The New Model School Company’s Board of Directors bring with them a wealth of education sector knowledge and expertise, as well as valuable skills and experience from other fields of employment and academia.

John Ashmore MA (Edinburgh) French, has worked in a variety of industry sectors including yoghurts, toys, pet nutrition and premium spirits, where he has held positions in Marketing, Sales and General Management. Currently, he is Marketing Director Europe, Middle-East for Clearwater Seafoods, North America’s largest vertically integrated wild shellfish producer. John is a member of the Fishmongers’ Livery Company.

Robin Broadhurst, CVO, CBE FRICS, joined Jones Lang Wootton as an Investment Surveyor. He was made a partner in 1973, and Chairman of Jones Lang Wootton International in 1993. He was the firm’s European Chairman, from September 2000 until he retired at the end of 2003. He specialised in real estate investment and was instrumental in promoting the firm’s merger with LaSalle partners, based in Chicago, which was resulted in the creation of Jones Lang LaSalle.

Alexandra Cornforth, MA (Oxon), M.Litt, rejoined the board on the 1st September and has held several Board and Trustee positions over the course of a thirty-five year career in financial services. She is currently Head of Corporate Governance for a FTSE 250 listed investment trust and is also a non executive director of an investment management company providing ethical investment solutions for charities and individuals.

Nicholas Crean started his career with Saatchi & Saatchi before setting up Hesketh Crean Consultants, an award-winning corporate film and presentation training company. He bought the much-loved chocolate brand Prestat more than 20 years ago and has successfully grown the business into an industry leader and a globally recognised brand. Nicholas is involved with a number of charities including Contact, which supports the families of disabled children.

Rajinder Funnell, BA, English Literature, pursued a career in publishing with Hodder and Stoughton. She later became a qualified Early Years practitioner and is a Montessori teacher, training at the Maria Montessori Institute in London.  Since 2014, Rajinder has also been actively fundraising for the Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT) and, became a Co- chair for one of their fundraising committees in 2022.  The RPT is a children’s, youth and family support group, supporting the local community for over 135 years and helping the youngest members build confidence, expand their horizons and realise their potential.

Deborah Livsey: LLB Hons (Exeter), CEO, has had a 15 year career in finance which has taken her from London, to Hong Kong and Japan. She has been a governor responsible for safeguarding at Amesbury, a preparatory school in Hampshire since 2012 and a trustee of Send Family Link, a charity which supports children with a female family member in prison. She joined NMS in 2018 as its Chief Operating Officer and became CEO in July 2020.

Xavier Villers, MA (Oxon), MSt, ACII (Chairman), spent his working career in the insurance industry in the City of London, specialising in the marine sector and extreme risks, as well as managing and integrating a number of different businesses. He now holds various non-executive roles in finance, charity, and education. He is a non-executive director of a multi-academy trust which runs five primary schools over eight different sites in South London. He also resumed his own education, recently completing a Master’s degree in historical studies focusing on 17th century English History.


Jonathan Cubitt, BA ACA, is Bursar of Queen’s Gate School.  Previous roles include Business Development Director of Charity HR and Finance Director of The Art Fund, the national art charity. Prior to that, he spent 15 years in the accountancy profession working for several leading accountancy firms.

Andrew Ellams, MA (Oxon), is the Deputy Head and Director of Studies at St Paul’s Girls’ School with responsibility for academic matters throughout the school.  He has taught in the independent sector for over 20 years.  As a PPE graduate, he is particularly interested in the association of ideas between disciplines and in opening up possibilities for pupils to find the excitement and fun in learning.

Nisha Vidani: (Parent Advisor) is a parent of two children at Maple Walk and is a successful CFO and Co-Owner of a medium-sized business that exports and wholesales British and European FMCG. Nisha is a multi-award winning business executive; her company has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade on five occasions and has featured in both the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and International Track 200 as well as being included in JP Morgan’s Top 200 Female-Powered Businesses in both 2022 and 2023.

Sally Hobbs, BA (Hons), PGCE, taught in the independent sector for more than 30 years. Following 10 happy years at Norland Place School, she was appointed as the first headmistress of Orchard House School. She remained there for over 20 years, building up the school’s reputation for academic excellence as well as sport and music. She carried out a number of inspections as a team inspector for ISI. She was named Prep School Head of 2015 by Tatler magazine, and given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the TES. Sally is a governor at Finton House School and at King’s College Wimbledon and remains involved with the IAPS as a mentor to newly appointed heads.

Justin Shaw, MA (Cantab), is a former Director and Deputy Chairman of NMS, and was the company’s Chairman from its foundation in 2004 until 2008. He was also Chairman of Civitas and remains a trustee of the independent social policy think-tank. After receiving a Senior Exhibition in Philosophy at Cambridge, he studied law and was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn. Justin is now a full-time writer. Recent novels include The Illumination of Merton Browne and Ten Weeks in Africa.

Jane Ritchie, Early Years Professional (CWDC), Cert Ed in Early Childhood Education, has over 40 years of experience working in Early Years Education. Jane has worked within the independent sector in advisory/management roles to nursery groups, schools, companies and individuals both in the UK and abroad. Her experience includes 9 years at the Alpha Plus Group as Director of Nurseries and Head of Early Years and owner of The Minors Nursery School, London from 1990 to August 2005.

Ben Fitzgerald-O’Connor (Parent Advisor), is the founder and director of Onega Limited, an IT services and communications business. He has been a parent at Faraday since 2013 and joined the Advisory board in 2018. (Ben is retiring in September 2023 and his replacement will be announced shortly.)

The New Model School Company’s Board of Patrons was established in 2018 and gives valuable support, encouragement and advice using their experience and expertise.

Lord Neuberger – Chairman of Patrons. David was a judge for 21 years, President of the UK Supreme Court from 2012 to 2017 and has links with Westminster School.

Lord Craigmyle – The Craigmyle Charitable Trust. The Trust has supported NMS from the beginning by acquiring the site for Maple Walk School and financing its construction.

The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers – The Company provided finance to start Faraday School, where it has recently created an annual Fishmongers’ Award for a child of great potential and is exploring collaborative opportunities in the Arts.

Richard Oldfield – Oldfield Partners. Richard is a shareholder and supporter of NMS. Oldfield Partners, of which he is Chairman, has been a generous provider of bursaries for NMS families in need.

Eric Reynolds – Trinity Buoy Wharf Management. Eric is the visionary behind the regeneration of Trinity Buoy Wharf, which became a focus of creativity and arts in the business world of Docklands. He invited us to open Faraday School at the Wharf.

Teaching and Learning Committee

The Teaching and Learning Committee is the dynamo at the heart of the NMS project. They are the education specialists who oversee and drive our forward-thinking, knowledge-based curriculum.

Andrew Ellams (Chair)
Justin Shaw
Jane Ritchie
Claire Murdoch
Lucas Motion
Deborah Livsey

Audit Committee

Johnny Cubitt (Chair)
Jane Hale
Robin Broadhurst:
Nicholas Crean:
Rajinder Funnell
David Jones
Deborah Livsey
Xavier Villers

Remuneration Committee

Xavier Villers (Chair)
Nicholas Crean
Raj Funnell
Deborah Livsey

Senior Management Team

Deborah Livsey, (Chair)
Claire Murdoch, Head, Maple Walk
Lucas Motion, Head, Faraday
Dawn Knee, Head of HR
Carolyn Wilder, Bursar and Clerk to the Board
Anita Sutcliffe, Head of Marketing

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Tel: 0208 965 7374

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