Governors

Howell’s School is one of 24 Independent Schools and 2 academies run by the Girls’ Day School Trust, the UK’s largest Educational Charity. School Governing Boards are a unique asset to the Trust.

While legal responsibility for the school rests with the Council of the Trust, it is the SGB which is able to have a presence in the school and act as a valuable sounding board for the Principal.

The SGB is vital to the success of the school, providing an on-going source of support, inspiration and positive challenge to the Principal, and acting as ambassadors for Howell’s in the wider community.

The School Governing Board

Ms Kay Powell - Chairman

I was educated at Howell's and have maintained my links with School through the Hywelian Guild, chairing its Centenary Sub-Committee in 2006. Later that year I was honoured to be invited to become a Governor. Career highlights include being Head of Planning for the Welsh Assembly Government and Secretary of the National Planning Forum for England. I take special interest in the Eco-school initiative and am Governor Representative on the Careers Sub-Committee.

Mrs Sue Thomas JPDL - Deputy Chair

I was educated at Howell’s School and have maintained my links with the school through the Hywelian Guild and also as a parent. I was editor of the Hywelian magazine for a number of years.  My daughter attended the Senior School and benefited greatly from her experience. I believe in the importance of education and in encouraging pupils to make the most of their opportunities so I am delighted to be a Governor of the school with which I have a longstanding association and which believes in helping students fulfil their all - round potential. I been involved in the voluntary sector for many years and have a wide range of interests including sport and music.

Ms Jennie James  

I graduated in Law from Manchester University and qualified as a solicitor in 1975. I worked as a lawyer both in Private Practice and Local Government. After taking a career break when my children were young I took a Post Graduate Diploma in Careers Guidance and Counselling and worked for 12 years as a Careers Adviser in schools and colleges before retiring earlier this year. My daughter was a pupil in the Junior School and the Senior School and was a member of the first cohort to attend the mixed 6th Form College. I was a member of the School Parents' Association for several years.

Mrs Gwyneth Brinson

I trained as a primary school teacher at Bath Spa University and taught for eight years at a school in Caerphilly.  The children attending this school came from wide-ranging backgrounds and were mixed in ability.  I then devoted my time to raising four daughters who were all educated at Llysfaen Primary School and then Howell’s School.  They have all become confident and successful young women with careers in art, science education and business.  Over fourteen years I was closely involved in my daughters’ education and served with the Parents’ Association, becoming Chairman of the Social and Fundraising Committee.  My keen interest in education led me to become a governor or Llysfaen Primary school, with particular interest in teaching and learning.  Over these twelve years I have become involved in various aspects of primary education.

Mrs Nicola Davies

I was educated at Howell's under the Headships of Miss Lewis and Miss Turner. After reading History at University College, Oxford, I joined the NHS on a graduate management training scheme and now have over 25 years' experience in a range of senior policy and planning roles across health and social care. I am currently employed by Cwm Taf Health Board which serves the communities of Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil. I have two daughters. The elder has completed her time at HSL and is now studying at the University of Bristol, whilst my younger daughter is still in the Senior School. I was Secretary of the Hywelian Guild from 2003 to 2009. Memorable moments included the celebrations for the Guild's Centenary in 2006 and amending our Constitution to allow boys to become members following the creation of the Sixth Form College!

Canon Graham Holcombe

I am Canon Residentiary at Llandaff Cathedral and graduated in Theology and Music. I was a Governor of Bishop of Llandaff School for over 20 years and served as a Governor in a Primary School in Pentyrch, where I was a vicar for 16 years before joining the Cathedral staff. Before ordination, I worked in industry for nine years as Personnel/Education and Training Officer with Borg Warner in Port Talbot. I have been a Governor of Howell’s School since June 2007.

Mrs Shau-Wai Sim

After graduating from Cardiff University I worked in the NHS for ten years as a Hearing Therapist in Audiology and then taught Hearing Therapy at Bristol University. Later, I retrained in Early Years education and worked on the Welsh Government’s Flying Start programme. I now work for a charity supporting families with disabled children. I have been actively involved in youth work for many years and run outdoor camps for teenagers in the summer. Our daughter came to Howell’s and is now at Bath University studying Accounting and Finance.

Rev Richard Horner

The Company’s current representative on the Governing Body is the Revd Richard Horner, a Liveryman of the Company.  Richard has been the Chaplain of Rugby School since 1999; his wife Debbie is a Housemistress and Head of the Careers Department.  They have four children.  Richard is particularly interested in spiritual development and in the growth of community life within schools.  He is an officer in the CCF and enjoys leading expeditions to wild areas.  His interests include fell-running and real ale, preferably in that order.

The Drapers Company very generously funds three leaving Scholarships annually, hosts visits by groups from the school, and invites representatives to attend the annual service in London for the inauguration of the new master of the Company, followed by a splendid lunch at Drapers’ Hall.

The Drapers have also established a medal to be awarded annually in recognition of outstanding contribution to the ethos of the College. 

Sarah Cockbill

Education & Professional Qualifications

  • 2000 University of Wales, Cardiff, Doctor of Philosophy

  • 1991 University of Wales, Cardiff, Master of Laws

  • 1984 University of Wales, Cardiff Master of Pharmacy

  • 1969 University of Wales, Bachelor of Pharmacy

Recent Employment History

  • 2012 - 2013 Part time lecturer, Cardiff School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University

  • Master of the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales 

Mrs Katharine Jean MacDonald

I was educated locally at both Elm Tree House and Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School. After graduating in history and English, I worked as a Residential Social Worker for Dr Barnardo’s and after completing my PGCE, I began my career in education teaching English in Sudan, Africa, in a Girl’s Higher Secondary School. I was appointed as a history teacher in 1983 to Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls where I held numerous positions, including Head of History, Head of Upper School, Assistant Deputy, and Director of the Sixth Form, before retiring in 2013. I was a member of the Senior Management team for over ten years and an Inspector working for the Independent School’s Inspectorate for five years.

I am currently a Churchwarden at Llandaff Cathedral and one of the Safeguarding Co-ordinators.  I am also a member of the Parochial Church Council and the Cathedral Social Committee which helps to organise parish and community events, such as the Rainbow Fayre. My daughter Bethan is a very proud Hywelian, having been educated at Howell’s School from the age of seven. She is now teaching English and Drama, married and living in London. I am confident of the affirmative role Howell’s School played in helping to create the confident young woman and teacher that she has become and I look forward to supporting the school as it provides a first-rate education, to the next generation of young people.

Howell's School provides tremendous "value-added" in terms of public examination results, which are consistently higher than predicted in independent assessments.