We have a strong, supportive Governing Body of eleven members. Each member of the Governing Body is invited to become a Governor for their particular skills and for their passion and support for the school.
The full Governing Body meets once a term usually towards the end of term.
The Finance Committee also meets once a term and the Education Sub-Committee, which is chaired by the Headmaster, meets twice a year preceding the main GB Meeting. There are some smaller Governors’ steering committees which also meet regularly throughout the school year.
THE EARL OF LEICESTER
Chairman of Governors
Tom Leicester was appointed a Governor of Beeston Hall School in 2007. He took over as Chairman in June 2016. He is an Old Beestonian (73-78), and was the 8th Beestonian to go on to Eton College. He gained a degree in History of Art at Manchester University and then served for six years in the British Army (Scots Guards).
He has lived in Norfolk most of his life and now runs the family’s estate at Holkham on the North Norfolk coast. He has overseen its diversification away from a dependence on agriculture, towards leisure, tourism, wildlife management and property diversification.
Tom is a Trustee on the Board of a number of charities besides Beeston.
He has four children, all of whom have been/are pupils at Beeston. When visiting Beeston for the first time as prospective parents, his wife, Polly, turned to him after an hour of touring the school and said, “There is no need to visit any other school, I know my children will be happy here”. That is the crux of it; if you have happy children they learn well.
DAVID BROWN MA (Cantab), ACA
Chairman of the Finance Committee
After graduating from Jesus College, Cambridge with a degree in History, David joined Arthur Andersen and trained as a chartered accountant, qualifying in 1993. In 2002, he joined Deloitte as a partner and currently leads Deloitte’s real estate tax business in the UK. He sits on a number of strategic advisory and tax technical committees for the Investment Property Forum and other real estate bodies.
He has three daughters, of which two are Old Beestonians and the third is still in the school.
I became a Governor of Beeston in 1999 and was appointed Chairman of the Governing Body in 2004. My involvement with the school followed very soon after I retired as a senior executive from Barclays Bank where I had worked at home and abroad for 37 years, and sprang from a very clear wish to “put something back”. Both my daughters hugely enjoyed their time as boarders at Beeston. They revelled in the ethos of the place and both have continued to benefit from the excellent all-round education they received as they make their way in life.
I was educated at Summer Fields and Winchester College and served as a Short Service Commission Officer in the Royal Green Jackets in Cyprus before embarking on a career in finance. I live a few miles along the coast from the school and derived much satisfaction from my role in leading a team of dedicated and talented colleagues who each bring with them a passion for the school as well as a specific skill or relevant experience to add value to our collective task of ensuring the continuing success and development of Beeston Hall School. I handed over the mantle to Tom Leicester in June 2016 but continue to serve the Governing Body.
I became a Governor at Beeston in 2015, four years after my daughter left following a successful career there. I live nearby in Norfolk and I am keen to help preserve and enhance the excellent reputation of the school and the academic and pastoral care that it offers its pupils. I ran Christie’s Contemporary Art in London earlier in my career before setting up an Art business in Tokyo for a number of years. For the last 10 years I have been a Trustee of the Norfolk Churches Trust in charge of their fundraising/PR arm, and have recently been appointed as an Ambassador (Development Committee) of the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich, where my work will be in education and exhibitions. I am a fluent Spanish speaker and am passionate about how languages are taught in schools. I am aiming to help promote this small but exceptional school to the widest community and audience possible.
After graduating from Cambridge in Natural Sciences, I began my career as a teacher at Sutton Valence School. In 1983 I took up the position of Second Master at Barnard Castle School and in 1988 left to become the Headmaster of Hampton School. In 1997 I was appointed Master of Dulwich College. Having co-chaired the HMC and GSA Education and Academic Policy Committee for three years, I was elected Chairman of HMC in 2003.
I served on the Edexcel Council and the Governing Bodies of Imperial College and Roedean and, on my retirement from Dulwich in 2009, took up the position of Chief Executive of the Alpha Plus Group, an education company that owns a number of schools and colleges in the UK. I am currently Deputy Chairman of the Group. As an Old Beestonian, I am pleased to give back something to the school which provided the foundation for all that followed.
I have spent the whole of my professional life in schools, both as a teacher and working alongside my Head Master husband. Having left Eton last summer I now live in Norfolk full time and am able to devote more time to Beeston Hall, especially in my designated role as Governor with responsibility for boarding. I have been a Governor in a number of schools in both the state and independent sectors.
Geoff Webster has been a Beeston Governor since 2012. Geoff has been working in Higher Education for the past 7 years and is currently Managing Director, Cambridge Education Group Digital Division. CEG Digital partners with prestigious UK universities to deliver online or blended postgraduate courses to a global market on a part-time, flexible basis. Courses are delivered using cutting-edge, tablet friendly technology and sector leading pedagogy. He started his career at Allen & Overy, one of the UK leading international law firms, before spending 12 years in the telecommunications industry in Europe and the USA, serving as AT&T International’s Chief Marketing Officer in 2006-2008. He has always been passionate about education and thoroughly enjoys the contrast between his day job dealing with top UK universities and postgraduate students and the involvement as a parent and Governor at Beeston. He is also an Old Beestonian.
Sophie is an old Beestonian who later graduated from Durham University with a First Class Honours Degree in Combined Social Sciences. She then completed the Graduate Teacher Programme, qualifying with ‘outstanding’. Sophie taught in Early Years and Primary Education for 5 years then joined a social-policy think-tank – The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) – to be their lead researcher on ‘educational failure’. Whilst at the CSJ she further witnessed the blight of illiteracy in the UK. Sophie left the CSJ to create a systematic, synthetic phonics reading scheme, called Hip Hop Hen. Sophie has meticulously researched and written this ground-breaking programme to engage children to read in a fun and highly achievable format.
Jim is a solicitor and a director at a local law firm. He lives in North Norfolk. Although he was educated in Devon, London and Paris his family has a long association with Beeston. Jim and his wife, Mary, have four children; two of whom are currently at Beeston. As well as being a member of Cromer Church, Jim is a keen sportsman and an active hockey and tennis player.
I joined the Board of Governors in 2015, shortly after retiring from a 33 year career in Medicine and am keen to bring that experience to my role as Governor with responsibility for Child Protection. I attended Sheffield University Medical School and then trained and worked in General Practice. In 1989 I married and moved to North Norfolk, working in various practices before joining Cromer. This was initially part time while our sons were young and then as a partner in 1996. For seven years I was also Medical Officer at Beeston. As a parent of two sons who were very happy at Beeston and benefitted greatly from the academic and sporting opportunities there, I am glad to be able to contribute to the ongoing development of this unique school which provides an excellent all-round education for children in their important formative years.
I became a Governor at Beeston in September 2011. After schooling at Neath Boys’ Grammar School in South Wales, I graduated from Durham University in 1978 followed by a PGCE at Emmanuel College Cambridge in 1979. I began my teaching career at Rossall in Lancashire followed by six years at The Leys in Cambridge as Head of Geography from 1985. In 1991, I moved to Oundle as Head of Geography and became Registrar in 2000. I have been visiting Beeston since 1986 and was delighted to become a Governor when asked to do so as Beeston is one of Oundle’s main feeder Prep Schools and I have always enjoyed my dealings and contacts with the School.