Statue of King Alfred looking out over the field
Statue of King Alfred looking out over the field


What is Council?

Council is the governing body of The King Alfred School Society.

Council has the ultimate legal responsibility for our Society and the School and operates in three capacities simultaneously. Its members are company directors, charity trustees, and also school governors with all of the responsibilities that these three roles entail.

Council members all sign an agreed code of conduct designed to ensure confidentiality, impartiality, and mutually respectful behaviour.

What does Council do?

Council works to ensure that the Society’s founding principles are upheld and its objectives are met. The objectives of the Society are set out in our Articles of Association.

As a school governing body, Council is required by law to do three things in regard to the School. They are:

  • Setting the School’s vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the School and its students
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the School.

How does it work?

Council operates through a series of committees, each of which covers a specific area of responsibility. Council meets once each half of term as a full body to consider reports from the various committees and the School’s senior leadership team.

The committees are:


This group reviews the education programme of the school and evaluates the performance of the school in achieving its educational aims. It reports to Council on the performance of the senior leadership team in achieving the educational aims of the Society and the school enabling Council to hold the Head to account. Current chair is Sophie Ricard.


This group receives and considers regular financial reports from the Bursary, develops and maintains the risk register, considers budgets and alterations to budgets and reports to Council on them. A sub group of Finance also benchmarks and reviews the pay and conditions of the senior leadership team. All of this is reported to Council enabling it to oversee the financial performance of the school. Current chair is Nick Friedlos (Treasurer  of the Society).


This group ensures that all governance matters are managed and reported to Council where appropriate. These include for example reviewing the policies of the school, ensuring that the articles of the Society remain current, supporting grievance procedures involving either parents or staff, supporting disciplinary processes if necessary, and maintaining and managing the Council members’ code of conduct. Current chair is Philip Whale.

Grounds and Buildings

This group maintains the 10 year site development plan, manages development projects such as the Fives Court Building from concept to delivery, makes recommendations on budgets and priorities to Council, and supports the school grounds and buildings team with their operational budgets and decisions. Current chair is Fiona Hackett.

King Alfred School Society

This group undertakes research into current progressive educational practice in collaboration with the senior leadership team, develops and manages the conferences, and reports to Council on the wider aims of the Society. Current chair is Kara Conti (President of the Society)

Details of all Governors and contact information can be found on the Governor Profiles page.

In addition there are a number of other groups that meet as required.

The King Alfred School Society (The Society)

The Society was formed in 1897 by a group of parents dissatisfied with the selective exam based Victorian school system. The school they founded one year later was to have a curriculum based on the latest knowledge of child development rather than the requirements of exam bodies. The School became a ‘demonstration’ school and many of the original ideas have been adopted by mainstream education, eg. co-education and non-authoritarian, child-centred approach.

The principles of the Society by which schools are to be operated were set out in the preliminary prospectus and have been updated by Council from time to time.

They include:

  1. Being based on rational, scientific thinking
  2. Being co-educational and non-selective at entry, and secular
  3. Encouraging parental involvement
  4. Developing each individual’s talents fully without resorting to the pressure of constant competitive testing
  5. Creating a collaborative relationship between tutors and pupils
  6. Preparing individuals for a fulfilled, socially responsible life beyond their time at school
  7. Promoting education for its own sake

Please feel free to contact members of Council with any thoughts or questions you may have. Please note that members of Council take on this role voluntarily and so it is not always possible for them to deal with emails on a daily basis, please allow at least 48 hours for a response.

Please click on button on the right for  the latest Annual Report and Financial Statement for the King Alfred School Society.

Please find below the speeches from the KASS AGM 2024 which was held on 6th February:

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