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Board of Governors

Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls is one of the eleven schools of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, and it is a source of great pride that girls at our school number among over 10,000 pupils at Haberdashers' Schools, in the maintained and independent sectors. The Company provides funding, guidance and the in-depth experience of governors, who sit on the boards of its schools and colleges around the country, participate in social and official events and take a great interest in the well-being of all the pupils in their care.

Habs receives strong support from its governing body, consisting of people who combine their professional expertise and interest in education to provide practical guidance, and to contribute to the broader strategic framework within which the school operates. 

The Board of Governors is divided into three committees across our two sites:

  • GSC: Girls’ School Committee

  • BSC: Boys’ School Committee

  • F: Finance Committee

  • E: Estates Committee

  • The Clerk to the Governors: Charles M Bremner 

Download the governors' strategy (PDF, 1.1MB)

Simon Cartmell OBE (Chairman Board of Governors)

An old boy of Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Boys, a graduate of Manchester University with a degree in Medical Microbiology, and an alumnus of the London Business School Sloan Fellowship Programme, Simon is currently Chief Executive Officer of Calon CardioTechnology Ltd, an early stage company developing next generation devices for advanced heart failure. Prior to this Simon led ApaTech Ltd as Chief Executive Officer, an Elstree based orthobiologics company.  Simon previously held the position of CEO, Celltech Pharmaceuticals and a Director Celltech Group plc, before which he served as COO at Vanguard Medica/Vernalis plc. His early career was at Glaxo/Glaxo Wellcome plc in a series of senior UK and global sales, marketing, supply chain, business development and commercial strategy roles. Simon is also an advisor to Phase4 Ventures, Mercia Fund Managers, a Venture Partner at Imperial Innovations plc and Chairman of Teddington Youth Rugby.

Tony Johnstone-Burt CB OBE (Chairman Girls’ School Committee)

Tony Johnstone-Burt was educated at Wellington College, Durham University, Salve Regina University and the US Naval War College, in Newport, Rhode Island, and the UK Higher Command and Staff Course.

His career spans 37 years in the Royal Navy which has been spent mainly at sea flying helicopters and in command of ships, Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, an Aircraft Carrier, and Air Assault forces on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He started in HMS Active in the Falklands War and finished as the Chief of Staff to NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Transformation, in Norfolk, Virginia in the rank of Vice Admiral.

He was appointed as the Master of the Royal Household in November 2013.

Shruti Ajitsaria (BSC, Remuneration, T&L)

Shruti attended Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls from 1990 – 1997, after which she studied Law at Downing College, Cambridge. She began her career as a trainee lawyer at Allen & Overy in 2002, and remains there today, specialising in financial derivatives and capital markets. She is currently drafting the industry standard documentation in relation to credit derivatives, due to be published in 2014.

Shruti has a keen interest in education and was previously a school governor at Amherst Primary School in Hackney.

She has lived in Paris and Mumbai but has now settled in North London, together with her husband and two young daughters.

Steven Behr (BSC)

Steven is an Old Haberdasher (1980 – 1991).   He is the Founding Partner of Geneva Capital Partners LLP an FCA regulated hedge fund.  He previously worked as an investment banker at Nomura and Barclays Capital before moving to The Royal Bank of Scotland where he became the Global Head of the Principal Strategies Group, the bank’s proprietary bond trading business.

During his time at the school, Steven was active in a host of extracurricular activities and particularly enjoyed his time in the RAF cadets where he went on to lead the CCF as Under Officer.  He passed out from RMA Sandhurst as a TA infantry officer, whilst at the Manchester Metropolitan University and graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Business.

Outside work, Steven regularly plays water polo, a sport he has enjoyed since school and he also enjoys spending time outdoors with his 3 children.   He is also currently helping to set up a local school for children with special educational needs.  Steven has a 9-year-old daughter at the Girls’ School and a 7-year-old son at the Boys’ School.

Dr Yvonne Ann Burne OBE (GSC, T&L)

Yvonne’s career has been as a teacher, Headmistress, publisher and writer. She was Head of the City of London School for Girls (1995 – 2007) and Head of St. Helen’, Northwood (1987-2005). She is a passionate Educationalist and set up and co-ordinated a number of Independent and State School Partnerships, including one with Eton College and schools in Slough and another with schools in the Haberdashers’ Federation. She advises schools on change management and leadership; appraises Heads and Senior Managers and is a public speaker.

Yvonne is immediate Past Master of the Company of Educators, a JP in the City of London and a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Innholders and a Governor of Berkhamsted School, Brighton University and on the Court of City University. She was recently made a Fellow of the College of Teachers. Yvonne is also a member of the Education Panel for the Wolfson Foundation and a Trustee of the 9/11 London Project and of the Charity, Tomorrow’s Achievers.

She was awarded an OBE in 2008 for her services to education in London.

Margot Chaundler OBE (Chairman Boys' School Committee)

Margot Chaundler was educated at Roedean School and the University of Kent (History and English).  One of the first women to be appointed to the Administrative Class in the Ministry of Defence, she served in a range of appointments for 25 years and was awarded an OBE in 1991.  She was Bursar of St Paul’s Girls’ School from 1995 until 2008.

Margot is the Administrator of the NFL Trust, which supports needy girls at independent schools in the UK. She appraises Bursars, reviews schools’ support structures and helps with senior school appointments. 

She is a Liveryman of the Haberdashers’ Company and was a Governor of the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Schools between 1992 and 2003. She was a Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Haberdashers’ Adams’ Federation Trust from its formation to July 2016. Recent School Governorships include Wellington College, Roedean and Eagle House Preparatory School.

Tim Dolan (GSC, E)

Tim was born and educated in New Zealand and moved to the United Kingdom more than a decade ago. He practices as a solicitor specialising in financial services regulation and is a partner at an international law firm.  Prior to practising as a solicitor Tim worked for a number of different financial services regulators.  Tim is a Liveryman of the Haberdashers’ Company and is married with two young sons.

James Gatehouse (BSC, Safeguarding (Joint))

James Gatehouse is a highly motivated and dynamic individual with the experience, energy, credibility and natural authority to challenge complacency, manage change and drive growth in business. Career highlights include a successful 17 years as a Partner and wealth manager at Killik & Co, a London based firm of stockbrokers.  Responsibilities included leading and managing several branch offices, teams of investment directors and financial planners, business development and personally managing circa £100m of client assets throughout. 

This was preceded by 14 very enjoyable and rewarding years as an Officer in the Grenadier Guards, serving around the World, including two years at Sandhurst training and mentoring officer cadets on their commissioning courses. 

Currently an active and hands-on Trustee of various charitable funds. Married with two children in their 20’s. Loves all sport and interests include military history culture generally.

Rahul Gokhale (BSC, T&L, Prep and Pre-Prep)

Rahul Gokhale is an Old Boy of the Boys' School in Elstree (1996). He runs a plumbing products distributor and is based in North London.

His previous career was spent with the management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton (now PwC Strategy&) where he focused on strategy and business operations projects for large corporations. He holds a double degree in Manufacturing Engineering & Commerce from the University of Birmingham and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Rahul is married with two young daughters. He is a board member of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation and was previously a governor of Little Stanmore School, Canons.

Professor Lawrence Goldman, MA, PhD, FR.Hist (BSC, T&L)

Professor Lawrence Goldman was a pupil at the Haberdashers’ Boys’ School, Elstree, between 1968 and 1975. He read History at Cambridge and on graduation went to study at Yale University on a Harkness Fellowship. He was a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge (1982-5) and Fellow and Tutor in Modern History, and latterly Vice-Master, at St. Peter’s College, Oxford between 1990 and 2014 where he taught modern British and American History. Between 2004 and 2014 he was also the Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, a compilation of biographical essays on more than 58,000 figures in British History, the longest single work in the history of the English language. In 2014 he took up a new appointment as Director of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, which is located in Senate House, Bloomsbury. He has published on the history of social science, workers’ education, nineteenth century politics and Victorian intellectual life. He has contributed a variety of biographies to the Oxford DNB including the life of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. His most recent book was a full-scale biography of the historian and political thinker, R. H. Tawney, published in 2013. 

Julian Gregory (BSC)

Julian was born in Beckenham, Kent and now lives in Weybridge, Surrey with his wife Caroline and four daughters. He attended school at Sevenoaks then studied business at Thames Polytechnic.   His early career was at the Confederation of British Industry where he ran their commercial activities before moving into publishing with a small fast growing start up and then Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.    In 2005 he formed Panacea Publishing International and bought Business Traveller from Euromoney.  He is today the Managing Director of Panacea and travels frequently to events and the Panacea offices overseas.  He is also Director of a small property investment company.

Before family life got rather busy he served for 23 years in the TA/Army Reserve and enjoyed diving, shooting, sailing and tennis.  Today apart from family his interests include food and wine, walking and squash. 

Emma Howarth (GSC, Junior School)

Emma lives in London, and is married with two sons, 3 yrs old and 1 yr old. Emma attended Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls from 1982 - 1995 and was appointed Head Girl in 1994. She studied French and German at Balliol College, Oxford, where she was also the first female Organ Scholar. In 1999, she started her career in advertising, and has worked at M&C Saatchi, Lowe, and TBWA and is currently working at AMV BBDO on the Twinings account. Emma is the Assistant Organist at All Saints Fulham, and also plays the piano and flute.

Tim Jackson-Stops (Chairman E, BSC)

Tim Jackson-Stops, born 1942 educated at Eton and The Royal Agricultural College. He joined Jackson-stops and Staff in 1965. Chairman from 1979 to 1990. He is Non-executive Director of various companies since then including Time Investments and London and Economic Properties. Built or renovated over 50 houses over the last 15 years. He is Trustee of the Herbert and Peter Blagrave Charitable Trust. He qualified as a Fellow of the RICS.

Alasdair Kirk (BSC, ICT)

Educated at HABS and then Warwick University he worked for the RSA Exam Board and the Zurich Financial Services. He is now running a web, and business consultancy specialising in start-ups and SME.

He has been a school governor at a range of schools for over 10 years. He is a Liveryman of the Haberdashers’ Company. His interests include photography, skiing, tennis, music.

Leanne Leigh (GSC, F)

Educated at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls and then Manchester University, where she studied Mathematics and Psychology.  

Leanne began her career at PwC, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant.   After then spending a number of years in commercial strategy roles including working within the retail sector at both Arcadia Group Plc and Dixons Stores Group Plc, Leanne returned to the world of Practice, where she took her experience and training within industry forward and launched her Management Consultancy career, advising companies on their strategy, growth, profitability and business planning.  This path has led her to take on a variety of interesting roles, including, FD, CEO and External Consultant, in many differing companies and industries over the years. 

Leanne has a keen interest in education and was previously a school governor at St Mary's CofE High School in Hendon.

Leanne is married and has 2 daughters who currently attend the Girls' School.

Anna Manz (GSC)

Anna is the Group Strategy Director of Diageo plc and a member of Diageo’s Executive Committee.   Prior to this Anna has held a number of senior finance positions in Diageo, most recently as Regional Finance Director for Asia Pacific based in Singapore and prior to that as Group Treasurer based in London.  She was a Trustee of Diageo’s UK Defined Benefit Pension fund.

Anna has been with Diageo for 15 years and has held a range of finance roles based in America, Ireland, Singapore and London, prior to that she held finance roles with ICI and Unilever.

Anna graduated from Wadham College, Oxford in 1995 with an MA in Chemistry.  She is married to Morten and they have three young children.

Robert Ohrenstein (Chairman F, GSC)

Robert was a pupil at the Boys’ School from 1975-1986. He studied at the London School of Economics, and has an MBA from Warwick University. Robert is a Chartered Accountant (FCA), having worked at Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, and now KPMG where he is responsible for their global Private Equity and Sovereign Wealth practice. He has been involved with various charitable activities including academic and social welfare institutions, as a trustee and treasurer. Robert is married with two boys and a girl. The two boys are currently at the Boys’ School.

Helen Rosethorn (GSC, Safeguarding)

A proud Yorkshire lass, Helen was educated at Leeds Girls’ High School and read Geography at Durham.  Her initial career was in journalism, research and PR in the UK, briefly the US and then for the European Commission in Brussels.  On returning to the UK she moved into advertising and then, spurred on by her part time MBA at Bradford Management School, into Human Capital consulting.  For 14 years she was CEO of a specialist firm within the Omnicom Group where she became well known as a speaker and author on employee engagement, culture and organisational change. In 2015 she ran her own consulting business for a short time before being tempted back into corporate life as a Partner for the global branding and management consultancy Prophet for whom she travels extensively.

Helen and her husband Ian have two daughters both of whom were educated at the girls’ school from 1996 to 2011 – from Rainbow all the way through to A level.  During virtually all that time they were active committee members of the St. Catherine Parents’ Guild – Ian notably running the bar and/or Pimms tent at many a school event!  Helen was Chair of the Guild from 2008 to 2011.

Margaret Scribbins (BSC, Safeguarding)

Margaret attended Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls between 1970 and 1977 so was a pupil at the time the school moved from Acton to Elstree.  She read Geography at Swansea University and subsequently trained as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse (now PwC) and then worked as an accountant in Hertfordshire for many years.  She and her husband (a former Habs boy) have three girls and two boys who all went to the Elstree schools.  

Margaret built up and ran a family buy to let portfolio in St Albans where she lives, and was a non-executive director of Quantum Care Ltd, a 1,000 bed not for profit provider of residential care for the elderly in Hertfordshire for seven years.  Much of Margaret's time nowadays is spent running a 2000 acre mixed farm in Dorset which she owns with her husband.  The farm supplies milk to Marks and Spencers and oats to Jordans, as well as growing a range of crops and being in a Higher Level environmental scheme.  Recent developments include a very successful holiday let business from redundant farm buildings.  Margaret was a farmer representative for the milk pool and learnt to deliver lambs during the recent lambing season.

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