Home / Roles / Chair of Governors and Governor (Education Specialist) | Gad’s Hill School

Chair of Governors and Governor (Education Specialist) Gad’s Hill School

The former home of Charles Dickens, Gad’s Hill School is an all-through independent school providing outstanding education to children aged between three and sixteen in Higham. The School is seeking a new Chair of the Board of Governors, and a Governor with education leadership experience to join the non-executive body.

  • Location: Higham, Kent
  • Salary: Unremunerated, with reasonable expenses paid

Who we are

Gad’s Hill School are proud to be an independent school operating in picturesque Higham, near Rochester. Founded as an all-girls school in 1924, on the grounds of Charles Dicken’s former home, we became a co-educational all-through school in September of 2001.

We are a small school, with 385 learners across our kindergarten, lower school, and upper school. We operate a successful model that achieves good outcomes, and we are proud to maintain robust finances.

We offer an outstanding curriculum and educational experience both within and outside of the classroom. Our core offer to learners equips them with skills and qualifications beyond traditional GCSEs. We pride ourselves in giving our young people opportunities to achieve additional qualifications and do so through our Combined Cadets Forces, Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, openings with LAMDA, and partnership with the Institute of Leadership and Management. We enrich our Primary offer through the maximisation of our estate, using our unique Forest School to its fullest potential. The school has continued to offer amongst the very best value independent education in the region and the introduction of the Charles Dickens Scholarships in 2018 allows more exceptional, local young people than ever to benefit from our provision.

Gad’s Hill maintains a sense of community; with class sizes never exceeding twenty learners, and teachers truly knowing each one of their students. We believe our offer is unique, and hope to continue making a lasting impact, shaping the life chances of the learners through providing a genuinely personal and impactful education.

We have a number of exciting projects being undertaken at the School, not just continuing to review and refresh our unique offer, but also in the development of our estate. We have recently finished ‘phase 1’ of the redevelopment of our new accommodation blocks and look forward to undertaking ‘phase 2’. We hope our new non-executives can support and offer insight and expertise strategically as we undertake our new projects and continually improve our education.

We recognise that the local and national education climate is ever-changing, and as we continue to compete with a large number of independent, grammar, and state schools in North Kent, we want to remain ‘one step ahead’ of the competition. We, therefore, seek a new Chair of the Board to bring fresh ideas, and a Governor to bring positive challenge and scrutiny to our leadership team and board.

About the role



Our current Chair of the Board, Kirsty Hillocks, has been with us since 2001 when we became a co-educational school. Kirsty has been Chair of Governors since 2013. As with any role on a governing body, the Chair role does come with a lifespan, and Kirsty now feels it is time to hand over the reins to a new individual to bring fresh ideas and galvanise the Board through the next phase of Gad’s Hill’s journey.

Our new Chair will provide leadership to the other governors and encourage them to scrutinise, challenge, and offer insight and professional expertise to our leadership team. You will lead the monitoring of the school’s performance, both educationally, financially, and pastorally and do so whilst embodying our values and maintaining our compliance to the regulatory bodies (such as ISI and the Charity Commission).

You will lead our board meetings, held four times yearly, in addition to the AGM. You will need to be available to support on other ad-hoc matters, such as disciplinaries, and extracurricular events, including school productions, concerts and prize-giving ceremonies.



Our board is currently comprised of 12 high-performing individuals across a range of professional backgrounds. We are recruiting to add a new governor to offer new ideas to the board.

We are looking for individuals who are prepared to give up their time to influence, advocate and share their experience, knowledge and skills to support our executive team and staff to secure and sustain our organisations for future generations and communities.

Our governing body ensures that our school is delivering high-quality education and value for money, whilst we deliver our mission, and the executive leadership team are achieving our strategic intent.

Governors will need to commit to up to 8 formal meetings per year, across the all-board meetings, and sub-committee meetings.

Who we are looking for



Our new Chair will lead the governing body to offer positive challenges and support to the leadership body. We remain open to the sector background of the Chair, but seek a professional leader with a detailed focus and an ability to galvanise an effective governing board.

Fundamental to our success is an ability to remain educationally excellent, and progressive. We, therefore, need a Chair of Governors to draw on the expertise of other members of the board and the executive leadership team.

How we market ourselves in a competitive locality is key. We need a Chair of Governors who can be visible, and forward-thinking in regard to our marketing and commercial strategy, ensuring that we continue to grow our learner numbers whilst not compromising on the quality of our learner offer.

Most of all, our Chair needs to care about what we do, and who we serve. We are a unique school with a fascinating history. We maintain a community feel for our learners and families and seek a Chair who embodies that culture and wants to be involved with our work beyond the classroom. Success in this role will not only be evident through the maintenance of good results, continued measured growth and delivery of our capital projects, but also through the ability to be known and respected as our Chair – and be an ambassador for everything that we do.



We hope to appoint a Governor with experience in the education sector who can support our board to monitor and evaluate our educational effectiveness and continue to ensure we offer a unique experience that offers value for money for our learners.

We are specifically looking for people with a background in an independent school, or academy trust leadership, with local authority or educational charity leadership experience, or experience being an inspector (either ISI, or Ofsted). These skills would greatly complement our existing membership. Gad’s Hill School is actively encouraging applications from under-represented groups. We want our board to reflect the communities that we serve.

Further information:


For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Eddie Caviezel Cox | eddiec@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07951 920768

Chloe Cox | chloe@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07539 386980

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Eddie Caviezel Cox

View profile

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs, and have made some modifications to the way we do business in order to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities.

We offer the following amenities:

  • Step-free access to the building, all key meeting rooms and bathrooms, and an accessible workstation
  • Accessibility dogs are welcome
  • Interviews can be held in meeting rooms that support hearing loops
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interviews
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Eddie Caviezel Cox | eddiec@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07951 920768

Chloe Cox | chloe@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07539 386980

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role Description and Person Specification and complete this equality monitoring survey.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Gad’s Hill School – Chair of Governors and Governor (Education Specialist)” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Eddie Caviezel Cox | eddiec@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07951 920768

    Chloe Cox | chloe@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07539 386980

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    Applicants with a disability are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 5th June 2023
    Candidates informed of outcome: Friday 9th June 2023
    Interviews for Chair and Governors: Thursday 15th June 2023

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Gad’s Hill School are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring survey.

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