ST LEONARDS COUNCIL
The Board of Governors for St Leonards are known as 'Council'. The Council is responsible for setting the overall policy for the School, determining its strategic direction and maintaining its financial strength. Together with the Headmaster and academic staff, Council determine the course in which the school operates, thus ensuring that pupils can achieve their full potential.
Council is directly responsible for the Headmaster and Bursar appointees, who report to Council on School performance on a quarterly basis.
Council members are selected for their individual skills and expertise, to preside on the Board and relevant sub-committees that deal with finance, property, marketing, appointments, school liaison, IT and the Junior School.
Our current Council members are as follows.
Chair: Col Martin Passmore MA, GCGI, FRSA
Martin spent the first twenty-one years of his career as a secondary school History teacher. In 2005, he joined joined CVQO, an internationally-recognised provider of vocational awards, serving in various roles — the most recent being Head of Curriculum. Martin has now retired from this position and now works part time for the Army Cadet Force Association organising its public musical, sporting, and first aid events in Scotland.
Martin joined St Leonards Council in 2005 at the time of the merger with New Park. Since then, he has served on each of the subcommittees, latterly focusing on Education and Wellbeing initiatives. He also continues to be a valued member of the New Park Educational Trust (previously holding the role of Chairman). Martin therefore has a holistic and detailed knowledge of the structure and ethos of St Leonards, founded on a firm and deep understanding of the sector more broadly.
DEPUTY CHAIR: Mr Philip Petersen BSc, MBA
Philip joined the Council in 2018, and brings with him a wealth of experience in commercial leadership and business development. Educated at Cranfield School of Management and Durham University, he currently holds the position of Commercial Champion/CEO of ParaFormance (University of St Andrews), providing commercial consultancy and leadership to the academic team behind this software tool. Prior to that, Philip founded a software start-up and took it to exit, has held director-level roles, and gained extensive international experience in EMEA and the US.
His interests include golf, fly-fishing, classical and jazz music, technology innovations, and angel investing.
DEPUTY CHAIR : Ms Charlie Wilson BSC, FCCA
Charlie is a second-generation Senior, and has served as Treasurer of the St Leonards Seniors Society since 2014. She is a qualified accountant and has held a number of operational and project management roles within the Finance sector over the last 20 years. She currently works for a boutique investment management firm in Edinburgh, heading up the middle office, and sits on The Investment Association’s Investment Operations Committee.
Charlie has represented Scotland in lacrosse, competing in two World Cups and a number of European Championships. Whilst no longer a player, she remains actively involved in Lacrosse Scotland, sitting on the Funding and the Hall of Fame committees. Charlie has been a Member of Council since April 2018 and sits on the Finance committee.
Mrs Carole Arnot
Carole has lived in the St Andrews area all her life, is a former pupil married to a farmer and has two grown up children. She runs her own quality assurance company and is contracted by pharmaceutical companies conducting clinical trials on new medicines to ensure that the necessary safeguards and regulatory requirements are in place. Carole joined Council in 2019.
Mrs Victoria Collison Owen MA
MR KEN DALTON BSC(HONS) CENG
Ken has more than 40 years’ professional consulting and contracting experience, having worked across the UK and internationally. Formerly Chief Executive, Global Building Engineering, at AECOM Technology Corporation, Ken retired in 2011.
Married with two children, his interests include golf, art, theatre, music and sport. He has two grandchildren who are current pupils at St Leonards.
Mr Paul Dollman
Mr Neil Donaldson MSC
Neil was educated at Merchiston Castle School and went on to be a Governor of the school for 12 years and Deputy Chairman for four. His family timber business, based in Fife, is now 157 years old and Neil has extensive business experience. Neil is currently Chairman of the Investment Trust, Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon PLC. He is also Deputy Chairman of the R&A, and a Director of the British Golf Museum. Neil previously filled the position of Chairman of Crieff Hydro Ltd as well as the Securities Trust of Scotland, and currently holds many senior positions within the UK timber industry as well as being involved with a number of charities.
Neil has been a member of Council since 2014. He sits on the Audit Committee and his family connections with St Leonards go back four generations.
Mrs Laura Jacks, JD
Laura is a Doctor of Jurisprudence and is licensed to practice law in Maryland, Texas and Washington DC. She started her legal career as a trial lawyer, litigating high-value environmental and commercial disputes. More recently, Laura has been working on the other side of the bench as a Judge in Travis County Probate Court in Austin, Texas. She continues to do visiting judge work in the mental health courts in Austin, and lectures full time in Business Law at Texas State University.
In June 2014, Laura and her husband Tommy moved to St Andrews with their two sons, Will and Harry, who both currently attend St Leonards. Laura joined the Council in March 2017, and sits on the Property and Education Committees.
Mr Alistair Lang
Mrs Heidi Purvis BA, PGCE
Heidi has been a parent at St Leonards for twelve years since moving to St Andrews with her husband Rob and family. Her five children have been educated from the Junior School through to the Sixth Form, with two still enrolled at the school. She was on the Junior School Advisory Board for three years and has been on the Council since 2015, sitting on the Marketing Sub-Committee. She also draws on the experience she has had as a teacher herself, having taught Modern Languages for several years at secondary level, and chairs the Education Sub-Committee.
Mr Sandy Richardson MA MBA FRSA
Sandy Richardson has been a member of the Governing Council since 2015. He has a professional background in fundraising in the education and cultural sectors. Formerly at Heriot-Watt University and National Museums Scotland, he is Development Director for V&A Museum of Design Dundee, which opened in 2018.
Sandy is a former pupil of New Park School, which, in 2005 was amalgamated with St Leonard's. He particularly takes an interest in the school's development plans and is keen to help fulfil them through engaging broader philanthropic support.
MRS FENELLA TAYLOR BA (HONS)
Since graduating from university Fenella Taylor has worked in Public Relations in many different sectors and countries. For the past 25 years she has run her own PR consultancy based near Glasgow, and now principally handles consumer PR for companies across the food and drinks sector, interiors, gifts, and home products. Fenella also undertakes charitable work, and is a Patron for Marie Curie Scotland, as well as sitting on the committee of the Women of Scotland lunch.
As a former pupil of St Leonards, and a mother of four boys, Fenella takes a keen interest in Scottish education. Fenella joined St Leonards Council in 2018.