Head's blog

Governors and Trustees

The school enjoys tremendous support from a committed team of hardworking and dedicated Trustees and co-opted Governors who provide guidance and expertise and give a huge amount of their personal time to the school.

Bedford Girls' School Committee oversees the governance of Bedford Girls' School. It comprises members of the school senior leadership team and representatives from The Harpur Trust, Trustees and Governors and meets termly.

Our Chair of Governors may be contacted by writing to the School via the Clerk to the Governors: Chair of Governors, Bedford Girls' School, Cardington Road, Bedford, MK42 0BX.

Governors and Trustees

Ms Tina Beddoes (Chairman) was elected as a trustee by the parents of Dame Alice Harpur School in 2008. She is a DAHS old girl and her daughters attend Bedford Girls’ School and Pilgrims Pre-Preparatory School.

She is a chartered accountant and chartered tax adviser and is now a Senior Tax Manager at Mazars LLP. In addition to being Chairman of Bedford Girls' School Committee, Tina is also a member of Endowment and of Nominations Sub Committee. 

Dr Ann Egan Ann studied at Newnham College Cambridge and Worcester College Oxford, qualifying in Medicine in 1983. She trained in Radiology at Addenbrookes Hospital.

Anne came to Bedford in 1992 when her husband was appointed Consultant Cardiologist, and joined him at Bedford Hospital in 1995 when she took up the post of Consultant Radiologist. Her daughter attended Dame Alice Harpur School. Her older son attended Bedford School and her younger son is still a pupil at the school.

Anne is also a member of the Bedford School Committee and chairs the Bedford School Pastoral and Recreational sub-committee. 

Ms Catherine McCarthy has 15 years’ experience within education with nine years in senior management roles.

Now Head of a thriving Primary School, she is committed to creative curriculum development in a rapidly changing society. She has been a leading teacher specialising in cross curricular ICT and is also part of a specialist group looking at Values in Education.

With a daughter in attendance at Bedford Girls’ School, she firmly believes education is the best gift you can give a child and was delighted to have been elected a parent elected governor last academic year.

Mr Anthony Nutt is Director of an International Finance Company.

During a career spanning 40 years, he has worked at board level in asset and investment management. A Trustee of the Rugby Football Union Charitable Trust & SPIRE, he was educated at the Open University.

Married with four children, he lives in Buckinghamshire and is a member of the Securities Institute.

Mr Justin Phillimore came to the Trust via co-option to the Admin and Audit Committee in 2007, subsequently becoming a member of the Dame Alice School Committee and a Trustee in 2009.

He is Finance Director for Charles Wells Ltd which is the UK's seventh largest brewer. Prior to Charles Wells, he worked on strategy and change management for a GE joint-venture.

Justin’s daughter attends Bedford Girls’ School. Justin is a member of Administration & Audit Committee.

Ms Shane Redding is an independent consultant with over 25 years international business to business direct marketing experience.

She is the Non Executive Chair of Cyance Ltd and Managing Director of Think Direct Ltd. Specialising in data, databases and analysis, Shane enjoys helping large and small businesses use integrated marketing to significantly improve the bottom line.

Shane has an honorary fellowship of the Institute of Direct Marketing. Shane entered the marketing industry after reading Geography at Jesus College, Cambridge University, and is proud to be one of the first female members of college.

Shane is also passionate about all girls’ secondary education, and believes it underpins her success today.

Mrs Valerie Stattersfield graduated in Chemistry (and with an Oxford Blue) and went on to teach across the sectors and internationally.

She was the Head of an independent day and boarding school for girls in Buckinghamshire for 11 years until she retired in 2007. She has always been deeply committed to providing the best possible educational opportunities for young people.

Valerie became a governor of Bedford High School in 2008 and currently chairs the Education Committee of Bedford Girls’ School.

Murray Stewart (Chairman of the Harpur Trust) Brought up and educated in Scotland, after graduating from Christ’s College, Cambridge, Murray Stewart joined the investment management business of Schroders plc in London.  

After training as an analyst and portfolio manager, he spent five years working with the group holding company in a business planning role. Returning to the asset management business, he held a number of management positions in client service, marketing and product development, with both UK and international responsibilities. He was latterly an executive director of Schroder Investment Management.

He has lived in Bedfordshire with his wife and two daughters since 1998.

Murray is Chairman of the Trust, Chairman of Policy Committee and a member of Endowment Committee.

Mrs Rachel Gentry (Parent Elected Governor) is Commercial Director for Airwave Solutions Limited – the company behind Great Britain’s Emergency Services Network.

Previous roles include Deputy Director for the Government Debt programme, Cabinet Office and Office of Government Commerce as well as early roles at WH Smith and Argos.

Rachel is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and the Institute of Directors (IoD), as well as an experienced School Governor.

Ms Sarah Fecondi (Staff Elected Governor) is HR Business Partner for the Social Care, Health and Housing directorate at Central Bedfordshire Council.

Previous roles encompass HR Manager at Bedford Girls' School and HR Business Partner at Luminus and Bedford Borough Council. Sarah volunteers her HR expertise on the governance teams of two local charities.

Sarah is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has a wealth of experience of operational and strategic HR both in the private and public sectors.

George Ratcliffe                   

Professor George Ratcliffe is an Official Fellow, Tutor in Biochemistry and Tutor for Graduates at New College, Oxford, as well as Professor of Plant Sciences and Associate Head of Department in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford.  

He is the author of 150 scientific papers, mostly in the field of plant biochemistry, and the co-author of a standard undergraduate textbook Principles and Problems in Physical Chemistry for Biochemists (2001).  He has contributed to research, teaching and administration with equal measure and enthusiasm throughout his career.  

He is Emerging Technologies Editor of the journal Planta, a Curator of the Oxford University Parks and a longstanding elected member of the Committee that oversees the University of Oxford’s buildings and estates.  Professor Ratcliffe is the nominated Trustee by New College, Oxford.

Harriet Mather

Harriet Mather is a solicitor by profession, qualifying in 1998.  She is director of her own law practice focusing on providing advice to those facing investigation or prosecution in relation to criminal matters.  Harriet also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Forensic Mental Health from St Georges Hospital Tooting University of London.

Prior to setting up her own practice, Harriet was employed by Cartwright Clark Solicitors (previously Pictons) in Milton Keynes where she carried out a similar role to her current practice.  She attend upon clients in the Police Station at all hours of the day and night. She provides advocacy in the Magistrates' Court on a daily basis dealing with all aspects of advocacy, bail applications, adjournments, trials and sentences.

Harriet has also worked for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Court Administration and has sat on the Youth Court User Committee at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court.

Judit Seymour 

Judit trained and practised as a barrister for eight years before joining the City’s risk management community. For the last 20 years, she has worked at a number of financial institutions in risk management roles including working at board level. She splits her time working as a consultant training bankers in financial risk management and acting as a Non Executive Director.

Judit holds an LLB and LLM from University College London.

She moved to Bedford with her family in 2013 to take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by the Harpur Trust schools. Her two sons are currently at Bedford School.

Judit sits on the Marketing and Communication Committee.

Andrea Thassan

Andrea Thassan is Director / General Manager of a group of care homes for young adults with dementia, learning disability and mental health needs.  Andrea sits on the Adult Safeguarding & Mental Health Partnership Boards in Bedford.

Andrea trained as a solicitor specialising in Child Protection and advises Bedfordshire and Luton Borough Council legal departments advising and representing the social services child care teams in court.

Andrea is an Alumnae of Bedford High School for Girls and is the Bedford Girls' School Safeguarding Governor.

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