Board of Governors | Haberdashers' Girls' School

Haberdashers’ Girls’ School is one of the 11 schools of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, and it is a source of great pride that students 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 wellbeing 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 supported by a number of committees which operate across the two schools and an advisory group for each school. A number of governors also serve on the Board of The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools’ Foundation.

  • EI&SC: Estates, Infrastructure and Sustainability Committee
  • FC: Finance Committee
  • IC: Innovation Committee
  • PC: People Committee
  • R&NC: Remuneration and Nominations Committee
  • RC&SC: Risk, Compliance and Safeguarding Committee
  • T&LC: Teaching and Learning Committee

Governors’ biographies below record membership of relevant committees and any other specific responsibilities held, A number of Governors also serve on the Board of The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools’ Foundation.

The Board of Governors and its committees are supported by the Clerk to the Governors: Tim Monod

Simon Cartmell OBE (Chair Board of Governors, Foundation Board Member, R&NC)

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 has spent 40 years as an executive or venture capital investor in life-science and technology firms.

As Chief Executive Officer 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 an Executive 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 currently non-executive Chairman of OssDsign AB, a Swedish customised implant business, Chairman of Oviva AG, a Swiss based diabetes and obesity management business.  He also sits on the Board of MATOrtho Ltd a British orthopaedic business and Axis Spine Technologies Ltd, a St Albans based spinal implant start up. He is a Director of Route 2 Property Ltd and a number of community sports organisations.

In addition to his role as Chairman of the Board, Simon sits on the Court of Assistants of the Haberdashers’ Company and several of its committees. He was made OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours in 2016 for services to the life-science sector.

Henrietta Afolami (PC, Nominated Safeguarding Governor Girls' School, c/o the Clerk to the Governors)

Hetti Afolami was educated at St Mary’s School, Calne and then Durham University where she read History and Politics. She subsequently qualified as a solicitor with Allen & Overy LLP where she specialised in litigation and international arbitration.  Following a Masters in Public International Law from King’s College, London, Hetti joined the Government Legal Department’s Immigration Litigation team where she acted for the Home Office in defending challenges to their immigration decisions.

Hetti has since qualified as a mediator and now runs In Place of Strife, The Mediation Chambers which assists individuals and businesses in resolving their disputes.  Hetti is a Director of the Civil Mediation Council on behalf of In Place of Strife and chairs their Government Liaison Working Group.

Hetti is a Liveryman of the Haberdashers’ Company. She served as the Haberdasher Governor of St John the Baptist School, Hoxton for nine years.  Hetti is married with three young sons.

Shruti Ajitsaria (T&LC, Chair IC)

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 a Partner and the Head of Fuse, Allen & Overy’s tech innovation space which opened in September 2017, which is aimed at identifying LegalTech companies which are relevant to its lawyers and clients.

During 2018, she was 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 nine, seven, and three) and used her most recent maternity leave to undertake the FT Diploma in Non-Executive Directorships and a three 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.

Delyth Chambers (TL&C)

Following nine years of consultancy in higher education, Delyth Chambers joined the University of Warwick as Director of Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions in 2015. Over the previous two years she worked with the University on process and organisational change, culminating in the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award for Outstanding Admissions Team 2015.

Delyth has had a long career in higher education including as Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions and Widening Participation at the universities of Birmingham and Manchester.  She was spokesperson for the Russell Group of universities for a number of years, and has been involved in various national initiatives, working parties and advisory bodies including discussions on reform of national admissions processes, and the impact of pre-higher education curriculum change. Delyth advised the UK Government Department for Education between 2006 and 2010 on the engagement of higher education in the 14 to 19 curriculum reforms and was consultant to the Universities UK Admissions Reform Delivery Partnership.

Caroline Clapper (EI&SC)

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 four-term County Councillor for Hertfordshire and three-term Borough Councillor for Hertsmere, representing Radlett, Aldenham and Elstree. She is the Deputy Leader of the Authority and is responsible for the Property and Economic Development Portfolio 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 Elstree Aerodrome Consultative Committee as well as the Arsenal FC Steering Committee. She is also the Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste as well as sitting on the Education Committee at the County Council.

Caroline was previously a School Governor at Aldenham School, as well as at HJPS and Woodridge Junior School. Caroline is married to Michael Clapper (an Old Boy) and they have three children.

Tim Dolan (Vice Chair of Girls' School, Foundation Board Member, FC, EI&SC, R&NC, Chair RC&SC, c/o the Clerk to the Governors)

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.

Jeremy Gladwin (T&LC, RC&SC, Nominated Safeguarding Governor Boys' School)

Educated at King’s School Worcester (choral scholar) and Whitgift, then Durham and Cambridge Universities.  BSc in Geography, MEd in Educational Leadership. Taught for 15 years at Shrewsbury school before Deputy Headship at Royal Hospital School (six years) and Headships at St Edmund’s School Canterbury and Bishops Stortford College (six and nine years).  Inspector for CSCI, Ofsted and ISI.  HMC Professional Development Committee (15 years).  Now retired but continuing to work with HMC, and in consultancy.  Lover of music (pianist) and was a keen tennis player, enjoying many sports.

Helen Gough (Chair EI&SC)

Educated at Haberdashers’ Girls’ School, Helen is an experienced real estate and construction leader who has worked in the commercial property sector advising investors, occupier and education clients on maximising the returns and realising the potential of their assets and estates, operating at Board level in Executive and Non-Executive roles.

Having attained a BSc (Hons) in Building Surveying, Helen qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and built a career in property consultancy at Hiller Parker, King Sturge and JLL, where she was Head of Project & Development Service, a member of their UK Executive Board, EMEA Corporate Solutions Leadership Team and Global Project & Development Services Board. Committed to diversity and inclusion, she was founder and Chair of the JLL Gender Balance Network.

Following a period of consultancy, Helen joined the John Whitgift Foundation as Director of Property in 2021. The charity has a commitment to the elderly and young people at its three independent schools. In addition to the school and care estates, the commercial and residential portfolios have a significant role to play in funding bursaries and providing young people with access to an outstanding education.  In a Non-Executive capacity, Helen is an Independent Co-opted Member of the Estates Strategy Committee of King’s College London. The Committee is responsible for the development and management of the university’s property assets across five central London locations: The Strand, Waterloo, Guy’s, St Thomas’ and Denmark Hill.

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 was appointed a Non-Executive Director and member of the Aquinas Academy Trust in 2015.  In 2017 she was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers and appointed to the Property Committee.  In 2019 she was elected to the Court of Assistants.

Julian Gregory (FC, EI&SC, R&NC, Vice Chair Boys' school)

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.

Pooja Jain

Pooja was a pupil at Haberdashers’ Girls’ School  from 1995 to 2004. Upon leaving school, she joined the Haberdashers’ Company as an apprentice and is currently a liveryman of the Company. After her years at Habs, Pooja went on to read English at Trinity College, Cambridge and then trained as a solicitor. Having begun her career working at city law firms, Allen & Overy and Macfarlanes, Pooja then moved in-house as a corporate finance lawyer. After working for a government agency for a number of years, she now works for an international bank.

Prior to becoming a solicitor, Pooja qualified as a teacher through the Teach First programme, teaching English at a secondary school in Kilburn, London. Teaching and education remain interests of hers as well as volunteering.

Nish Kukadia (T&LC, IC)

Nish was educated at Haberdashers’ Boys’ School from 1995 to 2000, after which he studied Management at Manchester University. He began his career at the WPP advertising group and in 2007 founded, which grew to become the UK’s largest designer flash sales website with over 1,500 brand partners and a 6.3 million consumer base. As CEO, Nish was responsible for various phases of rapid growth and complex digital transformation. He has been awarded 2014’s Great Britain’s Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year, and listed as one of Britain’s top retailers in 2015 by RetailWeek and in the top 10 Britain’s most Influential Entrepreneurs by Debretts & The Sunday Times in 2016.

Subsequently Nish has operated as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for a private investment office, launched two non-alcoholic drinks brands and most recently helped scale a group of care homes for 11-18 year old children with social, emotional and mental health challenges (SEMH), rated Outstanding by OFSTED. Here he has launched and is a governor of West Lodge School, a specialist SEMH education provision in Suffolk.

Nish is married with two sons.

Claire Martinsen (EI&SC, RC&SC)

Claire was educated at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls and was one of the inaugural pupils of the Prep department at Monmouth.  She then studied Marketing and German at Strathclyde University.

After 4 years at Coats Viyella where she was Sales Director of a hosiery division, she joined Mars Inc.  Claire spent 11 years at Mars in a number of commercial roles, and across three Mars division [pet food, food and confectionery].

In 2009 she set up her own soft drinks company – Breckland Orchard, based just outside Cambridge.  Breckland Orchard drinks are sold in cafes, delis and restaurants right across the UK, as well as being exported to 10 overseas markets.

Tony Mather (EI&SC, IC)

Tony was born in the north of England and now lives in Blewbury, near Oxford. He studied Engineering at Surrey University, followed by an MBA at Kingston Business School and an MSc in Digital Innovation at Henley Business School.

Tony has spent over 30 years working in technology and digital transformation for a number of companies and organisations, ranging from being a member of the Board of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office through to International Chief Information Officer for Clear Channel, a large media company.

Tony is currently responsible for the sizeable information and technology change portfolio that is focused on modernising and bringing new capability to AWE, ensuring the changes that are necessary to create a digitally transformed working environment. He is also responsible for all aspects of security, including cyber and information security.

In his spare time Tony is a skydiving coach and also enjoys spending time with his family, beekeeping, and running ultra-marathons.

Jonny Myers (PC, Chair of the Foundation Board)

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 The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School and one daughter who is currently at Haberdashers’ Girls’ School.

Robert Ohrenstein (Chair FC, R&NC)

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.

Helen Rosethorn (Chair PC, Chair R&NC)

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.

Bernadette Stubley (Chair T&LC, IC)

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 included curriculum, assessment and provision for the most able, she also line managed the academic Heads of Department.

Alastair Thomas (T&LC, IC)

After studying French at Kings’ College London and then a brief stint with the John Lewis Partnership, Alastair started his teaching career in 2000 at Kingshott Preparatory School in

Hertfordshire, where he taught a Year 4 class as well as French and Games. After being promoted to Head of French, he then took up position as Head of French and Latin at The Downs, Malvern. In 2008, he became Deputy Head Academic at Lambrook School, Ascot. Alastair took up his first Headship at The Elms Preparatory School, a co‐educational boarding and day school in the lea of the Malvern Hills in 2010. In 2018 he relocated to Abingdon to take up the post of Head of The Manor Preparatory School.

As well as school responsibilities Alastair is a member of the District 10 IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) Committee and joined the IAPS Strategy Committee in September 2022. He is also an Inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).

Neel Patani (FC)

Neel attended Berkhamsted School followed by the University of Exeter, where he did a BA in Economics and an MSc in Finance and Investment. Since graduating, he has worked in finance with leading investment banks including RBS, Nomura and MUFG. He is currently at Barclays as a Change Programme Manager for structured credit trading.

He is keen to bring strong governance to his role with the Haberdashers’ Company. He is also a trustee of the Clothworkers’ Foundation. 

Neel enjoys playing squash, exploring Hertfordshire on his bicycle, and taking his son to swimming lessons.

Rida Rahmani (FC)

A former student of Karachi Grammar School in Pakistan, Rida Rahmani graduated from University College London with a first class honours degree in Mathematics with Economics.

A Chartered Accountant, she then began her career as an audit graduate at EY, in 2006. Working her way up to Partner over 16 years with the firm, Rida focused her skills in the oil and gas sector, acting as auditor and financial consultant to large and listed companies.

Going on to join BDO as an Audit Partner in 2022, she is also the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Lead in her firm. Rida now brings tremendous knowledge and experience to the board. Contributing to the future vision of Habs, she is playing an active role in helping us implement our strategy.

With three boys currently studying at Habs, the school is very close to Rida’s heart. Outside the financial world, she enjoys travelling, spending time with her family and serving the community.