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

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.


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.

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.


Dr Tony Olavesen

I gained a BSc and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Birmingham and I have continued to follow a career in Education, mainly in the university sector.  After a period of study at Duke University, USA, I was appointed to a post in Cardiff University in Biochemistry.  During my time in Cardiff, I became Director of Studies for all biochemistry degree schemes, including the establishment of 4-year schemes that involved an industrial placement. Side by side with teaching, my research achieved the publication of many papers as well as the supervision of 24 PhD students.

I was elected as a Fellow of various chemical societies (FRSC) and a Chartered Chemist (CChem) in 1980.

During my career I have been closely involved in the career development of students in local secondary schools, particularly with those hoping to follow a career in medicine or related fields.  I interviewed extensively at UWCM as well as being a member of the Selection Advisory Panel at UWCM.

Outside of education I have been a member of the PCC at Llandaff Cathedral for many years, Treasurer of the Welsh Norwegian Society as well as a member of numerous other local charity and voluntary organisations.

I have been associated with Howell’s School for many years in advising on students’ UCAS application forms.  In recognition of my association with the school I was pleased to accept an offer to become a formal Friend of Howell’s School in 2014


Mrs Carol Shirley Walton

I lived in Scotland for many years, but following our move to Wales as a family, my daughter, Jennifer became a student at Howell’s, from 1988-1994. Since that time, I have continued to attend various school events and to help on occasions and have valued my ongoing contacts with the school.

I qualified as a nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, and as a midwife at the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion in Edinburgh. I work as the Infant Feeding Advisor in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, where my responsibilities include training all grades of medical, maternity and neonatal staff and maintaining standards in all three maternity units in Gwent. I run two clinics a week for mothers and babies, and occasionally see some of these babies who are now grown up and attending Howell’s.

Mrs Anne Hayward

I have lived in Cardiff for most of my life, moving here aged 11 and joining Howell's in 1964 through to 1971 before attending Southampton University and gaining an LL.B.  My daughter Lisa Hayward also attended the school and we both remain in contact with school friends and through the Hywelian Guild of which we are both members. I am currently a committee member of the Guild.

I qualified as a solicitor in 1977 and have worked for national law firms as a partner through out my working life both in Cardiff and Bristol specialising in commercial property.

Since retiring I have been  active as a non-exec director on the board of  two housing associations, and being a member and chairing the audit committees in each of them. I am also a volunteer at our local library.

I value highly the education, opportunities  and guidance  both myself and Lisa received from the school  and welcome the opportunity to join the governing body and support the school in continuing to provide a first rate education for young women.

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

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