Mark Hayes


Mark Hayes has over 25 years’ experience working in the housing association sector. Having qualified as an architect his career progressed via consultancy work into development, moving on to strategic responsibility and leadership when he commenced his current employment as Chief Executive at Christian Action Housing in Enfield.  Mark has been a secondary school governor for over 20 years, chairing the SWCHS Governing Body for 14 years. Mark is also an elder, lay preacher and youth club leader in the United Reformed Church. He enjoys the theatre, music, hill walking and writing crime novels.


Nick Osborne

Vice-Chair, and Chair of Katherine Semar’s LGB

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Caroline Derbyshire

CEO, and Headteacher, SWCHS

Caroline Derbyshire was first involved with Saffron Walden County High School as Deputy Headteacher (2000-2006).  She left the school to become Principal of nearby Linton Village College, a role she enjoyed for ten years.  In her decade at the helm the school achieved an Ofsted grading of ‘Outstanding’ on two occasions.  Caroline took up the position of CEO of SAT, and Headteacher at SWCHS, in January 2016.  She is a music lover, a keen theatre goer, a fan of cricket and tennis, and a trustee of Oakley Holiday Parties, a ‘not for profit’ organisation providing activity holidays for teenagers.


Rachel Callaghan

Deputy CEO, and Headteacher, Katherine Semar Junior School

Rachel has been Headteacher at Katherine Semar Junior School for 12 years. During that time she has taken the school from Serious Weakness to Outstanding in the Ofsted framework. Before becoming Headteacher she was Deputy Headteacher at Katherine Semar for 4 years.  Rachel started her teaching career in Tower Hamlets in London moving to teach in Hertfordshire , Essex and Nottingham before returning to Essex in senior posts.

Rachel also Chairs the North Uttlesford Local Delivery Group, which comprises a group of 18 local schools working  together to support the Emotional Health & Wellbeing of pupils in North Uttlesford.


Barbara Calland

Trustee, and Chair of SWCHS’s LGB

Barbara trained as a teacher and then went into management consultancy. She joined Price Waterhouse Coopers in London and became Head of Human Resources.  Since leaving PwC, Barbara has worked for a number of educational charities including CRAC (the organisation for career development in education) and a charity supporting teacher wellbeing in schools. She is currently Programme Manager with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity working with education and business to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.  Barbara has chaired the SWCHS LGB since January 2014.


James Keeler


James is a university lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge.  He is also the Senior Tutor and Admissions Tutor of Selwyn College, University of Cambridge, and a Director of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate.  James’s areas of experience are: scientific research, scientific and academic publishing, teaching in a higher education context, curriculum development in higher education, university admissions processes (mainly of Russell Group universities), pastoral care in a higher education context, student finance, and secondary education in general terms – especially assessment systems.  James chairs the Alec Hunter Academy Education and Performance Committee. 


Sue Brindley


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David Barrs


David is Co-Headteacher of the Anglo European School, a co-educational comprehensive school near Chelmsford which was the first state school to introduce the International Baccalaureate Diploma in 1977.  He currently chairs the Heads’ Council of the IB and sits on the IB Board of Governors.  His school also teaches A levels.  David is chairman of both Saffron Walden Cricket Club and the Yellow Car Charitable Trust, and a trustee of Saffron Hall Trust.  David started his teaching career at SWCHS.  He has lived in Saffron Walden for nearly 40 years and has two children, both of whom attended Saffron Walden County High School.


Linda Vincent


Linda’s professional life has mainly been in banking, both in the City and abroad. She has a degree in Modern Germanic Languages.  Following a career break Linda works at a secondary academy school in North Essex providing pastoral support.  Linda has been a governor at a nursery school, at one of SWCHS’s feeder primary schools, and is currently a community governor at SWCHS.  Linda sits on the SAT Finance Committee. 


Peter Whent

Trustee, and Chair of Alec Hunter Academy’s LGB

Peter is Managing Director of a company specialising in forensic crime investigation.  He is also a qualified university teacher and assists with planning and developing MSc & BSc degree courses. Peter is a former high ranking police officer, with extensive expertise in security issues and anti-terrorism measures.  He also has experience of providing victim support. 


Julie Puxley

Trustee, and Headteacher, Katherine Semar Infants School, and co-Headteacher of Katherine Semar Junior school

Julie completed a History degree at Birmingham University and then trained as a teacher. Whilst beginning her teaching career in Birmingham, she also completed her Masters in Education at Birmingham University. Since leaving Birmingham, she held several other leadership posts in schools in Cambridgeshire and Essex. She won the National Primary teacher of the year in 2006 whilst working at R A Butler schools in Saffron Walden. She became Headteacher of Katherine Semar Infant school in September 2010.


Ian Murphy


Owner, Founder, Director Plextek Ltd, Plextek Services Ltd, Blighter Ltd, Redtail Telematics Ltd, Pale Blue Group Ltd, RedCloud Ltd.  Over 35 years’ experience in the design and development and mass production of complex electronic products from commercial devices to Defence systems.