School Governors, Trustees & Staff


Mrs G Evans MEd, MA (Oxford) English - Chair

Educated at another GDST school, Gwenlian's career has included teaching and examining secondary English, school senior management, developing education-industry links, 14-19 curriculum development and widening participation in higher education. She also has an ongoing interest in the use of the arts in community development. The Chair can be contacted via e mail ( or by writing to the following address:

The Chair of SGB
Sydenham High School
19 Westwood Hill
London SE26 6BL

Mrs A Hall BA (London) English
Mentor and past parent

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 an ex-Sydenham High parent and is taking the lead for Marketing on the SGB.

Mrs M Davis BEd, MA (Education), NPQH
Educational consultant and ex-Headteacher

Marissa is currently a freelance education consultant, working with both Educational Trusts (including GDST) and individual schools in a variety of ways, from education leadership support to leading innovative projects. She has a long standing relationship with GDST as she was a previous Head of Junior School at Howell's in Cardiff for nine years, followed by eight years as Deputy Director of Education at Trust office. Marissa has worked in both the maintained and independent sectors in the United Kingdom and abroad, across all key stages. Her particular specialisms are in Key Stages 1 and 2. She has a passion and conviction for a creative and skills-based experience for children.

Miss B Holbrooke BSc MSc, MSc Education (Child Development and Education) (Oxford), MSc Psychology (OBU)
Educational Researcher and DPhil Candidate

Becki is a GDST alumni. After starting out working in Early Childhood Education in London, Becki moved to Oxford to study Education and Child Development at University of Oxford Department of Education where she also worked on research into inclusive education. Her other interests include: early childhood education and care; special and inclusive education; child development & psychology; further and higher education; quality measurement in education;further and higher education; and professional development, skills, training and competence. Becki is a member of the care team at Helen House children’s hospice and has recently started to train as a children’s nurse.

Mrs D Coolohan BCL (Oxford)

Deirdre Coolohan 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 F Williams BA (London) Russian Language & Literature
Theatre & Opera Director, BBC producer

Faynia Williams is an internationally renowned theatre and opera director and a BBC producer of both drama and documentary features. She is currently Artistic Director of the Brighton Theatre and Honorary President of the Dramatic Theatre Committee of the International Theatre Institute, working on the theatre in conflict zones project. Faynia is also a lecturer at Brighton University on post war British film, a member of the Theatre Artists Human Rights Committee (ACAR), Chair of Equity’s Creative Team subcommittee and a member of the Equity Stage Committee. Faynia is an alumna of Brighton & Hove High School GDST.

Reverend Canon B Schunemann BD, AKC, TheolpMStud (Oxford)

Rev Schunemann is the Vicar of St Stephen's, South Dulwich; Area Director of Ordinands for the Southwark Diocese and Chair of Council for Christians and Jews (CCJ) South East London South-East London, UK. Prior to his ordination, he studied music and theology in London and Oxford. During ten years as Vicar of Littlemore (in Oxford) he commissioned a new Choral work by Arvo Pärt (the Littlemore Tractus) to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Newman. He has also taught RE at the European School (Culham) and at the Iqra Muslim School for girls in Littlemore. He has published some short articles on spirituality and is an occasional contributor to 'Pause for Thought' on the BBC World Service. Rev Schunemann is married to Estonian artist Elo Allik and is a current Sydenham High parent.


The Trustees of the school are the Trustees of the GDST, details of whom can be found here on the GDST website. The Chairman of the Trustees, Juliet Humphries can be contacted via Alison Smith at the GDST office –

Senior leadership team

Headmistress: Mrs KC Woodcock BA (Bristol), PGCE
Deputy Head (Staff & Student Development): Mr K Guest MA, BA (St Mary’s Twickenham), PGCE
Deputy Head (Academic): Mr C Batty BSc (Bangor, Wales), PGCE
Head of Prep School: Ms C Boyd BA (Royal Holloway), PGCE
Deputy Head of Prep School: Mrs G Panton MA (St Andrews), PGCE
Acting Deputy Head of Prep School (maternity): Mrs S Suarverdez BA (Reading), PGCE
Director of Sixth Form/Assistant Head: Ms R Parrish BA (Southampton), PGCE
Director of Teaching & Learning: Dr E Waites PhD (Birmingham), Maitrise (Poitiers), BSc (Liverpool), PGCE
Director of Finance & Operations: Mr J Nelson BA (Napier)
Director of Marketing & Communications: Ms L Hooper BA (Manchester), L5 School Business Management
  • Senior School
  • Prep School
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Wrap Around Care
  • Admin/Support Department
  • Visiting Teachers