CFS Leadership Team
Michaela Khatib - Executive Head
Having graduated from Homerton College, Cambridge University with a degree in Education and Music, Michaela has gained over twenty-five years teaching and education management experience, primarily in independent and the free school sector. She has a Masters Degree in Leading Innovation and Change in Education (Distinction) from St.Mary’s University.
Michaela’s career included undertaking the role of Director of Music in a leading London prep school and working as a Partnerships and Outreach Education Manager at the world-famous music establishment, The Yehudi Menuhin School (YMS). During her time at YMS she submitted a bid to the Department for Education as part of a small proposer group, aiming to establish a new primary school in Cobham with a key strength in music.
The proposal was approved for opening in Wave 2 of the government Free School programme and in September 2012 Michaela was appointed founding headteacher. Following a second successful bid to open a senior department for the school, she became executive head of the all-through institution in 2014.
Michaela is a member of the advisory council for Parents and Teachers for Excellence, a team of educationalists campaigning to raise standards nationally and is on the headteacher panel for Best Practice Network. She has given public webinars and produced articles on a range of topics in the field of education.
Liam Lyons - Head of Senior
Liam grew up in Dublin, before reading music at Exeter University, where he held a choral scholarship with Exeter Cathedral Choir. He continued his studies as a postgraduate, graduating with a master's degree in composition from Manchester University, and gained his PGCE at Cambridge University.
Since then, Liam has taught humanities at schools in Surrey and London, and was head of a humanities faculty in Lambeth, before becoming Assistant Headteacher at a secondary school in Hampshire. He has also served as Governor of several primary and secondary schools in Surrey and London. Liam has also been involved in training and coaching initial teacher trainees, through a number of programmes, and is a qualified leadership coach for the NPQSL programme. In addition to his teaching roles, Liam has served as a Councillor on a local authority in Surrey, and is a keen glider pilot.
Liam joined Cobham Free School as Head of Senior in 2018, and is looking forward to leading the senior school through its first set of GCSE examinations, and as we grow into our new site at Munro House.
Gill Rolfe - 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.
Cath Marcus - Business Manager
Catherine was one of the first members of the team who helped to establish and develop the primary school. Her son, who is thriving at Cobham Free School, was one of the founding pupils of the school.
Qualifying as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Catherine has 15 years finance experience, working within three of the top accounting firms. Most of this time has been spent using her accounting knowledge to advise the public sector, bringing some of the best commercial and financial principles from the private sector to benefit public sector organisations. She has worked with a number of government entities in the UK and spent five years in New Zealand working on strategic infrastructure projects for an agency of the New Zealand government.
As the Business Manager, Catherine is on the Senior Leadership Team and leads the finance, administration, estates and personnel aspects of the school.
For a full staff list for the all-through school (Junior and Senior) please see: