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Senior Management Team

Helen Fraser

Chief Executive

Helen Fraser was educated in London, Leicester and New York State. She got a scholarship to Oxford to read English and graduated with a first.

She has held a series of senior publishing posts, including positions at William Collins and William Heinemann before becoming managing director of Reed Consumer Books and then of Penguin UK. She launched the writing careers of Zadie Smith, Antony Beevor and Jamie Oliver, among others.

Helen received a CBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list. She was chair of judges for the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Helen has two daughters. Her two stepdaughters were educated at South Hampstead High School GDST.

Tom Beardmore-Gray

Finance Director

Responsible for both the Finance and ICT departments, Tom has an MA in Modern History from University College, Oxford and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Price Waterhouse.

He has also held senior national and international positions at Pepsi Cola International and in the De Beers Group, including CFO/COO of Forevermark (the Consumer Marketing Division of De Beers) and President and CEO of Archangel Diamond Corporation.

Tom is a Governor of Lambrook School, an independent prep school in Berkshire. His father taught in a prep school and two of his brothers are Headmaster and Deputy Headmaster of prep schools. Tom has three children, all of whom are being educated independently.

 

Caroline Hoare

Solicitor, Director of People

Caroline is the GDST’s Director of People, responsible for the governance, health and safety, HR and legal teams. In addition she acts as Company Secretary.

Caroline attended Nottingham Girls’ High School GDST before reading English and Related Literature at York. She later retrained and worked as a solicitor at leading City law firm, Slaughter and May, in London and Hong Kong.

Before joining the GDST, Caroline worked as an in-house lawyer for English Heritage, which gave her a fascinating insight into many historic buildings and monuments including Stonehenge and Eltham Palace.

 

Amanda Riddle

Director of Communications

Amanda read Law at Nottingham University and after working and travelling in South America started her career in marketing at a light engineering company.

She then moved into communications and spent over 20 years at two of the UK’s leading public relations consultancies. During that time she worked with a wide range of clients in both the public and private sectors and with organisations ranging from government departments to blue chip companies.

Amanda has extensive experience in the areas of corporate communications, issues management, business to business and brand marketing and has worked in sectors as varied as airlines, paper, food and drink, education, facilities management and transport.

Christine Sillis

Estates Director

Christine Sillis is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Chartered Building Surveyor with an MBA and a Post Graduate Diploma in Building Conservation. 

She has over 25 years’ experience in the construction and property industry and over 20 years’ experience as a senior manager within large organisations in sectors including residential, commercial, leisure, secure estates, healthcare, education and historic estates.

She has worked with borough and county councils on a total of 36 secondary schools and academies and 13 special needs schools.

Before joining the GDST, Christine was Deputy Director & Head of Projects at the Houses of Parliament, where she was responsible for all operational aspects of the Parliamentary Estates Directorate.

Kevin Stannard

Director of Innovation & Learning

Dr Kevin Stannard joined the GDST from University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) where he was Director of Education.

He was responsible for initiatives and international education reform projects including the introduction of the Cambridge Pre-U in both state and independent schools, the promotion of bilingual education in Spain and the Netherlands and the development of a new curriculum for model schools in Egypt. He has also been an advisor on curriculum reform to the Singapore Ministry of Education.

Before joining CIE, Kevin taught at a number of independent schools including Eton College, where he was Head of Geography. While there he wrote a number of geography textbooks, conducted research on a range of geographical themes and was responsible for UCAS applications.