee for the GSA. Helen is committed to ensuring children move on to the ‘right school for them’ at 11+. Her school’s non-competitive academic ethos is unique; girls are encouraged to run their own best race. She works tirelessly with parents to choose the right school for their daughter and to support them in their navigation of the 11+ minefield! Helen is married with two grown-up children and enjoys all aspects of the Arts in her spare time.
James began his career in financial services with the accountants Blackstone Franks before joining Advisory & Brokerage Services (A&B) in 1993. During his 15 years at A&B (which later became Origen) his team focused on the planning needs for high net worth clients. He holds the Diploma in Financial Planning (Dip PFS) and was made a Divisional Director in early 2013. James is responsible for providing clients with holistic financial planning advice and specialises in inheritance tax and retirement planning. He is also an affiliate member of STEP.
James Barton is Director of Admissions at Mander Portman Woodward (MPW). Having worked at MPW for 12 years, James is a huge believer in the sector and the virtues of a different approach to education. He has a wealth of experience from educational policy to interviewing, coaching and advising students on subject choices, university applications and careers. James is also author of the popular Getting into Medical School, Getting into Veterinary School and Getting into Engineering guides, and sits annually on medical school panels. Alongside giving presentations both domestically and internationally on a range of educational topics, James is a contributing editor for varying publications and has given talks for the How to Academy and TEDx. James read BA (Hons) Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at University of Warwick, before gaining an MA Acting and working for many years as a professional actor.
James Bonas read Psychology at Oxford and is one of the founding tutors of Bonas MacFarlane. James is one of the company's lead assessors and with over 20-years of teaching experience is able to support pupils and help parents navigate their way through the educational system with enthusiasm and skill. When James is not tutoring, he works as a theatre and opera director.
James Dahl was appointed 15th Master of Wellington College from September 2019. Prior to that he was Second Master Elect as well as Deputy Head Pastoral, having served previously as Director of Admissions & Marketing. Educated at The Royal Grammar School, Newcastle and Haileybury, and having read Classics at Cambridge, James started his career under Anthony Seldon at Brighton College, becoming Head of Classics at the age of 23 and then Head of Sixth Form. He left Brighton in 2006 to become a Housemaster at Repton, before joining Wellington in September 2013. James is also a Grade 8 flautist, pianist and percussionist, and represented Cambridge at second team level in both cricket and rugby.
James began his educational journey as a teaching assistant, working 1:1 with children with a range of learning and behavioural needs. After this, he qualified as a secondary school English teacher through the TeachFirst programme (working in a 'turn-around' school). Since then, he has worked as a tutor with Bonas Macfarlane, and is simultaneously studying a masters in educational leadership at UCL. Beyond tutoring, he enjoys leading on the Duke of Edinburgh programmes, climbing Himalayan mountains, and has cycled 20,000km across Africa and Asia.
Jemima is the School Project Manager for the Place2Be service at Knightsbridge School. Educated at St Mary’s School, Ascot, she studied Classics at Oxford University before working in investment consulting for six years. Jemima retrained as a child psychotherapist /counsellor through the Place2Be charity and is registered with BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy).
John Solosy, Chartered Financial Planner, Solosy Wealth Management. John began his career in financial services in the City of London prior to looking for a little excitement and joining the British Army. John attended Sandhurst and after 10 years and having achieved the rank of Major he had a family of his own and decided to re-embark on a career as a Financial Adviser. John is a Chartered Financial Planner specialising in intergenerational wealth and tax efficient school fees planning.
Julia Harrington is Headmistress of Queen Anne’s School in Berkshire, an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11 – 18. An Exeter University graduate in History and Government and Politics, Julia’s first job was at the Independent Television Companies Association. Following the birth of her three children, Julia trained as a history teacher. She joined Prior’s Field School in 1996 and was appointed Deputy Head in 2003. Julia joined Queen Anne’s School as Headmistress in 2006. Julia, who has also trained as a psychodynamic counsellor, has always been interested in neuroscience. In 2013, she established BrainCanDo (BCD), an educational neuroscience programme which she introduced into Queen Anne’s School. She believed that the knowledge gained from research into how the brain learns, and its potential - as well as its vulnerability - during adolescence, should be fed into the education system and translated into programmes for schools, using neuroscience, psychology and motivational skills. Working with academics at the Universities of Reading and Goldsmiths (University of London), BrainCanDo has undertaken research into a number of areas including emotional contagion; the effect of music on sporting and academic performance; the value of self-affirmation; how to deal with anxiety and stress, especially in preparing for exams; how memory works; sleep and bio-rhythms, and has developed resources for teachers to develop their own expertise and bring evidence-based teaching practice into the classroom. Queen Anne’s School is part of the United Westminster and Grey Coat Foundation, which includes four other schools (independent and state).
Julian Thomas is Director of JPT Consulting, and an inspirational speaker, combining his experience of high-level organisational leadership with tales and lessons from some of the world’s iconic adventure challenges. He was until September 2019, the Master of Wellington College and Chief Executive of the Wellington College Group of Academies and Schools, as well as Chairman of the Wellington College Multi Academy Trust. He was a founding governor of the London Academy of Excellence - now regarded as a model for state-independent school partnerships. Julian is a champion of meaningful collaboration between state and independent schools and is committed to forging links between the two sectors. Following an early career in IT in the banking and oil sectors, Julian taught at Forest School and St. Dunstan’s College, where he co-authored several Maths text books. He went on to be Director of Studies at Portsmouth Grammar School and Second Master at Hampton School. After completing an MBA in Educational Leadership, Julian was appointed Head at Caterham School in 2007. He became the 14th Master of Wellington College in 2015. In 2014, Julian completed an unassisted 950km trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and, more recently, he has competed in the Marathon des Sables and will attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean in December 2019. He has climbed Mont Blanc and Gran Paradiso and is in the process of acquiring his freefall skydiving licence. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2016, he was named by the Evening Standard in The Progress 1000 – London’s most influential people. In 2019, he was named in the i25 - one of independent education’s 25 most influential people.
Mrs Reynolds joined Royal High School Bath in January 2020, from her Headship at Leweston School in Dorset and brings a breadth of experience to her role in Bath. Mrs Reynolds has a commercial background, having practised Law in London and Somerset before moving into teaching English and Drama.
Mr Koen Claeys is the Headmaster of The Moat School, a thriving specialist SpLD day school for children aged 9-18 years old with a campus in Fulham and a brand new Sixth Form centre in Ravenscourt Park. Koen started his teaching career in Belgium, where he was born and educated, before moving to the UK in 2002 to teach Languages. He spent thirteen years at St James’ Senior Boys School holding several senior positions including Deputy Head. Prior to joining The Moat School in 2019, Koen was the Headmaster of Bredon School in Gloucestershire, an award-winning dyslexia-specialist boarding and day school which under Koen’s leadership was named as the number one school in the UK for ‘value added’ at Post-16. Koen values the importance of the relationship between school and home and is a firm believer in providing pupils with access to an appropriate and ‘hands-on’ curriculum, focusing on the needs of the individual, providing specialist support in the form of therapies and assistive technologies, and ensuring the best academic outcomes and opportunities for all. He is an ISI Inspector, a Governor for Thamesmead School in Shepperton, an 11-16 years Academy School, and the Safeguarding Governor for Shrewsbury House School Trust, a group of 3 pre-prep and prep schools in the Surbiton/ Kingston area.
Lisa is based in NYU’s London office. Born and raised in France, Lisa also lived in Denmark and spent a couple of years in leafy upstate New York. A proud Star Wars fan since childhood, she is also a keen traveller to India and a big fan of tennis at Wimbledon.
Lucinda Byron Evans
Miss Lucinda began her teaching career doing work experience at Young England Kindergarten in 2000. She then continued her training and gained a degree in Early Childhood studies, followed by a PGCE in Primary Education specialising in Early Years. Miss Lucinda obtained her QTS in June 2008 whilst teaching a reception class at Eaton House, The Manor School. Miss Lucinda re-joined Young England in 2009 and became Head Teacher in September 2011. Located in the heart of Pimlico, Young England Kindergarten is a family-run nursery school that has been educating children since the 1960’s. Young England Kindergarten is proud to hold an OFSTED ‘outstanding’ rating. We are passionate about creating a fun, loving and educational space for our children. Our children are encouraged to explore their potential and develop at a relaxed pace that is rewarding, fun and challenging.
Magoo was previously Head of Knightsbridge School from 2006-2015 and Head of Garden House Boys' School from 2000 - 2006. He was educated at Eton College before being commissioned in the Coldstream Guards. During his military career Magoo served in the UK, Belize, Spain, Cyprus and Germany and was latterly Adjutant of the battalion in Bosnia looking after the 1,100 men and women in theatre. He was Aide de Camp to Lieutenant General the Hon Sir William Rous for two years and Coldstream Equerry to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for two years. Magoo is a keen sportsman and sports fan and lists other interests as children, travel, public speaking/entertaining, writing children’s stories and his family. Magoo is the founder of Knightsbridge School and created the KS Code.
Matt Way joined Stonar in September 2019 bringing with him over 20 years' experience of working in predominantly boarding schools, including Milton Abbey, Stowe and Mount Kelly. He knew of the school's strong academic record and leading equestrian reputation prior to joining and has been building on these and, despite the difficult year, the school has increased in size and continues to grow.
Since joining The Good Schools Guide in 2013, there is hardly a corner of outer London and the home counties that Melanie has not visited, notepad in hand. She has prolifically reviewed prep, grammar, state and independent day and boarding schools across the area and is well connected with head teachers, registrars and local parents – crucial for an inside scoop (and the occasional last minute interview or entrance exam). A former PR agency director, Melanie relishes putting her consultancy skills to good use to respond to families’ individual briefs, helping them achieve clarity in what can be a bewildering process. Mum to two school-age sons, she has experienced first hand the perils and pitfalls of state school applications, prep school admissions, the 11+, the moveable feast of grammar school catchments, pre-tests and, with Common Entrance on the horizon, is well positioned to empathise with and guide her clients. An advisor since 2014, Melanie has worked with families tackling international and UK relocations, education planning, troubleshooting and, sometimes, simply providing a calm sounding board.
Mike founded Ashbourne College in 1981 and has since presided over its continuing academic development and success. Mike is a key figure in the promotion of independent education in the UK through organisations such as the Council for Independent Education. Mike was also formerly a lay member of the Admissions Panel for Medicine at UCL and Head of Faculty for Mathematics and Physics, one of Ashbourne's most successful departments. Mike studied Aerospace Engineering and Statistics at the Universities of Toronto and London.
Neil McLaughlan has been Head Master of Westminster Cathedral Choir School since 2007. He graduated from Durham University with a First in Philosophy and Politics, before working in management consultancy with Accenture (then Andersen Consulting). In 1997 he took up a vocational career in teaching, first at Worth School and then as Head of English and Director of Admissions at Downside School. The independent Good Schools Guide says of Neil’s leadership at WCCS: ‘Under Neil’s visionary yet kindly leadership, this has become an inspiring school that is going from strength to strength.’ Neil lives in London and is married to Philippa. They have two children: Miranda (13) who is at Godolphin and Latmyer School, and Edmund (12) who is at WCCS, and heading to KCS Wimbledon in 2020.
Nick Seward was Chaplain and Housemaster at Magdalen College School in Oxford before taking the post of Headmaster at KHS in 2008. Alongside a continuing commitment to academic rigour, the stunning Cotswold setting has facilitated the development of a School farm and environmental science programme, during a decade when the School has seen both numerical growth and a multi-million pound development in facilities. The Headmaster's personal enthusiasms are indulged with the addition of a motorsport team, a choral tradition, and his position as licensee of the Sixth Form bar(!). The latter has been a very successful way of developing manners and social graces; part of Kingham's commitment to holistic development in sport, music, and service, which equips young people to flourish in their wider lives and careers. Childhood is protected and nurtured; there is a strict policy on devices, with smartphones banned during the School day, alongside a commitment to STEM and adaptive technology in learning. He is committed to the local community as a governor of the village primary school and vice-chair of Kingham All Blacks football club, and married with four children.
Patrick Derham has been Head Master of Westminster School since September 2014. After studying History at Cambridge he taught at Cheam and Radley before becoming Head Master of Solihull School in September 1996 and Rugby in September 2001. Passionate about widening access Patrick set up the Arnold Foundation for Rugby School in 2003 which provides a boarding education at Rugby to under-privileged children and was instrumental in the setting up of the SpringBoard Bursary Foundation, a new national charity closely modelled on the Arnold Foundation, in November 2012. He is also Deputy Chairman of Trustees of IntoUniversity and a Trustee of the Gladstone Library. At Westminster Patrick is closely involved with Harris Westminster Sixth Form, an academically selective free school which has as its key objective to transform the education of the most able London students. Patrick co-edited Liberating Learning Widening Participation with Michael Worton (2010) and Cultural Olympians with John Taylor (2013) and edited Loyal Dissent (2016). In The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2018, Patrick was awarded an OBE for services to Education.
I'm a Tulane alum, and Miami-native. I first came to campus in 2007 to start my bachelor’s degree. The biggest surprise of my time on campus was becoming captain of the university equestrian team. It wasn’t something I actively explored before coming to Tulane, but became a big passion. After my first degree I spent a year researching in Finland's Arctic region through a Fulbright grant. I later returned to Tulane for my second degree and to start my current role. New Orleans' innate urge to celebrate almost anything through a festival or special meal is one of my favorite parts of living here! The city always seems to be alive with music or some sort of celebration.
Paul Jones, of Hawkins Thomas Wealth Management, gained an interest in financial services whilst as a professional international rugby player having observed the financial pitfalls of incapacity due to injury. As a Financial Adviser, his early career specialised in wealth management for medical and dental professionals, and this over time has developed into helping high earning parents plan and pay for their children's education.
Ralph Lucas joined The Good Schools Guide in 1995 and became editor in chief in 2000. He has run The Guide since then and, although he still visits a few schools every year to keep his hand in, his main activities are in managing the The Good Schools Guide and acting as a spokesperson. He is an active backbencher in the House of Lords where he takes a keen interest education politics. Education data and its analysis are areas in which Ralph continues to work closely – as a former physicist, and an inveterate programmer, he has undertaken most of the work that underlies the online Guide's extensive distillations of schools’ information.
Richard was Aiglon’s Head Master from 1994 to 2000 and from 2009 to 2019, since when he has taken up the newly created role of Executive Director. Before Aiglon, Richard taught for 10 years in the UK, seven years at Charterhouse and three years at Christ’s Hospital as a housemaster; he has also held a leadership role at Collège Alpin Beau Soleil in Switzerland. Richard serves on the global Board of Trustees of Round Square and on the board of the Swiss Group of International Schools, which he chaired for four years. He is a lifelong champion of challenging holistic education.
Sarah Kerr-Dineen has been Head of Oundle School since 2015. Under her leadership the School has embarked on an ambitious ten year Strategic Plan which, at its heart, aims to instil in pupils the skills, attitudes and habits of mind that will sustain them throughout a long life, enabling them to flourish at School and beyond. Sarah’s teaching career spans over twenty years, including thirteen at St Edward’s, Oxford where she was also a Boarding Housemistress and ultimately Director of Studies. She moved to Forest School, a diamond structured independent day school in London, as its Warden in 2009 before joining Oundle as Head. Sarah was educated at Steyning Grammar School, West Sussex before going on to gain an MA in English at Trinity College, Cambridge and to pursue graduate study at Christ Church, Oxford. She is married to Anthony who plays an active role in Oundle School and together they have four grown up children.
I’m an assistant director of admissions at Tufts University, where I have worked since January 2016 with both domestic and international students. My own education from primary years to graduate school all took place in the UK (with a brief study abroad in Japan). I’ve always had a passion for international education and upon moving to the United States in 2016 I found a way to help other young people explore the benefits of an interdisciplinary education with a global focus through my work in admissions at Tufts University. I work at Tufts because our students are curious, collaborative and have a great sense of humor, and they find inspiration, community and great mentors through faculty, students and staff here.
Sebastian Hepher was appointed as Principal of the Eaton Square Schools Group in September 2019. This includes four nurseries, a Pre Prep., Prep and Upper School; an education from 2.5 years through to 18 years old. Mr Hepher joined Eaton Square School in 2010, since when the school has grown significantly, as has its standing. The pupils now follow a more academically rigorous and stimulating curriculum, whilst at the same time having wonderful opportunities through the extra-curricular provision. The School has been led through two ISI inspections under his Headship where the findings were Excellent on both occasions. Mr Hepher is a Council member of IAPS and is Chairman of IAPS 1S (70 Prep Schools in London and southern suburbs) and currently sits on the 1S Committee too; he was previously the Treasurer for IAPS 1S.
Head of Knightsbridge School, Shona has been working in education for over 20 years. She began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language, both in this country and abroad. After a period working in Environmental Management, she trained at the University of Oxford (Mansfield College) and returned to teaching Science to GCSE and Biology at ‘A’ Level, initially in large, maintained secondary schools before moving to the independent sector where she was lucky enough to set up a Science department from scratch. Shona has been a Head of Science, Director of Studies and Deputy Head before accepting the Headship of KS, which is described by her as a: 'unique, warm and caring school where happy staff and happy children achieve amazing things.’ She has an MA with distinction in Educational Leadership and is trained as an ISI School Inspector.
Siobhan joined Southbank in September 2013. She was born in New Zealand to Irish and English parents and is a passionate reader. She regularly lectures on teacher training and educational leadership courses at university and runs in-service insets for schools. Siobhan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and History (University of Canterbury), a Diploma of Teaching (Christchurch College of Education) and a Master’s in Educational Leadership (University of Buckingham).
Sir Anthony Seldon
Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Buckingham since 2015, is one of Britain’s leading contemporary historians, educationalists, commentators and political authors. He was a transformative head for 20 years, first of Brighton College and then Wellington College.
Susan Hamlyn, director emerita of The Good Schools Guide Education Consultants, created and managed for six years the Good Schools Guide's team of expert consultants. Prior to that she was senior editor of The Good Schools Guide for 12 years. She continues to advise on all things educational and family-related in talks to parents and through advising individual clients. Formerly head of English and drama at a London independent school, Susan has been teaching English to children and adults for more than 40 years in schools, colleges and one-to-one. She has been a GCSE and A level English examiner and a school governor. Susan is the writer of numerous books on English at the 11+ level. She has written many other books, stories and poems for children and writes regular journalism for national press on educational matters.
Head Since 2013, Susan McLean BSc, MA (50s). Born and educated in Michigan, USA. Awarded sports scholarship to Central Michigan University, for BSc in special education. Father English, mother Canadian, piquing a lifelong interest in travel. Keen to discover British heritage she crossed the Atlantic for a teaching exchange programme in Winchester. Further academia followed with degrees in elementary education and psychology, plus a masters in administrative leadership. Taught at The American International School in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, staying on in Saudi to establish the early years and pre-prep British International School. A desire to return to the UK saw her take proprietorial headship of The Old Vicarage, Derby, from 2002-2007. Perpetually seeking new challenges Mrs McLean decided to leave education for the world of business but at the eleventh hour her gambit was halted when the CEO of The Cothill Trust asked her to become headmistress of Kitebrook.
Ms Tanya Moran is the Headteacher of Abingdon House School and College, a flourishing specialist day school in Marylebone for children with specific learning difficulties, autism, social communication difficulties and other associated needs, aged 5 to 19 years old. Tanya is a Mathematics and Science teacher and specialist in pastoral care and well-being. She began her teaching career overseas and moved to the UK in 2004, joining The Harrodian School as a Head of Year and teacher of Mathematics, before being appointed as Deputy Head Teacher. She was the co-founder and Principal of The Independent School (TIS) near Hammersmith, a mainstream, co-educational, independent secondary school for students with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia, together with those who perform better in a more individualised environment. In 2015, TIS became part of the Cavendish Education Group. Tanya is also a founding member of Thomson House School in Mortlake, where she remains a Trustee and has been a member on the Board of Governors as Vice Chair, Link Governor for SEND and Safeguarding, and Chair of the Education Committee.
Tim joined Kingham Hill in September 2015. Having graduated as a PE teacher (University of Northampton), he has been involved in Learning Support for the past 8 years, holding various SpLD qualifications. He has a passion for supporting young people and enabling them to flourish and reach their potential, both in and out of school. Tim loves all sports and played hockey for Oxford Hawks in the National League for 10 years. Tim is a Housemaster for senior boys and is married with 3 young children.
A strong strategic thinker with a particular interest in research and how it is used, I have 14 years' experience in advertising and public service broadcasting.
In his role as an Educational Consultant, William has advised countless families from around the globe on gaining places at leading Independent Schools in the UK. He has been featured in publications including The Times, The Economist and Tatler and has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.