The Governors of Giggleswick School come from a variety of backgrounds. All are volunteers and may not, as Charity Trustees, receive any remuneration for the work they carry out on behalf of the Charity.


Our Governors

The Trustees and Directors of Giggleswick School are the Governors of the School and come from a variety of backgrounds. The Governors determine the strategy and policies of the School and do not receive any remuneration for the work they carry out on behalf of the School.


Governors serve for an initial term of five years and are thereafter eligible for re-election.  There are a minimum of fourteen and a maximum of twenty-one Governors, with three representative governors appointed on behalf of:

  • the Provost and Fellows of The Queen's College, Oxford
  • the Council of St John's College, Cambridge
  • the Master and Fellows of Christ's College, Cambridge.

The Governors have chosen to conduct the governance of the School through a series of sub-committees: The Finance & Strategy Committee, the Academic & Co-Curricular Committee, the Boarding & Pastoral Committee, the Investment Committee and the Nominations Committee.


If you wish to contact the Chair of Governors he can be contacted at Alternatively you can write to the Chair at the registered office for Giggleswick School at: The Bursary, Giggleswick School, North Yorkshire BD24 0DE.


The Chairman of Governors

Accordion Mr Alex Thursby
Mr Alex Thursby holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kuring-Gai College (now UTS) and is a senior global banking executive with strengths in transformational and strategic leadership, end-to-end technical banking and risk knowledge, regulatory policy and approach, broad-based emerging market experience across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.  This is accompanied by significant senior relationships across the globe, with senior executives in major financial institutions, western and emerging markets corporates and regulators.  He currently holds non-executive positions on the boards of Barclays Bank plc and Rank Group plc, having previously held senior positions with the National bank of Abu Dhabi, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Standard Chartered Bank.
Mr Thursby is Chair of the Finance and Strategy Committee and an ex-officio member of all the Governors’ Committees.
You can contact Mr Thursby by email on

The Vice-Chairman of Governors

Accordion Mr Rod Waldie
Mr Rod Waldie is an Old Giggleswickian (Nowell 1981-1986) and former Head of School. After reading History at Manchester University, he qualified as a Solicitor and joined Weightmans, Solicitors in Liverpool. He was also a Partner at Halliwell Landau before joining Gateleys, Solcitors where he is a Partner and Head of Office and Head of the Gateleys’ National Real Estate Services Group. He lives in Hale, Cheshire.
Mr Waldie is chair of the Nominations Committee and a member of the Finance & Strategy Committee.

Other Governors

Accordion Mr Robert Bellfield
Mr Robert Bellfield is Chief Executive of Craven Educational Trust (a multi-academy trust) and Chair of the Management Committee of the Craven PRS. Robert was Principal of Craven College until 2018 having spent 37 years teaching and managing in further education including many years as an Associate Assessor for Education Scotland, reviewing and reporting on the performance of Scotland’s colleges.  Robert is a resident of Giggleswick.
Accordion Mr Andrew Brocklehurst
Mr Andrew Brocklehurst was educated as a day pupil at Catteral Hall, (now Giggleswick Junior School), and at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow, where he obtained an MA in economics and politics. He also took an MBA from the Open University Business School. He has been an independent consultant for high growth start up businesses, having spent much of his career advising and running companies in this sector. He is qualified as a Chartered Director. He has been a Governor since 2005.
Mr Brocklehurst is a member of the Finance & Strategy and Boarding & Pastoral Committees, and the Governors’ representative on the Joint Consultative Committee.
Accordion Mr Ian Cornelius
Mr Ian Cornelius is Commercial Director of Skipton Building Society as well as being a member of the Group Board, Executive, Retail Credit and Asset & Liability Committees, and Chairman of the Skipton International Limited Board.  He was previously Commercial Director of Homeloan Management Limited, and held senior roles at Virgin Money, Bradford & Bingley, Capital One and Boots. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Incommunities Group Ltd.  He lives near Skipton and has a son who recently went on to Manchester University from Giggleswick and a daughter who is currently at Giggleswick School.  He was appointed a Governor in 2017.
Mr Cornelius is a member of the Finance & Strategy and Nominations Committees, and is the Chair of the Investment Committee.
Accordion Mr Mark Corner
Mr Mark Corner was educated at Southmoor Technical School Sunderland and The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology where he read Chemical Engineering. He also has an MBA from Manchester Business School. He retired from Royal Dutch Shell plc in 2009 after 30 years working in a variety of roles including Chemicals, Corporate and Government Affairs, and global Exploration and Production. He has been resident and worked in the UK, Argentina, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Holland. He has lived with his family in Langcliffe since 2009, acquiring a home there several years before when the first of his four children started attending Giggleswick School.
Mr Corner is a member of the Finance & Strategy and Academic and Co-Curricular Committees. He is also the Governors’ representative of the School’s Health and Safety Committee.
Accordion Mr Tom Coxon
Mr Tom Coxon is an Old Giggleswickian (Paley 2009) and has an Architectural Bachelors from Central Saint Martin’s where he was elected College President at the time of a major campus reconfiguration and amalgamation.  He then studied for a masters degree in Production Design for Film and TV at the Royal College of Art, before going on to a successful career in TV and film, working for organisations such as the BBC and Disney.
Mr Coxon is a member of the Boarding & Pastoral and Academic & Co-curricular Committees, and was elected as the ‘Young OG’ governor in 2018.
Accordion Mr Nick Dodd
Nick is a Partner and Head of Debt Advisory at KPMG in the UK. He has over 20 years’ of experience of advising clients in respect of their financing requirements and has worked extensively across a Corporate and Private Equity client base both in the UK and overseas. In addition to time with KPMG in the US and Ireland, Nick was also the CEO of a UK-based leisure business. He currently lives in Ireby with his family.
Mr Dodd is a member of the Finance & Strategy Committee and the Investment Commmittee.
Accordion Mr Lee Donner
Mr Lee Donner graduated from Oxford Brookes University with an honours degree and post graduate diploma in Architecture. In 2004 Lee joined Mason Gillibrand Architects as a graduate and in 2014 became a Director of the Practice running projects all over the North of England and North Wales.  Lee has previously held a position on the board of a local rural housing association helping them with their development programme.  Lee lives in Lancaster with his wife and two children.  What spare time he has is spent running and cycling and he is an avid follower of most sports. Lee grew up in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
Mr Donner is a member of the Boarding & Pastoral Committee and is a governor representative on the Development Committee.
Accordion Mr John Ellacott
Mr John Ellacott is an Old Giggleswickian (Catteral Hall & Nowell 1971 - 1981) and former Deputy Head of School. He lived in Giggleswick for many years and was a day pupil.  He was also educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and a Partner in KPMG, based in the Leeds office.  He lives near Harrogate, North Yorkshire.  He has been a Governor of the school since 2003. 
Mr Ellacott is a member of the Finance and Strategy Committee and is Chair of the Nominations Committee.
Accordion Mrs Gilly Harper
Mrs Gilly Harper is an old Giggleswickian (Paley 1984 - 1986). She was born and brought up in Giggleswick, where her father was a longstanding Housemaster, subsequently becoming deputy head.  She gained a BA (Hons) from Surrey University, with a placement year at Edinburgh University.  She taught at two independent schools from 1990 to 1993, before pursuing a career in the animation and television industries, becoming a presenter for Granada TV.  She is married with two children and two stepchildren, and lives in Manchester.
Mrs Harper is a member of the Academic and Co-Curricular and Boarding and Pastoral Committees.
Accordion Mr Andrew Jarman
Mr Andrew Jarman was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School and read Mathematics at Hertford College, Oxford. This was followed by a PGCE and a career in teaching across the country, including nine years as the Director of Studies at Cheltenham College and latterly eleven years as the Headmaster of Lancaster Royal Grammar School. In the latter part of his career he returned to the classroom, teaching part-time in a comprehensive academy near his home in Lancaster, and is now retired. He is married with three children.
Mr Jarman is the Nominated Governor for Safeguarding.  He is Chair of the Boarding & Pastoral Committee and Chair of the Academic & Co-Curricular Committee. 
Accordion Professor Paul Madden
Professor Paul Madden has been the provost of The Queen’s College Oxford since 2008, as well as being the nominated representative of that college on the Giggleswick board.  After completing his degrees from the University of Sussex, punctuated by a spell at UCLA, he began a career in the Chemistry Department at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Fellow of Magdalene College; He transferred to the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in 1981. From 1984 until 2004 he was Tutor and Fellow in Chemistry at Queen’s and at one stage became Senior Tutor amongst other roles. From 2005 until 2008 he was the Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions at the University of Edinburgh. He has spent periods as visiting professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon (1990), the University of Sydney (1999), and UC Berkeley (2004). He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 2001 and made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2006.
Professor Madden is a member of the Academic & Cocurricular Committee and a governor representative on the Development Committee.
Accordion Mrs Rebekah Taylor
Mrs Rebekah Taylor is an Old Giggleswickian (1990-2000) and has been the Principal of the Ruth Gorse Academy Leeds since 2014 where she grew and oversaw the physical construction of a school which now hosts 1,100 students and was graded as Outstanding by Ofsted in 2017.  She has been an Ofsted inspector since 2016. She lives in Wakefield with her partner and two children and enjoys the theatre and music.
Ms Taylor is a member of the Finance & Strategy and Academic & Cocurricular Committees as well as being the nominated governor representative to AGBIS.
Accordion Dr Felix Waldmann
Dr Felix Waldmann is the J. H. Plumb College Lecturer and Fellow in History at Christ's College, Cambridge and Director of Studies in History.  He read History as an undergraduate at Caius College Cambridge, after which he was awarded a Jane Eliza Procter Fellowship to Princeton University. He returned to Caius for the MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History, and received the Quentin Skinner Prize. He subsequently completed a doctorate on eighteenth-century Naples, shortly after he was elected to a four-year Junior Research Fellowship in History at Christ’s.
Dr Waldmann is a member of the Academic & Cocurricular Committee.