BSA management committee

2020 Chair 

Mark Lauder, Headmaster, Strathallan School
Mark was born in Scotland, and educated at Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh. He studied at the University of Aberdeen, before moving to St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he became Junior Dean of College.

Mr Lauder brings with him excellent experience in a boarding environment. He began his teaching career at Shiplake College in Henley-on-Thames, where he was Head of the History Department. He then headed back to Oxford in 1999, to become Head of History at St Edward’s School, as well as a Housemaster. While there, he continued with his rugby refereeing, coaching U16s rugby and U15s rowing, and ran the naval section of the CCF.

In 2007, Mark Lauder was appointed Deputy Headmaster and Head of Boarding at Felsted School in Essex, where he maintained his coaching and teaching roles. It was from there, in 2010, that he headed north, to take on the role of Headmaster at Ashville College in Harrogate, an HMC co-educational day and boarding school with 870 pupils.

Mr Lauder is married to music teacher Caroline, and has two teenage sons. In his spare time, he enjoys wild camping in the Scottish islands and walking in the hills.


Vice Chair (Chair Elect) 

Rebecca Tear, Head, Badminton School (GSA)

Bex is currently in her seventh year as Head of Badminton School, Bristol. Previously, she spent several happy years at Wycombe Abbey, firstly as resident Head of Sixth Form and more latterly as Senior Deputy Head. Prior to that, she enjoyed seven years at St. George’s, Ascot, where she held several academic and pastoral responsibilities.

She read Chemistry at Exeter University, before undertaking a PGCE at The Institute of Education, London, where she also completed an MA in Educational Leadership. She recently completed her Mindfulness in School Project b. Teaching Certificate (2016). She is currently undertaking a Post-Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship at The Judge Business School, Cambridge University. These studies fuel her interest and engagement in staff CPD, mentoring and innovation.

Bex is passionate about helping pupils to develop a broad and balanced set of skills and interests.  She is equally supportive and understanding of boarding; not only has she run a Sixth Form Boarding House, but she has boarded herself, as have her sons, so she appreciates it from several perspectives.

In addition, Bex holds the position of Governor on the Board of two independent schools. She is a member of the GSA Boarding Committee and also acts as a mentor to new GSA Heads.

Vice Chair (Past Chair) 

Nick Wergan, Executive Headteacher, Steyning Grammar School

Nick Wergan is Chair of the Boarding Schools’ Association and Headteacher at Steyning Grammar School in West Sussex. Nick is a National Leader of Education (DfE), and Chair and a founding Trustee of the Pavilion & Downs Teaching School Alliance. Nick is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and National Teaching Awards Winner in 2007 for Outstanding New Teacher of the Year.

Prior to joining Steyning Grammar as Headteacher in 2013, Nick was Deputy Headteacher at Blatchington Mill School in Hove, and Head of English at Sackville School in East Grinstead. Determined that exceptional safeguarding and child protection practice should be embedded in the culture of all organisations, Ofsted (November 2018) described student welfare at Steyning Grammar School as ‘the beating heart of the school…staff are tenacious in their approach to keeping students safe’.


Honorary Treasurer 

Andrew Ashton, Bursar, Radley College
Educated at Newcastle Royal Grammar School, Andrew then studied chemistry at University College Oxford. He went on to join Barclays Bank, where he qualified as an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, and worked for fifteen years in a number of positions, including in corporate management, change management, and, latterly, in operational strategy in Barclays Africa.

Andrew moved on from Barclays and spent three and a half years as a management consultant within the financial services sector.

Formerly living in Wimbledon, Andrew moved to Radley in August 2008 following his appointment as Bursar at Radley College and is responsible for the financial and operational aspects of the College and the management of the non-teaching staff.  Andrew also serves on the governing body of Shiplake College.

A keen follower of cricket, an occasionally active runner, and an enthusiastic real tennis player, Andrew is married to Jillian and has one son, Philip. 


Dr Helen Wright, Chair, AEGIS


BSA Executive Committee (including BSA Management Committee)

Sarah Lockyer, Principal, CATS College Canterbury (ISA)
Sarah read English at Manchester University and gained her PGCE from the University of London. Her first teaching post and first experience of boarding was in a boys’ boarding school in Kenya. She gained a MA and PhD from the University of North Carolina before returning to teaching in the UK at the Judd School and then Sevenoaks. She served as Deputy Head and Acting Head at Malvern College before becoming Principal of King William’s College, Isle of Man. Sarah moved to Gosfield School in Essex, where she was Principal for seven years, and joined the Independent Schools Association. Sarah was Chair of the ISA from 2015-16, and currently serves on the Executive and Education Committees. She is also an ISI team inspector. Since January 2018, Sarah has been Principal of CATS College Canterbury, which has 450 international boarders representing over sixty nationalities.


Liz Raper, Bursar/Director of Business and Finance, Queen Margaret's School (ISBA)

Liz was elected onto the Board of ISBA in 2018 and is a member of the BSA Executive Committee as ISBA representative.  She was educated in the state sector and went on to study Mathematics at Nottingham.  She qualified as a Chartered Accountant at PwC and after 25 years working in corporate tax, Liz was appointed as Bursar at Queen Margaret’s School, York in 2011.


 Mark Dixon, Headmaster, Royal Alexandra and Albert School (SBF)






Christine Cunniffe, Principal, LVS Ascot (SoH)
Christine was educated in the state sector and completed a BA Hons in Music and History followed by a MMus degree at Reading University. After a career as a professional pianist for six years, Christine completed a PGCE in 1994 and an MBA in 2013 and has been Head of Music in three schools – one comprehensive, one state grammar and LVS Ascot since 2003. During this time she has enjoyed posts as Assistant Head Academic, Assistant Head Pastoral, Headmistress of Senior school, Principal since September 2015 and now also a member of the Executive for the Licensed Trade Charity.

Christine sits on the committees for the Society of Heads, the executive committee for the BSA and is an ISI Boarding and Quality of Education inspector. As a mother of three children, Christine understands that all children are different and that space and time to reflect and nurture skills, at the right pace for the individual, is essential.


 Giles Tollit, Headmaster, Horris Hill School (IAPS)
Since 2011, Giles has been Headmaster at Horris Hill.  Educated at  Holmewood House in Kent and then Sevenoaks, where he was an academic  scholar, he read Classics at Bristol. He taught at Caldicott, where he was  Director of Studies and Head of Boarding and thence to Bilton Grange as  Deputy Headmaster. He is married to Molly, also a classicist, and they have  three boarding sons.

Horris Hill has enjoyed an unbroken tradition of educating boys to the highest  standards since its foundation 130 years ago.  There are 120 pupils, the majority of whom are boarders. Horris Hill School has a unique ethos which develops every boy as an individual and provides a rigorous and extensive academic, sporting, musical and artistic foundation. 


Katie Lancaster, Partner, Farrer & Co (AGBIS)
Katie was elected onto the AGBIS Board in 2016 and  Katie is also a member of the BSA Executive Committee as the AGBIS representative.  Katie is a member of the AGBIS Nominations & Governance and Training & Membership Committees.  Katie has been a Governor at Kimbolton School since 2005 and is also a Trustee of the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation. 

Katie assisted the BSA in editing the BSA’s recent booklet on “Supporting victims and survivors of abuse”.  Katie is a specialist in employment law with extensive experience advising organisations on a wide range of employment and safeguarding matters. She is widely recognised for her expertise working with independent schools, state boarding schools and specialist schools educating pupils with complex needs.  


Gareth Doodes, Headmaster, Dover College (BSA Forums Chair)


Dr Steve Bailey, Headmaster, Twyford School (Chair, SACPA)


Standing Invite

Dr Michael Carslaw, Headmaster, St Leonard's, Fife (SCIS)
Dr Michael Carslaw is the Headmaster at St Leonards School in St Andrews. He moved to Scotland with his wife Nicola and their three daughters Emilia, Anna and Olivia in 2008, from Ardingly College in Sussex, where he was Deputy Headmaster.

He was born in Glasgow, educated in Edinburgh and after gaining a BSc in Zoology from Newcastle University and an MBA from Nottingham University, Dr Carslaw secured a PhD from London University which won him the Belmas award for the most significant contribution to the understanding of leadership in schools. Prior to working at Ardingly, he was Head of Science at City of London Freemen’s School.

As well as being Headmaster at St Leonards for 10 years, he is a member of HMC (Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference), the governing board of SCIS (Scottish Council for Independent Schools) and, as part of this role, the Executive Committee of the BSA (Boarding Schools Association).


Julie Robinson, Cheif Executive, ISC 
Julie began her career as a teacher and boarding mistress at Ardingly College and became prep school head.  Following a very rewarding eight years as Head of Vinehall Prep School, a co-ed boarding and day school in Sussex, Julie went on to be Education and Training Director at IAPS. She joined ISC in April 2015. 

Julie’s role at ISC is to protect and promote the sector, both in the political sphere and with the national media. The ISC brings all the main independent school associations -including BSA- together around one table to strengthen political lobbying and public affairs activities. Using ISC’s Annual Census and research findings to underpin key messaging, ISC aims to positively promote the aims and interests of our sector and to robustly defend it at all times.


  Caroline Nixon, General Secretary, BAISIS
Caroline has worked in international education for 30 years.  As General Secretary of BAISIS (British Association of Independent Schools with International Students), she is a member of the advisory group to the UK Government’s All Party Parliamentary Group for international students and on the leadership team of the Boarding Schools’ Association. 

Caroline runs her own educational consultancy, Caroline Nixon Education Ltd., which helps UK schools to establish overseas branches and advises on all aspects of international education.
Before becoming a consultant, Caroline set up and ran an international school and has a successful background in school marketing and recruitment. 


Russell Collier, Principal Education Officer, MOD
Russell joined the Ministry of Defence’s Directorate for Children & Young People (DCYP) in February 2016 as the Principal Education Officer.  His role encompasses many aspects of the educational support that the Directorate provides Service children and their families, with responsibilities including the development of stakeholder engagement and educational transition strategies.  He is also responsible for the quality assurance of educational opportunities in ‘isolated detachments’, as well as scoping new educational provision overseas.

Prior to this appointment he was the Head of a 3 to 18, independent school and has also held the posts of Deputy Head, Director of Sixth Form and Head of Department in a variety of schools in Birmingham.  

Colin Morrison OBE, Chair, Boarding School Partnerships
Colin was the longest-serving Chair of the Royal National Children's Foundation (2001-2016), a boarding school charity of which he had been a beneficiary. In 2017, he launched Boarding School Partnerships with the Department for Education, the BSA, and educational charities. He is a former journalist who has variously been chief executive and chair of several international media companies in Europe and the AsiaPacific. He was awarded the OBE in 2018.



 Tony Little, Chief Academic Officer, GEMS
Tony is a former Headmaster of Eton College. and the current Cheif Academic Officer at GEMS,  He was educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he read English.  He taught English and Drama at Tonbridge and at Brentwood, where he was head of department and a boarding house master, before becoming Headmaster of Chigwell School in 1989.  Some seven years later, he became Headmaster of Oakham School.  In addition to his current job, he is President of the International Boys’ Schools Coalition, Chair of WLSA, an organisation which connects schools in China with the West, and a governor of a number of state and independent schools.


BSA Officers

  • Robin Fletcher, Chief Executive, BSA

  • Aileen Kane, Chief Operating Officer, BSA.


CREDIT: Image header taken from BSA member school Mary Erskine School