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

Headmaster

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 ...

Seb Watts

Seb Watts

Deputy Head

A graduate of London and Cambridge Universities Seb taught History and Politics at Watford Boys Grammar School to A level standard and went on to Worth School where he was a Boarding Housemaster.

Karl Newland

Karl Newland

Head of Upper 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...

Jon Albert

Jon Albert

Assistant Head

As a secondary trained teacher with a BSc degree and MA in Educational Leadership & Management from Kingston University, Jon has a wealth ...

Clare Kirkham

Clare Kirkham

Head of Lower 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 ...

Craig Simmons

Craig Simmons

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...

Vanessa Conlan

Vanessa Conlan

Head - Little Downsend 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.

Tessa Roberts

Tessa Roberts

Head - Little Downsend Ashtead

Tessa gained her BEd at Cheltenham Teacher Training College. Her career began in Cornwall, teaching in both Infant and primary schools. Following her appointment as Deputy Head of the outsta...

Title Forename Surname Role Qualifications
Mr Jon Albert Assistant Head (External Relations) BSc (Hons), QTS
Mrs Lauren Albert Lower School Administrator
Mrs Colette Allen Office Manager
Mrs Nicole Allison Head of Music Bmus, Dip Ed
Mrs Sandra Attenberger Admin Support
Miss Julia Aylen Head of Art BSc, PGCE
Miss Lucy Bates Teaching Assistant
Mrs Marian Bayley KS2 ClassTeacher & Head of Year 3 BA (Music), PGCE
Miss Vicky Birch KS2 Class Teacher BA (Hons), PGCE
Miss Helen Black Deputy Head of Lower School & Head of History BA (Hons), PGCE
Mrs Joanne Brettell Receptionist
Mr Kevin Brewer Facilities Manager
Mrs Wendy Bruce Facilities Administrator
Mrs Lisa Brunt Subject Teacher & Curriculum Manager B Ed (Hons)
Mr Christopher Bryant Head of English & Drama BA (Hons), PGCE, QTS
Mrs Lisa Burns KS1 Class Teacher, Hd KS2 English, Hd Yr2 Academic PGCE, QTS
Mrs Ljubica Carmody KS2 Class Teacher & 2ic ICT Graduated Teacher, QTS
Miss Camilla Coates KS2 Class Teacher BA (Hons), PGCE
Ms Sarah Concanon Admissions Assistant
Mrs Claire Cooper-James Teacher of PE & Girls’ Games BSc (Hons), PGCE
Ms Sharon Corr Teaching Assistant
Miss Charlotte Coulson KS2 Class Teacher GTP with QTS
Mrs Karen Cresswell Librarian BEd, Educational Management & Development
Mrs Michelle Crow Teaching Assistant
Mrs Beth Day Head of Design &Technology BA (Hons), EAFL, QTS
Mrs Yvette De Vries KS2 Class Teacher, Head Yr2 Pastoral & Deputy DSL Higher Dip Ed
Mrs Susan Dinnage Teacher of RS & History B Ed (Hons)
Mr Adrian Dunning Senior Teacher & Head of Geography B Ed (Hons)
Mrs Lisa Durrant Admissions Manager
Mr Josh Evans
Mrs Helen Ferguson School Nurse RGN
Mrs Fiona Fitch Head of Lower School Games BA (Hons), PGCE
Mr Toby Fraser Gap Year Student
Miss Emily Friend KS2 Class Teacher & Lower School G&T Co-ordinator BA (Hons), PGCE
Mrs Jenny Graham Head of Religious Studies CertEd
Mrs Alison Grimmer Teacher of Mathematics BA (Ed) Hons
Mrs Louise Hallam Teacher of French & Spanish BA (Hons), PGCE
Mrs Sarah Hallsworth SENCO BA, Dyslexia Action Training, SEND
Mrs Suzie Hammett Learning Support Specialist
Mrs Jo Hawes Teacher of PE & Girls’ Games & Head of Year 6 BEd (Hons), M Ed
Mrs Tanya Haylett Teacher of English BA (Hons), QTS
Mrs Katie Hayward Teacher of English BA (Hons)
Mr Michael Henderson Premises Assistant
Mrs Judy Houlden Spanish Teacher BA Open Spanish, PGCE
Mr Rupert Howe Teacher of PE & Boys’ Games BA (Hons), PGCE
Miss Gayle Hughes KS2 Class Teacher & HoY5 BA (Hons), PGCE
Mrs Jill Izatt Teaching Assistant
Miss Rosie Kendrick Teaching Assistant
Mrs Clare Kirkham Head of Lower School BA (Hons), PGCE
Mr Grant Lawrence Director of Sport BA (Hons), QTS
Ms Natasha Ludlam KS2 Class Teacher MA (Hons), PGCE
Ms Joanne Maddison School Nurse RGN
Mr John Marchant Finance Officer
Mrs Anna Mercer Teacher of Maths, HoY 7 & Head of KS2/3Transition BA (Hons) with QTS
Mr Peter Mitchell KS2 Class Teacher BA (Hons), QTS
Mrs Jodie Newberry KS2 Class Teacher & HoY4 – Maternity Leave BA (Hons), QTS
Miss Helen Newhall Gap Year Student
Mr Karl Newland Head of Upper School BSc (Hons), PGCE
Mr Stephen Noble Head of Maths BA (Hons), MSc, PGCE
Mr Paddy O’Brien Science Teacher BA, MA, PGCE
Mrs Sarah Orr Teaching Assistant
Mrs Vinnie Pankhania SEN Administrator
Mr Jamie Paul Teaching Assistant
Ms Rebecca Peek Downsend Plus Co-Leader
Mr Marc Popham KS2 Class Teacher, Acting HoY4 BSc (Hons), QTS
Mr Iain Potter Premises Assistant
Mrs Anne-Marie Ralph Marketing Assistant BA (Hons)
Mrs Alison Richardson Classroom Support Assistant
Miss Ceci Rodriguez Turano Girls Hockey Coach
Mrs Ing-Marie Rogers Teaching Assistant
Mrs Michelle Sehgal Teacher of Science & 2ic Science BA (Hons) QTS
Miss Marie Seivewright Head of Girls’ Sport BEd (Hons)
Mr Lee Silva Dep Hd USch, HoY8,Science Teacher,Acting Head ICT Bed, MA, QTS
Mr Craig Simmons Business Manager Dip School Business Mgmt, Advanced Dip Admin Mgmt
Mr Joseph Skates Teacher (Maternity Cover) MA, PGCE, QTS
Mr Martin Skitt Head of Languages BA, MA, PGCE, QTS
Mrs Heather Smith Teaching Assistant
Mrs Ginny Staddon Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Amy Sutton KS2 ClassTeacher and 2ic Maths BSc (Hons), PGCE
Mrs Susie Taylor French Teacher, 2ic Languages BA (Hons), PGCE
Mrs Sally Temlett KS1 Class Teacher BA (Hons), PGCE
Mr Ian Thorpe Headmaster BEd (Hons), MA (Ed)
Mrs Kate Timms Head of Marketing & Admissions PG Dip Marketing, BA (Hons)
Mrs Ursula Trigg Specialist Learning Support Tutor
Mrs Victoria Topa Teacher of PE & Girls’ Games BA (Hons), MA (Ed)
Mrs Dee Vanstone Second i/c English & Head of PSHE BEd
Mr Seb Watts Deputy Headmaster & DSL BA (Hons), PGCE
Miss Chelsea Wilby KS1 Class Teacher BA (Hons)
Mr Ian Winmill STEM Technician
Mrs Sue Wood HR Administrator
Mrs Karen Wyatt Finance Assistant
Mrs Catherine Young Teaching Assistant

Member of Staff Age Group Taught / Additional Roles Qualifications
Headteacher

 

Tessa Roberts

 

 

Health and Safety Coordinator

Behaviour Management Officer

 

 

BEd

Teachers

 

Janet Catlow

 

 

Year One

Deputy Head

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

 

 

BA (Hons), PGCE

Christeen Hill Reception

Early Years Coordinator

BSC Hons, IPGCE
Melanie Chipperton Reception

Early Years DSL

Deputy DSL

Educational Visits Coordinator

BA (Hons), PGCE
Julie James First Steps NVQ3
Sally Rose Rising Reception NVQ3
Sarah Murray French BA (Hons), PGCE
Rachel Shaw Music Theatre Studies
Sally Thomas Dance / Drama Dance Teacher Cert.
Teaching Assistants

 

Tracey Cobb

 

 

First Steps

Shazia Gale First Steps
Katherine Gray First Steps

Year One

Ella Hodgkinson Rising Reception

Teacher Afternoons FS & RR

Amanda Humphries Year One

Early Birds Supervisor

Extended Day Supervisor

Sally Jones Rising Reception
Cindy Lockyer First Steps

Teacher Afternoons FS & RR

Avril Macfarlane   Reception

Early Birds Assistant

Debbie Nicholson First Steps

Year One

Extended Day Supervisor

Catering / Extended Day

Jan Filby

 

 

Extended Day Assistant

Clare McCluskey Cook
Secretarial

 

Sarah Hegarty

 

 

School Secretary

Member of Staff Age Group Taught Qualifications
Headteacher
Mrs V Conlan Head Teacher BEd (Hons), NPQH
Teachers
Mr J Albert Games Teacher BSc Hons, MA (Ed), QTS
Mr J Bayley Music Teacher BMus, MPerf
Mrs S Butler Reception Class Teacher BEd (Hons)
Mrs S Bullock Rising Reception Class Teacher NVQ Level 4 Early Years Education & Childcare
Mrs A Burbidge Year 1 Teacher BEd (Hons), QTS
Mrs A Carruthers Early Years Leader & First Steps BA (Hons), QTS
Miss C Clayton Rising Reception Class Teacher BA (Hons)
Mrs Freeman-White Dance Teacher (Maternity Leave
Mrs S Goldsmith Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator BA (Hons), OCR Dip SpLD (Level 7)
Mrs J Langham Swimming Teacher ASA  Swimming Certificate
Miss P McIntyre Year 1 Teacher BSc, PGCE
Mrs S Murray French Teacher
Mrs R Parmar Rising Reception Class Teacher NVQ 3 Early Years & Childcare
Ms Verity Penn Dance Teacher (Maternity Cover)
Teaching Assistants
Miss I Bowles Teaching Assistant
Extended Day Supervisor
Mrs J Dreghorn Teaching Assistant
Ms C Harper Extended Day Assistant
Ms S Joss Teaching Assistant
Mrs S Matthews Teaching Assistant
Miss J Organ Teaching Assistant
Ms K Robertson Extended Day Assistant
Mrs J Simpson Teaching Assistant
Mrs S Strange Teaching Assistant
Catering
Mrs J Thomson Catering Assistant
Secretarial
Mrs A Tucker School Secretary

Member of Staff Age Group Taught Qualifications
Headteacher
Vanessa Conlan Head BEd (Hons), NPQH
Teachers
Vanda Laverock Year 1 BA Hons with QTS
ICT/Science Co-ordinator

DSL

PGCE
Amy Hodges Year 1 BA Hons Early Years
Deputy Head IPGCE
EVC
 
Emma Taylor SENCO Bed (Hons) OCR Cert, SpLD, National SENCo award
Sarah Butcher Year 1 B.ED (Hons)
Jessica Barber Reception BA Hons

EYPS

IPGCE

Jenny Ellis Reception

Assessment/Maths Co-ordinator

BA Hons with QTS
Anita Grimstone Reception BA (Hons) Early Years
Catherine McInnes Reception Early Years Foundation Degree
Liane Corden Rising Reception

Deputy DSL

NVQ3
Angela Hampshire Rising Reception BSC Hons NVQ3
Carolyn Potter First Steps

Early Years Coordinator

EYFS DSL

BA Hons Early Years

EYPS

 

Jon Bayley Music BMus, MPerf
Liz Roscoe French BA Hons
Sally Thomas Dance / Drama Dance teacher’s Cert.
Marie Seivewright Swimming ASA Swimming
Teaching Assistants
Kelly Hilsley First Steps
Amy Bassett First Steps
Aliona Braileanu First Steps
Imogen Bowles First Steps
Rebecca Hajdu Rising Reception
Tracey Tullett Rising Reception
Joanna White Rising Reception
Abbie Deane-Armstrong Reception
Sue Colvin Reception
Rebecca Goldsmith Reception
Sara Corrigan Reception
Niki Taylor Year 1
Susan Dakin-White Year 1
Heidi Bazlinton Year 1
Rosie Wood Year 1
Catering Staff
Elaine Hook Caterer
 
Secretarial
Esther Booth School Secretary  

 

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

Name of Chair of Governors (ADE):

 

James Carroll
01908 396250

01372 372197