School Governors & Trustees - Sydenham High School



Ms Z Berry – Chair
Head of Individual Membership, Chatham House

BA and MA Reading

Having attended Sydenham High School between 1998 and 2005, Zara Berry has most recently worked at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs for over 12 years. In her position as Head of Individual Membership, she is part of the institute’s External Relations, Fundraising team, which is responsible for stakeholder engagement, relationship building and raising discretionary income critical to Chatham House fulfilling its mission.
Chatham House, a world-leading policy institute, strives to help governments and societies build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world.

Mrs A Hall – Deputy Chair
Mentor and former parent

BA (London) English

For many years Angela has worked closely with various local groups to provide a safer environment for the community. She is Chair of Sydenham SNT Police Ward Panel; panel member for the Lewisham Police Safer Neighbourhood Board; Executive Committee Member of the Sydenham Society, and Coordinating Group Member for the Sydenham Assembly. She also mentors girls aged 14-16 who have been removed from mainstream education. Angela is a former Sydenham High parent and is taking the lead for Marketing on the SGB.

Becki Holbrook
Nurse and former Chair of Governors

BSc Physics & Maths

MSc (Oxford) Child Development

Becki works as a neonatal intensive care nurse at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, looking after newborn babies suffering serious, often life-threatening, conditions. 

Having studied Physics and Maths, Becki envisaged a career in finance or perhaps research, but after graduating Becki was drawn to work with young children. Following several years spent teaching 3– 5-year olds, and a year as an Early Years curriculum coordinator, Becki returned to university to study for an MSc in Child Development and Education at Oxford University. Voluntary work at a local children’s hospice led her to consider nursing as a career.  After gaining a masters in Children’s Nursing, Becki qualified as a nurse early in the coronavirus pandemic. Her interest in education continues, and Becki has been a Governor of Sydenham High for 6 years and Chair Governors for the last 3. 

Ms J Bassett
Founder and CEO, The Bias Cut

BA Cambridge, MA

Jacynth Bassett is the award-winning Founder and CEO of The Bias Cut – the first age-inclusive online fashion shopping platform – and global movement / community Ageism Is Never In Style®.

Having attended Sydenham High from aged 4 to aged 18, graduating in 2010, Jacynth went on to study Law at the University of Cambridge, where she became President of the Cambridge Law Society. Upon graduating, she decided to pivot away from law, and launched The Bias Cut in 2016 with the aim to pioneer age inclusivity in fashion, and address the gendered-ageism that females face throughout their entire life. Today, alongside The Bias Cut, Jacynth is a leading and highly sought-after pioneer and voice in the anti-ageism & age-inclusive fashion movement. She is regularly invited to aid and consult charities, research projects, educational establishments, organisations and businesses that are aiming to tackle ageism and create a more age-inclusive society.

Miss R Benetyte

Postgraduate Diploma (London) – ARB Architect, Vita Architecture (RIBA) Director

Ruta is a qualified architect passionate about community led architecture and introducing innovative and technologically forward approach to design. She has extensive experience in educational, commercial and residential projects. Currently a Director of a practice in London and Lecturer of Architecture at Vilnius Academy of Arts of in Lithuania.

Mrs D Coolahan

BCL (Oxford)

Deirdre Coolahan is a qualified solicitor admitted to the Roll of Solicitors for England and Wales and is currently taking a lead for safeguarding on the SGB.

Mrs P Hossain
Business and Technology Advisor and GDST alumna

B.Eng(Hons) (Bristol) FBCS CITP FRSA

Punita is a senior business advisor with deep technology expertise and broad experience in the Financial Services Industry, Olympics and blue chip consulting. She is an expert in combining strategy, operational and digital experience with change management to deliver business change. She is alumna from Notting Hill and Ealing High School GDST and a current parent of another GDST school in South West London.

Mr C Njamma

MPhys (Oxford) Physics, MSc (London) Actuarial Finance, Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries, Investment Director

Cyprian is a qualified Actuary with focus on providing investment strategy advice to pension schemes, charities, endowments and other institutional clients. He is currently an Investment Director within an Asset Management firm in the City of London. He’s passionate about personal finance and the importance of financial education to students.

Mr Ben Turner
Civil Servant

Ben has been a Civil Servant for nearly 25 years working in several Departments and in a range of roles including Policy, Operational Delivery and Programme Management. He is currently Programme Director for two major Government Programmes. He studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics with the Open University while working, graduating in 2013. Ben has a daughter in Sydenham High Prep and so has been involved in the school as a parent since 2020.

Mrs Gemma Bownes


The Trustees of the school are the Trustees of the GDST, details of whom can be found here on the GDST website. The Chair of the Trustees, Vicky Tuck, can be contacted via Lucy Colegate at the GDST office –

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