St John’s on-the-Hill was founded in 1923. The School is registered as a Charity and is managed by the Head, Ruth Frett, and her team, who report to a Board of Trustees.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees are elected by the Council of Members and appointed as the legal directors of the School. They set the School’s strategic direction and are accountable to all stakeholders for the School, meeting regularly throughout the year.

Trustees serve for a term of four years before being eligible for re-election. Prior to being recommended for re-election they are appraised by a committee of Trustees and the Chairman, as appropriate. With the exception of the Chairman, who in addition to time as a Board Member may serve as Chairman for ten years maximum. Trustees may not serve more than three terms of four years.

The Trustees bring experience from the charitable, educational, financial and commercial sectors, the clergy, the armed forces and civil services. They carry a considerable burden of responsibility on an entirely voluntary basis and the School is very grateful for their support and commitment.

Chairman of Trustees

Kathryn Carden has been Chairman of the Trustees since July 2014. Kathryn has over 30 years’ experience working with organisations in both the public and the private sector, as a line director, a non-executive director, project manager, consultant and lecturer. She is currently an Associate Fellow of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, where she directs and teaches on leadership programmes for professional service firms, multi-national corporations, the National School of Government and the Civil Service.

Current Board of Trustees

Mrs K A Carden MPhil
Lt Col E Taylor BA RA
The Revd R M Coombs BSc MA
Mrs H S L Daltry BA
S Bullingham MSc BSc
A Marsden
C S S Drew MA
I Duffin FCA BCom Vice Chairman & Treasurer
R S Harman MA
Mrs S L Hirst BEd
Mrs K Riding LLB
M P Smith MA


Mrs Kathryn Carden
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
c/o The Bursary
Dean Close Foundation
Dean Close House
67 Lansdown Road, Cheltenham
GL51 6QD

The Board of Trustees delegates the day to day running of the School to the Heads. Any parental concerns should be raised with the Heads and their staff in the first instance.


The following committees meet regularly to assist the Board in the governance of the School. The committees report to the Board of Trustees and their terms of reference are regularly reviewed. Meetings are also attended by the Senior Management of the School, as appropriate.

  • Finance and General Purpose Committee: Financial policy and detailed governance of the School.
  • Nominations Committee: Consideration of prospective Council and Board Members and recommendations to the Board of Trustees, together with succession planning. New Trustees and Council Members are proposed to Council by the Board of Trustees.
  • Concessions Working Party: Policy on the granting of fee discounts and review of larger awards.
  • Remunerations Committee: Review of senior staff remuneration.


The Members of the Company are known collectively as the Council. The Members act as ambassadors for the School, using their wide range of knowledge and experience for the benefit of the School.

Council members are appointed following a recommendation to the Nominations Committee, a small sub-committee of Trustees under the Chairman of the Board. If anyone is interested in being considered for membership of the Council, they should approach the Clerk to the Governors for further information. Any applications will be considered by the Nominations Committee with reference to the School’s needs and the ability of the nominee to contribute; if appropriate they are recommended to the Board and Council for election. Council Members serve for a term of five years before being eligible for re-election.

The primary function of the Council is to elect the Trustees and to hold them to account for the policy and direction of the School. It meets formally twice a year to receive the Annual Report and Accounts and to elect the Board of Trustees. At these meetings the Council is given presentations on various aspects of the School’s activities.


The Council is led by the President, currently Lord Ribeiro.

Lord Ribeiro KT CBE OV FRCS President
G W Barnes
* A R Bird BA
Mrs R Dick BA ACA
Mr J Drew MEng
Mr D Goode MA M Phil
The Earl of Harrowby MA FRICS
Professor E Higginbottom MA DPhil BMus FRCO
Mrs F Knight BA
* H J Hodgkins ACIB
* The Revd Dr J M Holmes MA Phd VetMB MRCVS
A J Hunt
The Very Revd J D Irvine MA
* N Jenkins
Prof F Leishman MA PhD MSc
AVM Ray Lock CBE BSc
The Revd D J S Munro MA
Mrs P G Napier
* M Philip-Sorensen
Mrs K Pinsent
Mrs J Sykes BA
S Thomas LLB
* J Townsend MA
The Revd Canon T P Watson
Revd Malc Allen
The Revd Canon P R Williams MTh
Revd Simon Austen Bsc, MA, Dip, Min
N Paterson
A Porter
S Thomas
Rt Revd P Williams BA, LLM & Solicitor
M Bowen
H Bradby
M Cartwright BA, FCA
BR Davies OBE
R Eden
S Foster
J Hall
Dr J Haynes BM BCh, MA FRCPsych
A Judge
R Lewis
Rev’d R Mackay
P Maynard

Charitable status and incorporation

St Johns, Dean Close School, is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England No. 4193948 which has its registered office at Dean Close School, Shelburne Road, Cheltenham, GL51 6HE. Charity registered in England and Wales No. 1086829.