Governing Body

The governing body comprises of 10 – 15 experienced professionals who act in a non-executive capacity and who are wholy committed to enabling the success of Kingham Hill School.

They meet termly as a board, and regularly on various committees, with their principal responsibility being to ensure that the school operates and develops in line with its charitable objectives and its distinctively Christian character and ethos. Whilst the brief is comprehensive, they take particular interest in the school's educational programmes, its financial and legal probity, strategic development and the safeguarding of pupils.

In addition to serving on its board and committees, each governor takes an active interest in a particular school department. They also enjoy meeting parents and both former and current pupils, and act as ambassadors for the school at various events throughout the academic year. The role is a challenging, but fulfilling and worthwhile task.

Governors’ Biographies

Kenji Batchelor

Following a degree in Theology at Durham University, training briefly as a teacher in London before deciding on a (less stressful) career in law, Kenji spent some time tutoring in Mozambique. He then worked for two years at Emmanuel Church, Wimbledon studying on the Cornhill Training Course. He is now a qualified charities solicitor, living in Surrey, married to Lizzy and father to a spirited young baby, Laurence. Kenji enjoys eating and sleeping when parental duties allow!

Richard Cunningham

He lives close to the school in an old mill that Kingham Hill once owned and in which it previously kept pigs and chickens! He studied at London University - trained and worked as a teacher, followed by a stint on the staff of St Helen’s Church, Bishopsgate. Richard trained for ordination in Oxford and after clergy roles locally and in Oxford he now works as the Director of UCCF: The Christian Unions. He is married to Ruth, with five children - two girls and three boys.

John Lewis

He studied Agriculture at Writtle College near his family home in Chelmsford and followed this with a career in Farm Management, however he changed course to join the Army in 1982. Commissioned into the Royal Corps of Transport he served overseas in Germany with a detachment to Australia. He has also worked across the Middle East from a base in Cyprus, commanded a Support Battalion in the Balkans and was Force Support Commander in Iraq in 2005 during the first Iraqi elections. Recently he has become Director of Operations at the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency. He is married to Jeannie with four children, and his interests revolve around family and outdoor pursuits as well as involvement in Church and Armed Forces Christian Organisations.

Robert Marsden

Chairman of Governors. Bob studied History at Oxford University, taught at Stowe School and was Head of History at Loretto School. He then trained at Oak Hill College, served a curacy at St Nicholas, Sevenoaks and returned to Edinburgh as Chaplain and Head of Religious Studies at Fettes College. More recently he has been Minister of Trinity Church, Buxton. A sportsman, he coached rugby and cricket when a teacher and currently is Chairman of Buxton Cricket Club. Married to Julia, an editor and author, they have two sons who have just started teaching in independent schools.

Rhett Parkinson

The oldest born son of a Rhodesian tobacco farmer, he was educated at Elizabeth College in Guernsey and completed his first degree in Agriculture at Wye College, University of London. He spent 12 of his 20 years in the Royal Engineers based in Germany and deployed to Belize, Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. He left in 2012 to work with his wife Liesel in full time ministry for the Armed Forces Christian Union, a job that involves significant travel. They have three children who attend(ed) Kingham Hill and they enjoy camping, walking, offshore sailing and travelling.

Caroline Pellereau

Caroline studied Mathematics at Bristol University and taught the subject for nearly thirty years. She worked at Cheltenham Ladies' College for many years and was Head of Mathematics and Head of Lower College (years 7, 8 and 9). She is married to Rod who taught at Dean Close School, and during his time there ran a boys’ boarding house. They have two grown up children, and they are members of St Matthews Church, Cheltenham.

Simon Pilcher


Studied Natural Science and Management Studies at Cambridge University before embarking in 1987 on a career as an Investment Manager in London. Today Simon leads teams that invest in Fixed Income, Alternatives and Property for pension and insurance clients of M&G Investments. He is married to Rachel and they have five children, some of whom are still in full time education. Simon is Church Warden at the Church in his village. He also Chairs the Kingham Hill Trust which owns the School as well as its sister entity, Oak Hill Theological College in North London.

Ruth Reavley

Read Geography at Oxford University, moving there from a purpose-built New Town Comprehensive school. Her working life takes in arts and festival administration, marketing, charity fund-raising, and has settled in governance. Following 13 years working for the Diocese of Oxford, she is now Clerk to the Corporation Governors at Abingdon & Witney Further Education College, providing vocational education across the County. As a member of Burford Parish Church, she runs the Parish Choir for the monthly Choral Mattins services, and selects hymns for weekly more traditional liturgy services. Married to Cedric, a Pharmacist and Anglican priest, she lives "above and behind the shop" in Burford. Two children, both attended Magdalen College School. One is now a secondary school teacher, and the other an Intern at St Andrew the Great Parish Church in Cambridge. Abiding pleasures in life include singing and gardening.

James Shand

After graduating from London University (Wye College), he qualified as an accountant before moving into industry. James worked with business owners and managers as Finance Director for over 20 years, enabling them to achieve successful growth, in private, AIM listed PLC and private equity backed company environments. This included helping many successful deals (including three management buy outs) and facilitating fund raisings of over £30m for his clients. He is married to Amanda with three grown up children, who all went to independent schools, including the eldest Helena Berkeley who teaches at Kingham Hill School. Founding member of Christian Business Leaders, an organisation which promotes how to balance Christian faith with decisions made in business. He is an active member of St David’s Church Moreton, where he was treasurer until recently. James is a keen follower of English rugby and cricket.

Nick Tucker

After growing up in Oxford, took Degrees in Biochemistry (Birmingham University); Theology (Oak Hill College) and History (PhD, University of Stirling). Taught History and Theology at Oak Hill Theological College after a curacy in the North West before moving to Edgbaston to become Vicar of a parish church, currently also serving as Area Dean. Governor at the Blue Coat School Birmingham and formerly at Trent Church of England School, Cockfosters. Married to Sam with three school-aged children, two girls and a boy.

Jeremy Welch

Born in Hertfordshire, he was then educated at Oxford, where he read Zoology followed by a PGCE. He then pursued roles in educational technology development with the Microelectronics in Education Programme and Research Machines. A long subsequent career in technology, media, services and international marketing then followed, including positions with Dell Computer and Avid Technology. He now works for the University of Oxford, specifying new systems projects for education and administration. Married to Sally (Vicar of Charlbury and Area Dean for Chipping Norton), with four children and one grandchild, his interests include caving and mountaineering.

If you wish to contact the Board of Governors, please address correspondence to:

The Chair of Governors

c/o The Clerk to the Governors

Kingham Hill School



Tel: 01608 658999