About the Board
The Board of Governors is the body ultimately responsible for the management and direction of the school.
The Board may have between 15 and 21 members of whom at least half must be members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Governors are selected through the Quaker practice of a Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee is concerned to ensure that Board of Governors have the necessary range of skills and experience. Governors are appointed by the Nominations Committee of the Friends’ School Saffron Walden General Meeting, a body established relatively recently with members drawn from Quaker Meetings geographically close to the School, which oversees the Quaker life of the School on behalf of Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
Governors serve an initial 4 year term and may be nominated to serve for a second such period. In exceptional circumstances a governor may serve a further 2 years but never beyond this maximum of 10 years. Suggested names of people to join the Board may come from a variety of sources; from constituent Area Meetings of the General Meeting, from Old Scholars, parents and any other interested parties.
The full Board meets once a term as do the three main subcommittees Education Committee, Finance Committee, and Planning and Marketing Committee. An Executive Committee comprising clerks of committees plus the Business Manager and the Heads of both schools keeps things ticking over between meetings of the full Board. A Search & Governance Committee (3 or 4 strong) is responsible for overseeing Board training, induction of new members and close liaison with the GM Nominations Committee to maintain Board numbers and spread of skills.
In addition to these committees there are several small working groups as needed - at present these are the Asset Management Group, the Business Working Group and the Risk Assessment Group. Individual governors attend meetings of the Health and Safety Committee, and the Senior School Council.
Governors’ meetings are run as Quaker business meetings. Each Governor is there in his or her own right and each has equal importance. Meetings include periods of silent worship. No voting takes place
Governors are encouraged, indeed expected, to play as full a part in the life of the school as other commitments and living at a distance permit. The Board is committed to fostering an understanding of Quaker values and practice among staff and pupils, as well as making the work of the school known to the wider Quaker community.
The Board of Governors: January 2014
The Chair/Clerk of the Board of Governors is Susan Garratt. If you wish to correspond with Susan Garratt then please use the School address.
Richard Bloomfield is the Assistant Clerk and the Treasurer is Tony Penman.
Richard is a retired professional electrical engineer and worked for 35 years on signalling and train control, working for British Rail and its successors. He is a Quaker and his local Meeting is Saffron Walden where he is Treasurer. He also regularly attends Cork Meeting in Ireland, where his wife, Denise, lives. He serves on Britain Yearly Meeting Finance and Property Central Committee and the Board of Friends Trusts, and has interests in environmental issues and working with Quakers in Bolivia.
Richard’s connection with Friends’ School Saffron Walden goes back to 1963 when he entered the first form as a day pupil, staying until the end of the sixth form in 1970. Subsequently, both his children have attended the senior school.
Richard joined the Board in January 2011, and is Assistant Clerk of the Board, and on the Risk Assessment Group.
Richard is a solicitor who has recently retired from a career in Local Government in Manchester and Cambridge, having previously been involved in refugee resettlement, race relations and community work in Fiji, Berkshire, London and Southampton. He was born in New York and has lived in the UK since 1972. He has been an attender at Quaker meetings since 1988 in Chester, Eccles and most recently Cambridge Jesus Lane. His daughter attended Ackworth (Quaker) School as a boarder from year 8 until completing her A-levels. At Cambridge Jesus Lane Meeting Richard is Notices Clerk and joint Records Officer and serves on the Nominations and Hospitality Committees as well as co-ordinating the Meeting’s regular Peace Vigil.
Richard joined the Board in January 2013 and serves on the Education Committee, the Search and Governance Committee and on the Risk Assessment Group.
John is a member of Saffron Walden Local Meeting and representative on Churches Together (chairman 2014) and Christian Aid co-ordinator for Saffron Walden. He has served in various capacities for the Area Meeting including Treasurer and, until the end of 2014, as Clerk - also on several national committees, at present the Committee on Clerks. He was on the steering group responsible for setting up the School’s General Meeting and first Clerk of General Meeting Nominations Committee.
A mathematics Teacher and examiner, his first post was at Leighton Park School. He then taught in Kenya for 5 years, returning to be housemaster of the Boarding House at Tettenhall College, then Head of Maths at Friends’ School for over 20 years, including a year on exchange at George School, near Philadelphia, and another at Friends School, Hobart.
John joined the Board in January 2014 and serves on the Education Committee and the Search and Governance Committee.
Richard is currently ‘Quaker in Residence’ at Hampstead Meeting. He also served on the Board of Sidcot (Quaker) School for seven years. Richard ran a successful training business for many years and has a strong interest in marketing.
Richard is a former pupil of the school and joined the Board in January 2011. He is on the Finance Committee, and the Planning and Marketing Committee, and assists with Marketing.
Andrew has a background in Financial Services. He spent 16 years working in commercial and retail banking, running Change Management and Human Resources teams and projects, including 4 years living and working in sub-Saharan Africa: Lusaka and Johannesburg.
For the last seven years Andrew has been working as an independent consultant specialising in Leadership Development, Executive Coaching and Human Resources, across a wide range of industry sectors, with experience in the Middle East, Europe and the UK. Being ‘self-employed’ allows Andrew to achieve the life-work balance he values so highly. Andrew is father to 2 children at Friends’.
Andrew joined the Board in January 2012 and is a member of the Finance Committee and Clerk of the Planning and Marketing Committee.
Is a Quaker and has been on the Board since 2006. She is a librarian at North London’s Middlesex University. Her particular area of interest vis à vis the school lies in ensuring that it offers a safe, stimulating & supportive environment for pupils to succeed in, using the most up to date equipment, software and resources available (affordable within budget), within the framework of a Quaker ethos.
Sue joined the Board in 2006 and is on the Education, Planning and Marketing, and Search and Governance Committees.
Jo is an active member of Huntingdon Local Quaker Meeting and has been in membership for over 25 years.
She has always had a keen interest in the needs and aspirations of children: This through voluntary work when her children were young, as part of team in an Out of School Unit, in her work in Huntingdon as a Social Worker and Fostering Officer, through to her work with young musicians as an Alexander Technique Teacher at Oundle School Music Department. With her husband she totally enjoys her five wonderful grandchildren.
Jo believes that our future as a country and for the world is about children. “We demonstrate this by the way we invest in, respect and love our children”.
Jo joined the board in January 2013 and is on the Education Committee, with special interest in the Junior School. Jo also reports to the Board on Regulatory Compliance.
Susan is an active Quaker, with a variety of Quaker responsibilities, from a Quaker family. Her professional background is in education, and having recently retired from full-time teaching in the state sector, now works as an education consultant, tutoring and assessing teacher trainees. Her commitment to both education and the Quaker ethos underpin her service as a governor of FSSW.
Sue is Clerk (Chairman) of the Board and seeks to promote Quaker values throughout both schools. Susan joined the Board in 2011, and in her capacity as Clerk attends all committees “ex officio”.
Celia James came from an arts background, studying painting at Camberwell Art School before focussing on sculpture. She trained as an infant teacher, working with Reception for 8 years and later as an Art Therapist, working with young offenders, people on probation and adults with severe learning disability. She has been a Quaker since 1981.
Celia joined the Board in January 2010 and is Clerk on the Education Committee, and Search and Governance Committee, and is also on the Executive Committee. Celia reports to the Board on Early Years Foundation Stage matters and is the named governor for Special Educational Needs in the school.
Douglas is a chartered surveyor specialising in building conservation and is currently a director and the company secretary at the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings - the largest, oldest and most technically expert charity campaigning across the UK to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage. He publishes regularly, lectures and broadcasts on the conservation of buildings. He also serves on many committees for organisations devoted to sustaining the historic built environment and recently became chairman of the Hundred Parishes Society. In addition to his charity experience, he has worked in the public and private sectors.
A former pupil, he is particularly interested in helping the school with matters to do with its building fabric and maintaining a high-quality environment that benefits teaching and learning.
Douglas joined the Board in January 2008 and serves on the Finance Committee and the Asset Management Group.
Following several years working with school governors in the public sector and a period of three years as Governors’ Secretary at Friends’ School, Jenny joined the Board as a (non-Quaker) governor in 2007. Her original training was in medicine and pharmaceuticals, but she brings her more recent experience of marketing, public relations, writing and editing, and an ongoing commitment as Company Secretary of her family’s business to the service of the Board.
Jenny joined the Board in January 2007. Jenny is Clerk on the Finance Committee and also serves on the Planning and Marketing Committee. She also reports to Board on Boarding matters.
Finola O’Sullivan is from Ireland and moved here to work for Cambridge University Press as a book commissioning editor in 1997. Today she co-ordinates their global academic law publishing, with a particular emphasis on international relations and human rights.
Growing up in a large Catholic family in Dublin, she enjoyed both her primary and secondary schools and the formative influences of many inspiring teachers. She studied English language and literature at University College Dublin.
Finola’s later path into membership of the Religious Society of Friends was sparked by her pacifist beliefs. She worships at her Cambridge Hartington Grove Local Meeting and also serves as one of the overseers to attenders and members there.
She sees governorship at Friends’ School Saffron Walden both as an extension of her involvement in Cambridge Area Meeting and a chance to contribute to the practice of Quaker Testimonies throughout the school.
Finola joined the Board in January 2012 and serves on the Planning and Marketing Committee. She also reports to the Board on Health and Safety matters and attends the school’s Health and Safety Committee.
Tony grew up in the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand and began his working life in tax policy at the New Zealand Treasury. Arriving in Britain in 1988 he has spent most of the last 20 years working in the investment management industry.
His interests include economics, public policy and history and he is an active sportsman. Tony has four children, three of whom attend Friends’, and his wife, Sarah, currently works as one of the school’s nurses.
Whilst not a Quaker, Tony identifies strongly with Quaker values. He joined the Board in January 2011 and currently acts as the Treasurer and sits on the Finance Committee and Business Working Group.
Colin is a Quaker. He has had international experience as a secondary school teacher. He has been a departmental head of a large comprehensive school in Suffolk, and Director for four years of Friends School in Ramallah/el-Birehin in Palestine with 1200 pupils, and has an interest and concern for life long education.
He has had long experience as governor, trustee and administrator of several different Christian and Quaker charities and has training, experience and qualification in charity management and finance. Colin has been the Clerk of MId Essex Area Meeting (MEAM), the Clerk to Trustees of MEAM and the Clerk of the UK Committee of the Ecumenical Accompaniers Programme for Palestine and Israel and is currently a member of the Quaker Stewardship Committee.
Colin joined the Board in January 2014 and serves on the Finance and Planning and Marketing Committees.
Stephen has a professional background in the life sciences and in both secondary and University teaching and teacher training. After reading Natural Sciences at Cambridge he taught for seven years in Africa. After two teaching posts at Village Colleges he became Head of the Biology Department at Hills Road Sixth Form College (1978-92) then the Head of Science Faculty at Homerton College (teacher training). He is now retired from his former Cambridge University Education Faculty and College posts.
Stephen has a passion for both quality teaching and learning especially in life sciences and environmental education. He has grandchildren of school age. Married to a Quaker and with relatives and personal friends amongst the FSSW Old Scholars he is an attender at Jesus Lane Meeting in Cambridge, and a strong supporter of the Friend’s ethos - feeling that many Quakers express in their lives the most important fundamentals of that dogma-free Christian living to which we might all aspire.
Stephen joined the Board in January 2013 and is on the Finance Committee and the Planning and Marketing Committee.