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Parent Governor Elections 2024

Thank you for all applications received for the position of Parent Governor at Bishop Challoner.

As we have more candidate applications than the two Parent Governor vacancies advertised, we must now hold a ballot. Voting is open to all parents and carers of Bishop Challoner students. There is a supporting statement for each candidate below. 

Please use the form below to vote. Please vote for two of the five candidates. Voting will close at midday on Monday, 19th February.

The information that you enter will only be shared with Ms Palray, the returning officer. 




I am writing to express my interest in the position of Parent Governor with Bishop Challoner. I am a former Director of Studies of a language school in Tower Hamlets and have many years of teaching and training experience. During this time, I obtained funding for several of our teachers to take further qualifications, which would enhance our school’s reputation. I also built relationships with local businesses and advertised overseas.

Since this time I have taken further training and management qualifications and have worked for large publicly floated companies for a number of years, as well as writing and publishing books and working as a journalist.

Until recently, I had designs registered wit the IPO and believe my creative skills could open up a range of possibilities for students and teachers. I have a range of skills that could be very useful to Bishop Challoner and believe that I could help with obtaining grants, publicity, building relationships with other groups and raising the image of the school.

My son is currently in Year 10, my other sons are also thriving having attended Bishop Challoner with one studying on a sports scholarship where he has a GPA of 4.0.



I am excited to apply for the Parent Governor position at Bishop Challoner School. With my
extensive background in human resources and talent management, particularly in global talent acquisition, I believe I can offer valuable insights and initiatives that will directly benefit our students and enhance the school’s profile in the wider community. My expertise in areas such as project management, risk assessment, data analytics, communications, and training design will be invaluable in supporting the Governing Body's strategic leadership and oversight responsibilities.

1) Leveraging Professional Experience for Student Benefit:
In my 26-year career, culminating in leadership roles at Frost & Sullivan, I have gained a deep understanding of what employers look for in candidates. This knowledge positions me uniquely to guide and mentor our students in preparing for their future careers. Listed below are examples of initiatives that align with my expertise and enable in preparing students for real-world challenges and opportunities:

  • Career Coaching and Mentorship: Conduct workshops and one-on-one sessions to
    coach students on essential soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and
    problem-solving, which are highly valued in the corporate world.
  • Interview Preparation: Offer practical training sessions to students, focusing on
    interview techniques, resume writing, and effective self-presentation, to boost their
    confidence and readiness for job interviews.
  • Networking and Relationship Building: Share insights on the importance of
    professional networking, and possibly facilitate interactions with industry professionals,
    enhancing their understanding of various career paths.


2) Enhancing School's Brand and Value Proposition:
My experience in branding and creating value propositions for global corporations can be
pivoted towards enhancing the school’s appeal to prospective students and employers. I envision:

  • Creating a Value Proposition for the School: Work with the school leadership to
    articulate a compelling value proposition that highlights the unique strengths and
    achievements of our students and the educational excellence of Bishop Challoner
  • Attracting Global Employers: Leverage my professional network to attract global
    employers for potential collaborations, internships, and career opportunities for our
    students, thus enhancing the school’s reputation as a cradle for future-ready professionals.


3) Cultural and Global Awareness: Implement initiatives that promote cultural
understanding and global awareness, such as exchange programs, multicultural events, and
language clubs. This approach helps prepare students for a globally interconnected world.
4) Student Leadership Development: Create opportunities for students to develop leadership skills, such as peer mentoring programs and leadership training workshops.
5) Scholarship and Financial Aid Information Sessions: Organize information sessions and
workshops on scholarships, grants, and financial aid for higher education, assisting students and parents in planning for future educational expenses.
6) Financial Literacy for Students: Develop a comprehensive financial literacy program for
students, covering topics like budgeting, saving, investing, and understanding credit. This
program can be integrated into the existing curriculum or offered as a series of workshops and seminars. The goal is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to manage personal finances effectively, understand economic principles, and make informed financial decisions.
7) Entrepreneurship Development Program: Create an entrepreneurship program that
includes workshops, guest speaker sessions with successful entrepreneurs, and practical
project-based learning opportunities. This program can teach students about business planning, market analysis, fundraising, and the basics of starting and running a business. Additionally, incorporating a 'young entrepreneurs' fair or competition where students can pitch their business ideas and get feedback from local business leaders would provide practical experience and encourage innovative thinking.

Commitment to Training and Development:
I am committed to lifelong learning and am eager to undertake any additional training required to serve effectively as a Parent Governor. My past experiences in executive coaching and leadership development, along with my ability to adapt and learn, will aid me in quickly acquiring any new skills necessary for this role.

Previous Contributions to Governance:
While I have not previously served on a school governing body, my corporate governance
experience has provided me with insights into effective decision-making, stakeholder
management, and strategic planning. These skills are directly applicable to the school
governance context, where balancing diverse interests and driving towards common goals is key.

Future Contributions to the Governing Body:
As a Parent Governor, I aim to bridge the gap between academic preparation and professional requirements. My focus will be on initiating programs that prepare our students not just academically but also professionally, thus ensuring they are well-equipped for their future endeavors in the global corporate environment.

Additionally, my strong background in data analytics will aid in making informed decisions based on comprehensive insights.

In summary, my background in global talent acquisition and HR is not just about managing
workforce strategies; it’s about preparing individuals for successful careers. At Bishop Challoner School, I see a tremendous opportunity to apply this expertise for the direct benefit of our students, preparing them to excel in their chosen paths and elevating the school's standing as an institution that truly prepares its pupils for the future.
I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the school's mission and to make a
meaningful difference in the lives of our students.




I am writing to express an interest in becoming a Governor at Bishop Challoner. I have 2 daughters currently at the school, Year 8 and Year 11. I have parental experience of schooling systems in Japan, Singapore (International and Local), and the UK through my 4 children and also extensive experience and qualifications in Special Educational Needs. As part of my business, I have to consider the needs, interests, and outcomes of children and the associated priorities of their parents daily. In addition, I am the Chair of Trustees at Island House Community Centre, a charity on the Isle of Dogs, that seeks to provide support and opportunities for the most disadvantaged in Tower Hamlets. Through this, I see the ongoing needs and concerns of children and adults in her community and the impact of their educational provision and outcomes on their future opportunities.

As a business owner, I am adept at identifying issues and opportunities and working with others within my business and with partner organisations to maximise those through planning and execution. My business experience makes me adept at reading financial statements but has also taught me the need to be flexible and responsive to changing market demands and the benefit of ‘tweaks’ to a plan as we go along. As part of my role at Island House, I have experience writing funding grant applications and the requirements to understand what is necessary to be successful in executing projects once funding is granted.

I care deeply about the communities I live in and have a history of volunteering both in Asia and the UK with Reading programs, Good gym community initiatives, and foodbanks and would now like to take the opportunity to volunteer at a more strategic level in the community within which I live and am raising my family. I have a personal interest in there being better opportunities for the local community as I live and am raising my family here. As the mother of SEN children, I have a personal investment in seeing projects and opportunities to provide a wider range of chances to people who do not fit the standard mould and therefore do not have access to the same opportunities.

Additionally, I am currently attending Kings College London where I am reading MA in Education Management driven by my interest and experience from exposure to multiple education systems locally and internationally.




My name is Annmarie Shields. I have 3 sons, 2 of which are still studying at Bishop Challoner, one currently in year 13 and one in 10, the eldest left 5 years ago after gaining his A levels. He secured a financial role in Deloitte. The school has proven to be an excellent choice for my children.

Despite being a busy working mum, I have always made it my priority to forge strong links with my children’s schools and the school community, I have always supported and valued the education system that is developing and shaping the future generations.

I have a great passion for the school and its ethos. I currently work in a feeder Catholic primary school in Tower Hamlets and actively promote the school to all parents when they ask me what school my children attend/attended.

I have excellent interpersonal skills and am always willing to develop and learn new skills. I currently serve on St Agnes Primary governing board and have done so for the last 7 years, prior to that I was an elected parent Governor with link responsibility for safeguarding. During this time I effectively established a parent governor surgery, helping with parental engagement and forging ways to open links with parents and the school. I am the Parish Safeguarding Rep for our local parish and have forged some strong links with organisations within our community.

My experience of working in school office, give me the knowledge and insight in to the challenges that school are facing in this rapidly changing world. I am sure given the opportunity, I will be able to bring my skills and expertise and knowledge with the school. On a personal level, being a parent makes me want to engage with the next generation. I have high expectations for all young people and want them all to succeed.

I am very used to working with school leaders and providing challenge and support. The past few years has brought unprecedented change. Having been at the forefront of supporting my current school through the pandemic and the challenging times that it brought. I demonstrated my flexibility, practical disposition and reassuring nature came to the fore.

I am sure given the opportunity, my skills and experience would further enhance your Governing body.