The Gabbitas Executive Group
Our Executive Group is made up of high-profile and influential current or recently retired Headteachers. They all currently sit on a number of governing bodies at both prep and senior level, in the UK and overseas. Our Managing Director, Ian Hunt, is also a former HMC Headmaster, and experienced in the recruitment of senior educational leaders. Our Executive Group has vast experience of the independent education sector and project management, covering all aspects of school issues. We are very proud to assemble such a exemplary team who are ready to help you with all your school management and consultancy needs.
To inquire about our Schools Consultancy services, please click here.
Dr Priscilla Chadwick has been Principal in both state and independent schools and Dean of Educational Development in the university sector. She merged the historic boys’ school and girls’ schools in Berkhamsted into a successful ‘diamond’ school and was elected as the first woman to chair the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference. Currently Chair of Governors at Wren Academy in London, as well as serving on several independent school governing bodies both in Britain and abroad, she has extensive experience of school reorganisation, Head’s and senior staff appointments, mentoring and appraisals.
Dr Chadwick is a published educational author with a particular interest in church schools and has chaired two commissions for the Church of England. Her personal interests include music, the arts and worldwide travel.
Ian Davenport is the founding Chief Executive of The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation, which provides life transforming opportunities in both state and independent boarding schools for children from disadvantaged backgrounds having joined from Blundell’s School where he was the Head Master. During this time he was active within HMC, sitting on various regional and national HMC committees and mentoring new Heads. He was also an ISI inspector. Prior to Blundell’s, he was a housemaster and Head of Economics at Radley College and an Economics tutor at Oxford University.
He began his career working in “The City” for Arthur Andersen, Morgan Stanley and Kleinwort Benson. He is currently a governor of three senior independent boarding schools having also governed prep and state maintained schools. He sits on the Advisory Board of The Royal Alexandra and Albert School and until recently was the Chair of Trustees at The Royal Academy for the Deaf. He has been elected a Fellow of Liverpool Hope University and sits on the board of the Hope Opportunity Trust.
Simon was educated at Winchester College and played cricket for England Schools and England Under-19s. He read history at Magdalene College, Cambridge where he was a Cricket Blue from 1980-1983 and played in Sussex’s second XI. He taught in Kenya for two years before joining the staff at Tonbridge School, running the cricket team and teaching history, leaving in 1989. Simon then spent three years in London working in headhunting and recruitment. From 1993, he taught history and ran cricket and rackets at Eton College for five years before becoming the Headmaster of Caldicott.
Simon is a Governor of Harrow School, Maltman’s Green School, a Fellow of Wellington College, Chairman of the Oxford Group and a trustee of the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation. He is married to Antonia and has three children.
During the course of 25 years of Headmastering, Christopher has governed 15 schools and acquired an outstanding working knowledge of a wide range of common rooms and senior management teams in the independent sector. He was Headmaster of Kelly College 1985-1995, taught history at Radley College, where he was also Housemaster and Master i/c cricket. He presently governs King’s College, Taunton (Chairman of Education Committee), Llandovery College (Chairman of Education Committee) and Millfield (Governor Responsibility for Pastoral Care).
As both Governor and consultant, he has overseen the appointment and appraisal of Heads and Bursars; has been a member of the HMC Heads’ Training Team, and has written various articles, particularly relating to boarding, sport and leadership in schools. Through membership and chairmanship of various HMC Committees, Christopher has seen ‘leadership’ and ‘schools’ at first hand. During his career, he has experienced a wide range of educational practice from single sex, co-education, day and full boarding both in the UK and internationally. As a fellow of the Rank organisation and the Woodard Corporation, he has developed further strong links with a wide range of schools.
Peter retired in September 2008 after 32 years working in independent education. He was a teacher, coach and Housemaster at Radley, Headmaster of Wrekin College (1991-1998) and Headmaster of Millfield (1998-2008). He was educated at Bec Grammar School and Oxford University where he gained an Army scholarship, following which he spent five years as an officer in the Parachute Brigade. Peter has been a keen sportsman all his life and played both rugby and cricket to a high level.
He is a Privilege Member of the Rugby Football Union, Past-President and Life Member of the England Rugby Football Schools’ Union, an educational advisor to the London Chamber Orchestra, Chairman of Trustees of Wells Cathedral, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Governor of top independent schools Blundell’s and Christ’s Hospital
George taught in prep and senior schools for ten years before becoming Head of Geography in a comprehensive. Moving to Millfield School, he was appointed Assistant Director of Studies, before moving to the Head role at Edgarley Hall, and then to Dulwich College Prep School, where he was Head for 18 years.
He became involved in the Independent Association for Prep Schools (IAPS) becoming Chairman in 2000, Chair of the Finance Committee 2003-08 and Vice President in 2008. Elected on the Independent Schools Council, George trained and acted as an Independent School Inspectorate (ISI) Inspector and has spoken at numerous conferences. He currently governs five schools including an International College and works for schools as an advisor in Headship appointments as well as being a mentor to new and struggling Heads and schools. One of his proudest achievements has been to set up the Sparrow Schools Foundation, which has raised £1m for this township school..
After Rugby School and Cambridge University, where he read History and Economics, Hugh worked in the tin-making industry, before returning to Cambridge to get a PGCE and a rugby blue. He taught in schools in England, Scotland and the United States, before being an independent school Head for 22 years at Worksop, Clifton and Wellington College. He then became the founding Principal of the first cathedral choir school to become an Academy. He is currently a deputy chair of governors at one independent school, the chair of academic committees at three schools and a governor of one international school.
He led ISI school inspections in the UK, inspected schools in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Pakistan and led the planning and the setting up of schools in Azerbaijan and Moldova. Additionally, Hugh has run the search for the headships of Harrow, Trent, Merchiston, Ardingley, Kingswood, Newcastle School for Boys, Norwich, Colet Court, Danes Hill, St Petroc’s, Mount House, Terrington Hall and Beaudesert schools in the UK and at schools in the Netherlands, Greece, Switzerland, Chile, Argentina and Azerbaijan..
Janet was Headmistress at Withington for ten years until 2010 and during that time launched the School's 100 Plus Bursary Appeal. She began her career in biochemical and immunological research, leading onto university teaching and scientific publishing. She then began her secondary teaching career at Gordonstoun, continuing at The King's School, Canterbury where she became the first female Deputy Head. Janet's first Headship was at St Bees School in Cumbria, before taking up the reins at Withington.
She is currently a Governor of Chetham's School of Music and of The Bury Grammar Schools; as well as being a lay member of the University of Manchester. Janet has coached squash and hockey in the past, and continues to keep fit through running, notably leading pupils, parents, governors and Alumnae in the Walk for Withington whilst Headmistress to raise funds for the school's 100 Plus Bursary Appeal. Janet's husband is also an educationalist and they have two ‘grown-up' sons.
Educated at Tonbridge School, Pembroke College, Cambridge and the University of London, Christopher taught for 20 years at two leading prep schools, firstly at Cheam School, Newbury, then at Dragon School, Oxford, before going out to Hong Kong as Founding Principal of the Chinese International School. He returned to the UK in 1988 to take up post at Eton College as Teacher of English and Head of First Year, and latterly as Eton List Secretary in charge of admissions.
He is a former Master of the Worshipful Company of Skinners, one of the livery companies which plays a significant role in schools and education and has four schools under its charge. Christopher is also Vice-Chairman of the Governors of Tonbridge School and Adviser to the YK Pao School, Shanghai.
Peter currently supports the leaders of independent schools and academies having been Head of an HMC School, a Principal of a City Academy and having served as an Anglican Bishop. After teaching at St Edwards Oxford, Sevenoaks (where he was Housemaster of the International Centre), and The King's School, Canterbury, Peter was appointed Head of Chethams School of Music in 1992. He became the Bishop of Ramsbury in 1999 and returned to headship in 2005 as Principal, enabling two state schools to form the independent Northampton Academy on a new purpose built campus.
Peter and his wife Penny, who was Head of St David’s School in Ashford (GSA), are creating international links for young people, pioneering development with the Women’s Education Partnership in Sudan and South Sudan. Additionally, he was a governor of Marlborough, Malvern College and Uppingham and a United Learning national executive. He has visited independent schools in Australia, Africa and America and has spoken at the world conferences of the International Confederation of Principals encouraging the flourishing of outstanding and distinctive ‘Hopeful Schools’