Trustee Profiles

Howard Morris - Chair of Trustees

Howard is a founding Member of the Trust and has been Chair of Governors since the school opened in 2012. As a chartered surveyor with over 25 years in the property industry, Howard has been responsible for the concept, implementation and delivery of some of the most successful development projects in the UK. His career has ranged from providing major retail and leisure developments during the 1990's, to high profile major mixed use regeneration schemes in more recent years. Howard has held a number of senior posts at director level within a number of companies including Wilson Connolly plc. (now Taylor Wimpey plc.), London Merchant Securities plc, and Muse Developments, the mixed use regeneration subsidiary of Morgan Sindall plc.

In more recent years Howard has acted as property consultant advising private and public sector land owners on major mixed-use developments, that often include education facilities including provision of new Free Schools.

Howard has previously completed the National College for Teaching and Leadership Governance Training Programme. Howard is married with a daughter and lives in Cobham, Surrey with keen interests outside work, including sailing, skiing, and cycling.  (m) +44 7802 247298 

Tanya Lightbody -  Vice Chair of Trustees,  Human Resources

Tanya is an experienced global HR leader who grew up in South Africa and has been living in the UK for the past ten years.  She has held a number of global and regional HR executive roles ranging in industry from professional services, financial services, family offices and more recently education.  She has led teams small and large.  Tanya has a particular interest in helping schools achieve their potential through good people practices.

Tanya holds a degree in applied psychology and is passionate about her family and running.

Helen Hutton-Attenborough - Chair of Education Subcommittee

Having had an early career in accountancy, Helen undertook a PGCE course at St.Mary’s Twickenham and embarked on a move into the education sector. She has acquired a wealth of experience, working within both state and private settings, and has held a number of senior leadership positions, including Director of Studies and Deputy Head. She is currently Head of Preparatory School at a private, all-through school in Cobham, where she is also on the board of governors.

Helen contributes her significant knowledge of teaching and leadership through her membership of the education sub-committee at Cobham Free School as well as serving on the main board.

Dr Christopher Banks CBE -  Chair of Finance Subcommittee

Chris Banks has spent a long and successful career in business, primarily food and drink, working for companies like Mars, Allied Domecq, Grand Met and Coca-Cola, which he left to set up his own company. He currently works with a number of small and medium-sized businesses.

Chris has extensive experience in education. He was a founding member and then Chair of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). He served as a member of the Council and Deputy Pro-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, leaving to become Chair of the Quality Assurance Agency, with responsibility for overseeing the quality of UK Higher Education. He was a founding Governor and subsequently Chair of the Birmingham University School. 

Chris is driven by a determination to enable more young people and adults to experience outstanding education and training, equipping them for success in the world of work and helping them become fully engaged citizens. Chris lives in Cobham and in his spare time enjoys playing the guitar and is active in his local Church. 

Nick Cogswell - Chair of Premises, Health and Safety Committee

After growing up locally and attending Tiffin School for Boys in Kingston , Nick graduated from Bristol University with a Bsc (Hons) in Economics and Accounting with German. He spent 16 years in the City in a number of senior cross asset derivative roles within Global Investment Banks, culminating as the Head of Equity Structured Product Sales EMEA for Jefferies LLC. 

For the last few years Nick has been an Executive Director at Volcap Partners focussing on originating and delivering bespoke alternative investments to institutional investors and has also recently been studying for the Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst (CAIA) qualification.

Nick lives in Cobham with his wife and 3 daughters (one of whom is in the CFS Junior School). Since moving here 10 years ago he has been fortunate enough to have been involved locally with an NSPCC sponsored kids club and enjoys sports - particularly tennis, endurance events, mountain biking and golf.

Paul Bedford - Risk 

Paul is a Senior Manager at the Bank of England.  He has extensive experience of financial regulation and has scrutinised the risk governance arrangements of multiple large financial organisations. 

He grew up in Worcestershire and obtained economics degrees from the University of Exeter and University College London before joining the Bank of England in 2001.  Paul lived and worked in New Zealand between 2007 and 2009 before returning to the UK, and now lives locally in Cobham.  His son attends the CFS Junior School.

Ashleigh Saunders - Careers 

Ashleigh holds a BA in French and Spanish from the University of Exeter and an MSc in Gender and International Relations from the University of Bristol. Ashleigh’s background is in Higher Education, International Partnerships and International Policy and she has held a variety of roles within UK Universities and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She has lived, studied and worked abroad in a number of countries, including China and Spain, and is a keen linguist - she  speaks French, Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin.

Lauren Richardson - Safeguarding,  Admissions & Appeals

Lauren is a multi-disciplined operations leader with over 20 years’ experience in translating business strategies into execution plans. She has held a number of global roles in companies such as NTT, Microsoft, Nando’s and Bartle Bogle Hegarty.  Lauren’s expertise focuses on driving operational excellence and influencing a service orientated, value outcome culture through performance management, operational change management, communication and portfolio management.  She is passionate about being involved in the community and served 12 years in a police service combating violent crime and crimes against woman and children. 

Lauren holds a degree in Law and loves to travel and immerse herself in new cultures.  She loves walking and cycling in the UK countryside and spending time with her husband and 3 children.

Gillian Rolfe - Trustee 

Gill is an experienced educational practitioner, working in the primary sector for her whole career. Having initially studied Psychology in South Africa she re-trained and obtained her qualified teacher status in the UK. Gill has extensive experience in school leadership - leading on Mathematics, Assessment, Inclusion, Safeguarding and Special Needs. For almost 8 years she was the Head of the Cobham Free School (CFS) Junior Department. During this time she obtained her National Professional Qualification for Headteachers. Gill loved her time at CFS and is delighted to remain part of the school community in her new role as trustee. 

Sachin Sukhdeo- Trustee 

Born and raised in South Africa, Sachin pursued his passions for sports and education, training to become a teacher. His career began in Johannesburg, where he taught secondary-level mathematics and physical education. Seeking new experiences, he moved to the UK and took on teaching positions at several schools in London.


Sachin has acquired a wealth of experience working within both state and independent sectors. He has held numerous middle management and senior leadership positions, including Head of Pastoral Care, Assistant Director of Studies, and Assistant Head. He is currently the Head of Seniors at an all-through school in Surrey. Outside the classroom, you'll find him on the tennis court embracing his love for the sport or in the gym. On weekends, he proudly wears the hat of a football and netball dad, cheering on his kids!


Sachin holds a Bachelor of Science(Hons)  degree with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and has a particular interest in neurodiversity, artificial intelligence in education, and teaching and learning.

Fiona Moss - Parent Trustee

A commercial lawyer and Partner at law firm Knights plc, she has a wide breadth of legal experience.  Her main role now comprises drawing up, negotiating and/or updating all types of commercial agreements. Fiona also specialises in data privacy compliance and acts for a number of educational establishments.

Fiona lives in Cobham and has 3 children in both sections of Cobham Free School.  She is actively involved with the FoCFS and in her spare time enjoys playing tennis, squash and running. 

Trevor Tiedt - Parent Trustee

After graduating with Electrical Engineering, I switched to the Information Technology Industry. I have worked in IT for over 25 years in customer services & support, software & hardware support and application development. I've worked for companies in the banking and financial sector, insurance services, call centres, retail and most recently for the NHS. I live locally in Cobham with my wife and twin daughters who are both in the senior department at CFS. I'm an active member of the community, assisting with running community and FoCFS events. I was vice-chairman of FoCFS and I've been chairman of Guildford Water Polo Club for several years. I enjoy watching and playing sport and I have coached mini rugby at Cobham Rugby Club and junior water polo.