Governance - Amesbury School

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Amesbury School (Amesbury School Trust Limited) is a registered charitable Trust formed in 1970. The governance of Amesbury (Amesbury School Trust Limited) is in the hands of a governing body consisting of a Chairman and at present thirteen fellow governors. There is a broad mix of skills and experience but with a strong emphasis on Business, Finance and Education.



I have had an association with Amesbury for 20 years, firstly, as a parent of three Amesbury pupils and since 2009 as a School Governor.  I was appointed as Chairman in 2013.  In that time, I have seen our school grow in every conceivable and positive way.  It remains a wonderful place to be associated with and an important part of my life – even though sadly I no longer attend match teas as a parent.

Our Common Room buzzes with talent, our estate integrates the best of traditional and contemporary architecture but most satisfying of all is to experience the Amesbury spirit that has been a constant for decades and, we think a principal point of difference between us and other local independent schools.

Whilst our focus is always on the children, it is inherent on us as Governors to ensure Amesbury meets its regulatory obligations, remains a safe, happy and supportive place for pupils and is best placed to plan and pay for its future.

We work alongside the Head and his Senior Leadership Team to enable the school to maintain a healthy financial trading position, remain competitive in our market, undertake investment that enhances our offer and attract the best talent to our Common Room. Our role is that of a critical friend, there to act as a sounding board but also to keep the school focused on programmes and projects that will deliver the greatest value to children and parents.

I work with a very talented Board of Governors to achieve these aims and it is a privilege and pleasure to do so.  You can read about each in the profiles set out below.

Tarquin Henderson, Chair of Governors



Tarquin Henderson

Chair of Amesbury’s Board of Governors

Tarquin joined the Board in 2009 and became Chairman in 2013. He set up and chaired (until 2014) the school’s first Marketing Committee and now sits on the Finance, Building, Nominations & Governance and Education Committees.

A 27-year career in Public Relations was followed in 2010 by Tarquin setting up a new business in sustainable energy/renewables consulting, which has, amongst others, advised over 30 independent schools on sustainability strategy.  Having left ReEnergise in 2018, he continues to work as an advisor to businesses on Environmental and Social Governance (ESG).

Tarquin is also Chair of the Chair of Governors Forum – a group comprising the Chairpersons of 50 Prep and Senior independent schools across Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire.

His three children were all educated at Amesbury. His two sons went on to The Portsmouth Grammar School. Charlie is now at Imperial College studying for a PhD after reading Chemistry at Warwick University. Ned is reading American Studies at UEA. His daughter, Lily, is at Liverpool University reading Zoology having attended Seaford and Godalming College.


Simon Miller

Deputy Chair of Amesbury’s Board of Governors. Education Committee

Simon joined the Board in 2006. He sits on the Education Committee. A solicitor, he spent a decade at a major City of London law firm and is now Managing Director, Head of Legal and Compliance at a bank in the City. His two sons were educated at Amesbury; Jamie went on to RGS Guildford on an academic scholarship, studied medicine at University College London and is now a doctor, having completed a PhD at the UCL Institute of Neurology.  Tom went on to The Portsmouth Grammar School, studied History at the University of Birmingham and now works for an international trade consultancy, having spent time in Japan teaching English and learning Japanese.


Alison Appelboam Meadows 

Education Committee and advisor to School’s Marketing Committee

Alison joined the Board of Governors in 2017. She chairs the Marketing Committee and sits on the Education Committee. Having graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Experimental Psychology, she subsequently qualified as a solicitor and, after training with a City law firm, is now a Partner at Penningtons Manches Cooper  LLP.

She was an Amesbury parent for almost 20 years, with all three sons, Oliver, Albie and Fabian, attending Amesbury before going onto The Portsmouth Grammar School. Oliver obtained a degree from Exeter University before attending law school and is now embarking on a career as a lawyer. Albie is at university and Fabian is working towards his A’ Levels. Having  experienced her children taking Common Entrance  and undertaking the Pre Senior Baccalaureate at Amesbury,  she is passionate about children accessing education which helps them to achieve their full potential,  in whatever field that might lie.


Chris Bennie

Chair, Building Committee

Chris has been a Governor and Chair of Building Committee since 2004. He has overseen an extensive and transformational programme of refurbishment, new buildings and general improvement of the school estate.  A chartered architect, he was a Principal in a large London-based architectural practice, working across a wide range of projects in both public and private sectors, before retiring from the partnership in 2020, after forty years with the firm. He holds or has held non-executive directorships and trusteeships in property, insurance, tech, pensions and education sectors.

Married to Wendy, their twin sons Charles and Alexander enjoyed their formative years of education at Amesbury before both moved on via academic scholarships to the Royal Grammar School in Guildford. Charles read history at Oxford and Alex read Classics at UCL/Cambridge before both embarked upon law qualifications and careers in the legal profession. Alex was called to the Bar at Inner Temple in 2017.


Matthew Bryan

Chair, Safeguarding Committee, Education Committee

Matthew joined the Board in 2019 and is the designated Governor responsible for Safeguarding. He chairs the Safeguarding committee and sits on the Education committee. Matthew is Headmaster at Longacre, a co-educational prep school in Shamley Green, Surrey. He taught Latin and Greek at Hampton and King’s, Wimbledon before moving to the prep sector. Outside of the Classics, he is a keen cyclist and marathon runner and enjoys participating in sports of all kinds, from bridge to badminton. He has a son at Eton and a daughter at Longacre, a black Labrador called Horace and a deep sense of trepidation having just agreed to a new Cavapoo puppy called Hero.


Karen Davies

Chair, Education Committee

Karen joined the Board in 2019 and Chairs the School’s Education Committee. Karen has been Deputy Head (Pastoral) at Charterhouse since September 2018 and was previously Academic & Pastoral Principal at The Royal Ballet School for five years. Karen read English Literature at Girton College, Cambridge before working in banking for a period of time.  She then completed an MBA at Warwick Business School and worked as a management consultant for almost fifteen years, specialising in leadership and managing change in industries as diverse as industrial services and ballroom dancing costume design.  Eventually she saw sense and became a teacher.  She is a passionate believer in co-education and has two grown-up children who were educated at Swanbourne House Prep, Millfield School and Cheltenham College.  Her daughter is now also a teacher and her son a manager in the hospitality industry.


Richard Green

Chair of Nominations and Governance Committee. Finance Committee.

Richard joined the Board in 2018 and sits on the Finance Committee.    A Chartered Accountant and former Partner in Ernst & Young, he has held a number of appointments as Finance Director, CEO, Non-Executive Director and Chairman in a wide range of businesses.  He has a wealth of experience as a School Governor, having served on four boards over the past 30 years.  He has been Chairman of two independent schools and Chairman of the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools.   He regularly speaks at conferences on all aspects of school governance and currently advises schools on governance issues.


Deborah Livsey

Education Committee

Deborah joined the board in 2012, previously the safeguarding governor, she now sits on the Education committee. A law degree from Exeter University was followed by a career in finance and management in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo, she has worked in a voluntary capacity for the NSPCC and as a trustee for Send Family ink, a charity supporting families and specifically children with a mother in prison. She is currently the CEO of The New Model School Company which owns and operates two London prep schools. She has three sons (all ex -Amesburians), who went on to Charterhouse and then to Manchester, Newcastle and Cambridge universities.


Mark Milliken-Smith Q.C.

Nominations and Governance Committee

Mark became a Governor in 2013. Having graduated in law from Bristol University, he has practised as a barrister since 1986, specialising in crime, financial crime, professional discipline and sports law. He was appointed a Recorder in 2004, took Silk in 2006, and sits on the ECB’s Cricket Discipline Commission. Mark is a Governor of Wellington College, and a Trustee of the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation and the Hazelhurst Trust.

Both his children, Sam and Kate, were educated at Amesbury, going on to Wellington College and then Oxford University. In his work at Amesbury, Mark is a member of the Nominations Committee, and also focusses on Risk, the Common Room and the wider Amesburian Community.”


Susie Perrett

Nominations and Governance Committee

Having trained as a Primary school teacher at Durham University, Susie began her career working for Bass PLC undertaking a number of roles from retail operations to brand management. On completing her MBA at Lancaster, with a focus on Leadership and Executive Coaching, she worked for a boutique consultancy delivering change management training for 2 years, before joining the International Business Leaders Forum. From 2006-2017 she worked for Business in the Community, running their Business Action on Homelessness campaign and delivery programme across the country until 2013. Her final years there were spent running their Education work, partnering disadvantaged schools across the country with long term business partners to improve outcomes for the children.

Her two children joined Amesbury in 2016 and Susie joined the Board of Governors with a particular interest in Education and People Development


Mark Toms

Advisor to School Health and Safety Committee

Mark joined the Board in April 2020 to bring both his medical and leadership experience to the work of the board.  Mark began his career as a British Army medical officer, and then continued as a civilian hospital doctor, specialising in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine. With an interest in both leadership and clinical medicine, Mark left the NHS about 13 years ago to pursue a career in pharmaceutical medicine. He remains on the GMC register with a licence to practice medicine, and in his current work for a multinational pharmaceutical company, he uses his medical expertise to drive innovation in global research and development programmes.

Both of Mark’s children have experienced Amesbury from nursery right the way through the school: his son left last year at the end of year 8 and is now studying for his GCSEs at Seaford College. Mark’s daughter is still in year 8 at Amesbury. Mark joined the board of Governors hoping to contribute to the success of a school that his children have loved, bringing both a parents‘ perspective to the work of the board as well as his medical experience to the health and safety of the school.


Rob Ward

Chair, Finance Committee

Rob is chair of Amesbury School’s Finance Committee and joined the Board in 2012. He has worked in the accounting profession for 35 years, having been a partner since 2000, initially with PwC and latterly at EY. Rob specialises in Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy and is based in London.

He has been married to Alison for 32 years and their 3 children were all educated at Amesbury. Ben, their eldest son went to Box Hill School and studied civil engineering at Plymouth University. Bethaney, their daughter went to St Catherine’s Bramley and studied psychology at Leeds University. Harrison their youngest son went to Millfield School and is currently in his final year at Canterbury Christ Church University reading sports coaching science.


Mark Whitby 

Advisor to School Digital Committee

Mark joined the Board in 2013 to chair a new Digital Committee to help provide focus for the school’s long-term approach to the provision of IT as a subject, an aid to learning and as the backbone to the school’s communication and information systems. He currently sits on the Board of a number of fast growth technology companies having previously worked for many years in various executive roles in multi-national companies such as Intel, Vodafone and Seagate. He is also a Governor at Box Hill School and a volunteer coach in the Teach First Program.

His son and daughter were both educated at Amesbury and subsequently at Lord Wandsworth College. His son graduated from Oxford Brookes University and is now a Year 3 teacher at Amesbury, and his daughter recently graduated from the University of Bath. Mark is also an active member of the Sunday night parents’ indoor football at Amesbury.



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