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Governance at The Hall
As in many independent schools, The Hall is set up as an educational charity, operating in a way very different from public charities. In such schools Governors are similar to non-executive Directors; they serve the school on a voluntary basis. The composition of the Hall’s Board reflects the world in which the school operates, with each Governor offering specific skills and expertise in an area, which is, or could be, of importance to The Hall.
In The Hall’s case, the largest skill set on the Board reflects the importance of – and emphasis on – our core ‘business’ of education. We are lucky enough to have the current Heads of St Paul’s and Westminster among our number and we also have a former Prep school Head to steer us in considering the needs of the younger children. On the professional side we have governors with accountancy skills, with investment experience, with legal knowledge (a solicitor and a barrister). Since we need to pay proper attention to our buildings and grounds we have a surveyor and property expert on the Board and recently we have recruited a leading PR consultant whose guidance is valuable in helping us to co-exist peacefully with our neighbours. Several of these Governors are current parents, past parents or former pupils and two are representatives of the Mercers’ Company, forming a link, which allows the school access to the broad knowledge and experience of the Company’s education committee. Together the Governors are a team that works together harmoniously for the good of the school.
So what do Governors do? Firstly they are the guardians of standards within the school. In brief summary, they must ensure that pupils are given the best possible, broad education in surroundings that are safe, conducive to learning and fit for purpose. In addition they must ensure the financial health and well being of the school and, together with the school’s senior managers, must plan strategically for the future. The structure of the Governing Body and the schedule of meetings must be organised to support these and many other responsibilities.
There is a policy for Governance and among other things, this dictates that a Governor should serve for five years and then if willing and if re-elected, can serve one more term before retiring. This ensures both continuity and rotation; the Governing body is refreshed by seeking new recruits who are put forward by a Nominations Committee to fill specific gaps in order to retain a well-balanced Board with a broad spread of expertise. As a Board, we review our own performance on an annual basis.
The Hall School traces its roots back to 1889 when the Reverend Francis Wrottesley set up his own school, primarily to educate his own growing family of boys. He took in other paying pupils and so the Belsize School for Boys was born. He sold it in 1898 to the Reverend Douglas Marshall when pupil numbers had sunk to 13.
Anthony Fobel – Chairman
Past parent, asset manager, Partner at BlueBay Asset Management LLP
Correspondence for the Chairman of the Governors should be sent to c/o The Hall School, 23 Crossfield Road, London NW3 4NU
Peter Mason – Vice Chairman & Chairman of Finance Committee
Present parent, Managing Director at Barclays Capital
Present parent, Investment Banker
Dr Subhra Bhaduri
Present parent, Consultant Oncologist
Prof. Mark Bailey
High Master of St Paul’s School. Responsibility for safeguarding
Lord James Bethell
Former pupil, Member of the House of Lords
Head Master of Westminster School
Present parent, Barrister at Monckton Chambers
Chartered surveyor, Partner at Prestbury Investments
Former headmistress of two IAPS schools, Independent Schools’ Inspector and Board Member, past Chairman of IAPS
Head Teacher, South Hampstead High School