Year-round advice & support delivered online.
Year-round advice & support delivered online.
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.
Alex Philo has worked across a wide range of property markets, in London and Surrey. Alex is Partner at Knight Frank's Wimbledon office.
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.
Alison Melrose has worked in co-educational and single-sex London Prep schools for over 25 years. Starting her career at Norland Place leading on Pre-Prep curriculum and enrichment, Alison moved to Broomwood Hall where she was Head of one of their schools for eight years and latterly worked centrally across the group as a Director. During her teaching career, Alison has worked across all Prep age groups and has been a co-opted school governor for over seven years, leading the development of a bilingual curriculum and school improvement. Alison joined Cognita in 2017 to develop the expansion of their London schools and was appointed as Headmistress of Prince’s Gardens Preparatory School which opened in September 2020 in Kensington.
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.
Principal and Headteacher (1999 to 2017) of Falkner House, Mrs Anita Griggs BA PGCE (60s) was educated at Queen’s College, Harley Street, then studied history and economics at York University. Spent her early career at the Bank of England, before heading the economics department at St Paul’s Girls’ School. The London school system is in her DNA! Today Mrs Griggs is principal of both the Boys’ and Girls’ Schools, working alongside her daughters Mrs Dixon and Mrs Rogers who head up the two schools.
I graduated from Durham University with BA Hons QTS and took my first post at the Dragon as Head of Girls’ games and Year 4 Form Teacher. Subsequently, I spent six years teaching English and Maths and coaching rugby at Caldicott School. After this, I returned to the Dragon with my family, initially to run Charlbury House and more recently School House (for boys in Years 7 & 8), and am now Joint Head of Boarding together with my husband, Marcus. We love planning fun activities for the boarders and working with the Houseparents to ensure that all our boarding families are well supported and the children are happy. The pastoral experience gained in the boarding environment coupled with extensive professional development has given me the ideal experience and knowledge to lead the PSHEE department at the Dragon. I enjoy teaching PSHEE because it is such an important and relevant subject, it teaches the children about life skills and we cover some gritty topics and have some really searching and informative discussions. I am passionate about Mental Health and wellbeing. To relax, I enjoy photography and gardening and can be found walking my dog ‘Coco Lily Faulkner’ around the University Parks.
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.
Benedict Dunhill is headmaster of Redcliffe School in Chelsea. He has 25 years’ experience working in British private schools – 15 years of headship in leading boarding prep schools and in London day prep schools followed ten years in senior schools as a teacher, tutor and boarding housemaster. Benedict also taught English in Le Puy, France. Benedict is a governor of two schools, in the independent and maintained sectors and has served as an inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate, ISI for many years. Benedict has an extended overview of the independent school sector from 3 – 18; co-educational and single sex, boarding and day. This perspective and his close knowledge of the transition requirements at each stage, as well as his many close contacts within schools, allows Benedict to have a highly informed and impartial view at all stages of a child’s educational journey. As well as being a governor within the Drapers’ Multi Academy Trust, Benedict is a member of the Charities Committee of the Drapers’ Company. Benedict has a degree in French Language and Literature and began his working life in the City before moving into education.
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.
Camilla is a specialist in the scholarship and bursary provision offered by UK independent schools. Having studied history at Oxford, Camilla joined the Teach First scheme and spent three years teaching in an inner London school, before moving into the independent sector at a successful co-ed in west London for six years. Alongside teaching Camilla was providing advice to students (and their parents) preparing for entrance to day and boarding schools in London and the south east. In 2015 Camilla left teaching to do this full-time. She says, I have always loved getting to know schools and working out what makes them tick. I listen carefully to families’ needs and work closely with them to find the kind of school environment that will allow their child to thrive. Now that I have two children of my own I appreciate all the more how hard it is to find the right way through the jungle of options out there - so I feel very lucky to be a part of this process for others.
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).
Chris Druce is a senior research analyst at Knight Frank covering the UK residential market.
Mr Christopher Cockerill grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and Surrey. Before joining Fulham School, Christopher was the Director of Sixth Form at North London Collegiate School. He has worked in several other leading independent schools, including Highgate School and Sevenoaks School. Christopher has had broad experience of different pre-university curricula, including the International Baccalaureate, A-Level qualifications, and American advanced placement courses. Throughout his career, he has worked in both single-sex and co-educational, boarding and non-boarding settings.
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.
David Goodhew was born in West London, and attended a local comprehensive school before going to Oxford to read Classics. He taught Classics at Bancroft’s School and Eton College, before becoming Head of Classics at Bristol Grammar School. He gained his experience of senior management at Arnold School (Director of Studies) and Durham School (Senior Deputy Head). In 2012 he became the Head of Latymer Upper School. He is married with two children, and hobbies include cycling and classical musical; he is a keen amateur violinist.
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 2019, 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 Gary Savage
Dr Savage grew up in Suffolk. He read History at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, taking a Double First before completing a PhD on the political culture and foreign policy of later 18th-century France. He was Head of History and Master-in-College at Eton College, and then became Under Master at Westminster School for four years. From 2010 he was Headmaster at Alleyn’s, where he continued to modernise and improve the School while preserving its character and ethos, and in September 2020 he returned to Westminster School as Head Master. He is married to Natalie and enjoys History, the Arts, studying German, walking his two Jack Russell terriers and following the fortunes of Ipswich Town FC.
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.
Dr Mike Milner
Mike has been Head of Senior School at Reddam House Berkshire since 2017. Following an undergraduate biochemistry degree at St Edmund Hall Oxford, he studied for a DPhil in molecular genetics in the university's Plant Science department. In 2000, he started his teaching career at Westminster School and became Head of Biology. Following 8 years living in London, he moved to Wellington College where he was Deputy Head (Academic) until 2013. Having increasingly become involved with Wellington's state school operations in Wiltshire, he moved over as full time Executive Principal of their sponsored academies and established improved results and Ofsted inspection outcomes. He has enjoyed the transition back into the independent sector at Reddam House, near Reading, which opened in 2015 as part of the Inspired Education group of schools. Reddam has grown rapidly since opening and benefits from being part of a global network of 70 schools.
Dr Ruth Sullivan
Ruth became Head of Sherborne Girls in September 2018, and since then one of her main priorities has been the development of 21 century women: wellbeing, voice, empowerment, adaptability, digital agility and resilience. One aspect of this has been strengthening the unique relationship with Sherborne School and the two schools’ ‘separate yet together’ offering, where pupils from each school can benefit from the best of both worlds. Ruth was previously Deputy Master at Haileybury College; Head of Sixth Form at The Queen’s School, Chester; Head of Geography at Glenalmond College and Housemistress at St John’s School, Leatherhead. Ruth was educated at City of London School for Girls and Sherborne Girls. She read Geography at Edinburgh University and in 2007 took four years out of teaching to complete an MSc (Population and Health) and PhD (Epidemiology) from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Ruth has travelled extensively throughout the world, often on foot or on bike, and competed in numerous marathons, half-ironman and ironman events.
Dr Tim Hands
Dr Tim Hands is Headmaster of Winchester College, having joined the school in September 2016. Tim was previously the Master of Magdalen College School, Oxford.
Educated in the state sector, Tim studied the violin at the Guildhall School of Music before reading English at King’s College London of which he was recently made an honorary Fellow. He has a doctorate in Philosophy from Oxford, where he was a lecturer in English Literature at Oriel College.
Tim has extensive experience in the independent sector acquired during his time as a boarding housemaster at King’s School Canterbury, Second Master at Whitgift School, and Headmaster of The Portsmouth Grammar School. He was also Chairman of HMC from 2013 – 2014.
Committed to the idea that schools exist to serve both their local and national communities, Tim has acquired a national reputation for cross-sector partnerships. First at The Portsmouth Grammar School with the creation of the annual Portsmouth Festivities, followed by the Oxford Festival of the Arts. Most recently, Tim has committed critical support to Winchester’s Heritage Open Days, celebrating access to the history, architecture and culture of Winchester and the College.
With the ambition of encouraging a diverse social mix in all of his schools, Tim has sought to encourage and open up access, minimise barriers for applicants and judge candidates on their potential, not their background.
Tim has published several books on 19th century English literature, especially on the author Thomas Hardy. He writes frequently for national news outlets and specialist journals on a variety of educational issues.
He is married to Jane, a solicitor, and they have two grown-up sons. Both Tim and Jane enjoy watching sport (from cricket to Gaelic hurling), reading books, and listening to classical music.
Ed Vaizey (Lord Vaizey of Didcot) is a member of the House of Lords, appointed in 2020, and sits on the Communications and Media Committee. Ed was the Member of Parliament for Wantage between 2005 and 2019. He served as the UK Government Culture and Digital Minister from 2010-16, and is the longest-serving Minister in that role. He played a key role in putting coding in the national curriculum for schools, and in attracting inward investment to the UK tech economy. He was appointed a privy councillor in 2016. Ed currently serves as a trustee of the National Youth Theatre, the Documentary Society and London Music Masters, and is a patron of Kids in Museums. Ed is a visiting professor at King’s College, London and Newcastle University; an Honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; an Honorary Fellow of the Radio Academy; President of Didcot Town Football Club; and Deputy President of the Old Pauline club.
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.
Eleanor Dixon launched Falkner House (boys) in 2017. Mrs Dixon was educated at Falkner House herself before going on to St Paul’’s Girls’ School and then Cambridge. She started her career as a City lawyer at Ashurst before moving to Falkner House in 2011. Mrs Dixon has two sons herself who are both currently studying at Falkner House.
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.
Eve Jardine Young
Eve Jardine-Young has been Principal of Cheltenham Ladies’ College since 2011, and has worked in education for over 25 years. She had held academic and pastoral roles in both single sex and co-educational schools, having originally studied Engineering Science at Cambridge University and worked in industry for a time. She is Chair of the World Leading Schools Association (WLSA) and has spoken on themes relating to leadership and education in the UK, Washington, Prague and Hong Kong. She has written on leadership, careers of the future and the fourth industrial revolution, holistic education and wellbeing, and professional development within education. A Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Gloucestershire, she is also a trustee of the Barnwood Trust, whose work supports marginalised and vulnerable adults in leading more independent lives. Deeply committed to environmental initiatives, she has an interest in conservation, sustainability, design, social enterprise, microfinance and development economics, having been born and raised in Malawi.
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.
Giles Entwisle joined Durston House in September 2020. For the previous seven years Giles was Headmaster of Bede’s Preparatory School in Eastbourne, the prep school of Bede’s senior school. Before that he was Deputy Head at Highfield School in Liphook, Hampshire, and Housemaster at Holmewood House in Tunbridge Wells. In total he has taught at five different prep schools, all of them with strong reputations and high standards of teaching and pastoral care. Giles began his career as a languages teacher, qualifying from Bristol University in 1992. He has an Honours degree in Modern European Studies from Loughborough University, and is married to Regina, a Spanish teacher. They have two children aged 21 and 16. Beyond the classroom, Giles enjoys cooking, reading, travel and the great outdoors. More recently he has discovered the challenge of distance running, and lists one of his achievements as completing the midnight Arctic half marathon, which takes place each January in Tromsø, Norway.
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.
James became Head of North Bridge House Prep School in September 2018. James grew up in Kenya and spent five years at boarding school in Somerset. Following a degree in Economics and Spanish he worked for the consultancy firm PwC before completing a PGCE in Economics. His first teaching job was at St. Olave’s Grammar School in Kent where he taught Economics and History. In 2007 he was appointed Head of Economics at Highgate School where he was also responsible for the co-curricular programme. In 2014 James joined North Bridge House Senior Canonbury as Head of Sixth Form before progressing to Deputy Head Teacher. James is a keen runner and enjoys half and full marathons.
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).
Since becoming head of City of London School for Girls in 2019 in the Barbican, Jenny has focused much of her headship around the idea of 'Finding space to pioneer'. Part of this has involved growing partnerships with other schools, including building much closer collaboration with City of London School, and also pursuing an estates strategy, forging new educational provision in ‘satellite’ buildings close by in the City. The most recent expression of this is the establishment of a joint co-educational junior school at Gray's Inn. This is Jenny's second headship; she spent 5 years as head of St Alban's High School for Girls, an independent day school with 1040 pupils aged 4 to 18. Before this, Jenny worked in several leading schools, including South Hampstead High School and St Paul's Girls' School, where she was director of the sixth form. Jenny herself was educated at North London Collegiate School and the University of Oxford, where she read English. Jenny continues to teach English at A Level and cites reading John Donne and Jane Austen, going to the theatre with her playwright husband and children and wild swimming amongst her passions.
Jesse R Elzinga
Mr Jesse R Elzinga joined Sevenoaks School as Headmaster in September 2020. He was previously Headmaster of Reading Blue Coat School in Berkshire, which he joined in 2016. During his tenure the school enjoyed the best academic results in its history. Jesse expanded the school’s innovative Outreach and Partnership Programme, created a strong network of charities and partner schools within the local community, and established a thriving Development Office. Before this, Jesse was Director of Studies at Harrow, where he broadened the school’s academic curriculum. Previously, he worked at St Edward’s School in Oxford as Director of Studies and as IB Coordinator. He helped introduce the IB Diploma at St Edward’s and was a residential Assistant Housemaster. He started his career at Whitgift School as a teacher of Theology and Philosophy, the Assistant Head of Sixth Form and the Theory of Knowledge Coordinator. He studied at Harvard University, where he gained a BA Honours cum laude in Comparative Religion and Philosophy, and at Oxford University, where his MSt focused on ethical philosophy. Jesse was a three-time national champion rower at Harvard and Oxford, and then became a competitive cyclist, twice racing against Sir Bradley Wiggins at the British Time Trial Championships (although Jesse is keen to point out that Sir Bradley won, by a significant margin, on both occasions!). Jesse is also an Ironman triathlete and marathoner, and since moving to Sevenoaks, he can be spotted in the early morning running in Knole Park. Jesse’s wife, Elaina Elzinga, works in the investments team at the Wellcome Trust. Jesse and Elaina enjoy cooking, BBQing, travelling and they are Friends of the Royal Opera House and supporting members of England Rugby Club. They have three daughters and live in Sevenoaks close to the school.
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).
Julia Hodgson was educated at Eastbourne College and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge where she studied Geography. Having completed a PGCE at the Institute of Education she taught at Dulwich College before becoming Head of Department at the British School of Brussels. On returning to the UK, she taught briefly at Downe House and then moved to Marlborough in 2000. Julia teaches Geography at the College and was Resident Tutor and then Housemistress in Morris for a combined total of 16 years. She took over as Director of Admissions in September 2017.
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.
Leanna entered the world of education upon having her children and wishing for a better education for them. She founded Little Forest Folk from a dream to provide her children with the childhood they deserved. Her initial dream of one full-time forest nursery for her own children to attend was soon expanded through demand into an organisation of now seven full-time nurseries, which have received numerous accolades, won many prizes and have been presented with an award from the Queen for innovation. Upon Leanna’s children getting older, she began to pursue her dream of the creation of a primary school which was an extension of the Little Forest Folk ethos, allowing children to remain the individual wonders that they are as they progress through primary years towards becoming those children most likely to succeed in today’s world. Liberty Woodland School opened in September 2019 and is excitedly preparing to move to their new, permanent 3 acre site in Morden in September 2021.
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.
Liz was educated at Dulwich College Preparatory School and Sutton Valence School. She then completed a BA (Ed) at Reading University, where she specialised in English. Liz has worked in boarding throughout her entire teaching career. She was delighted to join the Junior King’s boarding tutor team from 2000-2002, before gaining further pastoral experience at Port Regis, as Assistant Houseparent. Having returned to Canterbury, and indeed to Junior King’s, Liz thoroughly enjoyed supporting her husband, Jon, during his twelve-year Housemaster tenure at Senior King’s. Following a successful stint as Head of Year 4 and Housemistress of one of the four day houses, Liz took up the Head of Boarding role at Junior King’s in September 2018, where she is also Deputy Head (Pastoral) and DSL. Liz has been married to Jon, who is now Head of Psychology at King’s, for seventeen years. They have two teenage children, Rebecca and Thomas, both of whom have been lucky enough to have gone through Junior King’s and are currently being educated at King’s. Although never boarders themselves, the children have certainly benefitted from spending so many of their formative years living within a boarding environment. Liz is a passionate advocate of the opportunities afforded by a strong boarding ethos. She sees Junior King’s as a prep school that affords the time and space in which to nurture the whole person, and where pastoral care is at the centre of all that it does. It is within this environment that young people will achieve their best, both in and out of the classroom.
Liz McLaughlin has been Head of Falcons Pre-Preparatory School in Chiswick for 2 years. Before joining the school, Ms McLaughlin was the Primary School Principal of the International Community School in Marylebone, having been there in a leadership role for 7 years. Prior to teaching in London, Ms McLaughlin taught in the USA (including the Hayley Pilot School in Boston) and in Italy at the Bilingual European School in Milan. She studied for her first degree in English and Elementary Education at the University of Vermont where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Ms McLaughlin then went on to take a Master of Education at Queen’s University in Ontario and another Master of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Boston, as a part of the School Leadership Programme. In her spare time, Liz enjoys horse riding, as well as continuing to improve her Italian following her time in Milan.
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.
Lucy didn’t intend to become a teacher. After a degree in English at Cambridge University, she was convinced that a literary career beckoned, and she entered enthusiastically into the arcane world of publishing under the titan of the industry, Lady Collins herself. Marriage subsequently (and unexpectedly) took her to northeast Scotland, where initiative was needed to support a growing family. Lucy became a ghost writer for Hodder Headline whilst running her Scottish farmhouse as a B&B and partnering her husband in the family building business. Six books and four children later, she realised that more income would be needed to provide a good education for the family in a rural location where boarding school might be needed. She took over a private Montessori nursery school which she soon moved into the local prep school, thus cunningly providing discounted education for her children. Quickly discovering the real joy of teaching, Lucy side-stepped into the prep school, becoming Head of English and Director of Studies whilst studying for a PGCE on the side. As her children grew, she, too, ascended into the world of secondary education, gaining fascinating experience at Fettes College, Edinburgh, as Director of Drama, and then, after a move back to England, as Head of English at King’s Taunton and then Head of Sixth Form at Downe House. Having experienced both mixed and single-sex education, Lucy is passionate about the ability of all children to grow, succeed and contribute in a fast-changing technological world, where creativity, curiosity, craftsmanship and collaboration are essential attributes alongside the academic aspects of learning. During Lucy’s nine years at Francis Holland, Sloane Square, the School has enjoyed a transformation of its curriculum and character, as well as an expansion of its roll by nearly three hundred pupils. Integral to its distinctive emphasis on enterprise and innovation is its foundation on the Christian principles of love and service to the community expressed by its founder, Queen Victoria’s chaplain, Canon Francis Holland in 1881. The School is renowned for its outstanding pastoral care and wellbeing provision, having been for many years a leader in the support of children’s mental health. Meanwhile, its superb academic results, its vast array of clubs and societies, its exceptional performing and creative arts, and its unique programme of developing entrepreneurial skill in all its pupils, make Francis Holland, Sloane Square, a highly sought-after school where girls become the very best they can be. Lucy has initiated several significant building developments during her time as Headmistress. In 2018, after a hugely successful fundraising campaign, a superb library with sensory roof-top garden was added to the site, along with a dance studio, computer science facilities and a fabulous refurbishment of the accommodation for senior girls, the Centre for Creative Enterprise. In 2021, the latest development, a new Sixth Form Centre, added another 15% to the footprint of the School with a 900sqm refurbishment of The Old School House, a nineteenth century neo-gothic building next to the School. This provides the vehicle for Lucy’s vision of a bridge between school and the wider community so that all Sixth Formers have the opportunity to develop their own enterprises under the mentoring of local entrepreneurs using the outstanding facilities for their work in exchange for coaching of our students. Many of our senior girls have set up their own businesses and all give back to the local community a proportion of their sales. An integrated programme of enrichment and social enterprise builds this understanding into FHS pupils throughout their career in the School. An intrepid explorer, Lucy has hiked through the Andes, Tibet, and Ethiopia in the past few years, and shares her adventures with the girls to help them build resilience and courage. She believes that academic success lies in girls learning to take risks and to bounce back from failure, so an atmosphere of ‘having a go’ pervades the School, with a myriad of opportunities for pupils to discover their talents. Amidst all this endeavour, Lucy generates a sense of joy and fun by encouraging everyone to take part and ‘do it scared.’ She declares herself most proud of the happiness of the School and the knowledge that every child is loved just as she is, valued as a unique and wonderful individual.
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.
Nicola Swales joined NHP as Deputy Head (Academic) in September 2020. An English specialist, with a First-Class Degree in Music from the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), she joined NHP from North Bridge House Prep School in Regent’s Park, where she held the post of Assistant Headteacher and Director of Teaching and Learning. Prior to that, she spent seven years at the Dragon School in Oxford, where she spearheaded their Teaching and Learning Innovation Programme. Whilst undertaking post-graduate study with Harvard University, she pushed for schools to use research-based evidence to improve the outcomes of pupils and to equip them with the skills they need to flourish in an ever-uncertain world. With over ten years’ experience preparing children for 11+, 13+ and scholarship entry to the country’s top independent schools, she has a strong track record leading children and parents successfully (and happily) through the senior school transfer process.
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 Curran joined St Edmund's College & Prep School in January 2020 as Deputy Head - Pastoral. Educated in a small Catholic Grammar school in South Wales, Paul went on to study Computer Science at the University of Reading before securing a job in the department teaching first years how to program. Following his degree, he returned to his school for a year’s experience in the classroom, and it was there that he fell in love with teaching. Paul went on to train in Swansea before taking up his first post in New Hall School as Teacher of IT and Assistant Housemaster in boarding, where he met his wife, Jen. Paul instantly gravitated towards the pastoral life in the school while working in boarding and was appointed as Housemaster of the Sixth Form Boys’ House. Following his time at New Hall, Paul moved to Christ College Brecon to be Head of Department, Head of Faculty and Acting Deputy Head Pastoral for the final two terms. During his time at Brecon, Paul had his two daughters Isabelle and Ariana. Following six years at Brecon, Paul moved to Ampleforth College to take up the role of Housemaster, and eventually, Senior Housemaster, before joining St Edmund’s College with his wife and two children, now at St Edmund’s Prep. In his free time, Mr Curran is a fan of all things technological and all sports. Mr Curran is a qualified rugby coach and is a keen skier, and he makes the most of any possible school trip. He is a very valued member of our Senior Leadership Team and has settled wonderfully into the St Edmund’s Community.
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 Devey joined Gordonstoun in 1992 as a Geography and PE teacher. During the years he has worked at Gordonstoun he has also been a Housemaster, Head of Sixth Form and Deputy Head (Pastoral). He was recently Gordonstoun’s Director of International Development, announcing Gordonstoun’s first international schools in China and Canada. He has worked for the Gordonstoun fire service for 25 years, and continues to work with them today despite his position. The school is the only one in the UK to have a fire station which is crewed by students and is part of the Scottish Fire and Rescue service.
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.
Sally-Anne Huang was educated at Bolton School, and is now delighted to be a member of their governing body. She also has experience of governance of boarding and prep schools. She read Classics and English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, has an MSc in Educational Leadership and Management and, more recently, also completed a Masters degree in Children’s Literature, which is a personal passion of hers. Sally-Anne is High Master of St Paul’s School, having previously been Headmistress of James Allen’s Girls’ School, and Kent College, Pembury. In this post she was also chair of the Methodist Independent Schools heads’ group for two years. Her previous appointments have included Housemistress at Sevenoaks School, where she taught the International Baccalaureate, and Deputy Head at Roedean. Her professional interests include the importance of cultural diversity within schools and the power of performing arts in pupil experience. Married to Alexis, Sally-Anne has two adult sons and two dogs; her interests include young adult fiction, playing the tenor saxophone and watching rugby.
Born in Spain, Sara Williams-Ryan grew up in Switzerland where she studied History at the University of Geneva before moving to the UK, completing first a PGCE and then a Master’s Degree in Education. Sara’s first teaching post in the UK was at Coopers School, in Kent, before moving to Ibstock Place School as Head of Spanish and then Head of Modern Languages, teaching Junior and Senior pupils. She also spent two years teaching Spanish to adults in the evenings. Sara joined Peregrines Nursery and Falcons School for Girls in September 2018 from Emanuel School, where she spent 16 years in senior roles, both academic (Head of the Modern Foreign Languages faculty) and pastoral (first, Senior Tutor for Girls and then Assistant Head Pastoral). In her spare time, Sara loves reading, music and dance and volunteers for a hospital radio.
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.
Suzy Dixon, Head of Francis Holland Junior School, has been an educator for 18 years, teaching English up to A level and holding management positions for 15 of those years in Secondary and Primary Schools (3-18). As a keen educationalist, she is dedicated to developing pastoral and academic excellence that enables every individual child to thrive
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.
Tom Rogerson has been working in the independent school sector for 30 years and is in his 13th year of Headship at Cottesmore School, an academic boarding prep school for girls and boys on the border of Surrey and Sussex. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, he has since taken only one year out of teaching in order to work for Vivendi-owned conglomerate Universal Music International in the A&R department looking after American artists such as Eminem, Nelly Furtado and Erica Badu. Tom’s vision for Cottesmore has been to, and continues to, successfully combine Cottesmore's 127-year story of academic and sporting excellence with a fresh and dynamic vision to ensure that Cottesmore continues to deliver a world-class education to prep-school-aged girls and boys for the future.
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.