Board of Governors
Marlborough House School is an independent Preparatory, Pre-Preparatory and Nursery School.
Henry Somerset is Chairman of Governors. He has been a Governor since 1991 and a member of the Finance and Property Committee for much of that time. He took over as Chairman of Governors in July 2012. He sat on the Committee of the Marlborough House Society in its early days in the late 1970's and 1980's and, for almost 20 years was a Trustee and then Chairman of the Hawkhurst Foundation, a Trust which, until recently, held some of the properties used by the School. After his time as a boy at MHS between 1970 and 1974, he went on to Wellington College and then studied Mathematics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. After University, he joined the city firm, Kleinwort Benson, where he remained until 2009, working as a corporate finance advisor and as Vice-Chairman for the last five years. He now acts as consultant to a small corporate finance advisory firm. He is married with three children, two of whom are still at school.
Robert Benton was a resident of Hawkhurst and near neighbour; his six children have all attended MHS. He has extensive experience in financial investments and until recently was the Chief Executive of Ingenious Securities Ltd, an investment bank based in the City of London which specialises in the media and technology sectors. He was previously Chairman of Bridgewell Group, Chairman and Chief Executive of Charterhouse Securities, and prior to that Global Head of Sales at ABN AMRO. Previous to that he was Chief Executive of James Capel.
Mrs Gillian duCharme, a member of the Board since 1987 and Chair of the Governors' Marketing Committee. Gillian duCharme was the Headmistress of Benenden School from 1985 – 2000 and awarded an honorary Doctorate of Education in 2005. Prior to Benenden she spent 19 years working in the Independent Education Sector in the USA, and was head of The Town School in Manhattan from 1980 to 1985. Educated at Beckenham Grammar School for Girls, she studied for her MA in French and German at Girton College, Cambridge. She is now the European associate of Resource Group 175, a small New York based consulting group of former heads, doing head searches, mentoring, appraisals and board workshops. She is a board member at Blackheath Prep and a former governor of Wellington College. Interests include tennis, art, architecture, hill walking and travel.
Simon Hodson became a Governor in March 2001. He attended MHS between 1965 and 1969, and has sat on the Committee of the Marlborough House Society for nearly 10 years, two of those as Chairman. As a Senior Partner in the national firm of solicitors, Beachcroft LLP, he has been a partner since 1985 and head of the Commercial Division for three years. His working life has covered most areas of corporate law with particular experience in private company acquisitions and disposals. He lives and works in London and is married with two children. He enjoys any sporting activity that encourages him to be outside.
Mrs Zsa Moncreiffe is married with three children, all of whom attended MHS. She has worked in publishing for the past 30 years, mostly as an editor and publisher; and she and her husband keep a small herd of beef cattle in Marden. Her interests are travel, various sports, theatre and reading.
Arthur Reynolds joined the Governing Body in 1998 and has particular responsibility as the Governor overseeing the grounds and building projects within the school. After attending Cranbrook School he joined his family's farming business and now runs a mixed arable and beef farm in Hawkhurst. His two sons both attended MHS, and Arthur brings to the school a depth of local knowledge, great affection for MHS and a passionate belief in an all round education, including awareness of rural matters. To this end, he frequently makes his farm available for MHS school trips. He is a member of the Finance and Property Committee.
Mrs Teresa Sibree studied for a degree in Mathematics and later worked in Hong Kong. On returning to the UK she worked in the city as an investment analyst for Barings before becoming a full-time mother. Her three sons all attended MHS. She worked part-time at the school as a Mathematics teacher for 10 years before joining the Board in 2005. She has particular responsibility as a Governor for boarding and is a member of the Finance and Property Committee.
Peter Smallwood. A former Chairman of Governors and a Chartered Surveyor recently retired as Chairman of Matthews and Goodman. Peter's two sons both attended MHS and, as a Governor since 1991, he feels lucky to be giving something back to the school. Presently a Director of CityReal, a property investment company in the City of London. Interests include MHS, his family, art, sport and gardening. He is a member of the Finance and Property Committee.
Philip Thompson is a Chartered Certified Accountant working in his own practice in Cranbrook. Philip was born in Hawkhurst and attended MHS as a pupil before going onto Cranbrook School. He has been associated all his life with the school. His father taught at MHS for 100 terms. He was appointed to the Board in November 2001 and is Chairman of the Finance and Property Committee. He was treasurer of the Marlborough House Society for a number of years and remains on the committee. He has been a Governor and Trustee of Cranbrook School for over 23years, umpires both boys and girls hockey and is a Young Enterprise Advisor. His interests include golf, travel, reading, gardening and good wine.
Jonathan Watts is a Senior Master at Benenden School and was the first male Housemaster of a girl’s boarding house which counts many former MHS pupils amongst its numbers. He is a member of the Marketing Committee.
Jenny Webb is married with three boys, all of whom attended MHS from Nursery to Year 8. After graduating from University College, London she worked in the City for 10 years as an investment manager. Her interests include reading, tennis and supporting Arsenal. (If you can’t beat them, join them).
The Chairman of Governors can be contacted via the Trust’s Registered Office at the School address:
Marlborough House School, High Street, Hawkhurst, Kent, TN18 4PY
or by Email via: firstname.lastname@example.org