Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, Dorset, BH17 9JU | Tel: 01202 692132 | Fax: 01202 606500 | Email: pgsoffice@poolegrammar.com

Governing Body

The Governing Body of Poole Grammar School have ultimate responsibility for the strategic directions of the school. The day-to-day management is delegated to the Headteacher. Governors come from a wide range of backgrounds and provide expertise in many areas whilst acting as a critical friend to the Senior Leadership Team of the school. The Governing Body runs a committee structure where much of the hard work takes place. The committees comprise Education, Finance, and Premises, which meet at least once a term and Staffing, Discipline, and Admissions, which meet less frequently.  Click here for a summary of the structure of the Governing Body and its committees.  Full Governing Body meetings take place 4 times a year (2 Autumn Term, 1 Spring Term, and 1 Summer Term).

Details of the business and financial interests, and governance roles in other schools are contained in the Governor biographies below.

Dr K Power (Chairman - Academy Governor)

I have been Chairman of Governors for 5 years and am an old boy of the school (1967-74). I am a firm believer in the concept of grammar schools and their ability to bring life changing educational opportunities to students of academic ability irrespective of parental income or background. For that reason I am committed to sustaining and improving Poole Grammar School on all fronts.

I work as a consultant in Anaesthesia & Critical Care Medicine in Poole Hospital and am currently the Clinical Director for Critical Care Services. I have a medico-legal practice and as such am a director of my company Power Medico-Legal Consultancy. I also have a small property letting interest.

As Chairman of Governors I endeavour to attend meetings of the other committees and also chair the Staffing Committee

Mr N Bichard (Vice Chairman - Academy Governor)

Neil Bichard has been a governor since September 1992 and was originally an LEA governor appointed by Dorset County Council.

Neil is a qualified architect practicing in Broadstone, with a degree from Portsmouth School of Architecture and a post graduate diploma from Birmingham School of Architecture. Prior to that he was educated at a local boys grammar school and has been married since September 1990 and has a daughter and a son. It’s best not mentioned that he was chair of the old boys association of his former school for 6 years.

Neil also served as a governor at Springdale First School for 9 years, 8 of which were as Chair of Governors, and is a local scout leader and an active member of Wimborne Rotary Club. In his spare time Neil is a volunteer warden on Brownsea Island, a board member of East Dorset Heritage Trust and sings in the choir of St. Peter’s Church in Bournemouth. Many of you may also have seen him as head marshall and co-organiser of the Broadstone Christmas Parade as a member of Broadstone Chamber of Trade.

Neil has always been a strong supporter of the school in his time as a governor and has been a “staff” member on the school ski trip for 7 years and was also a DofE supervisor and assessor having helped run the Bronze award at the school for more than 10 years. He has also supported, and taken part in, the History Department’s Battlefield Tour, speaking on the architectural aspects, and in particular the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens at Thiepval. In addition he has helped on the Y7 Viking experience at Cranborne ATC as well as attending music, drama and sports events at the school.

As well as being on the Full Governing Body, Neil chairs both the Governors’ Premises Committee and the Health and Safety Committee, and is link Governor with both the History and Music Departments. Neil is also chair of Poole Grammar School Enterprises Limited, the school’s trading subsidiary.

Mr S Bates (Parent Governor)

I am a Parent Governor of Poole Grammar School. I was a parent governor for my children’s junior school, supporting the Head Teacher and his team as well as being on the Finance Committee. I have a Mathematics degree from the University of Sheffield. I trained as a Chartered Accountant with a major firm in London and moved to Poole in 2002. I am Finance Director of New Earth Solutions Group Limited, a locally based waste management company, which focuses on diversion of household waste away from landfill.

I fully support the school’s ethos of developing the boys to their full potential. As well as being a member of the Full Governing Body, I am on the Finance committee and link Governor for Modern Languages and Mathematics.

Mr S Bowden (Parent Governor)

I have been a Parent Governor since November 2014. I have a degree in Physics from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, an MBA from London Business School and a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the Open University.

I worked for a number of years for an American Investment bank in London, running the derivatives trading business.

I have two boys at Poole Grammar school and two girls at Parkstone Grammar school, where I am also a Governor. I sit on the Governor’s Education Committee. My interests are technology and computing, and I am about to study for a Master’s degree in Data Science at Bournemouth University.

Mr A J Baker (Principal Governor)

I am a member of the Governing Body as part of my role of Headteacher, which I have undertaken since January 2014. As Headteacher, I sit on all Committees of the Governing Body, except the Audit Committee.

I have worked in education since 1980, when I completed my Postgraduate Certificate in Education. I am primarily a teacher of Politics and History. I have worked in four schools (and was a member of the senior leadership team in three, including Poole Grammar). I was seconded to Bournemouth Borough Council for two years, where I worked in school improvement. I received the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in 2001. I am also Chair of Governors of the Quay School, which is Poole’s alternative provision.

In addition to my role as Headteacher, I am employed by AQA as an examiner (I mark Government and Politics A level papers). I am an OFSTED Inspector, and conduct inspections on behalf of Poole Grammar. I also act as School Improvement Adviser to a school in London, again on behalf of Poole Grammar. Finally, I make and sell stoneware pottery in local markets.

Mr N Chase (Staff Governor - Teaching)

Nathan Chase has been a teacher of Chemistry at Poole Grammar School for nine years, and is currently a teaching staff governor.

He studied Chemistry at the University of Southampton. Once he had completed his degree, he went on to work as a Customer Services Manager for some time for one of the major supermarket chains. He studied for his PGCE in 2003 and once complete, began working at Poole Grammar School as a chemistry teacher. He is currently a head of year in the Lower Main School.

As a Teaching Staff Governor, Nathan attends meetings of the Full Governing Body, and is also a member of the Premises committee.

Mrs C Churches (Parent Governor)

I am a Parent Governor, elected in January 2017.  I was born in Dorset and have lived in Poole since 2001.  I have worked in the regulation and inspection of social care since 1995. Initially this role included the inspection of the care aspect of boarding schools and children’s homes.  It’s an interesting and challenging job and I hope I can use my skills to support and challenge the school in my role as a Parent Governor.

My son was in the first tranche of boys admitted in Year 7 and he is now in Year 10.  I have a strong interest in the importance of the social and emotional development of young people in addition to academic learning in order to help them to be come well rounded adults and achieve their full potential.

As well as being a member of the Full Governing Body, I am a member of the Premises Committee and a link Governor for Upper Main School.

Mrs C Crosby (Parent Governor)

I am a new parent Governor elected in 2016 at Poole Grammar School where my son is a pupil. I have a degree in Interior Design and hold a teaching diploma. I work freelance as an Interior Designer, and I also teach supporting and teaching learning in schools to level 3.

I attend the Full Governor Body meetings and am on the Governors’ Education Committee. I am also a link Governor for Religion and Philosophy, and Art.

Dr S Eccles (Academy Governor)

Dr Eccles is an Academy Governor and provides a useful link between the School and HE Sector. She is the Head of Education at the Media School, Bournemouth University, having completed a BSc in Marketing and PhD in Consumer Behaviour at Lancaster University and worked for 20 years in UK universities. She is currently studying part-time for an MA in Education at the Open University. Her research interests are based around issues of consumer behaviour and, more recently, understanding ‘teacher excellence’.

With knowledge about young people, teaching and learning, Sue has insights into some of the challenges facing schools such as PGS in supporting and best preparing students to succeed as individuals and be confident and able to make as full a contribution to society as possible. Her experience includes providing strategic leadership, managing staff and driving through change within the context of education – issues that are equally relevant to PGS and the work of the Governing Body.

As well as being on the Full Governing Body, Sue sits on the Governors’ Education Committee, and is the Link Governor for the Drama Department.

Mr A Falck (Academy Governor)

Adrian Falck is an Academy Governor and an old boy of the School.

Adrian was first appointed a Governor in 2006 and is currently a member of the Finance, Staffing and Audit Committees, Chairman of the Admissions Committee and a member of the Discipline panel. He is also the link governor for the Geography department.

Adrian is a Partner of Preston Redman Solicitors in Bournemouth practicing in commercial and residential property and property litigation. Outside of the office, Adrian is a qualified Mountain Leader and is a Trainer and Assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Mrs F French (Academy Governor)

Originally a Parent Governor, I have been co-opted back for my second term as a Governor at PGS. I have a Physics degree from Bristol and initially worked in Medical Physics in London and Poole (Nuclear Medicine and vascular ultrasound scanning). I then trained in admin and worked in the Health Service (my favourite role was night duty admissions in A&E), in a Retirement Home and “temped” for Children’s Services for Poole Borough Council.

Since 2008, I have been working towards a Diploma with the Open University, covering some generalised psychology, sociology and counselling modules and specific short courses on Autism and Eating Disorders. As well as being on the Full Governing Body, I am Deputy Chair of the Governors’ Education Committee and on the Staffing Committee, and I am the link Governor for Most Able Children, Special Education Needs and Groups, and Religious Education.

Miss S Gouveia (Staff Governor - Non Teaching)

Susan has been at Poole Grammar School for nine years and is currently a Support Staff Governor. Susan currently runs the School’s busy Reprographics Department as well as managing the School website, social media feeds and e-comms among other functions! Susan is also a keen photographer and takes the majority of photos for school publications. As a Support Staff Governor, Susan attends meetings of the Full Governing Body, and is also a member of the Premises committee.

Mrs M Holmes-Evans (Co-opted Governor)
Mr S Morris (Parent Governor)

I am an experienced Parent Governor at Poole Grammar having previously been Chair of Governors at St. Mary’s Catholic Combined School for five years. I am married to Suzi and have a son in the Upper 6th and Year 7.

I have a degree in Design from Nottingham and I am half way through a PhD at Bournemouth having completed my MPhil transfer.

Having been Design Director at G Plan and Peter Guild for 15 years, I decided after a life changing rugby accident to start my own business. For 15 years I owned a ran a successful Domiciliary Home Care business – I now own and run a courier and express freight business based locally.

I am a level 2 RFU coach and I have coached children at LMRFC and several local schools for 12 years.

Apart from my obvious business experience, my work knowledge in dealing with the government departments at a local and national level, Safeguarding Policies & Procedures and staffing issues are invaluable to my Governor roles.

Being a late starter myself I am passionate about ensuring that all children are given every opportunity and support to achieve their academic and personal goals. I believe that Governors should ensure that the boys at Poole Grammar are inspired, engaged and empowered to be the best they can be. I have a strong belief that there is something special and unique in everyone and we should endeavour to find that.

I am Deputy Chair of the Finance Committee, a member of the Premises Committee and a Design Technology Link Governor.

Mr D Newell (Academy Governor)

David is an old boy of PGS (1971-78) and has been a governor on the Education Committee since 2002. He is a Computer Scientist, with degrees from Manchester University in Physics & Electronics Engineering, and Software Engineering from Bournemouth University, where he is a Senior Lecturer in Systems Integration in the Faculty of Science and Technology. David has published numerous academic papers on Computer Networks in many international journals and has presented invited keynote speeches at conferences throughout Europe and Internationally including India, Korea and South America. He visits colleagues in the USA and has worked with companies such as Ferranti, Plessey Semiconductor, Schlumberger Instruments, Fairchild & National Semiconductor, Cisco and IBM. As Chairman of Poole Borough’s Education Committee, he negotiated grants and funding of over £100m from Whitehall to improve Poole’s Primary and Secondary Schools. He currently chairs the BOP Environment and the Audit Committees.

Mr J Pullen (Parent Governor)

John is a Parent Governor with one son Guy who is at PGS and Hugo, an Old Grammarian. John was brought up in Kingston-Upon-Thames, where he went to Tiffin School, before undertaking a degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering at The City University, London. John has had 29 years experience working within high-technology companies and has supplemented this with post-graduate qualifications in business management and marketing. John is extremely enthusiastic with science and technology and is committed to support the schools advancement in a well-rounded education, equipping the boys with skills and confidence for successful futures. John is a member of the Governors’ Premises Committee as well as being in the Full Governing Body and is the link Governor to the Design Technology and Business Studies departments.

Mr J Rana (Parent Governor)

Jayes (Jay) Rana is a Parent Governor, married to Bijal and has two sons at Poole Grammar. He was brought up in the Leicester and went to Bradford University to do his Dual degree in Civil and Structural Engineering. He moved to Poole in 1996 to work for a steel fabrication company. Jay is a Chartered Structural Engineer and is a Director of a local Civil and Structural Engineering Consultancy. Jay also is training to be a trainer for Dale Carnegie.

Jay was a Parent Governor at a local Primary School and following an Ofsted inspection and other circumstance soon found himself as Chair of Governors for that school. The school had to re-establish it leadership role and deal with its poor report from Ofsted. Jay has been through over 10 Ofsted Inspections and the school in its last inspection was raised to Good. Jay assisted in appointing the new Headteacher for that school and helped “steady the ship” during its turbulent times. Jay, from his experience has helped several other school during their tough times and is sometimes asked by Poole LA to do so. Jay is committed to making a difference to help children do the best they can, holding Headteacher and other key members of staff and Governors to account. Being particular to detail yet not losing the big question of “so what does this mean for the children?”

As well as member of the Poole Grammar full Governing Body, Jay is a member of the Finance Committee and is a link Governor for pupil premium spending.

Mrs J Risness (Academy Governor)

I am an Academy Governor and chair of the Education Committee. Originally from Kent, I have a degree in Rural Environment Studies but somehow switched direction along the way to become a technologist for an JPMorgan, based in Bournemouth. This career has given me the opportunity to work extensively in Europe, Middle East and 6 years based in the US. My husband and I settled first in North Dorset and now in Poole with our 2 children. I was invited to become a governor at their first school and enjoyed the role so much, I stood as a parent governor at their middle school and then here at Poole Grammar. My son left the school a few years ago and is now a qualified solicitor working for an international law firm in the City, but I have continued to serve as a governor here. Coming from a non-educational environment has enabled me to ask plenty of basic questions about teaching methodologies and progress tracking in school. I can in turn offer my experience of management practices and innovations from a large corporation. We have seen a lot of change in the world of education during my time at Poole. As governors, our role is to support the staff to steer a path through it all to ensure that our boys continue to reach their potential and go out into the world as accomplished and well-rounded young men.

Mrs A Steel (Academy Governor)

My husband and I run a shopfitting business for which I studied accountancy to Technician level to enable me to further understand our company accounts. I am Finance Director and control the accounts and payroll and implement all financial decisions as required to run our business.

I was first a governor in 1993 at our children’s First School in Verwood, serving two terms as a parent governor, a role which I thoroughly enjoyed and found the experience of being involved in the development of the school very enjoyable. When I finished my second term I was vice chair of governors and Chair of the Finance Committee, our youngest being at middle school by this time.

This led me two years later to being elected as parent governor at Poole Grammar School, where I have been pleased to be able to reprise my governor role, albeit on a completely different level. The differences in the size of the budget and the age and number of pupils are vast but I have found it surprising how many similarities there are and how much of my past experience has been invaluable. I am now in my third term of office and am an Academy governor serving on the Admissions, Staffing and Finance committees and have recently been elected as Chair of Finance.

I am the link governor for Physics where my interest is mainly through our son who gained a good engineering degree and is now working as a Research Engineer.

Mrs A Thomas (Parent Governor)

I was elected as a parent Governor in 2016; I have a son in year 9 and I currently work at Canford Heath Junior School. I worked in retail management but stayed at home once we had children. Since then I have taken numerous educational courses and am currently working towards a qualification as a level 3 teaching assistant.

As a parent I have been involved in various committees, I was the chair of the PTA at my children’s infant school, this included organising and running various fund raising events and I currently represent the Grammar School as a member of Poole Parents Voice.

I attend the Full Governor Committee meetings and am on the Premises Committee. I am also a link Governor for the Learning Resource Centre.

Mr A Williams (Staff Governor - Teaching)

Alan Williams is a Staff Governor, and teaches science with a focus on biology. He was educated at a boys’ grammar school in London, before gaining a degree in biology at Bristol University.

He worked in various Government departments and offshoots for over twenty years. He then trained locally as a science teacher and joined PGS in 2007.

He has been a Governor since 2013 and currently sits on the Finance Committee.

All governors can be contacted through the school office via Mr J Stiby, Clerk to Governors, Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, BH17 9JU. E-mail: stibyj@poolegrammar.com