College Governance

Effective governance has three key aims:

  • To ensure clarity of vision, ethos, and strategic direction;
  • To hold executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the colleges and the effective management of staff;
  • To oversee the financial performance of the college.

Effective governance also helps to ensure that colleges are compliant with the law and with the updated Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) framework.  It supports good practice and ongoing school development.

Good Governance is ultimately concerned with providing insight, wisdom and good judgement. Abbey DLD Governors work to ensure that the Abbey DLD Colleges Group has a clear sense of direction and purpose. They are responsible for helping to create an ethos of high expectation and therefore monitor, evaluate, support and challenge Principals and their senior leadership teams.

The Abbey DLD Colleges are expected to support the Group’s strategic priorities and to discuss their own development plans with the Governors. Three governance visits are held each year, with focus areas linked to the ISI framework and statutory compliance. In addition, boarding provision is reviewed through an annual governance visit and Abbey DLD Governing Board meetings are held at regular intervals.

College Governors

The Governors of all of the Abbey DLD Group of Colleges are:

Tim Haynes (Chair of Governors)

Tim Haynes, Chairman Of The Abbey DLD Group Of Colleges

im Haynes was the Headmaster of Tonbridge School from 2005 to 2018. During his time there he oversaw £40m of development, including a new Library, Science facilities, and Sports facilities. He helped to raise the academic standing (often 30-40 Oxbridge places each year and 90%+ A*, A and B grades at A Level) and made many improvements to the systems of pastoral care. Prior to being Head of Tonbridge, he was Headmaster of Monmouth School for 10 years.

Tim has also spent many years teaching in London. He started his teaching career at Hampton School before moving to St Paul’s School in Barnes, where he taught History for 13 years and was promoted to be the Surmaster (Deputy Head).

He studied for his BA at Reading University and for his PGCE at Cambridge.

Tim has wide interests ranging from classic cars to sailing. He is governor of several schools including Academies and senior and junior independent schools.  He is a member of the Skinners Company and chairs their Education Committee.

Graham Able

Graham Able DLD College London Governor

Graham was Chief Executive Officer of the Alpha Plus Group from 2009-2014 and Deputy Chairman from 2104 to 2023. Prior to that, he spent 40 years teaching in independent schools, the last 21 as a Headmaster in London. He retired from the Mastership of Dulwich College in August 2009. He is a former Chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference and was President of the International Boys’ Schools’ Coalition for 3 years. A keen sportsman, he is a member of MCC.

Alan Bloom

Alan Bloom

Alan Bloom is a chartered accountant who was at Ernst and Young for over 40 years, 32 of which as a partner in the London office. Since retiring he has taken on a number of roles including acting as chair of the trustee board of a child bereavement charity.

In the past, he served as Chairman of the trustee board of Manor Lodge School, an independent school in Shenley, Herts. He is married with 4 adult children/stepchildren and 5 grandchildren so far,  when time permits Alan is a keen golfer and cricket and football spectator.

Jim Bowden

Jim BowdenJim read Mathematical Sciences at Oxford University and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Warwick Business School. Jim qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young whereas senior manager, he led the audits of large businesses and was involved in mergers and acquisitions in the property and hospitality sectors. Subsequently Jim held roles with multinational listed businesses as Group Financial Controller, Finance Director, and CFO.  Prior to becoming a Director of Abbey DLD Colleges, Jim was a Director and CFO at Alpha Plus Group.  Jim is married with two children and enjoys cycling, travel, and wine.

Mark Hanley Browne

Mark Hanley-Browne DLD College London Governor

Mark graduated with a degree in Natural Sciences from Oxford University before going to Cambridge University to study for his PGCE. He is an educationalist, having taught at Sevenoaks School in Kent, Charterhouse School in Surrey, and Highgate School in North London before becoming Head of Emanuel School in South London. He held this post for thirteen years, leading the school through a period of very successful development and making it one of the most popular schools in the capital. Mark has created partnerships with schools in the USA and in China and worked with the United Westminster Schools Foundation.

Mark is married to Rachael, who is a Director of Team-Lab Ltd, which is a management consultancy company which specialises in Team Coaching and Mentoring. Mark’s interests include wine, travel, and Arsenal Football Club.

Richard Jones

Richard Jones DLD College London Governor

Richard, a chartered surveyor, has over 35 years’ experience in the field of specialist asset, development, and estate management. Having worked for a private practice he then joined the Board of several private property companies and also spent time with a firm of chartered accountants running a banking workout unit.

Richard joined Alpha Plus Group as a consultant in 2008 and the Board as Director of Property in 2010. As well as overseeing the real estate portfolio he supports new acquisitions and acts as a Governor at the colleges. Richard is also Chairman of the ESG committee. In his spare time, Richard is a keen follower of sports and plays golf as much as he can albeit of a limited ability! He is married with 3 grown-up children ensuring a happy and busy home life.

John Withers

John WithersJohn was the Head of Hilden Grange School, Tonbridge for 29 years before joining the APG Head Office team in September 2019 in the role of Governance Support Officer and most recently as Director of Middle Years. As Head of Hilden Grange John led on all aspects of running the school, including strategic development planning in liaison with the Governors of Alpha Plus. He is vastly experienced in academic, pastoral, and co-curricular matters and he is the Abbey DLD Safeguarding Governor. John’s interests include travel, history, and sport, particularly cricket and supporting Cardiff City and Welsh rugby.

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