Governors (Council) Contact list

    Annabel Cody (Chair)


    • Current roles: Chair of Council.  Governance, Strategy and Finance Committees
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2014
    • Profession: Journalist
    • Email: Annabel Cody
    • About: I joined Council in 2014 and was elected as Chair in 2017. I sit on the Finance, Governance, Strategy and KASS committees.

      My professional background is journalism. I have been both a staff and freelance writer for national newspapers for over 20 years.

      King Alfred offers a unique educational experience. Joining Council has allowed me to expand my understanding of the School and play an active role in its current and future development. I am deeply committed to the School's founding principles: to be a model of education, to challenge accepted boundaries and to educate young people to be independent, engaged and rounded human beings. Those principles are as important today as they were when the School was first established.

      I have had three children at KAS; my son is currently in  Year 10.

    Areta Hautman

    • Current roles: Grounds & Buildings and Education Committees
    • First Elected/Appointed: 1979
    • Profession: Previously psychiatric social worker / counsellor
    • Email: Areta Hautman
    • About: I have been continuously involved and active with the School since the 1970s. I have had various roles and been on various committees of Council, including Grounds and Buildings, Finance, Governance, Education, KASS as well as Parent Staff and the KAS archive. 

      I am committed to the principles on which the school was founded and the preservation and development of its ethos.

      I have been most intensively active in the areas of parental involvement, care and preservation of the grounds, estate development, play facilities, wildlife spaces, archives and publication of the history of the school as well as oversight of education and promotion of the values of the Society.

      My professional background is as a psychiatric social worker. I have had two children educated at KAS and now have a grandson in Year 5.

    Christian Schmidt

    • Current roles: Council member
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2019
    • Profession: Management consultant
    • Email: Christian Schmidt
    • About: I am originally from Germany but moved to the UK in 1994 to pursue my graduate degree in Oxford. After graduation I worked as a management consultant before completing my MBA in 2003. Since then I have been working as a partner at an executive search and leadership advisory firm. Here I support businesses as well as private and public institutions in finding, assessing and developing the leaders of tomorrow.

      My wife and I have two kids in Lower School, and we cherish the Society’s principles and the school’s ethos and approach.  I am convinced that the school can continue to build on its philosophy and further excel at preparing its students academically, socially and emotionally for a future that is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. In order to achieve this, the school continuously needs to strike the right balance between rigorous academics, creative thinking and fostering socially responsible and emotionally intelligent people.

      I was elected to the Council in 2019 and I hope that through my membership I can help address the Society’s day-to-day but also longer-term challenges and opportunities and do my part to help build a vibrant, modern and admired school. 

    Emily Holmstoel

    • Current roles: Council member
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2019
    • Profession: SENCO
    • Email: Emily Holmstoel
    • About: I am a SENCO and qualified teacher with an MA in Inclusive and special education. I have worked in both the state and independent sectors. I am currently freelance teaching and working with families who are applying for Education Health Care Plans alongside advising Petra’s Place charity for families with pre-school ASD children.

      My experience has given me an excellent grounding in the complex and diverse needs of children with additional needs in mainstream education. I am passionate about supporting children and teaching them to advocate for themselves. I believe that a conventional school system is designed to exclude and stifle alternative thinkers and creative minds. I am inspired by schools like King Alfred that are leading the way for change and am excited to be involved with such an innovative education system.

      I have two children both educated at St Christopher school in Letchworth. 

    Fiona Hackett

    • Current roles: Grounds & Buildings (Chair) and Finance Committees
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2000
    • Profession: Scientist
    • Email: Fiona Hackett
    • About: I have been a Council member for 18 years and for the last several of these I have been Chair of the Grounds and Buildings Committee. We help the Estates team to make decisions about the maintenance of the fabric of the school and also oversee any large building projects ensuring that they are well designed and sit comfortably in our existing campus.  The grounds at KAS are very special and we help to ensure that the green spaces are maintained in a way that allows the students the maximum benefit from the access they have while ensuring there is attractive and natural planting in the flower beds. My children who were both at KAS from 4 to 18 are both running their own businesses and I am certain that they have grown up to be self-motivated and confident because of their time at KAS and in part that was due to the environment; mature trees and open spaces, to play and use their imaginations in an unfettered way which is not a common experience for children to enjoy today. I am committed to continuing this tradition and I know that many other Council members feel the same way but it is always good to have new blood joining us to keep our ideas fresh.

    Grace Edghill

    • Current roles: Council member
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2019
    • Profession: Tutor and non executive director
    • Email: Grace Edghill
    • About: I am originally from Barbados and I started school there, finishing in Canada, and I came to the UK in 1994 to go to university. I studied Civil and Environmental Engineering but my career has mainly been in the financial sector where I worked as a business analyst and in management roles.

      I volunteer with the Breastfeeding Network and work part-time as a Tutor and Supervisor, I also sit on their Board of Directors. 

      We have two daughters at KAS who joined the school in 2012, in Reception and Y2. I'm really pleased to be an active and enthusiastic member of the KAS community, Treasurer of Parent/ Staff and now a member of the Council. 

    Ian Laming

    • Current roles: Strategy Committee (Chair) and Finance Committee
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2009
    • Profession: Lawyer & Financier, Chief Operating Officer & Founding Partner of a Property Fund
    • Email: Ian Laming
    • About: I have been on Council for 9 years.  My son was at King Alfred and my daughter is currently in Year 10 at the school.  I chair the Strategy Committee, I sit on the Finance Committee, and have in the past also chaired the Fundraising Committee.

    Liam Michaels

    • Current roles: Council member
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2019
    • Profession: University student
    • Email: Liam Michaels
    • About: I left KAS in 2015 after spending 7 years at the school. My interest in the Council began as a student, and spurred on by my membership of the School Six student body during sixth form, I applied to join in 2019. I’m looking forward to working with the Council on maintaining and developing the exceptional, progressive education I received when I was a student, promoting and upholding the valuable ethos of the school, and of course I’m desperate to help build the treehouse.
      I am currently studying a degree in Music at SOAS, where I am in my second year. The rest of my time is spent working as a cocktail bartender in a French Bar, where I’m endeavouring to learn the language. 

    John Nevin

    • Current roles: Governance Committee
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2017
    • Profession: Solicitor, Partner in Slaughter and May
    • Email: John Nevin
    • About: I have been on the Council since 2017 and am a member of the Governance Committee.  I currently have two (twin) daughters in Year 5.
      I am a partner of a law firm, Slaughter and May where I specialise in real estate. Outside of work, I enjoy running, cycling (particularly in the Alps and Majorca) and my tennis can only be described as a work-in-progress.  My wife ensures my diary is filled with a copious number of theatre visits each year.

    Kara Conti (President)

    • Current roles: President.  Chair of KASS Committee
    • First Elected/Appointed: 1986
    • Profession: Actor
    • Email: Kara Conti
    • About: My daughter Nina first attended KAS aged 11 in 1984 and I was almost immediately welcomed into parental involvement through Parent/Staff. Very soon I was on the committee and spent some years as Chair of Parent Staff. I served on Council from 1986 and took over as Chair of Council in 1991 till 2000.

      It has been an honour to serve as President of the Society since then and maintain my involvement with the school. The President serves on Council fully these days, whereas in the past the role was more of an ex officio presence, attending meetings by invitation only. I now chair the King Alfred School Society Committee which explores and funds educational research projects and organises the Society’s annual conference in October.

      I am on hand to support the Chair and Head at any time and hope that my oversight and experience can be of use to them. I have really enjoyed working with Robert, our new Head, and I’m very excited about the years ahead.

      My grandsons, Drummond and Arthur, are in Years 3 and 10 - so the family connection is due to continue for some years.

    Nick Friedlos (Treasurer)

    • Current roles: Treasurer, Finance (Chair) and Strategy Committees
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2016
    • Profession: Chartered Accountant, Chief Executive of Property & Venture Funds
    • Email: Nick Friedlos
    • About: I have been a member of Council since 2016. My back ground is in the finance and the investment management industry. In my time on Council I have sat on the finance committee, the strategy committee and also been involved with the working group looking at options for developing facilities on the School site. Since 2018 I have taken on the role of Treasurer. The KAS Council has strong representation from current and past parents - being on Council is an opportunity to make a real contribution to the School, both to some of the more routine matters Council has to consider as well as longer term decisions. I am a current parent with 4 children in the School.

    Philip Whale

    • Current roles: Governance Committee (Chair) and Education Committee
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2013
    • Profession: Commercial Lawyer. Retired Norton Rose Partner and Non-Executive Director
    • Email: Philip Whale
    • About: I was first elected to Council in 2013 and am currently the chair of the governance committee. In my time on Council I have assisted with reorganising the committee structure so that it better reflects our legal obligations as school governors, charity trustees and company directors ( the role each Council member has ), lead on the complete revamp of the Society’s constitution ( Articles of Association) and had the privilege to be one of the Council members directly involved in the search for our new Head, Robert. I have had 2 children in the school both from reception, the youngest of whom is currently  in Year 12.

    Robert Dye

    • Current roles: Council member
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2018
    • Profession: Architect
    • Email: Robert Dye
    • About: I am a Chartered Architect with my own practice in NW3. Our family comprises 3 sons, all of whom at different ages moved from state junior schools to join King Alfred; the youngest is currently in Year 9.  I have been a parent at King Alfred on and off for 18 years; I feel inspired by the current focus and direction of the school and particularly this rejuvenation being carried through into campus and built facilities. I joined Council in 2019 and sit on Committees for Grounds & Buildings and Site Development.

    Sam Jukes-Adams

    • Current roles: Development
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2017
    • Profession: TV production consultant and executive coach
    • Email: Sam Jukes-Adams
    • About: KAS has a very special spirit, very like my own progressive school experience, which I found to be very formative and rewarding.  So, it’s a privilege to be on Council and work with the school to help uphold its ethos and develop its future. I am a parent to two children in KAS, one in Lower and one in Upper School, and joined Council two years ago.Having been a Governor at my son’s previous school, I was keen to join Council and do it all again in a new setting. I started my tenure on Council supporting Safeguarding, and now I’m working with the school on their development plans.  Outside of marriage, parenthood and Council my professional work is in Executive Coaching in Leadership, informed by the Tavistock systems psychodynamic position. I spent twenty odd years as a Head of Production in Television, prior to coaching, working in the UK and internationally, spanning documentary through to High End Drama. I now lecture at MetFilm on their Producing MA, deliver training on the HETV Leadership programme, and mentor for Women in Film and TV. 

    Sandra Denicke-Polcher

    • Current roles: Grounds and Buildings and KASS Committees
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2017
    • Profession: Deputy Head, School of Architecture, The CASS, London Metropolitan University
    • Email: Sandra Denicke-Polcher
    • About: I am an architect and academic. Having set up my practice in 1998, I am now Acting Head of Architecture at The Cass, London Metropolitan University, and hold a National Teaching Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

      I have profound experience with rigorous quality assurance processes in higher education and how this meets the reality of teaching. My interest lies in progressive education through an explorative attitude in which “1:1 making” is encouraged through live projects.

      I am the Early Years Foundation Stage representative for KAS and member of Council’s Grounds & Buildings Committee and the Education Committee.

      I have two children at KAS, currently in Years 7 and 11, both at school since Reception.

    Sarah Phillips

    • Current roles: Finance and Governance Committees
    • First Elected/Appointed: 1997
    • Profession: Chartered Accountant  
    • Email: Sarah Phillips  
    • About: I'm a Maths graduate and Chartered Accountant with interest in theatre, music, IT, child development and special educational needs.   I joined Council in 1997 and was Treasurer from 2004 to 2018.  I'm a member of Finance, Grounds & Buildings and Governance.  Over the years I have also been Treasurer of Parent Staff, helped in Maths classes and interviewed prospective staff.  

      I'm also a trustee, director and now treasurer of AGBIS (the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools) a role which is part of KAS becoming more involved in the wider world of education.

      My two children joined KAS in Reception and stayed until Yr 13 and Yr 11.

    Sheila Jaswon

    • Current roles: TBA
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2018
    • Profession: Teacher, Retired member of staff at King Alfred School
    • Email: Sheila Jaswon
    • About: I trained as a State Registered nurse and then paediatric nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children before taking time out to raise two sons who both attended KAS. I retrained as a Primary School teacher and studied for a Masters degree in Early Years Education at the Institute for Education. I then worked in the state sector before moving to KAS as classroom teacher. With a particular interest in outdoor learning (my dissertation focused on the benefits of children playing and learning outside), I set up and ran the school farm for more than twelve years as well as helping to create and manage the school Apiary. I was staff representative on council for many years, regularly attended parent/staff meetings and was staff member on the KASS committee for three years. I was elected onto council at the 2018 AGM and serve on the KASS committee.

    Sophie Ricard

    • Current roles: Education Committee (Chair) and Strategy Committee
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2015
    • Profession: Educator
    • Email: Sophie Ricard
    • About: I joined Council soon after arriving at King Alfred as a Reception parent in 2013. I am the Chair of the Education Committee and a member of the Strategy Committee.  I trained as a teacher with a Master's degree in progressive education and have worked in a variety of schools in New York and London both in a teaching role and designing progressive education programmes for teachers. I am now working to combine education and nutrition to support child development.

    Sophie Silocchi

    • Current roles: Ground and Buildings and KASS Committees
    • First Elected/Appointed: 2017
    • Profession: Interior Designer
    • Email: Sophie Silocchi
    • About: I was elected to Council in 2017 and sit on Grounds & Buildings Committee and the KASS Committee.

      I am a Self-employed Interior designer, previously working in Public Relations.

      Interested particularly in building upon the relationship between parents and the school

      from effective communications to participation in the KAS community.

      I am the parent of two students in Upper School who have been at KAS since Reception.