Mrs Margaret Cooke - Co-Chair of Governors
Margaret became Chair of Governors at Hever School in January 2018. She has served on Governing Boards for twenty-one years. She retired from the Executive Headship of Chiddingstone and St. Johns Primary Schools in 2011. During her professional career, she worked as a Primary Excellence Headteacher for Kent and then as a member of the National College for Leadership supporting school improvement. Margaret has three children and four grandchildren and as well as her passion for education, she loves reading, cooking, gardening and spending time with friends and family.
Ms Bridget Harris - Co-Chair of Governors
Bridget joined the Governing Body in 2018. She became Co-Chair of Governors in January 2021. She is born and bred in Edenbridge and attended Tonbridge Grammar School. Having graduated in law at Bristol University she worked in a City law firm for many years as a commercial litigator and professional support lawyer. On leaving the City in 2004 and moving to Hever she spent 14 years managing Edenbridge Voluntary Transport Service and is now involved in various local charities as well as being part of the editorial team of the parish magazine.
Mr Philip Gray - Vice Chair of Governors
Philip joined the Governing Body in 2016. He is a retired Chartered Surveyor/Company Director with 33 years experience in the City, Europe and the Middle East. He also has a wealth of experience in Client Management, Human Resources, Quality Management and Marketing. Philip qualified as a Yacht Master in 2010 and has been actively looking for new challenges where he feels he can make a difference. He enjoys offshore yachting, walking, golf, cycling and gardening (including his prize-winning tomatoes!).
Rector Simon Braid
Simon became the priest-in-charge at the United Benefice of Hever, Four Elms and Markbeech in April 2020. Simon was ordained in 2009 and ministered at St.John's Hildenborough as curate and associate vicar where he was involved in leading acts of worship in four schools as well as overseeing the children's ministry.
Simon is a chartered accountant and before ordination was an audit partner at KPMG where he led KPMG’s social housing and charity practices for over ten years. As a voluntary ('non-stipendiary') priest, Simon continues working as Chief Finance Officer of YMCA DownsLink Group, a regional YMCA working with young people in Sussex and Surrey. He has experience as a Non-Executive Director of two large Housing Associations and other charities as well as being a member of the Rochester Diocesan Finance Committee.
Mrs Pauline Bullen
Pauline graduated from Manchester University in her early 20s and moved south to take up her first post in Cranbrook, Kent teaching French and Spanish. During her career break to look after her son and daughter she ran an early years French club from her home in Tunbridge Wells and in several local primary schools until resuming a full time career as Head of Languages, then later sharing her belief in the benefits of languages for all working across the county as an Advanced Skills Teacher. In 2003 she became Deputy Head Teacher in a highly selective girls grammar school, where she lead the curriculum transformation from the British national curriculum and A levels to full-scale adoption of the International Baccalaureate programme of study. Pauline's range of educational leadership experience has always been underpinned by a belief in the love of learning for personal growth and for the creation of a better world. She has focused on the latter part of her career on developing teachers to aspire to outstanding approaches to teaching and learning. She has worked in several networks and partnerships regionally and nationally towards this aim. Pauline is a Director on the Board of the International Baccalaureate Schools and Colleges Association to support the development of the four IB curriculum programmes in the UK. She worked as a consultant for two contrasting international colleges in Seville Spain from 2016-2018 and particularly enjoyed gaining experience of primary years educational provision. Pauline served as a staff governor in the secondary school setting for many years.
Pauline is now pursuing many and varied interests including learning a new language and growing more vegetables since retiring from full-time school leadership in 2018. Presented with the opportunity to serve Hever Primary School as one of its governors she had no hesitation in rejoining a thriving school community with such potential.
Mr Michael Carroll
Michael joined the Governing body as a Foundation Governor in early 2018.
Michael has four children, all educated in the State system, and for over 20 years also fostered upwards of 50 children. Having had a child with special needs, Michael has always taken a close interest in the education of such children and with experience of fostering is aware of the vital importance of safeguarding. Michael has previously served as Chairman of Governors at Park Hill School in Croydon and is currently Chairman of the Croydon Charitable Foundation, formerly the Addiscombe Abbeyfield Society. Michael retired as a Circuit Judge in 2016 after 20 years and still sits as a Deputy Circuit Judge from time to time. He is the Governor responsible for SEN and Safeguarding.
Mrs Caroline Crooks
Caroline joined the Governing body in 2018 as a Parent Governor. She has a doctorate in Molecular Biology from Oxford University and continued working there as a post-doctoral researcher developing vaccines for Hepatitis C. She then worked for Central Government, for the Ministry of Defence and DEFRA in roles developing communication strategies, project management and policy development. Caroline now devotes her time to charitable causes and being a parent.
Caroline has three children at Hever and so has a vested interest in the school both now and in the future. She enjoys reading, gardening and keeping fit.
Mr Nick Irens
Nick joined the Governing Body in March 2021. He was educated at Blundell’s School in Devon, following which, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1970. He was employed first as Finance Director, then as Chief Executive, of a number of publicly quoted companies in the leisure sector. He also has experience as Non-Executive Chairman of both public and private companies. Now fully retired, he is Treasurer of the Benefice of Hever, Four Elms and Mark Beech. He enjoys gardening, watching cricket, rugby and football, and playing tennis and bridge. He is married with four children and five grandchildren.
Mrs Sarah Neville
Sarah joined as a Parent Governor in October 2020 and holds a Bachelor's degree in French and also a PGCE. She is a mum of two, the eldest being a pupil at Hever. Sarah has been teaching in primary education for 16 years and specialises in KS2 and Primary languages. She is currently the Head of Languages at a large primary school in Orpington. Previously, Sarah has been a leading Primary French teacher for the London Borough of Bromley and has delivered national courses in the Primary French curriculum. She has a particular interest in staff development and is leading the Early Careers Framework within her school, mentoring and supporting staff. Sarah also runs the All Age Service at St Peter & St Paul's Church in Edenbridge, and was a member of the Parochial Church Council. She enjoys reading, cooking, walking and spending time with her young family.
Mr Frederic Perdrix
Born in a small French town halfway between Lyon and Geneva, Frederic has been living in the UK for the last 25 years, mainly in London, and in Hever since 2009. Soon after his daughter was accepted into Hever School, Frederic was elected as a Parent Governor with the remit to look after the financial and budgetary aspects of the school. Now that his daughter has moved onto secondary school, Frederic has become a Foundation Governor. He used to work in London as an executive director, bringing naval architecture and engineering knowledge and expertise. He is a designer and engineer managing multi-disciplinary teams on a wide range of vessel projects for the oil and gas, renewable and shipping industries as well as for the Royal Navy. In his spare time, you may find him running or cycling the magnificent lanes around the school.
Ms Emily Thornton
Emily Thornton holds a Bachelor's Degree (BA) in History (University of Southampton) and a Master's Degree in Jewish History and Culture, Distinction (University of Southampton) for which she was awarded the Ian Karten Studentship. Emily was appointed as Foundation Governor in January 2017. She has worked in Higher Education for over 10 years, currently as Progression and Strategy Support Manager for City, University of London. Her current role involves working at a strategic level translating rapidly evolving government policy into relevant proposals and operationally viable processes. This encompasses oversight of City’s Access and Participation plan which sets out how higher education providers will improve equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups to access, succeed in and progress in Higher Education. Emily chose to become a governor of Hever Primary School because she is passionate about ensuring that all pupils, regardless of background, are able to access excellent education. She lives in Edenbridge with her partner Rob, a local businessman and enjoys travel and trips to the theatre.