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.
Dr Giles Mercer - Chair of Governors
Dr Giles Mercer was the Head of Prior Park College, Bath, for thirteen years and prior to that Head of Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, for eleven. He graduated from Cambridge with first-class honours in history and gained a doctorate from Oxford. Giles has been a trustee of the Clifton Diocese, Chair of the Catholic Independent Schools’ Conference, and a governor of eight Catholic Schools, including All Hallows School and St John’s Catholic Primary School in Bath. In 2003 he was awarded a Knighthood of St Gregory (KSG) by Pope St John Paul II, for services to Catholic and ecumenical education. In 2016 he was made an honorary Old Gregorian for services to Downside.
James Scott-Gatty - Deputy Chair of Governors & 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Charles Griffin - Finance and Resources Committee
Charles is an experienced chartered building surveyor who has spent 20 years heading up facilities management at the Wellcome Trust. His responsibilities included health and safety, environmental management as well as the delivery of large capital projects. His skill set will be invaluable as we become responsible for the management of our own buildings and services. As a past parent he is well aware of our culture and values and our responsibility to maintain our historic buildings for future generations.
Terri Wilcox - General Education Committee
Terri is a very experienced Teacher and Housemistress who has just retired after 36 years working in the independent school sector. During her career she has had a number of leadership roles including Head of Pastoral Care, Head of Co-curricular and Head of Careers. She has a passion for the importance of good quality pastoral care to bring out the best in every pupil and her expertise brings a very clear understanding of what enhances the educational provision in a school like ours. Terri is the Governor responsible for child protection at Downside.
Anne has extensive experience of inspecting both primary and secondary schools in the UK and abroad. She is currently a Lead Inspector for Clifton Diocese, education consultant and school improvement adviser. She has a particular interest in school governance, including the conduction of post-Ofsted external reviews. Anne is a Bishop’s appointed Director on Clifton Catholic Diocesan Education Foundation (CCDEF) and chairs the Schools’ Standards and Quality group. Anne was formerly Head of School and Deputy Head of an outstanding Catholic secondary school. Prior to this she was a senior adviser for a local authority and was seconded to the Diocese as a secondary RE Adviser. She has a Master’s degree in Education (Bristol).