About the GDST

The Girls’ Day School Trust is the UK’s leading family of 25 independent girls’ schools including two academies. In all of our schools, academic excellence is a given – at the GDST we develop character beyond the curriculum. 

We focus not only on what is learned but how it is learned. Ensuring our girls are confident and fearless, determined to show what they can do. Nothing holds our girls back – they’re encouraged to embrace every role and subject. As a result, they trust their own abilities and are alive to every opportunity. 

We concentrate on creating an environment where all can thrive and learn from one another. Physical and emotional wellbeing is paramount, which is why every GDST school provides an incredible array of extra-curricular activities and  pastoral and wellbeing programmes.

Bursary students studying with us.
Girls achieving GCSE level 7, 8 or 9 & A*/A
Girls achieving A Level level A*/A
Students. And each one unique.

GDST schools


Cheryl Giovannoni
Chief Executive

Cheryl Giovannoni was born and brought up in South Africa and has a BA in English, Communication and Psychology from the University of South Africa.

She spent most of her career at WPP, starting out as a PA in the Research and Strategic Planning Department at Ogilvy & Mather in Johannesburg. She transferred to the London office of Ogilvy as an Account Director in 1993, had a brief foray at Lowe-Howard Spink for a couple of years, before returning to WPP as CEO role of Coley Porter Bell, a boutique design and branding consultancy. She then became UK MD of Landor Associates, a global brand consulting firm in WPP, where she honed her corporate branding skills, being promoted to European President, and then Global Client Leader. The circle was completed with her return to Ogilvy & Mather London as CEO of the advertising agency in 2013, almost 30 years after having started at the firm as a PA.

Cheryl is now Chief Executive of one of the UK’s largest charities, The Girls’ Day School Trust, a post she has held since 2016. She is responsible for 25 schools across the UK, educating 19,000 girls and leading an organisation of 3,700 staff. She has always enjoyed mentoring and coaching women at different stages of their careers throughout her journey. She now gets to spend every day working with future generations of women who will change the world for the better for us all. She is also the champion of a programme called ‘Undivided’, to address diversity, inclusion and real change within the education sector.




Kevin Stannard
Director of Innovation and 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.

Director of HR, GDST

Jane Beine
Director of HR

Jane is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has broad HR and leadership experience at a senior level, much of which was gained during a long and fulfilling career with the John Lewis Partnership.

Before joining GDST in July 2019, Jane worked with a variety of organisations as an independent HR consultant and executive coach. Jane is a qualified Personal Trainer and volunteers as an exercise specialist on a Community Health Programme.

Jonthan Davis, Chief Finance Officer, GDST

Jonathan Davis
Chief Financial Officer

Jonathan is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA CGMA) and has over 20 years’ experience in senior positions in a wide variety of organisations.

Jonathan joined the GDST in February 2018 as Finance Director and moved to the CFO role in early 2019. Immediately prior to GDST he was Head of Finance at Cancer Research UK, the largest fundraising charity in the UK. He has also worked in substantial commercial organisations such as Cadbury Schweppes, Whitbread and Magners Irish Cider, as well as spending two years as Finance Director in a US-listed engineering business.

Jonathan brings both a commercial and not-for-profit perspective to GDST and believes that collaboration within organisations brings huge operational and financial efficiencies, which will help GDST to continue to improve the learning environment for everyone.

Where girls learn without limits
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