Mrs Liz Dolby
Chair of Board of Governors (Co-opted Governor)
Term: 06/07/2017 to 05/07/2021
Post Ofsted Action Plan: Leadership and Management
Link Governor: Human Resources (including Communications)
I have been a Bracknell Forest Governor since 1997 and joined the Board of Governors at Garth Hill College in 2003 as a Parent Governor. I am now a Co-opted Governor and was elected Chair of Governors in February 2017.
I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because, having been a governor at my son’s primary school, I was keen to continue that work when he moved to Garth and play an active role in the ongoing success of the College.
We are lucky to have dedicated and talented staff at Garth, led by a very experienced, dedicated and professional Principal and Vice Principal. It is both enjoyable and rewarding to work closely with them and my Governor colleagues with our shared and unwavering goal of ensuring every child achieves their potential and learns to love learning to set them up for a happy and successful life. Working in education has never been boring(!), but in these uncertain times, with the strict financial and regulatory frameworks within which we must operate, we are faced with endless challenges. I feel privileged to dedicate my time and skills to help the whole team at Garth meet and overcome those challenges.
I have a combined honours degree in French and German from Exeter University. Since graduating, I worked as an HR professional for over 30 years, specialising in employment law, policy development, occupational health and latterly shared service operations, before taking early retirement in 2016.
I have lived and worked in Bracknell since 1986. Both my sons have recently graduated from university and are finally flying the nest, so my husband and I are looking forward to indulging in some extended leisure time and enjoying more travelling, wine tasting and music.
Mr Andrew Lebrecht
Co-Vice Chair of Board of Governors (Co-opted Governor)
Term : 27.01.2016 – 26.01.2020
Committees: Chair of Pay Committee, Principal’s Performance Management Committee
Post Ofsted Action Plan: Chair of Governors’ Scrutiny Panel
Link Governor: Science and Technology and Brownlow House
Deputy Link Governor: Business (Finance and IT)
I have been a Governor since early 2016.
I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I wanted to offer the expertise I have as a former civil servant and diplomat to the benefit of the local community. Serving on Garth Hill’s Board of Governors is an ideal way of doing this and I hope I can add real value to the Board.
I enjoy the enthusiasm and positive spirit I find everywhere at Garth Hill. I enjoy working with a college that is well led and well governed but nevertheless faces many challenges to ensure it provides the very best for Bracknell children and the local community over the coming years. I have recently come to live in Bracknell, having spent most of my adult life living in Reading. I have 2 daughters who benefited from excellent State education and are now pursuing interesting careers.
I developed the skills I hope to offer Garth Hill through senior leadership roles in the Department of Environment in London and the UK permanent representation to the EU in Brussels.
Mrs Sarah Mortimer
Co-Vice Chair of Board of Governors (Co-opted Governor)
Term: 09/11/2015 to 08/11/2019
Safeguarding Governor, Development Governor
Committees: Principals Performance Review Panel
Post Ofsted Action Plan: Member of Governors' Scrutiny Panel
Link Governor: L&C &Lawrence EDGE, Careers Education/ Advice and Guidance)
I have been a Governor at Garth Hill College since 2011 (and was previously a Governor at an infant and junior school from 1997 onwards).
I joined the Board of Governors because I am passionate about the value of education and was impressed by Garth. I wanted to use my previous experience as chair of governors to support the school that all my children moved into at age 11.
I enjoy having first-hand knowledge of the school so that I can celebrate the commitment and success of staff and pupils and be involved in improving the school; it’s a privilege.
I have a language degree and training in literacy teaching and supporting learners with special educational needs in Further Education.
I bring enthusiasm, commitment and care to the role, along with a belief that all young people have the right to an excellent education in their local school.
Mr Keith Grainger
Ex Officio Governor (The Principal)
I have been a Governor at Garth Hill College since 2007.
I became an Ex Officio Governor upon my appointment as Principal of Garth Hill College.
I sit on all of the Governing Body committees.
As Principal and Governor, I enjoy working with a wide range of people to provide the best possible educational experience to all of our young people.
I graduated with an Honours degree in Social Science in 1991, and then completed a PGCE course in History, gaining distinction in practice. I began teaching in 1992. I have a Master’s degree in Education Management and attained the National Professional Qualification for Headship. I have been working for Garth Hill College since 2001 and have been Principal since 2007. I have extensive experience of working with many other secondary schools (former PIXL Club Associate and Chair of the Bracknell Forest Secondary Headteachers’ Group). I sit on the Local Safeguarding Children Board and Bracknell Forest Schools’ Forum. I am also a primary school governor. I am married with three children. My interests outside of education include music, military history and Chelsea Football Club.
Dr Gareth Barnard
Local Authority Governor
Term: 01/02/2018 to 31/01/2022
Post Ofsted Action Plan: Behaviour, Personal Development and Welfare
Link Governor: Pupil Personal Development, Behaviour and Wellbeing (including Trips and Visits)
I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I wanted to support our local secondary school as it embarked on a sustained journey of school improvement and to help it meet the aspirations of the young people that attend and the wider community it serves by putting students at the heart of all that the college does. I enjoy meeting the students, sharing their successes, both inside and outside of the College.
I also enjoy watching Garth Hill College grow in confidence, as a truly inclusive school, serving the communities that make up the greater North Bracknell area. I have lived in Whitegrove, Warfield since 1991 and have three children, one attending a local secondary school. I am an Elected Borough, Town and Parish Councillor, with, on the Borough Council, responsibility for School improvement and more widely services for Children and Young People.
I have a background in science, as a chemistry graduate with a PhD from the University of Leeds. I bring an understanding of the School improvement framework, public accountability, knowledge and understanding of science teaching and enthusiasm to serve the wider Garth Hill College community.
Mrs Virginia Bacon
Term: 24/09/2015 to 23/09/2019
Link Governor: Staff Wellbeing
I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because, as a long-standing member of staff at Garth Hill College, I have witnessed the significant progress the College has made in recent years and wanted to contribute to the school’s future further development as a staff governor.
I was appointed Staff Governor in September 2015 and am looking forward to supporting the College.
I have lived in the local area within walking distance of Garth Hill College for nearly thirty years and both of my daughters have attended the College. Since 1996 I have worked in the SEN and Inclusion Department where I have been involved with meeting parents and liaising with the Local Authority in order to get many pupils the correct level of support that they need in order to progress.
Dr Tijana Blanusa
Term: 24/09/2015 to 23/09/2018
Post Ofsted Action Plan: Curriculum and Assessment
Link Governor: Maths, Information Studies and Fielden House
I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I was eager to give back to the College which provides great support and stretch to my son who thoroughly enjoys his time here. I come to this role with six years’ experience of primary school governance and with a day job as a research scientist.
My particular interests are in ensuring the quality of Teaching and Learning, along with the analysis of pupil progress data. I am a Link governor for the School of Mathematics and Information Sciences (Fielden). I interact regularly with teachers and school leaders to understand key priorities and day-to-day activities within the school and to offer challenge and support. The most rewarding part of my role are meetings with pupil representatives.
Their fresh and honest views remind me why we are here!
Mr John Garred
Term: 24/09/2015 to 23/09/2019
Post Ofsted Action Plan: Pupil and Parent/ Carer Voice
Link Governor: Business (Finance and IT)
I was elected to the Board of Governors in September 2015.
I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I wanted to broaden my understanding of secondary education with a view to using my business experience to provide guidance and advice that could ultimately assist pupils in determining their career paths.
I am a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years experience of working in multi-national companies across various industry sectors e.g. airline, retail, service, manufacturing and engineering. In recent years my focus has been on compliance and ethics, particularly relating to global corruption.
I am married with two children currently at Garth Hill College and I previously served on their Primary School PTA for nine years, two as Chairman, and one as Vice-Chairman. I also coached a local junior football team for four years and obtained the Football Association’s level one coaching certificate.
Mr Martin Field
Term : 06/07/2017 to 05/07/2021
Committees : Pay Committee, Principal's Performance Management Committee
Post Ofsted Action Plan : -Teaching and Learning
Link Governor : HCP & Haversham House
Deputy Link Governor: HR and IT
I have been a Governor since 2009 and became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I wanted to bring my skills and experiences to help to make it an outstanding school, where every child matter’s and can be the best they can be. I enjoy being a link governor having spent six years linked to Fielden house and now linked to Haversham house.
I initially joined the Board of Governors as a Parent Governor and am now a Co-opted Governor in my third term of service. I have had all three of my children attend Garth Hill College and they have all grown from the experiences they gained, not all plain sailing, but with the support of the college they have succeeded.
My career has been within Information Technology & Cyber Security fields within technical, leadership and management areas, and I feel this enables me to bring a wide range of experiences from a business, financial and leadership perspective, to provide support and challenge in the journey for the school, its staff and ultimately its young people.
Mr Michael Giles
Term: 23/09/2018 to 23/09/2022
Link Governor: Environment
Seven years ago after a long career managing high volume printing, information technology and graphics arts I set up a business offering a complete maintenance solution to prestige properties. During this time, I have worked with many ex pupils of Garth Hill College within the local trades as well as young people starting out in their first year of full time work.
It has given me a unique understanding of local needs within the community and the needs of local business.
The skills I can bring are one of seeing opportunities when they arise, understanding issues and contributing to achieve good outcomes, an ability to listen and work with people both young and old, build positive relationships and bring fresh ideas.
Having worked in the corporate marketing world within the services industry and also setting up a local business I have gained a number of skills and can offer advice when required in areas of negotiation, research, project management and starting a business. Having a daughter at Garth Hill I see both sides of the issues and have a vested interest in the college improving positively in the near future.
The college is clearly going through a period of change and I would like to help in any way possible to ensure it improves for the benefit of both pupils and staff at this challenging time.
Mr Brian Poxon
Term: 24/01/2019 to 23/01/2023
Committees: Pay Committee
Deputy Link Governor: RISE, SEN, G&T
I first became a governor in November 2011 when I joined Sandy Lane Primary School as a parent governor. My son is now at Garth Hill which prompted me to join the governing body in 2019. During my time as governor at Sandy Lane I have been involved in two Ofsted inspections and two HMI visits. I have also been a member of the Head Teacher’s performance committee, pay committee, chaired the full governing board meetings and the Resources Committee and have participated in numerous learning walks and local authority training. I have also studied the chairs development programme run by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. Finally, I am a member of Schools Forum and the Governor Services Reference Group.
At Garth Hill, I am currently a member of the governor disciplinary committee, pay committee and deputy link governor for RISE, SEN and G&T.
I became a governor because I am passionate about improving our children’s education and supporting Garth Hill on its journey to Good and beyond. The governors and staff have struck me as dedicated professionals who want the best for our young people and its inspiring working with such passionate individuals. There is so much potential within the staff and pupils at Garth and its exciting being part of such a dynamic team.
I have an Economics degree and am currently studying for a master’s degree in Psychology of Work. In my paid job I am a recruiter and specialising in placing senior finance professionals with clients in the Thames Valley and London.
Mr Tony Stirrup
Term : 11/09/2018 to 10/09/2022
Post Ofsted Action Plan: Member of Governors’ Scrutiny Panel
Link Governor: Post 16/ Sixth Form, Pupil Premium
Becoming a Governor in 2018 fulfilled two promises – one to myself that I would ‘give back’ to the Garth Hill College community that helped my twin daughters achieve amazing success at GCSE; and one to my daughters that I would wait until they left the school – although one did stay on to enjoy the Sixth Form.
As a family we experienced the highs and lows of life at Garth Hill College but some things were constant throughout: the dedication of the staff, the support of the senior team and the individual care and attention shown to our daughters – no mean feat. I enjoyed a long career in technical, managerial and leadership roles, in multi-national and start-up businesses, online and in the real-world – though our children won’t see any difference! I trust that I bring some transferable skills and experience to the Garth community – governors, staff and, most of all, the young people who are always at the heart of Garth.
Mr Chris Lomas
Term : 11/09/2018 to 10/09/2022
Link Governor: IT, Careers (including Edge, Careers Education/ Advice/ Guidance)
I joined the Board of Governors in late 2018 because I have a strong interest in improving children’s educational outcomes and wanted to contribute to the local community. I have a son who is at the College and a daughter who is soon to join and I wanted to offer my assistance to the College that has supported my son so effectively. When the opportunity arose, becoming a governor at the College seemed the natural way to do this.
I have worked in IT for over 20 years, the last 15 of which have been in management positions, most recently at executive level. During this time, I have amassed a broad spectrum of experience in all areas of IT and project management supplemented by strong strategic thinking, vendor management and people management skills.
I believe that I am well positioned to use my skills and experience to provide support for the staff and pupils and to assist with the continual improvement and development of the College to drive forward positive change and to help make it an outstanding school.
Dr Hayley McArdle
Clerk to the Governing Body
Term : 19/02/2018 to present
I was appointed as Clerk to the Board of Governors in February 2018.
I clerk all meetings of the Board of Governors including committees, sub-committees and disciplinary committees.
I am a Biologist and spent a number of years in the University Sector. I gained a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from Leicester University before joining the Civil Service, where I worked primarily in corporate governance.