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 eight committees across our two sites:

  • GSC: Girls’ School Committee
  • BSC: Boys’ School Committee
  • F: Finance Committee
  • E: Estates Committee
  • TL&C: Teaching Learning and Collaboration Committee
  • HR: Human Resources Committee
  • R: Remuneration Committee
  • S: Strategy Committee

The Clerk to the Governors: Charles M Bremner


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 an Operating Partner at IPGroup plc, a venture capital investor in life-science and technology firms. He chairs 2 later stage medical device businesses and is on the board of a molecular diagnostics firm on their behalf.  As Chief Executive Officer (CEO) he led ApaTech Ltd, an Elstree-based orthobiologics company, to significant global success prior to its sale to a US firm in 2010. Previously he was a Director of Celltech Group plc and CEO, Celltech Pharmaceuticals. 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 currently non-executive Chairman of OssDsign AB, a Swedish customised implant business specialising in cranial and facial repair and sits on the Board of ReNeuron plc, Europe’s leading stem cell business and BoneSupport AB a Swedish orthopaedic business.  In addition to his roles as Chairman of the Aske Board, Simon sits on the Court of Assistants of the Haberdashers’ Company and is a Director of Teddington RFC Ltd and two allied local sports organisations.


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 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, specialising in credit derivatives and capital markets (involving drafting almost all of the standard documentation in this area over the last decade). She is now the Head of Fuse, Allen & Overy’s tech innovation space which opened in September 2017, to identify LegalTech companies which are relevant to its lawyers and clients.

During 2018, she has been awarded a TechWomen50 Award and a Fastcase 50 Award as well as being included in the Lawyers Hot 100 list, Brummell Magazine’s 30 Inspirational Women list and Management Today’s Power Part Timers List.

Outside of Allen & Overy, Shruti has three children (aged 8, 6, and 3) and used her most recent maternity leave to undertake the FT Diploma in Non-Executive Directorships and a 3 month course for entrepreneurs at Google Campus, as well as being selected to partake in the Judicial Support Scheme, which is aimed at increasing diversity in the judiciary. She also manages a sector-agnostic portfolio of private investments and recently appeared on BBC 2’s “Million Pound Menu” as a restaurant investor.


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. Steven has four children, with his son and two eldest daughters currently at the Haberdashers’ schools in Elstree.


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’s, Northwood (1987-1995). 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 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.


Before starting her family and political career, Caroline Clapper worked predominantly in the Film and Advertising Industry, lastly for the Scottish Media Group. More recently, she is a 3-term County Councillor for Hertfordshire and 2-term Borough Councillor for Hertsmere, representing Radlett, Aldenham and Elstree. She is the Cabinet Member responsible for Leisure, Culture and Health, and is closely involved in local Planning and Highways issues. She sits on the Boards of both Elstree Studios and Aldenham Country Park, and sits on the Education and Public Health Committees at County Council.

Caroline was previously a School Governor at Aldenham School, as well as at HJPS and Woodridge Junior School. Caroline is married to her husband Michael Clapper (an Habs Old Boy) and they have 3 children – 2 of which are currently at Habs; one at the Girls, and one at the Boys.


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 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 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 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.


Educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, Helen is a Real Estate professional who has worked within the commercial property sector for major investors, occupiers, education and public sector clients. She is an International Director at JLL and sits on the UK Executive Board, Project & Development Services Global Board and has been appointed a Trustee of the JLL Foundation. Helen Chairs the JLL Women’s Network.

Having attained a BSc (Hons) in Building Surveying, Helen qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and was later appointed a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. She served as Chair of the RICS Building Surveying Professional Group for three terms. She is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Helen was appointed a Freeman of the City of London and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors in 2007. Through the Academy Ambassadors Programme, she has been a Non-Executive Director and member of the Aquinas Academy Trust since 2015.  In 2017 she was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers and was appointed to the Property Committee.


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 lives in Tooting, and is married with two sons, aged 8 and 5 years 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, AMV BBDO, and is now Head of Account Management at J. Walter Thompson. In 2018, Emma launched Mind Your Own Business,  a South London support group network for women who want to start their own business and Time for Music, a music well-being initiative for the corporate world.


Leanne was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls.  She subsequently studied Mathematics and Psychology at Manchester University.

Leanne works  independently, running her own FD Consultancy for a portfolio of small and medium sized businesses, spanning a range of industries.  She began her career at PwC, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1993.   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 commercial experience and training within industry and began her Consultancy career, advising companies on their strategy, growth, profitability and business development.

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 with 2 daughters, one of whom currently attends the Girls’ School.


Anna is the Group Finance Director of Johnson Matthey plc and a Non-Executive Director of ITV plc.  Immediately prior to that she was the Group Strategy Director of Diageo plc and a member of Diageo’s Executive Committee, having held a number of senior finance positions in Diageo over 15 years based in America, Ireland, Singapore and London.   She was a Trustee of Diageo’s UK Defined Benefit Pension fund.  She has also 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 was a pupil at the Boys’ School from 1975-1986. He studied at the London School of Economics, and has an MBA from the University of Warwick. Robert is a Chartered Accountant (FCA), having worked at Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, and now KPMG where he leads their global Private Equity 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 sons who previously attended the Boys’ School and a daughter currently at the Girls’ School.


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 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 Spencer 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.


Jonny was educated at Bradford Boys Grammar. He read Engineering and Law at Cambridge University (1982-85) and attended the Wharton Advanced Management Programme in 2012.

Jonny is a Partner at Clifford Chance and is the Global Head of Private Equity, with that practice being ranked Band 1 globally. The practice covers 87 Partners and approximately 250 lawyers in 16 countries. Jonny remains actively involved, advising Private Equity houses and corporate groups, leading investment transactions and client relationships as well as management.

Jonny is a trustee and investment committee member of Social Business Trust, supporting the growth of social enterprises with business expertise.

Jonny and his wife, who is a doctor, have four children, three having been previously at Haberdashers’ Boys’ School, Elstree and one daughter who is currently at Haberdashers’ Girls’ School, Elstree.

Alex Smith-Bingham (S, ICT)

Educated at Eton College and then Bristol University he has worked for Accenture and Capgemini for 23 years. He is now running Capgemini’s UK digital practice helping organisations provide new experiences, innovation, services and insight in an increasingly on-line world.

He was a school governor on the strategy committee for the Haberdasher Aske Federation for 6 years. He is a Liveryman of the Haberdashers’ Company. His interests include rackets, squash, tennis, skiing, windsurfing and travel.

Alex is married to Rachel and has two boys Ben and Tom.

Bernadette Stubley

Bernadette was educated at Thornton College, UK and St Peter’s Diocesan School, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and the University of Kent (History and Philosophy).

Bernadette began her career in education at a London comprehensive and was then appointed to the newly formed staff body at the Harris City Technology College in Croydon.  While at the CTC, an innovative educational environment, Bernadette combined middle management responsibilities with studying for a MA in Education.  Middle and senior management posts leading on academic and curriculum matters at Wallington High School for Girls, a grammar school in Sutton, followed until in 2005 she was appointed Deputy Head Academic at St. Helen and St. Katharine (SHSK), Abingdon. Bernadette was appointed Deputy Head at SHSK in 2011 where her responsibilities include curriculum, assessment and provision for the most able, she also line manages the academic Heads of Department.

She is married with two children, a son educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford and now studying medicine and a daughter at SHSK.


David is Head of Real Estate and Leisure Sectors within Santander Corporate & Investment Bank.  Prior to that he was the Group Treasurer for Grosvenor Group (the largest privately-owned international property management and development company) for 7 years, where he set up the group treasury function and looked after and structured the financing arrangements for the group averaging £1.3bn per annum.  Other roles have included Syngenta AG, (the largest global Agrochemical business) where he held a number of senior positions over 4 years helping set up their Treasury operations after the company was formed from the demerger of Novartis and Zeneca.  He started his career in 1987 with a 12-year spell at Marks and Spencer where he held numerous accounting roles before finding his feet in corporate finance and left to join Marconi treasury where he spent 2 fascinating years from 1999.  

He is a member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. 

David’s first love was music – he studied at the Purcell School of Music and trained as a violinist.  He is married with two daughters who currently attend the Girls’ School.

Come to Our Next Open Morning

We encourage anyone interested in joining Habs to visit during one of our School in Action mornings, which take place throughout the year.