Our Founder’s Intentions

Harsnett was clearly someone of considerable foresight, and took measures to establish good governance for Chigwell School from the very outset.   While we are living in different times, the Governing Body continues its endeavour to create the environment in which the values embodied in his Ordinances will flourish.  Though speaking of students as cultivating ‘budds of vertue’ seems quaint nowadays, the contemporary world demands education which not only informs the mind, but develops the individual’s character, the capacity to be adaptable and to maintain positive relationships, described by Harsnett as ‘gentlenes and Ingenuity’.

“I ordaine that both the Schooles respectively be forever ruled and Governed by twelve Governours, … And that these and those who shall succeede them doe from tyme to tyme elect & Constitute the Schoolemasters respectively and remove and expel them as there shalbee cause, See the Ordinancs of the Schooles duely kept and observed, receive the Anuall Rents, pay the Schoolemasters, and doe all other matters and thinges That shall or may concerne the welfare and prosperitie of the said Schooles forever…
Founder of Chigwell School, Archbishop Samuel Harsnett (Foundation Ordinances 1629)

Governance Today

While the values have remained consistent, the duties of the Governing Body, the Trustees of the Charity, have developed in ways the founder could not have imagined.  The Governors of Chigwell School are responsible for the effective oversight to ensure that the school achieves its aims. They have ultimate responsibility for educational standards, financial planning and the ongoing investment in staff, accommodation and resources.   The Governing Body is also responsible for ensuring compliance with statutory requirements, including the annual review of safeguarding and child protection arrangements.   In order to exercise this role effectively, the Governing Body invests considerable time and expertise to acquire an informed perspective into the working of the school, providing the management team with support, challenge and the stimulus for growth and development.

Roseanne Serrelli is Chair of the Governing Body. Work is also undertaken in several committees, who chairs are as follows:

  • Urgency and Nominations: Ms Roseanne Serrelli
  • Finance and Property: Mr Nick Garnish
  • Education: Mrs Jenny Gwinn
  • Risk and Compliance: Ms Meera Ragha
  • Trust:
  • Remuneration: Mr Martin Higgins

To contact the Chair of Governors, please write to:  Mrs S. Aliker, Chair of Governors, Chigwell School, High Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6QF

Ms Roseanne Serrelli

Roseanne Serreli

Roseanne was educated at The Ursuline in Ilford before reading English and Law at New Hall, Cambridge. Following graduation she worked as a political researcher and as a teacher before she pursued a career in law. Roseanne is now a Head of Strategy at Sharpe Pritchard LLP. She advises the Government on major infrastructure and is a senior commercial negotiator for the public sector. Current projects include some of the Uk’s biggest infra projects including heritage buildings, power, energy and rail. Roseanne has two sons at Chigwell School and is also a Trustee and ex-officio Chair of Kids Inspire.

Mr David Morriss 


David Morriss graduated in Electrical Engineering from Manchester University in 1964.  After a short period with London Transport he joined IBM UK, where he held several senior management appointments and directorships in the UK and internationally.  After retiring as a director of IBM UK Holdings Ltd. in 1997, he has subsequently pursued a career as a director, trustee and consultant in the corporate, public and not- for-profit sectors.   He was Chairman of Waterfields Ltd., Kingston Call Centres Ltd, the Chartered Institute for IT, and Chairman of Concurrent Technology Ltd.   He is Vice-Chair of Governors at Chigwell School and a trustee of AbilityNet.  He has been Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and President of the British Computer Society.  He has held several public appointments, including General Commissioner for Income Tax.

Mrs Susie Aliker

Susie Aliker

Susie is a corporate finance professional with senior level experience, mainly in the financial services sector.  Currently Susie is CFO and Company Secretary of BACB plc, a UK regulated bank which specialises in facilitating trade flows between Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Previously, Susie was a managing director at Credit Suisse and held several roles including global chief operating officer and head of new business responsible for new products and new markets.  Susie left Credit Suisse in 2012 to co-found a business focusing on the delivery of innovative financial services products in the healthcare area. Susie has a BA in Economics and an MBA, and is a qualified accountant. All four of her children have attended Chigwell School.  Susie has also held other non-executive positions in the education area, including as an NED of Young Enterprise (London).  Until recently, she was also a member of the Board of SOAS, University of London.​

Mr Robin Howard


Robin Howard was called to the bar as a barrister in 1986 and, specialises in commercial, employment, personal injury and property law.  He handles matters that have arisen out of contractual disputes, franchising, insurance, insolvency, both individual and corporate, and the economic torts and restitutionary claims. He also regularly deals with injunctions and urgent remedies, both advising and appearing.  Robin has also participated in numerous mediations in commercial, construction, employment, public law, and charity law disputes as adviser and representative, and is a trained mediator.

Mr John Cullis 

MBE, BA, MSc (Econ)

John worked in both independent and state primary schools for over forty years.   For thirty years he was a headteacher in East London, opening two new schools and secondment to Waltham Forest as Manager of Curriculum Support Services gave him further broad experience.  As Interim Headteacher in Saffron Walden, he worked to improve two failing schools.  As a Professional Tutor and a schools’ training adviser, he has trained graduates for Post Graduate Certificate in Education and Graduate Teacher Programme.

John studied at Westminster College, Oxford, also achieving BA and MSc degrees from the University of London, together with diplomas in Physical Education and Social Studies.

John was awarded an MBE in October 1994 for Services to Education.  His direct connection to Chigwell School is through his son, who was educated here.

Mr Nick Garnish

BSc, MBA, CMgr, FCMI, Chartered MCSI
Nick Garnish of LCH.Clearnet Pic © Dillon Bryden+44(0)7802-367373dillonbryden@me.com

Nick Garnish has held a number of senior City appointments. Currently he is the Head of Treasury, Europe, Asia & Australia at CIBC, based in London. Previously he was the Global COO for Collateral and Liquidity Management at LCH Clearnet and was Managing Director, Treasurer and Global Head of Foreign Exchange at Jefferies International.  Nick studied Applied Economics and holds an MBA with Distinction.  He is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, as well as a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.

Nick is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Bakers and the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, where he is a member of the Court of Assistants.  He was a Governor at Churchfields Junior School in Redbridge for ten years.

Nick is an Old Chigwellian, and Past President of the Old Chigwellians’ Association, as well as a trustee of Old Chigwellian Lodge Benevolent Fund.  Both of his daughters have studied at Chigwell.

Mr Martin Higgins


As a Director of Higgins Group PLC, Martin is particularly interested in residential property development, having worked for the company for over thirty years.  As a Governor of West Hatch High School for sixteen years, Martin served as Chair of the Admissions Committee.

Martin was a member of the capital fundraising committee for the new Drama Centre at Chigwell School.  Granted the Freedom of the City of London in 1986, Martin is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers.

His charitable interests include supporting Jubilee Lodge, Chigwell, which provides respite care, together with fundraising for Community Services Volunteers (CSV).   Martin’s interests include antiques, cooking, travelling and watching sport.  Two of his children attended Chigwell School.

Mrs Emma Brett


Emma Brett qualified as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales, while working for the accountancy practice H W Fisher.   She subsequently moved to Smith & Williamson, working there for fifteen years progressing to director level in the Assurance and Business Services department.   Her specialist areas include external and internal audit, due diligence, reporting accountant for listings, business plan validation as well as investigative and special assignments.  Her clients included a wide range of charitable entities including independent schools.   She also played an active role in the training of students, and served as Chair of the training committee.

Emma has always lived locally to Chigwell School. She attended school at West Hatch High School in Chigwell before going to study accountancy at London Metropolitan University.  Emma is also Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of a local housing association.

Mrs Jenny Gwinn

BSc, CertEd

A specialist in teaching maths and physical education, Jenny Gwinn recently retired as Head of Chigwell Junior School in 2010.  Previously, she taught at Wycombe Abbey before moving to Wellingborough school as Deputy Head.

Jenny gained her teaching qualification at Bedford College of Physical Education, and her degree in maths and education at the Open University.  Jenny has been strongly involved in community work, notably for Northants County Council Adoption Panel; as coordinator for Parent to Parent Information on Adoption Services, and her Parochial Church Council.

Currently, she acts as a heads’ mentor for IAPS and serves on appeals and exclusion panels for Havering.  Jenny is also Chairman of the Havering-atte-Bower Conservation Society and undertakes voluntary work for St Francis Hospice.  She has addressed the Child and Adolescent Learning Disability Psychiatric Network’s Conference on Adoption and Fostering: Challenges and Opportunities

Mrs Isobel Peck

BA (Hons)

Isobel is a marketing professional with over twenty years’experience in the media sector, specifically publishing, exhibitions, conferences & training.  Having worked for Informa plc since 1991 in various marketing roles, Isobel is currently responsible for creating and implementing key strategic initiatives focused around increasing customer engagement and developing compelling value propositions to drive revenue and growth.  Her key specialisms include strategic business development, database and direct marketing, systems creation and implementation, training, customer profiling and segmentation, digital marketing, brand development, communication and analysis.

Isobel was educated at King’s College London and has a BA (Hons) in French & German.  Both her children have been pupils at Chigwell School.

Revd. Chris Davies

Chris became Rector of Loughton in October 2015, having moved down from Great Grimsby where he had been an Assistant Curate in Grimsby Minster. His ministerial training took place at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.

Prior to ordination Chris had worked as a social worker, mainly in residential units and Children’s homes. He worked with young people who exhibited severe emotional and behavioural difficulties related to attachment disorders. He therefore takes a keen interest in the emotional wellbeing of pupils.  He also served as both a staff Governor at a Residential Special School and as Chair of Governors at Community Primary School in Hampshire. Chris lives locally in the Rectory next to the Church of St John the Baptist, Loughton.

Ms Meera Ragha

MA (Cantab), LL.B
Meera Ragha

Meera Ragha read Theology and Management Studies at St John’s College, Cambridge. She trained at Clifford Chance in London and Singapore, and qualified as a solicitor with the firm. She specialises in Financial Regulation law. Meera is an Old Chigwellian,

Ms Melody Jones


Melody has worked in both day and boarding Schools for almost twenty years having read Natural Sciences at Durham University and then completing her PGCE at Manchester University. She started her teaching career as a physics teacher at Dover College and then moved on to Wellington College in Berkshire where she became Head of Physics. She was Head of Lower School and then Head of Lower Sixth and Admissions at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and is currently the Second Master at St Albans School.

Mrs Purnima Sen

Purnima Sen

Purnima is an Operations & Human Resources professional with senior level experience, mainly in the digital media and IT consultancy sectors.  Currently Purnima is Operations & People Director at an IT professional services company which specialises in providing IT consultancy through contract and permanent streams but more importantly through their own academy, where they train graduates over a 12 week period and then place them in the private and public sector as consultants. Previously, Purnima was an operations & HR director at a digital media company specialising in offering consultancy to digitally transform businesses and use big data to make metric driven business decisions. At the beginning of her career, Purnima started her own business in Ice Cubes in India and sold it for a profit to help her come to England for her second masters.

Purnima has a BA & MA in Economics; she won a Scholarship from the Varkey Group (now Gems Education) to study an MBA in London. During her MBA, Purnima specialised in Finance and Organisational Behaviour, which she passed with cum laude.  All three of her children attend Chigwell School and she is an active member of the Friends of Chigwell, and served as Chair for three years.


Mrs C Jones

LLB (Hons) Solicitor JP

Claire graduated in law from Southampton University.  She qualified as a solicitor and has worked at a number of large law firms in the City specialising in corporate law.  She was a governor at Woodford County High School in Redbridge for 17 years and was chair of the governors’ personnel sub-committee for most of that time.  Claire sits as a magistrate on the East London Bench.