Board of Governors

To write to the Board of Governors, please address correspondence to:

Geraldine Watkins
Chair of the Board of Governors
c/o Clerk to the Board
Bede's Senior School
Upper Dicker

East Sussex, BN27 3QH

About the Governors

St Bede's School Trust, Sussex is a company limited by guarantee where the members of the Board of Governors are also the Directors of the Company.  Furthermore, the members of the Board of Governors are also the Company Members.  In addition the Trust is a registered charity, so members of the Board of Governors are also Trustees of the Charity.  The Trust runs on a not for profit basis, any surplus generated is used to further the charitable objects.  Governors are all volunteers and do not benefit financially from their involvement with the Trust.  

The Board of Governors appoint the CEO (Head of the Senior School) and Bursar.  The Board sets annual objectives for them which they report against.  There are formal external appraisals carried out every 3 years.  Salaries are set based on benchmarking which is undertaken annually using sector wide data.  

The current Board members are shown below:


Geraldine Watkins (Chair)

Geraldine Watkins is a Magistrate and a Presiding Justice in the Family Court and has over 30 years’ experience in Construction and Property Development. She has previously worked as an Ofsted lay inspector of schools and is also a past parent of Bede's, having had four children attend the School.

John Burbidge, BA (Hons), ACA

John Burbidge graduated from the University of York. John has over 30 years’ experience in Investment Banking and was CEO of a major international bank in London for 10 years until he retired in 2011. John currently sits on two boards as a Non-Executive Director.

Sarah Jelly (Safeguarding Governor)

Sarah Jelly is solicitor specialising in Family Law. She is also an accredited family mediator. She has previously been a Governor at another school and is a past parent, having had a daughter in the Senior School.

Mr Kakar

Guatam Kakar

Gautam has over 25 years of experience in actuarial, financial modelling and risk management in the financial services sector in the UK and Asia. 

Dermot Keegan

Dermot Keegan has spent over 35 years working in Asset Management in London for both global and specialist firms. Dermot is a past parent.

Dr Charlotte Lemaigre (MA Hons, DClinPsychol)

Charlotte Lemaigre is a Consultant Psychologist with over 10 years specialist experience of working in mental health within the National Health Service (NHS). She also runs her own private practice in London. She is passionate about pastoral care and promoting emotional and psychological wellbeing across the lifespan.

Mark McFadden, FRICS

Mark McFadden is a former pupil of the Prep School and parent.  He is a partner in a regional firm of Chartered Surveyors and past President of Eastbourne & District Chamber of Commerce.

Nicholas Mercer, BA (Hons)

Nick Mercer graduated from the University of London. Nick has over 35 years’ commercial experience, most recently as a Director of Eurostar International. Nick is a Non-Executive Director of two commercial enterprises and he is also the Chair of the Trustees of a charity Clearlyworld.

Kate Nash, BEd

After 30 years teaching experience in the independent sector, 10 as Head of Pre Prep at Marlborough House School, Kate Nash has worked as a Subject Advisor for IAPS and as a freelance educational consultant; this includes delivering teacher training to the independent sector globally. Kate is also a Governor at another Prep School and she works as a volunteer inter-generational mediator.

Marios Pattihi

Marios Pattihis

Marios Pattihis is a solicitor who has over 40 years experience and he specialises in the commercial property sector.


Kyle Siwek

Kyle is a recent politics graduate from the University of York and is currently studying for a MSt in History. He has previously been a governor of two secondary schools and is also a trustee of a Music Education Hub. Kyle also has a keen interest in music, holding a choral scholarship at university.

Simon Smith BA (Hons) FRSA MCCT

Simon Smith has over 25 years' experience of teaching and leadership in boarding schools in Sussex, Kent and Hertfordshire. He is also the Safeguarding Lead in his current school. Simon has previously been a Governor of a large Prep School in North London. When not training for his next marathon, Simon is also studying for an MA in School Leadership and Management.

jeremy sykes

The Reverend Jeremy Sykes, (MA Hons)

Jeremy Sykes is an Anglican priest and has nearly 30 years’ experience working in a wide range of independent boarding and day schools both prep and senior. He was Chaplain at Giggleswick School and a housemaster, Headmaster of Great Walstead School and more recently Chaplain of Hurstpierpoint College. He is currently Vicar of the parish of Hellingly and Upper Dicker. He is also a foundation governor at a local federation of maintained primary schools.