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Governance of our Family of Schools

We are a Registered Charity and a not for profit organisation, as such any profits are invested back into the school to enhance and maintain the facilities and resources available to teachers and students.

Our Board of Governors oversee the school and are a vital part of our school community.  They perform a voluntary, non-executive role to ensure that we stay true to our aims and objectives.  They also support the day to day running of our three schools by the Principal and the Senior Leadership Team. 

Our Governors meet once a term and also operate a network of committees that relate to specific areas of our operation.  Each committee meets at least once a term and reports to the full Board of Governors. 

Each of our Governors brings a wealth of specialist knowledge and expertise to our family of schools.

Meet our Governors

School Visitor : Baroness Harris of Richmond is a Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords and speaks from the Back Benches on Policing and Northern Ireland and has a great interest in both, having previously chaired North Yorkshire’s Police Authority.  Her working life is spent in London when Parliament is sitting, but home and the heart are in North Yorkshire.  Her husband is a local councillor and they have lived in Richmond for 35 years.  They have three grandsons of whom Lady Harris is inordinately proud!

Chair of Governors : Francine Holroyd is a former pupil of Harrogate Ladies’ College and was a Jewellery Buyer before having a family.  Francine is a Magistrate and Youth Magistrate for North Yorkshire and her daughter is currently at Highfield Prep School. Francine became the Chair of the Governors at the beginning of 2018.

Lesley Byrne spent over 20 years in the accountancy profession, ultimately as an Audit and Business Services partner at Baker Tilly where she specialised in the Charities and Education sector and advised several independent schools.  From there she joined a firm of patent attorneys where she developed her commercial experience and is currently finance director for a digital marketing consultancy.  She lives in Harrogate and enjoys the theatre, eating out and shopping!

Susan Clark has over 20 years’ experience in the field of Corporate Law. She joined LCF Law Ltd in 1997 as Partner and Head of the Corporate Department and is also Head of the firms’ Business Law Team. Susan’s expertise in the field of acquisitions and mergers is acknowledged by her inclusion in the authoritative legal directories the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. She is a Chartered Tax Adviser and a member of the Institute of Directors.

Jessica Crossley is Headmistress of Moorfield School, an independent Prep School in Ilkley.  She has also taught at schools in Ilkley and Cambridge.  Jessica became a Martyrs Memorial Trust Governor at HLC in 2015 and sits on the Teaching and Learning sub-committee.  Jessica was born and brought up in South Africa and came to the UK thirty years ago.  She is married with three grown up children.

Mark Gardiner is a psychology graduate and a qualified executive coach.  He has spent his career in executive recruitment and is currently working for Robert Half International leading their senior interim practice in Yorkshire and the North East, having previously run his own business for 7 years.  Mark has two children at boarding schools elsewhere and is a personal advocate of the benefits of boarding, he also has a personal interest in the link between education and employment and how schools can help close the “skills gap”.

Shirley Hooper is married with three grown up daughters.  She is an Art Psychotherapist working with families in North Yorkshire affected by domestic abuse and also works one day a week at Saint Michael’s Hospice.  She spent the first part of her working life as a Primary School teacher before retraining as an Art Therapist.  She is a committed and active member of her local church.

Barry Huggett worked in the pharmaceutical industry before embarking on a career in teaching. He was Headmaster of More House School in Farnham for 25 years until 2015 when he became Principal of The More House Foundation. Barry continues to be Chair of the Independent Schools Council SEN Group and is a Director of the Independent Schools Association. In 2014, he was awarded an OBE by the Queen for Services to Education. He is married with two grown up children.

Susan Hundleby was Group Finance Director for Palletways, an equity backed group of European distribution companies, for eight years.  Prior to joining Palletways, she was a Divisional Finance Director for Corus (now Tata Steel) and has held various financial roles in the Transport Development Group, TNT and Bass M&B.  Susan is also a former pupil of Harrogate Ladies’ College.

Susan Jackson heads up an international education consultancy specialising in setting up schools in the UK and abroad.  A former boarding pupil at HLC, Susan chose a career in teaching and was Head of two GSA schools, in the UK and Argentina, and of a co-educational school in France.  Susan is also an OFSTED Inspector and is a Director of the UK-China Education Bureau; a Governor of Graveney School in Wandsworth; and sits on the Management Committee of Caius House, the charitable mission established by Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge.

Pat Jones is a former Mayor of Harrogate and local councilor.  Pat has had close associations with Harrogate Ladies’ College over recent years.

Nicola Loudon is an Investment Manager at the local office of Charles Stanley & Co where she works with a diverse range of clients.  She is also a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments. Having previously worked with children via the YMCA and the Prince’s Trust, Nicola is keen to use her skills to promote financial education throughout the school. 

Sue Papworth graduated from Oxford University (St Anne’s; modern languages) before embarking on a career in banking with NatWest / RBS and then Barclays Corporate Banking. Sue recently retrained as an Investment Manager and now works for Harrogate based, Cardale Asset Management. She has two sons, both of whom attended independent schools, one as day pupil and the other as a boarder. She is also a trustee of the Harrogate based charity, Disability Action Yorkshire.

Caroline Peasgood is a Chartered Surveyor and a Director of an international property consultancy based in Leeds.  She grew up and still lives in Harrogate and has a daughter at Harrogate Ladies’ College. Caroline is Chair of the HLC Estates Committee.

Julia Roe has a background in Marketing and a passion for education.  She is married with three children who have all enjoyed their time at Highfield.  She worked in London for many years within Publishing, Retail and for various Marketing Agencies specialising in customer communication. Relocating to Harrogate was however a very welcome move for Julia and her family. She feels the town has so much to offer and loves walking her dog in the surrounding countryside.

John Skinner is Finance Director and Company Secretary of Dacre Son & Hartley Ltd.  He has also held senior positions in professional services, manufacturing, public sector and financial services organisations.  He was honoured to carry the Olympic Torch in 2012 and as chairman of North Yorkshire Girls’ Cricket is committed to improving standards and opportunities for girls in the sport. His daughter attended Harrogate Ladies’ College and he chairs the Health and Safety committee.

Rachel Tunnicliffe is a partner in a Harrogate law firm and previously worked for leading law firms in London and Leeds.  She is an active member of St Mark’s Church in Harrogate where she is involved in working with children.  She is married with two children.  Rachel is a Martyrs Memorial Trust Governor at HLC.

Contact Our Governors

Our Chair of Governors, Dame Francine Holroyd, can be contacted via Harrogate Ladies’ College, Clarence Drive, Harrogate, HG1 2QG.