Governing Body

The Governing Body's vision for the school can be read here: Our Vision and Values

The Governing Body's Annual Report to Parents is now available, giving more information about what we did during the last school year. You can read it here: Governors' Annual Report 2014-15

The Report of the Trustees and Financial Statement for the year ended 31 August 2015 is available on the Academy Trust page, and here.

The Register of Business Interests of the Governing Body can be found here: Register of Business Interests 2015-16

A record of governors' attendance at meetings for the year 2015-16 can be found here: Governors' attendance 2015-16

Terms of office for all governors can be found here: Governors' Terms of Office

The committee structure of the Governing Body for 2015-16 can be found here: Governing Body committee structure

If you wish to get in touch with the Governing Body at any time, please contact Russell Franks, Chair of Governors (


  • Russell Franks (Chair)
  • Tim Withers (Principal)
  • Chris James (Vice Chair)
  • Roger Whelan (Vice Chair)
  • Sanjeev Chaddha
  • Julia Garratt
  • Richard Heath
  • Niki Jewett
  • Suzy Lovegrove
  • Beryl Maddison
  • Alkis Petmezas 
  • Daljit Singh
  • Sarah Thompson
  • Abhishek Upadhyay
  • Mandy Workman
  • Susie Wright


russell franks new

Russell Franks, Chair of Governing Body (Appointed Governor)
I have two children at Ralph Allen, and expect my youngest to also become a student here. The school’s ethos impressed me from my first visit, a impression that has since deepened, and I wanted to become a parent governor to help and support the school in its aims, and to contribute in whatever way I could to its future direction. I passionately believe that the highest quality education is a right for all.

For many years I was a director of a company producing software used in industrial design and manufacture, and owe my love of science and technology to the excellent teachers at my own comprehensive secondary school. I now run a consultancy business with my wife for users of CAD/CAM software.

Areas of responsibility include: Chair of Full Governing Body, Principal's performance,
Link governor for IT

tim withers Tim Withers (Principal)
I joined Ralph Allen as Principal in September 2013. My background is largely in comprehensive schools in the south-west, and includes time in Frome College and Brimsham Green School in Yate, which are not far distant.  As a deputy headteacher, I worked in Bristol and North Somerset.  Most recently, I was headteacher at Stroud High School in Gloucestershire.  Stroud High is a girls' school of around 900 students.  

What I find most attractive about Ralph Allen is its friendliness, its caring and supportive ethos, its proudly comprehensive nature - and also its potential. Location, accommodation, staff, students, governors - there is really nothing to inhibit continued success and development on the road to being outstanding, but schools that obsess about being outstanding sometimes forget that it is merely the hard day to day work of making learning better for students that makes this Ofsted judgement possible.


Professor Chris James, Vice-Chair (Appointed Governor)

I have spent my working life in education – first as a teacher in comprehensive schools, as a lecturer in education training teachers at the University of Bath, then as a professor of Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Glamorgan and now with the same title back at the University of Bath.

I am passionately committed to ensuring high quality education for all. Our four children all attended Ralph Allen School and they all thrived there. Ralph Allen is an excellent school and I am very proud to be a member of the School Governing Body. I am deeply committed to helping the School build on its considerable strengths and achieve yet higher standards.

Areas of responsibility include: Member of the Learning and Development Committee; Chair of the Principal’s Performance Management Committee. 


Roger Whelan, Vice-Chair (Appointed Governor)
My son was at Ralph Allen School, where he did well academically and matured into a self-confident and articulate young person. This was due to the school’s ethos of emphasising both academic achievement and developing social awareness and responsibility. After retirement in 2011, I was pleased to become a governor.

By profession I am an accountant and have spent most of my working life in corporate financial management. Schools have the challenging task of ensuring that valuable and limited resources are used as effectively as possible and I am committed to helping with this.

Areas of responsibility include: Support to the finance function of the school, Risk and opportunity management

sanjeev chaddha

Sanjeev Chaddha (Parent Governor)
I feel that Ralph Allen offers children great opportunities and would like to support the school to improve outcomes for all children. 

I was a parent governor at a local primary school for four years. During that time I was the Chair of the Finance and Staffing Committee and felt that I made a positive contribution to the school. In addition on a voluntary basis I sat on the Local Authority’s Early Years, Children and Youth Policy Development and Scrutiny panel for two years. Both positions have allowed me to contribute to our local community and help our children to achieve their best. I have recently started to volunteer on Saturdays at Odd Down Cycle track with "Wheels Tor All", a charity who offer cycling opportunities for adults and children with health, social and learning needs.

Areas of responsibility include: Member of Business and Community Committee

julia garratt new

Dr Julia Garratt  (Appointed Governor)
When I retired from my post as Principal Lecturer at Bath Spa University I wished to continue my involvement in education. I hoped my experience would be useful to a secondary school and was pleased to be appointed as a governor at Ralph Allen, a co-educational comprehensive whose ethos and achievements I respected.

I have particular interests in: developing collaborations between schools and with higher education; staff development and peer support; learning, teaching and the curriculum and enabling students of all abilities to succeed in fulfilling their potential.

Areas of responsibility include: Chair of Pay and Staffing Committee


richard_heath Richard Heath (Appointed Governor)
I am a structural engineer and founding director of a medium sized, busy engineering practice in Bath. My work varies from the structural design of the new extension to the Holburne Museum to the design of the egg children's theatre.

As a Governor, I aim to use my business skills, practical decision-making and understanding of buildings and construction to help the school and community with the on-going masterplan and associated building projects.

 Areas of responsibility include: Applied Learning Centre, Fund-raising



Niki Wider profile smiling crop


Niki Jewett (Parent Governor)

I have been a parent for 19 years. It has been an incredible journey for me and I have loved participating in my children's learning during this time. When my oldest son started at Ralph Allen I didn't want to assume that this participation would come to an end, as the evidence shows, when parents are involved in their children's learning, this leads to better outcomes for everyone. Being a governor has given me great insight into what an incredible, complex and caring organisation a secondary school is. Being able to support Ralph Allen by being on the governing body continues to be a pleasure and a privilege.

Over the last 6 years of being a governor I have been involved in starting and running Parent Circle and the Garden Volunteer Group. I have really enjoyed helping to support and connect some of the different stake holders within the school community.

Areas of responsibility include: Learning and Development Committee, Creativity, Parental engagement.

suzy lovegrove
Suzy Lovegrove (Parent Governor)
I have been a governor at Ralph Allen School for several years. I think that I have joined the team at

an exciting phase in the life of the school. I am looking forward to contributing in all the ways that I
can. I have one child at the school.

My background is in project management with a focus on team leadership and facilitating change. I have a BA honours degree in Art History and a graduate diploma in change Agent Skills and Strategies.

Since having my son I have established a practice teaching the Lotte Berk Method. This is an exercise approach that is a combination of ballet and yoga. I also teach yoga and meditation.
The thread that runs through all my work is to facilitate people to achieve a better balance in their lives. 

Areas of responsibility include: Member of Learning Development Committee, Member of Pay and Staffing Committee, Governor Development

beryl maddison

Beryl Maddison (Parent Governor)
I became a parent governor at the school in September 2013 and I look forward to assisting the school in whatever way I can.

I studied Law at Nottingham University, having had an excellent state school education. I qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1986 and although not a Bathonian have lived in the area for almost all my working life. I love the city and the many opportunities for life enrichment it offers to us all. 

My daughter, who is proud to be a Bathonian, is in Year 10. I selected Ralph Allen as I wanted her to attend a really good co-educational school. Every child deserves the best education we can provide with teaching staff of the highest calibre to enable them to fulfill their potential and extend their horizons.  I hope that my skills will help Ralph Allen provide the best facilities to educate our children. 

Areas of responsibility include: Member of Business and Community Committee

alkis petmezas new Alkis Petmezas (Parent Governor)
My wife and I have found Bath a wonderful place to bring up our three children (born in 1996, 1999 and 2000). I strongly believe that raising a child is a communal effort and being a governor is part of my commitment to contributing more to the local community.

I have run a local small business since 1995 and been a governor at Ralph Allen School since 2007.

I have a great deal of respect for those who go into teaching and would like to support them in making the education available at Ralph Allen the best it can be.

Areas of responsibility include: Chair of Learning Development Committee, Admissions and attendance, Behaviour and wellbeing, Environment and energy

daljit_singh Daljit Singh (Appointed Governor)
I am passionate about social justice, Corporate Social Responsibility and education, which I see as an intrinsic ‘right’ for any individual. I have always been keen to make a contribution to my local community.

My background is in Operations Management built on a Science and Precision Engineering foundation. I am currently specialising in Business Change Management and have managed a variety of technology enabled projects, both in the private and public sector.

Areas of responsibility include: Chair of the Business and Community Committee, Link governor for Health and Safety, Travel plan policy.


sarah thompson

Sarah Thompson (Staff Governor)
I have worked at Ralph Allen School in the Finance Team since 2008 recently taking on the role of Finance and Facilities Manager. Before that I have 8 years’ experience in two other schools at both primary and secondary level. I have also completed the Diploma in school Business Management during this time.

I have three children who have just been through secondary school and are currently at University and in an apprenticeship. I hope to make a valuable contribution to the school. I thoroughly enjoy working at Ralph Allen School and am fully committed to its continuing success.

Areas of responsibility include: Member of the Business and Community Committee, and Student voice link re Campus projects. 

abhishek upadhyay

Abhishek Upadhyay (Parent Governor)
I am a parent governor and a member of the Learning and Teaching Committee. 

I have over 15 years experience in higher education, particularly in the area of Biophysics, health and safety, widening participation and supporting students.

Areas of responsibility include: Member of Learning Development Committee


mandy gaskin

Mandy Workman (Parent Governor)
I have a lot of experience in education having taught in the primary and secondary sectors, both in the UK and overseas.  I have always been involved in Parent-Teacher associations and enjoy enhancing links between the parent body and school staff. Both our children are very happy at Ralph Allen and we appreciate the wide variety of opportunities they have been given to enrich their education.

I would like to share my experience, skills and keen interest in education to make a contribution towards keeping Ralph Allen a top performing school. 

Areas of responsibility include: Member of Learning Development Committee


Susie Wright (Parent Governor)
I work as a communications consultant and coach. I believe that communicating well is a key element in a school doing its job excellently. Ralph Allen is a very good school with an ethos and approach that I support and believe in. I became a governor to use my skills and experience to help the school communicate as clearly and effectively as possible, both internally and externally.

Areas of responsibility include: Strategic communications - including two-way communication with students, staff and parents, Member of the Business and Community Committee