TST Directors

Andy MacDonald - Director AndyMacDonald

Andy MacDonald is a risk and compliance managing director at a major UK bank. He has worked primarily in the anti-financial crime space for over twenty years, specialising in Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorist Financing, and Sanctions compliance. 

Andy lives near Dover with his wife, although he was born in Scotland and raised in Northumberland. He attended a large comprehensive school in Cumbria at which his father was a teacher. Andy read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Mansfield College, Oxford before starting his working career at Arthur Andersen in London. 

Based in Singapore for five years and then Canada for four, Andy has travelled to over fifty countries for work and leisure. In his spare time, he plays golf, enjoys films, and loves spending time with family and friends. 

Clive Thomas - Director, Interim Chair of the BoardClive Thomas   Resize

Clive retired from full time employment in 2015.

His working career was spent initially as a lawyer and latterly in banking. He is a qualified solicitor and was a partner in a law firm in Central London, sing in asset finance. He subsequently moved in-house and worked for a subsidiary of the Midland Bank. After the Bank was acquired by HSBC in 1992, he moved to HSBC’s head office in Canary Wharf, where he became a director in its Corporate and Investment Banking division specialising in structured finance.

In December 2010, with two Investment Banking colleagues, he was responsible for the sale of an HSBC-owned rolling stock leasing company to a consortium of three private equity investors. He and his colleagues subsequently managed the business after its sale until 2015 when it was profitably re-sold. During this period, he ran the company’s legal department and acted as Company Secretary.

He has lived in Biddenden for five years. During that period, he has acted as a trustee of two local charities.

Fiona Coombe - DirectorFionaCoombe

Fiona qualified as a solicitor in London specialising in employment and commercial litigation. For 12 years, she led and managed the legal advisory services at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the largest trade association for the private staffing and recruitment industry in the UK. Her work included company secretarial duties, as well as providing advice on a range of business law topics and lobbying UK and European parliaments on the impact of legislation to the temporary staffing industry.

In 2010 she left to run her own consultancy business providing legal and HR consultancy services and compliance training for UK staffing firms. In 2014, she joined Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) a global consultancy providing analysis and advisory services relating to staffing and workforce solutions as the Director of Legal and Regulatory Research.

While living in London, Fiona was governor of a maintained nursery school in Balham for 15 years and led the merger with two other schools to form the Wandsworth Federation of Maintained Nursery Schools. Having moved to Tenterden to be closer to family and the countryside, when not working Fiona plays golf and sings in local choirs.

Graham Jones - Director, Co-Vice Chair

Graham has been involved in school governance for nearly 20 years.  Initially as a parent governor at the local primary school attended by his sons.  Following the expiry of his term as parent governor it developed through community governor to him becoming Vice Chair and then Chair for a period of seven years.  He has taken roles on other governing bodies including at Academy secondary level (local grammar school) and also as a trustee of a higher education institution.  He has worked with the local authority and stood on interim boards to assist schools in difficulty.

His interest in the education system led to him being approached by Sally Lees, previous CEO of the TST, to join the board of the Trust, he felt he could not say no. His biggest challenge is balancing his voluntary work with his day to day job.

By day he is a lawyer and a director of a large provincial law firm where he specialises in family and education work. He has been with them for 27 years including being Managing Partner for 7. He is also a qualified accredited mediator.  He is married with three grown-up sons, the oldest of which has now blessed him and his wife with the joy of grandchildren. 

He is experienced in promotional and media work having been involved with BBC Radio Kent for a considerable number of years, initially as a guest and legal commentator which progressed to him having his own fortnightly legal show for a two-year period.  He is a regular contributor KMTV and KMFM. 

When not working he likes to spend time cycling, building Lego and in their vintage VW campervan.

Jo Vos - Director

Jo has been a KCC Community Warden since May 2005, covering Tenterden since 2008.

She started as a governor at St. Michaels CoE Primary School in 2009, where she often delivers safety talks to the children and helps deal with any issues as part of her work role whilst combining this with governor visits for health and safety and safeguarding.

She also became a director when the TST was formed as she has good links with the local community and works closely with all the schools in the trust.

Kate Smith - Director, Co-Vice Chair,Kate Smith   Resize

Chair of Curriculum Standards Committee

Kate was a parent governor at Homewood for 9 years and Chair of the Governing Body for a period of time.

A qualified teacher who has taught in primary schools in Kent and London. Since 2003 she has worked as a Senior lecturer in Higher Education initially with the University of Greenwich and presently within the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University.

She is actively engaged in researching and writing about early childhood education and was awarded her PhD in 2016.

Mark Hazell - DirectorMark Hazell   Resize

Mark is a Homewood alumnus, leaving the school in 2002 to follow a career in the Technology sector.  After graduating from University with a degree in Computer Science, Mark has worked for some of the world’s largest technology companies.

Currently a Principal Architect @ Google Cloud, Mark is responsible for working with strategic clients to understand their business model, vision and imperatives to define strategic business and technology direction.  Mark has been fortunate enough to travel the globe on business, learning new cultures and creating innovative solutions to challenging technical problems.  Mark is an adept public speaker, having presented at conferences, panels and forums around the world. Mark is an active mentor, for both students and technology professionals.

Mark has a long history of excelling in demanding environments, and brings a wealth of technology expertise to the Trust.

A keen runner and football fan, Mark lives in Tenterden with his wife, two young children and lazy springer spaniel.

Mike Hill - DirectorMike Hill   Resize

The majority of Michael’s career has been in public service.  He was a Regular Army officer for 35 years, rising to the rank of Brigadier.  On leaving the Army he accepted an appointment with the Home Civil Service in Northern Ireland.

Michael Hill was elected as a Conservative Member to Kent County Council in 2001 and has held his current appointment of Cabinet Member for Community Services since October 2005.  He was a governor of Tenterden Infant and Junior Schools from 2002 until 2016.

Michael Hill is a graduate of London University and a Chartered Engineer. 

Married with two grown up sons he lives in Tenterden.

Philippa Harris - DirectorPhilippa Harris   Resize

Philippa is retired from a senior business career mostly in travel with well-known companies like Sovereign Luxury Travel, TUI AG, British Airways Holidays and Eurotunnel, and latterly in logistics serving the UK tourism industry. Apart from general business, people and management skills, Philippa has many years’ marketing experience, strategic and tactical, and holds the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Post-Grad Diploma.

She is the Chair of Trustees to the Family Holiday Charity, giving families the opportunity to experience a break away from often difficult home circumstances, and trustee of Tenterden Mindfulness Group.

Philippa has lived in Biddenden for the last 28 years with Simon, and currently hosts a Ukrainian family of 3 whose son attends John Mayne School.

Rebecca Swansbury - DirectorRebecca Swansbury   Resize

Rebecca is the Deputy Director of Education for the Diocese of Canterbury. Her role encompasses many things, but primarily it is to support, equip and walk alongside leaders and governors in the 105 Church of England Schools within the Diocese.   Rebecca has worked at the Diocese for 5 years and before being the Deputy Director was the Schools Officer (Christian Character) and SIAMS Manager. This role included regularly leading training to support and enable leaders, teachers and trainee teachers across the Diocese in RE, collective worship and SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools)

Rebecca is a SIAMS inspector and inspects in Rochester and Southwark Diocese. She is also a foundation governor at The Archbishops’ School, Canterbury and Selling Church of England primary school.

Before working for the Diocese, Rebecca was a primary school teacher for 14 years, with the responsibility of leading RE and collective worship as part of the senior leadership team.

Rebecca lives in Herne Bay with her husband John-Marc, dog Luna and two grown up daughters, Annika and Grace.