Skip to content ↓
The Richmond upon Thames School

The Richmond upon Thames School

Excellence Through Endeavour

Trustee Biographies

Shetal Bhatt - Chair of the Trust Board

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 about to start their primary education 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

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 Collge 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 member of their  Research Strategy Council. 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.

Jim Eyre

Jim Eyre has been the Commercial Operations Director of Harlequins since 2015, a role that includes Operational delivery, Community engagement and the Club’s Foundation, with emphasis on the provision of sport and mental resilience coaching in local schools and clubs. He served in the British Army for 25 years, commanded his Regiment, and spent a significant time deployed overseas, regularly working with the FCO and other Governmental departments. He has an MA from Cranfield University and was further educated at the Manchester Business School.

Sarah Filby

Sarah is currently Head of Improvement at London Councils. Prior to this, she worked for Richmond Council where she was responsible for several major innovative transformation projects, working with a range of communities and professionals to put local aspirations into action and deliver physical improvements in the Borough. Before coming to Richmond, Sarah studied Geography at Oxford University.

Rob Gordon

Rob Gordon moved into the borough in 2000 and is married with two sons. His elder son is a founding student at RTS. Rob has a BA Hons in Engineering and runs his own IT Consultancy business. Since joining the Governing Body in March, Rob hopes to use his IT experience and parent standpoint to help RTS continue its huge strides in creating an amazing school for the students.

Jason Hughes

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.

Diana Huntingford

Diana has over 30 years experience of working in education. For more than 15 years, she worked in a variety of schools in West London. Diana began her teaching career as a Geography teacher in Hounslow and subsequently undertook many roles in schools, including being a Deputy Headteacher at a large and very successful comprehensive school in Ealing. Diana also has extensive experience of working as an Officer for London Local Authorities. In 2001 Diana joined Kensington & Chelsea as a District Inspector and, in 2006, she was appointed Head of School Improvement and was Head of Commissioning, School Standards in the new tri-borough Education Service until September 2012. Diana is now retired and has a daughter, a son and a stepson, all of whom are in their twenties/early thirties and pursuing different careers. Diana also relishes her role as a grandmother to two lovely grandchildren and takes delight in spending time with them whenever possible.

Rachael Prasher - Vice-Chair of the Trust Board

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).  

Jane Spencer

Jane has lived in the Borough of Richmond for the past 30 years and has 3 children who all attended primary school in Kew. She has worked in the field of corporate communications and marketing and more recently as freelance copywriter and communications consultant. She became a magistrate in West London 15 years ago and currently sits on the Adult Criminal Bench in Wimbledon and on the London Family Bench sitting at Hatton Cross. She has extensive experience as a school governor as a member of the governing bodies of a number of Richmond primary schools for the last 20 years, including being Chair of Governors at 3 of the schools. She is currently Chair of Governors at Darell Primary and Nursery School. Jane joined the shadow Board of Achieving for Children in July 2013 and was appointed as a Non-Executive Independent Director on 1st April 2014 when the social enterprise company was created by Richmond and Kingston Councils.  Her particular responsibility on the Board is for education and SEND. She is delighted to have been appointed to the Trust Board of such an exciting new school and looks forward to contributing to its success.

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.