Dr Giles Mercer has made the decision to step down as the Downside Chair of Governors.  This is explained in the statement below:

‘Dr Giles Mercer has stepped down as Chair of Governors after leading the board for a transitional period following the death of the previous Chair, Adrian Aylward, and the legal separation of the School and the Downside Abbey Trust. He has chaired the governors during the Covid lockdowns and the move of the monastic community from the Downside site. The Deputy Chair of Governors, Michael Bernard, who is known to many staff, will be Acting Chair until a new Chair is elected as soon as possible after Easter.

Giles Mercer warmly thanks the governors, the Head, the Senior Leadership Team and the staff as a whole for the privilege of serving, as Chair of Governors, the school community and its pupils and families, and expresses his best wishes to all at Downside, as the School, with its remarkably positive qualities, goes forward confidently and in great heart to develop for our times excellent Catholic and Benedictine education.’

We would like to express our sincere thanks to Giles for his outstanding contribution to Downside’s development during his tenure as Chair of Governors.  He has provided stability and clarity of vision amidst the significant challenges of the past two years and we have been incredibly fortunate to be able to draw on his wisdom and experience.  We wish him well as he steps down from his duties on the governing body.  He will always be welcome at Downside and we very much look forward to seeing him here in the future.

Kind regards
Michael Bernard (Acting Chair of Governors) and Andrew Hobbs (Head)