The Governing Body

Meet the Governing Body

Knole Day 22

Theresa Homewood

Chair of Governors

Theresa Homewood is Senior Deputy Head at Sevenoaks School, having previously been the Pastoral Deputy
Head for fourteen years. One of the Governors nominated by Sevenoaks School, the Education Sponsor of
Knole Academy, Theresa's main roles are to help foster links between the two schools and the Governor with
oversight of Child Protection matters.

Robert Sackville West photo

Robert Sackville-West

Chair of Finance & Premises Committee

After studying History at Oxford University and business at the London Business School, Robert Sackville-West
worked in publishing, in 1985 founding Toucan Books, which creates illustrated non-fiction books for an
international market. He now combines that 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, Robert has a long-standing interest in education. Until 2008, he was chairman of the governing
body at Sevenoaks School, and is currently chairman of the Sevenoaks School Foundation. He is a governor
(and chair of the Finance and Premises Committee) at the Knole Academy in Sevenoaks; and a director of the
UK board of the International Baccalaureate Organization. He is a trustee of the Chevening Estate, a trustee of
the Royal Oak Foundation, and a deputy-lieutenant of Kent.

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

Anne Williams

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. 

Gordon philips

Gordon Phillips

Member & Governor

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

Katy Ricks

Member, Governor, Teacher & Learning Committee

Dr Katy Ricks is 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,

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

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

Nick Chard

Nick Chard

Member, Governor, Finance & Premises Committee

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

He has 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).

He is currently Chairman of Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority.

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

 Nick is a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Public Scrutiny.

He is 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.

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

Malcolm Fisher

Malcolm Fisher

Governor, Chair of Teacher & Learning Committee

I am a chemical engineer, have three teenage children and have lived in Sevenoaks since 1996.

I was educated in Cambridgeshire at the local comprehensive school and sixth form college.  I studied at the
University of Birmingham, achieving a First in Chemical Engineering.  I worked for ICI on Teesside for a number
of years as a Process Engineer, both in design and operations roles.  I then moved to Esso's European
Engineering Centre in Surrey where I worked on projects for Esso's refineries across Europe, before moving into
their Retail Business where I took overall responsibility for Forecourt Engineering throughout the UK and

Since 2006 I have been on a career break to look after our three children who are in their mid to late teens.  My
own education and career have taught me the value of STEM subjects and how important it is to inspire young
people to take an interest in these subjects.  I am a scout leader and have led one of the 1st Sevenoaks scout
troops for the last seven years and have seen how young teenagers can be motivated by practical activities. 

Jo Wildman

Jo Wildman

Parent Governor, Teaching & Learning Committee

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

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

Roger Wedderburn-Day

Governor, Finance & Premises Committee

Roger is in his mid-50s and spent most of his working life as a solicitor with a major law firm based in London. 
His 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,  Roger has
sought to become more involved in the community and joined Knole Academy as a governor in September
2014.  He is a member of the Finance and Premises Committee and is also the governor responsible for data. 
As a retired lawyer, Roger has nearly 30 years’ experience of building up and managing a substantial legal
practice and has worked with, analysed, described and investigated a wide range of businesses.  His skills
include the ability to assimilate and analyse large amounts of data, to identify problems and to find solutions. 
Roger is also a trustee of his firm’s charitable foundation and a volunteer with the Institute of Advanced

Magnus Spence

Magnus Spence

Governor, Finance & Premises Committee

I am a Chartered Accountant and have worked in financial services for the whole of my career. Currently, I work
at Jupiter Asset Management where I am responsible for their Hedge Fund business. If truth be known, I wish I
had been brave enough to become a teacher!

Educated at Rugby School, I studied Geography at Durham University. I have six children and live in Ticehurst,
East Sussex. I am one of the governors nominated by Sevenoaks School, the Education Sponsor of Knole

David Collins

David Collins


I joined Knole Academy upon its creation in 2010 as a Vice Principal.  My previous role had been as a Senior
Secondary Advisor for Kent after many years in senior leadership in other schools. I was attracted to Knole
Academy as I subscribe to its founding ideology and I remain convinced that an inclusive aspirational school
that serves the entire community is the best model for education.

I look forward to leading Knole Academy in the pursuit of this goal. I believe that every child deserves the
opportunity to be successful and that every student leaves Knole Academy as a well-rounded citizen
who has experienced, and enjoyed, a varied range of opportunities. As well as shaping community minded
citizens, we strive to prepare students for a successful life in an ever evolving global landscape.


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