Governor Profiles

Howard Morris - Chair of Governors, Member

Howard is a founding Member of the Trust and has been Chair of Governors since the school opened in 2012. As a chartered surveyor with over 25 years in the property industry, Howard has been responsible for the concept, implementation and delivery of some of the most successful development projects in the UK. His career has ranged from providing major retail and leisure developments during the 1990's, to high profile major mixed use regeneration schemes in more recent years. Howard has held a number of senior posts at director level within a number of companies including Wilson Connolly plc. (now Taylor Wimpey plc.), London Merchant Securities plc, and Muse Developments, the mixed use regeneration subsidiary of Morgan Sindall plc.

In more recent years Howard has acted as property consultant advising private and public sector land owners on major mixed-use developments, that often include education facilities including provision of new Free Schools.

Howard has previously completed the National College for Teaching and Leadership Governance Training Programme. Howard is married with a daughter and lives in Cobham, Surrey with keen interests outside work, including sailing, skiing and cycling.

Michaela Khatib - Governor (Executive Head) & Founder

Having graduated from Homerton College, Cambridge University with a degree in Education and Music. Michaela has gained over 25 years teaching and education management experience, primarily in independent schools. She has held a number of posts of responsibility, including Director of Music and Head of House in a high-achieving London prep school. Michaela worked as a Partnerships and Outreach Education Manager at the world-famous Yehudi Menuhin School before producing the Education Plan and Vision for Cobham Free School as one of the original proposers. Having passed the rigorous DfE Future Leaders Assessment she was selected to lead the Primary School as Principal Designate in September 2012, and following a second successful bid to the government to open a senior department, was appointed Executive Head of the all-through school in 2014. Michaela has taken a central role on the delivery and establishment of Cobham Free School as part of the project steering group. She is also a member of the advisory council for Parents and Teachers for Excellence, a team of educationalists campaigning to raise standards nationally.

Clare Constant - Deputy Chair of Governors, Education & Safeguarding Governor

Clare is an experienced, enthusiastic, educationalist, who, for over twenty one years, has been a best-selling author of English resources. As an Outstanding practitioner, experienced in teaching the full ability range from KS3-5 in urban secondary schools Clare has been consistently commissioned by leading education publishers and exam boards to produce resources in response to government policy changes, national education initiatives, and specification, curriculum and pedagogical developments. In 2014 Clare was appointed as an OFQUAL External Expert for English.

Before becoming a freelance Education consultant, Clare spent four years working as Director of Teaching and Learning in a mixed ability, CRESTED, independent school.

She is the mother of two girls and enjoys baking cakes, running (to offset the cakes!), belonging to a film club and looking after the family house rabbit Blu.

Julia Rangasamy - Founding Member, Risk Governor

Since graduating from University College London with a Bsc Econ (Hons) in Economics and Economic History, Julia has spent much of her career working for the Bank of England, including roles in banking regulation and financial risk management. She also spent a period of time working in the Seychelles as Corporate Treasurer for Air Seychelles and more recently was seconded to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards as a committee specialist.

Julia enjoys singing and is a member of The London Oratory School Choral Society.

Rafil Khatib - Founding Member, Company Secretary, ICT Governor

Having graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in Engineering, Rafil's early career was in the oil and gas industry, before he moved into telecommunications and technology, where for the last 25 years he has held a variety of commercial, strategic and cost/margin management roles. His career has spanned a number of blue chip organisations, including BP, BT, Cable & Wireless, Capita, Centrica, Carphone Warehouse, Go-Ahead, TfL and Virgin Media. Rafil also has significant experience of establishing start-up companies .

Now working as an experienced interim programme director and technology consultant, his most recent assignments include delivering key elements of the launch of Wi-Fi on the London Underground in time for the 2012 Olympics and establishing a programme to enable the roll-out of Wi-Fi on 1000 trains for 2 rail operators in UK.

Rafil lives in Cobham with his wife and two children. He is an accomplished violinist with a passion for classical music.

Pritesh Shah - 'One School' Governor, Responsible Officer

Having graduated from the University of Warwick with an MEng in Civil Engineering, Pritesh’s career for the past 20+ years has been working as a Management Consultant. Specialising in the areas of Procurement and Programme delivery, Pritesh has worked for a number of global organisations delivering large-scale programmes. Major clients have included American Express, BP, McLaren, Sony & UK Government.

Miles Unwin - Admissions and Appeals Governor

Miles and his family live in leafy SW18 and has strong connections with Cobham through his position as a partner with Mundays LLP whose offices lie immediately across the Portsmouth Road from the School and his involvement with various local organisations including Cobham RFC.

Having graduated from Queens University, Belfast in 1975, Miles qualified as a solicitor in 1980 and has spent his working life as a lawyer in public service, commerce and industry and latterly in private practice. He has been with Mundays since 1995. He specialises in property work with an emphasis on commercial real estate, acting for national, international and local clients.

Miles is married with two sons, both of whom were educated at Tiffin School, Kingston and a daughter who is in Year 12 at Putney High School. Outside of work, he participates in as many sports as his body still allows, remaining a keen follower and collector of “popular” music and has recently taken up singing with the Putney Parents Choir.

Tanya Lightbody - HR Governor

Tanya is an experienced global HR leader who grew up in South Africa and has been living in the UK for the past ten years. She has held a number of global and regional HR executive roles ranging in industry from professional services, financial services, family offices and more recently education. She has led teams small and large. Tanya has a particular interest in helping schools achieve their potential through good people practices.

Tanya holds a degree in applied psychology and is passionate about her family and running.

Gill Rolfe

Gill Rolfe - Staff Governor (Head of Junior)

Gill has over 24 years experience in both the private and state sector, undertaking roles as a teacher, senior leader, lecturer, governor and education advisor over the course of her career. Originally from the Natal Drakensberg, South Africa, Gill completed a Nursery Foundation Teaching Diploma through the London Montessori Centre before gaining a Bachelor’s degree in English, Education and Psychology and a postgraduate degree in Psychology from the University of South Africa.

Gill has gained her UK Qualified Teacher Status through London University and a number of Masters Credits through Brunel University. She trained as a facilitator for the Middle Leadership Development Programme through the National College of School Leadership and is currently studying for the National Professional Qualification in Headship.

Gill joined CFS as Head of Junior in January 2016, just two terms before the school's first ever Key Stage 2 SATS examinations. She achieved impressive results in a very short space of time and, as a member of the senior leadership team, is now looking forward to embedding strategies for the continued success of CFS over the forthcoming years.

Martyn McCarthy - Parent Governor (Senior Dept)

Joining CFS as a music scholar, Martyn's son was part of our inaugural Year 7 cohort and his daughter has now also joined our senior department.

A Governor at CFS since January 2016, Martyn had already been a Governor for more than four years at a 'Ofsted Outstanding' church school within Elmbridge. The knowledge Martyn brought with him has been a benefit to CFS and his previous and ongoing roles as a Governor include: Finance and Resources, Curriculum, Learning and Progress, Admissions, Health and Safety. He has also been involved with two school building projects and this experience has also proved helpful at CFS.

Martyn's particular interest in education is the Global Dimension to the Curriculum and he also has a passion for childrens' understanding of the environment, children as future leaders and how they can go on to make a difference to the world around them.

Martyn and his wife, Sophie, live and work in Walton. With more than twenty years experience in banking Martyn joined Sophie in 2011 to work in her travel representation company. Martyn is actively involved with several campaigns and charities relating to education, global poverty and environmental issues.

Paul Wood - Parent Governor (Junior Dept)

Having graduated in History from University College London Paul has spent more than ten years in local government, working in service improvement and auditing roles for two of London's largest local authorities. In addition, he has pursued his passion for food and supporting artisanal food producers through a senior technical role with Borough Market's champion of British cured meat, Cannon & Cannon.

Married to Laura, a teacher in the CFS Junior department and with two children at the school, Paul is a former junior county cricketer who is passionate about the provision of a rounded and vibrant education that nurtures children to be confident in themselves.

Paul and his family live in Cobham. When not at work or school you'll find him cycling slowly in the Surrey hills.

Richard Parsons - Governor

Having graduated from the University of Birmingham, Richard has worked for a number of consulting firms and is currently an Associate Director at KPMG. Richard has worked on many large scale transformation programmes as well as four years in the Enterprise Performance Management domain focusing on financial planning, budgeting and reporting.

Richard lives with his wife Charlotte and son Rory in Cobham village and can often be found walking their dog Watson or on the golf course with friends.

Catherine Beddison - Governor

Catherine Beddison is Deputy Head (Operations) at Cranleigh Prep School. This involves co-ordinating the logistics of the day to day running of the school, making sure that the children, parents, staff, communications, systems and processes are working as smoothly as possible. As part of the Executive Leadership Team she represents the school on the Strategy and Risk Committee of the Governing Body.

She is also Head of Creative Arts, making sure that Art, Dance, Design, Drama and Music are championed and protected. Her specialist teaching subject is Music and she is part of the outstanding ‘Cranleigh Music 7-18’ department that links the musical education for children throughout the junior and senior schools. An expert in choral singing, Catherine has an impressive proven track record of setting high standards, enthusing children and encouraging them to fully develop their musical skills.

Outside school, Catherine is Head of Strategy within the choral charity ‘Sing for Pleasure’ and helps to facilitate new ideas and strategic developments within a wide range of courses, publications and singing events for adults and children. She also works as a freelance conductor, adjudicator, consultant, lecturer and singer; and has recently presented workshops for ABCD, the MMA and the Music Education Expo. She regularly performs with Cranleigh Prep School Choirs, Cranleigh Choral Society and Harlequin Chamber Choir.

Catherine lives in Cranleigh with her husband and daughter, and enjoys relaxing by playing netball, walking in the countryside and visiting Scotland.

Ian Smith - Governor

Ian Smith has been a teacher of History, Economics and Business Management in the state, independent and international sector for over 20 years. As Vice Principal at Surbiton High School in the UK, he was responsible for pupil care, character development and an entrepreneurial mindset in teaching and learning. Since 2015, Ian has been working at the International School Geneva, the oldest and largest international school globally, teaching the International Baccalaureate and leading entrepreneurship across the Ecolint Foundation. He is an ambassador for the Princess Diana Award, and other socially entrepreneurial organizations such as the WE movement, Wildhearts, Entrepreneurs in Action and Wings of Hope. In 2013, Ian was given the Queen`s Award for the Promotion of Enterprise in UK education. He has an MBA in educational leadership and is a honorary fellow at the Royal Society of Arts.

Janet Poppe

Janet Poppe - Member

Janet Poppe Janet has taught in state, independent and international schools for over 30 years and has experience of every age group from 3-18. She currently lives in Horsley and works locally in the junior department of a specialist arts school. Janet is a Biology graduate from the University of York and has a PGCE, also from York.

In 1999 The Society of Heads, (SOH) invited Janet to join their subcommittee of 'Heads of the Society's Junior Schools'. Janet worked on this committee for 13 years, helping to organise annual conferences and workshops which provide valuable INSET training for Heads of Junior Departments within independent schools throughout the UK.

She is married to a helicopter pilot and has two grown-up children who have both attended independent schools in Guildford. Janet's interests include diving, sailing, skiing, walking and spending time in her garden.

Patrick Daly - Founding Member

After a short career in the City of London and the Channel Islands with what was then Coopers, Lybrand & Deloitte, Patrick started teaching Classics in 1994. He has taught at both primary and secondary level, from boarding schools (Abingdon, Downside, St Johns, Beaumont ) to London day schools (St Benedict’s and Durston House in Ealing, where he led the department) to single sex girls’ schools (St George’s, Ascot). He is currently Head of Classics at Westminster Under School in London. Being a keen amateur sportsman, Patrick has throughout his career been heavily involved in coaching school games. He also has an active interest in the theatre and has translated several Greek tragedies for the professional stage. Patrick is a graduate of University College, London, with a BA and MA in Classics. He has a young family, with a daughter of school age.

The Old Police Station, 89-95 Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1JJ

Tel 0330 330 0237 Fax 0330 330 1237 info@cobhamfreeschool.org.uk

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