School Governors

Downside School Board of Governors

The Governors are responsible for the general direction and ensuring the proper management and control of the School.  

Each member of the Governing Body sits on one or more sub-committees where members of the Senior Management Team report in detail, their findings are then presented to the main Governing Body at their termly meetings. 

Adrian Aylward – Chair of Governors 

Adrian Aylward was educated at Worth and Oxford University then spent nine years in the City and Industry latterly as CEO of a public company. In 1992 he completed a PGCE at Kings College London and moved into education. He was for four years a Housemaster and Head of Religious Studies at Downside and from 1996 to 2006 was Headmaster of Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. Adrian was Headmaster of Leweston School, Dorset, until 2015. He trained as an ISI Inspector, specialising as a Boarding Inspector. Adrian is the Governor responsible for child protection at Downside and details can be viewed by clicking on this link Safeguarding Governor Job Description.

Adrian can be contacted at any time using the following email address:

Catherine Hughes

Catherine Hughes - Chair of the General Education Committee

Ms Catherine Hughes was the Principal of St Bede's Catholic College, an Independent Academy in Bristol. Having trained as a Mathematics teacher at La Sainte Union Southampton and subsequently graduating from Reading University with a Bachelor of Education, Ms Hughes worked in three Catholic schools before moving to St Bede's in 1995. She is recognised as a National Leader in Education and brings a wealth of educational experience to her role as a Governor at Downside. Catherine is responsible for Initial Teacher Training.

James Scott Gatty

James Scott-Gatty - Chair of the General Finance and Resources Committee

James, an Old Gregorian, graduated from Roberts House in 1976. After studying economics at Exeter University he qualified as a chartered accountant and has spent most of his career as a finance director for investment management businesses, including Laing and Cruickshank, UBS Wealth Management and Cheviot. He is a past parent and his father was also educated at Downside.

Dom Anselm Thumb

Dom Anselm Brumwell - Finance and Resources Committee

Dom Anselm Brumwell studied French, German and Theology at Durham University before entering the monastery in 1995. Following studies in Biblical Theology in Rome he returned to Downside in 2003 and since then has taught Religious Studies, Latin and German in the School and was a Housemaster. He has been a trustee since 2004. In the monastery he is also Choir Master and Vocations' Director.

Dom David

Dom David Foster

After studying classics and philosophy at university, Dom David specialised in Patristic Theology. Currently based in Rome at Sant'Anselmo where he is the Choir Master and does some teaching. He has published three books, on lectio divina and prayer, and is currently working on a study of the metaphysics of prayer. He gives frequent retreats and talks on monastic theology.

Peter Jenkins

Peter Jenkins - Education Committee

Peter graduated from Downside in 1967 and went on to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he studied Classical Philosophy. He continued his studies at Harvard as a Harkness Fellow. After a long and successful career as a diplomat based in Vienna, Washington DC, Paris, Brasil and Geneva, he retired to Bath, where he lives with his wife, and joined the Governing Body in December 2012.

Downside Abbey Church Monastic Community

Dom Nicholas Wetz - Education Committee

Educated at Belmont Abbey School and after studying Policy Making and Administration at University, Father Nicholas entered the novitiate at Belmont and was clothed in 1985. He taught RE and coached rugby and cricket at the School and subsequently became a House Master and Head of RE. He went on to become Claustral Prior, Parish Priest and Procurator at Belmont Abbey and was appointed Prior Administrator at Downside Abbey in September 2018.

Dominic Tayler Finance and Resources Committee

Dominic Tayler - Finance and Resources Committee

Dominic Tayler, an Old Gregorian, graduated from Caverel House in 1985. His three children were educated at the School and he and his family have a long association with Downside. Dominic is an Investment Director at Cheviot Asset Management specialising in private client charities and in particular religious orders. He brings a wealth of financial expertise to the Governing Body.

John Ludlow

John Ludlow - General Finance and Resources Committee

John Ludlow, who is a current parent and an OG, has a wealth of experience at senior board level. John is currently CEO of AIRMIC after a successful career as Senior Vice President at the InterContinental Hotels Group and is well qualified in business and risk management. He is a Certified Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management and visiting fellow at Oxford Brookes University School of Hospitality Management.

Hugh Dickenson

Hugh Dickinson - Education Committee

Hugh Dickinson was educated at Stonyhurst and Bristol University before spending six years as an officer in the Irish Guards. After the Army, Hugh trained as a solicitor at Ashurst and has spent the last five years at BlueBay Asset Management as Fund Legal and Product Development Manager. He is married with two young children. From his own voluntary work, Hugh has developed a considerable understanding of the UK private education market and will be the Governor responsible for boarding.

Downside Catholic Boarding School Somerset

Alison Martin - Finance and Resources Committee

Alison has an MBA in Education Management for Bursars and is also a Trustee of the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools. She was most recently the Bursar at Warminster School having spent 26 years in a variety of school administrative roles. Elected as Chair of the Independent Schools Bursars’ Association in 2010, previously a Director of the Independent Schools Council and an Executive Director of the Boarding Schools Association.

Downside Catholic Boarding School Somerset

Jessica Ogilvy-Stuart - Education Committee

Jessica has a PhD in education from Durham University and has worked for many years in Hong Kong where she operates tutorial schools and advises British schools on their Asia strategies. She is an Honorary Norham Fellow at St Hugh’s College, Oxford conducting post-doctoral research which brings her back to the UK. She has previously lectured all over the world and has a wealth of experience in the international education sector.

Downside Catholic Boarding School Somerset

Michael Bernard - Finance and Resources Committee

Michael is an international Marketing Director with over 20 years’ experience at IBM delivering strategic intervention and innovation. Educated at Worth Abbey and Christ Church, Oxford, Michael also holds a Diploma in Marketing Management from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He is a member of the International Advisory Board for the University of Exeter’s Business School and shares his expertise with a number of charities. He will bring a wealth of experience in translating strategic vision into operational delivery for the School.