Why Do We Have Governors?

Tring Park School is a Company Limited by Guarantee and a Registered Charity. The governors, as Trustees, are guardians of the assets of the Charity subject to Charities law and Charity Commission oversight. The Governing Body is responsible for the strategic direction of the School, legal and regulatory compliance including risk management and with responsibility for ensuring the proper control of the School’s finances.

The Governing Body are required to exercise judgement in supporting the Principal and senior staff and evaluating outcomes, including educational attainment, thereby properly holding them to account for delivery of the strategic aims of the School. As Trustees, governors have a duty to collectively deliver the Charity’s objectives, to provide public benefit consistent with the guidance of the Charity Commission and to report annually.

All our governors are unpaid volunteers and come from a cross section of professions ranging from teaching, law, finance, HR, marketing, fundraising, and the performing arts.

The full board of governors meets at least three time per year and in addition there are sub-committees with oversight of finance, education, marketing and development & fundraising. Governors also attend shows and come into school to meet staff and pupils to enable them to get a better understanding of the school day and how the school is achieving effective teaching & learning outcomes. Governors take an active role in the life of the school seeking to raise standards and enhance the overall pupil/student experience.

Angela Odell, Chair of Governors


Our Governors

Angela Odell | Chair of Governors | 2007

Angela studied at the University of Birmingham and has a BA (Hons) in French and History. Until retirement at the end of 2019, she spent her working life managing independent healthcare clinics and hospitals and became Head of Clinical Governance for Bupa. She therefore has a wide knowledge of operational management, financial control, governance and regulatory inspections.
She has been associated with Tring Park School for nearly 30 years, firstly as a parent then as a governor since 2007. Angela was appointed Chair of Governors in July 2019. She has a love of all forms of performance and is passionate about supporting the education provided at Tring Park.

Mark Hewitt | Vice Chair of Governors | 2005

Chair of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee

Mark studied at Keble College, Oxford and has an MA in Theology. Following a short time with Arthur Andersen, he entered the business world and has been a CEO for over 25 years, both in the UK and overseas, for both large international corporations and start-ups.
He is currently Chief Operating Officer for an IT consultancy group, providing digital transformation services to the UK public sector, with a turnover in excess of £100m.
Mark was appointed Chair of the Finance & General Purposes committee in and then Vice-Chair of Governors. Away from Tring, Mark’s interest in the performing arts has seen him act as Chair of Chrysalis London, a contemporary dance company, and as a BAFTA member for over 20 years, having established a short film festival in Soho in the 1990’s.

Robert Breakwell | 2019

Chair of the Marketing, Development & Fundraising Sub-Committee

Robert has lived and worked in the Chilterns area for most of his life and has been involved with the charity sector for over 30 years as an experienced fundraiser and charity leader.
In 1995, Robert joined the Iain Rennie Hospice at Home (now Rennie Grove Hospice Care) as Appeals and Communications Director and, in 2008 he became Chief Executive. In 2013, Robert became Chief Executive at the Chilterns MS Centre. He retired in 2019 to pursue his interest in the charity sector in a voluntary capacity. Throughout a successful career, Robert has gained extensive experience in charity leadership, governance, fundraising, marketing and communications.
In 1989, Robert founded The Pepper Foundation, a successful local charity which has raised over £5 million to support hospice at home care for children. As a keen amateur musician and arranger, he has been musical director of the annual Pepper Show since its outset and is passionate about developing and nurturing talented, young vocalists and instrumentalists.

Vanessa Champion | 2021

Member of the Marketing, Development and Fundraising Committee

Ness began life as an academic at UCL, with a PhD in Ancient Greek and Latin. She went on to work in editorial, journalism, PR, branding and marketing before setting up her own media company.
Her family background in the performing arts (from music hall to classical music, puppetry and dance) inspired a lot of her commercial photography and portraiture as she also shoots actors headshots for Spotlight etc. Her media company also covers blue chip PR and media generation for industry covering Cyber Security, healthcare, Biophilic Design and the arts. A voracious traveller, she is also founder of Photo Aid Global Foundation, a photography agency which supports NGOs and grassroots charities helping raise awareness of human, environmental and animal rights and welfare.

John Clark | 2016

Chair of the Education Sub-Committee
Member of the Finance & General Purposes Committee

John attended Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn, and went on to study French and German at Exeter College, Oxford. After graduation he trained as a teacher. He started his teaching career at St Paul’s School in London and later went on to Whitgift School, Croydon, where he was Head of Modern Languages for eight years.
In 1996, he became Deputy Head of Birkenhead School, an HMC independent school and was appointed Head in 2003. Under his leadership the school became fully co-educational. John has a very strong interest in the performing arts and directed several school productions. Since his retirement in 2014 he has set up and runs a charity working with remote hill schools in Nepal. He has also served as a school governor in the maintained sector.

Claire Dickinson | 2024
Claire has predominately worked in the hospitality sector for brands such as Cafe Rouge and Carluccio’s, in operations and then latterly in Human Resources, in director level positions.  Claire now works as an HR Consultant for ethically focused hospitality and retail businesses.
Due to Claire’s work and support of charities such as the Prince’s Trust and Kith and Kids, she has a good understanding of the challenges that a young person is facing.  She also attended a boarding school that looks remarkably likes Tring Park School and can empathise with the pupils who choose this option.
Claire lives in Tring and loves the arts as an observer, is a regular theatre goer and enjoys live comedy and music. She does play the piano, but only in the privacy of her home.
Michael Harper | 2010

Member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee
Member of the Education Committee

After education at Barrow Grammar School, Michael studied Engineering and Management Studies at London University, gaining a B.Sc.(Eng) at King’s College and an MSc from Imperial College.
He worked for Vickers PLC for nearly 20 years holding management positions in Leeds, Swindon, and Avon, before joining the Fire Protection and Safety sector and has held management positions with Wilkinson Sword, Williams Holdings PLC and was Chief Executive of Kidde PLC from 1999-2005.
Michael was subsequently Chairman of Vitec PLC, Ricardo PLC, and BBA Aviation PLC, and served as Senior Independent Director of Catlin PLC and QinetiQ PLC-a position that he still holds. He served for 6 years on the Board of the Aerospace Technology Institute and has had a long association with the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Michael is a Liveryman and Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers. Michael enjoys most sports, opera and ballet, and is a member of the MCC and the Travellers Club.

Jan Kitteridge | 2013

Member of the Education Committee
Member of the Marketing, Development and Fundraising Committee

Jan trained at The Rambert School of Ballet. After dancing professionally, she returned there as a teacher of classical ballet. Later she studied Benesh Notation at The Institute of Choreology before taking the Professional Dancer’s Teachers Course at The Royal Academy of Dancing.
Jan went on to teach ballet at AES Tring (now Tring Park School for The Performing Arts) in 1978 and then Elmhurst Ballet School, where she was Deputy Head of Dance for 8 years. Jan continued her association with Tring Park as a Guest Teacher, playing an important role in encouraging young choreographers at the school, and acting as mentor to the annual Senior Students Choreography Show
Jan has worked extensively with many professional theatre and opera companies as choreographer/movement coach. In 1990 Jan became founding Artistic Director of Adonais Ballet Company, creating 10 original ballets for the company’s dancers. Adonais became one of the UK’s leading, touring middle-scale ballet companies. In the 1990s Adonais became Company In Residence at AES Tring, taking on students from the school as apprentices.
As Coordinator of The Friends of The Royal Choral Society Jan was instrumental in giving a number of Tring Park students the opportunity to take part in The Society’s 130th Anniversary Concert at The Royal Albert Hall in 2008.

Simon Knee | 2023

Member of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee

Eric Pillinger | 2012

Member of the Education Sub-Committee
Member of the Marketing, Development & Fundraising Sub-Committee

Eric studied economics at Exeter University and after a variety of roles in industry then qualified as a chartered accountant. A range of operational management jobs followed which led to a main board directorship of a diversified commercial group. The latter part of his career was running an international management training company and this developed his knowledge of teaching and learning.
He is very interested in all the performing arts but as a ‘hobby drummer’ his particular enthusiasms are for the Commercial Music and Musical Theatre courses.

Mark Taylor | 2018

Member of the Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee

Having worked in the City, Mark’s career as a Bursar started in 1993 at Cranbrook School, appointed to Dulwich Prep School (Cranbrook) in 1996, Bedales Schools in 2003 and the King’s School, Canterbury in 2010.
Mark joined the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association (ISBA) Committee in 2007 and was elected ISBA Chairman from 2013 – 2016. In October 2008 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for Encouragement of the Arts (FRSA). He has sat on both the ISI and BSA Board as a Director and is currently an ISI Compliance Inspector. He is also Director on the ISC board and currently a Trustee on the Turner MAT Schools’ group. Mark was elected as Chair of AGBIS in March 2019 and became Vice Chair of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) in January 2021.

Edward Williams | 2021

Member of the Education Sub-Committee
Member of the Marketing, Development & Fundraising Sub-Committee

Edward read French and Italian and completed his PGCE at the University of Cambridge. He has recently retired from a career in teaching, the last 37 years of which were at St Paul’s School, London where he became Head of Modern Languages, then Director of Drama and ultimately Head of the Creative and Performing Arts Faculty. He took two years out of teaching to gain practical experience of the professional theatre most of which he spent at Chichester Festival Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He was also Chief Examiner for A Level Italian for 11 years and Chair of Examiners for six. Edward has a passion for the performing and creative arts, loves theatre and (particularly contemporary) dance and is wholly committed to ensuring the best possible experience for emerging artists.

Daniel Zammit | 2013

Member of the Marketing, Development & Fundraising Sub-Committee

Daniel studied at Warwick University Business School and achieved a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He also completed the Senior Executive Programme at Harvard University. Prior to his ten years as Dacorum Borough Council’s Chief Executive, he had over 25 years’ experience in various directorships in four London Councils. He led numerous directorships including amongst others, education, environment, economic development and planning and regeneration.
He is committed to the development of young people in education and is also a governor at a local state school. Recognising the value of the performing arts for not only cultural, economic and personal collective well-being, he is committed to helping equip and prepare Tring Park students for not only successful careers as performers but also, in whatever careers they ultimately opt to pursue. Daniel is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
His association with Tring Park School dates back to 2003 and he became a governor in 2013.


Tring Park School is committed to acting in the best interests of the child. We are dedicated to nurturing the wellbeing of all our pupils and recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare.


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