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.
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.
His Honour 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.
Dr 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 Philippa Lang
Philippa has been a teacher since 2001, and has gained over 15 years of senior leadership experience in both state and independent schools, with pupils aged 3-18. Currently, she is Deputy Head at Rose Hill School, an independent preparatory school in Tunbridge Wells. Her responsibilities include the day-to-day running of the school and all matters pertaining to Academics. While in post she has created and implemented a new whole-school curriculum framework designed to equip children for the demands of modern senior schools, universities and employment. In their October 2021 inspection by the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, the school was awarded the judgement of ‘excellent in all areas’. Prior to this, she held the position of Assistant Headteacher: Head of Additional Learning at St Aubyn’s School, a 3-13 preparatory school in Woodford Green, London. There, she was the School SENCo, with responsibility for all pupils with additional learning needs, including EAL and gifted and talented learners. While in post, she completed a post-graduate Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties. Philippa began her career in the state sector, working as Director of Sport in three secondary Academies. It was during this time she completed a Master’s Degree in Education.
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.
Mr Darren Stead
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Darren moved to the UK in 2000, initially living and working in London before moving to Cowden in 2011. Darren holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance (honours from University of Auckland ) and is both a Chartered Account and Chartered Financial Analyst with over 25 years of risk management experience. Darren has played hockey both in New Zealand and for Wapping HC while in London and then Oxted HC. He has a long history of volunteering from coaching hockey, tutoring maths, mentoring school leavers and in recent years being a school governor; Darren Joined the Governing Body in 2021. Darren has a son and was married at Chiddingstone Castle, he enjoys the outdoors and keeping fit and can often be found walking in the local area.
Mrs Olivia Stone
Olivia joined the Governing Body in 2021. She holds a Batchelor of Science Degree with Honours in Chemistry from Kingston University. Olivia has worked for Air BP for 19 years in various operational, quality and health and safety roles. She is currently the Technical Director of Air BP, with a primary focus on safe, reliable operations globally. Olivia lives in Hever, was married and her daughter christened in the parish church. She has a child at Hever and so has a vested interest in the school both now and in the future. Olivia is passionate about the local village and runs the Hever Neighbourhood Watch group. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, the great outdoors and keeping fit.
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.