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Members and Trustees

Governance Structure at Tonbridge Grammar School

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.


Members

We have four 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.

Our Members are:

  • Mr Mark Davis
  • Dr Annette Doherty
  • Mrs Sally Dyson
  • Mr Clive Gillmore

Background details for our Members will be added in due course.


Trustees

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 & General Purposes Committee and am Pay Review Officer.  I am the trustee responsible for Training and Development. 

Nicola Beckett

Elected by parents in July 2022 - term of office ends July 2026 - details to come.

Rebecca Crean

Appointed in September 2022 - Head Teacher - details to come. 

Emily Francis

Term of Office Ends:
August 2023

I became a Trustee of Tonbridge Grammar School in September 2019. I serve on the Finance and General Purposes 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 Staffing Committee, the Admissions Group, the Audit and Risk Committee 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!

Shami Iqbal

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Term of Office Ends:
January 2023

I joined the Board of Tonbridge Grammar School in 2018 and serve as a Trustee on the Curriculum and Staffing Committee. I chair the Pay Review Committee, sit on the Head Teacher Performance Management Committee and I am governor with special responsibility for diversity and inclusion.

I was born and brought up in Kent, attending Sevenoaks School before studying Law at King’s College London and qualifying as a solicitor specialising in sports and media law. Having changed career, I now lead the UK business of the leadership advisory firm Spencer Stuart where I work with organisations on talent, governance and culture issues. I also lead a variety of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives.

My wife is a local architect and we live in Sevenoaks with our three daughters, two of whom are at TGS. I am passionate about education and enabling all children to have the opportunity to become the best that they can be.

In my spare time I am an avid sports nut - both playing and watching. I have held various playing and committee roles at Sevenoaks Vine Cricket Club including helping to establish the girls’ section. I am also a member of the MCC and Knole Park Golf Club. 

Robert Kienlen

Appointed by the Board in September 2022 - term of office ends August 2026 - details to come.

Mark Lavenstein

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Term of Office Ends:
February 2025

I was 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 Staffing Committee, sit on the Admissions Group and I am the Trustee with responsibility for Safeguarding. 

Richard Pryce

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Term of Office Ends:
January 2023

I grew up in Kent and studied A-Levels at Bexley Grammar before finding a job in The City. After periods spent working in both Zurich and New York I settled back in Kent and have been living in Bromley since 2007. My job with a European bank involves managing a global business: devising strategy, setting budgets, monitoring costs and promoting staff growth.

My daughter attends Tonbridge Grammar School and I wanted to become a member of the board in order to help her and her schoolmates learn in a challenging, creative and supportive environment. I believe schools should foster trust and collaboration and provide real-life learning that prepares students for the modern world, not only in traditional academic subjects but with an eye towards the future.

I am currently a member of my company’s Charity and Diversity and Inclusion Committees and my interests include live music, walking and running.

I joined the Governing Body in 2018.  I am Co-Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee and the trustee with responsibility for Health and Safety.  

Julia Wheeler

Term of Office Ends:
December 2022

I am a journalist by profession and have spent much of my career working for the BBC. I was the BBC Gulf Correspondent based in the Arabian Peninsula for ten years covering news, business and sport for TV, radio and online. During this time I also wrote a book, ‘Telling Tales,’ about the history of Dubai. I am now a writer and journalist and I chair events at Literature and Science Festivals and other book-related events.

I grew up in Canterbury where I attended Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar. I am passionate about the ethos of schools inspiring life-long learning. I read Economic and Social History at University followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism.

My husband and I have two children and I became a Parent Governor in October 2012 when our daughter was attending TGS. I am Vice-Chair of the Board, I sit on the Curriculum and Staffing Committee and was Chair of the ‘Play Your Part’ Fundraising Campaign which raised money for the IBarn, the Music and Art Departments and the sports facilities.  I also sit on the Development Steering Group, the Admissions Group, the Head Teacher Performance Management Committee and the Pay Review Group.  I am a link trustee for Careers. 

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 General Purposes 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.