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The Richmond upon Thames School

The Richmond upon Thames School

Excellence Through Endeavour

Trustee Biographies

Shetal Bhatt (Co-Vice Chair)

Shetal is a marketing professional with over 20 years’ experience at several blue chip companies including Shell and SUBWAY. Specialising in Loyalty and Customer Relationship Management, she has led international and culturally diverse teams to deliver well-known loyalty programmes across Europe and speaks fluent German. She has been a resident of the borough all her life, attending local state schools, and her parents owned two successful businesses in Teddington. With a niece and nephew at primary schools in this borough, Shetal is excited about having a new secondary school in the area and looks forward to helping deliver the school vision of ‘Excellence Through Endeavour’ to ensure the future workforce gets the best foundation to make their future career choices.

Cathy Bird  (Chair of the Trust Board)

Prior to taking early retirement, Cathy was Deputy Secretary at the Institute of Education, University of London. Since then, she has been involved in a number of projects locally, including being Chair of the Corporation for Richmond upon Thames College and as a co-opted governor, chairing the College Redevelopment Project Group. She stood down from this position in November 2018.  She is a Research Network volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society and a co-opted governor of  the United Colleges Group.  Cathy has lived in Twickenham for over 35 years and her two children attended local schools and Richmond upon Thames College.  

Gordon Deas

Gordon is a Senior Finance Professional with over twenty years’ experience across a number of sectors. He gained his Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor qualifications while working for Arthur Andersen. He considers his core competencies to be structuring, UK taxation, EIS, financing, capital raising, investor liaison and project management. Most recently, he worked as a senior executive at an international private investment organisation. In July 2018 Gordon started his own consultancy business and he joined the Trust Board in December 2018. 

Evan Demetriou

Evan has lived in the Richmond Borough all of his life and is married with three children. He is a business owner of hair and beauty salons and also lectures and assesses in the hairdressing industry. He has a passion for education and hopes that his own children will attend RTS one day. Laying a good foundation to a new school drives him to give his best as a Community governor and for the future of the school and the children that attend it.

Kelly Dooley

Kelly Dooley has over 19 years of experience in comprehensive secondary education. Since starting as an English and Media teacher, she has held senior leadership roles in three large London secondary schools before being appointed Head Teacher of The Richmond upon Thames School in 2016.

Kelly’s senior leadership background has been in secondary schools in areas of both high and low levels of deprivation. As a result, she is acutely aware of the diverse challenges schools face whichever socio-economic area they are in. Kelly has supported both primary and secondary schools through her leadership of initial teacher training programmes, leadership coaching, school-to-school quality assurance and initiatives to raise standards for disadvantaged students. 

Kelly was born in west London where she completed her compulsory education and where she continues to live with her husband and teenage sons. Kelly has a particular interest in the links between high-quality rounded education and its role in eradicating social injustice, which together fuels her commitment to comprehensive no-limits education.

Kelly is a trustee for two charities. St Christopher's Fellowship, a charity founded in 1870 who provide children’s homes, supported housing, and fostering across the UK and the Isle of Man and The Harlequins Foundation,  who combine the power of sport with the unique spirit, expertise and experience of Harlequins to create opportunities for people within local communities and beyond. Kelly is also completing a PHD at Greenwich University which focuses on leadership practices and their influence on the educational outcomes of disadvantaged students. 

Andrew Hanson

Andrew's largely scientific career is rounded with practice in the creative arts and he is a keen supporter of education. The majority of his scientific working life has been at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) measuring properties of materials like colour and gloss. He transitioned to manager of NPL’s Outreach programme – overseeing and participating in thousands of local and national STEM activities from talks to exhibitions, and for this work was awarded an MBE in 2019. He has chaired UK and international science and arts committees in organisations including the Institute of Physics and the Colour Group of Great Britain. He has managed a rock band, ran an amateur dramatics group, has made award winning films and is an electronic musician.

Jason Hughes  (Co-Vice Chair)

Jason has lived in the borough for over 25 years and is married with two sons who have been educated in local primary schools. With experience in both the financial and education sectors he hopes to make a significant contribution to the development of Richmond Upon Thames School.

Rachael Prasher 

Rachael is Director at the Haymarket Media Group, which she joined in 1993. She has worked and lived in the borough of Richmond upon Thames for over 20 years. She is married with three children, who have been or are being educated in local state schools. Rachael brings years of experience of developing multi-platform media products across a range of markets and her current role sees her overseeing Haymarket's Automotive market. Rachael has deep experience of managing large teams and bringing together broad stakeholder groups behind a common goal. Her ambition is to share that experience along with her knowledge of business to contribute to the future success of the Richmond upon Thames School (RTS).  

Sarah Scammell

Sarah was born in central London, where she lived until moving to Richmond 12 years ago. She has one child who attends a local Twickenham primary school.

A qualified accountant with over 25 years in commercial finance within Blue Chip companies such as Diageo, Allied Domecq & Costa Coffee, she has also held divisional finance director roles at Red Bull, Weight Watchers and Birds Eye, and now operates as Group Finance and Commercial Director at Harlequins Rugby Club. Specialising in commercial finance and strategy, Sarah has worked in many of the great cities of the world from as far afield as Sydney,  New York and Mexico City, as well as many of the capital cities of our European neighbours. She brings a wide range of commercial, leadership and business skills, having run large cross-functional teams in a number of these corporations.

Sarah also has a particular interest in SEND. Undiagnosed with dyslexia until she was in her mid 20s, she is acutely aware of the difficulties faced by those with learning needs and the lifelong challenges they face. She is excited to support the school and its pupils on their journey of growth, through using both her skill and training as well as her own life experiences. 

Manju Walia

Manju is one of our parent trustees. She has two sons, one of whom started at RTS in September 2018 and has lived in the borough for 18 years. She has a commercial background having worked as a sales, training and marketing professional across various healthcare industries. Manju is keen to work with members of the board to help shape the school be known for its provision of excellent and inspirational teaching; pupil performance encouraged through a safe, nurturing and challenging environment. Her particular interest is in fair and equal provision of education for all, especially those with educational needs.

Laura Williams

Laura has a child in year 9 at RTS and an older daughter in her second year at Esher College. Laura works for a local housing association as a Housing Officer, supporting tenants and attends multi agency meetings throughout the borough as well as working as a Governing Board Clerk for six schools in Hounslow.

As well as working within these roles, Laura owns a residential cleaning services company and an events company. Laura has a passion for planning events and has over 20 years’ experience of event planning particularly weddings and charity events.

Laura's experience of working with multi agencies and charities across the borough to support local families, will be useful to her role on the RTS trust board. She hopes that her event planning experience will also be useful for the board’s oversight of RTS income generation in the future.  Through her work with other schools, Laura is already familiar with local governance and is looking forward to supporting the board as an RTS parent trustee.