Mr Andrew Lebrecht
Chair of Board of Governors (Co-opted Governor)
Term: 27.01.2020 – 26.01.2024
Committees: Chair Principal’s Performance Management Committee
College Development Plan: Link for Leadership and Management
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 add real value to the Board. I was delighted to be elected Chair of Governors in June 2020.
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 came to live in Bracknell in 2014, 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.
Mr Nick Gibson
Co-Vice Chair Board of Governors (Co-opted Governor)
Link Governor: Deputy Link Governor for Business (Finance and IT)
I have been a Governor of Garth Hill since February 2020 and Co-Vice Chair since June 2020.
I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I wanted to apply the knowledge I have developed over the years in the corporate world to help Garth Hill Board of Governors.
I have over 30 years’ experience working in IT at a senior level, managing large complex teams, building businesses and leading initiatives. Most of this has been working with teams, customers and business partners across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
I believe that Garth Hill’s Board of Governors is a benefit to the local community, and I hope to add real value to the Board. In all my interactions with Garth Hill’s Board and Staff I have been very impressed by their professionalism, enthusiasm and expertise.
I have lived in Bracknell for the past 26 years, I am married and have two children, one of whom is currently a pupil at Garth Hill.
Mr Keith Grainger
Ex Officio Governor (The Principal)
Keith graduated with an Honours degree in Social Science in 1991, and then completed a PGCE course in History, gaining distinction in practice. He began teaching in 1992. He has a Master’s degree in Education Management and attained the National Professional Qualification for Headship. He has been working at Garth Hill College since 2001 and became Principal in 2007. He has extensive experience of working with other schools (former PIXL Club Associate and Chair of the Bracknell Forest Secondary Headteachers’ Group). He currently sits on the Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board Partnership and Bracknell Forest Schools’ Forum. He is married with three children. His 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
Committees: Principal's Performance Review Panel
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.
Dr Rebecca de Bruin
Term: 01/09/2019 – 31/08/2023
Link Governor: Development
I took up my post as Staff Governor in September 2019, but was a governor at my previous school for 2.5 years before moving to Berkshire in 2017.
I think it's really important that governing bodies have staff members, particularly teaching staff, who can help them to have a realistic view of what life is like within the school. Having worked at Garth Hill College since 2017 I felt ready to take on a further roll that would allow me to give back to the College. I enjoyed being a staff governor at my previous school, and felt that this was a way I could help the College to be more successful.
I graduated with a First Class Honours degree from the University of Oxford in 2008. After a brief foray into independent schools, I completed my PhD at the University of Bristol. I gained my QTS by training through the Teach First Leadership Development Programme, which places participants in schools with a Pupil Premium intake of over 50%, and remained working in this context after I finished the programme. In 2017, I relocated to Berkshire, and began working at Garth Hill College, where I am Head of Chemistry and Second in Charge of Science. My interests outside of education are almost exclusively musical: I direct, sing in and judge choirs; and perform regularly with my barbershop quartet, Avalon.
Dr Tijana Blanusa
Term: 24/9/19 – 23/9/23
Committees: Pay Committee
Link Governor: Curriculum and Assessment
I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I was eager to give back to the College which provided my sons with a happy and overall positive experience of secondary school education. I came to this role with six years’ experience of primary school governance and with a day job as a research scientist and a lecturer in the higher education setting.
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 Curriculum and Assessment strand within the College's Development Plan. I interact regularly with teachers and school leaders to understand key priorities and day-to-day activities within the college as a whole 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!
Term: 1/4/20- 31/3/24
Committees: Pay Committee
Link Governor: Pupil Premium
Having worked for many years in senior leadership roles in large corporations and more recently become the co-founder of a new ‘easy’ brand concept, it has become increasingly important to me to be able to use some of my business, strategic and commercial experience to support my local community.
In the past I have been Chairman/board member of non-profit organisations and a Co-opted Governor at a local primary school and thoroughly enjoyed the contribution I was able to make. Recently my twin daughters started at Garth Hill so it seemed a natural decision to take up a role as a Co-opted Governor and contribute where I can, to the continued growth and success of the college.
I have been immensely impressed with the senior leadership team and board of Governors at the college and their commitment and vision for the future and I very much look forward to working with them and contributing to building a truly fantastic school.
I am married to Nicola and we have lived in Warfield for the past fourteen years. Our twin daughters, Hannah & Mia became pupils at Garth Hill in September 2020. In my spare time I like to run, cycle and enjoy all water sports.
Mr Michael Giles
Term: 23/09/2018 to 23/09/2022
Committees: Principal's Performance Review Panel
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 John Garred
Term: 17/09/2019 to 16/09/2023
Link Governor: Business (Finance)
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.
Term: 15/9/20 to 14/9/24
I have become a governor at Garth Hill, because I want to have a positive impact on the learning environment of our young people. Having worked with children and young people across a broad spectrum of roles and settings for about 13 years, I wanted to share my knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the community.
I currently run a not for profit organisation providing mental health support to children and young people in the community and am a registered Drama Psychotherapist. I hope that my unique insight will be helpful to the board of governors and very much look forward to seeing the school develop and thrive even more.
Term: 18/6/20- 17/6/24
Link Governor: SEND
Having taught English in the Bracknell area for over 30 years, education has been a high priority in my personal & professional life and I am excited to learn more about school from the perspective of a governor. I enjoy working with students, teaching staff and parents. Although I began my career at Easthampstead Park and my own daughters have attended school in Bracknell, a large part of my work has been with pupils not in mainstream. I've also taught in New York City and, for just one very memorable week, in Ethiopia.
It's great to be joining a diverse and dedicated team. I'm looking forward to visiting school and getting to know everyone. I am committed to supporting learning and opportunity for Garth Hill College students, particularly as we face challenges outside the system due to Covid 19. Our young people are living through interesting times and it's an honour to be part of their story in what I hope will be a very positive capacity!
For the past 20+ years I have worked as a finance professional in the technology sector, and I am currently the Finance Director of a software company based in the UK and US. Over this time, I have been fortunate to acquire experience in leadership, strategic development, and financial planning. I joined the Garth Hill board of governors with the hope of applying these skills to support the college achieve its ambition of providing high standards of education to the young people in our community.
I am interested in the holistic education of young people and prioritise academic and non-academic achievement equally. This interest centres around ensuring all children meet their individual potential. I enjoy visiting the school and experiencing the energy within the college. I look forward to working with my fellow governors and staff at the college to ensure Garth Hill provides the best educational experience possible to its young people.
I am married to Hilary, and we have lived in the local area for 18 years. We have one son, and I am proud to say he is a pupil at the college.