The work of the AGBIS office is overseen by a Board of school governors who are representatives elected by the member school.
Richard Harman, Chief Executive was educated at The King’s School, Worcester, followed by Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read English. Having spent two years working for an academic publisher, he decided his real vocation was in teaching. After five years at Marlborough College teaching English and Drama, during which time he also completed his PGCE at Exeter University, he spent 12 years at Eastbourne College. Progressing from Head of English to Housemaster of a Sixth Form girls’ house to member of the Senior Management Team, he then became Headmaster of Aldenham in September 2000 and thence to Uppingham in 2006. After a decade leading Uppingham and 32 years overall in teaching, he embarked on a third career as Chief Executive of AGBIS. Richard is much enjoying the challenges at AGBIS, having been Chairman of the Boarding Schools’ Association for 2011-12 and Chairman of HMC for 2014-15.
Director of Training
Cheryl Connelly, Director of Training was educated at Northumbria University where she completed a honours degree in Business Management. Having spent five years in the Civil Service, Cheryl moved to the Training and Enterprise Council where she advised public and private businesses on best practice and developed and delivered workshops to equip their own staff with the necessary skills to deliver continuous improvement. During this time Cheryl also completed her post graduate diploma in Personnel and Development. Cheryl then became an inspector with the Audit Commission where she led corporate compliance inspections at County and District councils, Police authorities and Fire authorities across the UK. After a decade at the Audit Commission, Cheryl moved into the Education sector as a Business Manager and Clerk to the Governors, spending six years in the maintained sector before spending the last three years in the same role at Edgeborough, a co-educational preparatory school in Surrey. During this time, Cheryl also completed her MSc in Business Education Management. Cheryl has also served for 16 years as a school governor, including as Chair of Governors and Chair of Finance and Resources. Cheryl is looking forward to working with our member schools.
Director of Operations
Rachel Cooke, Director of Operations is a graduate from the University of Hull, where she read Philosophy. Rachel has also taught English in Mexico. She joined AGBIS from United Learning, where she spent three years as Senior Project Lead, Strategy and Performance. Before that, she worked variously in the NHS, for the Association of Colleges and in programme and project management at the Learning and Skills Improvement Service and at the Institute for Learning. Rachel is currently a governor at Aldwickbury School and at The Hurlingham Academy. Her primary role within AGBIS is running the head office operations based in Welwyn.
Andy Robinson, Regional Officer graduated from the University of Salford with a joint honours degree in mathematics and physics. Andy then entered Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in September 1980. During his career in the Royal Navy where he specialised in training, leadership and management, Andy undertook a number of senior positions including Naval Service Recruiting Operations Manager and Director of Training for an establishment of seven Royal Naval schools. In 2010 he was appointed Bursar and Clerk to the Governors of St Hugh’s School, Oxfordshire and became the AGBIS Director of Training in April 2015; in this role he provided training, facilitated strategy days and conducted reviews of governance for over 150 independent schools’ governing bodies. Andy became the first AGBIS Regional Officer in September 2019. He was previously involved with two local charities as a trustee and Chairman and is currently a governor of a large co-educational independent 3-18+ day school.
PA and admin support
Ann Bell, PA and admin support joined AGBIS in January 2019. After having spent many years of her career in administration Ann took a four year sabbatical living on the mainland of Greece. After returning to the UK she entered the education sector carrying out administration support, most recently spending seven years in a local primary school. Ann will be supporting her AGBIS colleagues in the Head Office in Welwyn.
Accounts & Communications Manager
Carol Carty, Accounts & Communications Manager joined AGBIS in August 2010. Before taking a degree in Business Studies she worked as IT Technician in a secondary school. Amongst other duties, she is responsible for the administration of the e-Learning course for New Governors and Safeguarding Children.
Events and Marketing Manager
Katie Hopkinson, Events and Marketing Manager joined AGBIS in March 2019. Before joining AGBIS, Katie worked at the University of Hertfordshire for 14 years in marketing and more recently in a Student Success role.She has a Business Studies degree and a CIM Professional Postgraduate Diploma.Katie will be organising our extensive programme of seminars and events, including the Conference and AGM, as well as delivering all our marketing activities.Katie looks forward to meeting our members at future seminars.
The elected and co-opted members of the Board are:
Mark Taylor is a Governor at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and Folkestone Academy. Having worked in the City, Mark's career as a Bursar started in 1993 at Cranbrook School, appointed to Dulwich Prep School, Cranbrook in 1996, Bedales Schools in 2003 and the King’s School, Canterbury in 2010. Mark was elected ISBA Chairman from 2013 – 2016.
David Taylor is a Governor at Queen Anne’s Caversham. After teaching at Watford Grammar School, where he was head of classics, he joined Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools, becoming Director of Inspections in Ofsted before leaving to work as an international consultant.
Sarah Phillipshas been a governor of the King Alfred School in north London for over 20 years and was elected by the school community as Treasurer / Chair of the Finance Committee annually between 2004 and her resignation in 2018. Sarah Phillips is also the Finance Manager and Company Secretary for a trade association in the construction industry.
Chair of Governors at Bilton Grange School; Governor Malvern College
Governor at Haberdashers' Schools Elstree; St Dunstan's College
Governor at St George's School, Windsor Castle; The Abbey School, Reading
Governor at Hurstpierpoint College
Governor at St Michael's Prep School
Chair, The Edinburgh Academy Foundation; Chair, The Eric H. Stevenson Charitable Trust
Member of the City of London Education Board
Governor at Kimbolton School
Chair of Governor at Canford School
Governor at Battle Abbey School; Downside School; Warminster School
Governor at Brentwood School; Heathfield Ascot; St May's School, Gerrards Cross
Revd. Richard Peers:
Liverpool Diocese Director of Education
Governor at Haileybury; Magdalen College School
Governor at Box Hill School
AGBIS Email Account Access:
Outlook Web Access Login- For AGBIS Staff and Board Members only. Please click here to login to your AGBIS email account via Outlook Web Access. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have forgotten your login details.
Association of Governing Bodies of
3 Codicote Road, Welwyn
Hertfordshire, AL6 9LY
Tel: 01438 840730