Meet the Governing Body


Anne-Marie Lenehan 1

I have been Chair of Governors at Knole Academy since September 2012.  Previously, I was Chair of Governors at the Bradbourne School for a number of years.  It was my privilege to sit on the Project Steering Group which set up the academy through 2009 and 2010.

I attend all governors meetings and committee meetings and often chair the Disciplinary Committee as well as the full governing body.  My background is in retail management where I was a successful manager of a large high street store. 

I have a deep interest in young people's academic and holistic achievement, child protection issues, extracurricular opportunities and arts and culture and attend many school journeys and visits, as well as being kept abreast of student data and achievement of students. My background also gives me a strong interest in quality assurance.

I meet regularly with the principal and the lead sponsor and regularly attend the school to meet with staff and students. The principal keeps me well informed of the school's progress.


I retired from teaching, as Senior Deputy Head at Sevenoaks School, in 2013, however throughout my career I taught at three different types of school.

In 2009 I was awarded an MBE for services to education. 

I am a Governor at four schools, including Knole Academy, where I am Vice Chair and Chairman of the Education Committee. I am also Chairman of the Trustees of Sevenoaks Almshouses.


Robert Sackville West photo

In 1985, after studying History at Oxford University and business at the London Business School, I worked in publishing founding Toucan Books which creates illustrated non-fiction books for an international market.  I now combine that role with chairing Knole Estates, the property and investment company which, in parallel with the National Trust, runs the Sackville family's interests at Knole.  Among other voluntary roles, I have a long-standing interest in education.  Until 2008, I was Chairman of the governing body at Sevenoaks School and am currently Chairman of the Sevenoaks School Foundation.  I am a Governor and Chair of the Finance and Premises Committee, at Knole Academy in Sevenoaks and a director of the UK board of International Baccalaureate Organisation.  I am also a trustee of the Chevening Estate, a trustee of the Royal Oak Foundation, and a deputy-lieutenant of Kent.

I am author of the critically acclaimed Inheritance: The Story of Knole and the Sackvilles (2010) and The Disinherited (2014).


I have been a governor for many years, firstly at the Bradbourne School, where my daughter was a student, and subsequently at Knole Academy.  

I worked for many years in Human Resources for an Inner London Borough, advising the directorate on personnel issues. I am chair of the staffing committee at Knole and work closely with the principal on staffing, appraisal and HR policies.



I am the lead sponsor for Knole Academy and became involved with the academy at its inception, in 2008, and was a member of the project steering group.  I meet regularly with the other sponsors, the chair of governors and the principal to look at the strategic development of the academy.  

My belief is that all young people have potential and respond best in a safe, well ordered and disciplined environment. It is our responsibility to inspire and provide exceptional learning environments so that all young people can reach their maximum potential. This will give them the qualifications and personal skills that will help them to make the right choices for their future and to succeed in adult life.


Katy Ricks photo

I am currently Head of Sevenoaks School, one of the UK's top independent schools, and one of the world's largest and most successful International Baccalaureate schools.

Educated at Camden School for Girls, I studied English Literature as an undergraduate at Balliol College, Oxford, where I won a first-class degree.  I then spent three years at Balliol as a graduate student before joining the staff of St Paul's Girls' School in 1985.

I have held posts at King Edward's School, Birmingham and at Latymer Upper School.  In 1992 I was appointed Head of English at St Edward's School, Oxford, where I was involved in the planning for full co-education that began in September 1997.  I subsequently joined the staff of Highgate School as Deputy Head (Academic) before taking up my current post in 2002.  I recently completed a DPhil in English Literature at the University of Oxford.


Nick Chard

I was first elected to Kent County Council (KCC) in 1997 and represent Sevenoaks East.

I have held several positions at KCC including, Cabinet Member for Finance, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste and Chairman of Kent Health and Overview committee (HOSC).

I am currently Chairman of Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority.

I have had several national appointments in local government; Vice Chairman of the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) and County Council Network (CCN) Executive.

I am a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Public Scrutiny.

I am also the lead employer Member of the NJC  National Joint Council) for the Fire Services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and an executive Member of the Fire Commission.

I was a governor at the previous Bradbourne School for Girls and am passionate that all pupils at Knole Academy reach their potential.


Anne Williams

I first became a governor when my daughter was a student at the Bradbourne School and then became a governor at Knole Academy.  I am a member of the staffing and disciplinary committees and take a keen interest in governance as I worked for a number of years advising the directorate of a local authority on governance issues.

I am responsible for the induction of new governors at Knole. I am also a qualified teacher, have experience as a head of year, have worked in adult education and am a trained listener. 



Theresa Homewood photo

I am Senior Deputy Head at Sevenoaks School, having previously been the Pastoral Deputy Head for 14 years.  

One of the governors nominated by Sevenoaks School, the Education Sponsor of Knole Academy, my main roles are to help foster links between the two schools and the governor with oversight of Child Protection matters.



Robert Straker

I am a retired Head teacher of the most long term successful primary schools, first in Lambeth and then in Kent.  My schools were outstanding not only academically, but also in sport, art and drama.

 I have always been proud and delighted to send my pupils to Knole Academy.

I now work part-time for a Member of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster.



I am the parent governor for Knole Academy and have two sons currently at the school. I serve on the education committee and am the governor responsible for monitoring SEN (special educational needs) provision. I am also a governor at a local primary school, a post I have held for ten years, and Chair of the Kent Junior Chess Association which organises tournaments and promotes chess to young people across the county.

My professional background is as an editor, journalist and photographer. A previous role was managing editor at the Department for Education, which gave me a valuable insight into the development and implementation of education policy and I have also worked for national and local newspapers and as a writer for voluntary sector organisations. I am currently freelance and juggle family life with various assignments.


Roger Wedderburn-Day photo

I am in my mid-50s and have spent most of my working life as a solicitor with a major law firm based in London.  My clients included governments, international organisations, major financial institutions and other leading companies around the world.  Having worked part time since 2011, followed by retirement in 2015,  I have sought to become more involved in the community and joined Knole Academy as a governor in September 2014.  I am a member of the Finance and Premises Committee and am also the governor responsible for data.  As a retired lawyer, I have had nearly 30 years’ experience of building up and managing a substantial legal practice and have worked with, analysed, described and investigated a wide range of businesses. 

My skills include the ability to assimilate and analyse large amounts of data, to identify problems and to find solutions.  I am also a trustee of my firm’s charitable foundation and a volunteer with the Institute of Advanced Motoring.


Mary Boyle 2

i am the founding principal of Knole Academy and a governor.  I have been Headteacher of three schools and have over 15 years’ experience as a head and a further 12 years’ experience as a senior leader in schools in London and the South East.

I strongly believe that every individual deserves the best education a school can provide and that each child is challenged and supported to achieve their very best and given a large range of additional opportunities outside of the classroom supported by the best teaching and facilities one can afford.

I enjoy my role very much and love interacting with staff and students.


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