New Chair of Governors elected
January 7, 2022

Rydal Penrhos is delighted to confirm Deborah McKinnel as the school’s new Chair of Governors.

Rydal Penrhos is delighted to announce that Deborah McKinnel has been elected as the school’s new Chair of Governors.

Ms McKinnel is taking over the position from the retiring Mr Julian Barnes, who attended Rydal School from 1957 to 1967 before becoming a Governor of Rydal Penrhos 2012 and then taking the Chair of Governors in 2017.

Mr Barnes oversaw a distinguished but challenging period following the decision to cease boarding in 2018, and later throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – something the school is eternally grateful for.

Ms McKinnel has been a Governor since 2018 and is a Presiding Justice in both the Family Court and the Adult Criminal Court, having worked within the judicial system for 15 years.

She is also an appraiser, mentor and recruiter of Magistrates throughout Wales, and has previously served as a Regional Manager for Britannia (now Tui) Airlines.

Ms McKinnel, said: “Having been involved with our school since 2012, I feel both blessed and privileged to have been elected the new Chair.

“On behalf of all the Governors, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the previous Chair, Mr Julian Barnes, for all his invaluable hard work and dedication whilst working with our school.

“I would also like to congratulate the Rydal Penrhos community on its spirit of unity and resilience during the uncertain times of COVID-19.  We are thriving on many fronts and I am proud of all of our parents and families, staff and above all, our pupils, who have helped to make this happen.

“The adaptability and teamwork of the Rydal Penrhos staff body have enabled us to continue teaching and nurturing our children. Their health, safety and wellbeing are of paramount importance.

“We all note how happy our pupils are, their laughter and chattering around our school are simply wonderful.”

As the school’s Safeguarding governor, Ms McKinnel’s expertise in the Family Court has been invaluable in assisting Rydal Penrhos staff in securing the highest safeguarding standards within the school, as reflected in recent inspections.

She has also been heavily involved in the Board’s support and challenge for all personnel matters during the conversion to a day school.

“Governors are volunteers and our main role is to work with our school ensuring your children, our pupils, receive the best education, achieve the best of their ability in a supportive safe setting,” added Ms McKinnel.

“As Governors, we are completely dedicated to our roles and responsibility. We all have different skills, but we could not do our job without the committed staff at Rydal Penrhos.”


Anyone wishing to enquire about Rydal Penrhos School can do so by calling 01492 530155, email admissions@rydalpenrhos.com or register your interest online here: https://rydalpenrhos.com/admissions/apply-now.

Enquire Now