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.


 Geoff Harley-Mason (Vice-Chair of Governors/Community Governor)

A youth work tutor and consultant previously having worked at Knowle Parish Church.  A degree in Economics and an MA in Theology & Youthwork. He has been running residential trips for young people both in the UK and abroad for over 20 years. He has involvement locally with an organisation working to promote understanding among young people from different religious backgrounds. Living in the community, he was previously an LEA governor and has three children all of whom are at, or have been, at Arden.  Music, student welfare, wellbeing and progress and curriculum enrichment are areas of particular interest.


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.


Sharon Butcher-Johns (Non-Teaching Staff Governor)

SBJ PicAs part of the Associate staff team at Arden since October 2010, my role has evolved from Attendance Officer to PA to the Senior Vice-Principal.  Additionally, I manage the day-to-day running of the School Direct Train-to-Teach programme and organise all the school events including Presentation Evening and the Arden School Prom.  I am fortunate to work alongside a fantastic group of support staff!  Prior to that I worked as Business Development Manager at Balfour Beatty before moving overseas for 7 years to enjoy life in the Irish countryside.  I graduated from The University of Wolverhampton with a Business degree and hold the Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma.  I have lived in Knowle for nearly 10 years and will be an Arden parent for the second time from September 2018.   As a newly elected member I look forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the Team.


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.  Parent Governor at Arden, a position also held at Knowle Primary School until 2006. Major skills are team working, team building, leadership and management training.  She is currently Cambridge Inspector for Language-Literature, (Option International) French Baccalauréat.  Her child attended Arden in the past.



Anthony Stonehewer (Co-opted Governor)

As a Governor of Arden LGB and member of both the Health & Safety committee and Chair of the Arden Teaching & Learning committee, Mr. Stonehewer was appointed as a Member of Arden Trust Board in October 2018.  He is a Chartered Engineer and both his sons attended Arden School now moving onto further education. He is involved in the local community through his roles within Explorer Scouts and rugby. 


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.



Susan Van Genderen (Parent Governor)

SVG picture

I have two boys at Arden and was elected as Parent Governor in 2020. 

I am a clinical psychologist working in mental health. 

I am working with the school’s dedicated Pastoral Care Team, and support the PSHE curriculum. 

I hope to support the emotional development of students to ensure they develop resilience and skills to manage their wellbeing.


Nick Brown (Community Governor)

NB pictureI was appointed as Community Governor in November 2019 having previously served, some years ago, as an LEA governor in primary education. We have lived in Knowle for over 20 years with both our sons attending Arden. 

Following a 40-year career in rail and infrastructure leadership, in both public and private sectors, I now divide my time between board level coaching and mentoring and chairmanship roles. These are as Independent Chair of the System Operator Advisory in Network Rail, on behalf of the rail industry, and the Urban Growth Company seeking to secure the economic, social and environmental benefits of HS2 in Solihull and the West Midlands. 

I have an MA in Economic Geography and a Professional Certificate in Coaching. My particular interests on the Teaching and Learning Committee are the humanities. I am a member of Knowle Parish Church and am keen to ensure links between the Academy and the Church are strengthened to support the welfare and engagement of pupils.