Governance - Amesbury School
This website uses cookies Learn more

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.


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.


Laura Buchanan

Photo coming soon

Laura joined the Board in 2022 and is currently the Chief Client Officer for Brunswick, a global consulting firm focused on helping business play a role in the world more successfully.  In this role she’s responsible for capturing the voice of the firm’s 1000+ clients and inputting their priorities into the firm.  Laura was previously a journalist at the BBC and pre-corporate life, taught English as a Foreign Language in Italy and to children in London.

She has three children, including a son still at Amesbury and in her ever-decreasing spare time is passionate supporter of youth projects around the Godalming area.


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.


Divya Kanani-Jones

Photo coming soon.

Divya is Human Resources specialist who is very passionate about HR and by the possibilities that the value of a Strategic People Director brings to all types of organisations.

Divya draws on over 20 years’ experience in Human Resources having progressed from a graduate in HR to Board Level within a number of major corporate brands including Centrica, Electrolux Major Appliances and Sharp Electronics.  She studied Psychology and Sociology as a degree where her interest in employee behaviour began.  Divya holds a Masters’ degree in Human Resource Management from the University of the West of England. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and an established Coach.

Since becoming a Portfolio HR Director in 2016. Divya has since worked with numerous businesses from many industries including independent schools, high growth Tech; Luxury Cosmetics; Engineering; Audio Visual and hospitality businesses. More recently she  wanted to  support the private educational sector as both her boys are currently in a prep school in Berkshire and she recognises the need for HR input at Board level to support the strategic direction.


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.




Susie Perrett

Photo coming soon.

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


Hugh Sturges

Photo coming soon.

Hugh has lived in the Haslemere area for 20 years and has put his three children, Harry, Kate and Lizzie through Amesbury albeit some time ago. Now semi-retired, Hugh’s career, starting with qualification as a chartered accountant at KPMG, has incorporated financial and general management positions in the UK and overseas.

Most of his career has been in the drinks industry, both spirits and fine wine, working for Bacardi, Diageo, Berry Bros & Rudd where he was CEO for 10 years, and most recently Jeroboams where he remains a director. Since stepping down from full time work, Hugh has taken on a governorship at Pond Meadow Academy, a SEND school in Guildford, mentorship at the Drink’s Trust and is a willing helper at Sailability in Frensham.  Married to Sue who has embarked on a late career as a London Blue Badge tour guide, Hugh spends most of his spare time walking the dog (Billie) and trying to find opportunities to get out on the water.


Rob Ward

Deputy Chair and Chair, Finance Committee

Rob is Deputy Chair of Amesbury’s Board of Governors and 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.



Where now?