Staff and Governors


Head Mr N A Armitage BA (Hons) University of East Anglia; PGCE Cambridge University
Bursar Mr K Rawlingson  
Deputy Head, Head of Pre Prep and Year 2 Teacher Mrs S Newman BA (Hons) Dunelm; PGCE, University of Reading
Director of Studies Miss A Waters BA University of Leeds; PGCE Roehampton University
Head of English   Miss A Waters BA University of Leeds; PGCE Roehampton University
Head of Mathematics Mrs S Steady B.Pharm. (Hons) London University; QTS
Head of Learning Support, SENCO, PSHE Mrs E Brown BSc (Hons) University of Surrey; PGCE and OCR level 7 Diploma in Teaching and Assessing Learners with Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties 
Head of EYFS, Reception Mrs L Brown BEd (Hons) University of London; EYPS, Reading University
Head of Music & Performing Arts Mrs J Breen BMus (Sheffield), DipABRSM (Flute Performance), PGCE Secondary Music (Manchester Met/RNCM)
Director of Sport, Head of Girls Games Ms M Nicholson BA (QTS) St Mary's University College, Twickenham
Head of Boys Games Mr W Mackenzie BA (Hons) Primary Education – Manchester Metropolitan University
Head of Art, Design & Technology Mrs N Poulter BA (QTS), Roehampton
French Mrs V Sheriff MA (London) PGCE 
Head of Science Miss C Gibbon BA (Hons) University of Exeter; PGCE, University of Buckingham
Music & Performing Arts Miss J Lau BMus(Hons) RCM, MA (Music Education) UCL, ATCL, DipABRSM
Sport, Outdoor Education and Maths Mr P Malkin BA Sports Studies, Chichester; BPhil Ed (Hons), Warwick; MA Education, Oxford Brookes; PGCE, W. London
Year 4 - General Studies and Head of ICT Miss J Jones BEd (Hons) Oxford Brookes University, Diploma in Specific Learning Needs, The Hornsby Institute
Year 3 - General Studies and Sport Mrs R Hamilton-Smith BA (Hons) Dunelm with QTS
Year 2 Mrs F Pepper BEd (Hons) University of Reading
Year 1 Mrs J Pettifer BA in Ancient History and Archaeology – University of Reading, PCGE – Oxford Brookes
Year 1 Mrs F Harris BA Sport Durham, PGCE Sunderland
Reception Mrs E Steer BA Hons in Early Years (Open University) and an EYITT (Reading) and Forest School Leader NVQ 3
Nursery Mrs H Macartney BA (Hons); PGDip Ed; MA Theatre; Movement Teaching Specialisation
Tennis Mr R Knight Lawn Tennis Association, Development Coaching Award; British Association of Ski Instructors, Grades III and II; International Ski Instructors Association, Grade I
Football, Rugby and Athletics Mr I Brown St Mary’s University, BSc – Strength & Conditioning Science; RFU ERLA Level 1 Rugby Refereeing; ECB Cricket Young Leaders award
Gymnastics Miss K Johnson Level 2 Award in Coaching Gymnastics (Women’s Artistic)
Learning Support Assistant Mrs S Morley BEd (Hons) Homerton College, Cambridge with QTS
Assistant Teacher Mrs I Bower Dip in Specialist Support For Teaching and Learning in Schools NVQ III (QCF)
Assistant Teacher Mrs A Burns NVQ3
Assistant Teacher Mrs O Lamb  
Assistant Teacher Mrs M Hatton  
Assistant Teacher Mrs M Stirling NNEB
Assistant Teacher Mrs M Trimmings  
SENCO Assistant Teacher Mrs J Smith  
Gap Year Student Miss L Botterill  
Gap Year Student Mr A Baxter  
Playground Assistant Ms S Halpern  
Teaching and After-care Assistant Mrs C Hopkins  
After-care Assistant Mrs L Drage Montessori International Diploma, Level 4
PA to Head Mrs J Cooke
Admissions Registrar Mrs A Halfhead
Bursary Assistant and First Aid Mrs G Rawlingson
IT Support Technician Mr J Williams
Privacy, Data & Marketing Manager Ms J Ovstedal
Caretaker Mr P Woodley
Catering Manager Ms E Rozanska
Catering Assistants Mrs B Page
  Mrs C McCormack
  Mrs M Trevethan
  Miss India Hawker
Trumpet, Trombone, Cornet Mr J Ellwood CTABRSM, Adv Cert (Diploma), Clarinet and Grade 8, Saxophone
Harp, Piano Miss B Griffiths
Violin Mrs V Gynn B Mus RCM
Harp, Piano Miss I Harries
Singing Mrs J Maltese B Mus (Hons) Voice Performance
Drums Miss J Wood
Cello, Double Bass Mrs V McMurtrie Post GradDip Orchestral Studies
Piano, Singing Mrs C Whitmee BA Music (Hons) with QTS, Winchester
Guitar Mr S Lewins


Chairman Mr C Lowe

Charles became a Governor in March 2018 and was elected Chair in June 2018.  He chairs the Strategy and Development Committee and is an ex-officio member of the other three governor committees.  Charles has lived in and around Henley all his life and played cricket, hockey and rugby for the town.  Recently retired, he spent a career in finance and general management at Ford, Elf, Avis, National Power and Prudential.  A keen sportsman, he continues to play competitive hockey for Reading and enjoys tennis, fly fishing and walking.  Charles has two daughters and a son who all attended Rupert House.

  Mrs A Ashby

Alison became a Governor in March 2018.  She chairs the Risk and Governance Committee.  She trained and worked as a solicitor in London before spending over 9 years working in Reading as a partner of a City law firm with a branch in the Thames Valley.  She has lived in the Henley area for 25 years.  Alison has a daughter and a son who both attended Rupert House.  Alison was Chair of the Friends of Rupert House from 2006 to 2008.  She enjoys walking, playing tennis and sailing.

  Dr M Brennan

Michelle is a local GP and is responsible for overseeing safeguarding at Rupert House.  She has four children (three sons and a daughter), all of whom have attended Rupert House with her daughter still a current pupil. Her children all love sport so she spends a lot of her time watching rugby, football, cricket, gymnastics and ballet.

  Mr P Falinski 

Paul became a Governor in March 2017 and chairs the Finance and Operations Committee. He is a retired Chartered Accountant, who qualified with Whinney Murray, and then spent thirty years working for Lloyds Bank in the City head office.  He is married, with three children and five grandchildren, and has lived in and around Henley for over forty years. His interests are golf, field sports, gardening and walking.

  Mr H Wilding

Hugh became a Governor in November 2018.  He is a member of the Finance and Operations Committee and shares oversight for Safeguarding at Rupert House with Dr Michelle Brennan.  Hugh is one of the Principals of Claires Court (the other is his brother, James) where he has been Bursar since 1980.  He is married to Sheena (Head of Nursery at Claires Court) and they have four daughters, all now fully fledged and flown the nest!

  Mrs G Little  

Gill became a Governor in March 2014 and was elected as Chair of the Education Committee in November 2015. Gill has been a teacher for over 30 years and is currently Deputy Head – Teaching and Learning at Queen Anne’s School, Caversham. In her role at Queen Anne’s, Gill is actively involved in strategic development and educational initiatives. Gill enjoys keeping fit, walking and travelling.

  Ms Beverley McKenzie

Beverley became a Governor in 2016 and became Vice Chair in 2018.  She has responsibility for complaints and Governor training.  She also sits on 3 other Governor committees.  Beverley trained and worked as a solicitor in London before moving to Wargrave in 2010.  She has three daughters and a son, the younger two of her children both attended Rupert House.  Beverley was Chair of the Friends of Rupert House from 2012-2014.

  Mr J Phillips

John read English Literature at Cambridge University.  He has over 30 years of high level experience in communications agencies – both within and outside London and is the Managing Director of a creative agency based in Caversham.  He is a member of the Worshipful Company of Marketors.  He educated 2 daughters and a son at Rupert House.  A keen sportsman, he plays tennis and golf and is President of Wallingford Hockey Club.

  Mr M Howat

Mike became a Governor in June 2019 and sits on the Education Committee. He read History at Cambridge University before a career in teaching. He taught at Kingston Grammar School, University College School and St Paul's School. Mike was Head of History at all these schools before becoming an Undermaster and part of the SMT at St Paul's. He is married with a daughter and three sons. On retirement he has returned to Oxfordshire. Mike has always been a keen cricketer and is President of Moreton CC. He is also an enthusiastic golfer and follower of Oxford United.

  Mr N Potter

Nick became a governor in 2020. He has lived in Henley for 13 years with his wife and two children, both of whom attended RH and are very sporty. He splits his time between advising a leading hedge fund on performance and well being and his clinical work at the Princess Grace Hospital in London, as a consultant osteopath, in an orthopaedic and neurosurgical centre. He is a published author and has a special interest in paediatric and adolescent problems. He is passionate about education, development and performance in young people.An ex-rugby player himself, he coached at Henley rugby club for 8 years.  

Secretary to the Council Mr K Rawlingson  


Governors may be contacted through Mr Kim Rawlingson, the Secretary to the Council.

Rupert House School Staff