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The Richmond upon Thames School

The Richmond upon Thames School

Excellence Through Endeavour

Trustee Biographies

Shetal Bhatt 

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 helping deliver the school vision of ‘Excellence Through Endeavour’ to ensure the future workforce gets the best foundation to make their future career choices.

Andrew Carpenter

With over ten years of working in the charity sector, Andy has held senior leadership positions at both Charlton Athletic Community Trust as the Head of Social Action and Enterprise, before joining The Harlequins Foundation as Foundation Manager in 2018. More recently, Andy was thrilled to have been appointed the Head of The Harlequins Foundation in September 2023.

As Head of The Harlequins Foundation, Andy is responsible for developing and delivering against The Foundations purpose, growing its footprint, and maximising the social value it creates.

Andy is passionate about sport and the positive impact it plays in society and is committed to delivering programmes that support young people to develop the aspirations, skills, and confidence they need to succeed.

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 joined the Trust Board in December 2018. 

Evan Demetriou (Vice-chair of Trust Board)

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 his own children attend RTS. 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 20 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.

Gavin Hughes

Gavin has been working in education for over 30 years. He started as a secondary school teacher and progressed to Sixth Form and FE Colleges where he taught A levels and BTEC’s for over 20 years. He has worked at Woking College and West Herts College, and has spent the last 15 years in senior leadership roles, mostly at Uxbridge College where he has had experience of managing most areas of support and curriculum. He is most proud of the work he has been part of as designated safeguarding and SEND lead changing the lives of vulnerable young people. He was delighted to be appointed as Principal of Richmond upon Thames College in December 2022 and to see the College enter into its merger with both Harrow and Uxbridge Colleges to form the new HRUC college group.

Jason Hughes  (Chair of Trust Board)

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.

John Kipps

John has taught in the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames since 1989, first in a Church of England Primary School and, since 1993, at Clarendon, Richmond's school for pupils aged 4-16 with moderate learning difficulties. John became Deputy Head at Clarendon in 1998, and Headteacher in 2006, remaining in this role until his retirement in 2023.

Over the years, John has also managed a number of other SEN provisions, including both Primary and Secondary SEMH settings and the Gateway, an inclusion centre for secondary aged pupils with ASD.

In addition to his Headship, John was also the first CEO of the Auriga Academy Trust, and proposed and opened Capella House, a Special Free School for pupils with Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties. He was involved in the project to develop the REEC site, (including the RTS, Clarendon and Capella House) from the outset, and has also overseen further building projects to provide expansion for Clarendon School due to open in 2025.

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 a depth of experience in 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.  

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 more recently 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. 

Ervina Vasiljevic

Ervina is a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney and Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) member, sitting on its Education and Training committee. From 2021-2022 she was one of the mentors for St Mary’s University Be SMART initiative.  Living locally, Ervina is one of our parent trustees, so has a vested interest in supporting the school. Her legal background and involvement in initiatives to enhance education and skills across the board are an asset to the Trust.

Manju Walia

After serving her first term as a parent trustee, Manju has been co-opted by the board to serve another term. 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 help shape the school for it to 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.