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.
Vice Chair of Governers: John Skinner is Finance and Operations Director of The Kettlewell Group of companies in Ripon. A Chartered Company Secretary, he has held senior positions in professional services, manufacturing, public sector and financial services organisations. He was honoured to carry the Olympic Torch in 2012 and is committed to improving standards and opportunities for girls in cricket. His daughter attended Harrogate Ladies’ College and he sits on the Finance & General Purposes and Marketing committees.
Giles Bowring was Bursar and Clerk to the Governors at Giggleswick School from 2000 to 2016. A former Director at Singer and Friedlander where he managed private client and charity portfolios, Giles also was a Fund Manager at Lazard Brothers where he specialised in equities in the Far East. He is Deputy Lieutenant for the North Yorkshire Lieutenancy, Governor of Austwick Church of England Primary School, Churchwarden of the Church of the Epiphany, Austwick and a Trustee of the Craven Trust.
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!
Rev Ann Chesworth has an insurance and legal background and is now part-time minister at Harrogate Baptist Church as well as the Legal, Trust and Property Officer for the Yorkshire Baptist Association. She became a Martyrs Memorial Trust governor in 2018 and also sits on the HR sub committee. Ann also enjoys going to the gym when she has time!
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 was Headmistress of Moorfield School, an independent Prep School. 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 is currently Vice President within Management Consulting firm having previously run his own business for seven years. Mark has two children at boarding schools 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 children, adolescents and families in North Yorkshire. Shirley 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 and has been an Martyrs Memorial Trust Governor for Harrogate Ladies’ College since the end of 2014.
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 before embarking on a career in banking with NatWest / RBS and then Barclays Corporate Banking. She retrained as an Investment Manager and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment with Cardale Asset Management. She has two sons, both of whom attended independent schools. Sue is also a trustee of 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.
Contact Our Governors
Our Chair of Governors, Dame Francine Holroyd, can be contacted via Harrogate Ladies’ College, Clarence Drive, Harrogate, HG1 2QG.