Europa School UK Governing Body
Terry spent his working career in both the public and private sectors, retiring in 2008 from his last position of Chief Executive of the Vale of White Horse District Council.
Terry has a lot of experience in governance of charity and educational establishments. He was a Board member of Abingdon & Witney College, serving spells as Chair of Finance and of the full Board. He was also Chair of Governors at Kingfisher School in Abingdon, as well as Chair of the Propeller Academy Trust. Terry became a Member of the Abingdon Learning Trust in 2018.
Until his term of office expired in 2020, Terry was a Board member of the Adviza Partnership (a large Thames Valley charity providing careers advice across all ages), for the last six years of which he was Chair of the main Board.
In December 2019, Terry joined the Europa School UK Board of Governors as a co-opted Governor appointed by the Governing Body. He is a member of the Finance, Audit and General Purposes Committee. He was appointed Chair of Governors in October 2021.
Andrew Brent has a strong commitment to the core values of the Europa School. Central to this are strong international connections, having lived and worked in many parts of the world, including 5 years in Kenya where he met his wife, Bernadette, who is from Germany. Their two children are raised bilingual and attend the Europa School.
Andrew combines a strong interest in science with a passion for education. Having trained in Medicine at Cambridge and Oxford, he completed his PhD at Imperial College London, and is currently Consultant Physician and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine in Oxford. He has served on and chaired several committees and holds local and regional clinical leadership roles. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, and is actively involved in educational supervision, teaching and appraisal at undergraduate and postgraduate level. He is an examiner for the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Physicians.
Jackie Holderness taught in the Netherlands and in the UK state system. She was the Deputy Head Teacher of an Oxfordshire primary school before becoming a Senior Lecturer in Education at Oxford Brookes University, where she ran a Masters for Teachers in International Schools, specialising in teaching, learning and curriculum design. She also spent three years as the English SenCo in the European School at Culham and is a qualified, but ‘dormant’, Ofsted inspector.
In 2011, Jackie was one of the team which founded the Europa School. Jackie helped to design its balanced (50:50) bilingual and European curriculum and has continued to serve as a founder-governor of ESUK, ever since. She is the Chair of the Primary Education Committee.
As Education Officer for Christ Church Cathedral, from 2015, she worked with learners of all ages, to develop their understanding of Religious Education, local history and spirituality. Now semi-retired, Jackie continues to work with schools and cathedrals and to write stories for children, such as The Princess who hid in a Tree, about Frideswide, the patron saint of Oxford. She has written a wide range of education books and ELT materials and, as Chair of the Oxford Children’s Book Group, is involved in several initiatives, which focus on children’s literature, storytelling and the arts.
Belinda Durkin (elected Staff Governor) has been working at the Europa School since 2013 and has been a very active Mathematics coordinator.
She passionately believes that a multicultural education is a force to unite people and nations for tolerance, peace and understanding.
Having studied the IB during her 6th form years in Manchester, away from her parental home, Belinda appreciates that the ability to make friends with people of diverse backgrounds, forging links all over the world, helps everyone gain a deeper understanding of different ways of thinking.
Belinda has a wealth of overseas experience and immersion in other cultures, having spent a year teaching English in China with Project Trust at 18, a year in New Mexico as part of her first degree in American Studies, and 18 months in Japan with her husband’s job in 2010. She shares her multicultural and multilingual experience and understanding with the children and their extended family connections.
Having completed an MSc in Hotel and Catering, Belinda’s first passion being food, she has gained experience managing restaurants. However, in 2004 she re-trained and completed her PGCE year and has been a primary school teacher ever since.
Her two children attend Europa School Uk and are currently studying in the Spanish stream in Primary.
Since before its opening, Europa School has been a key part of my life.
As a founding member I was part of the original group of passionate believers in European values and multilingualism. Within a year of application, Europa School opened as a state-funded school with a unique multilingual approach representing these European values.
Since then Europa school has successfully adapted to the challenges brought by Brexit and the Covid pandemic. These challenges have reinforced the importance of instilling an openness of mind in children and young people via a unique access to other languages and cultures.
My current role on the governing body is to ensure greater visibility for the German language and its role in the International Baccalaureate.
Our staff elected governor Sandrine is a French, Geography, and History teacher, who has very strong social skills and as such is a very good link between pupils, staff and governors.
With a background in languages and in education, Sami was delighted to be invited to join Europa’s Governing Body in 2022. He is a firm believer in the value of a multi-lingual and multi-cultural education and of the International Baccalaureate, which the school embraces throughout the secondary years, as a broad, well-rounded and well-grounded educational model.
Having been a teacher of French and a Director of Studies, Sami was Principal of d’Overbroeck’s, an independent school in Oxford, for 21 years, from 1996 until he retired in 2017. During his tenure, d’Overbroeck’s successfully completed a transition from being predominantly a sixth form to an all- through 11 – 18 school with a strong and distinctive ethos, high standards of academic achievement and pastoral care and an increasingly rich and thriving provision in music, drama, art and sport.
Sami was for a number of years a member of the Main Committee of the Society of Heads of independent schools and, following retirement, acted as a mentor for new heads in their first year of headship.
He speaks four languages and has spent time living and working in France. He has an academic background in science and mathematics as well as languages. He is also an amateur potter.