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Local Governing Body

This is the list of Governors for the local governing body of Sandringham School. This section gives a broad outline of the role of the Governors, how we go about fulfilling our responsibilities and who we are.

Lin Keen (Chair of Governors)

Community Governor Term:  13.10.2015– 12.10.2019

After graduating from Edinburgh University, I started my career in Market Research in Birmingham, moved on to Marketing and eventually moved to St Albans to take a position with Cadbury Schweppes.  Whilst my children were young, I did a variety of freelance work and helped my husband who was building up a Market Research company.  I eventually took on responsibility for the finance and company secretarial functions there, full time.  I am now retired.

My first child joined Sandringham school in 1995 and I have been involved ever since.   Initially I served as treasurer on the PTA then became a parent governor in 1999.  During my time as a governor I have served on all of the committees.  I spent two years as an additional governor at another school and have now become a National Leader of Governance, working with governing bodies in other schools.

Duncan Gibbons

Community Governor Term:   13.10.2015 – 12.10.2019

A qualified solicitor working as a senior in house lawyer in a Canadian bank with global management responsibilities.  Previously, Duncan worked as a solicitor in a private practice at a large global law firm, specialising in finance law.   He has also been an Army officer specialising in logistics.


Former Governor of Maple Primary School, Chair of Finance Committee and Chair of Governors in the final year. Governor of Sandringham School, Chair of Resources, former Chair of CAW.

Penny Thei

Community Governor Term: 29.06.2014 – 28.06.2018

I was brought up and educated in north west London.  Graduated in 1970 with a degree in sociology, then in 1971 qualified as a Careers Adviser.  As a careers adviser I worked in schools with 15 and 16 year old leavers in Slough for 2 years, before moving into the retail sector as a management trainee.  I returned to careers work specialising in working with 6th formers in Hertfordshire, before moving into the Higher Education sector in London for 5 years.  Following maternity leave I worked as a job share in Further Education and then liaising with hairdressing employers running YTS in central London.  I finally returned to Hertfordshire Careers Service where I worked for 12 years in a variety of roles and with a range of client groups including adults.  My role included training of staff at all levels, so when an opportunity arose to become a senior lecturer in Career Guidance on the postgraduate diploma at London South Bank University, I jumped at the chance.  I have been in this role for the past 16 years though will retire in August this year.  Both my daughters attended Sandringham School and I became a parent governor.  In 2003 when I could no longer claim to be a parent in the school, I was co-opted as a community governor and have served in this capacity since.  I serve on the Curriculum, Achievement and Welfare and HR Committees and chair the Admissions sub-committee.  I am link governor for careers and lifelong learning and for gifted and talented.  Outside of my work and governor roles I am a St Albans Green Badge tour guide, sing in the community choir, do yoga and teach a module for the Open University MA in Education.

Jim Wright

Community Governor Term:  09.10.2015 – 08.10.2019

I have lived in St Albans for 20 years.  On completion of my PhD in chemistry, I led a research team in the pharmaceutical industry for a number of years, after which I transferred into general management. During that period my interests included working closely with secondary and tertiary education to support the development of scientists and to promote awareness of career opportunities in the scientific sector. I moved on from my final posting as Global Head of Human Resources into self-employment, running a business consultancy working with a variety of blue chip companies on strategic thinking, change implementation and leadership development.

Following cessation of paid employment I have served as non-executive director on the boards of several not-for-profit organisations. I am currently involved with supporting investment in small businesses in Central and Eastern Europe to promote employment and alleviate poverty and in developing business leaders in these countries.

Since joining the governing body seven years ago I have chaired the CAW committee and am currently serving as Chair of the HR Committee. Previously I was parent governor in a comprehensive school in Surrey.

Anna Cox

Community Governor Term:  09.10.2016 – 08.10.2020

I am a community governor who has lived in St Albans since 1998.  I have two sons who attend Wheatfields Infants School.  I am a Reader in Human-Computer Interaction at UCL and my research examines the impacts of technology in work and leisure contexts.

I joined the governing body in October 2012 and serve on the Curriculum, Achievement and Wellbeing Committee and the Human Resources Committee.  I am the governor faculty link to ICT and ICT across the curriculum and Learning Support.  I am also the SEN Governor.

Greg Comninos

Community Governor Term:  27.11.2017 – 26.11.2021

I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and spent my whole career, from trainee to partner, with Deloitte.  I moved office to St Albans when they established a practice office there in 1995 and subsequently retired from the firm in 2008.  I joined the governing body in 2013.  I am also a Trustee and Treasurer of the St Albans Citizens Advice Bureau which enables me to get involved in wider community issues in St Albans.

I live in Berkhamsted and enjoys bridge, travel and, when time permits, retirement.

Parent Governors

Ann Irwin

Parent Governor Term:  11.11.2016 – 10.11.2020

I am a parent governor with a son who has just left the Sixth Form and two daughters currently in Year 9.  Being at home with my children at school gave me the time to become a Governor, previously at two Primary Schools and now at Sandringham School.  Currently my governor responsibilities include being a member of the ‘Curriculum, Achievement and Wellbeing’ committee, a link governor for Modern Foreign Languages and Chair of the Audit committee.  My previous work experience includes being a French and German teacher in a Secondary School near Bath, Secretarial work and Computer Programming, Business Analysis and Project Management for various companies in the City.

Mark Snelling

Parent Governor Term:  11.11.2016 – 10.11.2020

I was elected as a Parent Governor in 2012 when our daughter joined year 7.  I am the Link Governor for the History and RS Faculties.  Our son joins Sandringham in September 2014.  I am married and we live in Marshalswick.  I work in Canary Wharf as Director of Legal for an American broker.  I am a Christian and we go to St Albans’ Abbey. I enjoy occasional exercise, amateur dramatics and reading.

Anne Garland

Parent Governor Term:  10.10.2017 – 09.10.2021

I have lived in St Albans for just over 20 years and have two daughters who are both at Sandringham school, currently in Years 9 and 12.  I went to a comprehensive school in North Yorkshire and then to Loughborough University where I studied Ergonomics. After this, I joined London Underground as an HR trainee and stayed there for the next 30 years working as an HR manager in different parts of the organisation and also had a short spell as a station manager. I am an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Since leaving work I have been a parent governor at a local junior school and became a parent governor at Sandringham in 2013. My governor roles include being on the HR and CAW committees and I am also the governor responsible for Child Protection.  Other involvement with the school includes being a volunteer in the school library, active involvement with FO$S and I am also an exam invigilator.

I enjoy outdoor activities including cycling, skiing and canoeing and also love gardening.

Darren Leigh

Parent Governor Term:  02.10.2014 – 01.10.2018

I qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant, have spent the last

25 years in commercial and operational finance roles for large corporations and currently work in London as Group Chief Financial Officer for Freightliner Group.

I relocated to St Albans in 2014, with my wife and three children, following seven years working overseas. Our eldest daughter has joined Sandringham School, and two younger daughters, Wheatfields School.

I have joined the governing body in order to support the further advancement of the school and will seek to make a positive contribution wherever possible.

I live in Marshalswick, within walking distance of the school, and enjoy playing football when time and fitness levels permit.

Rachel Houlden

Parent Governor Term:  05.12.2014 – 04.12.2018

I have lived in St. Albans since 1999 and have a daughter and son at Sandringham.

After graduating from the University of Hertfordshire, I joined KPMG where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant. After 5 years at KPMG, I worked as a Financial Controller at an IT company based in Watford.  I currently run a company specialising in providing training courses to those who work in Childrens Social Services.

Outside of work, I enjoy running and cycling and am a keen photographer.

Clotilde Chohan

Parent Governor Term:  06.11.2015 – 05.11.2019

I was born, raised and educated in France before coming to the UK to complete my university course (applied English and Spanish to Economics and Law) and my MBA. I met my husband at Aston University and started my career in Birmingham in a financial organisation. I joined a large global consulting organisation in 2000, focusing on Customer Relationship Management. I have remained in this field  ever since, although working through my own business for 7 years after my son was born to reduce travelling requirements, and more recently with an IT organisation for which I continue to work full-time.

Having advised public and private sector clients for over 20 years on improving their customer experience and on managing Change, I have gathered business experiences and expertise which I enjoy sharing by working pro-bono with charities.

This year, as my son joined Sandringham School as a Year 7 student, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to take a role as a Parent Governor. I will initially serve on the Resources Committee. I am also the Governor Link for the Business and Economics Faculty and I take an active role in FoSS.

I have lived in St Albans where my husband owns a business since 2002. Outside of work, I like to keep fit with regular exercise, travel to discover new countries when time allows, and enjoy time with my family.

Judith Head

Parent Governor Term:  06.11.2015 – 05.11.2019

I am a parent governor with one child in Sandringham and another still at primary school.  I trained as a secondary science teacher many years ago.  I then moved into educational publishing and now work as a freelance publisher and editor on text books and resources for schools.  I am currently link governor for PE.

Staff Governors

Joanna Jones

Staff Governor Term:  05.02.2016 – 04.02.2020

After graduating in Philosophy from Cardiff University I undertook a Masters in Theology, also at Cardiff University.  During this time, I was involved in voluntary work at local SEN schools and also worked as a TA before beginning my career as a teacher.  I trained as an RS teacher in Wales and took my first teaching post in Bristol shortly afterwards.  After two years I decided to make the move back to Hertfordshire and secured a job as Head of RS, now PRE, at Sandringham School.

Mark Allday

Staff Governor Term:  17.11.2016 – 16.11.2020

My journey within education began working within school sport as a Competition Manager and School Sports Coordinator (SSCo) at Cavendish School in Hemel Hempstead. I later decided to draw together my passions surrounding technology, computing and education in my degree studies. I spent time during my initial teacher training here at Sandringham, before moving to Roundwood Park School in Harpenden where I was involved in school wide responsibilities as Leader of Home Learning and KS4 mentoring. I returned to Sandringham to embrace an exciting opportunity and now hold the position of Director of Learning: Computer Science. I am a strong believer in the schools values and ethos and remain immensely proud and privileged to work with our students and dedicated staff every day.

Rachael Peacock

Staff Governor Term:  

I was brought up in the local area and attended Beaumont School, leaving to attend Sandringham School to study my A-levels. Whilst here as a student, I volunteered within The SandPit Theatre and developed my love of theatre. I went on to study at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, achieving a BA (Hons) in Theatre Design and technology majoring in lighting design and production management. In June 2011 I returned to Sandringham School as the Manager of The SandPit Theatre to give others in the local area, particularly the students at Sandringham, the opportunities that I had as a young person in the Arts. I have been in post as a Staff Governor since summer 2016, and now serve on the HR and Resources committees.

Ex-Officio Governor

Alan Gray

Headteacher:  Ex-offici Governor

Types of Governors

Community Governors   are appointed by the Governing Body.  They are recruited from within the community served by the school for the skills and knowledge that they can bring.

Parent Governors are elected by all parents at the school. They are representative of the parent body but the views they express at meetings are their own – they need not canvas parental opinion on every issue, or report back to parents on decisions taken: that is the responsibility of the whole of the Governing Body.

Staff Governors are elected by all other staff.  Anyone who is paid to work at the school is eligible for election.  Like parent Governors they are representative of staff but the views they express at meetings are their own – they need not canvas staff opinion on every issue.

The Headteacher is also a Governor.


Queries about the management of Sandringham School and the progress of any individual child should be directed in the first instance to the school through the prescribed channels as set out in the student planner.  However, if you have any queries for the governors or wish to let us know your views on the school, please e-mail: