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Management Team

Vicky Ellis, BSc (Hons), QTS, MA - Head

Miss Ellis joined The Study in September 2020, and has extensive experience teaching in a variety of both state and independent schools, and has a particular specialism in Early Years Education.  Most recently, Miss Ellis was Head at Banstead Prep, having previously taught and been Director of Studies at Redcliffe School, Chelsea, and taught and been Head of Early Years at Guildford High School.  She achieved a first class honours degree in Accounting and worked at Andersen/Deloitte, before turning to a career in teaching. She subsequently completed a MA in Educational Leadership and Management.  Miss Ellis has travelled extensively and enjoys yoga, surfing and keeping active.

Joanna Gay, BA (Hons), PGCE - Deputy Headmistress

Miss Gay has been at The Study for 15 years where in addition to her role as Deputy Headmistress she is also Acting Senior Mistress for Spencer House, teaches, runs clubs, chairs the Spencer School Council, and is responsible for pastoral care, timetabling and the school’s charity giving.  At present she oversees the school‘s Gifted and Talented provision and is RE Coordinator. Miss Gay is a team inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate.  She read Economics and Social History at Exeter University and worked in the publishing industry before doing her Postgraduate Certificate in Education.  She loves reading, the theatre, playing tennis, walking and travelling to interesting holiday destinations.  She also enjoys spending time with her nephews and numerous god children!

Margot Cuerden, BPrimEd, Johannesburg - Director of Studies

Ms Cuerden grew up in Zimbabwe and was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, doing a Primary Education degree.  She has been at The Study since 2001 where she has taught Years 1, 2 and 3, been the ICT Coordinator, and Curriculum Coordinator.  She was promoted to Director of Studies in 2019 and also teaches Year 2.  Ms Cuerden is married with one teenage son and enjoys yoga, ballroom dancing and travelling in her spare time.

Philip Walker, BSc (Hons), Loughborough, FCA - Bursar


Philip joined the team in January 2018  from Walthamstow Hall in Sevenoaks, where he spent six years teaching Mathematics.

A Chartered Accountant and graduate from Loughborough University, Philip started his career in the city with Deloitte before moving into industry, spending many years with General Motors as a Finance Director.

Philip has two daughters who take up most of his spare time, takes a keen interest in most sports and enjoys squash, golf and skiing.

Sarah Lee, BA, PGCE - Assistant Head, Wilberforce House, Year 1

Mrs Lee is responsible for Wilberforce House as its Assistant Head and has been a form teacher at The Study for over 25 years, currently teaching Year 1.

Mrs Lee is married with two teenage sons and enjoys travelling to discover new places, taking walking trips with her boys and going on city breaks.  Most of her leisure time is taken up spending time with her husband and sons.

Mr Christopher Baalham MSc, Essex, NPQSL, Anglia Ruskin,BEd (Hons) Cantab

Mr Baalham joined The Study School in September, 2017, having taught at St. Mary’s School, Colchester, for eleven years. He is enjoying working in such a friendly and nurturing environment, where the pupils so evidently thrive.

Mr Baalham studied Education and English at Cambridge University, before continuing his studies with a Masters in Psychology from Essex University.

In his spare time, he enjoys visiting the theatre, acting, singing and literature, as well as spending time in the great outdoors, walking or tending to his garden.


Susan Johnson, Early Years Coordinator, Wilberforce House, Reception

Mrs Johnson achieved a BEd (Hons) degree at Froebel College, Roehampton, graduating in 1985. Initially she worked as a nursery teacher for three years before moving to The Study in 1988.

Mrs Johnson has now been a teacher at The Study for 30 years and is the longest serving member of staff. During that time she has worked in all the pre-prep classes but has focused mainly on the Reception year group.

Because of her long tenure, Mrs Johnson has seen many girls pass through the school and her greatest pleasure is when they return as visitors and present themselves as delightful, confident and well-rounded individuals who have much to contribute to so many fields of society.