Weald of Kent Grammar Governing Body
|Mr D Bower - Chair of Governors - Strategy Group Member|
|"Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and educated whilst living in East London I have lived in Kent since 1969. I am an arts and science graduate, a qualified environmental health practitioner and former proprietor of an independent environmental management consultancy. I have worked with local authorities in London and Kent and as a consultant with the Cabinet Office in London and with other Government departments. I was appointed a local authority governor at Weald of Kent in 2002 and was elected by the Governing Body to the Chair in 2008. Now mainly retired I keep busy as a volunteer, formerly with the London Olympics Committee, now as Station Master on the Spa Valley railway and also as a “Kent Greeter”, I enjoy scuba diving, yoga, gardening and the company of my granddaughter, Fleur."|
|Mr T French - Vice Chairman - Strategy Group Member|
"Born in Warrington I have lived in the south of England all my life moving from London to Sevenoaks in 1995 with my wife, a primary school teacher and our three children. Our son lives in Australia and our daughters live in London, all pursuing successful careers.
I am a qualified quantity surveyor working for contractors in earlier years and in consultancy in London for the last 16 years before retiring from practice in 2016. I have held various senior positions and directorships during the past 30 years often in challenging business environments.
I joined the Governing Body in 2002 as a parent governor and as vice chair in 2010. My career background in construction has put me a good position to support the school through a continued expansion of the premises and the school’s Sevenoaks Annex construction. My senior management experience has also enabled me to both contribute to and take a keen interest in the many aspects of managing the school.As well as enjoying many family and some continued working commitments and hobbies, I find time for hiking holidays, yacht racing, badminton, running and travel. "
|Mrs S Annandale- Parent Governor|
|"I am very proud to have attended a wonderful grammar school, so am really passionate about being involved with WOK. My daughter started at the school in September. I have a background in London advertising agencies, and currently work in the property industry. I have a degree in Politics and Economics and a Masters in Economics. I am married with two daughters, and live in Sevenoaks. In my spare time I am a keen genealogist, sing in a choir and enjoy family life."|
|Mr B Buck - Community Governor|
|"I have lived in Tonbridge for over 40 years with my wife Caroline. We have two married children, both of whom are married to teachers and live locally. Our daughter has a daughter at the school and our son James owns and runs a local business. Educated at the Judd School, I spent most of my career in information technology, including Home Office IT Director, director of the Police IT Organisation (PITO) and IT consultant for NatWest Bank. I am a Licensed Reader in the Church of England, a past-president of the Rotary Club of Tonbridge and chairman of the Tonbridge French Circle. A keen sportsman, I played in semi-professional and senior amateur football in my earlier years."|
|Mr C Bygrave - Parent Governor|
|"I live on the edge of the Ashdown Forest with my wife and our two children. My son attends The Skinners’ School and my daughter started at Weald of Kent in September 2017. I joined the Governing Body in March 2018 and was previously a Parent Governor at St Michael’s primary school in Withyham. I have held a number of senior leadership roles in the food and drink industry and now act as a consultant to SME’s, whilst running my own business. I am a passionate believer in supporting best practices, whilst always seeking opportunities to improve systems within an environment that provides security, personal well-being and confidence, thereby inspiring our children to achieve their full potential. Interests include days out with the family, cinema, motor sports, squash, golf, good food and drink.."|
|Mr A Collings - Parent Governor|
"I have more than two decades of experience in financial and operational leadership, including over 15 years with KPMG and PwC in audit and transactions, which provided me with significant expertise in business strategy, commercial operations, financial management, business transformation and people management across a range of industries.
A long-standing interest in education, led me to specialise in the provision of financial, commercial and operational expertise to the sector. I am currently COO and CFO for Challenger Multi-Academy Trust, a growing group of schools across Bedfordshire and Essex. Prior to joining CMAT, I was European CFO for GEMS Education, a large K12 independent schools operator and was also Finance Director for their charitable trust, the Varkey Foundation, and GEMS Learning Trust, which opened its first Academy School in 2015. Previous to GEMS, I was Director of EMEA Finance for global education pathway provider, Into University Partnerships, where I supported the Board on all financial and commercial matters.
I have been Chairman of the Parents’ Association at Russell House School since 2010, where I enjoy supporting an active group of parents who fundraise for the local community and the school. An active tennis player, I regularly supports causes close to my heart, including Prostate Cancer, Save the Children and Diabetes UK."
|Mr J Dahdi - Parent Governor|
|" I am a Chartered Accountant, having worked as a finance professional for over 15 years (the last 4 of which have been in the education companies Pearson [Edexcel] and City & Guilds). I am married with two daughters, one of which is currently attending the Weald of Kent. In my spare time, I love to road cycle, participating in amateur events both in the UK and abroad. I hope to bring to the role of school governor not only my professional skills and experience in the education sector but also an empathy from being a father with a daughter at the school."|
|Mrs S Fortune - Community Governor|
|"After graduating, I worked in the City until my husband's job took us to Hong Kong (where my two sons were born) and Sydney for ten years. I first became involved in education 13 years ago when I became a volunteer at Hadlow School, working with children who need some extra help. I became a Local Authority Governor at Weald 12 years ago and feel very lucky that I have been able to "give something back" to both of these inspiring schools. Brian Buck and I are involved in the exciting new initiative of becoming a "Thinking School". My other interests include reading, theatre, yoga and armchair sport! "|
|Mr G Garcia - Parent Governor|
|"I have been a Parent Governor since November 2014 and I have two daughters at Weald. I am an Accountant, an MBA graduate and a Chartered Director. I have worked in the Civil Service, manufacturing, telecom design and build and Banking. I am also a Foundation Governor at a local Independent school "|
|Mrs G Howard - Clerk to the Governors|
|"I joined Weald in November 2012 as Executive PA to the Headteacher and Director of Resources after working in the City for 22 years as a legal PA in a top law firm. In September 2013 I took the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of the school by applying for the position of Clerk to the Governors. I have lived in the Tunbridge Wells area all my life, attending TWGGS and West Kent College. I have a daughter at Skinners Kent Academy and in my spare time enjoy keeping fit at the gym and attending yoga and Pilates classes."|
|Mr N Hurman - Parent Governor|
|"I am a parent governor with our younger daughter now in the sixth form. We have lived in Southborough for over 20 years and have seen all our three children go through the local grammar school system – as did I in Newcastle more years ago than I care to remember. I am a Chartered Insurer and hold a BSc in Geography and an MBA. I have held a number of senior leadership positions in my corporate career and now have my own consultancy practice specialising in strategy and research for financial services with a particular interest in how to improve outcomes for consumers. I have seen how critical good education is to a successful and happy life. I want to help to make sure that Weald can offer a great education through the challenges and opportunities of the next 4 years so that current and future children (and their parents!) can continue to benefit from this special community. "|
|Mrs M Johnson - Headteacher - Strategy Group Member|
|"Every day I feel extremely privileged to be leading Weald of Kent Grammar School. It is an amazing community and it is a delight to work alongside such inspiring Students and professional Colleagues. I very much welcome the forward thinking approach taken by the Governing Body and relish the challenge that they provide to ensure the school continues to deliver the values that make Weald of Kent special whilst looking for ways to enhance what we do. Being able to draw on previous experience accrued over 9 years as a Deputy Headteacher in one of Bedfordshire’s highest performing Upper Schools followed by 12 years gained in two contrasting headships has proved invaluable. Governors have continued to support my professional development which has included working with other Schools as an Improvement Partner, as a National Leader of Education and as a trainee Ofsted Inspector."|
|Mr R Lloyd - Parent Governor|
|"With one daughter already at WoK and another joining in September 2015, I became a Parent Governor in December 2014 with the aim of helping the School continue to develop and improve by bringing to the role the experience gained during a 25 year career in managing businesses, coupled with a background of working on committees and assisting with PTA events."|
|Mr P Martin - Community Governor|
|"I am a chartered accountant and have been running my own design agency and print businesses for the past 7 years. My daughter is currently a pupil at Weald. I have lived in the Sevenoaks area all my life. I was elected as a parent governor in Oct 2010 and also act as Responsible Officer for the governing body. I am also a governor at St Lawrence Primary School since 2004 and am chair of the finance committee there. I am actively involved in the Weald PTA and have been treasurer since 2009. I have a strong interest in education and want to help maintain the outstanding position Weald has achieved."|
|Mrs M Mercer - Company Secretary - Strategy Group Member|
"With over 20 years of legal and local government experience, I embarked on a career in education in 2008 working in a number of schools within the state and independent sectors. I joined Weald of Kent in August 2017 as the Business Manager and Company Secretary to the Academy Trust. My role is varied, having responsibility for many aspects of the business elements of school life such as Finance, HR, Administration, Marketing, Premises, Legal, and Risk. However, I find the most rewarding aspect of my job is having the ability to enhance the educational experience of our students, and to see them develop into happy, confident and well educated young people. In my short time at the Weald of Kent it is very clear that the students, staff and governors are caring and supportive people with extremely high expectations for themselves and the success of our school. I am extremely proud to be part of this school community."
|Mrs C Pestell – Community Governor|
|"My husband and I moved to the Tonbridge area in 2014 and I joined the WOK Governing Body in 2015. I work in Higher Education management in London and have spent most of my career so far in Quality Assurance. I have an MBA in Education from Keele University, this and my HE work has led me to have a keen interest in ensuring that pupils leave school with tools to enable them to plan and achieve their next steps. Most of my spare time is devoted to gardening, running, and reading."|
|Mrs A Rubin - Community Governor|
|"After graduating from Cambridge University, I qualified as a criminal barrister and worked as a Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service in London. In 2013, I moved to Tonbridge with my husband and two daughters. I am currently working as a freelance legal editor, writer and tutor with various legal organisations. I have been heavily involved in PTAs for over 10 years and am currently joint treasurer and legal advisor at our youngest daughter's primary school. Our eldest daughter started at Weald in year 7 at the start of 2017. I am very excited about being involved in helping to ensure that the school provides the best possible environment and education for all the children in its care. In my spare time I enjoy cooking and entertaining, travelling, reading, discovering the local area with our Labrador and enjoying time with family and friends."|
|Mr J Spavins - Staff Governor - Strategy Group Member|
|"I joined Weald in 2014 as Office Manager and support for the Kaizen Teaching School Alliance. Prior to joining Weald I co-owned and helped run a Medical Marketing and Communications agency, which was sold in 2013. My long held interest and passion for education led me to become a Parent Governor at St Peter’s Primary School in Tunbridge Wells, where both my children started their education. Although both children have since moved on to local Grammar Schools I remain a co-opted Governor at St. Peter’s. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with family and friends, swimming, bike rides, the Great Outdoors and have a love/hate relationship with golf.."|
|Mrs S Viola - Parent Governor|
|"My daughters and I have lived in Tonbridge since 2008 and supporting my family and local community are imperative to me. Whilst having a career break to raise my daughters I have spent 5 years as a member of the PTA at Weald, and served as co-chair for 2 years. I have been an active member of the PTA at Tonbridge Grammar School for 6 years and carried out voluntary work for the national charity Changing Faces. Previously I have been Marketing Manager for Barclays Commercial Services, Assistant Marketing Manager for Charles Wells and worked in Personnel and Training for Top Rank and Granada. I also gained 4 years experience as a legal secretary at Dawsons. As a family we enjoy living in Tonbridge, regularly cycling, playing tennis, volleyball and swimming."|
|Mrs J Wilson - Parent Governor|
|"I became a parent governor at the beginning of 2017. I have one daughter who is in year 10 at Weald, two sons and two step children who attend various grammar schools across Kent. I began my career as an Occupational Therapist and have worked in many different specialisms in the public and private sector for over twenty years. I now manage a busy therapy department in an Independent Specialist Further Education College for disabled young people aged 19 to 25. In my spare time I enjoy running, cycling, walking our dog and enjoying family life."|