Governing Body

Alain KerneisChairman of Governors

Alain graduated from the Institut National Agronomique in Paris and received a Ph.D. in statistics applied to chemistry for his work on the monitoring of health risks in drinking water. After a brief time in the water industry he moved to the City to be trained as an investment strategist. He currently works as a portfolio manager, investing on behalf of pension schemes and charities. Alain and his wife Isabel have two teenage sons who thoroughly enjoyed their schooling at Copthorne.

Rohit NathanielVice Chairman of Governors

Rohit spent 14 years working for Global Investment Banks in The City running Trading & Investment divisions at Senior level. Having now left the daily commutes to The Trading Floor in London, he is Managing Director of Seraphim Housing Group which is Housing & Building Services Company based near Gatwick. Rohit lives locally with his wife Sandra and have three daughters who are all loving school life at Copthorne Prep. Emma the eldest, is in Year 6 and twins Sophie & Rachel who are both in Year 2. Rohit has various sporting interests and tries to keep fit but rugby is now mainly a spectator sport for him these days!

James Abdool

James was educated at Copthorne Prep and Reigate Grammar before graduating with an Honours Degree in Marketing with Management Science. James has always worked within the media industry and is currently Group Sales Director with an AIM listed digital media agency. Joining the Governing body in 2004, James chaired the Finance Committee before becoming Chair in 2006. His two sons keep him busy with sports and activities shared between Neal (17) at University having left Copthorne Prep in 2010, and Joseph who is currently enjoying Year 6 life at Copthorne.

Aileen Baker

Aileen graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MA Honours degree in Sociology and Management. Moving to London in 1998, Aileen has spent the last 19 years working as a Planner / brand strategist for some of London’s top Advertising Agencies.  She is now a director at an independent agency in Farringdon. Aileen is kept busy by her two boys Arun and Alexander who are both loving life at Copthorne.

Heather Beeby

Heather graduated from London University with a Bachelors degree in Biology and a Masters degree in Science Education. She has taught for thirty years and has recently taken on her third headship at Lancing College’s new Prep School in Worthing. Heather has been an ISI Team Inspector for fifteen years and is a Director of the IAPS (The Independent Association of Prep Schools). She loves working with children. Heather is married with two grown up daughters and she is delighted to have been invited to join the Board of Governors at Copthorne.

Kathryn Bell – Chair of the Education Committee

Kathryn Graduated from Exeter University with a BSc  Hons degree in Biology and Geography and a PGCE. She is a chartered biologist and a Member of the Royal Society of Biologists. She has taught for over thirty years in both boarding and day schools, single sex and co-educational, and independent and state maintained schools She is Head of Burgess Hill Girls, her second Headship. Kathryn is a Committee member of the Society of Heads, a member of the Society of Heads’ Education Committee and a member of the GSA Education Committee. She is passionate about the Performing and Creative Arts as well as Sport and Outdoor Education. Sadly her competitive netball days are over but still enjoys the occasional umpiring and coaching opportunity and encouraging from the sidelines. She is widowed with four children, 3 of whom are at university, with the 4th recently graduated, but soon to recommence further study!

Richard Haworth – Designated Governor for Child Protection and Staff Liaison Governor

Richard was appointed a governor in 2008 and is married to Vicky. She is a former nurse and now is a fitness instructor and both their children went through Copthorne Prep as pupils. He has been a GP in Crawley for 30 years. He also teaches adults, mainly in the NHS, and advises solicitors specialising in clinical litigation. He is a keen golfer and photographer who also is learning rock drumming!

Angela Higgs – Chair of the Finance & General Purposes Committee

Angela graduated from the London School of Economics before training to be a Chartered Accountant with KPMG, where she was part of their national Charities and Education practice.  In 2001 she moved to Worth Abbey where she was the Abbey’s Financial Controller and the Bursar for Worth School for 12 years.  She now works for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.  Angela has two sons, Sam and Joshua, who both attended Copthorne Prep, where their respective passions for triathlons and chess were developed.  Both now attend Downside School in Somerset.

Hasmita Kerai

Hasmita is a Chartered Chemical Engineer. She started her career at Black & Veatch in the Water Process industry and in 2001 she specialised in health & safety. Hasmita provides project Health and Safety advisory services to internal and external clients, identifying hazards at an early stage in design. She is married to Dipak and has two children who attend a local independent school and keep Hasmita busy with their participation in sports activities.

Robin Workman – Chair of the Estates Committee

Attended Copthorne Prep in the 1960’s before going on to Kings School, Canterbury. A partner in a firm of Chartered Quantity Surveyors based in Caterham, Surrey. Blessed with two offspring – James who left Copthorne in 2013 and attends King Edwards, Witley. Emily who is currently in Year 7 at Copthorne.