The Governing Body
Governors are responsible for overseeing the management side of the School: strategy, policy, budgeting and staffing. They enable the School to run as effectively as possible, working alongside senior leaders and supporting teachers to provide excellent education to students.
Aylesbury Grammar School was founded as a ‘free school’ for local students. Our commitment to this foundation, and our promise to ‘nurture character’ of our students for them to flourish throughout their lives, drive our developments over the coming years. Our strong sense of history is combined with a dynamic and exciting future. Our vision is to make the School an international leader in learning and pastoral care, providing an unparalleled breadth of opportunity. Our community will flourish in all they do through excellence, humility and positive relationships, making a positive contribution to society.
The Governors of AGS are enthusiastic and committed, supporting the School and its leadership, regularly monitoring and providing challenge. They meet termly as a Full Governing Body, and in committees. The four committees of the Governing Body are : Learning & Teaching, Community & Development, Resources including Finance, and Personnel & Pay.
In 1714 Henry Phillips left a sum of £5,000 in trust to be applied “for the purchase of lands of inheritance in fee simple in the county of Bucks, for the enlargement and further provision for the Free School in Aylesbury”. Ten trustees were appointed by the High Court in 1717. They were the first trustees of what is now the Aylesbury Grammar School Foundation. The Aylesbury Grammar School Foundation Trustees own all the property which is held in trust for the benefit of the School.
The School became an Academy in 2011 with a strong governing body which governs the School and on which parents, staff, Foundation Trustees and others have representatives.
The categories of Governors are as set out in the Articles of Association, except that where the Articles refer to Community Governors this shall be deemed to refer to Appointed Governors, who may be appointed by the Governing Body on the recommendation of the Chair of Governors, the Chair of the Foundation and the Head. Co-opted Governors are appointed by a vote of the Governing Body (excluding votes of Co-opted Governors). Parent Governors are appointed by the parents or guardians of registered students. Staff Governors are appointed by the School staff.
Historic attendance of Governors at Full Governing Body meetings can be seen in our Statement of Accounts.
For further details of the AGS Governing Body, or for any queries, please contact the Clerk to the Governors at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Richard Williams, Appointed Governor, Chair of Governors, Safeguarding Governor
Richard has been a Governor since 2013 and became Chair of Governors in 2018, having previously been Chair of the Resources & Finance Committee. Richard is also the Safeguarding Governor. A partner at international law firm, Pinsent Masons in London, for over 25 years, with a specialism in dealing with project risk issues, Richard has worked on many of the major UK projects of the last 30 years and also globally on a range of infrastructure developments. Reducing his London working days enabled Richard to take on the role of Chair. Both of Richard’s parents were involved in education for many years as a teacher and governor respectively and this has imbued a strong sense of belief in him of the huge importance of learning and education. His role at the School enables him to contribute in respect of this belief which brings him much satisfaction. He is married to Helen who was previously on the PTA Committee at AGS, resides in Wendover and has 3 sons – one of whom attended AGS, graduating in 2015. Alongside his Governor role Richard enjoys walking (with his dog), sport (more watching than playing) and spending holiday time on the North Wales coast.
Mrs. Andrea Ward, Co-Opted Governor, Vice-Chair of Governors, Chair of Personnel & Pay (P&P) Committee
Andrea has been a Governor since 2016, became Vice Chair in 2018, and is Chair of the Personnel & Pay Committee. After a degree in finance Andrea began her banking career with Lehman Brothers and managed private equity as well as media and technology transactions. For the last 15 years she has designed and delivered bespoke training programmes to the investment banking industry and related sectors. Andrea is also an associate lecturer on corporate finance and related topics at Oxford Brookes University. Passionate about education and learning, her experience as a finance trainer has provided an invaluable insight into learning and into the importance of real-life skills. As the parent of two boys at the School (one former, one current), Andrea shares her boys’ enthusiasm for all the opportunities AGS provides; and the dedication of the teachers and staff. She remains committed to ensuring the School maintains its position as a leading grammar school within the country. Residing in Whitchurch, Andrea loves to sail with her family.
Mr. Mark Sturgeon, Headmaster, Vice-Chair UK & Europe of IBSC
Mark has been the Headmaster of the School since September 2014 having previously held roles as Geography teacher at Burnham Upper School (96-98), Head of Geography at AGS (98-2005) and Head of Year 13 at AGS (2000-2005). He then went on to be Assistant Headteacher – Learning Development (2005-2009) and Deputy Headteacher (2009-2014) at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School. During his career, Mark has presented nationally and internationally on developments in learning, most notably for the International Boys’ School Coalition (IBSC) where he is Vice-Chair for UK & Europe. Additionally, Mark is Chair of The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools, Co-Chair of the Buckinghamshire Association of Secondary Headteachers, Consultant Headteacher for The Prince’s Teaching Institute and Member of the Steering Committee for the Grammar School Heads Association. Football being a huge passion, Mark is the Chair of Buckinghamshire Schools’ Football Association and Honourable Secretary of the South East of England Football Association. A graduate of the University of Liverpool, he is a keen sportsman with a young family of three boys.
Mr. Kevin Hardern, Foundation Governor, Chair of AGS Foundation Trust, SEND Governor
Kevin has been a Governor since 1995. He was initially a Parent Governor, then served as Chair of Governors for eight years, and is currently a Foundation Governor, Chair of AGS Foundation Trust and SEND governor. Residing in Aylesbury since 1987, his two sons came through AGS in the 1990s. He worked in computers and project management in financial services up to 2004, after which he ran his own consulting company for 10 years. He is a Board member for Young Enterprise locally and responsible for property management and volunteers at Aylesbury Methodist Church and Centre. A passionate believer that everyone should do their best to ensure every child achieves their potential during their education, Kevin is also part of the Governing Body of Bearbrook Combined School as Vice-Chair and has helped it through its journey to become part of a Multi Academy Trust. In his spare time Kevin likes to keep fit – he has been a member of Aylesbury Squash club since 1987 – garden, go to the theatre and see as much as possible of his 14 grandchildren.
Mr. James Collins, Foundation Governor, Chair of Learning & Teaching (L&T) Committee, Health & Safety Governor
Jim has been a Governor since 2004 and was the Chair of Governors for six years until 2018. He is currently Chair of the L&T Committee and the Health & Safety Governor. After seven years as a student at AGS from 1969 to 1976, Jim went on to Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge to read Natural Sciences in 1977. He has recently retired after 40 years in the actuarial profession and is now looking forward to fulfilling all the interests that have had to take second place in that time. Jim re-joined the School community initially as a Parent Governor while his two sons were at AGS, becoming a Foundation Governor in 2009, keen to play a part in ensuring that it remains one of the finest schools in the country. On re-joining, he was impressed that the standards were as high as ever and the ethos just as strong. As an enthusiastic beneficiary of the grammar school system, Jim continues to support AGS wholeheartedly and believes the opportunities it offers are tremendous. Jim enjoys walking and cycling in and around the Vale of Aylesbury, and is a keen supporter and season ticket holder at Wycombe Wanderers.
Mr. Michael Brock, Co-opted Governor, Chair of Resources incl. Finance (RiF) Committee
Mike has been a Governor since 2014, initially as a Parent Governor and now as a Co-Opted Governor. He is Chair of the RiF Committee. After he graduated in Business Administration from Loughborough University, the first seven years of his working life were spent in HR for the dairy industry. Mike held various operational and general management roles whilst working in private industry for Unigate, Dairy Crest, Biffa Waste Services and ADT Fire and Security. During the latter part of his time with ADT, he trained in Six Sigma and became a business performance improvement consultant, a role which continued in the final years of working life at the Open University. Born and raised in Aylesbury and one of three brothers all of whom are former students at the School, Mike is passionate about both the School and the vital nature of a high-quality education, a keen Chelsea fan and a music lover.
Mr. Simon Winman, Co-opted Governor, Chair of Community & Development (C&D) Committee
Simon has been a Governor since 2017 and became Chair of the C&D Committee in 2018. Simon previously taught at the School in the 80s/90s as PE teacher and then went on to work at the RFU for 21 years, leading the team developing people, facilities, and business across the game He instituted senior volunteer leadership training, built the foundations of the facilities investment programme, and led the change programme for funding and governance arrangements for 37 county boards. Outside rugby Simon is a sought-after coach, enhancing cohesion and re-committing organisations to their purpose, values, and vision. An accomplished speaker and presenter utilised by various bodies including World Rugby, he coached the ‘Blues’ at Oxford University RFC and is a member of Aylesbury RFC and the Buckinghamshire RFU. Simon resides in Aylesbury and can be seen on various golf courses, refereeing at clubs around Buckinghamshire and keeping fit by running (slowly) around the streets of Aylesbury.
Wing Commander Lee Cobley, Foundation Governor, Development Governor
Lee joined the AGS Science Campaign in 2010, becoming Chair in 2015 to complete the refurbishment of the 15 science labs. Lee has been a Trustee and Foundation Governor of the school for 4 years and is the Development Governor. Born at RAF Halton, Lee attended AGS from 1969 to 1976. He read Mechanical Engineering at Bristol University and worked as a design engineer at Molins, Saunderton. He taught technical English in Finland and Japan, and Maths in East Sussex before joining the Royal Air Force in 1986 as an Education & Training Officer. In 23 years’ service he instructed RAF personnel in Maths, Engineering, Leadership and English, has served in overseas Education Centres in Cyprus and Holland, and mentored the Iraqi Forces in Baghdad, returning home in early 2008. Based at RAF High Wycombe for his final Regular Tour, he had Headquarters’ responsibility for Training, Education and Development across the RAF. Retiring in February 2010, he joined the Full Time Reserve Service coordinating the RAF training of UK Defence Contractors. Married with 3 children, one of whom attended AGS, his hobbies include squash, gardening and voluntary work.
Ms. Jo Moore, Appointed Governor, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) Governor
Jo has been a Governor since January 2020, supporting the school with its brand & marketing communications and is the ED&I Governor for the School. A keen community volunteer, alongside her Governor role, Jo is a Parish Councillor for Wendover, representing the surrounding villages, works with the Wendover HS2 Mitigation Action Group and supports Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, training their dogs to become life-changing hearing companions. Her professional career spans some 25+ years in advertising, brand and marketing communication roles, working with blue-chip organisations across the globe. She currently holds the Global Brand Director role for IT company – Lenovo. A long-time resident of Battersea, Jo moved to Buckinghamshire 4 years ago with her husband and 4 rescue cats & dogs. She is passionate about animals, wildlife, yoga, walking, singing and upcycling. Above all she loves to be able to encourage individuals and communities to tap their potential.
Mr. Paul Bown, Foundation Governor
Paul has been a Governor since 1998 and became a Foundation Governor and Trustee in 2007. He attended AGS from 1962 to 1969 and went on to Manchester University for a degree in Economics. Paul’s business career has largely been involved in the property industry spending 27 years with Connells Estate Agents, with his last 10 years (up to 2000) as Chairman. Paul currently owns and runs Waterside Investments, Chearsley Developments, and Chain-Movers, all of which deal with various aspects of property investment and development. Over the last 15 years, there have also been non-executive/part time assignments, largely on behalf of Venture Capitalists, including Executive Chairman of Bennetts Insurance Brokers, Director of Luxury Productions, and Chairman & part owner of P & A Music Productions. Outside interests include Lions Club International (Past President of the Bicester club), skiing, golf, classical music, theatre, foreign travel and global stock markets. Paul resides with his wife Elaine in Chearsley, his 2 children Jeremy (who attended AGS – 1995 to 2001) and Lucy having now flown the nest.
Mr. Yomi Odukoya, Parent Governor
Yomi has been a Governor since 2018, with one of his sons attending AGS. Moving to Aylesbury 8+ years ago, Yomi was a Parent Governor at Hartwell Primary School for 4 years, serving on the curriculum committee. Yomi has since 1996 served as a youth pastor to churches in London and Northampton, catering to the physical, emotional and spiritual development needs of young persons, and supported over 300 young people. A passion for developing young, emerging leaders led him to write his book “Equipped to Emerge” which focuses on building the character of emerging leaders and he also set up an Emerging Leader Mentoring Service mentoring secondary school students in Nigeria. Professionally, Yomi is Vice President with an investment bank, responsible for software quality assurance and has worked in similar roles within the investment banking and wealth management industry for the last 20 years. He is also a management skills trainer, itinerant speaker, facilitator and leadership coach. Yomi is Chair of the Nigerian Community Association in Aylesbury, which celebrates Nigerian culture and encourages Nigerians to serve voluntarily in the community. Yomi’s hobbies include football, writing and movies.
Mrs. Jo Dennis, Appointed Governor
Jo has been a Governor for 20+ years, was a past pupil of the School, and was chair of the fundraising committee. Both her sons attended AGS, and Jo was asked by a past Head, Ian Roe, to set up a school uniform shop to raise much needed funds. Jo managed this for 16 years successfully and now the operation has been taken over by the School and on-line shopping introduced. It is an excellent service and has provided money for numerous school improvements. Jo is a qualified teacher but has digressed into the business world through retail shops, nursing homes, a day nursery and restaurants. Dedicated to school improvements, Jo chaired the premises committee for several years. She has an interest in safeguarding and child protection which is so important in today’s world and remains committed to retaining the high standards of excellence at AGS she once experienced herself.
Mr. Chris King, Staff Governor
Chris joined AGS in 2008 as Data Manager, a role which now encompasses Examinations and Data Protection. After a 22-year Local Government career in Finance and Revenues, Chris took the opportunity to qualify as a Teacher of Adults and became an NVQ Assessor in IT and Administration before managing two Adult Learning Centres for Northampton College in Brackley and Towcester. For many years Chris was a member of St John Ambulance which included teaching first aid to members of the public and at schools and the Church Warden for the village church. Chris is currently a Trustee for his village pre-school and Treasurer for the 1st Maids Moreton Scout Group. Chris and his wife have four children and have always been involved in their school’s PTA being PTA treasurer for 12 years. Chris loves to relax at his caravan in Shropshire, next to the River Severn and steam railway with interests in learning new skills, military history, detective stories and walking the Shropshire hills.
Mr. Neil Gibbs, Staff Governor
Neil has been a teacher at AGS for the last 14 years and it is the only school at which he has taught. In his time at AGS he has taught PE, Science, and ICT and currently, he is head of Key Stage 3 PE. This role includes the development of the curriculum and overseeing of the assessment process. Technology is at the forefront of his teaching, and, in recent years, this has led him to become a digital learning leader, a role which enables him to help staff and student maximise the use of technology in their lessons. His passion is in the development of and refinement of the curriculum In the PE department he teaches a broad range of student abilities and he is constantly looking for ways to enrich and enthuse the students in PE. His love of keeping fit extends to long-distance running, and over the last 4 years Neil has completed 3 marathons including the London Marathon in 2019.
Mr. Edward Walter, Appointed Governor
Ed joined the Governing Body in January 2021. He is currently Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead at Dr Challoner’s High School (DCHS) in Little Chalfont. His role includes school leadership, development of IT and e-learning, school data and reporting, Enrichment Week, operational running of the school, the House System and staff cover. Between 2007 & 2017, Ed worked at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School (DCGS) in Amersham. Originally an NQT, he progressed through roles of International Coordinator and then Head of Spanish before taking up the position of Head of Modern Languages. Whilst at DCGS, Ed studied for the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership. This qualification involved leading the whole school implementation of Google Classroom as an e-learning tool. During his final year at DCGS, Ed held responsibility for the Astra Teaching School’s Appropriate Body and Induction for NQTs. Ed is also a Specialist Leader of Education with The Herts & Bucks Teaching School Alliance and an Organist in the Harrow and Hillingdon Circuit of The Methodist Church.