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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, Chair of Finance & Resources Committee and Member of the Student Learning & Wellbeing 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 and Member of Student Learning & Wellbeing 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 Staff & Communication Committee, Student Learning & Wellbeing Committee and Finance & Resources 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!

Student Learning & Wellbeing Committee

CLARE LEWIS

Parent Governor
Joined: March 2008; re-elected March 2012
Chair of Student Learning & Wellbeing Committee and Member of Staff & Communication Committee

I have lived in Beaconsfield for eleven years and have three daughters and one son. Two of my daughters are at Beaconsfield High School in years 9 and 11. My eldest daughter graduated from Beaconsfield High School in 2014 and is currently studying medicine.

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.

LORRAINE COUVES

Appointed Governor
Joined: 2010
Chair of Governors, Chair of Finance & Resources Committee and Member of the Student Learning & Wellbeing Committee

(See profile above)

MICHAEL EDWARDS

Appointed Governor*
Joined: February 2015 
Vice-Chair of Governors and Member of Student Learning & Wellbeing Committee

(See profile above)

ZOË BARROWS

Parent Governor
Joined: November 2012
Member of Student Learning & Wellbeing Committee

I grew up in Birmingham before moving to Ruislip, Middlesex and attending Bishop Ramsey C of E VA School. After that I went to Christ Church College, University of Kent, Canterbury and did a combined Religious Studies and Teaching degree.

During the following 15 years I taught at a number of schools 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 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 for the past twelve years have run my own private tuition business as well as working in Film, Theatre and TV as a tutor. 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 and walking.

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; two sons who are now at University and a daughter who is in the Sixth Form at BHS. 

JANET DIXON

Staff Governor
Joined: April 2015
Member of the Student Learning & Wellbeing Committee

I was born and grew up in Belfast and attended Grosvenor Grammar School, which was a mixed grammar school. After which I went to Leicester University to read Geography and Geology, and then attended Leicester School of Education for my PGCE in Geography with Mathematics. I remained in Leicester to teach Geography for six years in a 14-18 mixed Community College, during which time I was on a part secondment to Leicestershire County Council to introduce and develop the use of ICT in Humanities Education. After that I moved to Beaconsfield High School and have had a wide range of roles and responsibilities especially in the achieving of our various specialisms and writing successful bids for further specialist college funding and for new funding.

Geography is my passion and as a result I have a real love of travelling, especially to places where few have visited, most recently to North Korea where only about 2,000 people access each year. During my visit I had the privilege of teaching English to a group of 15 year old students and sharing my knowledge of the “outside world”. This knowledge and understanding of different places and people enriches my teaching and gives the students a wider view of the world.

Finance & Resources Committee

LORRAINE COUVES

Appointed Governor
Joined: 2010
Chair of Governors, Chair of Finance & Resources Committee and Member of the Student Learning & Wellbeing Committee

(See profile above)

 

JAMES MORTON

Appointed Governor
Joined: May 2017 
Member of Finance & Resources Committee

Brought up in the North East of England, I attended the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle and then, after spending a ‘Year in Industry’, followed in a family tradition of reading Engineering at St. John’s College, Cambridge. On graduation, I took a change of direction, going on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young before moving on to a number of Finance and Strategy roles in the Television Broadcast and Home Entertainment industry.

My interest in serving as a governor stems from a lifelong love of learning, which was nurtured in particular by my mother and two of my aunts, all of whom are teachers. Moving out of London to Beaconsfield with my wife and two young sons acted as the trigger for me to seek out an opportunity to contribute to a local school and put down roots in the local community, and I am delighted to have the chance to do so at as remarkable an organisation as Beaconsfield High School.

CHARLES PYBUS

Appointed Governor
Joined: February 2017 
Member of 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.

GEMMA DAVIES

Staff Governor
Joined: November 2016
Member of Finance & Resources Committee

I am originally from a small town in South Wales and attended Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, a mixed comprehensive school. I completed my undergraduate degree in Product Design where my continued passion for design flourished. After completing my degree I moved on to begin my PGCE in Secondary Design and Technology, training in mixed rural and city comprehensive schools; these a lot different to Beaconsfield High!

I’m currently a teacher of Graphics at BHS and love to see the constant creative flow from each of the students within our lessons. I truly believe teachers can have a great impact on the lives of young people. If it wasn’t for the belief one of my teachers had in me some time ago, I wouldn’t be where I am now. This makes me passionate to be the best teacher I can be and encourages me to play an active part in making BHS a remarkable place for our students to learn and grow in. It’s a true pleasure to be a part of the BHS Governance team.   

 

Staff & Communication Committee

GABY HEPPNER-LOGAN

Co-opted Governor*
Joined: October 2015 
Joint 2nd Vice Chair of Governors, Member of Staff & Communication Committee

As a governor, I hope to be able to bring my business experience, energy and passion to help and encourage young people to be the best they can be. 
During my career, I have worked with some amazing women. It's often those women with a good educational grounding, strong values and the confidence to be themselves, who are most able to fulfil their potential in the work environment and make a real difference.

I grew up in Beaconsfield, before going to Frensham Heights School in Surrey and working for The Body Shop in my holidays. 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 also spent my gap year working for The Body Shop opening team in New York and then went travelling in America, Australia and Asia.

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. 
In 2014, I joined Openreach, BT's infrastructure and network division, as Director Communications and Public Affairs, where I was responsible for external communications, public affairs, sustainability and charity and volunteering work.

My husband and I live in Gerrards Cross with our 3 children, who are all very involved in sport - one of whom is in the Sixth Form at Becky High.

ALISON HOOD

Appointed Governor *
Joined: July 2016
Joint 2nd Vice Chair of Governors, Member of Staff & Communication 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.  

CHRIS EDMONDS

Co-opted Governor*
Joined: October 2015 
Member of Staff & Communication Committee

Having attended Watford Boys Grammar School, I am a passionate believer in the grammar school system and specifically about engagement in science by young people. I have 3 daughters, one of whom is at BHS and is extremely happy. My younger two daughters attend St Nicholas CoE School in Taplow and I hope will follow their sister to BHS. Being a governor enables me to play an active part in ensuring that the school’s future is secure and that the high standards achieved over the years are maintained.

I was in born in Radlett, Hertfordshire where I grew up with my parents and two brothers, one elder and one younger. I moved to Berkshire in the mid-90’s and lived in Maidenhead for a few years, before moving to Taplow where the family home remains.

I have a 20-year background in healthcare, including experience in practice and as a pioneer of e-learning in eye care. I currently head up emotive., a multi-award winning healthcare communications agency working with leading global and EMEA life sciences companies, including medical device and rare disease specialists.

Having previously founded one of the largest providers of Continuing Education & Training for the optical profession and the pioneer of e-learning in this market, I now sit on the boards of two healthcare focused companies involved in training, publications and conferences. I am also on the Executive Committee of the PM Society, an industry body promoting excellence in pharmaceutical medical communications and marketing.

SANJIV GOHIL

Parent Governor*
Joined: April 2016
Member of Staff & Communication Committee

Born in Leicestershire, I moved to London 25 years ago. I now live 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 23 years ago, working within both operational and strategic roles. Currently, I am a Detective Inspector/Senior Manager working within Cyber Security for the last 5 years.

My police experience is particularly strong in areas of managing resources, operational delivery, risk management and strategic capability development at a national level. 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 some 15 years. These have contributed to my personal growth and enhanced my Leadership skills.

I regularly contribute to various charity endeavours, am a keen Golfer and have recently developed a passion, learning to play the Piano.

I am looking forward to learning from the Parent Governor role and working together with the other Governors, in contributing to develop the school further. 

CLARE LEWIS

Parent Governor
Joined: March 2008; re-elected March 2012
Chair of Student Learning & Wellbeing Committee and Member of Staff & Communication Committee

(See profile in Student Learning & Wellbeing) 

DEBBIE STARRS

Appointed Governor
Joined December 2017

 

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.