Sir William Borlase's Grammar School


Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School is part of a Multi-Academy Trust, the Marlow Education Trust.  This trust was established with the intention of developing a group of schools in Marlow and the surrounding area who are able to work together to deliver the best outcomes for students, regardless of their ability, background or needs.

It currently comprises Sir William Borlase's Grammar School and Beechview Primary School. Borlase collaborates informally with the primaries and other Marlow secondary via the Marlow Liaison Group.  

Responsibility for Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School specifically lies with a local board of Governors.  These enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, drawn from the staff, parent and wider community, support the school in its aims by working with leadership to provide challenge, expertise and perspective.  The local governing body meets termly, as do its core sub-committees.

Members of the governing body are all local people with a strong interest in the school. Over half the governors are current or former SWBGS parents.

The term of office of Governors is four years excepting:

  • The Headteacher

  • Staff Governors if they cease to be employed by the School

In general, Governors are replaced as and when they reach the end of their four year term. Subject to remaining eligible to be a particular type of Governor, any Governor may be re-appointed or re-elected.

Chair of Governors - Mrs Charlotte Redcliffe

Charlotte is a chartered accountant and chartered tax advisor by qualification. After working within PwC’s international tax and M&A teams, in 2001 she joined Centrica plc where she is Head of Tax for the group.

Outside work, Charlotte is a keen horse-rider and Pony Club mum.

She has three children, all of whom were students at SWBGS. Charlotte is committed to supporting Borlase to be the best it possibly can, and to giving all students the skills and confidence they need for the future lives they choose.

Charlotte's current term as a Governor began on 15 October 2016.

Vice Chair of Governors - Mrs Karen Kennedy

Prior to forming her consulting firm, The Core Resource, Karen was European People Resourcing Director with SmithKline Beecham (SB) Pharmaceuticals. Formerly, her career began as a Registered Nurse, specialising in the operating theatre and intensive care before joining the pharmaceutical industry with Glaxo and enjoying various roles within the industry, including sales, sales management, training, management development and human resources. Karen’s consulting experiences at European and UK senior management level include Executive coaching, senior team facilitation, leadership development, mergers and acquisitions and HR and organisational re-engineering.

She has subsequently gained various management and Human Resource qualifications & accreditations, including MCIPD, MBTI, ECI, HBDI & Resilience to Change, is an NLP Master Practitioner and as Governor of Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, is an assigned Governor to the SMT and History and Politics department.

Karen's current term as a Governor began on 14 November 2016.  She has been a Governor since 2014.

Vice Chair of Governors - Mr Kevin Gale

Kevin studied Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College before working for Pricewaterhouse Coopers in London for seven years, during which time he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and specialised in business valuations. He then worked in industry for several years, firstly in finance, but latterly in strategy and general management, working in many countries.

Subsequently, he raised banking and venture capital funding to buy an engineering business (a Management Buy-In) and, in addition, has started and sold several other businesses. His current focus is on the design and development of engineering products.

Kevin has three children, the youngest of whom is currently at Borlase, the older two having recently left for university.

Kevin first became a Governor in 2014.  His current term began on 17 October 2019.

Appointed Governor - Dr Hugh Bethell

Hugh is a consultant cardiologist in London specialising in pacemakers and cardiac defibrillators. He graduated from Cambridge University and during cardiology training at Papworth Hospital undertook a PhD in Biochemistry.

He has always had a keen interest in teaching and is an honorary senior lecturer at Imperial College London teaching medical students.

Hugh became a governor in 2013 and is affiliated to the Modern Foreign Languages department.

He is a member of the academic committee and has a particular interest in assisting in the preparation of students for medical school application.

Hugh's current term began on 14 November 2016.

Appointed Governor - Mrs Alix Brown

After studying Maths at University, Alix trained with KPMG as a chartered accountant and held a number of senior accounting and finance posts in industry before setting up a property services business in 2007 with her husband. She is the company’s CFO and also volunteers in the school’s Development Office.

She has 3 children, one of whom is at Borlase.

Appointed as a Parent Governor in 2015, Alix is very keen to contribute to the work of the Board of Governors in setting the strategic direction of the Academy and finding ways to improve transparency and accountability.

Alix’s other interests include ballet, reading and her 2 year old springer spaniel.

Alix initially joined the Governing body as a parent governor in 2015.  Her current term began on 17 October 2019.

Appointed Governor - Mr Will Evans

Will Evans is currently the Director of Welfare at Eton College, Berkshire. From 1st September he will begin his third year in this role, before which he was the school’s SENCO.

As Director of Welfare, he is one of the school’s DDSLs overseeing the day-to-day running of mental health services, the medical centre, and tutoring (including PSHE provision), amongst other things.

In addition, he is a teacher of English, which he has done throughout his 18 years at Eton. Prior to Eton, his experience has been in the Independent sector: Reading Blue Coat School, Sonning-on-Thames (1999-2001); Chigwell School, Essex (1996-1999).

Will's term as Governor began on 17 October 2019.

Appointed Governor - Mr Hugh Miall

Hugh is Old Borlasian who left the school in 2004. He read law at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge whilst holding a choral scholarship, and now practises as a commercial chancery barrister from XXIV Old Buildings, a leading set of chambers in Lincoln's Inn. Hugh and his young family recently moved back to the local area, and he was delighted to be able to join the board in October 2018 and support the development of Borlase and its pupils as a governor. 

Hugh enjoys spending most of his free time running around with (or after) his young son. He is a keen musician, and whilst he is primarily an avid listener and concert-goer, he also continues to perform as a singer from time to time.

Hugh's term as Governor began on 15 October 2018.

Appointed Governor - Mr Thomas Presho

Tom is a Duty Train Staff Manager with Transport for London where he has worked for the last 15 years. He currently manages the operational running of the central line and specialises in HR, incident management, emergency planning, health & safety and environmental issues. He has previously studied in Leadership and Management.

Tom has lived in Marlow since 2000 and both his children are pupils at Borlase. He is also an athletics coach with Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC. He has coached county, regional and national level athletes.

Tom has been a governor since 2006, initially at a local primary school and since 2013 at Borlase. After a brief spell in the personnel committee he has taken up the health & safety brief, working closely with the business manager and maintenance team to maintain the safe and healthy environment of the school. Tom is a keen supporter of improving school facilities. He also has governor responsibility for Art & Design and collaborates with the Eco schools working group.

Tom began his current term on 16 October 2017.

Appointed Governor - Mr Phil Sharp

Phil has been a school governor at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar since April 2014.

He has lived in Marlow for the past 10 years, moving here following a period of time in Australia on a work assignment and originally hails from the North east of England. His wife, Lisa, works at Burford School, one of the Borlase feeder schools.

In his career, he has worked in a variety of functions and sectors, and held a number of Country and European HR Director roles at Johnson & Johnson, the large US Healthcare and Consumer goods company. Having worked for there for 15 years, he is currently working in a global role, leading the design of the future HR organisation. In addition, he is currently studying towards an MSc in Coaching and Behavioural Change at Henley Business School.

Outside of work, he is a big music fan, and loves going to concerts and buying records whenever he can. He loves cycling – especially road biking around the Chiltern Hills.

Phil's current term began on 19 October 2020.

Staff Governor - Mr Seth Miall

Seth is Director of Music and Head of Danes at Borlase. He was appointed as Staff Governor in January 2018. He is a member of the academic committee and has a strong interest in the strategic direction and policies of the school.

Seth's term began on 25 January 2018.

Parent Governor - Dr Emma Bridges

Dr. Emma Bridges has worked in the higher education sector, as a lecturer and researcher, for almost twenty years (at the Universities of Durham and Oxford, the Open University, and currently at the University of London). Her area of specialism is Classics, but she has a broader interest in the role of humanities education in wider society, and in the ways in which education policy and practice intersect with wider societal concerns. Her current professional role combines academic research with building partnerships between universities and other organisations (including schools, as well as charities, the heritage sector and other community groups).

Emma's term began on 12 November 2019.

Parent Governor - Mrs Gill Towell

Gill Towell is the Managing Director of GillyMac Designs, an online and in-person sewing tutoring business based in Berkshire. As well as teaching from her local studio, Gill also teaches for Liberty of London and at the NEC each year for the Festival of Quilts. Gill's online business reaches 30,000 sewists worldwide each month. Whilst loving all sewing, Gill's main interest is sewing with children and teens, for which GillyMac Designs has won national awards for the past 6 years. 

Gill's background is in engineering specialising in Optoelectronics. Prior to setting up GillyMac Designs, she spent 20 years in telecommunications in various technical and marketing senior roles. As Operations Director for Europe and the Middle East, Gill's team of more than 200 engineers built and delivered communications networks across the region. 

Gill spends her spare time sewing and enjoying life with her two girls and husband in Maidenhead. 

Gill's term began on 12 November 2019.