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Garth Hill College

Current Governors

Mr Andrew Lebrecht: Chair

I have been a Governor since early 2016.

I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I wanted to offer the expertise I have as a former civil servant and diplomat to the benefit of the local community. Serving on Garth Hill’s Board of Governors is an ideal way of doing this and I hope I add real value to the Board. I was delighted to be elected Chair of Governors in June 2020.

I enjoy the enthusiasm and positive spirit I find everywhere at Garth Hill. I enjoy working with a college that is well led and well governed but nevertheless faces many challenges to ensure it provides the very best for Bracknell children and the local community over the coming years. I came to live in Bracknell in 2014, having spent most of my adult life living in Reading. I have 2 daughters who benefited from excellent State education and are now pursuing interesting careers.


Mr Keith Grainger: Principal


Keith graduated with an Honours degree in Social Science in 1991, and then completed a PGCE course in History, gaining distinction in practice.  He began teaching in 1992.  He has a Master’s degree in Education Management and attained the National Professional Qualification for Headship.  He has been working at Garth Hill College since 2001 and became Principal in 2007.  He has extensive experience of working with other schools (former PIXL Club Associate and Chair of the Bracknell Forest Secondary Headteachers’ Group).  He currently sits on the Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board Partnership and Bracknell Forest Schools’ Forum.  He is also on the Pride of Bracknell Forest Awards Steering Committee.  He is married with three children.  His interests outside of education include music, military history and Chelsea Football Club.


Additional Skills

  • 31 years in education; 22 years as a senior leader
  • Principal of large secondary school (OFSTED ‘Good’)
  • Former primary school governor (2011-2023)
  • Member of Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board Partnership and Schools’ Forum
  • Former PIXL Club Board Member and Associate (2008-2017)
  • Former Chair of LSCB Committee on Learning and Professional Development (2016-17)
  • Former Chair of Bracknell Forest Secondary Headteachers’ Group (2014-2017)
  • Senior management including headship
  • Skills in all main aspects of education management including finance, curriculum and assessment.
  • Coaching (NCSL LLE)


Mr Sim Ahluwalia


Sim is an enthusiastic and driven educator with a passion for ensuring that pupils receive the best possible outcomes whilst developing their skills as a human being, enabling them to be model citizens of the global community they live in. 

Having graduated from the University of West London with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sim completed a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics with St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Sim has taught Maths in large secondary schools, both in Bracknell and London, for the past seven years. 

Sim has a passion for developing the whole child and is keen to share his own lived experiences with the Governing board in an effort to guide and advise decision making, ensuring the best for the young people of Garth Hill College. 


Dr Gareth Barnard


I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I wanted to support our local secondary school as it embarked on a sustained journey of school improvement and to help it meet the aspirations of the young people that attend and the wider community it serves by putting students at the heart of all that the college does. I enjoy meeting the students, sharing their successes, both inside and outside of the College.

I also enjoy watching Garth Hill College grow in confidence, as a truly inclusive school, serving the communities that make up the greater North Bracknell area. I have lived in Whitegrove, Warfield since 1991 and have three children, one attending a local secondary school. I am an Elected Borough, Town and Parish Councillor, with, on the Borough Council, responsibility for School improvement and more widely services for Children and Young People. 

I have a background in science, as a chemistry graduate with a PhD from the University of Leeds. I bring an understanding of the School improvement framework, public accountability, knowledge and understanding of science teaching and enthusiasm to serve the wider Garth Hill College community. 


Laura Black


Currently, I am a Student Voice Manager at a University Students' Union, working to support students in higher education. I focus on working with student leaders to ensure their academic experience is the best it can possibly be as well as inclusive and accessible through a variety of different avenues. In my role, I also run various campaigns including one around cost-of-living support for students, and I also oversee the representation structures, such as course reps and community officers, that ensure students can feed into their university experience throughout their time there.

I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I am incredibly passionate about education. I strongly believe that everyone has a right to education and they should be able to access everything within their education experience. I can bring my experiences within Higher Education to my role as a Governor, always thinking about the best interests of students at Garth Hill College.


Nik Bratton: Co Vice-Chair


For the past 20+ years I have worked as a finance professional in the technology sector, and I am currently the Finance Director of a software company based in the UK and US.  Over this time, I have been fortunate to acquire experience in leadership, strategic development, and financial planning.  I joined the Garth Hill board of governors with the hope of applying these skills to support the college achieve its ambition of providing high standards of education to the young people in our community. 

I am interested in the holistic education of young people and prioritise academic and non-academic achievement equally.  This interest centres around ensuring all children meet their individual potential.  I enjoy visiting the school and experiencing the energy within the college.  I look forward to working with my fellow governors and staff at the college to ensure Garth Hill provides the best educational experience possible to its young people. 

I am married to Hilary, and we have lived in the local area for 18 years.  We have one son, and I am proud to say he is a pupil at the college.


David Cook

I have a passion for education , it is the key enabler for greater social mobility ,and as such good quality education should be available to all . Born in Derbyshire a son of a coalminer , 1 of 9 children , I managed to gain a place at a local grammar school , then an apprenticeship with the local tyre company which enabled me to go to an FE college to do 'A' levels then to University to study for a degree in Polymer Chemistry .

After several years at 3M Bracknell ,  I retired to help where I could in the education sector , serving as Chair of Governors at Bracknell & Wokingham College and also as a Governor at the University of Winchester 


Nicola Dawson


I joined the Governing Board in October 2023 as a Parent Governor.  My daughters are in Year 10, so I have a few years’ experience of the college under my belt, and still several more years to go. 

Professionally I work in project management which I am anticipating will have a lot of transferable skills to the Governor role, and have a background in business analysis, performance, and continuous improvement.  I have a real passion for helping people to be the best they can, and I applied to be a Governor as I really want to do my part to make sure that all students and staff get the best they can out of their time at Garth.   

I have volunteered in schools previously and co-chaired our primary school PTA as well as being an active member of the Garth PTFA.  In addition, I have previous experience working in the non-profit sector as a trustee for a Fertility charity, and as a project manager for a sports governing body.   

I have a strong interest in mental health and have recently qualified as a Mental Health First Aider. 

In my spare time, I’m a keen open water swimmer, so when I’m not on Mum’s taxi or football/netball cheerleader duties I can usually be found in the local river.


Nigel Dawson


Having worked for many years in senior leadership roles in large corporations and more recently become the co-founder of a new ‘easy’ brand concept, it has become increasingly important to me to be able to use some of my business, strategic and commercial experience to support my local community.

In the past I have been Chairman/board member of non-profit organisations and a Co-opted Governor at a local primary school and thoroughly enjoyed the contribution I was able to make. Recently my twin daughters started at Garth Hill so it seemed a natural decision to take up a role as a Co-opted Governor and contribute where I can, to the continued growth and success of the college.

I have been immensely impressed with the senior leadership team and board of Governors at the college and their commitment and vision for the future and I very much look forward to working with them and contributing to building a truly fantastic school.

I am married to Nicola and we have lived in Warfield for the past fourteen years. Our twin daughters, Hannah & Mia became pupils at Garth Hill in September 2020. In my spare time I like to run, cycle and enjoy all water sports.


Ryan Frost


I became a Governor at Garth Hill because I wanted to take an active role in supporting the local community and to bring the knowledge and experience I am developing in education policy to the Board of Governors of the local school. It is also the case that only 1% of governors in England is under the age of thirty.

After graduating from the University of Cambridge with a BA in Modern and Medieval Languages, I completed a PGCE in Spanish and French at the University of Nottingham and briefly worked as a teacher in the city, as well as working as an English teacher abroad. I then moved into a career in education policy, where I now work for the social mobility charity The Sutton Trust.

I moved to Bracknell in March 2020, and I enjoy reading and hiking in my spare time. I look forward to playing a supportive role in the Garth Hill community.


Michael Giles


Seven years ago after a long career managing high volume printing, information technology and graphics arts I set up a business offering a complete maintenance solution to prestige properties. During this time, I have worked with many ex pupils of Garth Hill College within the local trades as well as young people starting out in their first year of full time work.

It has given me a unique understanding of local needs within the community and the needs of local business. 

The skills I can bring are one of seeing opportunities when they arise, understanding issues and contributing to achieve good outcomes, an ability to listen and work with people both young and old, build positive relationships and bring fresh ideas. 

Having worked in the corporate marketing world within the services industry and also setting up a local business I have gained a number of skills and can offer advice when required in areas of negotiation, research, project management and starting a business. Having a daughter at Garth Hill I see both sides of the issues and have a vested interest in the college improving positively in the near future. 

The college is clearly going through a period of change and I would like to help in any way possible to ensure it improves for the benefit of both pupils and staff at this challenging time.


John Garred


I was elected to the Board of Governors in September 2015.

I became a Governor at Garth Hill College because I wanted to broaden my understanding of secondary education with a view to using my business experience to provide guidance and advice that could ultimately assist pupils in determining their career paths.

I am a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience of working in multi-national companies across various industry sectors e.g. airline, retail, service, manufacturing and engineering.  In recent years my focus has been on compliance and ethics, particularly relating to global corruption.

I am married with two children currently at Garth Hill College and I previously served on their Primary School PTA for nine years, two as Chairman, and one as Vice-Chairman.  I also coached a local junior football team for four years and obtained the Football Association’s level one coaching certificate.


Julie Jones: Co Vice-Chair


As a new Governor I look forward to supporting the team at Garth Hill College and have already been thoroughly impressed by their expertise and commitment.

With 30 years’ experience as a Managing Director in a creative agency, I bring communications and business skills to the Board. During my career I have delivered multiple award-winning campaigns across education, learning and skills, safety, health, environment, and social issues: working for government departments such as the Department for Education (DfE) and Home Office; institutions such as the University of Cambridge International Examinations and some of the world’s largest companies ranging from GlaxoSmithKline to Kellogg’s.

I have especially enjoyed campaigns that make a difference to young people’s lives such as “Get In, Go Far” (apprenticeships), “5 A DAY” and the National Careers Service, and those impacting on the school workforce such as teacher recruitment campaigns and the DfE’s ‘Tackle’ campaign. With communications being such an important life skill and highly desired by employers, I wanted to become a Governor to help children and young people reach their potential.

I am semi-retired, working on creative projects and in my spare time, I play the piano (which I took up again during Covid), walk the dog and make a mean cup-cake!


Howard Lewis






For the past 20+ years I have worked in senior leadership roles for global businesses in information, software, and consultancy services.   I am currently Managing Director of a global Edtech business that supports teachers and students across the globe.  It is in this role that I have seen first-hand the amazing work that teachers do every day, but also the challenges they face.  I joined the Garth Hill board of governors with the hope that my commercial experience might be able to support the purposeful work already being done by the College and Leadership team.  I am passionate about children feeling supported, included, and valued.  It was a prerequisite for me that I gave back to a school that was inclusive, ensuring that everyone was given the opportunity and treated equal.

I am married to Debbie, we have 4 children, and have lived in the area for 20 years.  In my spare time I enjoy volunteering and currently coach youth football at Ascot FC, previously coaching rugby at Bracknell RFU.  I also love playing padel, cycling, and gardening. 


Zoe Parry


Having previously been a governor at my sons’ Primary school, when my son chose to attend Garth Hill College for his secondary education I felt the opportunity to join the Governor team at the College would not only allow me to support the school but also to contribute to the outstanding work that is performed by the team every day.

In my prior roles as part of Governing bodies I have held roles as Chair of Governors, Safeguarding Governor, Maths Link Governor and Behaviour and Attendance Link Governor.  I hope to use my prior experience to support the school leadership team and the Governing body to continue to achieve their high standards.

I am a qualified accountant and have worked within industry in finance for 20 years, 10 years ago I moved into technology governance leading teams of Portfolio governance professionals to support the delivery of strategic programs of work to enable the realisation of my organisations strategic objectives.  I feel that my daily focus on strategic objectives, goal realisation and governance will support my role as Governor at Garth Hill College, which in turn I believe will support the College's ambition of providing the highest of standards of education to the young people in our community. 

In my spare time I enjoy teaching children and adults crafts as a way to support mental health and mindfulness and have the pleasure of regularly working with local Scout groups and charities.  I am married to Geoff and have lived in the local area for 20 years, we have one son and several pets including a very temperamental cat and a rabbit (of whom the cat is terrified!). I truly look forward to becoming part of the Garth Hill family and support our children to become the best they can be.


Laura Turner


I started as a governor for Garth Hill College in September '22 as my son joined the year 7 cohort. Garth Hill College has always had a special place in my heart. My brother attended as a student from 2009 - 2016, and I taught as a science teacher from 2012 - 2017.  My time at Garth Hill College at the beginning of my career was such a positive experience I have been looking forward to finding my way back into the community, so when this opportunity arose I leapt at the chance! 

I spent 10 years teaching science, citizenship, & PSHE across 2 large secondary schools in Bracknell.  In 2022 I started my own business delivering Relationships and Sex Education across the country - "Rabbits Relationships and Sex Education Ltd" was born of a real want to support and encourage not only young people's academic learning but the personal development side of school also.  Ensuring that all the awkward questions are answered, and correctly! 

My background has leant itself to my Governor role already, and next year I am really looking forward to getting my feet under the table with the college personal development team. 


Susan Westgate


Having taught English in the Bracknell area for over 30 years, education has been a high priority in my personal & professional life and I am excited to learn more about school from the perspective of a governor. I enjoy working with students, teaching staff and parents. Although I began my career at Easthampstead Park and my own daughters have attended school in Bracknell, a large part of my work has been with pupils not in mainstream. I've also taught in New York City and, for just one very memorable week, in Ethiopia.

It's great to be joining a diverse and dedicated team. I'm looking forward to visiting school and getting to know everyone. I am committed to supporting learning and opportunity for Garth Hill College students, particularly as we face challenges outside the system due to Covid 19. Our young people are living through interesting times and it's an honour to be part of their story in what I hope will be a very positive capacity!


Governor Appointment Dates, Terms, Appointing Body information and Voting Rights.

ghc governor terms appoint body appoint date voting.pdf