Sara Derry, Chairman

Sara DerrySara was educated in the State system in a senior school which, since the formation of OFSTED in 1992, consistently has been rated ‘inadequate’.

She believes passionately that all children deserve to be taught in a happy environment by professionals committed to the optimal development of every child in their care. And knows that the earlier this education begins, the greater the benefit.

Sara has two children; both of whom have flourished at Prospect House School. Previously a marketing agency board director, Sara now works as a consultant project manager and fundraiser for a variety of organisations and charities. Married to a restaurateur, she is a keen amateur cook and food traveller and is always up for a sporting challenge.

Alex Cotton, Honorary Treasurer

Alex CottonAlex has been a parent at Prospect House since 2006. Her daughter left Prospect House in 2014 and her son is currently in year 6. Prior to having children, she worked in the City as a management consultant for 10 years. In 2012, she decided to turn her long held interest in interior design into a new business venture. Upon graduation from KLC School of Design in 2013, she established her own interior design practice which has allowed her to work on a number of diverse and interesting projects. Alex and her husband spend as many weekends as possible by the Dorset coast, trying to persuade their children that long walks can be fun.

Sarah Eley, Educational Assessor

Sarah EleySarah Eley was a founder headmistress, with Hermione Gerry, of Prospect House in 1991. Formerly she had taught in the state sector and at Putney High Junior School, where she was deputy head. She was also an inspector of independent schools. She and Mrs Gerry were founder trustees of the charity (then called Prospect House Educational Trust (PHET)) in 1997 and she was chairman of the Trust for some years. PHET became the House Schools Trust in 2011, offering scholarships across all three schools in the group. She is married with two children and six grandchildren. In retirement she enjoys patchwork and quilting, being with friends, making music with the grandchildren and travelling with her husband.

Sally Hobbs, Educational Advisor

Sally HobbsSally taught for ten years at Norland Place, before becoming the founder headmistress of Orchard House School in 1993. During her 22 year headship she took the school fully co-educational up to 11 and established the Orchard House name on the sports field and in senior school admissions. She has visited a wide range of schools in the Far East and USA. She retired as headmistress in 2015  but continues to be very involved with the House Schools Trust. Through her work as an educational consultant and on the governing body of two independent schools she has close links with many schools, both day and boarding, and is particularly keen to see children placed in the right environment for their well-being and to ensure they reach their potential.

Alexa Koch, Trustee Bassett House School

Alexa-Koch-House-Schools-TrustAlexa has two children – the younger at Bassett House School. Originally from Germany, she has lived in London since 1994.

Having worked as a graphic designer for educational publishers and banks in the City for many years, Alexa has now started a business with her friend designing unique baby grows.

She has brought to the trust her knowledge of Bassett House, where she has had children as pupils for over five years, and her design skills, drawn upon by the trust to shape the various literature and communications pieces it requires.

Alexa loves travelling with her family whenever she can. Recent adventures have included camping on the Isles of Scilly and riding in Tuscany.

Anna Gahan, Trustee Bassett House School

anna-gahan-house-schools-trustAnna Gahan spent her early years in South Africa and her more informative years growing up in Devon from where she went on to study Psychology at City University. Prior to having children Anna worked in property development and interior design in West London and more recently used her creative skills to design bespoke artwork for residential and corporate spaces.

Anna is a big advocate of positive parenting and passionate about the Bassett House ethos of ‘happy children’ above all else. Anna has one daughter who is currently in year one. When not at work or supervising homework, Anna is a keen gardener and enjoys tending an urban garden and passing on her love of nature to the next generation.

Lydia Davies, Trustee Orchard House School

Lydia DaviesLydia was educated in the state system; her secondary education was spent at an average inner London comprehensive school. Lydia counts herself as one of the lucky ones: fortunate to be inspired by some outstanding teachers. After studying Latin and French at university she opted for a career in the law and qualified as a barrister. She practised as a civil barrister in Chambers until recently when she decided to look after her children full time. Lydia has two children, noth of whom are at Orchard House School and benefiting from a brilliant all round education. Lydia believes that a good education is the best start in life one can give a child.Lydia and her family enjoy spending most of their holidays in North Cornwall. They love coastal walks and body boarding

Christopher Crozier, Trustee Orchard House School

Christopher CrozierChristopher is a UK and US qualified lawyer who has worked for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Freshfields and Morgan Stanley. He is Chief Risk Officer at Permira Advisers LLP

He has a son attending Orchard House School and a daughter at senior school. In his spare time he enjoys running and reading (but not at the same time).

Tamara Davis, Trustee Prospect House School

Tamara-Davis-House-Schools-TrustTamara, mother of four, began her House Schools relationship at Bassett House School. On moving to Putney the Davises chose Prospect House for their children. Her youngest boys still attends this school.

Tamara is Canadian. She was persuaded from her previous life in TV production by her now husband. She moved to the UK in 1999 and took up children’s book editing.

She has been involved in all manner of PHS fundraising projects, from the parents’ association to school charities and Christmas committees. Tamara runs the school’s second hand uniform operation which, under her care and guidance, has grown from raising around £900/yr before her tenure, to over £3,000 in 2015/16.

The Davises are an indoorsy lot and own many musical instruments, some of which they play.

Louise Dyson. Trustee Prospect House School

Louise-Dyson-House-Schools-TrustLouise is the mother of four children, three currently at Prospect House and one at senior school. Her first child started at Prospect House in 2007, and her youngest is due to leave in 2021.

Louise worked in the ‘City’ for 10 years before having children, and training as a Homestart charity volunteer. Louise has worked for Homestart for four years in the local area. She lives in Putney with her husband, and enjoys walking, cooking, playing tennis and reading.


Celia Thaysen. Trustee Orchard House School

Celia’s two sons attend Orchard House. Having lived in Denmark, China and the UK, her children have experienced different educational approaches in both the state and independent sectors.

As the managing editor of a family magazine in Shanghai, she provided information and support for expat parents and was closely involved in the international schools community. Back in London since 2015, Celia now works as a freelance writer and editor.