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Senior Management Team

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.

Follow Cheryl on Twitter.

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.


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.

Follow Kevin on Twitter.