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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 live in Richmond. 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 Harrogate Ladies’ College having moved up from Highfield Prep School. Francine became the Chair of the Governors at the beginning of 2018.

Vice Chair of Governors: John Skinner is Finance Director of W.E. Jameson & Son in Masham. 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.

Mike Abraham is the former head of a number of schools in the Midlands and in the North of England. In 1991, he launched Yarm Preparatory School, growing the school from 0 to 320 pupils over 10 years. He has been a member of IAPS, is an ISI Team Inspector, has been a school Governor, has led many training days in the north east of England and is a member of the National Junior Heads Steering Committee. He is a keen sportsman, captain of the village cricket team and an amateur geologist. His special areas of interest include marketing and recruitment, the regulatory requirements of schools, appraisal and the management of schools

Rev Chris Balding is the curate for the parish of Wortley and Farnley. He was ordained in 2019 after studying at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. Prior to this he spent a number of years working with students and young people at a large city centre church. Chris is a Martyrs Memorial Trust governor and the Wellness Governor. He has a passion for, in the words of Catherine of Sienna, seeing people become who they were created to be so that they can set the world on fire.

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.

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.

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.

Dr Hayley Kemp is a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia and has worked at Harrogate District Hospital for the last ten years. She and her family have a long association with the school, with two boys already having passed through Highfield and a daughter who is currently enjoying Prep 5.

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.

David Payne was Bursar and Clerk to the Governors at Durham High School for Girls from 2013 to 2019. He graduated from University College London and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1992. David was also Finance Director at International Cuisine in Consett for 18 years. He became a governor in 2020 and sits on the Finance and General Purposes committee.  David is married and has two children, both of whom have attended independent schools.

Lynne Renwick has thirty-five years’ experience as an educator, having taught in the UK and overseas. She has experience of leading two GSA schools having been Principal of Our Lady’s Abingdon in Oxfordshire from 2004-2012 and Durham High School for Girls from 2012 until her retirement in 2018. Lynne is also an experienced school inspector. Having joined the Governing Body of HLC in 2019 she sits on the Teaching and Learning subcommittee and is also an advisory governor at the Chorister School in Durham. Lynne has been married for over 25 years and having spent the first decade of married life living in Knaresborough, she is very happy to reconnect with the area.

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.