Current Governors and Associates

Ian BuckleyA chartered accountant, I have worked as Finance Director for a number of private companies within the media and entertainment sectors. I spent five years as a Governor and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee at a school in Middlesex specialising in creative industries.

I live in Hadlow and am married with three sons – the youngest is currently at TWGSB. I have also been actively involved with Tonbridge Juddians Rugby Club for many years, currently volunteering as Fixtures Secretary for the junior age groups.

Type of governor: Co-opted
Date of appointment: 6 December 2021
Current term: 6 December 2021–5 December 2025
Committee membership 2023/24: Resources Committee (Chair)
Monitoring focus: Finance, Maths
Declarable interests: None

Keith DitchamBoth my children and I are alumni of the school. I have spent a long career, both in the UK and abroad, working alongside government on a range of security and justice-related issues. I have recently completed a doctorate focused on the exploitation of children and safeguarding measures to protect them.

As a governor, I wish to contribute to ensuring the children of the school get the best opportunity to reach their full potential and lead successful and rewarding lives in whatever avenue they pursue afterwards.

Type of governor: Co-opted 
Date of first appointment: 16 June 2010
Current term: 4 October 2022–3 October 2026
Committee membership 2023/24: Curriculum and Standards Committee
Monitoring focus: Safeguarding, English and Literacy
Declaration of interests: None

Phillip Drew

I am retired, having been a Business Development Director with a major professional services firm in London and am a Fellow of the ICAEW, with 12 years experience in audit. I have an MBA from the University of Warwick and have completed a PhD at Cranfield School of Management.

Since my retirement, in addition to my responsibilities as Chair at TWGSB, I have become Vice-Chair of Governors at Pembury Primary School and have continued to mentor Warwick Business School students and alumni in their international mentoring programme.

I live in Tunbridge Wells and am married with three sons; the eldest attended TWGSB and graduated with an English degree from Goldsmiths College. I am currently undertaking a MSc in Global Development with the Open University.

Type of governor: Local Authority Appointed
Date of first appointment: 1 January 2004 
Current term: 25 April 2020–24 April 2024
Committee membership 2023/24: Resources Committee
Monitoring focus: Chair of Governors, Technology, Risk Management, Marketing and Communication
Declarable interests: Vice-Chair of Governors, Pembury Primary School; Executive member for Tunbridge Wells for the Kent Governor Association

Peter FallonI have a decade of experience in corporate finance and M&A roles in the city and have now spent several years working in the public sector, where my current role involves supporting the UK government's oversight and governance of a variety of arms' length bodies, including the UK Infrastructure Bank and the new Sizewell C nuclear power station.

I grew up in the area and attended a school in Tonbridge. I have an MA from the University of Oxford and have recently moved back to the area with my wife and two young children.

Type of governor: Co-opted
Date of first appointment: 3 October 2023
Current term: 3 October 2023–2 October 2027
Committee membership 2023/24: Resources Committee
Monitoring focus: Science
Declarable interests: Employed by UK Government Investments

Nathan GrifitthisI have over 20 years' experience in public transport as a senior commercial leader for both transport authorities and private operators. I currently sit on the executive team for a railway operator and my role is to ensure that all commercial and stakeholder interests are aligned across the various programmes and levels of governance – relevant experience that I hope to bring to the school. I have a keen interest in music and sport. 

Type of governor: Associate Member
Date of first appointment: 8 February 2022
Current term: 7 February 2023–6 February 2025
Committee membership 2023/24: Resources Committee
Monitoring focus: Music
Declarable interests: None

Fiona HawkesI had the privilege of joining TWGSB in 2014 as Head of Religion and Philosophy. Prior to this, I had worked in academies in Dartford and Chislehurst for 14 years.  

I am very passionate about being the staff governor and thoroughly enjoy being an active member of staff who embodies the school vision and values and aims to have a positive impact on students, staff and other stakeholders. 

Type of governor: Elected Staff
Date of first appointment: 30 September 2019
Current term: 4 October 2023–3 October 2027
Committee membership: Curriculum and Standards Committee
Monitoring focus: Student Mental Health and Well-being
Declarable interests: None

Olly jacksonI joined TWGSB as Deputy Headteacher in September 2022 having spent six years as Senior Leader in a Kent boys’ grammar school and one year in a London independent school. My leadership experience spans a variety of pastoral and academic roles and a key focus of my experience has been driving academic improvement in already high achieving schools.

Type of governor: Associate Member
Date of first appointment: 4 October 2022
Current term: 4 October 2022–3 October 2026
Committee membership 2023/24:Curriculum and Standards Committee
Declarable interests: None

David madinAfter 41 years of teaching at TWGSB, during which time I was Head of Year, I retired in 2009. I apply my teaching experience and knowledge of educational strategy to my role supporting PE and behaviour at the school. I enjoy an active retirement.

Type of governor: Co-opted
Date of first appointment: 11 September 2010
Current term: 6 December 2020–5 December 2024
Committee membership 2023/24: Curriculum and Standards Committee
Monitoring focus: Behaviour, Stretch and Challenge Across the Curriculum, PE
Declarable interests: None

Martin susie govI am an experienced MD, and Board Chair: a leader in public sector and policy conferences, including for Education and Children’s Services. I am also a consultant, focusing on business planning, strategy, trend forecasting and content, and leadership and management. I am Chair at Knowledge Exchange Group, which devises policy conferences, equality and diversity events, and topical training, to cross-sector audiences.  I guide the business and provide thought leadership on content. 

I have a history degree, and am nearing completion on the writing of a political murder mystery trilogy. I have Parent Governor experience, gained at a primary school and have twin boys at TWGSB and live in Tunbridge Wells. 

Type of governor: Parent Governor
Date of first appointment: 8 December 2022
Current term: 8 December 2022–7 December 2026
Committee membership 2023/24: Resources
Monitoring focus: Careers
Declarable interests: None

Lorrae mccullaghI joined TWGSB as Deputy Headteacher in April 2018 having worked as a Senior Leader and in school improvement in several secondary schools with different contexts. My work in school improvement involved consultancy and outreach work across the South East.

Type of governor: Associate Member
Date of first appointment: 12 September 2018
Current term: 4 October 2022–3 October 2026
Committee membership 2023/24: Curriculum and Standards Committee
Declarable interests: None

Anna laila paceI am married with two boys, one of whom attends TWGSB. I have lived in Tunbridge Wells since 2011.

Since moving here, I have been working for a Kent Education provider where my current role is curriculum leader across various fields of study. Prior to this I was in London and worked as a wholesale account manager for a very well-known and established fashion designer. I hold a degree in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature and teaching qualifications for all school grades.

Type of governor: Co-opted
Date of first appointment: 6 December 2021
Current term: 6 December 2021–5 December 2025
Committee membership: Curriculum and Standards Committee
Monitoring focus: Modern Foreign Languages, SEND and Vulnerable Students
Declarable interests: None

Governor ruth pettifer cropped A Scientific Adviser at the UK Ministry of Defence, my specialisms are Defence Strategy and the analysis of Energetic Materials. Before joining the MOD in September 2003, I spent 19 years working at QinetiQ. I was appointed as a Senior Fellow for outstanding and innovative achievements in the analysis of energetic materials, my national and international recognition, and the value of my work to MOD, QinetiQ and more widely. My PhD, entitled 'The Complex Degradation of Hybrid Propellants', was awarded by Imperial College London and I am a Chartered Chemist. Away from work I am the match day reporter for Maidstone United and enjoy long-distance walks.

Type of governor: Co-opted
Date of appointment: 28 November 2023
Current term: 28 November 2023–27 November 2027
Committee membership 2023/24: Curriculum and Standards Committee
Monitoring focus: to be confirmed
Declarable interests: None

Fifi robertsCurrently a lawyer for the Government Legal Department, I trained in private practice, qualifying into an intellectual property litigation team in 2015. In 2017 I joined GLD  and have held posts within the Science and Intellectual Property Team, advising the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Intellectual Property Office and within the Human Rights team advising the Ministry of Justice. I obtained my LLB at the University of Kent and have a Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice from the University of Oxford.

I live in Tunbridge Wells and am married with two children. I am passionate about education and giving back to the community.

Type of governor: Co-opted Governor
Date of appointment: 4 October 2022
Current term: 4 October 2022–3 October 2026
Committee membership 2023/24: Curriculum & Standards Committee
Monitoring focus: English and Literacy
Declarable interests: None

Bhaskar shankar governorAn IT Programme Director by profession, currently consulting with a well-known CPG organisation with a global presence.  I've lived and worked in four continents and London has been home to our family for the last 13 years.  I hold a Civil Engineering degree from India.

I've been volunteering with our local Scout group, since 2017 as a Group Committee Member. I'm married to Swati, and we have a son who goes to the Sevenoaks campus, and a younger daughter. I enjoy playing racquet games and cricket at club level

Type of governor: Parent Governor
Date of appointment: 8 February 2022
Current term: 4 October 2022–3 October 2026
Committee membership 2023/24: Resources Committee
Monitoring focus: Design Technology, ICT
Declarable interests: None

Clare sinhaI am a management consultant by background, specialising in strategy and governance. I spent many years working virtually and commuting across the Atlantic, assisting the Board Chair of an international professional services firm. I now provide independent consultancy advice on governance and board processes.

I live near Tunbridge Wells and have two adult children, both of whom attended local grammar schools. 

Type of governor: Co-opted
Date of appointment: 12 September 2019
Current term: 11 September 2023–10 September 2025
Committee Membership 2023/24: Curriculum and Standards Committee (Vice-Chair), Headteacher Review Panel, Pay Committee (Chair)
Monitoring focus: Governor Skills and Development, Science
Declarable interests: None

Petra slukaI moved to London as a German language assistant in 1986 and moved into publishing a year later. I have worked in UK publishing ever since and currently run my own Literary Scouting Agency, covering the UK market for a number of European publishers.

Type of governor: Co-opted
Date of  first appointment: 6 November 2008
Current term: 6 December 2020–5 December 2024
Committee membership 2023/24: Joint Vice-Chair of the Full Governing Body, Curriculum and Standards Committee (Chair), Headteacher Review Panel and Pay Committee
Monitoring focus: Modern Foreign Languages, Use of Data, SEND and Vulnerable Students
Declarable interests: None

Carolyn steerI graduated with a degree in Russian before working in a number of senior management roles in customer service and operations, leaving full-time work in 2007 to take time out with my children. From 2008 to 2016 I was a parent governor at my children's primary school. I am now the Business Development Manager for the child bereavement charity Jigsaw (South East). I have a son at TWGSB and a daughter at another local school. I love languages and travelling.  

Type of governor: Co-opted
Date of first appointment: 9 March 2018
Current term: 6 December 2021–5 December 2025
Committee membership 2023/24: Curriculum and Standards Committee
Monitoring focus: Design Technology, Student Mental Health and Well-being
Declarable interests: None 

Daniel wass governorTunbridge Wells is my home town. After graduating from Leeds University, I returned to the South East ahead of a 20 years (and increasing!) stint in Financial Services, working across the breadth of consumer products. I have a strong track record of success in leadership, digital transformation and employee engagement.

Married with two sons, I enjoy as much time with the family as possible – travelling, fitness, music and cricket. 

Type of governor: Associate Member
Date of first appointment: 8 February 2022
Current term: 7 February 2023–6 February 2025
Committee membership 2023/24: Resources Committee
Monitoring focus: Maths
Declarable interests: None