Anyone wishing to contact the Governing Body can do so by contacting Mr Guy Northern, Clerk to the Governors:

Julian Barnes (Chair)

Paul Burgess

Jane Cooper

Della Fazey

Matthew Gilman

David Humphreys

Deborah McKinnel (Vice-Chair)

Brian Park

Jeremy Salisbury

Anne Watson (Vice-Chair)

Stephen Wigley

John Wilford

Iwan Williams

Clive Wolfendale

Mr Julian Barnes - Chair

Julian was born in St Helens and his parents sent him to Rydal Preparatory school as a full boarder in 1957. At Rydal, Julian had a wonderful time and moved to Walshaw boarding house, carefully overseen by Frank Richards. The Head was Donald Hughes who was much loved by all.

In 1967, Julian joined Pilkington Glass (back in St Helens) and they sponsored him on a Business Studies Sandwich Course at what was then Liverpool Polytechnic. In 1971, he moved to Glasgow as a Pilkington Sales Representative and there met his German-born wife to be, Gaby. They married in 1973 and moved to Perth.

Julian’s career progressed quickly and, in 1985, he came back to Wales to work in Chance Pilkington in St Asaph. Now with children, two boys and one girl, Rydal, Kings and Howells provided their education. He still lives in the home he bought then although he has worked in many countries and travelled to 57 before a 4-year stint together with Gaby in China. In June 2012, Julian retired from his position as Managing Director for Building Products in China for the NSG Group of Japan which had purchased the Pilkington Group in 2006. He returned to North Wales was invited to become a Governor at Rydal Penrhos in December 2012.

As well as working with the school, Julian has set up a business with his eldest son and is currently working on another new business opportunity with his youngest son. His daughter is about to be awarded her MA at St Martins in London. Julian and Gaby feel they are busier than ever since retirement.

Della Fazey - Chair of Learning Committee

As the daughter of  Methodist Minister and Primary School Headteacher, my itinerant childhood was steeped in Methodism and education.

We lived mostly in the North of England and I was educated in various state schools.  I gained a teaching certificate at Coventry College of Education in Physical Education and Biology, during which time I met my husband, John, when we were working as voluntary outdoor education instructors in North Wales.

Teaching in secondary schools, marriage and then children followed and, after a year in Canada we moved to North Wales.  Whilst the children were young I did part-time teaching work at the University in Bangor with students and developed movement classes for the elderly and for pre-school children.

I also started an M.Ed degree which I finished whilst we were in Oregon, USA, for nine months.  Full-time lecturing at the University of Bangor followed on our return from Oregon and studies for a PhD.  At the same time we moved to a sheep farm on the edge of Snowdonia – another major challenge for the family.

My work at the University included running cross-University projects enhancing student learning, responsibilities as Vice-Dean of Faculty, validation of degrees, disciplinary panels, harassment advice and many other aspects of education that broadened my experience. My PhD studies enabled me to look in detail at some of the psychological aspects of students’ learning and specifically those that enable students to behave autonomously in their studies.

Within my Department I was Director of Undergraduate and Post-graduate Studies and responsible for quality enhancement of teaching and learning.  I was also privileged to travel for the University to China, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, with all the widening of understanding of different cultures that these trips entailed.  Following retirement from Bangor University I was offered a part-time post to administer a new Physical Education degree at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago.

I did this for four years, spending four to six weeks at a time in Trinidad several times a year. In 2013 I was elected as a Governor to Rydal Penrhos School and, after my first meeting, was asked to become Chairwoman of the Education Committee.

Given my lack of experience of independent schooling, this was a surprise but an interesting challenge and it has been a privilege to work with staff and governors to develop an effective committee.  In 2018 I took on additional responsibilities as Vice-Chair of the Governors and, together with running the family sheep farm, life is busy and fulfilling.

John Wilford – Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee

Upon leaving Rydal in 1977 I took up a commercial sponsorship with an engineering company, IMI, ahead of studying Economics and Business at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.  After two years with IMI travelling in North and Central America I went on to an MBA at London Business School.

Subsequently, I joined Lazard, an investment bank, in the mid-1980s – a time of great change, in the City of London, in the UK and in a globalising world.  I was fortunate to work with some of the most significant FTSE 100 companies of the time – Unilever, National Westminster Bank, Hanson, BAT, Thames Water – advising them on developing their businesses on the international stage.  I also worked with many less well-known names and in the early 2000s struck out independently, establishing my own firm, Advisare, in 2006 to work with a range of CEOs and CFOs as they built and grew their own businesses.

In 2010 I was asked by the current CEO to join Lloyd’s Register, one of the world’s leading professional engineering services firms specifically dedicated to safety.  My role is to help the organisation navigate the challenges of a business world increasingly dominated by technology, data and the digital economy.  Our aim is to keep safe and secure everything from ships and power stations to refineries and chemical plants – not just from physical challenge but increasingly from cyber threats in our digital world.

I was invited to join the Board of Governors of Rydal Penrhos in 2000, an honour I felt privileged to receive and to accept.  My other charitable roles have been as Chair of the Hammersmith Hospitals Charitable Trusts, a Governor of The Health Foundation and a member of the Appeals Council of Debra.

Having moved down for the first time to London over 30 years ago I am in many ways amazed to have remained for all that time.  I met my wife, Aviva, here almost 25 years ago and we live in North West London with our youngest son, still living the experience of exams and education!  To some extent born of the playing fields of Rydal I love all sports spending much time with family and friends on or at the side of rugby, cricket and hockey pitches – as well as the odd golf course!

Rev'd Dr Stephen Wigley


I was a pupil at another Methodist School, Kingswood in Bath before going on to read Modern History at Oxford leading to an MA (Oxon) and, following ministerial training at the Queen’s College, Birmingham, undertook further research leading to an MPhil and PhD (Birmingham).

Professional career:

I currently serve as Chair of the Wales Synod of the Methodist Church, having previously ministered in a number of circuits across Wales in Swansea, Ceredigion and Cardiff.

I am a Trustee of the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham and the Amelia Trust Farm, and until recently also of Cytûn (Churches Together in Wales). Before entering ministry I worked for Citibank in London.

Other activities

I am married to Jenny, an Anglican Priest and Rector of Radyr, and we have two grown-up children.

I have an interest in sport (rugby and golf) music (jazz) and am a published author and regular contributor to BBC Radio Wales and Radio 4’s “Prayer for the Day.”

Anne Watson - Vice Chair, Chair of Personnel and Health & Safety Committee

I was appointed Governor of Rydal School in 1989 and of Rydal Penrhos in 1995.

I am also a Trustee of the Rydal Penrhos Charitable Trust and of the Rydal Penrhos Endowment Fund.


Howells School, Denbigh 1962-66 and Rydal School 1966-68. Certificate in Education from Westminster College, Oxford in 1971 (English and History) and a Certificate in Further Professional Studies in Dyslexia, University of Wales, Bangor 1996.

Professional career

I retired from teaching in 2009 having worked for over 30 years as a teacher in both the private and public sectors, fifteen of which were as Special Needs Co-ordinator.

Other activities

I was President of The Old Rydalian Club in 1995, I am also Chair of the Trustees of the Abbeyfield, Colwyn Bay Society.

Deborah McKinnel - Vice Chair, Safeguarding Governor

rydal penrhos

I have been a Governor at Rydal Penrhos since July 2018, and a Safeguarding Governor since 2020.

I attended Upton County High School; having left school at the age of 16, I fully appreciate the importance of how school life should be embraced whilst being enjoyed.

I have worked with Cheshire Probation and After-Care Service, Barratt Homes, various bars, then finally settled for almost 20 years in post with Britannia Airways Ltd. Managing cabin crew and being responsible for the daily running of three bases gave me a competent understanding of people skills, HR issues and employment tribunals etc..

Since 2007 I have been working with HM Courts and Tribunal Services. Whilst working within the judicial environment, I have become an appraiser, mentor and recruiter; I also sit on the Advisory Committee.

My son joined Rydal Penrhos in March 2012; since this date I have fully supported, engaged with, and have great respect for our school.

Paul Burgess

I have been a Governor of Rydal Penrhos since 1988.


I was at Rydal School from 1970 to 1975. I was Head Boy and Captain of the rugby and cricket teams.

Professional career

Following a Law degree and Law College, I qualified at a solicitor and still practice as a solicitor.

However, 23 years ago, I went into industry, working in the property development and investment field, and I am a Main Board Director at Emerson Developments (Holdings) Limited.

They are one of the UK’s largest privately owned Property Companies based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

Other activities

My interests are predominantly in the sporting field and in education and charity work in Cheshire.

David Humphreys

David’s personal educational background saw him graduate from the University of Southampton with a BA Hons First Class in Geography in 1982, gaining a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education from the University of London in 1983.

Since September 2015, David has been the General Secretary of the Methodist Independent Schools Trust (MIST).

Previous posts include being a Headmaster of an HMC School 1996-2015, a Deputy Head 1991-1996, Head of Geography 1986-1991 and a Geography Teacher 1983-1986.

David has also had educational experience from being on various schools’ Governing Bodies and a Member of the Methodist Schools’ Committee. David was the Chairman of HMC (NE Division) between 2007 and 2009, serving on the national committee over the same period and the HMC Finance Committee between 2010 and 2015.

David has also previously been a GCSE Examiner and A Level Moderator. Between 1994 and 2004, David was an Independent Schools Inspector. Appointed as Governor in September 2017.


rydal penrhos

Jane attended St John Plessington Catholic College, Wirral, from 1982 to 1988 and then went to the University of Salford where she studied Accountancy and Modern Languages.

She has a Post Graduate Certificate in Education in French and Spanish at the University of Liverpool and is now Deputy Principal of St Edward’s College in Liverpool.

She also serves on the governing board of St John Plessington, an outstanding catholic college in Wirral which is part of a large Multi Academy Trust.



Rydal Penrhos

Clive spent 34 years as a Police Officer with Greater Manchester and North Wales Police, culminating as the Acting Chief Constable, based in Colwyn Bay.

He also served as Chief Executive of CAIS Ltd – a registered charity and leading voluntary sector provider of personal support services in Wales and is now the Chair of Trustees of Adferiad Recovery Ltd, which was created by the merger of CAIS with three other healthcare charities in Wales.

He has an MBA from Manchester Business School and a Postgraduate Diploma from the University of Cambridge.

Clive is also a Vice President of the prestigious Llangollen International Eisteddfod and the Musical Director of the popular Llandudno Swing Band.

He also serves as a Trustee of several charities including the National Welsh Language Centre and Nant Gwrtheyrn in addition to being the Chair of the Standards Committee of Conwy Borough Council.