Talbot Heath


Please find below a list of our governors' biographies:


Tim Battcock

TIM BATTCOCK has been a consultant physician at Poole hospital since 1991. He is married to a local GP and they have three girls all whom have been educated at Talbot Heath. Tim was born in Hertfordshire and qualified from Liverpool university medical school in 1981. He has worked in Merseyside, followed by 3 years in Leicester, before moving to the south coast. He has always had a large interest in medical education and was responsible for the education of all junior doctors at Poole hospital, until January 2012. He also has regional roles for medical education and is fellow of the Royal College of Physicians London involved with national examinations and education of physicians.  His outside interests are entertainment, entertaining and competition.


Cherry Edwards

CHERRY EDWARDS has, during her career as an educator and trainer, extensive experience of managing education and training. She started as a teacher and youth leader in Oxford before transferring to the careers service. During 7 years as a careers’ counsellor (specialising in post ‘A’ level occupations, working mainly with Grammar Schools and 6th forms) she was based in the NE and NW of England. After a career break she joined a company which managed worked based learning (WBL) and placements for young people and adults. In the early 1990’s she developed new Apprenticeship models with employers and colleges, the basis of much of today’s training in the workplace, and became the Company Manager of a WBL provider in the NW. In 1996 she joined Bournemouth and Poole College, becoming Head of Work Based Learning. Her last project, managing a government review of post 16 education in Bournemouth Dorset and Poole, brought her into close contact with all sectors of education and training in the region. Latterly she has worked as an education and training consultant, with local schools, colleges and employers.

Graham Exon - Chair

GRAHAM EXON has been Chairman of Governors at Talbot Heath since January 2010 and is nominated to the governing body by the Bishop of Winchester. He is an experienced school governor in both the maintained and independent sectors and is also Chair of Governors at St Michael's Primary CE (VC) School, Graham also chairs Bournemouth Schools' Forum and sits on school admission appeal panels. He is designated a National Leader of Governance by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.  Following a successful career in banking Graham joined the board of Bournemouth Churches’ Housing Association and was appointed as Chairman of the Group Board. He has served as a non-executive director on the boards of a number of local companies.  His daughter was educated at Talbot Heath.  As a keen musician he is Director of Music for the parish of St John with St Michael, Bournemouth.

Diana Leadbetter

DIANA LEADBETTER is the Finance Director of a local family business. A former Talbot Heath Junior School pupil, she completed her degree in Business Studies before going on to train as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG qualifying in 1989.  Diana subsequently joined her family business where she gained experience in all aspects of the business.  She is now Finance Director where her principal day to day role revolves around the financial and administrative management of the company including HR and Company Secretarial work. Diana was involved with the Talbot Heath Parent Staff Society as a Year Group Representative in both the Junior and Senior Schools. Her daughter started Talbot Heath in Kindergarten in 1999 and continued at the school completing her A-Levels in 2014.



Andrew Main

ANDREW MAIN is a ‘hybrid’ with 17 years in industry and the last 25 as a lecturer and academic manager at Bournemouth University.  He grew up in London, gained a PhD in engineering computation, was employed for eight years and freelance in the Bournemouth area for nine, working with manufacturing and process industries process quality and productivity.  He joined the Dorset Institute of Higher Education in 1989, which in quick succession became Bournemouth Polytechnic and Bournemouth University – where he is Associate Dean (Students), Faculty of Science and Technology. He teaches computing.  Academic management focuses on the student experience.  His own company has undertaken IT projects in his free time.  His five children all went to school in Bournemouth.  He was previously a governor of St Mark’s School in Talbot Village and Bournemouth School for Girls.


Christine Norman

CHRISTINE NORMAN was Public Relations and Conference Manager for a large housing charity for 9 years before joining her husband in his law practice as Legal Executive.  Her daughter was educated at Talbot Heath between 1988 and 1998 during which time she became involved in the Parent Staff Society retiring as Deputy Chairman.  She became a Governor in November 1996 and has been Vice Chairman since 2010.

Ron Peak

RON PEAK was born and educated in Kent and qualified as a Surveyor in 1970 whilst employed by Whitbread, the international brewers and licensed leisure company. His career with Whitbread spanned thirty three years during which time he undertook a number of senior building and development roles. He was Property and Design Manager for the southern region and responsible for a multi-disciplinary professional team, maintaining and developing the region’s property portfolio of hotels, restaurants and public houses. This role also had the additional responsibility of acquiring and developing new branded hotel and restaurant sites with an annual budget in the region of £30million. On leaving Whitbread in 2000, Ron joined the Bournemouth Churches Housing Association initially as Development Manager and then as Operations, Property and Development Director. He successfully managed the property estate, almost achieving the Association’s ambitious five year property growth plan within three years prior to his retirement in 2012. During his time with BCHA, his team received a number of regional and local awards for service delivery excellence, and his personal accolade was to win a National UK Housing Award for “Large Schemes Development of the Year” in 2012 for a homeless hostel built in Plymouth.  He was invited to join the Talbot Heath team of Governors in 2011.

Christopher Rutledge

CHRISTOPHER RUTLEDGE. Read Sociology at London University; Theology at Sarum Theological College and Cambridge University, a MSc in the Psychology of Religion at Glyndwr University and a MPhil and a PhD at the University of Wales. Ordained in the Anglican Church in 1970 and for the past 28 years was Vicar of St Mark’s, Talbot Village. For ten years he served on the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education, and is a Canon Emeritus of Salisbury Cathedral. From 2004 until 2009 he was Chaplain of Talbot Heath School. His daughter was educated at Talbot Heath.


Rachel Small

RACHEL SMALL started her career in the City but re-trained as a solicitor, qualifying in 1993. Rachel moved with her family to Bournemouth in 1998 and was a partner of Lester Aldridge solicitors from 2000-2007.  Rachel is now Group Company Secretary and General Counsel for LV= (Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Ltd ) leading a team of 15 lawyers and assistants for the LV=Group. Rachel has been involved with the TH Parent Staff Society since her two daughters, who have now left, started Junior School in 1998 and was Treasurer of the PSS from 2007-2010. Rachel was appointed as Governor in 2010.


Clodie Sutcliffe

CLODIE SUTCLIFFE was educated at Talbot Heath from 1980 to 1987, following in the footsteps of her mother. She was Deputy Head Girl in her final year. She graduated from Warwick University, with a degree in Physical Education and Mathematics and then went on to teach at Wentworth College, where she was Head of Physical Education. In 1999 she had a change of career, joining Dorset Police being promoted to Sergeant in 2004 and to Inspector in 2008. Her current role is as a Critical Incident Inspector, covering Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch. She lives locally with her husband and three energetic spaniels and competes in triathlons!


Sally Thomas

SALLY THOMAS attended Talbot Heath School between 1973 and 1984. She graduated from Exeter University after studying Law. Sally studied for her Law Society Finals at Bristol. She returned to Bournemouth in 1988, joined a local firm of solicitors and became a partner. She has worked locally as a solicitor, specialising in property law, until 2007. Sally is married and now has two young children


David Townend

DAVID TOWNEND is an experienced entrepreneur. He was born in London and brought up in Bath. Since moving to Bournemouth in 1983, he has supported a number of businesses and driven them to achieve significant growth. His background is in IT and he has extensive experience in the property, energy and Internet sectors and he currently has a number of local business interests. His youngest daughter was educated at Talbot Heath from 2003 to 2009.

Melanie Kavani

MELANIE KAVIANI was born in Hanover, Germany, to Persian parents and spent most of her childhood between Germany and Iran, hence her passion for diverse cultures and languages. Mel studied architecture in 1993 in Iran, then continued her studies in Australia and graduated from Greenwich University in London. She has worked in architecture practices in UK since 2001 and managed to integrate further study into her working life, securing a Masters in Architecture at Arts University Bournemouth in 2014 and winning the Nicholas Durbridge Award for Collaboration. She is the sole principal at her architecture and design consultancy and enjoys collaborating with local communities on a variety of projects. Her young daughter has been a pupil at Talbot Heath School since 2014.