Knowledge Schools Trust

Directors and Officers

Honorary President

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.


Cosmo Lush, Chair

Cosmo is one of the founders of the West London Free School and a Partner at executive search and advisory firm Skillcapital LLP providing specialist recruitment and management-related services to private equity investors. Previously, 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. He is actively involved with his children’s primary school, organising fund raising events and occasionally playing violin in the school band. For several years he was a Prince's Trust Business Mentor and a Prison Visitor at HMP Wormwood Scrubs.

Cosmo has a degree in Geography from the University of Oxford and an MBA from INSEAD.

Jane Emmett

 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 tought 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 McGaughey

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 comes from Ealing originally, 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 Hunt

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.

Dame Sally Coates

Sally Coates is a very experienced former headteacher and educationalist.  She is currently United Learning's Director of Academies South and was previously Principal of Burlington Danes Academy in Hammersmith & Fulham from 2008 - 2014. Prior to that Sally was Head of Sacred Heart School in Camberwell.  Sally has always worked in inner city schools in London and has been in teaching since 1976. Her book ‘Headstrong’ 11 lessons of school leadership was published in 2015.





Chloe Mawson

Chloe has lived locally for 15 years.  She is a mother of three children two of whom attend West London Free School Primary.

Chloe was honoured to have been elected as the first WLFSP parent governor and then to become Co-Chair of the WLFSP/ECFSP governing body in 2016.





Alex Conabeare

Alex Conabeare is Co-Chair of Governors at The West London Free School Primary and Earl's Court Free School Primary. 
Alex studied Physiology and Pharmacology at university in Bristol before returning to London and developing a career in Marketing and Digital within Financial Services and Professional Services. A father of two, he is proud that his daughter is a founding pupil at the Earl’s Court Free School.





Suzie Hobart

Suzie Hobart s one of the founders of the West London Free School, and a Trustee of the Knowledge Schools Foundation Trust.  She is also the Chair of Governors at the Kensington Primary Academy.  Suzie's career has included project management and business process consulting in the IT industry and working as an independent project manager in the Education sector. She specialises in the opening of new schools.
Suzie is the mother of three children. She was educated at an Independent Grammar School and went on to study Engineering at Oxford.


Katy Whelan

Katy was appointed as Chair of Governors of the secondary school in 2016.  Katy has a son in Year 13 and daughters in Year 7 and 8 and will be well known to many of you through her work, not only as a parent-governor, but as a leading light of the PTA. She brings a wide range of skills to the position; a chartered accountant, she recently left Deutsche Bank where she spent 18 years in the Corporate Finance division.



 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.

Ian was state educated before attending Bristol (BA), Warwick (MA) and Oxford (MSt) universities. He can be contacted on




Anne Wickham - Chief  Finance Officer

Mrs 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. 



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