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 Staff Age Group Taught / Additional Roles Qualifications


Tessa Roberts



Health and Safety Coordinator

Behaviour Management Officer






Janet Catlow



Year One

Deputy Head

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)



BA (Hons), PGCE

Christeen Hill Reception

Early Years Coordinator

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


Sarah Hegarty



School Secretary

Member of Staff Age Group Taught Qualifications
Mrs V Conlan Head Teacher BEd (Hons), NPQH
Head of School
Mrs L Burns Year 1 teacher
Mr J Bayley Music Teacher BMus, MPerf
Mrs K Bees FS and RR sports teacher
Mrs S Butler Reception Class Teacher BEd (Hons)
Mrs A Burbidge Year 1 Teacher BEd (Hons)
Mrs A Carruthers Early Years Leader & First Steps (currently on maternity leave) BA (Hons), QTS
Miss C Clayton Rising Reception Class Teacher BA (Hons)
Mrs Freeman-White Dance Teacher (Maternity Leave
Mrs S Murray French Teacher
Miss M Seivewright Swimming teacher ASA Swimming
Mr R Parsons R and Y1 games teacher
Mrs J Simpson First Steps teacher (Maternity Cover) BEd (Hons)
Mrs Emma Taylor SENCo Bed (Hons) OCR Cert, SpLD, National SENCo award
Ms Verity Penn Dance Teacher (Maternity Cover)
Teaching Assistants
Mrs S Bullock Extended day Supervisor NVQ Level 4 Early Years Education & Childcare
Miss K Coles Teaching Assistant & Extended day supervisor NVQ Level 5 Early Years Education & Childcare
Miss R Goldsmith Teaching Assistant
Mrs J Jackson Teaching Assistant Montessori diploma
Ms S Joss Teaching Assistant
Mrs S Matthews Teaching Assistant
Miss T-J McLaren Midday Supervisor & Teaching Assistant NVQ2
Miss J Organ Teaching Assistant NVQ3
Mrs S Strange Teaching Assistant NVQ3
Miss J White Teaching Assistant NVQ Level 5 Early Years Education & Childcare
Mrs J Thomson Cook
Miss J Shacklock Catering Assistant
Mrs A Tucker School 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 Vries Head of Year 2
Deputy Safeguaarding Lead
Mrs Charlotte Coulson Year 2 Teacher
Mrs Sarah Butcher Year 2 Teacher
Mrs Marian Bayley Head of Year 3 (Maternity Leave)
Mrs Chelsea Wilby (Bradford) Acting Head of Year 3
Junior School Leader of Enrichment
Mrs Natasha Ludlum Year 3 Teacher
Mrs Alexa Winn-Harding Year 3 Teacher
Miss Sarah Newnham Year 3 Teacher
Mr Marc Popham Head of Pastoral Year 4
Mrs Jodie Newberry Head of Academic Year 4
Mrs Amy Sutton Year 4 Teacher
Miss Victoria Birch Year 4 Teacher
Mrs Sally Temlett Year 4 Teacher
Head of Maths
Mrs Caroline Driscoll Head of Year 5
Mrs Ljubica Carmody Year 5 Teacher
Mrs Robyn Temlett Year 5 Teacher
Miss Caitlin McGovern Year 5 Teacher
Mrs Becky Davies Head of Year 6
Miss Helen Black Year 6 Teacher
Deputy Head of Junior School
Head of History
Miss Camilla Coates Year 6 Teacher
Head of English
Emily Friend-Haynes Year 6 Teacher
Mrs Beth Day Year 6 Teacher
Teacher of DT
Teaching Assistants
Miss Lucy Bates Junior School Teaching Assistant
Ms Sharon Corr Junior School Teaching Assistant
Mrs Michelle Crow Junior School Teaching Assistant
Miss Abbie Deane-Armstrong Junior School Teaching Assistant
Miss Rosie Kendrick Junior School Teaching Assistant
Mr Colm Madden-Crowe Junior School Teaching Assistant
Mrs Carla Nicholls Junior School Teaching Assistant
Mrs Sarah Orr Junior School Teaching Assistant
Mrs Ing-Marie Rogers Junior School Teaching Assistant
Mrs Christine Warburton Junior School Teaching Assistant
Senior School
Mrs Anna Mercer Head of Year 7
Teacher of Maths
Head of KS2/3 Transition
Miss Julia Aylen Year 7 Form Tutor
Teacher of Art
Mr Thomas Hyam Year 7 Form Tutor
Teacher of PE and Games
Mrs Susanna Taylor Year 7 Form Tutor
Teacher of French
Mr Mike Underwood Year 7 Form Tutor
Head of Computing
Miss Marie Seivewright Year 7 Form Tutor
Head of Girls’ Sport
Mr Seb Olsen Year 7 Support Tutor
Teacher of English
Mr Charlie Gibbons Year 7 Support Tutor
Head of Science
Miss Emma Magee Year 7 Support Tutor
Teacher of PE and Games
Mr Matt Duffield Head of Year 8
Head of English
Mrs Maggie Hambleton Year 8 Form Tutor
Head of Art, Design and Technology
Mr Adrian Dunning Year 8 Form Tutor
Teacher of Geography
Mr Robbie Davies Year 8 Form Tutor
Teacher of Humanities
Mr Craig Moore Year 8 Form Tutor
Teacher of PE and Games
Miss Elise Heffermehl Year 8 Form Tutor
Teacher of Humanities
Mrs Sarah Skitt Year 8 Support Tutor
Head of Humanities
Mrs Sarah Stallard Year 8 Support Tutor
Head of Maths
Mrs Stephanie Elmas Head of Year 9
Teacher of English
Mr Marcus Bell Year 9 Form Tutor
Teacher of PE and Games
Mrs Tanya Haylett Year 9 Form Tutor
Teacher of English
Mrs Primrose Wood Year 9 Form Tutor (Weds)
Year 9 Support Tutor
Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages
Mrs Michelle Sehgal Year 9 Form Tutor
Teacher of Science
Mrs Alison Grimmer Year 9 Form Tutor (Tues)
Year 9 Support Tutor
Teacher of Mathematics
Mrs Jo Hawes Head of Year 10
Teacher of PE and Girls’ Games
Mr Paul Harrison Year 10 Form Tutor
Teacher of Geography
Mr Anthony Younas Year 10 Form Tutor
Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages
Miss Rebecca Hurley Year 10 Form Tutor
Teacher of PE and Games
Mr Matthew Rowden Year 10 Support Tutor
Teacher of Science
Mr Grant Lawrence Year 10 Support Tutor
Director of Sport
Leader of Enrichment
Other Teaching Staff – Whole School
Mrs Nicole Allison Head of Music
Mrs Heidi Gray Teacher of Music
Mr Chris Bryant Head of Drama
Mrs Lisa Brunt Assessment and Exams Manager
Mr Lee Silva Head of Digital Learning
Deputy Head of Senior School
Mr Tim Pearne Junior School Leader of Learning and Innovation
Mr Martin Skitt Senior School Leader of Learning and Innovation
Head of Languages
Miss Ceci Rodriguez Turano Girls Hockey Coach
Mr Rupert Howe Teacher of PE and Games
Learning Support
Mrs Sarah Hallsworth Junior School SENCO
Mrs Laura Kenny Senior School SENCO
Mrs Suzanne Hammett Learning Support Specialist
Mrs Ginny Staddon Learning Support Assistant
Miss Gemma Skerry Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Tiffany Marks Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Alison Richardson Classroom Support Assistant
Mrs Ursula Trigg Specialist Learning Support Tutor
Miss Ann Campbell 1:1 Learning Support Assistant

Mr Frank Blount School Minibus Driver
Mr Kevin Brewer Head of Facilities
Mrs Jan Brook School Receptionist
Mrs Wendy Bruce Facilities Administrator
Mrs Lisa Brunt Assessment and Exams Manager
Mrs Nikki Early Learning Support Administrator
Mrs Lisa Hardwick Senior School Administrator
Mrs Hannah Harrison Admissions Manager
Mr Michael Henderson Premises Assistant
Mrs Sarah Hegarty Junior School Administrator
Mr Mark Hugall Business Manager
Mrs Katherine Keen Admissions Assistant
Mrs Rhian Kidd School Nurse
Mrs Tina Levy Finance Assistant
Miss Emma Linteri Gap Year Student
Mr John Marchant Finance Officer
Mr Steve McCready Minibus Driver
Mrs Jane Park School Nurse
Mrs Kirsty Patel Librarian
Mrs Caroline Peacock PA to Headmaster
Mr Iain Potter Premises Assistant
Mrs Anne-Marie Ralph Marketing Manager
Mrs Kate Timms Head of Marketing & Admissions
Mrs Sue Wood HR Administrator
Mrs Nhung Prakash Science Technician
Mr Ian Winmill STEM 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