About the GDST


The Girls’ Day School Trust is the UK’s leading family of independent girls’ schools. We also have 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 well-being is paramount, which is why every GDST school provides an incredible array of extra-curricular activities and wellbeing programmes.


Bursary students studying with us.
23 schools plus 2 academies equals GDST.
Our Alumnae Network could almost fill Wembley Stadium.
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.

During her career at WPP she ran three of its companies, most recently Ogilvy & Mather, the advertising agency. Before this, Ms Giovannoni was European President of Landor Associates, a global brand consulting firm, where she was responsible for managing seven units across the region and worked with clients including P&G, Diageo and Kraft.

Cheryl had previously been CEO of Coley Porter Bell, a consumer design and branding business. Ms Giovannoni enjoys mentoring and coaching and supports many young women, either informally as their mentor or through programmes run by WACL (Women in Advertising and Communication London).

She is also a non-executive director of Fearless Futures, a charity launched to encourage equality through its schools’ programme.



GDST Kevin Stannard, Director of Innovation and Learning

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.

Judy Mitchem
Director of Marketing, Communications & Philanthropy

Judy joined us directly from The Treasury, where she worked on an assignment for the Chancellor’s special advisors.

Before that, Judy worked at some of London’s leading agencies as Managing Director & Chief Marketing Officer of The Ogilvy Group, Group Marketing Director of M&C Saatchi and Chief Marketing Officer of Lowe London and Business Development Director of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe.

Over the years, her clients have included John Lewis, The Guardian, The Department of Health, The Department for Education, Bauer Media, Barclays, Simple skincare, Nationwide, Jaeger, Tatler and Virgin Atlantic.

She lives in Clapham and has three lovely children, Tommy, Lucas and Lara.

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 2 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.

Jonathan is married with 2 teenage daughters and enjoys golf and being a “dad-taxi” in his spare time.


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