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Governing body

To contact the governors or the registered proprietor's office please use the enquiry form and select 'chair of governors' from the drop down list, telephone main reception or send postal enquiries to the school's address.

Chair of governors

Mr J A Sutherland, BA Hons, PGCE

Andrew Sutherland read history and education at York University and taught at Millfield School. He has a long association with Claremont Fan Court having spent a decade working as housemaster, English teacher and deputy head. He is the founder and principal of Sutherland education, an education guardianship organisation that looks after the wellbeing of children and young adults who are studying away from home.  He was appointed a governor in 2016 and chair of governors in 2020.


Mr J Batchelor

Jeremy Batchelor was appointed in 2014. He held senior positions in a number of multinational food and chemical businesses which took him to Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States. In Russia he helped set up a new operation as part of a corporate growth strategy. One of his responsibilities as governor is to oversee alumni development and capital fundraising.

Mr N Beavor, BSc (Hons), CEng, MICE, MIStructE

Nigel Beavor was appointed in 2014. He is a civil and structural engineer with a particular interest in designing and building bridges and is a director of operations at Jacobs, a global engineering consultancy. Nigel’s governor responsibilities include planning and development of the school estate.

Mr S Eggins

Stephen Eggins was educated at Shrewsbury School and attended Guildford College of Law. After qualifying as a solicitor he was employed by Clifford Chance in their litigation department. Subsequently he had a career change and was employed by US investment banks in their wealth management groups. He is an active investor, business consultant and senior adviser. Stephen has three sons in their 20s and spends one third of his time engaged in charitable activities. He was appointed in March 2017.

Mr D A Ford, MA (Primary Education) (Open), BA (Open), BA (California)

David Ford graduated from the University of California in humanities, majoring in history, before starting his teaching career in Essex. He joined Claremont Fan Court School in 1981 and became head of the Upper Junior School during its transition to the Preparatory School in 2011. Since retiring from full time teaching he has worked as a university supervising tutor and lecturer for trainee teachers with London Southbank University. David was appointed a governor in 2018.

Mr J J Gall, MA (Oxon)

Julian Gall was appointed a governor in 2016 and is chair of the finance committee. He studied Engineering Science at Oxford University and spent the earlier part of his career in information technology as a programmer, software implementer and business analyst. After a spell as director of a software company and as a consultant project manager, he is now working as an interim manager for universities and charities.

Mrs C L Jackson, BSc

Kit Jackson is a management consultant. She has held leadership positions in both consulting and industry and now runs her own firm specialising in strategy management and executive coaching, advising a range of clients across multiple sectors and geographies. Kit is a former parent and a former pupil of the School and was appointed a governor in 2016.

Mrs J Long, MChem

Jennifer Long is a former pupil and read chemistry with French at UMIST before starting a banking career. Currently with HSBC, Jennifer is Global Head of Balance Sheet Management and Treasury Services Operations. Jennifer was appointed in October 2016.

Mrs P Rickard, GRMS (Hons), LRAM, LGSM, PGCE

Tricia Rickard has had a long association with Claremont Fan Court as a student, teacher and parent. Specialising in trumpet and piano she graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and followed a career combining music and teaching. Her most recent role was head of music at Nonsuch High School for girls. Tricia has been on the governing body since 2013 and is the governor responsible for child protection.

Ms Helen Rider BA (Joint Hons)

Helen has developed her career in market research specialising in brand strategy and positioning of global brands. She is an accredited research moderator and leader and now runs her own insight consultancy. Helen has a Joint Honours degree in History of Art and Italian and has known the school all her life. Having joined the governing body in summer 2019, Helen supports the school’s marketing and communications strategy and is the governor responsible for the Early Years and Pre-Preparatory and Nursery School.

Dr G D Smart, MSc (Quantum Electronics)

Gerald Smart studied physics, qualifying with MSc and PhD in quantum electronics.  He pursued careers in computer systems and telecommunications, and managed projects in Europe, USA and Scandinavia.  He was appointed director of business process improvements within an international company.  He and his wife have long-term connections to the school and his mother taught at Fan Court.  Gerald was appointed a governor in 2012 and oversees health and safety on behalf of all governors.