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Meet The Governors

Our Governing Body offers an incredibly valuable mix of experiences and skills that combine to drive forward our progressive ambition of being a truly remarkable school.

Chair of Governors

LORRAINE COUVES

Appointed Governor
Joined: 2010
Chair of Governors, Member of the Learning & Progress Committee, Member of the Finance & Resources Committee, Member of the Education and Outcomes Committee

I moved to Buckinghamshire after studying Chemistry at University to begin my career as a Research Chemist at ICI in Slough. In the ensuing years, my career has taken an interesting journey through Research and Development, Business Analysis, Project Management, IT and I am now a Business Change Consultant and Leadership Coach.  I am married with 3 daughters, 2 of whom were students at Beaconsfield High. My 2 older children are now teachers and the youngest is just completing her degree in Biochemistry at Imperial College and will be embarking on a PhD in October 2018.

I am passionate about education and I have always strived to use my own skills for the benefit of the schools I have served. In 2008 I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Studies in Education and in 2015 I completed the National Chairs of Governors Leadership Development Programme.  In 2016 I became a  National leader of governance and in this role offer help and support to other local governing bodies. 

It is a privilege to have been a governor at Beaconsfield High School since 2010, to have served as Chair of Finance and Vice Chair and I am now delighted to be the Chair of Governors of this remarkable school. During this time governors have worked hard to respond to the financial challenges that we (as with many schools) are increasingly facing but with commitment of staff and governors and our partnership with parents we are able to continue to provide some of the best educational facilities in the county and year on year our delightful and hardworking students celebrate exceptional achievements in and beyond academic results. 

This is what makes being a governor so rewarding!

Vice-Chair of Governors

MICHAEL EDWARDS

Appointed Governor*
Joined: February 2015 
Vice-Chair of Governors, Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee and Member of the Education and Outcomes Committee

I grew up in Kent, and went to Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys. At school I was heavily involved in sport; particularly athletics, cross-country, and rugby.

I studied Chemistry at University College London, and then joined a pharmaceutical company as a graduate trainee in marketing and sales. I spent five years there, before joining a management consulting firm, and have been in that industry for the last 18 years. I have worked on science and health issues with a wide range of businesses, governments and institutions; on their major strategic questions. This has taken me across Europe, the US and Asia; but we spent that time living in West London. We moved to Beaconsfield in 2011; to enjoy the space, the countryside, and of course the great schools!

Outside of work I have stayed involved in sport. Over the years this included rowing, triathlon, climbing and a lot of cycling. I have cycled all over the world; including to Mount Everest and into the Sahara Desert. I am now part of the local legion of middle-aged cyclists. I am also in the U10 coaching team at Beaconsfield Rugby Club.

I live in Beaconsfield near the school with my wife and two children, one of whom is at BHS. She is a fourth generation grammar school pupil! I am delighted to be part of the Governor team and contribute to making the school as good as we can for all of our daughters.

Headteacher

RACHEL SMITH

Headteacher
Joined: April 2015
Member of the Education & Outcomes Committee, the Finance & Resources Committee, and the Community & Wellbeing Committee  

I am incredibly proud to be the Headteacher at Beaconsfield High School; a remarkable grammar school for girls. I am also a Specialist Leader of Education and trained coach and facilitator for the National College delivering NPQML qualifications. Prior to joining Beaconsfield High School I held the post of Deputy Headteacher at Langley Grammar School. I established my leadership experience at Kings College for the Arts and Technology in Guildford as Vice Principal and finally as Acting Co-Principal. In the role of Head of English at Robert May's School in Odiham and Leading Teacher in Hampshire I built and shared a strong skills base in successful classroom practice.

I am a tenacious educationalist putting children and learning first. I believe that education does open doors and those doors can lead to a fulfilling future for all that want to step through; for those that need some help to find the key, my passion exists.

Teaching is a wonderful career that requires constant self reflection, regular reading and access to updates on current thinking to enhance pedagogy. But, most of all, we all need opportunities to share with like-minded colleagues new and proven ideas and techniques to improve learning for all students and staff!

Governors

MARK BAILEY

Mark BaileyCo-opted Governor
Joined: October 2019
Member of Education & Outcomes Committee

 I have a number of years as a safeguarding, finance and health & safety governor and have now joined Beaconsfield High to share my experiences and knowledge.

In addition, I have also been closely involved with the Child Exploitation On Line Protection Centre (CEOP, part of the National Crime Agency) since their inception and have delivered Cyber security awareness briefings to young people, parents, teachers and governors throughout Buckinghamshire.

My daughter is enjoying herself in our sixth form and I also have twin boys who attend RGS.

ZOË BARROWS

Parent Governor
Joined: November 2012, re-elected November 2016
Chair of the Education & Outcomes Committee

I grew up in Birmingham before moving to Ruislip, Middlesex and attending Bishop Ramsey C of E VA School. I went on to study at the University of Kent gaining a joint Religious Studies / Ethics and Teaching degree.

During the following 15 years I taught at a number of primary and middle schools both in the London Borough of Hillingdon and Slough. My responsibilities ranged from class teacher to Maths and PE Co-ordinators to Heads of Years and finally to Assistant Head Teacher responsible for progress, SATs results and liaison with both feeder and secondary schools.

After resigning from full-time teaching to bring up my own family, I couldn’t stay away from education for very long and spent ten years working in Film, Theatre and TV as a tutor to child actors. Following on from that, for the past fourteen years I have run my own private tuition business.
I also spent eight years as a governor at another Bucks school.

Sporting activities that I have enjoyed include gymnastics, ballroom, Latin American and modern dance, netball, Pilates, walking and running.

Education has been a huge part of my life and I hope to bring all of my experience, energy and enthusiasm to help make BHS the best that it can be.

I live in Beaconsfield with my husband and 3 children; a son and daughter (who has just finished BHS) who are now at University and another son who has finished university and is out in the real world of work.

SARA DAVIES

Parent Governor*
Joined: March 2018
Member of the Education & Outcomes Committee

I grew up in NZ and studied architecture at the University of Auckland. I moved to London in my late twenties where I worked as a senior architect on commercial office refurbishments, cinema fit-outs and high-end residential projects. The UK became home when I met my husband and we settled in Putney.

After our first daughter was born, my husband‘s work took us overseas to Norway, where we lived for nearly 9 years. I was heavily involved in the International School of Stavanger and saw the benefits of the Scandinavian way of educating children. We returned to the UK in 2014 and settled in Gerrards Cross. Both our daughters now attend Beaconsfield High School.

I have recently returned to studying, completing a Masters in Law and Business and I am now training as a commercial property and development solicitor.

My free time involves family, trail running, skiing, the outdoors and the occasional good book. I try to bring my experience into my role as a parent governor and am delighted to be part of the team supporting our wonderful school.

SANJIV GOHIL

Parent Governor*
Joined: April 2016
Member of the Finance & Resources Committee

Born in Leicestershire, I moved to London over 25 years ago, I reside in South Bucks with my wife and two daughters, the eldest being a student at BHS. Qualified with an MSc Degree in Criminology, I embarked on a career with the Police Service. Having completed 25 years, working within both strategic and operational roles, I left as a Detective Inspector. Since 2018, I having working with a Big 4 consultancy delivering cyber security transformation programmes and associated cyber consultancy services. I regularly contribute to various charity endeavours, am a keen golfer and have developed a passion to play the piano.  

My work experience is particularly strong in the areas of managing resources, operational delivery, risk management and strategic capability development. I am a firm believer that relationships yield far wider benefits than policy and process can alone. I have always volunteered my time and services in activities such as Leadership Training for SME and Charities, assisting in ‘Equalities’ and ‘Fairness at Work/Mediation’ related initiatives for over 15 years. These have contributed to my personal growth and enhanced my leadership skills. I have served at BHS as a governor since April 2016 and have been involved in finance and resources matters, general governance, and since Nov 2019, taken on the Governor Development Role.

GABY HEPPNER-LOGAN

Appointed Governor*
Joined: October 2015 
Member of the Education & Outcomes Committee

As a governor, I aim to bring my business experience, energy and passion to support and encourage our students to be the best they can be. During my career, I have worked with some amazing women. It's often those with a good educational grounding, breadth of interests, as well as strong values and the confidence to be themselves, that are most able to fulfil their potential in the work environment and make a real difference.

I grew up in Beaconsfield, before going to boarding school and working for The Body Shop. The founder, Anita Roddick was a huge inspiration, encouraging free thinking, hard work and taking responsibility for yourself and the world. I later did voluntary work with a Romanian orphanage charity she founded.

I loved the excitement of work and was offered a great opportunity to join Cable and Wireless. They sponsored me to study marketing and I later became a chartered marketer. After 8 years, including having twin boys, I joined BT in 1998, leading various marketing teams and also had a daughter. In 2005 I became Director of Regulatory Affairs for BT and in 2012 moved to HR, to lead employee engagement and a culture transformation programme. From 2014 to 2017, I was on Openreach's executive team, initially as Director Communications and Public Affairs, where I was responsible for external communications, public affairs, sustainability and charity and volunteering work. I then led governance changes for Openreach to become legally separate from BT, as part of a regulatory agreement between BT and Ofcom.

In 2018, I joined Camelot, operator of the National Lottery, as Director of Regulatory Affairs - I love that our business purpose is to 'change lives', both for winners and to maximise returns for good causes.

My husband and I live in Gerrards Cross. Our three children are all now at university, including our daughter who was at Becky High for seven great years.

ALISON HOOD

Appointed Governor *
Joined: July 2016
Member of the Education & Outcomes Committee

I was brought up on the Wirral and after school I went on to study Biochemistry at Queen Mary Westfield, UL. After graduating, I worked as a research scientist,  running a project on dental composite resins for the Dean of Dentistry at Sydney University, but when my boss moved to the USA it was time to come back to the UK.  After taking an MSc in Intellectual Property Law, I then requalified as a solicitor, working initially in private practice as an IP specialist then moving in-house to the biotech/pharma sector.  Following three years in the USA with my husband and two children, we moved back to the UK in September 2013 and my daughter started in Year 7 at Beaconsfield High School (still jet lagged I suspect!).  We now live in Beaconsfield and I work part-time as legal advisor for several small biotech companies.

The significance of excellent teaching was brought home to me when my daughter was at primary school.  I volunteered at her school to provide maths support for Years 5 and 6, and realized that without the support of some truly committed teachers, some children would always think they were ‘no good at maths’ and it was fantastic to see these children gain in skills and confidence at such a key age.    

As a governor, I am committed to helping the growth and development of BHS, and help all our students to achieve the very best they can.   

CLARE LEWIS

Appointed Governor
Joined: March 2008; re-elected March 2012
Member of  the Education & Outcomes Committee 

I have lived in Beaconsfield for sixteen years and have three daughters and one son. My 3 daughters have all attended Beaconsfield High School. My eldest daughter is currently studying medicine at Imperial College London and has recently graduated with a first for her BSc in Cardiovascular Medicine. My second daughter is studying English Literature and Classical Civilisations at Leeds.

Prior to having children, I worked at British Petroleum plc as a Business Analyst, and have lived with my husband in London and Buckinghamshire. I also lived in Chicago for three years and am familiar with expatriate schooling issues.

There are several reasons why I wished to become a parent governor, not least to maintain a degree of personal challenge and development outside of a full time role as a parent. I believe that schools need the support of community members to help maintain their standards but also as a ‘critical friend’ to ensure the needs of the community and parents are being addressed, as well as the needs of the school itself.

I have also served as a parent governor at Butler’s Court School, where I was also Chair of the governing body. I believe that there should be good communication between the parents and the school on all aspects of school life, and that schools need the help and support of parents.

Beaconsfield High School has a very high reputation with an excellent academic record and I feel it is important to maintain this and also to prepare the girls for the modern adult world they will enter.

I always try to represent parents’ interests as far as possible but also recognise and accept the broader spectrum of activities of the governing body.

BHUPENDRA PATEL

Appointed Governor
Joined: September 2018
Member of the Education & Outcomes Committee

I am delighted to have been invited to join the governor team at Beaconsfield High School and in doing so, being given the opportunity to contribute to a remarkable school.

I studied Biochemistry at Royal Holloway, University of London and after graduating I worked as a research scientist at Hammersmith Hospital, London. After a few years, I changed direction and moved to into healthcare industry following completion of an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.

My career in healthcare industry has spanned global pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics businesses working for Abbott Laboratories and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) including living and working in the US for over 5 years. At J&J I led global teams for new product commercialisation and launch including spending several years leading development of marketing excellence in the pharmaceuticals sector worldwide. At present, I am a freelance strategy consultant and executive coach.

As a governor, I am excited to contribute to the development of the school and the growth of the students, bringing to bear my experience in the global corporate arena including a stint as an associate lecturer at Open University Business School.

Outside of work, I enjoy ‘motorhoming’ which provides a great degree of freedom and adventure to connect with nature.

CHARLES PYBUS

Appointed Governor
Joined: February 2017 
Member of the Finance & Resources Committee

I am honoured to be a governor of Beaconsfield High School and very much hope I can contribute to the further development of this wonderful school.
I grew up in a family of four children in Surrey and Devon, taking A Levels in maths and sciences, and rowing competitively for my school, including at Henley.

Following school, I read law at Exeter University, and on graduating changed course and joined KPMG as an articled clerk to train as an accountant. I stayed with KPMG for 25 years and one of my first roles was on the audit of Eurotunnel while it was still being built, which involved taking the ferry to Calais at the start of every week and following the tunnelling progress (and associated costs!). That led to a career working on the financing of major infrastructure: schools, hospitals, telecoms, IT, and defence projects, which included three years in Hong Kong and two years in New Delhi, India, where among many other things, we had our first child, a girl. After KPMG, I joined central government, working for the Department of Energy and Climate Change running a scheme for the development of renewable energy projects, and more recently advising on the funding of railways.

On our return from India, we moved from West London to Maidenhead for more space for ourselves and our dog, a dachshund we brought back from India, and our second daughter who was born in Reading. We live in Bray, just outside Maidenhead, and our two girls are currently at school in Windsor. Outside of work we enjoy travelling, mainly to Europe, boating, cycling, occasional fishing in Devon, and supporting the Maidenhead branch of the Royal British Legion.

KIRSTY ROONEY

Co-opted Governor
Joined: September 2019
Member of the Education & Outcomes Committee

I moved to London after studying Zoology at the University of Dundee. Following graduation, I chose to pursue a career in teaching and completed my PGCE at the University of Brunel to qualify as a teacher of Biology. I went on to work in a diverse range of schools, from an inner city London Academy to John Hampden Grammar School in Buckinghamshire. Currently I work at Magdalen College School in Oxford, and also perform the role of Head of Lower Sixth Form.

A quote that underpins my teaching ethos comes from Jean Piaget, “The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and discover, to create men (and women) who are capable of doing new things”. My experiences within the education sector have inspired me to become a Governor at Beaconsfield High school and I was delighted to join the team in September. My commitment to education and striving for excellence has motived me to apply the knowledge I have gained through my own experiences to benefit not only the pupils I teach. but also to share my expertise and skillset with Beaconsfield High School. I hope to continue contributing to the school’s thriving and nurturing environment for pupils and staff.

DEBBIE STARRS

Appointed Governor
Joined December 2017
Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee

I was born in Kent, and attended Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School, where I was heavily involved in the drama department, performing in a number of plays, which cemented a life-long interest in the theatre.  

I went on to Somerville College, Oxford, where I read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Whilst there, I rowed for college, produced a play, and wrote for the university paper. I harboured aspirations to be an actress, but harsh reality led me into management consultancy instead. I worked for many years for Accenture, a global consulting services company, where I specialised in strategic planning and leadership development.  

After a career break to raise a family, I decided to change direction, and became involved with two local primary schools, both as a governor, and working with children with special educational needs. I believe education should be about providing students with great opportunities to develop their talents in a positive environment. I am excited about being part of the governing team at Beaconsfield High, supporting the staff to provide all girls with a remarkable education.   

I am married with a daughter at university, a teenage son and an extremely badly-behaved Labrador. In my spare time, I enjoy running and spinning, and have recently been attempting to reconnect with my creative side through an art course and creative writing classes.