Our schools have the standard Board of Governors as well as The Council (our Trustees) overseeing how they operate. Our Trustee are also responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of the organisation and is legally responsible for the GDST’s activities. This includes ensuring financial viability and control, the safety and welfare of the pupils, and the realisation of their duties as employers of all GDST staff. Council also sets the budgets and fees for the schools, authorises building and other capital development programmes and oversees matters of educational policy.
The Council meets formally seven times each year. Reporting to Council are the following sub-committees which meet at least termly:
Vicky Tuck has extensive experience of school leadership and governance in national and international contexts.
In 2017 she completed a six year mandate as Director General of The International School of Geneva, the largest (4500 students) and oldest international school and the birthplace of the International Baccalaureate.
Vicky was previously Principal of Cheltenham Ladies’ College, a position she held from 1996 to 2011. She was President of the Girls’ Schools Association in 2008 and Vice Chair of the Independent Schools Council, chairing its Education Committee prior to her departure to Switzerland.
Earlier in her career, Vicky worked at the Institute of Education, now part of UCL, training modern languages teachers. Having been a modern languages teacher for many years, Vicky speaks fluent French, respectable Italian and hesitant Spanish. Having begun her career as a teacher at Putney High School, followed by five years at Bromley High School, Vicky is delighted to serve on the GDST Council.
Kathryn spent 26 years (17 of them as a corporate/commercial partner) with city law firm Slaughter and May before retiring from legal practice in 2013. During her legal career, Kathryn spent much of her time dealing with strategic issues primarily for a range of FTSE 100/250 companies. She was also extensively involved in recruitment, training and professional development activities and the mentoring of younger lawyers, most of whom were women.
Kathryn was formerly deputy chair of governors at Paddington Green Primary School, a maintained inner London primary school, prior to its joining the ARK multi-academy trust group and since 2021 has been an external member of the Audit & Scrutiny Committee of the University of Oxford.
Kathryn provides legal case study/commercial awareness workshops to law students at the London School of Economics Law School. She also recruits, mentors and provides training to trainee solicitors seconded to a range of in-house legal departments and law firms by innovative legal training provider, Accutrainee Limited.
Kathryn was formerly a non-executive director of G15 housing association Metropolitan Thames Valley and its predecessor organisation Thames Valley Housing Association (2014 -2020) and an independent panel member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for London, interviewing prospective magistrates for the Ministry of Justice (2014 -2022).
Peter Oliver is the Chief Marketing Officer for DAZN Group, the world’s leading sports entertainment platform.
DAZN is the market leader in Italy, Germany, Spain and Japan. It is also the global broadcaster for the UEFA Women’s Champions League driving rapid growth of women’s football by streaming the tournament in over 200 countries worldwide.
He was previously a Managing Director at BT where he led diverse teams across multiple brands including EE, BT, Plusnet and BT Sport.
At BT, he was heavily involved in BT’s digital literacy programme, sponsoring programmes with partners such as UNICEF to work with schools to help over 1 million children in the UK make the most of the internet while staying safe online.
Peter graduated with a law degree and later studied a masters degree in Business Telecommunications management.
Poppy is the appointed Safeguarding Trustee on the Board. She has extensive knowledge in this area having been on the Tri-borough Local Safeguarding Children’s Board for seven years and currently an active member of the Hammersmith and Fulham Local Safeguarding Children Partnership Forum and Partnership Group. She is used to taking the strategic view across provision and has unique access to deep-dives into current safeguarding policy.
Over the last 15 years Poppy has built up a wealth of experience across the entire schools sector clearly validating her dedication to the youth and outstanding education: founder of Little Owls Nursery School, literacy link Governor of Oxford Gardens primary school; Trustee of Addison Youth Club and Fundraising Working Group member of London Youth.
Until recently Poppy was also an elected member of the Gloucestershire Schools Forum overseeing the allocation and distribution of funding in the Dedicated Schools Grant. She is currently Chair of Churchdown School Academy, a large secondary school in Gloucester.
Having attended an all-girls school, Poppy greatly appreciates the determination and ambition that a single sex education has given her.
Stuart is a Chartered Accountant and he is a non-executive director of businesses in the finance sector.
Stuart has held CFO roles in large UK businesses in the energy and telecommunications sectors and, more recently, in international media and technology businesses backed by private equity.
These roles have typically been in businesses which have undergone significant change as a result of market developments and have required changes to their business models and operational capabilities. He also has extensive experience of corporate treasury and financing, and mergers and acquisitions.
Carolyn has had an extensive career in finance, most recently as a Managing Director and Head of Structured Product at The Blackstone Group, and previously as a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and DLJ. Her experience includes sitting on Investment and Risk Committees for these organisations. She brings strategic commercial experience, a legal background and track record of building new businesses and containing risk during growth.
Carolyn currently sits as an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of Northern Trust Investor Services and chairs the Risk, Audit and Compensation Committees. She is also a Board and Audit, Finance and Risk Committee Member of a leading social investment firm.
Carolyn is a member of the Edinburgh University Investment Committee and a former Board member and Chair of the Audit Committee at the University of Law, the UK’s longest-established specialist provider of legal education with 9 campuses and over 13,000 students.
Fraser is the Chief Financial Officer at LGH Hotels Limited, with a portfolio of 60 UK Hotels carrying the Hilton, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Best Western brands.
Previously Fraser was Commercial Director of Merlin Entertainments plc, Europe’s largest entertainments company, and best known for the LEGOLAND, Madame Tussaud’s, and London Eye brands.
As Merlin’s Commercial Director, Fraser had strategic responsibility for customer experiences, partner promotions, food and beverage, retail, hotels, and photography across 130 sites worldwide.
An ACA qualified accountant, Fraser has over 20 years’ experience in the leisure and hospitality industry. Before joining Merlin, Fraser worked for Marks & Spencer. He also serves on the Boards of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust and the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.
Masha Gordon is a professional independent director and a seasoned investment professional with nearly two decades of experience.
During her executive career, Masha was a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs and most recently led the emerging markets portfolio management team at PIMCO. She was named among “Top 40 under 40 in Asset Management Industry”.
She moved to a portfolio career of non-executive board appointments in 2014 and currently chairs the board of directors of Constellation Holdings. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
She actively supports development of grit and resilience in young women through charitable programs of GRIT&ROCK, a charity she founded after setting two world records in the Explorers Grand Slam and 7 Summits becoming the fastest woman to complete both.
Masha gained a BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin and a MA in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Giselle is a Managing Director with over two decades of experience in strategy and finance, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financing. She has spent the last fifteen years at HSBC, most recently leading the investment banking Telecommunications Infrastructure and Education teams globally; covering clients across nurseries, K-12, higher education, corporate training, languages, testing and certification, tutoring, fostering, special needs and education technology. Prior to HSBC, she worked in Techint Group in business development and e-commerce.
Giselle is an active promoter of diversity and inclusion. Throughout her career she led a number of talent acquisition, development, retention and global mobility programmes. She is a Master in Industrial Engineering from Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires, where she became assistant professor of Investment Projects. She also holds a Masters in Business Administration from London Business School.
Giselle is currently serving as a non-executive director to other companies in Education. Giselle speaks fluent Spanish and Italian, and conversational French.
Ann is a senior executive leader with broad experience in general management, change management, and strategic HR. She has worked in the commercial and not for profit sectors, specialising since 2010 in education. After completing her PGCE and PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge, she worked as an Assistant Lecturer in the University of London in the early 1980s, later joining BP where she worked in various positions until 2006.
Ann took up the position of Head of Learning and Development at HSBC Bank in 2006, a post she held for four years. She later worked with Ark, the children’s education charity.
Ann currently teaches on postgraduate programmes with the Open University Business School, and is Vice Chair of Council, Royal Holloway College University of London. She is founding chair of governors at Ark Soane Academy, a start-up secondary school in Acton, west London.
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