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WLFS Secondary

The Knowledge Schools Trust

We aim to provide children with a classical liberal education, regardless of background or ability.

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Declaration of Interests

To see a register of business interests and other information relating to the governors of the West London Free School Secondary, click here.


Katy Whelan

Chair of Governors

Katy was been appointed as Chair of Governors of the secondary school in December 2016. She has a son who completed his A levels at WLFS in 2019 and is now at university, and two daughters, one of whom is at the school. She was previously a parent-governor and before that was treasurer of the PTA.  

Katy studied at the LSE before qualifying as a chartered accountant with KPMG.  She then moved into investment banking with roles at Hambros Bank and UBS before spending 18 years in the Corporate Finance division of Deutsche Bank.

She is also chair of trustees at Book Clubs in Schools and works closely with a number of other charities.

Katy was appointed in 2016 for a period of three years. 

Katy can be contacted on k.whelan@wlfs.org



Kathryn Cooper

Vice Chair

Kathryn is one of the founding group behind the West London Free School and is a Member of the Knowledge Schools Trust Board. Prior to joining the governing body of the secondary she established, and then chaired the governing body of the West London Free School Primary and The Earl’s Court Free School Primary for three years. They were judged outstanding by Ofsted in June 2015 and June 2017 respectively. Her experience in governance began at her children’s primary school in Chiswick where she was the governor for Inclusion for four years. 

Kathryn was educated in the state sector at a rural comprehensive in the New Forest and then in London where she obtained a Business Studies degree, followed by a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Strategy from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Her experience of working with colleagues who have had better educational opportunities than she did, has driven her passion for an excellent education for all.   She is thoroughly committed to the ethos and vision of the West London Free School.

Her two sons attend the school. 

Kathryn was appointed to the governing body in September 2016 for a period of three years. She is responsible for safeguarding, and from January 2018, careers and physical education. 



Nicola Arnold

Governor and Chair of the Finance Sub-Committee

Nicola is Finance Director at St George’s University of London, the only remaining independent medical school in the UK. She was until the end of 2015 the Deputy Finance Director of University College London. She is also a Council member of the ICAEW. Nicola was educated at a grammar school in Kingston before joining Ernst & Young where she qualified as an accountant. She has an interest in equality and widening participation in higher education, having previously sat on the Audit Committee of the Equality Challenge Unit and was also a governor and chair of the Finance and Audit Committee at the UCL Academy (a sponsored Academy in Camden). 

Nicola was appointed governor in 2014. 


Caroline Ffiske


Caroline Ffiske is one of the founders of the West London Free School.

She grew up in New Zealand, trained as an economist and worked for six years in the New Zealand public service before moving to London where she worked for 10 years as a management consultant. She has twice served as a councillor on Hammersmith & Fulham Council in the Avonmore and Brook Green and the North End Wards. Caroline is passionate about the West London Free School bringing choice to parents from all walks of life and awareness of the opportunities it creates for them and their children.

Caroline first became a governor in 2011 and was re-appointed for another five years in 2015.


Sarah Fletcher


Sarah Fletcher was educated at King Alfred’s Wantage before studying Modern History at Oxford.  She has taught in a number of schools, at home and abroad, including boarding, day, single sex girls and boys, co-educational, state and independent.  From 1996 she was employed at Rugby School where she was first House Mistress, then Director of Studies and Deputy Head.  She has a strong interest in curriculum reform and was involved from the outset with the development of the Extended Project Qualification and the Cambridge Pre-U, sitting on the Pre-U Steering Committee.  She has been a school governor and was involved in the Warwickshire Children, Young People and Families Partnership Forum alongside the Warwickshire School Learning and Education Sub-Committee.  She has delivered seminars and lectures on pastoral care, teaching, curriculum reform and school management.  She was appointed Head of Kingston Grammar School in 2009, Head of the City of London School in 2014 and High Mistress of St Paul’s Girls’ School in 2017.  She loves music and playing the clarinet is one of her greatest pleasures.



Mrs R Fonseka

Staff Governor

Mrs Fonseka graduated from the University or Warwick with a Bsc in Bio-Medical Science. Mrs Fonseka has worked with charities in Zimbabwe teaching Mathematics and English to orphaned children.

Mrs Fonseka's passion for science stems from her school days where she enjoyed the variety of her science lessons, and the opportunities to explore new ideas. She aims to teach science classes which encourage self-confidence, inquisitiveness and independence.

Away from teaching, Mrs Fonseka enjoys travelling and aims to visit a new country each year. 

Ruth was appointed teacher governor in 2017 for a period of two years.


Tony Henwood


Tony has been Director of Music at Latymer Upper School since 1996, being in charge of academic music. He is also responsible for the extra-curricular programme and manages 40 peripatetic music staff.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate of the Royal College of Organists, Tony is also an examiner, trainer and moderator for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. He plays the organ, piano and viola, and has a particular enthusiasm for the operas of Wagner and Britten. He is also Director of Music at St Mary the Virgin, Primrose Hill. Tony lives in Chiswick and is passionate about the arts, believing that they have a crucial role to play in the development of young people.

Tony first became a governor in 2015 and also sits on the Education Sub-Committee. Tony provides advice and support to our outstanding Music Department.   


Gilat Levy 


Gilat Levy joined the Governing body in 2019; She is a Professor of Economics at LSE, where she teaches courses in microeconomic theory and political economy. Previously, she had been a deputy head of teaching for the department of economics at LSE. Gilat passionately believes in non-selective schools such as WLFS and is interested in increasing achievement for all ability levels.

Gilat's children both attend WLFS.



Robert Wilne


Robert has over 20 years’ experience as a teacher and school leader. He was Head of Maths and then Deputy Head at Highgate School, from where he was appointed to be the founding Principal of the London Academy of Excellence in Newham, the first post-16 free school. LAE is very prestigious and hugely successful: as a result of the exceptional A-level results and Oxbridge success of Robert’s first cohort of students, LAE was awarded ‘The Sunday Times Sixth Form College of The Year’ in 2015.

He left LAE to join the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. As a Director there he co-led the “teaching for mastery” research in Shanghai that is now at the heart of the government’s maths education policy. He is a Series Editor for a brand new primary maths programme being published by Oxford University Press, and also the UK consultant for OUP’s new secondary maths books. He is the Director of Maths for the Atlas Partnership, where he leads maths across the Haberdasher’s Federation of schools in south-east London and also supports schools in the borough of Lewisham. He is the specialist maths adviser for Bellevue Place Education Trust. 

Photography by Eleanor Bentall and Peter Mason