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Governing Body
David Levin - Chairman of Governors

David Levin is a former Headmaster of City of London School (1999 – 2014), Headmaster of the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe (1993 – 1999), and Second Master at Cheltenham College (1987 – 1993). He moved from City of London School to become Managing Director (Independent Schools) at United Learning with responsibility for the governance of 12 schools. David was Chairman of Governors at ARK Bentworth whilst the School was brought out of special measures  A former Chairman of HMC (2010-11), David has also has been a Governor at James Allen Girls’ School in London, the National College for School Leaders and the Institute of Education, University of London. David served as adviser to the Minister for Young People and Learning, from 2002 to 2005 in relation to the highly successful ‘London Challenge'. He is a Freeman of the City of London, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has been a governor at Canford for 20 years. David was appointed as Chairman of the Governing Body of Canford School in December 2016.

Annette Anthony

Annette Anthony was born in Pennsylvania, the daughter of an Orthopaedic Surgeon/Commander in the United States Navy and a homemaker, and was appointed as a Canford School Governor in December 2016. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School, and served as Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee when chaired by Senator Biden before he became Vice President. She has lived and worked in the US, France, Cote d’Ivoire and London where her 2 sons attended The City of London School; both of them are currently undergraduates at US universities. Annette currently serves on the President's International Advisory Council of Vassar College, New York, and was an Academy Councillor of an Oasis Academy in London. While Annette divides her time between the UK and US, she plays a full part in Canford Governing Board activities.

Barry Coupe

An OC, father of an OC, past President of The Old Canfordian Society, and a Canford Governor since 2008, Barry Coupe (BA, Dip ARCH, RIBA) is a Chartered Architect and ran a successful award winning practice based in East Anglia for over 24 years. He is a founder Trustee of East Anglia’s Children Hospices (EACH), a past Chairman and Trustee of Dyslexia Action and Chairman of the committee responsible for organising the centenary celebrations at Buckingham Palace in 2015 for Blind Veterans UK.

Robert Daubeney

Robert Daubeney (BA) is 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. For the last 21 years Robert has worked as an Oil Broker in the Shipping Industry for Furness Withy Chartering Limited,. He is a trustee of the Furness Withy Pension scheme.

Dr Philippa Dickins

Philippa (MA, MBBS, DCH, DRCOG, MRCGP) 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.

Rear Admiral Sir Jeremy de Halpert

An OC and former parent, Sir Jeremy de Halpert (KVCO, CB) spent a full career in the Royal Navy as a Warfare officer and navigation specialist, with service in the Falklands War, commanding three ships, and ashore in NATO and USA. He retired in 2002 to take up the post of Executive Chairman of The Corporation of Trinity House, responsible for navigation safety and pilotage around our coast, and the country’s largest endowed maritime charity. He was knighted in 2008 for services to maritime safety and the maritime community.

Nick Holloway

Nick Holloway is 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 Pastoral at Brambletye School in West Sussex.

Michael Jeffries

Michael Jeffries (Dip ARCH, RIBA, FICE, FRSA) 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 was the Group Chief Executive and then Chairman for ten years. He is currently chairman of Civica, an IT and software products company and the support services group Mouchel.

Matthew Keats

An OC and former Head of School, Matthew Keats (MA) studied Geography at Oxford before converting to law. He joined international law firm Linklaters in 1995 where he was elected a partner in 2005. His expertise lies in the development and financing of Energy projects around the world with a particular focus on the emerging markets. For the past three years has been responsible for overseeing Linklaters’ global recruitment strategy.

Stephen Le Bas

Steve Le Bas (FCA Ba Hons) is an OC and was educated at Canford in the mid to late 1980s where we 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 10 years has worked for the accountancy firm BDO based in Southampton, where he has been an audit partner since 2015.

John McGibbon

John McGibbon (FCA) is a chartered accountant and a former partner at Grant Thornton advising private and public companies, not for profit organisations and charities He held senior management positions as a managing partner and a member of the National Management Board with responsibility for client service and information systems. He is currently chairman of Aster Communities, a housing association which provides over 27,000 homes for people across central southern and south west England.

Richard Nicholl

Educated at Stowe School, Durham and Oxford Universities, Richard Nicholl (BA, PGCE) 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.

Adam Richards


Adam Richards (BA) was a pupil at Canford from 1983 to 1988. He went on to study History at Bristol and Security Studies at St Andrews before joining AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals on their Graduate International Sales & Marketing Programme. After 10 years working in UK, Europe and the US he joined his brothers as a Director of Whitegrove Office Supplies which was purchased by Office Team in 1998. After a two year stint in the British Virgin Islands Adam set up Waypoint Digital Marketing based in Winchester, which acts as its clients' outsourced marketing department. Adam is married to Tina and has two children William and Alexandra and lives in Stockbridge, Hampshire.

Revd. John Simmons

A former Canford parent, John Simmons 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.

James Stileman

James Stileman was educated at Wellington College and Durham University before taking up a short service commission in the Royal Green Jackets. He worked for 18 years in advertising including the start-up and sale of a top London agency. From 2005 to 2016 James worked for the Titus Trust, a Christian charity which runs activity holidays for children at independent schools. The first eight years were spent leading holiday camps for those of prep school age before becoming the Trust’s Operations Director.  He now works for the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (colloquially known as GAFCON) as their Operations Manager. 

Annabel Thomas

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 Mishcon de Reya LLP, specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration.

Michael Walshe

Michael Walshe (MA) built a highly successful thirty year career in HR and general management in manufacturing, electronics, computer and engineering, developing a wide range of innovative practices. For ten years he has coached executives in Australia, the Middle East, North America and Europe. He now runs development programmes in leadership, performance management and presentation skills, in addition to part-ownership of an IT solutions business and involvement in headhunting at a senior level.