Simon Wathen - Chair of Governors
Simon qualified as a solicitor in the 1970s with one of the City of London law firms and spent a year in New York on secondment as a Foreign Associate with a Wall Street law firm.
He moved on to Barclays Bank in the early 80s on the international side initially (he spent most of the 80s in the USA). He had a wide range of general management roles in the Barclays Bank Group before leaving the Bank after 25 years. He then became an executive director of Age UK Enterprises, the large FCA regulated commercial arm of the national charity, a role he undertook for 7 years.
Simon's connection with the School originally arose because his membership of the Mercers' Company, the City of London's Premier Livery Company, which has a long association with the School. He was Master of the Mercers' Company in 2013/14. He is a member of the Court of the Mercers' Company and chairs the Company's Young People and Education Committee.
He lives in Hammersmith with his wife, Julia. His daughter was at the School.
Chris is a chartered accountant and was, until 30 June 2014, a partner at PwC where he has worked since 1977. He was their EMEA Financial Services Leader having previously run their UK and London Banking and Capital Markets Assurance Practices. He is a former President of the Association of Corporate Treasurers for whom he now chairs their advisory board. He is a non-executive director and audit committee chair of Redburn, an independent equities broker.
Educated at Hampton and the University of Wales where he read History, he is married to Helen. They have a daughter Olivia, who is a former Bute House girl and is now at King's College School, and an elder son, Robbie, who is at Cambridge reading geography after eleven years at Colet Court and St Paul's Schools.
His hobbies include skiing with the family in Meribel, wine, walking, golf and watching Welsh rugby.
Chris chairs the Finance, Operations and Risk Committee.
Tom joined Amlin plc, a global specialty insurer and reinsurer, in 2007 working first in the corporate strategy team before becoming the underwriting and operations manager of the marine and aviation department and subsequently head of business development in London. In 2014, Tom set up Amlin’s Miami office focused on the Latin America reinsurance market. In 2016, and following the acquisition of Amlin plc by Mitsui Sumitomo, Tom became the Chief of Executive of MS Amlin’s Lloyd’s business.
Educated at Winchester and Oxford where he read PPE Tom worked originally as a corporate lawyer at Linklaters. He left law to do an MBA at INSEAD business school following which he moved into the insurance industry. He is a liveryman of the Mercers' company.
Alice Thomson is Associate Editor, columnist and interviewer at The Times. She has been a journalist for over two decades. As a foreign correspondent she covered the revolutions in Eastern Europe, genocide in Rwanda, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and their aftermath.
She has interviewed every British prime minister since Thatcher, athletes, dancers, writers, and numerous spiritual leaders including the Dalai Lama twice. In addition to working on the Times and Telegraph she has contributed to numerous other publications around the world, and appears regularly on television and radio. Alice has a deep and abiding interest in education issues, and has written about the twists and turns of policy in this area for twenty years. She has four children at four different schools. She is the author of a best selling book, The Singing Line, about her ancestor who built the telegraph line across the centre of Australia in the 19th century.
Alice lives in London and Devon with a husband, children, several ponies, some chickens, 50,000 bees and a dog.
Susan taught English in secondary and preparatory schools for thirty six years and retired in August 2012 after thirteen years as Head of St Hilary’s, Surrey, (coeducational IAPS Nursery to 11+). After obtaining her London University English degree and her PGCE at Goldsmiths’ College, Susan began her career in secondary education at senior girls’ schools: St Catherine’s, Bramley, followed by Guildford High. Married with two sons , Susan made the move to preparatory schools, initially becoming Deputy Head at Falkner House, then Senior teacher and Head of English at Durston House. She is delighted to continue her involvement with Bute House as she was Deputy Head and Head of English prior to her headship. A trained, experienced inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate, Susan served as Chair of the IAPS Inspections’ Committee and was Governor of Finton House for seven years. She is also a governor of Notre Dame School. She obtained an MA in children’s literature at Roehampton and is now Chair of the Children’s Books History Society and serves on the committee of IBBY (The International Board for Books for Young People) and IBIS (The Imaginative Book Illustration Society) carrying out research and enjoying reviewing books and writing articles for these organisations. She also keeps busy with her three young grandchildren in Suffolk.
Susan is Vice Chair of the Bute House Governors and chairs the Bute House Education Committee.
Katie is Head of Human Resources and a member of the senior management team at St Paul’s Girls’ School. She previously spent 14 years at Royal Holloway, University of London mostly as Deputy Director of Human Resources. She had a three year break from HR when she was College Secretary and Head of Governance, before returning to HR as Acting Director.
Katie was a governor at the Lady Eleanor Holles school before her appointment at St Paul’s. She spends a lot of her spare time performing in, and sometimes directing, amateur musical theatre productions.
Sneha Kooros is a Justice of the Peace for the Central London Magistrates' Court and a member of the Central Youth Panel. She also sits on appeal cases at several Crown Courts in her capacity as a Magistrate. Prior to having children, Sneha worked in the legal department of an Investment Bank until 2001. She lives in London with her husband, two children and a dog. Her daughter is a former Bute House pupil who left in 2014.
Ann graduated from the University of Loughborough with a joint honours in Mathematics and Education and pursued a career in education which spanned both maintained and independent schools and coeducation as well as girls' schools. She taught in Derby, Manchester, St George’s School, Edinburgh and Guildford High School before becoming Deputy Head and then Headmistress of Burgess Hill School for Girls. Ann also spent time as a research associate at the Edinburgh Centre for Mathematics Education at the University of Edinburgh. As a member of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), Ann contributed to planning and implementing the Professional Development Programme for the association and was GSA Treasurer 2012-14. Ann is also a governor of Slindon College and an experienced team inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate. Ann has a son and daughter who are based in London. Now retired, Ann lives in Sussex with her husband and a lively Dalmatian.
Mark spent over 30 years working for investment banks including Kleinwort Benson, Citigroup and Mitsubishi in both the City of London and Tokyo. He was Principal Delegate to the International Securities Markets Association and Chair of the Yen sub-committee.
Since leaving the financial world Mark has turned his hand to voluntary work which include being a Governor at a secondary school in Hanwell and helping at Twickenham stadium during England rugby matches. He also helps to coach his 10-year-old son and others at Richmond Cricket Club.
His daughter was at Bute House from 2012-16 during which time Mark was Chair the House Committee and member of the inaugural Bursary Fund Ball committee.
Mark lives in London with his wife, children and two guinea pigs.
Jonathan is a solicitor with particular expertise in project finance.
He has worked at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP for over 30 years and is the leader of the Project Team for the development of PPP standards in the Rail sector on behalf of the International PPP Centre of Excellence at UN Economic Commission for Europe.
He is also Chief Executive of the Community Wholecare Centres charity, which is a joint venture with the London Diocese to roll out social prescribing programmes across London in partnership with the NHS.
He is married with two daughters, both of whom were at the school.
Polly grew up in Chiswick and has lived in Hammersmith for over thirty years. After attending a state primary school she spent four very happy years as a pupil at Bute House before going on to St. Paul's Girls' School, where she won an Exhibition. She then read History at Oxford University and went on to work as an investment analyst in the City specialising in European equities, before leaving to run a specialist art gallery and dealership in Bloomsbury.
She has a TEFL qualification and has worked as a volunteer teaching English to refugees as well as at a local prep school. She has recently completed a two year course in Counselling and Counselling Skills at Birkbeck College, University of London.
She has three daughters who were all pupils at Bute House and went on to Godolphin and Latymer, Benenden and SPGS, so she has experience of being a parent at both day and boarding schools. Her two brothers both attended Colet Court and St. Paul's Boys' School.
Passionate about the theatre, she was a member of The Bush Theatre Development Committee for a number of years. She is also the longest-serving member of the Patients’ Committee at her local NHS Medical Practice.
Her husband Charlie was Master of The Grocers' Company in 2015/16.
Michelle has been a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Guys and St. Thomas’ Hospitals since 2004. She has specialised in Nutrition Support, intravenous feeding and Home Parenteral nutrition for Short Bowel Syndrome. Prior to this she trained for several years at King’s College Hospital in Hepatology and liver transplantation. She has been the Clinical Audit Lead in her department for many years overseeing many clinical audits and reviews of clinical outcomes. She has currently taken over as the Clinical Lead for Undergraduate Education where she helps teach and mentor medical students as well as overseeing their educational curriculum.
She was awarded her Medical degree in the University of New South wales, Sydney, Australia where she graduated in 1989. Although born in the UK, she emigrated with her family at the age of 10 to Sydney, Australia and lived there for over 20 years. She still has family and many friends there which luckily means many regular visits to Australia.
She is married to David, also a Consultant Gastroenterologist in London and lives in Chiswick with their three children. Nicholas has been at St. Pauls Boys School and is currently doing his A levels, her eldest daughter Sophie was at Bute House and is now at Lady Eleanor Holles School and her youngest daughter Georgia is currently at Bute House.
Her passions outside of work are the theatre, visiting art galleries, playing tennis and skiing and spending wonderful holidays with her family.
Parents are able to make contact with the Chair of Governors by sending a letter for his attention to the school address. The Chair of Governors is then informed and will come and collect the letter.