Members of the 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 and chairs the Premises and Liaison 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.
Lydia Kan was born in China, but came to the UK in the early 1980s. She took her Baccalaureate at the European School, Culham, and then qualified as an architect at Cardiff University and the Bartlett School of Architecture, London (UCL). Lydia completed her training at Hopkins Architects, worked there for some years, and was later a project architect at Nicholas Hare Architects, a practice which specialises in
She now combines work in her private architectural practice with parenthood and her role as one of two parent-elected governors of Europa School UK. Until autumn 2017 she was also chair of an Oxfordshire pre-school.Lydia is a violinist, and, when time allows, likes to play chamber music locally. As well as her particular interest in the built environment of the Culham school site, she is keen to raise the profile of music teaching and performance within Europa School UK, as she is aware that this can have benefits for all areas of the curriculum. Lydia’s strong commitment to the ethos and model of the Europa School is rooted in her experience as a past student of the European School system. She is certain that studying a wide range of rigorously taught arts and science subjects for the European Baccalaureate, combined with the opportunity to learn several European languages within a multi-lingual, multi-cultural environment, provides an ideal grounding for outward-looking, well-rounded, high-calibre studies and work in adulthood.
Adam Sidbury is a true European with dual British / French nationality, married to a retired French teacher and with two bilingual children who both took their Bacs at ES Culham.
After graduating in languages from The University of Manchester and training with KPMG, Adam joined a UK start-up specialising in motivating business performance. He later joined the Board of Directors and oversaw its expansion into 15 countries across the globe growing to over 1,000 employees. Following its sale to a US competitor, he purchased a stake in its technology company and then started up a couple of new businesses. He is also involved in investment management.
During the Great Lockdown in the spring of 2020, he organised food deliveries for local residents. By grouping people together, he was able to place large weekly orders with local suppliers for delivery to a single point thereby keeping the locals in food without having to go out to the shops. It also supported struggling local businesses which had just lost much of their trade from colleges and restaurants virtually overnight.
Today he is still actively involved in the start-ups and stays regularly in touch with the network of business people he has developed over his career.
Steve Wright is a parent elected governor.
Steve is a former chartered engineer, with an MBA from London Business School. He started his career in automotive manufacturing, before moving into process improvement and systems implementation. Post-MBA, he moved into programme management in complex change programmes, and then into senior strategy / IT / business change roles in distressed businesses. He works as a change director, helping senior teams make decisions, develop plans, and engage people to take their organisations forwards. He brings a breadth of skills and experience to the governing body, including strategy, finance, analysis, and problem solving. He has three daughters in primary at Europa School UK.
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.