Staff and Governors

A vibrant learning community

The strength of the relationships between staff and students is remarkably empowering. The equality at Leighton Park drives participation, acceptance and respect, sparking a mutual motivation for innovation and achievement.

The Leighton Park difference

Guided by our Head, Matthew Judd, and his leadership team, our 100+ teaching staff are responsible for academic tuition, co-curricular activities and pastoral care. Support staff assist with administration and maintenance to ensure the continuous smooth running of the School.

David, our Chair of Governors, is contactable at: David Isherwood, c/o Leighton Park School, School Office, Old School, Shinfield Road, Reading, RG2 7ED

Key – (Q) = Quaker Governor | (OL) = Old Leightonian

Leighton Park Leadership Team

Leighton Park Staff and Governors headshot

Matthew Judd Head Teacher

Matthew Judd has over 25 years’ experience of working in independent schools. He is a graduate of the University of Swansea and Queens’ College, Cambridge, reading Geography then Education. During his career Matthew has been a Head of Department and Housemaster at leading HMC schools, and Principal of fifth and sixth form College in Central London. Prior to joining Leighton Park as Head, he was Second Master and Head of the Preparatory Schools at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School, Elstree, which was selected as the Sunday Times Independent School of the Year in his final year. He has been chair of trustees at an education charity, a principal examiner and serves as schools inspector and a school governor. Matthew lives on the Park with his partner.


Leighton Park Staff and Governors headshot

Eddie Falshaw Deputy Head

Eddie Falshaw has been teaching History for over 21 years. A History graduate of Middlesex University, he completed his PGCE at the University of York before taking up residence at Rossall School as a History Master, Rugby Coach and Deputy Housemaster. Before joining Leighton Park, Eddie was Head of History at Hereford Cathedral School for eleven years, where he also ran the 1st XV, 1st VII and 1st XI. He has experience of examining at GCSE, A and EPQ level and has a lifelong thirst for learning, gaining an MA in History and currently completing his doctoral studies on the topic of technology in education. He is a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and has delivered speeches for conferences in the UK and China as well as acting as a schools inspector. A passionate Churchillian, traveller and sportsman, he lives on the Park with his wife, daughters and dog Buddy.


Karen Gracie-Langrick

Karen Gracie-Langrick Deputy Head (Academic)

Karen Gracie-Langrick has over 25 years experience of working in education, within both a school and university setting. Having gained a BA (Hons) in Archaeology (with Classics and Latin) at the University of Reading, she then became their student-elected Sports Federation President.  Following this, Karen completed an MA in Archaeological Heritage Management at the University of York during which she gained an Arkell Fellowship Award to support her research into the ‘Educational value of Roman Villa sites’ in the UK and Germany. Karen then worked with English Heritage and Bournemouth University to undertake a national survey of Monuments at Risk and acted as the Education Officer for Bradwell Abbey.  

After gaining her PGCE in Secondary History, Karen came to teach History and Ancient History at Leighton Park, where she has had an interesting and varied career: as Head of History; PSHCE; IB Coordinator and now as Deputy Head, Academic.  Karen holds a National Professional Qualification for Headship and has been instrumental in driving new initiatives for Leighton Park to become a STEAM centre of excellence and to develop a philosophy of ‘Change makers’ through Ethical Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. Karen is a keen sportswoman, managing the Girls’ Cricket at Wargrave CC and, holding the Gold Award, is an advocate of the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme.


nicky hardy

Nicky Hardy Deputy Head (Pastoral)

Nicky Hardy has over 25 years experience of working in Education. She gained a BA(Ed) Hons with QTS in Physical Education, subsidiary in English and Drama from the University of Exeter and an MA(Ed) in Education Leadership from the University of Southampton. Nicky has further qualifications in PSHE, Careers Education and Guidance and she holds a National Professional Qualification for Headship. Nicky started her teaching career in an outstanding girls school on the South Coast, where she led a very successful department.  She has lectured trainee teachers at the University of Brighton and she has been a senior leader in a local Wokingham co-ed secondary school. Nicky is a keen equestrian and takes the co-curricular horse riding hobby. She also plays hockey for Henley HC and assists with the coaching of the 1st squad hockey team at school.
keith eldridge

Keith Eldridge Bursar

Keith Eldridge has more than ten years’ experience in education finance and administration. He has an Economics degree from the University of Leicester and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young, working on audits of charities and commercial businesses. He then worked in London and Frankfurt with KPMG Corporate Finance providing advisory services to a wide range of businesses before joining London Stock Exchange plc as Corporate Finance Manager. Prior to Leighton Park, Keith was Bursar at St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne and Finance Director at John Madejski Academy. Keith lives in Goring with his wife (who teaches Economics at Leighton Park) and two children.

Leighton Park Staff and Governors headshot

John Burnett Director of Marketing and Admissions

John Burnett is a Chartered Marketer with over ten years’ experience in education marketing. Prior to Leighton Park, John oversaw UCL’s recruitment of graduate and European students and also spent two years leading the university’s Digital Communications function. John worked in Swaziland for two years as part of the Skillshare International contract with DFID, where he established a Fair Trade agro-processing business – creating rural livelihoods for people in some of the poorest parts of the country. John lives in Winchester with his wife and three children.

jennifer powlesland

Jennifer Powlesland Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning)

Jenny Powlesland has been teaching for fifteen years. Brought up in Hong Kong, Jenny gained her undergraduate degree in Modern History and English at Oxford University, then worked with the British Council in south-east China and completed her PGCE at Oxford. Before joining Leighton Park in 2018, she spent fourteen years teaching in outstanding state schools in Surrey and Berkshire, as a Head of English and then a Senior Teacher, running programmes for teachers’ continuing professional development, improving the progress of disadvantaged pupils and raising the number of pupils attending Oxbridge. Jenny lives locally with her husband and two children.

Mark Simmons Assistant Head (Senior Master And Head of Year 9)

Tash Coccia with students

Natasha Coccia Assistant Head (Co-Curricular and Outreach)

Natasha has worked in education for over fifteen years in state and independent schools. After reading Drama at Trinity College Dublin, she was awarded a full scholarship at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama to classically train as an actor and went on to complete an MA in Shakespeare and PGCE in London. She has worked in inner London state schools for 12 years and was a senior leader in Hackney driving whole school improvement in academic enrichment, co-curricular and partnership programmes. She is passionate about inclusive pastoral care in schools and began doctoral studies on the relationship between teen identity and the arts before focusing on educational leadership. Natasha lives in Windsor with her two sons.

Leighton Park Staff and Governors headshot

Helen Taylor Head of Sixth Form

Helen Taylor has 25 years of teaching experience in a number of different schools: all girls, all boys, independent, state, day and boarding and even a free school. She gained an undergraduate degree in Zoology and Botany from the University of Reading before completing a PGCSE at Oxford University. She spent five years as Head of Biology at Leighton Park before an exciting two years as Vice Principal of a newly established free school. Helen has two daughters at Leighton Park.

bev eldridge

Beverley Eldridge Head of Years 10 & 11

Bev has worked in education for almost 20 years in both independent and maintained schools.  After graduating with a First in Economics, Bev worked in the City for over eight years as an Economist, completing a graduate training programme at Lloyd’s of London before moving into banking.  After a career break when she had two children (both now at university) and completing an MBA at the University of Warwick, Bev retrained to be a teacher.  She started her teaching career at a comprehensive school in Reading before moving to Bradfield College, where she was Housemistress of a Sixth Form girls boarding House and taught Economics and Business.  Before joining Leighton Park, Bev was Head of Economics at Magdalen College School, Oxford.  Bev is an experienced examiner and is currently an Assistant Principal Examiner for A Level Economics.  At Leighton Park, Bev teaches Economics and Business and is Head of Years 10 and 11. Bev lives in Goring with her husband Keith (the Bursar) and two occasionally returning university aged children.

Leighton Park Staff and Governors headshot

Adrian Stewart Head of Fryer and Lower School

Leighton Park Staff and Governors headshot

Myles Nash Director of Boarding

Myles Nash has been teaching for twenty years. He attended Whitgift School before graduating from Brunel University with a degree in Industrial Design & Technology. He gained his PGCE whilst working at a grammar school in Kent before moving into various HMC schools. During his career, Myles has primarily taught Product Design, been a Head of Faculty and Department, Housemaster, Head of Year and an exam board moderator. He has extensive boarding experience having worked at Stowe, Wycombe Abbey and Sutton Valence Schools, prior to joining Leighton Park. Myles has led school trips all over the world and coaches a variety of sports. He lives on site with his wife Sara and two daughters.

Leighton Park Governors

David Isherwood (OL)

Chair of Governors

David attended Leighton Park (1995-2000), and is a graduate in Modern Languages (French) and Information Systems from the University of the West of England, Bristol. He joined the UK Office of Renault in 2004 and has held a variety of commercial management posts since. He is now based in France having transferred to the company’s Paris Head Office where he heads up the Global Social Media team.

Sally Jane Bonner

Sally Jayne is a Chartered Accountant and has worked for a variety of practices. She has been involved in the charity and not for profit sector for over 25 years. Sally Jayne was an audit partner with Chantrey Vellacott DFK LLP for fifteen years. For the last five years she was Head of their Charity Group. Sally Jayne is now principal of Bonner Consulting Limited, providing interim management and consultancy services. Sally Jayne’s son was educated at Leighton Park.

Eme Dean-Lewis

Eme is a technology industry professional with 20 years’ experience of developing strategic alliance relationships for leading global technology corporations. She holds an Executive MBA from London Business School and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Currently, she is Senior Manager for Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group. Eme is an active STEM ambassador and member of the Leighton Park STEM Hub team. She is a trustee for a local charity, Smart Works Reading, which helps women who have been out of the workforce to succeed at interview. Eme and her husband Tim have two daughters and a son; one is a current Leighton Park student and the other two are now Old Leightonians.

Jan Digby (Q)

Jan was born and brought up in Kent and came to Reading to study at the University. After graduating in Latin and English Literature she joined British Rail as a trainee computer programmer. She undertook a wide range of roles in IT, including graduate recruitment and training, before returning to the University of Reading to qualify as a Careers Advisor and complete an MA in Careers Guidance. Subsequently she has worked at three English Universities in Employability-related roles, latterly as a Senior Lecturer in Careers Education. Jan has been a Quaker for over twenty years and is an active member of Reading Local Meeting and Mid-Thames Area Meeting. She has served as a Committee Member/Trustee of a range of local organisations throughout her life. She is the Clerk to the Governing Body of two local schools and has been Chair of Governors of her local primary school and a member of the Council of the University of Reading.

Caroline George (OL)

Caroline George (OL)

Caroline is an OL (Field 1985) and a Quaker who has been involved in Quaker meetings in South Wales for many years, taking on several roles, particularly at Swansea, where she has been part of an active children’s meeting team. After almost twenty years at the chalk face teaching and examining English and keeping up her own studies with a second degree and an MA in Culture & Media, Caroline has made a complete change of direction and now runs an antique business as well as being more ‘hands on’ in the family property and retail business. Caroline is the coordinator/secretary of a Local City of Sanctuary group within which she is currently developing a new social enterprise initiative. She is also involved with several charity organisations working with underprivileged children and education. She has a daughter in secondary education.

Caroline is the Coordinator/Secretary of a Local City of Sanctuary group within which she is currently developing a new social enterprise initiative. She is also involved with several charity organisations working with underprivileged children and education.

She has a daughter, just starting Secondary Education.

Philip Griffin (Q)

Philip Griffin was a local primary school teacher. He has attended and then been a member of Reading Quaker Meeting for almost 40 years. He has a keen interest in education and teaching, having volunteered with various professional bodies such as the College of Teachers and the National Association for Primary Education. Thanks to his interest in ICT in education he received a Teaching Award and the Carol Adam’s Award for excellence in professional development, equalities and diversity in 2009, whilst members of his class won the Handheld Learning Award the preceding year. Philip is married with three grown-up children and four grandchildren.

David Hickok (Q)

David Hickok is a retired corporate law partner of the New York based International law firm Debevoise and Plimpton LLP. While at Debevoise he was stationed variously in New York, Paris, Budapest, Frankfurt and finally in London. He graduated from Princeton University in 1981 and New York University School of Law in 1984. David lives in the Notting Hill area in London and is a member of Friends House Local Area Quaker meeting. He is currently Treasurer and a Trustee of North West London Area Quaker Meeting and a trustee of Quaker International Education Trust , which is responsible for managing Brummana High School in Lebanon. He was a trustee of Quaker Social Action from 2009 to 2015.

Place holder men

Simon Hollands (OL)

Simon Hollands was educated at Leighton Park, where he was Head of Grove House, and read Modern Languages at Hatfield College, Durham (French and Russian). He began his teaching career at Sherborne School, Dorset and then moved into University lecturing at the Sorbonne in Paris, and EFL teaching. He was appointed to King’s College School Wimbledon in 1994, where he held a variety of posts, including Head of General Studies, Deputy Head of Sixth Form and Head of Russian. After fourteen years at King’s (bar a year on research for an MA in seventeenth-century cultural history at Durham) he moved to Merchant Taylors’ School as Head of MFL, and from there, in 2011, to St Paul’s in the same role. From September 2014 he is Director of Learning at St Paul’s. He has been with his partner, David, for ten years, and they spend as much time as possible in their cottage in the south west of France, reading, gardening and enjoying, in moderation, the food and wine of the area!

Chris Houston (OL)

Chris attended Leighton Park between 1975 and 1980. During his time at the school he was Senior Prefect, Head of School House, Captain of Rugby and Captain of Football. After a gap year in Paris, he read Anglo Saxon, Norse & Celtic and then History at Cambridge University. On graduating from Cambridge he joined the project finance team at Schroders. In the late 1980s and 1990s he advised on the financing and privatisation of many major infrastructure projects in Europe, Asia and Latin America. During this time he spent seven years living in Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. More recently he has advised on financings, restructurings and acquisitions in the infrastructure sector in the UK. Over his career he has held senior positions at Schroders, Citigroup, Lexicon Partners and Evercore.

Bruce Johnson (OL) (Q)

Bruce is a Quaker and an Old Leightonian, whose time at Leighton Park gave him a springboard in music and drama that has since enriched his life in many ways. Professionally, Bruce is an HR specialist who has spent the last twenty years working in higher education, both as a lecturer and a manager, as well as taking on occasional projects, training in industry. Most recently, Bruce has focused more on his work in industry, setting up a training consultancy whose main mission is to help organisations improve performance by improving their people management practices. Bruce is part of the core team delivering Quaker Quest at Friends House in Euston every Monday night, where he regularly gives presentations on a variety topics to do with Quaker faith and practice.

Helen Johnson

Helen Johnson was born in Glasgow. She holds a MSc degree in Public Sector Management from Aston University and a PhD in Education Marketing from the University of Surrey. She spent some years in the Civil Service before teaching at a further education college. She then spent twenty years in higher education where she researched into faith schools and published many academic articles. She taught on and ran masters programmes in education management. She eventually retired as Reader in Education, School of Education, Kingston University and she now works as a management and education consultant with a particular interest in inter-generational dialogue. She attends Croydon Meeting where she is Borough Dean and involved in events and activities in south London. She is a widow with a daughter and two granddaughters.

Martin Lloyd (Q)

Martin Lloyd was born and schooled in London (including happy Saturdays at Hornsey College of Art). He studied Chemistry at King’s London, and then did research for his DPhil in Mathematical Physics at Sussex University. He is a chartered engineer and more recently completed an MSc in the mathematical foundations of Computer Science at Royal Holloway. On completing his doctorate he entered the computer industry where he has worked his entire career on mission- and safety-critical systems. His early experience within large hierarchical businesses convinced him he would be happier in his own company, and, first with colleagues and then more recently alone, has run his own business since the 1970’s. These days, much of his work involves environmental gas sensing and monitoring. He is the main author of the UK’s environmental data monitoring standard and still has an international practice as an engineering consultant. Martin has six grown up childern from his first marriage and is now married to the author Annie Murray, who has brought her four children into his life as well. Both Martin and Annie are active members of Reading Quaker Meeting. Apart from his family, professional, and Quaker commitments, Martin has various interests, including an allotment, comic book art, trying not to lose his languages, and of course, keeping friendships in good repair.

Liza Phipps (Q)

Liza was born a Quaker and spent 3 years at Sidcot School. At Manchester University she trained as an English and Drama teacher and joined Young Friends where she met her husband Michael who is a recent Chair of Leighton Park School General Meeting. Liza spent the next 40+ years in a non-selective (i.e. “Secondary modern”) multi-cultural school in High Wycombe where she became Head of Performing Arts (Drama) and Year 11 Pastoral Manager. She is a former Chair of the Friends Schools Joint Council and has been a governor of two other schools, Sibford School (Quaker) and, as a parent governor, the local school her daughters attended, before joining the Board of Leighton Park. She is a member of Jordans Meeting and is also currently a Trustee of the John Horniman`s Children`s Trust.

Matt Winkless (OL)

Matt is a Quaker and Old Leightonian. He attended Leighton Park between 2009 and 2011. He studied Philosophy at King’s College London, before working for the NHS. In 2015, Matt studied a two year law degree at the University of Birmingham and is now training to be a barrister. Matt also volunteers with young Quakers at a week long residential event each summer, an event at which he was a participant as a young person.



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