Governing Body

The Governors of Epsom College are also Directors and Trustees of the company. They determine the general policy of the College, delegating its day-to-day management to the Headmaster, Bursar and their senior management teams. 

The Governors, up to a maximum of 16, are appointed at the Annual General Meeting by the authorised representative of The Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College. A majority of Governors must be Trustees of this parent charity. 

Potential Governors are nominated by past or present Governors, the Headmaster or other professional groups. The Governors will consider the eligibility, personal competence, specialist skills and local availability before any recommendations are made.

Governors' Training

New Governors are inducted into the workings of the College, both as a company and as a charity, by being invited to attend all of the sub-committee meetings, as well as the Board meetings, in their first year of appointment. In addition they are provided with guidance from both AGBIS (Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools) and ISC (Independent Schools Council), and are given the opportunity to attend relevant training courses. 

Organisational Management

The Governors generally meet three times a year. There are, in addition, three permanent sub-committees: one for Finance and Infrastructure, one for Development and the third for Education and Pastoral matters. These sub-committees meet at least once a term.

During the year the Governing Body meet three times for routine matters and also for one full day together to discuss the Governors' and Headmaster's vision for the school. This provides an opportunity to hear about, examine and develop College-wide issues for which there would be insufficient time at the regular termly meetings. These meetings also provide the opportunity for other members of the school staff to make presentations to the Governors.


The Governors

Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen (Chairman)

Educated at Epsom College, Andrew Vallance-Owen MBE DUniv (Birmingham) MBA FRCS Ed qualified at the Birmingham University Medical School, later undertaking surgical training in Newcastle upon Tyne and Melbourne, Australia.

His career within the British Medical Association (BMA) started as Provincial Medical Secretary for the North of England followed by promotion to the post of BMA Scottish Secretary. Latterly he moved to London to become Head of Central Services and International Affairs, a role which also developed into Head of Policy Development. 

He became Medical Director of Bupa Hospitals in 1994 and, in 1995, became Bupa's Group Medical Director (Chief Medical Officer), where he furthered his interests in the quality of healthcare, clinical audit and outcomes and gained significant experience in international markets including China. He retired from Bupa in March 2012 at the age of 60.

Since leaving Bupa, Andrew has established a portfolio of non-executive roles. He chairs the Private Healthcare Information Network, which analyses and publishes comparative data from the UK's private hospitals and consultants. He is Senior Independent Director at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (a specialist cardiac and respiratory hospital) and he is Specialist Medical Advisor to Healthcare UK which promotes UK Healthcare plc to developing markets overseas. He also chaired the South West Academic Health Science Network from April 2013 to May 2015.

Andrew was a Governor of the Latymer School (Edmonton) and Queenswood School (Potters Bar) for many years. He first became a Governor at Epsom College in 1990 and was elected Chairman of Council of the Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College and Chairman of Governors in 2009. He is also Deputy Chair of Governors of Epsom College in Malaysia.

Andrew was awarded an MBE in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours and an Honorary Doctorate of the University by the University of Birmingham in July 2012.


Dr Alastair Wells (Vice Chairman)

Dr Alastair Wells MB BS DRCOG MRCGP was educated at Epsom College from 1973-1978 and went on to read medicine at the Royal Free Hospital, graduating in 1983.

He has worked as a GP in Merstham, Surrey, since 1987 in a six-partner practice. He was PEC Chair for East Surrey PCT from 2002-2006 and is now working as a part time Medical Adviser to First Community, a Social Enterprise company providing Community Services in East Surrey. He is a Tutor of 5th year Medical students at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

Alastair has been a Governor of Epsom College since 2004 and Vice Chairman since 2009 and has been Chairman of the Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College since 2013. He is a Past President of the Old Epsomian Club and was Honorary Secretary of the Old Epsomian Golf Society for 21 years.


Ms Sarah Williams (Treasurer)

Sarah Williams was educated at Blundell's School and studied Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, London, before joining Ernst & Young (EY) where she qualified as a chartered accountant. She was made a partner in 2001 and currently works within EY's Financial Services practice based in London. Sarah is also a co-opted advisor to the Audit & Finance Committee of CRI, a national social care and health charity.



Dr Jeremy Bolton

Educated at Epsom College from 1956-1962, Jeremy Bolton studied medicine at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and University College Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1968. After training in Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, he was appointed Consultant Psychiatrist at St George's and Springfield Hospitals in 1979, retiring in 2009.

Between 2001 and 2009, Jeremy was an Associate Dean with the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Postgraduate Deanery. He was admitted to the Livery of the Worshipful Company of Barbers in 1989, elected to the Court of the Company in 2004 and served as Master from 2009-2010. He is als a member of the Council of the Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College.


Mrs Fiona Boulton

Fiona Boulton has a BSc from Cardiff University, a PGCE from Exeter College, Oxford, and an MA and National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) from the UCL Institute of Education. She has been Headmistress of Guildford High School since 2002, having previously taught at Stowe School and Marlborough College. She is also a National Leader of Education, part of the government's plan to increase the leadership capacity of other schools to help raise standards and give schools a central role in developing a self-improving and sustainable school system.



Dr Hywel Bowen-Perkins

Educated at Epsom College from 1966-1970, Hywel Bowen-Perkins is a GP with significant involvement in local primary care organisations. He is also Finance Director of the Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College. His four sons attended Epsom College.

Hywel is a keen sailor and races his Merlin-Rocket dinghy most weekends. He has also rescued and restored a "Dunkirk Little Ship" - Elvin - a gentleman's motor yacht in which he and his wife Jane have cruised extensively.


Mr Keith Budge

Keith Budge MA, PGCE (Oxon) was educated at Rossall School before attending University College, Oxford, where he read English, followed by a PGCE. He gained three Blues at rugby whilst at Oxford.

Keith began his career teaching English at Eastbourne College, moving on to Marlborough College where, following a year's teaching exchange in California, he became a Housemaster. He became Headmaster of Loretto School in 1995, overseeing the introduction of co-education, and has been Headmaster of Bedales Schools since 2001. At Bedales, he introduced the Bedales Assessed Courses - more stretching and imaginative alternatives to GCSEs, in 2006.


Mrs Belinda Dolbear

Belinda Dolbear was educated at Epsom College from 1981-1983 and has an LLB from University College, London. She attended the College of Law, Guildford, from 1986-1987 for the Law Society Final Examination.

After working for four years in private practice at Slaughter and May in the City of London and for two years in-house as Counsel at Tiphook plc, Belinda joined GSK in 1994 as Senior Counsel to SmithKline Beecham's International business. She moved to Consumer Healthcare UK in 2001, taking on the role of VP Legal, Consumer Healthcare UK, Ireland and Nutritional Healthcare, after the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham. In 2006, she was appointed VP Legal, Consumer Healthcare Europe and Oral Health Category, GSK. She is currently VP Legal, Consumer Europe and Global Categories, for GSK.


The Very Revd Dianna Gwilliams

Born in Boulder, Colorado, The Very Revd Dianna Gwilliams BA MA (Youth Ministry and Theological Education) read Physics and Chemistry at University and graduated shortly before moving to the UK to work as a Sound Engineer. She stayed in the industry for 12 years before training for Ordination.

Having served as Vicar of St Barnabas Dulwich from 1999 and Honorary Canon and Acting Archdeacon of Southwark from 2006, she was installed as Dean of Guildford in September 2013.

Dianna's particular interest is in working with young people. She has been involved in local regeneration, community provision of education and healthcare and has also served as Diocesan Dean of Women's Ministry and chaired Inclusive Church, an organisation committed to working for a Church that is welcoming and open to all.


Mr John Hay

John Hay was educated in Glasgow and moved to London to pursue a career in journalism. He spent 15 years working on newspapers and business magazines before making the move into PR and advertising. He now runs a full-service marketing communications consultancy. Both his son and his daughter attended Epsom College.




Dr Suzannah Lipscomb

Dr Suzannah Lipscomb is a historian, broadcaster and award-winning academic. Educated at Epsom College, she went on to gain a double First Class degree in History and M.St. in Historical Research from Lincoln College, Oxford, and a D.Phil. in History from Balliol College, Oxford. Following posts as Research Curator at Hampton Court Palace, and Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of East Anglia, she is now Head of the Faculty of History and Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at New College of the Humanities, London.

A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Suzannah has presented historical documentaries on BBC 4, ITV, Channel 5 and National Geographic Channel, and writes a regular column for History Today. Her books include 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII and A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England. Her next is The King is Dead! The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII.


Mr David Maunder

Born in Hong Kong, David Maunder was educated at St Paul's School and, prior to going to University, served a two year stint of National Service in the Royal Artillery, mainly in a Surveillance Radar Troop in Malta as a Second Lieutenant.

He read Law at Wadham College, Oxford, and after graduation served three year articles with a small firm of City solicitors, the last six months of which were spent at the Lancaster Gate College of Law where he graduated with several distinctions in various subjects.

David then joined the Property Department of Clifford Turner, a large City practice, and became a Partner after three years. He took on an increasing number of administrative roles, including Finance, and ultimately became the firm's first Managing Partner to Senior Partner, Sir Max Williams. In this role, he played an intricate role in discussions with another top ten firm, Coward Chance, leading to their merger and the formation of Clifford Chance.

After service as Joint Managing Partner of Clifford Chance for two years while new firm bedded down, David sought a new role and was appointed Legal Director of the Provisional Airport Authority of Hong Kong, which was set up to construct the new airport in Hong Kong. After handing over to a more permanent replacement after the airport was built, he retired from practice on his return to the UK.

After retirement, David served for several years as a Lay Member of The Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee for South West London on the Appointment of Magistrates.


Mr George Pincus

George Pincus MBE left Epsom College in 1961 and pursued a career in advertising for 25 years, building his own agency, which subsequently became part of the Omnicom Group. In 1991, he started a second career in recruitment and now works as Senior Recruiter for the Management Consultancy, BearingPoint.

In parallel, George has pursued his passion for influencing the lives of young people by serving as a long term Member of the Council of the Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College and Chair of Governors of Epsom College from 2002-2008. He is also a Governor of the Bishop David Brown School in Woking and was awarded an MBE in 2013 for services to education . He has two sons, both of whom attended Epsom College.


Mrs Stephanie Piper

Stephanie Piper taught French and German to A level at three HMC schools before moving into Prep School education. She was Headmistress of King's House school in Richmond for nine years and has been Headmistress of Devonshire House Prep School in Hampstead for four years.

Stephanie served as Vice Chairman of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) for one year and is now Group Director of Education for the Loveridge group of schools. For the past nine years, she has been UK Education Manager for Rwanda Aid, a charity providing support to the poorest people in the South West corner of Rwanda. She travels to Rwanda twice a year organising teacher training and school support.


Mr Mark Ralf

Mark Ralf is a Chartered Director and until his retirement was Group Purchasing, Property and e-Commerce Director at Bupa. Previously he held senior commercial roles in SmithKline Beecham and British Airways.

Mark holds an MBA from the University of Lancaster and co-authored a book entitled Transform your Supply Chain - Releasing Value in Business.

He is also Chair of Portal Housing, a Christian charity, and a Director of  Radian Care.


Mrs Karen Thomas

Karen Thomas is an Orthopaedic Surgeon at St George's NHS Healthcare Trust. She has set up a clinical network providing specialist children's services to a greater part of SW London, Surrey and West Sussex. She is Chair of the Children's Surgery Group at St George's and will shortly be taking up the role of Associate Medical Director.

Karen is a member of the London Children's Networks Clinical Leadership Group (NHS England) and the National Clinical Reference Group for reducing premature mortality in surgical patients. She has a major commitment to surgical education that involves selection, assessment and career counselling of trainees. She is a member of the SAC in Trauma and Orthopaedics and involved in national projects to develop national selection into surgical training.

Karen is also Director of Professional Affairs (South London) for the Royal College of Surgeons and, as such, has an oversight of the delivery and development of surgical services in that area.


Mr Clive Watson

Educated at Epsom College from 1974-1979, Clive Watson ACA MA, read History at Reading before starting accountancy at Price Waterhouse, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1986.

Clive spent time in the City before going into commerce in 1990 and over the last 25 years has had roles as Finance Director and Chief Executive of various listed pub and brewery companies. He is currently Chairman of The City Pub Company and holds various non-executive roles. He is also Chairman of Epsom College's Education Trust.



Mr Andrew Pianca

Educated at Epsom College from 1964-1969, Andrew Pianca is Chairman of Crowe Clark Whitehill, the largest specialist accountancy team in the UK advising and auditing charities in general and independent schools in particular.

Previously Chief Executive of Crowe Clark Whitehill for 10 years and also Chairman of Crowe Horwath International, Andrew was a member of the UK Charity Commission SORP (Statement Of Recommended Practice) committee that drafted the legislation for reporting by all charities. He also chairs the national working party that produces specific guidance on reporting for the independent school sector and is part of the team that produces the annual benchmarking for the independent school sector.

Andrew is the author or co-author of two books on charity accounting, reporting and governance, a frequent lecturer at national and international conferences on charity management, governance and reporting and a Trustee of the ICAEW (Chartered Accountants') charities.


Anyone wishing to contact the Chairman of the Governors should do so in writing. Please direct all communications to Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, Chairman of the Governors, c/o The Bursar's Office, Epsom College, College Road, Epsom, Surrey KT17 4JQ