Governor Profiles

Please find below a brief profile of Arden governors:


Martin Carter (chair of governors)

MC PicI was elected as a parent governor in 2017.  I have lived in Knowle for 10 years and two of our children currently attend Arden.  I am a Chartered Engineer with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s in Structural Integrity and a Diploma in Advanced Executive Coaching. I worked in the oil, gas and energy industries for over 20 years before setting up my own leadership and risk management consultancy.  Previously I served as Vice-Chair of governors at Aston University’s Engineering Academy and ran the training academy of one of the UK’s major energy companies, training several hundred apprentices.


 Sarah Bloomer (co-opted governor)

I am a parent of three youngsters who previously attended Arden.  As a governor I have responsibility for Child Protection throughout the Academy, which is an area that I have worked in, professionally, for the past 15 years.  Many of my friends within the local community have children who attend Arden, and the feedback is hugely positive. My interests at Arden are based around the pastoral care offered to our students.  The opportunities to gain life skills are immense; student voice, school council, leadership teams, various panels/groups.  I am proud to be a part of the Arden community and the provision we offer our students.


Petro Nicolaides (co-opted governor)

I was elected as a parent governor in December 2014, and currently have a son at the school enjoying Year 8.  I run a small Financial and Business Consultancy practice locally.  I have previously served as a School governor for just over ten years at a grammar school in Sutton Coldfield.  Along with that experience, I have studied for a BA (Hons) in History & Politics and hold a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in addition to other professional qualifications.  I have always been active in the community and also serve on the board of governors at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.


 Dr Celia O'Donovan (community governor)

I have worked in education for over 25 years as a University lecturer, Chief Examiner, secondary school teacher and Nursery Inspector.  I was previously a parent governor at Arden, a position also held at Knowle Primary School until 2006. My major skills are team working, team building, leadership and management training.  I am currently Cambridge Inspector for Language-Literature, (Option International) French Baccalauréat.



Anthony Stonehewer (co-opted governor)

Tony StonehewerAs a governor of Arden LGB and member of both the Health & Safety committee and Chair of the Arden Teaching & Learning committee, I was also appointed as a Member of Arden Trust Board in October 2018.  I work as a Chartered Engineer and am involved in the local community through my roles within Explorer Scouts and rugby. Both my sons attended Arden Academy and have now moved onto further education.



Jennifer Whitehill (community governor)

j whitehillAs a new governor with a daughter in Year 8, I am delighted to have the opportunity to support our school through the challenges and opportunities of the next few years. The wellbeing of both students and staff is a priority and, as link governor for this area, I am honoured to support and champion the dedicated efforts of the school's Pastoral Care Team.  Following a Corporate HR career, I now have a coaching and personal development business working with individuals and groups. I am also involved as a volunteer with 'This Way Up', a local charity working with young people processing loss in their lives.


David Warwood (Associate Headteacher)

WARWOOD DMr Warwood studied Sports and Exercise Science at the University of Exeter before completing his PGCE at the University of Birmingham. He has followed a career in pastoral care and Inclusion ever since joining Arden as a teacher of physical education in 2004.  He has continued his own education by studying for a PgDip in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs at the University of Birmingham as well as completing the National Senco  Award at Edgehill university.  He is now studying for his National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH).  Mr Warwood is a governor at Arden through his role as Associate Headteacher. He is experienced in school governance and also sits as a parent governor at Meriden C of E Primary School.


Claire Barker (parent governor)

Claire BarkerI became a parent governor in May 2021 and I currently have a daughter at the school in Year 10.  I work in communications and engagement and have 20+ years' experience across both public and private sector organisations.  I have been involved with a number of mentoring schemes, predominantly supporting under-privileged young girls and I am currently volunteering with The Girls' Network.  I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to support the school and I'm particularly pleased to be involved with the excellent work of the Behaviour Safety Intervention & Inclusion Sub Committee



Kate Edwards (parent governor)

KEdwardsI am delighted to be joining the team as a new parent governor for Arden. I currently have two children attending the school in years 8 and 10 who both have had very positive experiences of the school. I have worked as a teaching assistant in a local primary school for the last 8 years and have a real passion for helping children to achieve their full potential. I have lived in Knowle and Solihull for the past 17 years and understand the importance our school plays within our local community and am keen to be part of this partnership. I also have a BSc in Environmental science and have worked previously in purchasing and recruitment. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the school to continue in its drive for an all-round education of our children. 


Chris Yip

Chris YipI have worked in the higher education sector for the past 11 years, with particular experience in career development, student recruitment and university ranking. Prior to that, I worked in the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong and specialised in driving foreign investment into the UK. I hold an MA in Marketing and a BSc in Statistics.

Originally from Hong Kong, our family came to live in the UK in 2021. I have a son currently attending Year 2 at Dorridge Primary School. With much support received from the local community, I am dedicated to contribute to the society and support Arden Academy through serving as a community governor.


Brad Parkes

Brad ParkesI joined Arden Governors in 2023, after qualifying as an optician and owning two Specsavers franchises for 30 years. For some years, I have also been a professional keynote speaker, executive coach and leadership consultant which is now my full time working focus.  I have been Arden Academy's Enterprise Advisor since 2015, and am a published author.  I have one child in Arden with two more on the way through primary school.  In my spare time I like time with the family, holidaying, walking and cycling and coaching mini rugby.