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 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.
Talib Mandan - Head of Senior
Talib has a degree in Sociology with Philosophy and an MA in Educational Leadership and School Improvement from Manchester University, in addition to a PGCE from Homerton College, Cambridge. Since joining CFS he has successfully completed the National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership at the Institute of Education and is now studying for the National Professional Qualification in Headship.
Talib has over 14 years of successful teaching and leadership experience in both the state and private sector. In his early career, he taught in a large, high-performing comprehensive school in Cheshire, leading the Religious Studies and Sociology Department, and taking responsibility for Key Stage 4 Curriculum Design, and Teaching and Learning. He moved to the Independent British School in Manila, Philippines in 2010, where he undertook the role of Assistant Headteacher, leading Key Stage 3.
Talib joined CFS in January 2014, in the pre-opening phase of the senior department, and has worked as a member of the senior leadership team, to set in place the strategies and processes to deliver the vision for the school.
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.