Directors and Officers
SUZIE HOBART, Chair
Suzie Hobart is Chair of the Knowledge Schools Trust Board of Directors, she was one of the original founders of the West London Free School and has served as a Director and Governor in various roles over the growth of the Trust.
Suzie is a consultant and programme manager, focusing on transformation and technology programmes.
Suzie is the mother of three teenage children. She was educated at an Independent Grammar School and went on to study Engineering at Oxford.
Cosmo is one of the founders of the West London Free School and a Partner at executive search firm True Search. Before starting his career in executive search Cosmo spent 12 years in the media and telecom sectors in a range of commercial and strategy roles at EMI Music, Channel Four Television, Orange and 3 UK. Earlier in his career, Cosmo worked in the not-for-profit sector with a specialist media consultancy advising environmental and social justice organisations on their public advocacy campaigns.
Cosmo lives in Acton with his wife and three children.
Cosmo has a degree in Geography from the University of Oxford and an MBA from INSEAD
Kathryn is one of the founders of the West London Free School. In 2013 she established the governing bodies of the West London Free School Primary and in 2014, the Earl’s Court Free School Primary. She chaired both boards for three years. They were judged outstanding by Ofsted in June 2015 and June 2017 respectively. Her experience in governance began at her children’s primary school in Chiswick where she was the governor for Inclusion for four years.
Kathryn was educated in the state sector at a rural comprehensive in the New Forest and then in London where she obtained a Business Studies degree, followed by a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Strategy from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Her experience of working with colleagues who have had better educational opportunities than she did, has driven her passion for an excellent education for all. She is thoroughly committed to the ethos and vision of the schools in the Knowledge Schools Trust.
She is a governor of the West London Free School and a Trustee of the Knowledge Schools Foundation Trust.
In her professional life, she is a communications, change and stakeholder management specialist.
Jane Emmett is the Headteacher of Fulham Prep School. She founded the school in 1996 and has over 30 years of experience in education, having taught in both the independent and state sectors.
Fulham Prep was ranked 'Outstanding' by Ofsted during its most recent inspection in 2014. In the report, Jane's leadership of the school was singled out for praise: "The Principal knows the school extremely well and provides the senior leaders with clear direction and the right mix of support and challenge to inspire them to pursue excellence."
Jane is on the Trust's Curriculum Committee.
Laura is Head of Content Finance for BBC Television and has previously held similar roles in BBC Radio, BBC Online and Corporate Finance, after starting at the BBC in its Internal Audit department. She joined the BBC from Ernst and Young where she qualified as an ACA.
She studied Spanish and French at Cambridge and now lives in Kingston with her husband and two girls.
She has joined the WLFS because of a desire to contribute to education as her children reach school age and was drawn to its curriculum approach, in particular its music specialism.
Penny is a legal director in the employment group at international law firm Bird & Bird LLP. She has clients in a wide range of sectors including music, media, construction and information technology and advises them on the full range of employment issues such as restructuring exercises, sensitive disciplinary and grievance issues and litigation including complex discrimination cases. She also has a sizeable practice advising senior executives. Penny has previously worked at Baker & McKenzie, Clarkslegal (where she was seconded to a client for the duration of a major industrial relations dispute) and DAC Beachcroft. She is also on the training committee of the Employers Lawyers' Association.
Penny was state educated throughout and has a law degree. She was previously a governor of her son's nursery.
She lives in Notting Hill with her husband and two children. Penny is also a trustee of a charity which provides high quality vocational dance training to young dancers from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds.
Alex Conabeare is Chair of Governors for the three Knowledge Schools Trust London primary schools: West London Free School Primary, Earl's Court Free School Primary and Kensington Primary Academy.
Alex grew up in London, attending an independent school centrally which gave him a broad and varied education. He studied Physiology and Pharmacology at university before developing a career in Marketing and Digital within Financial Services and Professional Services. A father of two, his daughter was a founding pupil at the Earl’s Court Free School and he believes that the principles set out for the schools are very important for the well rounded and confident development of our children.
William Rollason is Chair of Governors at West London Free School.
William is a chartered accountant, having qualified at KPMG, and has over thirty years’ experience as a main board director of public and private companies, acting at various times as Chairman, CEO, COO and CFO. Currently, he is also a Governor of West Acton Primary School, a maintained school in Ealing.
William is a graduate of St. Andrews University with a French degree and believes strongly in the teaching of modern foreign languages as a core part of the curriculum.
Oli Knight is Principal at Ark Acton Academy where he has continued his successful history of delivering school improvement at pace. Prior to this Oli was Executive Headteacher of Phoenix Academy and was previously Headteacher at Greenwich Free School.
Beverley has been in education since 1998 having worked in primary, middle, independent and state schools. Beverley now works as Head of Academy based in Corby. She studied Education (BA with Hons) at Luton University and has completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship with Ambition Institute (NPQH). Beverley worked in the import and export industry for over twenty years before embarking on her educational journey, inspired by her own children. As an accomplished vocalist and educator, Beverley believes that every child, irrespective of their start in life, deserves the very best education an institution can offer to maximise their talent and potential.
Andrew grew up in Redbridge on the edge of London but has lived in Buckinghamshire for the last 30 years. He studied Computer Science at City University in London and initially he worked in the design and development of computer systems mainly for the banking industry including a stint based in Singapore. Andrew changed in the mid-90s to marketing, but still in the software industry, and he has undertaken a wide range of business marketing roles for global organisations. Until his retirement he was Marketing Director for the payments business within NCR.
Andrew first became a Governor in the mid 90s at his children’s Primary School. As they moved to Secondary he too moved and joined the Governing Board at Chesham Park Community College and later led it through the transition to Chiltern Hills Academy where he is currently Chair of the Trustees. He is also Chair of Governors at Edlesborough Primary Academy, is a committee member of the Buckinghamshire Association of School Governors and is on the Buckinghamshire Schools Consultative Board.
Ian Hunter - CEO
Ian was appointed CEO in January 2017. Prior to that he was the West London Free School’s first Parent Governor before becoming the Chair of the local governing body of the secondary, from 2014-2016. His three children attend the secondary school. Ian has been a business consultant and interim director and has worked extensively in the education sector.
Anne Wickham - Chief Finance OfficerMrs Wickham is a qualified accountant who, before she became the Business and Finance Manager of the West London Free School, was the Business Manager of Queen's CE Primary School and, before that, she was a Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
She has a degree in Business Studies from Massey University in New Zealand.
Stewart Keiller - Chief Operations Officer
Over the last 5 years Stewart’s experience was with leading sixth form college in the Midlands as Commercial Director and previously with a higher education institution as Commercial and Operations Director. He spent 12 years as CEO for a South West based charity and previously managed his own recruitment and software business. He has a masters degree in leadership.
As well as various charity trust work, he enjoys performing in musical theatre for a number of amateur societies.
Laura lund - Director of primary education
Mrs Lund has been a teacher since 1993 having studied for a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) as well as a history degree at Canterbury. She has been a Head teacher for over 19 years at different primary schools managing them all on the journey to outstanding provision. She has been a Local Leader of Education and a Professional Partner working to drive school improvement and support new Head teachers. Laura has two children and lives in Chiswick, she enjoys travelling and running.
Honorary Director and Advisor to the Board
JOHN MCINTOSH CBE
John retired in December 2006 after nearly 30 years as the Headmaster of The London Oratory School, an all-ability school for 1,400 boys, ages 7 to 19, in central London.
He was a member of the Health Education Council from 1985 to 1988 and the National Curriculum Council from 1990 to 1993. More recently he has been a member of the Teachers’ Standards Review, the National Curriculum Review Committee, the Board of the National College for School Leadership and the Board of the Teaching Agency. He is now an adviser on free schools.
He has been a governor of several maintained and independent schools and is presently chairman of governors at a preparatory school in London. He is a trustee of the English Schools Orchestra and Choir, and a member of the Education Committee of the David Ross Education Trust.
He has a particular interest in education policy and has been actively involved in several think tanks concerned with education throughout his career.