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Blundell's Governors

Blundell's has the same governors for both the Prep and Senior School.

Mr N.P. Hall, MA FCA - Chair of Governors
Dr S.B. Ansell, MB BCh MA (Hons) FRCGP
Ms A. Crosse, LLB Law and French
Mr N.J. Cryer, BEng (Hons), MCIBSE
Mr G.L. Howe, FCA CTA - Chair of the Finance & General Purposes Committee
Mr M. Huntingford, BSc Econ, Law & Accountancy
Mr M.J. Lovett, BA (Ed) Hons - Chair of the Governance Committee
Mrs J.M.A. Mannix, MA - Chair of the Education Committee
Rt Rev’d N. McKinnel MA MA - Vice Chair of Governors
Mrs D.L. Rees, BA Hons, CPE/Dip Law
Dr A. Smith BSc MB ChB DCH DRCOG MRCGP
Mr R.W. Thane, BA - Chair of the Blundell's Preparatory School Committee
Mr I.R.G. Thomas, AFPS, STEP, CFP
Mrs J.S. Thomson, BA (QTS), MBA, FRSA
Professor M.E. Wood, BA MA DPhil

Governors' Biographies

Mr Nigel Hall MA FCA – Currently Chair of the Governing Body. Educated at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Elstree and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, Nigel qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in 1980. He joined the fashion retailer The Burton Group PLC in 1984 and undertook a wide variety of financial and general management roles before becoming Finance Director of the company, by now renamed Arcadia Group PLC, in 1997. Following the sale of the company in 2002 Nigel has pursued a portfolio career as a non-executive director of several public and private companies. He is married to Jill, has two grown up daughters, and has lived near Butterleigh, Cullompton since 1998. Two of his grandchildren attend Blundell’s Pre-Prep.

The Right Reverend Nick McKinnel – Currently Vice Chair of the Governing Body. Nick studied Law at Cambridge and Theology at Oxford prior to ordination to a London parish in 1980. Subsequently Chaplain at Liverpool University, Rector of Hatherleigh and Rector of St Andrew’s Church, Plymouth. Nick served as Bishop of Crediton from 2012 to 2015 and Bishop of Plymouth from 2015 to 2022. He has been a school Governor in primary and independent schools for over 30 years, is currently Chancellor of the University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth, and has been a trustee of Allied Schools as well as Medic Malawi and various church charities. He is nominated as the High Sheriff of Devon for 2022/23. Nick is married to Jan, and they have four children, nine grandchildren and live near Newton Abbot.

Mr Graham Howe FCA CTA – Currently Chair of the Finance & General Purposes Committee. Educated at Tiverton Grammar School and Blundell`s, Graham qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Following a period with National firm Clark Whitehill in Cheltenham, he and his wife returned to Devon in 1985. A Partner with Southwest Accountants Bishop Fleming until 2008, he then joined the board of The Pavey Group as Finance Director. Following his retirement, roles include Trustee of the Devon Community Foundation and the Church House Charity.

Living in South Devon, Graham has one son, also educated at Blundell's, and enjoys golf, walking and rugby.

Mr Matthew Lovett BA (Ed) Hons – Chair of the Governance Committee. A former Headmaster of three preparatory schools including 12 years as Head of Truro Prep, and now an educational consultant and reporting inspector for ISI. He delivers training for prep school teachers in the South West and leads a development programme for future school leaders. Trained as a primary school teacher at Exeter University specialising in the teaching of science, Matthew has also taught Latin, Spanish, and physical education in Spain, Kenya and around the UK.

Mrs Jessica Mannix – Currently Chair of the Education Committee. Educated at Blundell’s and University of St Andrews where she read Modern Languages. Jessica is the Director of the Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust at Somerville College at the University of Oxford since its foundation in 2013. Jessica has worked in and around the University of Oxford since 2005 with roles in the Social Sciences Division, Wadham College, Brasenose College, Pembroke College and the Ashmolean Museum. She has also worked in the charity sector with Oxfam and the NSPCC. She has lived in both South America and South Africa and is fluent in French and Spanish.

Mr Randall Thane BA – Common Room Representative and Chair of the Blundell’s Preparatory School Committee. Educated at Solihull School and Liverpool University, he gained his PGCE at Downing College, Cambridge. Randall then spent seventeen years at The King’s School, Canterbury where he taught Geography and was a Housemaster of one of the boys’ boarding houses. He moved to Blundell’s in 1997 as Second Master. During his teaching career Randall was an Independent Schools Team Inspector, worked with the Boarding Schools’ Association as a tutor and regional co-ordinator, and was a member of the HMC Deputy Heads Committee. Since leaving Blundell’s in 2012 he has worked as a Quality Assurance Officer with the Independent Schools Teacher Induction Panel visiting schools to support new teachers and their mentors.

Dr Sarah Ansell BM BCh MA FRCGP – A General Practitioner and Medical Educationalist. Educated at Sherborne School for Girls, Sarah read Natural Sciences at Downing College, Cambridge before converting to medicine and completing her clinical training at Worcester College, Oxford. She moved to North Devon in 2004 and has built a career in Medical Education alongside continuing to practice as a local GP. In 2020 Sarah was appointed as Head of the Peninsula School of Primary Care, overseeing post-graduate education for doctors, nurses, paramedics and pharmacists who are training to work in NHS General Practice. Her interests include the sustainability agenda and engaging in a wide variety of outdoor activities on the North Devon coast and countryside. Mother of three grown up children, all of whom were educated at Blundell’s.

Ms Anna Crosse – Educated at Blundell’s School, the Universities of Cardiff and Rennes (France) and Guildford University of Law, Anna then completed her legal training contract with EDF Energy PLC. She qualified into a City law firm, before spending 9 years advising businesses globally at Johnson Matthey PLC, a FTSE 100 science and chemicals company, specialising in sustainable technologies. She is now General Counsel for Vorboss Limited, one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK, building London’s next generation internet fibre network. Anna and her partner, John, have two young children and live in Fitzhead, near Wellington, where they enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.

Mr Nick Cryer – A chartered engineer by profession, with over 30 years’ experience in property and construction. Initially site based in contracting, Nick progressed into consultancy where he led high profile construction projects for some of the world's leading property companies including Canary Wharf Group, Hammerson Plc, Prudential and Lendlease, culminating in a position on the UK Board of WSP Group Plc.
In 2002 Nick established a new regional office for global cost and project management consultants EC Harris LLP, leading consulting initiatives throughout the UK and Europe as a senior partner and latterly, in the role of Head of Commercial Development. In 2009 Nick formed the property and construction company Berkeley Place, focussing on the private residential market. In parallel, Nick attracted PE and VC investment to deliver his own development projects including a 135-bed student accommodation building combined with a Sainsbury's store in Plymouth. Nick is a trustee of various charitable institutions supporting their property and investment decision process.

In 2002 Nick established a new regional office for global cost and project management consultants EC Harris LLP, leading consulting initiatives throughout the UK and Europe as a senior partner and latterly, in the role of Head of Commercial Development. In 2009 Nick formed the property and construction company Berkeley Place, focussing on the private residential market. In parallel, Nick attracted PE and VC investment to deliver his own development projects including a 135-bed student accommodation building combined with a Sainsbury’s store in Plymouth. Nick is a trustee of various charitable institutions supporting their property and investment decision process.

Mr Michael Huntingford ACA – Educated at Kings School, Ottery St Mary and Aberystwyth, Michael worked extensively overseas including a six-year period developing a large-scale agribusiness in Zambia. He has worked within the offshore wind energy sector in the UK since 2001 and chairs a regional not for profit energy consultancy. He is married to Tryphena, an engineer and medical herbalist, and their three children were all educated for the most part at Blundell’s. Both Michael and Tryphena are heavily involved in their local community of Langford Budville, near Wellington.

Mrs Daya Rees – Educated at Taunton School and studied Geography & Anthropology at UCL before reading for the Bar, by studying for the Common Professional Exam & Diploma in Law at City University and Bar Finals at the Inns of Court School of Law. Daya is a member of Lincoln’s Inn and the Western Circuit. She is in Chambers in Exeter and specialises in Children and Family Law. She lives locally and is also a parish councillor. Her husband James is also a practicing Barrister, and their sons are both Old Blundellians.

Dr Andy Smith BSc MB ChB DCH DRCOG MRCGP – Having qualified from Bristol University Medical School, Andy trained as a General Practitioner before joining a local GP practice - where he subsequently worked for 23 years as a partner. Always enjoying emergency medicine & medical leadership, Andy adopted a portfolio career combining his GP work with eventually becoming Executive Medical Director at Southwestern Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust. More recently Andy has become a lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, and a GP appraiser. Living locally with his wife Clare, both their children attended Blundell’s School before going on to study medicine – one at Cambridge, the other at Cardiff. As a Blundell’s Governor, he has responsibility for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Mr Ian Thomas – Educated at Universität Düsseldorf and the University of York prior to qualifying as a Chartered Wealth Manager. Ian has spent most of his career at large financial services companies including AXA, Fidelity Investments and JP Morgan, where he was responsible for the Nordic region and lived in Stockholm. More recently, he co-founded a pension and employee benefit consultancy, which operates primarily in the independent schools’ sector. Ian is married to Anna, and they have two children who are both at university.

Mrs Jo Thomson BA, MBA, FRSA – A passionate educationalist who, after graduating from Warwick University, began her career at Repton Prep School as a teacher of English, Head of Girls’ Games and Assistant Housemistress. Jo then moved to Aiglon College in Switzerland where she spent thirteen years running junior and senior girls’ boarding houses and before becoming Head of Middle School. Returning to the UK in 2008 to become Deputy Head at Christ’s’ Hospital School in Horsham until 2016 when she took on her current role as Head of Clayesmore School in Dorset. A keen sportswoman, Jo is married to Frank, and they have two children, who are both at university.

Professor Mark Wood MA – Currently Associate Professor in Organic Chemistry at the University of Exeter. Mark graduated in Chemistry (BA 1986, MA 1989) from the University of Oxford (Balliol College), followed by undertaking DPhil studies in organic chemistry at Oxford, under the supervision of Professor Sir Jack Baldwin. After a short period of postdoctoral research, he was appointed to the position of "GlaxoWellcome Fellow and Tutor in Organic Chemistry", a joint appointment between St Catherine's College (where he served on the Governing Body for six years) and the Dyson Perrins Laboratory, both University of Oxford. In 1996 Mark joined the former Department of Chemistry at the University of Exeter as a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, transferring to the newly formed School of Biosciences in 2005, where he was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer, then Associate Professor. In addition to teaching, Mark has maintained active research interests in synthetic, mechanistic and biological organic chemistry and he is a Chartered Chemist (CChem) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).

Common Room Representative: Mr R.W. Thane, BA, Chair of the Blundell's Preparatory School Committee

Honorary Governor Emeritus: Sir Christopher Ondaatje, OC, CBE

Bursar and Clerk to the Governors: Mrs Annika Hedrich-Wiggans, MA, MSt, ACA

The Chair of the Governors can be contacted through the Clerk to the Governors, Annika Hedrich-Wiggans.

She can be contacted at:

Mrs Annika Hedrich-Wiggans
The Bursary
Blundell's School
Blundells Road
Tiverton
Devon EX16 4DT

Tel: 01884 232309
E-mail: bursar@blundells.org

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