Our Staff and Governance

The quality of learning at Ipswich High School is a testament to the expertise and commitment of all the staff at the school. Our teachers, Heads of Department, members of the leadership teams along with Support Staff are able to share ideas, experience and best practice with fellow colleagues, feeding into and enhancing the learning experience at Ipswich High School.

Senior Leadership Team

Oona Carlin, Head

Ms Carlin joined Ipswich High School in September 2013 from her position as Deputy Head Academic at Putney High School, where she was a key member of the Senior Leadership Team for six years. Prior to Putney High, she was Head of Chemistry at The Royal Masonic School.

Lisa Finch, Head of Prep School

Mrs Finch joined Ipswich High School in Spring 2019 as Head of the Prep School. With substantial and varied experience as a primary head, her leadership has been described by an external review as inspirational and dynamic. Previously, Mrs Finch was Headteacher of Stanway Fiveways Primary School in Essex.

Rob Hastings, Head of Sixth Form

Mr Hastings joined Ipswich High School in Spring 2016 as Head of Sixth Form. Mr Hastings gained his PGCE at Homerton College, Cambridge after previously studying English at De Montfort University, Leicester. Mr Hastings was Head of Sixth Form at Bloxham School, Oxfordshire, teaching English and spending four years as an Assistant Housemaster.

Nicola Griffiths, Deputy Head

Mrs Griffiths gained her Masters degree in Biological Sciences and PGCE in Science from Oxford University. She has worked in both co-educational and single-gender schools, most notably Rugby School and Benenden School. Prior to Ipswich High School, she was Head of Science where she led the development of STEM. Throughout her career, Mrs Griffiths has been very involved in both GCSE and A Level examining.

Ipswich High School's Assistant Head (Wellbeing), Joanna Fox

Joanna Fox, Assistant Head (Wellbeing)

Mrs Fox joined the school in January 2016 as Assistant Head (Wellbeing). Previously, Mrs Fox worked at the Royal Hospital School where she was Head of Lower School and a teacher of English. She was also fully involved in boarding as Housemistress in both senior and junior girls’ boarding houses and, as Head of Lower School, had oversight of the two junior houses.

Kaye Extance, Assistant Head (Co-Curricular)

Ms Extance joined Ipswich High School as Director of Music in September 2009, creating and developing our unique enrichment offer before taking on her current post of Assistant Head Co-Curricular and Enrichment in 2014. Having trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, she completed her PGCE at Homerton College, Cambridge, and began her teaching career in Dorset, before taking on a post at Kesgrave High School. She is also an accomplished cellist and conductor, running a number of music ensembles both in school and within the wider community.

Lucy Beavon, Director of Marketing and Communications

Mrs Beavon joined the school in 2016. She has worked in education marketing for over ten years and was previously Head of International Recruitment at UCL’s Institute of Education. Mrs Beavon gained her degree in Politics and Sociology from the University of East Anglia and holds a professional marketing qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Contact our Senior Leadership Team
Download our staff list


The Key Roles of the School Board and its Members

Ipswich High School is a proprietorial school owned by Ipswich Education Limited whose Board has a legal responsibility to ensure that all regulatory requirements are met. This means that the Board of Local Governors (BLG) has a role that is different from many independent schools. It is the role of the BLG to act as ‘critical friend’ to the school and to provide it with strategic guidance and oversight. This means that Governors have powers of scrutiny and are enabled to make recommendations to the Ipswich Education Ltd Board (IELB) for change and improvement. Governors’ meetings are held every term.

The key roles of the Board of Local Governors include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and proposing the strategic direction;
  • Proposing and monitoring the school’s aims and policies;
  • Holding the Head to account for the educational performance of the school, its pupils, and the performance management of staff;
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent;
  • Monitoring the School’s safeguarding policy and procedures;
  • Drafting and monitoring the School’s Health & Safety policies and procedures;
  • Setting standards for pupils’ behaviour and discipline;

In addition, the BLG support the IELB and the school in:

  • Forming and reviewing policy on the school’s curriculum;
  • Hearing appeals and grievances;
  • Making sure school buildings are welcoming and safe

Governors aim to ensure that the standards of education offered at Ipswich High School are of the highest quality consistent with the school’s human and physical resources.


The Chair of Governors can be contacted via the school. Please address all correspondence to:

Chair of Governors
C/O Ipswich High School


Heather Mann

Heather Mann is an alumna of Ipswich High School, Westerfield Road. Heather worked for twenty years in the shipping industry and was Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Agencies and the first female Board Member of a Fred. Olsen UK company. For the past ten years, Heather has worked as a Director in her family group of leisure marina and property businesses based at the Ipswich Waterfront.

Ann Monks

Ann Monks is a professional marketer with 30 years’ experience in marketing communications and business development, principally in financial services. She has held roles at KPMG and, most recently, as Marketing Partner at Smith & Williamson, where she worked for 20 years. Ann has served on various UK and international marketing committees and is an advisory panel member of the Marketing Directors’ Network and past London Chair of the Professional Marketing Forum. She is a Trustee of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

Ipswich High School governor Nick Banks

Nick Banks

Nick Banks is a chartered accountant and Partner and Director of The Scrutton Bland Group, an independent multidisciplinary financial services organisation providing accountancy, taxation, independent financial advice and insurance broking services. He lives in Ipswich and his daughter Megan is a pupil at Ipswich High School.

Ipswich High School governor Gavin Devereux

Dr Gavin Devereux

Gavin Devereux is an Associate Professor, and the Director of Sport Sciences and Coaching at the University of Suffolk. Following his PhD in the physiology of blood pressure regulation, Gavin has gained extensive experience in clinical exercise science research and has applied sport science support in a number of professional sports. He has held lecturing positions at a number of universities and now lives in Suffolk with his family.

John Pickering (FCA)

John Pickering is a retired Chartered Accountant and Senior Partner of The Scrutton Bland Group. He specialised in owner managed businesses, agriculture and high net worth individuals. He has three daughters, Ellie, Jo and Fran who are now in their 30’s and were all pupils at Ipswich High School. John is also a trustee of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and Landguard Fort Trust. In his spare time, he plays tenor saxophone in the Ipswich Hospital Band and the Community Light Orchestra.

Ian Parke

For the past 30 years, Ian has worked at BT and currently heads the team which undertakes the design and development of BT’s TV service platform. His first degree was from Durham University in 1981 in Applied Physics and Electronics. Once Ian graduated he studied for a Master of Science degree at Heriot Watt University in Digital Techniques which was completed in 1988. He is a Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Outside of work he likes to scull and has completed the Boston Sculling Marathon a number of times.

Ipswich High School governor Lesley Watt

Lesley Watt

Lesley has worked in the NHS for most of her working life, a career in which she has been involved in constant change, challenges and re-organisation. She has worked at the Ipswich Hospital as a Manager in Surgery and for the last 18 years has been a Practice Manager running two general practices in Ipswich. Lesley has a daughter and son, and her daughter was a pupil at the High School.

Contact Details for Ipswich Education LTD:

C/O London & Oxford Group

Registered in England and Wales No. 2816999. Registered Office: 5 Frederick’s Place, Old Jewry, London EC2R 8JQ.

Tel: +44(0)20 77969083