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Student Absence Line: 01666 829759

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The Governors

Governors » The Governors

Malmesbury School Local Governing Body




Term expires

Kath Darby

Co opted

1/10/15 (re-elected)


Chris Francis

Co opted



Tim Gilson




Claire Graves

Co opted



Deborah Gray (Chair)

Co opted



Michael Grey

Co opted



Dave Hunt




Lisa Medcalf

Co opted



Sharon Millar

Co opted

10/10/16 (re-elected)


Sue Poolman

Co opted

10/10/16 (re-elected)


Laura Stevens




Hayley Twist




Mark White

Co opted



Ruth Whitehouse (Vice)




Lesley Wood





Governors' Pen Portraits 

Kath Darby – Co-opted Governor

Kath joined the Governing Body in December 2007 as a Community Governor. She has spent over forty years working in Higher and Secondary education which includes twelve years as Headteacher of a large Comprehensive school and seven years as an Educational Consultant. She has worked at National level with Headteachers’ Associations and Government departments. She has previously served on the Governing Bodies of three Comprehensive schools.

Chris Francis – Co-opted Governor

Chris joined the Governing Body in 2016. He was formerly a parent governor at the school for eight years and served on a number of committees. A teacher for all his professional career, Chris has worked in a variety of secondary comprehensive schools and spent the last 11 years of his career as a Deputy Headteacher at Deer Park School in Cirencester. Recently retired, Chris is keen to continue making a contribution to the wider educational community. Living in Malmesbury, both his children have attended the school, one is now a graduate trainee at Dorset Council and the other is still at university. Chris’s wider interests encompass sport, theatre, literature and the arts.

Tim Gilson – Headteacher

Tim joined the Governing Body on his appointment in September 2008.

Claire Graves – Co-opted Governor

Claire joined the Governing Body in 2016 and has a daughter at Malmesbury School. Claire obtained a degree and PhD in Geography before joining the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support academic research and postgraduate skills and training across the UK. Her aim is to encourage and enable equal opportunities to engage in STEM subject opportunities. She is currently working within Research Councils UK (RCUK) on business change management. Claire is also a qualified Karate instructor and former member of the AMA England Karate Team.

Deborah Gray – Co-opted Governor, Chair of Governors

Deborah joined the Governing Body in September 2000 and was appointed Chair of Governors in 2004. Both her children attended Malmesbury School, where they did extremely well academically and enjoyed a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Her son went to Bournemouth University and her daughter, went to Kings College London. As Chair of Governors, she has the responsibility for child protection. Deborah works part-time as a freelance non-fiction book editor/writer and enjoys gardening, yoga, literature, live music and theatre in her spare time.

Michael Grey – Co-opted Governor

Michael joined the Governing Body in January 2016 and has been a Chartered Health & Safety Practitioner for over 12 years and is keen for children to learn about dealing with risks from a young age. Michael feels that “If young children realise that they can look after themselves using sensible measures they will learn to develop risk knowledge and deal with more complex risks”. Michael has recently moved to the area and is keen to make a contribution that continuously improves the performance of Malmesbury School by supporting teachers, pupils and parents in the everyday activities of a successful school.

Dave Hunt – Staff Governor

Dave joined the Governing Body in 2015. He teaches Science at Malmesbury School.

Lisa Medcalf – Co-opted Governor

Lisa joined the governing body in September 2014 as a member of the School & Community Committee. Lisa moved to Malmesbury earlier the same year and wanted to get involved in the community. She works for St. James’s Place Wealth Management as their CSR co-ordinator and in the past has worked within Student Services at Cirencester College and has enjoyed mentoring young people.

Sharon Millar – Co opted Governor

Sharon joined the Governing Body in 2008, having just moved to the area from Northern Ireland where she worked as 6th Form Study Manager with one of the Province’s leading Grammar Schools. She now lives and works in Malmesbury running her own Recruitment and Management Consultancy business. She has until recently been a Childline Volunteer involving support for children in long term residential or foster care. She has three sons, one of whom attended Malmesbury School and a stepson who is currently at the school. 

Sue Poolman– Co opted Governor

Sue joined the Governing Body in 2012. She practised as a solicitor in East London for over twenty years, specialising in Legally Aided Family and Criminal cases. After this she spent a decade living in Switzerland, where she took an active part at her daughters’ school. She moved to Malmesbury in 2009 and is now involved with various local organisations, including the Athelstan Trust Museum, the River Valleys Trust, Carnival and Oxfam.

Laura Stevens – Parent Governor

Laura joined the Governing Body in 2016 and has two daughters at Malmesbury School.  She is the Commercial Director of a Malmesbury-based business, Henry Birtles Associates (HBA), a consultancy specialising in broadcast and media rights for international horseracing.  Formerly a Parent Governor at Sherston Primary, Laura is an American citizen and has lived in England for the past 20 years.

Hayley Twist – Staff

Hayley joined the Governing Body in 2016. She teaches Science at Malmesbury School.

Mark White – Co-opted Governor

Mark joined the Governing Body in 2004 having previously been a governor at Brinkworth Earl Danby’s Primary School. Mark is link advisor for the Sixth Form. Both of his daughters attended the school. Mark has a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and previously served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force before joining British Airways where he is also involved in pilot recruitment. Interests include running, swimming, triathlons and gardening.

Ruth Whitehouse – Co-opted Governor (Vice Chair of Governors)

Ruth joined the Governing Body in 2012 and has three children at Malmesbury School. She currently works as an IT Manager at Nationwide Building Society in Swindon, and has a background in IT Project Management. Previously, she taught secondary Science for several years, and has also been an advisor at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. 

Lesley Wood – Parent Governor

Lesley joined the Governing Body in 2016. She is the founder of ‘WMC Agency’ in Malmesbury, (creative, media & digital agency formerly known as Front Room Design). Her previous business roles include Head of Communications for Zurich Global; Senior Marketing; Communication and Business Development roles. Lesley also has expertise as a Governor at Crowdys Hill Special School. She is a huge music lover and a member of Malmesbury Singers.

How to contact the Governors
Any of the governors can be contacted by writing to them at the school address or through the clerk to the Governors, currently Jo Cummings. Alternatively, emails can be directed to: