Led by Fergus Llewellyn, over 70 teaching staff engage with our children on a daily basis, bringing excellence, energy and passion. Assisted by a dedicated team of support staff, Cumnor continually strives to create the best school and learning environment possible.
Our Senior Leadership Team comprises Fergus Llewellyn, Jacqui Freeman (Head of Pre-Prep & Nursery), Michael Matthews (Deputy Head Pastoral), Bruno Shovelton (Deputy Head Academic) and Leigh Stark (Bursar). You can get to know Michael and Bruno and hear more about their impressions of Cumnor since joining in 2021 through their Q&A with Talk Education.
The SLT works closely with our Senior Management and Pastoral Leadership Teams, who provide vital additional leadership support to pupil progress, systems and the Cumnor Chapter Programme, which outlines our approach to pastoral thinking and emotional resilience.
Senior Management Team
Director of Pupil Welfare
Director of Pastoral Tracking and Enrichment
Fergus Llewellyn, B.A
Having begun his education at Sherborne School, Fergus went on to the University of London and graduated with a BA (Hons) in English. He started his career at King’s Bruton and Haslemere Preparatory School, and then spent ten years at Cheltenham College, serving as Housemaster and Head of English and Drama. Before joining Cumnor House in August 2020, Fergus was Headmaster of St Andrew’s Prep School, Turi, Kenya for five years.
Fergus and his wife, Tamsyn, (also a teacher) have three children – Tommy, Josh and Caroline – who have all joined the school.
Deputy Head Pastoral
Michael Matthews joined Cumnor this term from Farleigh School in Hampshire where he has been Deputy Head Pastoral for the past four years. After graduating with a Music degree from Nottingham University, Michael moved to Worth School where he taught Music and Music Technology and served two Housemaster posts. In recent years, he has achieved Chartered Manager status through the Chartered Management Institute, and is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Management through the University of Buckingham. Michael now lives on site with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.
Deputy Head Academic
Bruno Shovelton joined Cumnor this term from the Dragon School, Oxford, where he has been Head of Staff Development and Appraisal as well as Head of Classics. He was a scholar at Worth School, and subsequently studied Classics at Merton College, Oxford. After a time in film production and eight years leading a global proposals team at PwC in London, he joined the Dragon in 2010 to teach Classics and English. In 2012, he gained an IPGCE followed, in 2019, by a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Management (with Distinction), at the University of Buckingham. Bruno has recently moved to Sussex with his wife, Emily, and their four children.
Leigh is both a chartered accountant and civil engineer, with 20 years of strategy and project management experience, the majority of which was gained in Sydney, Australia, where she stayed before returning to the UK in 2021.
Leigh has a First Class, Bachelor of Engineering Degree (Civil Engineering with French) from Nottingham University and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance.
Ben Chapman, B.A., P.G.C.E
Director of Co-Curricular and Routines
Educated at Shrewsbury School and subsequently at Oxford Brooke’s, Ben has worked at Cumnor for 14 years. He is currently a Year 8 Form Taker and Head of Year. As Director of Co-Curricular & Routines he is responsible for the daily routines of the School, as well as the House and Tutor systems. In addition, he oversees the co-curricular activities of the School.
Ben lives in Newick with his wife Pippa and their two children, and is often found at Fletching Cricket Club or Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club.
Head of Online Learning
Yvonne was born, raised and educated in Zimbabwe where she completed a BSc and teacher training simultaneously before travelling to England in 2004. She settled in the South East in 2005, taking up her first post as a Science teacher at Cumnor and later Head of Science in April 2006. Since that time she has taught Sciences, Games and Religious Studies to all ages, been involved in Boarding and accompanied countless trips. In 2016 she took on the Assistant Head role, responsible for running and developing the academic arm of the school. Yvonne occupies a small piece of farmland on the edge of the South Downs together with her husband and three children.
Jacqui Freeman, B.A., Q.T.S
Head of Pre-Prep & Nursery
Taking an unconventional route into teaching, Jacqui began working life in publishing before pursuing her career in the museum sector. Five years at London’s Transport Museum was followed by seven at the Science Museum, London. Inspired by their incredible education department, she retrained, qualifying as a teacher in 2006. She then spent eight happy years at Cumnor as a Year 1 and 2 teacher, before taking up a Senior Management role at Brighton College Pre-Prep where she became Acting Deputy Head. Returning to Cumnor in 2017, Jacqui is a firm believer in the importance of inculcating a love of learning and discovery in young children which, combined with confidence, tenacity and respect for others will equip them for the demands of life beyond school.
Emma Howe, B.A., P.G.C.E
Director of Pupil Progress
Educated in both State and Independent sectors, Emma gained her degree in Linguistics and Phonetics from the University of Leeds. After working in an Educational Consultancy for three years, she trained at Roehampton (Surrey University) to become a teacher. She worked at St Paul’s Boys’ School in London for 13 years, co-ordinating English, Maths and History, and coached the junior and senior badminton teams. She has been an NQT mentor and has experience of working in Special Needs and EAL settings. After a move to Lewes in 2018, with her husband and two daughters, Emma became a Year 3 Class Teacher at Cumnor before joining the SMT in 2020. She is currently Director of Pupil Progress.
Director of Compliance
Kim holds a degree in French with Philosophy from UCL and taught English in France before completing a PGCE in French and German at Cambridge University. Prior to Cumnor, Kim led the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) department at a state secondary school before moving into the independent sector, including Head of MFL and Girls’ Boarding at Hazelgrove Prep School, Houseparent to the Canterbury Cathedral Choristers and French Teacher at St. Edmund’s Junior School. Kim joined Cumnor in 2013 as Head of MFL and has held various academic posts including, most recently, Academic Director (Assessment and Enhancement). Her three grown-up children have all been educated in the independent sector and her daughter is an Old Cumnorian.
Charlie Jones, B.A., P.G.C.E
Director of Systems
Educated in the state sector in Derbyshire, Charlie moved to Brighton in 2009 to study Applied Psychology and Sociology. On graduating, Charlie worked in a variety of jobs including in youth residential support homes, a school for children with autism and aspergers, assisting with Educational and Behavioural Needs, and at Cottesmore Prep as Teaching assistant. This experience confirmed his aspiration to train to be a teacher in secondary education in 2015, specialising in Mathematics. Charlie taught Maths at Uckfield College for three years before joining Cumnor in 2019. A year later he was promoted to the SMT as Director of Systems.