Riverston School is part of the Chatsworth Schools Group which operates with its own Board of Directors.
The key responsibility of the Governors is to ensure that Riverston School has a clear sense of purpose and direction. They are responsible for creating an ethos of high expectation and will monitor, evaluate, support and challenge the School, the Headmaster and the Senior Leadership Team – but won’t manage or interfere with the day to day operation of the school. The Governors will ask and be able to answer, four key questions:
- How well are we are doing?
- How do we know?
- Is it good enough?
- What else do we need to do?
I have worked in independent schools for the last 38 years and have taught History, English, PE and almost every other subject on the Primary curriculum at some point. I became a Head at the relatively young age of 32 and spent the next 27 years leading four schools in Hampshire, Yorkshire (x2), and latterly in London. At one time my three children were in my school and my wife was a teacher.
I have experience of single sex and co-educational education in proprietorial, group and charitable trust owned schools. I have been a school governor for more than ten years and am currently Chair of Governors of a 3-11 years’ co-ed prep school. I mentor and appraise Head teachers, conduct inspections and advise on best practice in safeguarding and governance. Sport is a passion, and I play (the oldies!) and officiate county badminton for Yorkshire, where I have been Chairman of the County Association for more than ten years. I also sit on the Disciplinary Committee of Badminton England and I am currently the Independent Chair of a major competition review.
After Oakham School I went to Durham University to study Geography and then on to Bath to complete my PGCE. Six years teaching at Christ College Brecon were followed by six years at Sherborne School and then the same time as Head of Department at Tonbridge School. Then I enjoyed 18 years as Deputy Head at RGS Worcester where I was in charge of pastoral care and the co-curricular programme. I was also an examiner for Geography GCSE and A levels as well as being an ISI inspector.
Why teaching and why pastoral care? Simple – my love of people, my deep curiosity in human behaviour, my desire to help people to become more balanced, more content and more fulfilled. I suppose I’m a little nosey as well!
After retiring early I moved with my wife to Devon in 2014 and seem to have been almost as busy as ever! My field is emotional well-being, I work with individuals, families as well as corporates.
As a long time meditator I know its value. I began teaching it many years ago to pupils, staff and even parents! I now teach individuals and groups face-to-face and online how to be mindful and how to relax and resist stress. In addition, I’ve led evening classes as well as day and weekend retreats.
Since retiring from teaching I also offer help to people who wish to sleep better, to be more mindful in their communication, to be less negative, and to bring mindfulness into their businesses. I’m also keen to support business owners who are looking for ways to enhance their employees well-being and emotional resilience. This help is given in person (via talks, workshops or 1-2-1), online or via books and online courses. But whatever the platform, the advice is always practical, appropriate, easy to follow, and supported by modern science. Also whether it be the spoken or written word I try to ensure the language used is always accessible and free from jargon!
I’ve just published my latest books on how to reduce exam and revision stress; what is meditation; and how gardening is a metaphor for life.
Born and raised in Cheshire, I studied for my first degree in Theology and Education at Oxford. After University, I went on to teach at a Prep school in Hertford followed by teaching posts in London, before becoming the founding Head of The Grange (RGS Worcester) in 1996. Whilst at the Grange I also studied for my M.Ed. in Leadership and Management. In 2001 I took up a Headship in Bath followed by a Principalship in Yorkshire in 2004.
In 2008 I was promoted to a Head Office position at Alpha Plus Group and became Director of Operations two years later. I then added international education to my experience by moving to World Class Learning. In 2012 I became a founding partner and Director of Operations and Education for the International Schools Partnership which today owns seventeen schools around the world.
I am passionate about creating outstanding futures for our children as well as learning spaces and cultures that allow and encourage all to thrive and be the best that they can be. I live with my husband, three dachshunds and a bonkers cat called Bertie, in the Cotswolds and France, and am often found careering around the countryside in my beloved Morgan!
I fell into teaching almost by default, because the British government thought I was a Stasi spy, having worked as an interpreter and translator for the East German government in the 1970s. Once in teaching, I was lucky to work at some exceptional schools and with many amazing pupils. I have worked almost entirely in the independent sector, at single sex, and co-ed day and boarding schools. Apart from French and German, I have taught Spanish, Dutch, Sport and Drama to all ages at Secondary level. I have edited and written several plays for the European Theatre Company, and set up a theatre group performing plays in several languages. I have also edited language course books.
For nine years I was Chair of MEP UK, encouraging Sixth Formers to be involved in all matters European. Since early retirement in 2012 I have been involved in international education and school inspections. I also work with Cambridge, writing educational papers and German exams, and am a member of QPEC. Since September 2018 I have been Head of Chatsworth’s first school, Hall School Wimbledon. Outside of education, I still play sport (cricket), love travelling (a house in France helps), and get to the theatre whenever I can.
There has never been a time when I’ve not been involved in the world of education. After studying Engineering and Management at Kings’ London, I went straight back to school!
I taught in both day and boarding environments, at both Prep and Secondary levels in schools in London and the home counties prior to settling in Worcestershire. I have spent the last twenty years encouraging teachers, school leaders, pupils, parents and Governors to use technology to enhance teaching and learning as well as improve business functions, and have been involved in most functions of running schools.
As well as teach, be a part of leadership teams and manage both academic and technical functions across a group of schools, I have also set up and run a Regional Training Centre to offer free CPD to teachers from schools in the Midlands area and beyond. Thereby attempting to expose, explore and enthuse about the ‘art of the possible’, both to teachers and school leaders alike, helping Headteachers and subject specialists develop strategies to improve teaching and learning, specific to their setting.
Living on the Malvern Hills, with my wife, two young boys and a small but enthusiastic hound called Pip affords me many opportunities to get out on bikes and walks. Other interests include sea kayaking, canoeing and winter mountaineering, pursued both privately and when training and leading young participants in their ambitions to prepare for and participate in D of E expeditions, both in the UK and beyond.
I have class taught all ages from 2 to 8 in independent schools around the UK, managed and opened school-based early years and nursery departments: most recently completing seven years as Headmistress for the Minors Nursery School for the Alpha Plus Group. I am well experienced with the EYFS and a passionate advocate for the value of a solid foundation in the crucial younger years. I gained my BA Hons QTS in Education at Surrey University and enjoy the arts, theatre, baking, as well as spending time with my family.