The School Governing Board is a committed group of experts in their field. They are our ambassadors and advisors. Their support helps us deliver quality education and opportunities for current and future pupils.
While the GDST Council has legal responsibility for the overall operation and governance of the Trust, the School Governing Board plays an integral part in making it all happen.
At a local level, the Board supports our Head, Julie Keller, helps the Senior Leadership Team to deliver the school’s strategy, promotes the school, and monitors our performance.
Jean Pardoe OBE DL
Chair of Governors
After graduating from Leeds University, Jean trained as a careers adviser and continued to work in the field of education, training and skills throughout her career. Before retiring, she was Chief Executive of Futures, a Nottingham based company which provided apprenticeships, careers support services to young people, and the National Careers Service to adults across the East Midlands, employing up to 400 people. Throughout her career she maintained a strong commitment to voluntary service which continues to this day. Jean was awarded an OBE for Services to Young People in 2005 and was invited to become a Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire in 2013. We very much appreciate the huge impact that her wealth of experience has on the life of the school.
Avarni is a NGHS alumna and inspirational role model. From the NGHS class of 2010, Avarni has enjoyed a career in Marketing and Events Management. She now supports local business in their Diversity and Inclusion strategies, with a particular specialism in the Arts industry. She also leads an exciting empowerment network, Fly Girl. Her mission is to connect, support and inspire Nottingham women of colour, and we’re delighted to welcome her back to school as a governor. Her passion for female leadership, collaboration and diversity bring a host of skills and experiences to the board. We know that our pupils will be inspired by her creativity and vision and that she will be a huge asset to the NGHS team.
Anita obtained her BA (Hons) degree in Accounting and Finance at Nottingham Trent University and qualified as an ACA in 1984. She has over fifteen years experience in the food business holding a variety of senior financial and operational roles. She joined Samworth Brothers in May 2014 having previously served as Managing Director at Walkers Midshires Foods, and also held positions at Humber Seafood Institute, Coldwater Seafood, Geest, Hazlewood Foods and Boots. Anita is a former NGHS parent and keen supporter of the school who has helped girls with careers advice and visits, and is looking forward to continuing her engagement with the school as a member of the Governing Body.
Antonia is a Partner at Gunnercooke LLP, specialising in commercial real estate, prior to which she worked with national law firms Eversheds LLP and Geldards LLP. She advises on landlord and tenant work, sales, purchases and lettings of commercial properties, acting for major corporate occupiers, pension funds, SMEs and high-net-worth individuals. She enjoys becoming involved with and understanding her clients’ businesses and commercial drivers, and building long-lasting relationships with her clients, which are all useful assets for the School’s Governing Body. Antonia is one of our main advocates for safeguarding, meeting with our Designated Safeguarding Lead ahead of every Governing Board meeting.
Dr Geeta Lakshmi
We were delighted to welcome Dr Geeta Lakshmi to the NGHS governing body during 2021. Geeta has been working in the International University sector since 1982. She is currently an Associate Professor at Lincoln Business School, University of Lincoln. Her undergraduate and masters degrees are from the University of Delhi and she received her doctorate in Financial Economics from the University of Exeter in 1996. Geeta has supervised PhD students to completion and is a published researcher, contributing to several international journals. Her contribution to civic life includes her position as Chair to the Parish of Hockerton, Nottinghamshire (2005-2010). She is the Co-Founder and Director of Sustainable Hockerton, a community energy company in Nottinghamshire and is also a director of Grimsby Community Energy, Lincolnshire. Geeta’s passion for meaningful education and sustainability have led to her connecting with NGHS as a we are thrilled to benefit from her experience and expertise as the most recent addition to our board.
We are thrilled to have Rakesh on board as a member of our governing body in 2022. Originally from Croydon South London, Rakesh comes to us with a wealth of skills and experience. Rakesh graduated from the University of Leicester Medical School in 2002 with a degree in Medicine, and completed specialty training in renal and general internal medicine in the East Midlands. He later completed his Masters degree at the University of Dundee in 2011 and a Doctoral degree at the University of Leicester in 2012. Rakesh was awarded National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Lectureship in Medical Education 2012-2016 and took up his post as Clinical Associate Professor in Medical Education at the University of Nottingham and Honorary Consultant Nephrologist at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust in 2016. He has also been Education Associate for the General Medical Council since 2016 and has worked in external examinerships at the Universities of East Anglia, Newcastle and Oxford. His strong passion for Early Years and secondary education, and in particular driving forward equality, diversity and inclusion interventions among pupils from under-represented backgrounds, makes him a very valuable addition to our team.
Parent of a former Nottingham Girls’ High School pupil, Richard spent over 40 years in senior management at Boots and was a valued member of the Development Board for the Squire Performing Arts Centre. With a degree in French and English from Leeds, Richard is a dedicated supporter of the school’s academic strategy, as well as championing our diverse and exciting extra-curricular opportunities.
Originally from Birmingham, Shonagh has lived in Nottingham for the last 14 years. She graduated from The Welsh College of Music and Drama in 1995 with a degree in Music and worked as a professional musician and teacher of woodwind for many years. Shonagh served as a musician in the Army for 5 years touring Germany, Uzbekistan and Bosnia before retraining as a teacher. After completing her PGCE in 2010, Shonagh began a career as a teacher in Rotherham, Derbyshire and Nottingham City Schools and became an Assistant Principal for Behaviour and Attitudes. Shonagh now specialises in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a consultant and coach and is currently working with a number of organisations across England who are looking to diversify their workforces and create truly inclusive spaces where all stakeholders can thrive. Shonagh is also the leader of BAMEed Network in the East Midlands, supporting teachers from ethnic minorities and working with schools on their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategic plans and crisis management. We’re delighted to welcome an inspiring leader with a wealth of experience to our team.
Dr Elaine Richards
Elaine joined our NGHS Board of Governors in the Autumn of 2016. She has seen two girls progress through both the Junior and Senior Schools and so has first hand experience of being an NGHS parent. Elaine attended local schools in Eastwood before graduating from the University of Sheffield in 1988 and has worked in general practice at Arnold Dental Practice since 1990. Delighted to be invited onto the school’s Governing Body, Elaine is focused on ensuring the school “as seen through the eyes of a parent.” and is a committed supporter of our wide range of provisions for all girls.
David Stewart OBE
We’re delighted to have David’s guidance and support on our governing body. Former Head Teacher and expert in special educational needs, David is also a true ambassador for the arts. David is passionate about supporting children’s learning journeys and brings a wealth of expertise in this area. We benefit from David’s collaboration and guidance and are thrilled to have him on the board.
Alumna of NGHS, Emma brings her passion and expertise to our Board of Governors and is currently Associate Professor in Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham. She believes in harnessing young people’s talent through excellent education, and is passionate about Nottingham and its neighbouring community. A recent addition to the team, we are delighted to have Emma join us.
Educated initially in York before obtaining an Honours degree in Mathematics at Nottingham University, and later a PGCE at Nottingham Trent University, Rita has recently retired from her teaching position at Nottingham Girls’ High School. Rita was a well-respected member of the Maths Department, taught PE during her twelve years at the school and had responsibility for the pastoral care of Year 7. She is delighted to be part of the Governing Body of NGHS and looks forward to continuing her valued relationship with the school. Rita is one of our key advocates for safeguarding, with part of her Governor’s responsibilities including regular meetings with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.