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Staff and Governors

Canford places great importance on recruiting and developing high quality staff.  Staff in all areas of school life have the opportunity to impact on the effectiveness of the school and to enrich the experience that pupils will value during their time at Canford and beyond, whether it be academic, co-curricular or pastoral aspects. 

Please click on the links below to view our current teaching and support staff.

Teaching Staff

Support Staff

Governing Body

Lieutenant General Sir Gary Coward KBE CB - Chair of Governors


Gary spent his early career in the Royal Artillery before training as a pilot and joining the Army Air Corps, serving in Germany, Northern Ireland, Brunei, USA, Hong Kong, and the Balkans. In his latter career he served in the MOD, the Permanent Joint Headquarters, and the Defence Equipment & Support organisation.  In his final tour in the Army, he was both Chief of Materiel (Land) and Quartermaster General. 

Since retiring from the Army in 2012, Gary has filled a variety of non-executive roles in industry, education, heritage, charity, and honorary appointments with the Army.  He and his wife Chrissie live in Poole and their son, Ben is the Housemaster of School House. Gary joined Canford’s Governing Body in 2019 and was appointed Chair of Governors in November 2022.   

Dr Michael Akinfala MBBS, PGCert, BSc (Hons), MSc, MRCS

Michael won a sixth form scholarship to City of London School from St Thomas the Apostle School in Peckham. He was an outstanding student and went on to St Georges' Medical School in London. He is now a Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon working as a Registrar at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. Alongside his brother, he is a founding partner of two digital start-ups, one is geared to small businesses to advertise and promote their businesses and to retain clients, with the second providing a teaching service for surgeons, complete with live recordings and explanations. Michael is a devout and practising Christian, and his father is an ordained Minister. 

Tea Colaianni


Tea holds a Law degree (cum laude) from the Law University of Bari (Italy) and a Master degree in European Union Law and Politics from the University of Perugia (Italy). After working as a lawyer in Brussels, Tea moved into corporate life working in the telecommunications, hospitality and leisure industries. Her most recent executive role was as Group Human Resources Director at FTSE 250 global attractions and hotels operator Merlin Entertainments Plc where she was responsible for over 27,000 employees in 23 countries.

Tea is a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of pan European HR solutions provider SD Worx Holding, international legal business DWF Group Plc (where she is also RemCo Chair) and luxury retailer Watches of Switzerland Group Plc (where she is also Senior Independent Director and RemCo Chair). In 2017 Tea founded and since then has chaired WiHTL - Diversity in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure, an organisation devoted to improving diversity and inclusion across hospitality, travel and leisure. 

She is a Canford parent of two boys and lives in Dorset with her husband.

Robert Daubeney



Robert is a former Canford Parent, an OC, son of an OC, and one of four brothers educated at Canford in the late 1970s to early 1980s. He graduated in Politics and Economics from Reading University and joined BP as a Graduate Trainee. Robert has spent the last 30 years of his career in the Shipping Industry and is a Senior Sales manager for World Fuels Services Europe Ltd.


Dr Philippa Dickins



Philippa qualified in Medicine in 1979, graduating from Oxford and Guy's Hospital.  She then completed her General Practice training in Dorset, practising locally for 30 years before retiring in 2014.  For the final 22 years of her career, Philippa was a Partner in the Quarter Jack Surgery in Wimborne.  Her role included training junior doctors in General Practice and providing General Medical Services to Canford boarders.  Philippa held surgeries at the school twice a week and met regularly with senior staff and HsMs to discuss strategy and difficult issues.  In 1995 Philippa accompanied the Canford Expedition to Nepal as the Medical Officer.

Dr Georgina Fozard

MA (Cantab) MBBS MRCPsych PGCert Leadership in Health (Darzi)


Georgina is an OC who studied medicine and philosophy at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and completed her clinical years at King's College, London. She is a senior registrar in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at The Tavistock and Portman in North London. Georgina is currently training in psychodynamic psychotherapy for children and adolescents.  She has an interest in systems change in organisations and co-production and has recently completed a Darzi Fellowship in clinical leadership, which involved bidding for and designing a new Child and Adolescent home treatment service in North London with staff and patients. She has made a psycho-educational animation for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and has written a book chapter about women training in psychiatry. She has two young children.

Professor Mark French

MA(Oxon) PhD


Mark joined the Governing Body in 2019. He is a Vice Dean in the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical and Engineering Sciences at King’s College, London.  He previously worked for 20 years as an academic at the University of Southampton, latterly as the Associate Dean (Education) for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science.

His research interests lie in mathematical control theory and applications to atomic force microscopes, power electronics and functional electrical stimulation.

Nick Holloway

BA (Hons) PGCE


Nick is an OC, the son of an OC, and a former Head of Franklin House.  Having studied Archaeology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne he joined HBOS PLC and spent 12 years working between London and Edinburgh. In 2013 he moved into teaching and gained his PGCE whilst working at Cothill House in Oxfordshire. In 2017 he was appointed as Deputy Head at Brambletye School in West Sussex. In September 2023 he will take up the Headship of Swanbourne House, a prep school in Buckinghamshire which is part of the Stowe Group. Nick joined the Governing Body in 2017.

Michael Jeffries



Michael was appointed as Governor of Canford School on 19th March 2014. He is fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and spent the majority of his career with WS Atkins Plc where he was the Group Chief Executive and then Chairman for ten years. He is currently a Director of Copronet, a start-up company and Chairman of Purpose Group, a social housing business.

Stephen Le Bas



Steve is an OC and was educated at Canford in the mid to late 1980s where he was captain of rugby in his final year. He graduated from the UWE Bristol with a degree in Accountancy and Finance and for the last 15 years has worked for the accountancy firm BDO based in Southampton, where he has been an Audit Partner since 2015. In his role as a Governor he chairs the Finance Committee.

Richard Nicholl



Educated at Stowe School, Durham and Oxford Universities, Richard was a Housemaster at Haileybury College where he also taught English and RS, before moving to Dorset where he spent twenty one years as Headmaster of Castle Court Prep School, Corfe Mullen. A former Canford parent, he has also previously been an ISI school inspector, and a governor of The Godolphin School in Salisbury.

Will McLaren-Clark

 BSc Hons

Will is an OC, having left Canford in 1998.  After qualifying in Geography from Exeter University he began a career in Real Estate. Working with his brother, a fellow OC, Will co-owns and runs an independent development consultancy firm based in Arundel, specialising in residential land.  Born out of his days playing cricket on the hallowed turf of Mountjoy, his love of cricket has taken him to countries such as Botswana and Cameroon where he has led projects on behalf of the HIV/Aids Awareness Charity, Cricket Without Boundaries.  Will lives in Chichester with his family and their Parsons Jack Russell, Wizz.

Professor Jane Portlock

PhD, FRPharmS

Jane, who joined as a Governor in May 2022, is the Director of Pharmacy at the University of Sussex. She has previously been Professor in Pharmacy Education at the University of Portsmouth and at University College London. Her research is partly concerned with pedagogic innovation and evaluation. Examples include evaluation of new classroom and online approaches, assessment in experiential learning and the development of interprofessional education strategies. In addition, she has created and directed postgraduate and undergraduate pharmacy programmes at all three universities, focussing on enhanced clinical roles and prescribing skills for the pharmacy profession.


At a national level, Jane was a member of the General Pharmaceutical Council accreditation panel for pharmacy education programmes for more than a decade. She also has over ten years of experience as a school Governor and is an active member of St. Jude’s Church, Southsea.

Revd. John Simmons


A former Canford parent, John ran the Dorset office of accountants Smith & Williamson until 1995, when he changed careers, setting up on his own to provide strategic advice to charities, and to chair two local businesses. One of these was in the bakery trade in Salisbury, and the other in the leisure industry. During his time with Smith & Williamson, he advised a number of private schools, and has governed several west country schools. He was ordained as a priest in the workplace in 1990, whilst still practising as an accountant, and brings together experience in business with an ecclesiastical training. He was Rural Dean of the Milton & Blandford Deanery of Salisbury Diocese until 2016.  Since then he has become involved with the Diocese in its partnership with the Anglican Church in Sudan and South Sudan.

Annabel Thomas

BA (Oxon)


Annabel is a second generation OC.  After reading Modern History at Oxford, Annabel trained at Herbert Smith and qualified into its litigation department. Annabel is now a partner of Greenberg Traurig LLP, specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration.