Loading tweet...


The College is privileged to be supported by a highly experienced, knowledgeable and diverse board of governors. Between them, the governors cover numerous areas of relevant expertise, which the College is able to call upon when required. The board meet regularly and offer valuable advice to our Headmaster and senior leadership team. This helps to shape future strategies and inform key decisions to ensure the College continues to maintain the highest possible standards.

To contact the Chairman of Governors please write c/o Shiplake College, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 4BW.

The Governors’ profiles below outline their managerial expertise and experience. They all have a hands-on approach to their roles, and as a result are friendly and familiar faces seen regularly at the College.

Sir David Tanner CBE (Chairman)

Sir David is a leader in International Sport and in Education. Most recently he was the Performance Director for British Rowing for 21 years until 2018. Under his leadership, Great Britain became the world’s leading Olympic and Paralympic rowing nation, topping the Olympic/Paralympic Games’ medal tables for Rowing at Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Before the days of Lottery funding for sport, Sir David was a medal-winning Olympic coach which he combined with a successful full-time career in Education, latterly as a secondary Head until he took up the Performance Director role in 1996.

Sir David is a long-time Governor at Shiplake and became Chair of the Board in December 2020. He is currently a non-executive Director on two Sport Boards – the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and the UK Sports Institute (UKSI) – and is also a Governor at Orleans Park Academy in Twickenham where he lives.

He has honorary Doctorates from Oxford Brookes and Bristol Universities, was previously a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and outside of his passion for Sport and Education, enjoys History, the Creative Arts and keeping fit.

Sir David was appointed OBE (2003), CBE (2009) and in 2013 received a Knighthood from the Queen for Services to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Mark MacKenzie-Charrington (Vice-Chairman)

Mark was educated at Shiplake and was heavily involved in the early days of rowing at the College. He spent most of his career in property and estate agency including 34 years at W.A.Ellis, where from 1984 onwards he was an equity partner working almost exclusively on large scale residential developments in central London. Clients included the major landed estates, quoted house builders and many other organisations in the UK and overseas.

Mark retired from W.A.Ellis at Christmas 2009 and now runs a consultancy practice from his home in the Cotswolds. In May 2021, Mark was elected to the Gloucestershire County Council, representing the Conservative Party.

In 1987 Mark and his wife Diana were founding governors of Finton House School in south west London which has grown to some 350 pupils aged from 4-11. A founding principal was to include children with special needs who are fully integrated into all aspects of the school. They have two married children and their interests include travel, food, fine wine and country pursuits.

Andrew Ashton

Andrew is a financial services professional with a strong track record in leading successful teams in the areas of business change, strategy and transformation. He was educated at Newcastle Royal Grammar School and at University College Oxford, where he gained a first class degree in Chemistry. Andrew went on to join Barclays Bank, where he stayed for 15 years in a number of general management positions. As an experienced corporate banker, Andrew then spent three and a half years as a management consultant within the financial services sector. During this time he worked on a number of project and interim management roles for several banks and insurance companies, including LloydsTSB, RBS, Barclays Wealth, Dresdner, Bank Tokyo Mitsubishi, Resolution and Zurich Financial Services, focusing on business performance, operations optimisation and operational risk management across different market segments.

Formerly living in Wimbledon, Andrew moved to Radley in August 2008 following his appointment as Bursar at Radley College, where he is part of the senior management team. A keen sportsman, Andrew enjoys cricket, jogging and real tennis. He is married to Jillian and has one son, Philip.

Peter Blewett

Peter Blewett joined the Governing Body in July 2017. He was educated at the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe. After initially working in the insurance business, Peter trained to become a Physical Education Teacher and taught successfully for thirty-eight years mainly in central London assuming senior management roles in a number of different schools over a twenty year period and leading on Child Protection in three different schools. He was a Vice Principal at the Langley Academy and as Acting Principal successfully led the Academy through its first Ofsted Inspection in 2012. Whilst at the Academy he led on the establishment of the rowing specialism.

He was elected to the British Judo Board of Directors in November 2012 and is the current Vice Chairman. He is a 7th Dan, Senior Examiner, Senior Club Coach and is Chairman of the Budokwai in Chelsea. Peter won the British National Championships in 1979 and competed for Great Britain in the World Student Games in Rio de Janeiro in 1978 where he returned as Head of the Judo delegation at the Paralympics in 2016.

Peter is married and lives in Fulham with his wife Christine and two grown up daughters Lucy and Annabel.

Sarah Blomfield

Sarah is General Counsel EMEA at Evercore with over 20 years' experience spanning legal, compliance and risk. 

Prior to joining Evercore in 2020, Sarah was Managing Director and Regional Head of Compliance at Rothschild & Co in London. She started her legal career at Slaughter and May and Allen & Overy in London where she focussed primarily on mergers and acquisitions, financial regulation and private equity.

In 2014, Sarah was named one of Financial News’ 100 most Influential Women in the UK and as one of “10 Women Changing the Face of the City” by the Guardian.

Sarah has an MA in History from the University of Cambridge.

Sarah is a mother to three daughters and is an active mentor and advocate of female professional development. She is a regular speaker and is involved in several initiatives to promote women’s careers. 

Sarah is an Honorary Associate of Newnham College, Cambridge. She is a Governor of Shiplake Primary School and a Patron and Development board member of the English National Ballet.

Marsha Carey-Elms

Marsha retired in 2012 following an illustrious career in education. Having attended Tottenham County Grammar School, Marsha attained a degree in Sociology before completing her PGCE at Brunel University and an MA at Reading University. Immediately entering the teaching profession, Marsha spent 19 years at Featherstone High School in Ealing, progressing into the roles of Head of Faculty and then Acting Deputy Headteacher.

After a permanent Deputy Headship at Magna Carta School, Marsha became Head of Kendrick School in 1993. Under her guidance the school achieved admirable success, often topping the national state school league tables. Marsha has shared her expertise leading other schools that were in more challenging circumstances and she became one of the country's first National Leaders of Education and Executive Head teachers. She has been a key note speaker at numerous education conferences. In June 2012, Marsha was awarded an OBE for services to education.

Charles Eve

One of three Old Vikings currently serving on our board of governors, Charles was educated at Shiplake College and Chichester College of Music prior to commencing a successful career in finance. Charles has worked at Goldman Sachs for over 25 years, where he has gained a broad range of financial product expertise and a wide knowledge of financial and market risks both as a practitioner and through his work on the Goldman Sachs Global Risk Committee. Charles was elected a partner in 2000 and joined the Asian Management Committee and board of the Goldman Sachs Japan in the same year. Charles’s current role is Head of Compliance for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Charles has substantial international experience, having lived and worked for a period in Asia and speaks conversational Japanese. Charles is actively involved with a number of charities; he is a Trustee of the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, Advisory Board to The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the microfinance charity Five Talents International, a member of the Counsel of Advisors to “Street Pastors”, CRPA (Christian Responsibility in Public Affairs) and supporter to SPEAR, a charity that provides education programs for underprivileged young people living in urban areas. Charles is married to Monica and has three children. He enjoys spending time with his family, village life, international travel (including visiting charity projects in Africa) and breeding alpacas.

Jimmy Gordon

Jimmy is a director of the Inspirational Development Group (IDG), a leadership and management performance company. Amongst other activities, IDG has a joint venture partnership with the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. Jimmy focuses on managing IDG’s business activities in the Middle East, which currently include development programmes in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Jordan and Qatar.

Jimmy was educated at Gordonstoun and graduated in Law from Edinburgh University. Jimmy worked in account management for two international advertising agencies and was then appointed as the first Youth Director of the Conservative Party. He ran a small management training and development business (Gordan Coote Associates) for over twenty years before joining IDG in 2002. Clients included Deloitte, Disney and Honeywell Achievements, and Jimmy successfully established the fundraising, publicity and political lobbying arm of a national charity.

Jimmy has been a next-door neighbour of Shiplake College for almost fifteen years and more recently became a Governor. He is keen to provide his professional experience to support the Headmaster and his team. Jimmy is also active locally as a member of the PCC and trustee of the Berkshire Community Foundation. Jimmy and his wife Jane have nine children and an ever-increasing number of grandchildren between them. When time permits, they are enthusiastic travellers and frustrated golfers!

Rose Grimond

Rose graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Balliol College Oxford, then studied drama at The Atlantic Theatre Company in New York. Subsequently she worked for The Economist and for Make Justice Work, a campaign dedicated to getting ex-offenders into employment and abolishing short-term prison sentences.

Rose founded her first business, Orkney Rose, in 2006 for which she won Best Ethical Business at the Red Women’s Awards in 2008. Having moved from London to Oxfordshire and started a family, she established her multi-award-winning cheese business, Nettlebed Creamery, in 2015.

Ian Howell

Ian studied at Manchester University and has a strong background in sales training and as a 'performance developer' having led consultancy teams within both Abbey National and Lloyds Bank, where he successfully developed radical strategies to create performance improvement, improve sales and facilitate organisational change. Ian has worked with a host of major brand names including GE, Aon, Halifax Cetelem, Pinnacle Insurance, First National, Octagon, O2 and Thus. Ian has worked across the UK and the world to develop high performance in both large and small organisations. Ian is president of the Ross-on-Wye rowing club and is the West Midlands Junior Rowing representative for British Rowing.

Richard Lester

Richard was born in 1949 and attended Shiplake College, then known as Shiplake Court, between 1962 and 1967. He qualified as a solicitor and specialises in commercial property for a law firm in central London where he was a managing partner and is currently a consultant. Richard also advises various sporting organisations.

Richard represented Great Britain in the 1976 Montreal Olympics at rowing, winning a silver medal. A Steward of Henley Royal Regatta for nearly 30 years, Richard is currently on the Committee of Management. Richard is married with two daughters and lives in Goring-on-Thames. He enjoys playing golf and skiing, living in hope that one day his talent will match his enthusiasm!

Susan Ryan

Susan was educated at Windermere St Anne's and Bath University where she read Sociology. She has worked as a journalist on behalf of several national newspapers including the Daily Mail and Observer and was managing editor of the Daily Telegraph from 1999 until 2006. More recent roles for Susan include working as a media consultant to the new national newspaper in Abu Dhabi and for the Daily Mail's graduate training scheme. Susan is a trustee of Merlin, Beacon and the Journalists Charity. Notably, she also founded the Henley Literary Festival with a team of local professionals, and remains the festival’s director. She continues to work as a travel writer.

Sebastian Sales

Sebastian has been Headmaster of St Piran’s School since September 2019. Before this, he was in charge of five schools as the Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance Multi-Academy Trust in Lightwater, Surrey.

Sebastian originally entered the world of broadcast media and retrained to become a teacher at the University of Lancaster before beginning his teaching and leadership career in London.

A keen sportsman, Sebastian has played at county and national school level in football, tennis and cricket. He is also a talented musician and achieved a double first-class honours degree in IT & Music from the University of Liverpool.

Sebastian is married to Anna, who is also a teacher of English at St Piran’s. They have two children, Thomas and Isabella.

Sebastian joined the Governing Body at Shiplake College in January 2022.