People are what make our school inspirational. 

Find out more about our senior leadership team in their profiles and the other members of staff that support our school and the success of our students.

Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe


Ian’s track record in the Surrey prep schools sector is impressive. Prior to joining Downsend he was Headmaster at Chinthurst, Head of City of London Freemen’s Junior School and Deputy Head at ...

Vanessa Conlan

Vanessa Conlan

Head - Little Downsend Ashtead, Epsom and Leatherhead

An experienced teacher of 20 years, the last 8 in headship, Vanessa is a graduate of the University of Southampton where she obtained a BEd (Hons) in Primary Education with music specialism.

Karl Newland

Karl Newland

Head of Senior School

An experienced teacher of 23 years Karl is a graduate of Surrey (BSc), Southampton (PGCE) and Buckingham Universities and holds a Master’s Degree in Education.  He has been both a Head of Scienc...

Clare Kirkham

Clare Kirkham

Head of Junior School

A graduate of Leeds University and the Institute of Education, Clare began her teaching career, at Barfield Preparatory School in Farnham. During her 5 years there, she became Head of the Pre-Prep ...

Mark Hugall

Mark Hugall

Business Manager
Kate Timms

Kate Timms

Head of Marketing and Admissions

After gaining her degree from the University of Exeter in 2001, Kate has pursued a career in marketing, events and recruitment. Initially working in agencies to support the pharmaceutical sector in...

Little Downsend Schools

Member of StaffAge Group Taught / Additional RolesQualifications


Tessa Roberts



Health and Safety Coordinator

Behaviour Management Officer






Janet Catlow



Year One

Deputy Head

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)



BA (Hons), PGCE

Christeen HillReception

Early Years Coordinator

Melanie ChippertonReception

Early Years DSL

Deputy DSL

Educational Visits Coordinator

BA (Hons), PGCE
Julie JamesFirst StepsNVQ3
Sally RoseRising ReceptionNVQ3
Sarah MurrayFrenchBA (Hons), PGCE
Rachel ShawMusicTheatre Studies
Sally ThomasDance / DramaDance Teacher Cert.
Teaching Assistants


Tracey Cobb



First Steps

Shazia GaleFirst Steps
Katherine GrayFirst Steps

Year One

Ella HodgkinsonRising Reception

Teacher Afternoons FS & RR

Amanda HumphriesYear One

Early Birds Supervisor

Extended Day Supervisor

Sally JonesRising Reception
Cindy LockyerFirst Steps

Teacher Afternoons FS & RR

Avril Macfarlane  Reception

Early Birds Assistant

Debbie NicholsonFirst Steps

Year One

Extended Day Supervisor

Catering / Extended Day

Jan Filby



Extended Day Assistant

Clare McCluskeyCook


Sarah Hegarty



School Secretary

Member of StaffAge Group TaughtQualifications
Mrs V ConlanHead TeacherBEd (Hons), NPQH
Head of School
Mrs L BurnsYear 1 teacher
Mr J BayleyMusic TeacherBMus, MPerf
Mrs K BeesFS and RR sports teacher
Mrs S ButlerReception Class TeacherBEd (Hons)
Mrs A BurbidgeYear 1 TeacherBEd (Hons)
Mrs A CarruthersEarly Years Leader & First Steps (currently on maternity leave)BA (Hons), QTS
Miss C ClaytonRising Reception Class TeacherBA (Hons)
Mrs Freeman-WhiteDance Teacher (Maternity Leave
Mrs S MurrayFrench Teacher
Miss M SeivewrightSwimming teacherASA Swimming
Mr R ParsonsR and Y1 games teacher
Mrs J SimpsonFirst Steps teacher (Maternity Cover)BEd (Hons)
Mrs Emma TaylorSENCoBed (Hons) OCR Cert, SpLD, National SENCo award
Ms Verity PennDance Teacher (Maternity Cover)
Teaching Assistants
Mrs S BullockExtended day SupervisorNVQ Level 4 Early Years Education & Childcare
Miss K ColesTeaching Assistant & Extended day supervisorNVQ Level 5 Early Years Education & Childcare
Miss R GoldsmithTeaching Assistant
Mrs J JacksonTeaching AssistantMontessori diploma
Ms S JossTeaching Assistant
Mrs S MatthewsTeaching Assistant
Miss T-J McLarenMidday Supervisor & Teaching AssistantNVQ2
Miss J OrganTeaching AssistantNVQ3
Mrs S StrangeTeaching AssistantNVQ3
Miss J WhiteTeaching AssistantNVQ Level 5 Early Years Education & Childcare
Mrs J ThomsonCook
Miss J ShacklockCatering Assistant
Mrs A TuckerSchool Secretary

Member of Staff Age Group Taught Qualifications 
Vanessa Conlan  BEd (Hons), NPQH 
Head of school   
Amy Hodges Reception 


BA Hons Early Years 


Vanda Laverock Year 1 BA Hons with QTS 
Emma Taylor SENCO Bed (Hons) OCR Cert, SpLD, National SENCo award 
Jessica Barber Reception BA Hons   



Jenny Ellis Rising Reception 

Little Downsend Teaching, Learning and Assessment Lead 

BA Hons with QTS 
Catherine McInnes Year 1 PGCE with QTS 

Digital Champion 

Carolyn Potter First Steps 

Pastoral Lead 

BA Hons Early Years  



Rachel Shaw Music Theatre Studies 
Liz Roscoe French BA Hons 
Chelsea Wilby Swimming ASA Swimming 
Teaching Assistants   
Amy Bassett Early Years  
Toni Toledo Rising Reception  
Tracey Tullett Reception  
Heidi Bazlinton Year 1  
Kelly Hilsley Year 1  
Catering Staff   
Elaine Hook Caterer  
Antonella Menhennet Kitchen Assistant  
Esther Booth  School Secretary  
Peripatetic staff   
Jay Bristow Woodlands Forest School  
Lisa Hardwick Poptastic 
Elisa Hamer Stagestars  
Rob Parsons Josh Evans Soccer School  

Downsend School

Junior School
Mrs Yvette De VriesHead of Year 2
Deputy Safeguaarding Lead
Mrs Charlotte CoulsonYear 2 Teacher
Mrs Sarah ButcherYear 2 Teacher
Mrs Marian BayleyHead of Year 3 (Maternity Leave)
Mrs Chelsea Wilby (Bradford)Acting Head of Year 3
Junior School Leader of Enrichment
Mrs Natasha LudlumYear 3 Teacher
Mrs Alexa Winn-HardingYear 3 Teacher
Miss Sarah NewnhamYear 3 Teacher
Mr Marc PophamHead of Pastoral Year 4
Mrs Jodie NewberryHead of Academic Year 4
Mrs Amy SuttonYear 4 Teacher
Miss Victoria BirchYear 4 Teacher
Mrs Sally TemlettYear 4 Teacher
Head of Maths
Mrs Caroline DriscollHead of Year 5
Mrs Ljubica CarmodyYear 5 Teacher
Mrs Robyn TemlettYear 5 Teacher
Miss Caitlin McGovernYear 5 Teacher
Mrs Becky DaviesHead of Year 6
Miss Helen BlackYear 6 Teacher
Deputy Head of Junior School
Head of History
Miss Camilla CoatesYear 6 Teacher
Head of English
Emily Friend-HaynesYear 6 Teacher
Mrs Beth DayYear 6 Teacher
Teacher of DT
Teaching Assistants
Miss Lucy BatesJunior School Teaching Assistant
Ms Sharon CorrJunior School Teaching Assistant
Mrs Michelle CrowJunior School Teaching Assistant
Miss Abbie Deane-ArmstrongJunior School Teaching Assistant
Miss Rosie KendrickJunior School Teaching Assistant
Mr Colm Madden-CroweJunior School Teaching Assistant
Mrs Carla NichollsJunior School Teaching Assistant
Mrs Sarah OrrJunior School Teaching Assistant
Mrs Ing-Marie RogersJunior School Teaching Assistant
Mrs Christine WarburtonJunior School Teaching Assistant
Senior School
Mrs Anna MercerHead of Year 7
Teacher of Maths
Head of KS2/3 Transition
Miss Julia AylenYear 7 Form Tutor
Teacher of Art
Mr Thomas HyamYear 7 Form Tutor
Teacher of PE and Games
Mrs Susanna TaylorYear 7 Form Tutor
Teacher of French
Mr Mike UnderwoodYear 7 Form Tutor
Head of Computing
Miss Marie SeivewrightYear 7 Form Tutor
Head of Girls’ Sport
Mr Seb OlsenYear 7 Support Tutor
Teacher of English
Mr Charlie GibbonsYear 7 Support Tutor
Head of Science
Miss Emma MageeYear 7 Support Tutor
Teacher of PE and Games
Mr Matt DuffieldHead of Year 8
Head of English
Mrs Maggie HambletonYear 8 Form Tutor
Head of Art, Design and Technology
Mr Adrian DunningYear 8 Form Tutor
Teacher of Geography
Mr Robbie DaviesYear 8 Form Tutor
Teacher of Humanities
Mr Craig MooreYear 8 Form Tutor
Teacher of PE and Games
Miss Elise HeffermehlYear 8 Form Tutor
Teacher of Humanities
Mrs Sarah SkittYear 8 Support Tutor
Head of Humanities
Mrs Sarah StallardYear 8 Support Tutor
Head of Maths
Mrs Stephanie ElmasHead of Year 9
Teacher of English
Mr Marcus BellYear 9 Form Tutor
Teacher of PE and Games
Mrs Tanya HaylettYear 9 Form Tutor
Teacher of English
Mrs Primrose WoodYear 9 Form Tutor (Weds)
Year 9 Support Tutor
Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages
Mrs Michelle SehgalYear 9 Form Tutor
Teacher of Science
Mrs Alison GrimmerYear 9 Form Tutor (Tues)
Year 9 Support Tutor
Teacher of Mathematics
Mrs Jo HawesHead of Year 10
Teacher of PE and Girls’ Games
Mr Paul HarrisonYear 10 Form Tutor
Teacher of Geography
Mr Anthony YounasYear 10 Form Tutor
Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages
Miss Rebecca HurleyYear 10 Form Tutor
Teacher of PE and Games
Mr Matthew RowdenYear 10 Support Tutor
Teacher of Science
Mr Grant LawrenceYear 10 Support Tutor
Director of Sport
Leader of Enrichment
Other Teaching Staff – Whole School
Mrs Nicole AllisonHead of Music
Mrs Heidi GrayTeacher of Music
Mr Chris BryantHead of Drama
Mrs Lisa BruntAssessment and Exams Manager
Mr Lee SilvaHead of Digital Learning
Deputy Head of Senior School
Mr Tim PearneJunior School Leader of Learning and Innovation
Mr Martin SkittSenior School Leader of Learning and Innovation
Head of Languages
Miss Ceci Rodriguez TuranoGirls Hockey Coach
Mr Rupert HoweTeacher of PE and Games
Learning Support
Mrs Sarah HallsworthJunior School SENCO
Mrs Laura KennySenior School SENCO
Mrs Suzanne HammettLearning Support Specialist
Mrs Ginny StaddonLearning Support Assistant
Miss Gemma SkerryLearning Support Assistant
Mrs Tiffany MarksLearning Support Assistant
Mrs Alison RichardsonClassroom Support Assistant
Mrs Ursula TriggSpecialist Learning Support Tutor
Miss Ann Campbell1:1 Learning Support Assistant

Mr Frank BlountSchool Minibus Driver
Mr Kevin BrewerHead of Facilities
Mrs Jan BrookSchool Receptionist
Mrs Wendy BruceFacilities Administrator
Mrs Lisa BruntAssessment and Exams Manager
Mrs Nikki EarlyLearning Support Administrator
Mrs Lisa HardwickSenior School Administrator
Mrs Hannah HarrisonAdmissions Manager
Mr Michael HendersonPremises Assistant
Mrs Sarah HegartyJunior School Administrator
Mr Mark HugallBusiness Manager
Mrs Katherine KeenAdmissions Assistant
Mrs Rhian KiddSchool Nurse
Mrs Tina LevyFinance Assistant
Miss Emma LinteriGap Year Student
Mr John MarchantFinance Officer
Mr Steve McCreadyMinibus Driver
Mrs Jane ParkSchool Nurse
Mrs Kirsty PatelLibrarian
Mrs Caroline PeacockPA to Headmaster
Mr Iain PotterPremises Assistant
Mrs Anne-Marie RalphMarketing Manager
Mrs Kate TimmsHead of Marketing & Admissions
Mrs Sue WoodHR Administrator
Mrs Nhung PrakashScience Technician
Mr Ian WinmillSTEM Technician

Name, address and telephone number of Proprietor:

Cognita Schools,

5 & 7 Diamond Court,
Opal Drive,
Eastlake Park,
Fox Milne,
Milton Keynes,
MK15 0DU

01908 396250

Director of Education:


James Carroll
01908 396250

01372 372197