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Governance Structure and membership

Governance Structure

As an Academy Trust our governance requirements are set out in our Articles of Association.

These state that we must have two layers of governance; Members and Trustees. The Trustee Board operates through its committees in line with its Scheme of Delegation.

Governance Structure

Scheme of Delegation

Click here to see a list of Members and Trustees, their terms of office and their business interests


We have five Members whose role is similar to a company’s shareholder - they sit above the Board of Trustees and have a largely hands-off role. They have some specific responsibilities relating to appointing Trustees and amending the Articles of Association. Members of the Trust also have an important role to play in overseeing and holding the Trustees to account for the general governance of the Trust. 

Mark Davis


I was a Governor at Tonbridge Grammar School, for 17 Years until 2020, mostly sitting on the Curriculum and Staffing Committee, and I was Vice Chair of the Governing Body. My family has a long association with the School: my mother, sister and daughter having attended the School and my father having been a Governor for 30 years. I am very much local to Tonbridge, having lived here all my life attending Judd School before a law degree at Exeter University led me to qualify as a solicitor. For much of my working life I have been with Warners Solicitors in Tonbridge and Sevenoaks where I am currently Senior Partner. My speciality is commercial property and development work, and I played a significant part as Governor in the work leading to the construction of the Hands Building.

I was a Councillor 2007-2023 on Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, representing the Cage Green ward in Tonbridge, and I am also a Trustee of Tonbridge & Malling Leisure Trust which administers the Council's leisure facilities in the Borough. When time allows I enjoy long-distance walking, ornithology, genealogy, watching cricket and have a keen interest in history and politics.


Dr Annette Doherty, OBE

I became Member of Tonbridge Grammar School in September 2020, having previously been a Parent Governor at the school 2016-2020.

I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a scientist for 35 years.   I have been involved in the research and development of many new medicines for patients.  I have lived and worked in the USA, France and the UK, leading global teams of scientists at Warner-Lambert, Pfizer and GSK.

I received my Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and B.Sc. in Chemistry from Imperial College, London, UK. I conducted postdoctoral research at Ohio State University, USA under a NATO postdoctoral award.  

I have served on Boards of private, public, educational and charity institutions. In 2013, I was honoured as a Distinguished Woman in Chemistry/Chemical engineering by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. I was awarded an honorary Degree from the University of Greenwich for services to education and industry/academic collaboration. I have most recently joined Frazier Life Sciences as a senior advisor.   

I have been a Non-Executive Director at the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust since 2017. I have recently been elected as the next President of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2009, I was awarded an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of services to the pharmaceutical sector.

I am passionate about education and providing the very best opportunities for young people at all stages of their learning and career journey.  My two daughters and three nieces have all attended Tonbridge Grammar School and I have seen first hand how the superb educational experience that was provided at this outstanding school gave them the very best start in life and into their future careers.  I wanted to be a Governor and then Member of the Tonbridge Grammar School because I strongly believe in the values, culture and educational experience that is offered at TGS. I also know that the pastoral support is outstanding and the opportunity to study the IB is a unique educational experience which brings many life skills to the students.

Sally Dyson



My association with TGS began when my daughter joined Year 7 in 2011. Very soon afterwards I was invited to a meeting to discuss how the school could raise funds to build an all-weather sports pitch. As a former PE teacher I couldn’t bear to think that we would lose the opportunity to provide such a wonderful resource, so I attended the meeting and was hooked.

I joined the TGS Board as a parent governor in 2012 and held the role of Chair from 2015 to 2021. Apart from building the all-weather sports pitch, which took us another 7 years to achieve, the reason I wanted to become a governor was because I believe every child should have the opportunity to benefit from a good education. In order to do that schools need people who are willing to support and challenge them, to provide an environment where children are inspired, are set aspirational targets and are given as many opportunities as possible.

I stepped down from the Trustee Board in 2021 and was invited to become a Member. This is a less time-consuming role but does enable me stay involved and in touch with the school and education which is very important to me. I now work for Girlguiding UK, managing volunteer policy and in my spare time I try to keep fit, keep the house and garden tidy and catch up with family and friends.


Clive Gillmore

I am founder and Group CEO of Mondrian Investment Partners and an alumnus of Warwick University from where I graduated in Management Science. I am a long-term supporter of education as a vital driver of innovation for the future of our young people and society. 

I was delighted to accept the invitation to become a Member at Tonbridge Grammar School Academy Trust in September 2020. I hope to bring a valuable independent perspective to strategic discussions and enjoy being associated at grass roots level with an educational philosophy that echoes my own values and ambitions for young people.

Hesham Iqbal

I lead the Legal, Compliance and Government Affairs Practice of a leading global executive search and leadership advisory firm and am a passionate advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion.

I was appointed as a Member on 1 September 2023, having previously served as a Trustee 2018-2022. My daughters attended Tonbridge Grammar School and I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to resume the connection. 




To see the work that the trustees do, please click here

Background details for our Trustees can be seen below.

CHAIR: Nigel Stratton, MBE

Term of Office Ends:
March 2026

After schooling in Hampshire, I studied law at the University of Birmingham and trained to be a solicitor in London, before moving to Kent in 1982. Having practiced as a private client lawyer for 30 years, the last 12 as managing partner of my firm, I retired in March 2018, initially working on a consultancy basis one day a week and have now fully retired.

I have been a Rotarian for over 25 years and twice past president. Involved with Age UK and its predecessor organisations since 1983, I am chairman of Tunbridge Wells Age UK. I am also a Parish Councillor. I was honoured to be awarded an MBE in 2014, for services to the community.

I was appointed to the Governing Board in April 2018. I have previously been a school governor, mostly of primary schools, including in Sevenoaks and North Kent.

I am a keen gardener; I sang for 10 years with a Sevenoaks choir and love classical music. I enjoy reading, especially political biographies and autobiographies, and modern history.

I am Chair of the Board, sit on the Finance & Resources Committee and am Pay Review Officer.   

Rebecca Crean

As Head Teacher of TGS, I work closely with the trustee board to ensure that we work together to fulfill the strategic priorities for the whole school and community. I report on the work we have been doing as to support our students, staff and families. I also report on the progress and attainment of the students and work with the rest of the trustee board to plan for further developments of the school. As a trustee, I ensure that we are always looking at ways to improve the school and plan for the future so we continue to provide an outstanding educational experience.

I have a degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies and a Masters in Educational Studies which incorporated Educational Leadership and Management. I have been in Education since 2003, when I completed my PGCE, and have mainly worked in girls' education, with the exception of two years in China in an International School and then in a large Sixth Form College in South East London. I am passionate about girls' education and seek to support our students in ensuring that they achieve the very best possible outcomes for their future and empower them to be future pioneers.

I also have extensive experience of the IB and have taught and coordinated the IB in past schools. I truly believe that the IB offers a well balanced approach to education and provides the skills and experience needed for life and work. The IB allows our students to reflect on their responsibilities as global citizens and to explore the world through the curriculum we offer in the MYP programme as well as the Diploma. 

Emily Francis

Term of Office Ends:
August 2027

I became a Trustee of Tonbridge Grammar School in September 2019 and was delighted to be reappointed for a second term in September 2023. I serve on the Finance and Resources Committee, am vice-chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and the link trustee for Pupil Premium. 

I am a Senior Manager in the Group Financial Reporting team at Burberry plc. After achieving a first-class BSc honours degree from the University of Exeter, I joined PwC where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant. I spent seven years at the company, where I managed the audits for a wide range of clients, whilst also leading the office tutoring and graduate programmes.

I joined the Burberry finance team in 2019 and I am responsible for ensuring accurate reporting across significant and judgmental areas, and I lead several projects relating to sustainability and climate change.

I volunteered as a Trustee as I passionately believe that all young women deserve the chance to succeed, and that young women’s futures should not be predetermined by their circumstances. I believe in supporting young people to grow into ambitious adults with strong core values, confidence in their own abilities and a pride in being visionaries and leaders.

I live in Tonbridge and have a golden retriever. 

Suzy Hughes


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Term of Office Ends:
July 2026

I have been a member of the Tonbridge Grammar School board since 2018., appointed by the Members in July 2022 having previously been elected by parents. I am responsible for the oversight on the school’s SEND provision, as well as sitting on the Curriculum and Standards Committee, the Admissions Group and the Travel Action Group. I am passionate about the provision of equal opportunities for all through education and am a strong believer in the values of TGS.

I have a background in Law with an Honours degree from Durham University, plus post-graduate qualifications in French and Business. I worked for many years all over Europe as a bi-lingual Management Consultant, across a broad range of industries in both private and public sectors. Since my having my children, I have stayed in the UK and run my own business as a Private Client Asset Manager, looking after a portfolio of property businesses in Europe and London on behalf of the owner.

My personal passion lies in renovating period properties which I have done for as long as I can remember. More recently I have turned this hobby into a local business in Tunbridge Wells. This means that when I am not at my desk, I can always be found up the nearest block of scaffolding!

Oksana Jajecznyk

Term of Office Ends:
November 2027

I became a Trustee of TGS in November 2022, initially co-opted and now appointed, and sit on the Curriculum and Standards Committee. My decision to volunteer as a trustee was aligned to my passion and experience as an educator, working with young people to help them flourish and become agents of change as global citizens. I have a particular interest in girl’s education, especially in the promotion of STEM based opportunities for young women. I look forward to supporting TGS in its onward journey and its goal of providing the best experience for every student.

After completing my degree in chemistry, I took my PGCE at the London University Institute of Education and have been a chemistry and science teacher in schools for over 33 years. I spent 18 years teaching and leading STEM departments in London, both in state and independent schools. In 2001, I moved to Branksome Hall Girls School in Toronto, Canada to become the chair of the science department where my role was to ensure that the girls had the best experience in their science subjects for both their MYP and DP years. I was also the co-lead for both the Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay teaching teams which were responsible for establishing the TOK and EE courses for all DP students. I became an IB teacher trainer in DP chemistry and led workshops in both Canada and the US to support IB teachers in their implementation of the DP curriculum.

In 2015, I came back to Europe. My passion for an IB education took me to the Education Office in the IB organization where I was responsible for the development of curriculum content for both the DP and CP. My current role at the IB involves working with and supporting curriculum development colleagues across all four IB programmes.

In my spare time, I enjoy walking and cycling as well as honing my amateur gardening skills.

Robert Kienlen

Term of Office Ends:
August 2026

Appointed by the Board in September 2022.

I’m a Chartered Accountant and qualified with EY, having joined them straight from school at the age of 18. As I didn’t have a degree I had to complete both the AAT and ICAEW exams to become fully qualified but was qualified at 22. I left EY after six years to work in industry, and have worked in various finance roles since, in property, financial services and manufacturing businesses including a number of years working as a financial modeller.

My daughter currently attends the school, and both my niece and nephew are past students. I was therefore keen to see if I could help the school when the opportunity arose to join as a governor, especially given the challenging, cost pressured world we currently face.

I am Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee and Vice Chairman of the Finance and Resources Committee (which I first joined as a co-opted member in 2021).

Mark Lavenstein


Term of Office Ends:
February 2025

I was originally elected to the board as a Parent Governor in February 2016. My wife and I have lived in Tunbridge Wells for over 20 years. My daughter spent all of her secondary education at TGS before going to university and greatly benefitted from the excellent education given at the school. My son was at The Judd School, is through university and now working in London.

I have a background in the energy industry, initially as a Chemical Engineer in the UK and US and more latterly as a Crude Oil Trader with a focus on West African oil markets. I have led business development and growth strategies in these roles and help to provide support and challenge to the school’s leadership team.

I am very interested in education at all stages and have a lay person’s appreciation of wider educational matters, informed by being married to a secondary school teacher. I strongly believe in the transformative value of a good educational experience on young people’s lives and the influence it bears upon the subsequent development of good citizens. I chair the Curriculum and Standards Committee, sit on the Admissions Group and I am the Trustee with responsibility for Safeguarding. 

Suzannah Merritt

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Term of Office Ends:
December 2027

I am a GP, working and living in the local area since 2006. I was a partner in a local practice but now work flexibly to enable me to dedicate time to other roles, working clinically across a number of practices and also in non-clinical roles. I was clinical lead of Urgent Care within the CCG for 7 years. I appraise and mentor my GP colleagues, and I am a member for the Kent Local Medical Committee. This role includes liaison with other local healthcare providers and systems.

I grew up in North Kent, attending a girls' grammar school, and can see the opportunities this gave me in forging my career. I have two daughters at TGS and wish for girls in the local area to have the opportunity to achieve their best. I strongly believe wellbeing and inclusivity should be at the heart of any community.

In my spare time I enjoy walking my fox red Labrador Amber, and cycling very hard whilst stationary on my Peloton bike.

I was elected as a parent trustee in January 2024, and I am delighted to be able to play a part in the continued success of the TGS community.

Sarah Rolls

Term of Office Ends:
November 2026

I am a Chartered Accountant, and I spent the first 19 years of my career at KPMG, the last 5 years of which I was a partner. I then moved into industry as a group financial controller where I led the global financial reporting, operations, tax and treasury organisations. I now work as an independent consultant on finance transformation/optimisation projects. This allows me the time to attend all meetings, trustee training and visit the school during the day.

My husband and I have two children and I became a Parent Governor in November 2022 when our daughter joined TGS in Year 7. I have previous experience of school governance and served on a steering committee for a national charity, mandated to develop a London specific strategy. Over the course of my career, I have developed skills that transfer well to the work of a Trustee, and I am delighted to be able to help this fantastic school continue to improve and develop.

I was elected by parents in November 2022 and sit on the Curriculum and Standards and Audit and Risk Committees. I am also the link trustee for Educational Visits and became Vice Chair of Trustees in September 2023.

Ed Walker

Term of Office Ends:
November 2027

I was co-opted as a Trustee in October 2022 and then appointed by the Members in November 2023. I sit on the Finance and Resources Committee as well as the School Development Group.

I graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in International Business majoring in Spanish at Sheffield Business School and Alicante University in the early 1990s.

My career has primarily been in Commercial Business and Operations originally with Marks & Spencer as a graduate and then with Credit Suisse, Pfizer and G4S.

Since 2005 I have led my own commercial property business as well as running a language training and translation business.

With my strong links to and passion for education, I intend to help TGS going forward in supporting the Facilities and Real Estate team and also act as the Health & Safety Trustee link.

I plan to offer a strategic focus on the build environment for the existing and future generations of students at the school.

My two daughters are students at TGS and the family have lived in Sevenoaks for over 20 years.

Joanna Woods

Term of Office Ends:
March 2026

I became a Co-opted Trustee of Tonbridge Grammar School in September 2020 as co-Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee and was appointed as a full Trustee by the Members in March 2022. My career background is in financial risk management, where I have spent the past 15 years in the banking sector designing controls and managing stress tests in order to prepare for the unexpected. I aim to bring this experience to TGS in helping to oversee the financial health of the school and the academy trust.

I attended grammar school in Essex before studying Economics at Cambridge University. My recent studies and interests include the financial aspects of climate change and transition risk.

In my spare time I enjoy baking, walking and music (not all at the same time). I am a rusty violinist – after university and prior to my career in banking I was a classical musician in symphony orchestras around the UK.

My two daughters are students at TGS and we have lived in Kent since 2018.