Our Trustees

Within Temple Grove Academy Trust and that of our sponsor Temple Grove Schools Trust there is a defined structure to ensure a strong and diverse board of Members and Trustees. This includes a clear network of both educationists and business professionals, to maintain strong representation of business/education on the boards, which we believe contributes to success. Although we are a relatively young organisation, given the importance that strong leadership has on long-term performance the Trustees are committed to ensuring that the recruitment and succession of senior leaders is of upmost importance as the Trust grows.

Temple Grove Academy Trust is the employer of all the staff within the academies. TGAT has a board of directors which establishes a Local Governing Board (LGB) for each of its academies, with delegated powers as set out in the Scheme of Delegation.

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Mark Dugdale (Chairman)

Mark Dugdale MA FRSA is chairman and trustee of the Temple Grove Academy Trust and a trustee of the Temple Grove Schools Trust (our sponsor). A pupil of the original Temple Grove school, Mark has made a career in retail, publishing and digital marketing over the last 30 years, operating mainly at chief executive or chairman level. He has started and successfully sold several businesses as well serving on the boards of three publicly quoted companies.

A graduate in history from Magdalen College, Oxford, he currently divides his time between advising small businesses on growth strategy and running his own government accredited wholesale company. Mark has two daughters at university and believes passionately in improving education for all children.

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Nigel Prescot

Nigel is Chief Executive of an investment company and is Chairman of six companies across a wide range of sectors (energy, logistics, manufacturing & property). Nigel became a trustee of Temple Grove Schools Trust in 2008 and Chairman in 2010. During his tenure the Trust has developed from being a funding charity to being an Academy sponsor and champion of primary education. He brings to the Trust his experience in developing businesses, setting a clear strategy for its activities and devolving responsibility and accountability to the leadership teams.

Nigel believes passionately in the importance of primary education in creating opportunities in life for every child. Nigel has two children of primary age.


Nicola Denoon Duncan

Nicola is an experienced Chair of Governors and a Local Lead Governor for Kent. In this role, Nicola has worked closely with the education, governance and personnel departments at local and national level and undertaken crucial training in all areas of governance including child protection and safeguarding.  She has recently retired as CEO of TGAT. 

Nicola lives in Kent, is married with three children. She worked in finance in London, and on moving to Kent she retrained to teach IT skills, before devoting her energies t0 supporting primary schools in Kent for the past 13 years. 


Fiona Carr has over 25 years experience in Human Resources, primarily in the Oil and Gas sector but also with the NHS and she will bring her knowledge to support and advise the Trust on all HR related matters.

She is passionate about Learning and Development and wants to contribute to ensuring young people have the best possible start in life through education.

She has 2 sons of her own who have now left school and one of them is now training to be a teacher.


Kathie Child-Villiers

Kathie Child-Villiers, MBA, is a trustee of Temple Grove Academy Trust and Finance Director. Kathie has over 25 years of experience in Corporate Finance advisory, primarily with HSBC and Merrill Lynch. She is currently a non-Executive Director of Bank of Montreal Capital Markets and Constantine Group. Kathie has a BS in Economics from Dartmouth College, an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and a Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma.

Kathie was identified as one of the “100 Women to Watch” as part of the Female FTSE report supplement, conducted by Cranfield University. Kathie has two children, one of primary school age. She is devoted to empowering children through excellent education.


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Karen Nicholson

Having started my working life in accounts and secretarial work, I realised I wanted to teach when I became a teaching assistant at my children’s primary school.

 I gained my Batchelor of Education Degree and set up my own Pre-School whilst having 5 young children. I was then offered  a position at Head of Infants at a 4 forms of entry Primary School in Bromley Kent where I gained my National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH). I then went on to become Head of an Infant and Junior Independent School in South East London, until finally being offered the position of Head at Breaside in 2008.

 Cognita Schools own Breaside and 70 schools around the school and in addition to being one of the Headteachers, I am also and Education Advisor for the UK schools and lead the Early Years within the UK.

 I have an ever growing family of 5 grown up children and 8 grandchildren and spend my leisure time with them either skiing or enjoying quality time with them.

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Philip Lough

Philip Lough has had a career in education. His father was Headmaster of the original Temple Grove School from 1957 to 1975, and he himself was Head of three independent schools between 1996 and 2016.

He is a Trustee of the Temple Grove Schools Trust, and has been a Governor of a number of maintained and independent schools (currently of three schools, including one as Chairman) since 1998. He currently works as an Educational Consultant, specialising in school leadership issues. He joined TGAT as a co-opted Trustee in January 2018. His wife is also a former Head, and he has three children and six grandchildren.

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Paul Burton – Chair of Governors TGA

Paul is a Chartered Building Surveyor working for a large consultancy firm in London. He has lived in Tunbridge Wells for the last 18 years with his family, and with two young children at TGA, he has taken a keen interest in the school’s development and progression. Paul became a Parent Governor in 2016 and then Chair of Governors in 2018. He brings with him a view and skill set outside of an education background.