Our Governors bring a diverse range of expertise, knowledge and interests from many walks of life. Working as a whole team and within five smaller sub-committees (Finance, Education, General Purposes, Salaries, Health & Safety), they ensure the School provides an excellent all-round education to our pupils, while also promoting effective ways of developing and moving forward Hereford Cathedral School.
The Governors are ultimately accountable for the performance of the School to parents and the wider community. They also plan the School’s future direction with the Headmaster, appoint the Headmaster and the Bursar (in consultation with the Headmaster), make decisions on the School’s budget, fee levels and staffing, decide how the School can encourage pupil and staff development and make sure the School provides for all its current and prospective pupils, whatever their need.
Our Governors meet each term and are at the core of what we do, working successfully with our Headmaster and the Whole School Senior Management Team, as well as our Junior School and Senior School Senior Management Teams.
President of the Governing Body:
The Very Rev'd Michael Tavinor, Dean of Hereford MA, MMus (President)
Joining the Royal Navy in 1971, Philip Wilcocks graduated from the University of Wales in 1976 and assumed his first command of the minesweeper HMS Stubbington in 1978. He served in the frigate HMS Ambuscade, which included the Falklands conflict in 1982 and in 1990 he assumed command of the destroyer HMS Gloucester. The ‘Fighting G’ fought in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm when his ship destroyed seven enemy warships and a Silkworm missile targeted against the battleship USS Missouri. He was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry and sustained leadership under fire. In 1998, he assumed command of HMS Liverpool as Captain 3rd Destroyer Squadron which was followed by an appointment as the Director of Naval Operations in the Ministry of Defence.
In 2001, he formed and then commanded the Royal Navy’s largest training organisation, the Maritime Warfare School at HMS COLLINGWOOD, during which time he was an ADC to HM the Queen. On promotion to Rear Admiral in 2004, he became Deputy Commander of Joint Operations at the UK’s Permanent Joint HQ; as well as operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was the crisis director for the UK response to the 2005 tsunami disaster. Following a short tour as Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland and Flag Officer Reserves, he became Chief of Staff to Commander-in-Chief, Fleet; in addition, as Rear Admiral Surface Ships he was head of the UK Surface Navy.
He was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath in 2007 for sustained leadership throughout his naval career. Retiring from the Navy in 2009, he now provides advice to boards/organisations on senior leadership and future strategic context, sits on the boards of two SME companies and is involved in local voluntary organisations in Herefordshire and beyond. An active proponent of UK maritime issues, he is a Freeman of the City of Glasgow and became a Deputy Lieutenant for Herefordshire in 2013. He sits on the Bishops Council for Hereford Diocese, is Chair of the Diocesan House of Laity and is a churchwarden at Dore Abbey.
A Governor since 2001, David is a solicitor and a Chartered Secretary. He is a graduate of Birmingham University and qualified as a solicitor while working for a firm in the City of London. He has worked in industry since 1990 with spells at Cadbury Schweppes (which included 3 years in Dallas, Texas), Bulmers and an engineering business in Droitwich, where he currently works. As well as bringing to the Board broad experience of commercial law and company secretarial practice, he has been Governor of another independent school and helps other local Charities especially in areas of compliance. He has four children all of whom have been through the school. David is Chair of the Finance Committee and also attends the Salaries and Nominations Committees.
Andrew has taught for over 20 years, in primary schools in inner-city Nottingham and across Herefordshire, becoming the Headteacher at Pembridge Church of England Primary School in 2003. Andrew has been the Headteacher of St Paul’s Church of England Primary School in Hereford since 2010, securing outstanding judgments from OfSTED and in church school inspections. He was the Executive Headteacher for St Thomas Cantilupe CE Primary from 2012 until 2014, helping the school move from ‘special measures’ to ‘good’ judgments in 11 months. St Paul’s became a National Support School in 2015 and Andrew is now National Leader of Education and a Church School Inspector with the Hereford Diocese. Andrew has three children at Hereford Cathedral School, including one who was a chorister. Andrew sits on the Education Committee.
Will Hanks qualified as a dentist from Guy's Hospital in 1985. He moved to Hereford in 1990 and is a partner in Kyrle Street Dental Practice. He is also the Postgraduate Dental Tutor for Herefordshire. He has had three children educated at the school. His two sons were choristers in the Cathedral Choir.
Jonathan was born in Hereford and was a pupil at HCS. He read Engineering at St John’s College Cambridge, and then completed a post-graduate course in Production & Management at the Engineering department of Cambridge University.
He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse (now PwC) and spent the early part of his career in financial management with listed companies in the engineering and oil sectors. He worked for two privately owned groups before moving to the not-for-profit world.
He was financial director the Greenwich Foundation as the former Royal Naval College buildings were restored, and then at two grant-making Foundations where he restructured and managed the large investment portfolios. He is a CFA charterholder with the Chartered Financial Analysis Institute.
Karen was born in New York and received a BA from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire before beginning a business career that has lasted for over 40 years. She worked in industry before embarking on managing her own businesses and has founded and run four businesses, all focusing on human capital management and strategic planning. She still serves as founder and chairman of her most recent business in human resources outsourcing. She also served for 10 years as a board member of the Student Conservation Association.
Karen and her family moved to Herefordshire in 2004 and she has served as a Governor of Peterchurch Primary School, remains active as a founding member of Dorstone’s Front Room, and as a member of the Herefordshire Business Board. Karen is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County. She serves as a founding trustee and director of NMITE – Hereford’s New Engineering Higher Education Institution.
Jonathan was born in Herefordshire and educated at both HCJS and HCS, being a boarder in School House, Head Boy and Captain of Boats. Obtaining a Degree in Urban Estate Management, he established his own practice as a Chartered Surveyor in Ross-on-Wye and Hereford which now specialises in commercial property agency, building surveys and professional property matters, principally in Herefordshire and surrounding counties. His two daughters attended Hereford Cathedral School, leaving in 2010. Jonathan still retains his love for rowing through his close involvement with Ross Rowing Club, established while a pupil at the School.
Tim studied Classics at Oxford before embarking on a teaching career which included posts as Head of Classics at The Perse School in Cambridge and Deputy Head of The Royal Grammar School in Guildford on the way to 16 years as Headmaster of the King’s School Worcester. He retired from this role in August 2014. He has experience of examining and writing A-Level papers and was for some years a trained school inspector. He served on the board of UCAS and was a member of the HMC/GSA Universities Subcommittee. He is a Fellow of the University of Worcester and a trustee of the Himalayan Trust UK which has entailed regular trips to Nepal to support education in a remote and deprived area. His wife Mary Anne is also a retired teacher and they have two married sons. His interests are bellringing (he is Tower Captain at Ledbury and has led a major restoration project there), choral singing and playing the cornet, and he enjoys starting each day walking in the woods above Ledbury with his large white lurcher, Tom.
Admitted as a solicitor in 1975, David Ashcroft has worked in both private practice and commerce and since 2015 has been Senior Legal Counsel at a local solicitor. He operates primarily from their Hereford office.
Having qualified with a firm of solicitors in Lincoln’s Inn, London, he moved to the City to work as a solicitor in private practice in the sale, purchase, construction, finance and operation of ocean-going ships of many types: supertankers, combination carriers, container ships, and gas carriers. One such ship remained, until her scrapping a few years ago, the largest ship ever built.
In 1981 he went to work for his then biggest client to negotiate a financial reconstruction running into hundreds of millions of dollars. After two years the position had become unsalvageable, but the largest creditor immediately asked David and his future business partner to manage, operate and sell the ships mortgaged to them. Over the next five years, David and his partner secured similar contracts from other international banks.
In 1988, David sold out to his partner and returned to practice in the West End and Lincoln’s Inn before migrating to the Three Counties.
During his time with the local solicitor he has developed a practice working among the security and defence communities in the Three Counties and elsewhere.
He is involved in the supervision, training and encouragement of trainee solicitors and junior to middle rank solicitors for which he draws on his extensive legal experience. It is this aspect of his work that encouraged David to apply in 2019 to become a governor of the school.
David’s late father became a teacher on returning to England after the Second World War and retired in 1979 from his position as Head of a very large comprehensive school in the Midlands. He therefore already has an inbuilt teacher and school manager perspective which he found of great value as his two sons grew up through the private sector and then on to Oxford and UCL.
In his personal and professional life, Christian has demonstrated considerable commitment to personal development and growth, particularly with young people. Be it leading BA's apprentice, graduate and management development programmes, as Chair of his local Air Training Squadron or as Deputy Chair of Governors and Chair of the Remuneration Committee for a large sixth form college. He has extensive experience of corporate governance, oversight and scrutiny, especially in regulated environments. He is delighted to be an HCS Governor and have the ability to contribute to such an important venture.
The address and telephone number of the Governing Body’s registered office is: Hereford Cathedral School, Old Deanery, The Cathedral Close, Hereford, HR1 2NG. Telephone: 01432 363522.An up-to-date list of School Governors can also be found in the School Calendar, which is published termly. The Chairman of Governors (Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks) can be contacted by writing to the school or by telephoning the Clerk to the Governors, who is also the School’s Bursar. The School Calendar and this website also detail the number of staff at the school, including temporary staff, with a summary of their qualifications.
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