Our Leadership



John was educated at Abingdon School, a leading boys’ independent school, and is a graduate linguist of Bristol University where he also gained a PGCE in modern languages and games. He started his teaching career at Banbury School, a large maintained secondary school where he headed Spanish and was responsible for its introduction as a first modern language from Year 7.

John then moved to a teaching post at Monmouth School where he also became Senior Boarding Housemaster and member of SLT. After promotion to Deputy Headmaster of Wisbech Grammar School, John took on his first headship at St Clare’s School in South Wales, before becoming Principal of Padworth College.

John is bilingual and bicultural in English and Spanish and fluent in French and Portuguese. He is married to Gill, a German specialist, and they have two grown up children. John is a serving ISI team inspector and a member of the Society of Heads’ Education Committee. He enjoys travelling, meeting people from all over the world and playing his guitar.


Deputy Principal

Chris joined Padworth as Deputy Principal in 2013 from an international school in Prague where he had been Assistant Principal. Before moving to Prague, Chris was a languages teacher and Head of Department in a number of large independent schools in the UK.

“As a linguist, I believe it is very important to speak as many languages as possible. As a teacher, I believe it is important to learn and experience as much as you can whilst you are young and visit as many places, being as open to the world as possible. Languages, mathematics, sciences, humanities and arts are all hugely important and it is vital that students find their own path through education and life having been exposed to all of these and having made informed choices about what to study and why. Our students have a great opportunity here at Padworth to learn not only new languages, but also lots about new and different countries and cultures thanks to our wide range of nationalities. Having spent the last few years in international schools, I really enjoy seeing students from all across the world share their cultures, music, food, backgrounds and beliefs with each other. If only politicians could do the same thing.”

As well as the Czech Republic, Chris has lived in France, Spain and Italy and during the holidays can usually be found somewhere in one of these three countries. He is an avid runner (2800km in 2016!) who sets himself targets to achieve and is still contemplating the wisdom of a marathon. Chris travels to every home game to watch his beloved Manchester City and has had a season ticket since 1990.


Business Manager

Vanessa joined Padworth College in January 2017, before this, she was self-employed for 18 years, running three clothing stores across the south of England. In 2014 Vanessa felt it was time to try something new and joined The Cost Reduction Company who specialise in helping independent schools to look at their overheads and negotiate better deals with suppliers; this was a perfect preparation for making the step to become a business manager. Vanessa is finding Padworth College a great place to work where everyone is friendly, welcoming and there is a wonderful close-knit global community.


Head of Marketing & Admissions

Marzia is a Marketing specialist with Austrian and Italian roots who speaks German, Italian, Spanish and English. She has lived in Austria, Italy, Australia, India and moved to the UK in 2015. Marzia started to work in the educational industry in 2012 when working for a start-up school and establishing the first international boarding school in Vienna, Austria. “I wanted to join Padworth because it is a unique school with an exceptional history, an extraordinary offering and exciting students. It is fun working in this international environment full of unique individuals and I can see so much potential for future projects”, says Marzia who joined Padworth College in July 2016.


Head of EAL & Designated Safeguarding Lead

David became Head of EAL and Designated Safeguarding Lead at Padworth in August 2015 having been Head of Foreign Languages at a large Independent School in South America.  Prior to this, he taught EAL at Padworth and gained invaluable experience teaching a range of ages, nationalities and abilities.  Having lived and worked abroad and having had to conduct meetings in his second language, David appreciates not only the challenges posed, but also the opportunities afforded when international students choose to continue their education in a different country.

Our Team

Leadership Team

Mr. John AguilarPrincipalprincipal@padworth.com
Mr Chris RandellDeputy Principal
University and Careers Adviser
Mr David BenedictHead of EAL

Designated Safeguarding Lead
Ms Vanessa LakatosBusiness Managerbursar@padworth.com
Ms Marzia Di Bella-NegiHead of Marketing & Admissionsadmissions@padworth.com

School/Boarding/Exams Office

Mr Tom GriffithsSchool Officeoffice@padworth.com
Boarding Officeboarding@padworth.com
Exams Officeexams@padworth.com

Teaching Team

Mr Mark BaynesBiologymark.baynes@padworth.com
Mr David BenedictEnglish as an Additional Language (EAL)david.benedict@padworth.com
Ms Debs BurnhamEnglishenglish@padworth.com
Ms Jane DysonAccounting and Business Studies Head of Business & Business Foundation Information Technology and Computingaccountancy@padworth.com
Mr James FitzpatrickMathematicsjames.fitzpatrick@padworth.com
Ms Kate FlackEnglish as an Additional Language (EAL)isc4@padworth.com
Mr Tyrone HolmesMathematics, Physics, PSHE Coordinator tyrone.holmes@padworth.com
Ms Ikuko InoguchiMusicikuko.inoguchi@padworth.com
Mr Michael LaizansEconomicseconomics@padworth.com
Ms Sally LightowlersHead of Sciencescience@padworth.com
Mr William McDowellHistory, Government & Politics, Geographywmcdowell@padworth.com
Ms Ali MoodyEnglish as an Additional Language (EAL)alison.moodyl@padworth.com
Mr Gustavo RamudoMathematics, Physicsgustavo.ramudo@padworth.com
Mr Chris RandellFrench, Spanishdeputy@padworth.com
Ms Cathryn ShakeshaftEnglish as an Additional Language (EAL)isc3@padworth.com
Ms Roxana ShieldsPsychology, Sciologypsy@padworth.com
Ms Marianna ZiffoArt and Designmarianna.ziffo@padworth.com

Boarding Team

Mr Tom GriffithsBoarding Coordinator, Housemasterboarding@padworth.com
Mr Matthew BaartmanHousemasterboarding@padworth.com
Ms Melanie SaundersHousemistressboarding@padworth.com
Ms Pippa DrysdaleAssistant to Housemistressboarding@padworth.com

Support Team

Ms Julie HealingCollege Nursenurse@padworth.com
Mr Tom GriffithsPA to the principalppa@padworth.com
Ms Sandra DavisBookkeeperbookkeeper@padworth.com
Mr Amit PertiChartwells Catering Manager64159@compass-group.co.uk
Ms Judith PalkaLibrarianlibrary@padworth.com
Mr Erhard MravlagLab Technicianlab@padworth.com
Mr Patryk BozekSite Managerpatryk.bozek@padworth.com
Ms Jane DysonAlumni Associationalumni@padworth.com

Our Trustees

Mr Jonathan Rawes

Trustee role and responsibilities: Chair of Trustees, Safeguarding Trustee
Qualifications: MA (Oxon), Solicitor, Postgraduate Certificate in Charity Management
Professional focus: Commercial law, charity governance
Experience in public or commercial life:
Lawyer with Reuters for 20 years, including three years in Asia
Trustee of Magic Bus (a children’s charity in India)
Hobbies: Music (piano, singing), sport, reading, walking

Mr Angus Cater

Trustee role and responsibilities: Member of the Finance & Marketing Committee
Qualifications: MA in Strategic Financial Management, Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance (ACCA), Cert PFS (CII), Qualified Stockbroker (by Diploma)
Professional focus: Finance
Experience in public or commercial life: Managing Director then Chairman of SFS Group Ltd (an insurance broker specialising in Independent schools), Board Chairman of Vistage U.K Ltd, Treasurer of Sherborne in the Community
Hobbies: Sailing, running, bridge

Mr David Crawford

Trustee role and responsibilities: Member of the Finance & Marketing Committee
Qualifications: BA, BSc (Hon)
Professional focus: Leadership in independent education, mentoring, appraisal
Experience in public or commercial life:
Headmaster of Colston’s School 1995–2005
Headmaster of Cokethorpe School 1989–1995
Teacher at Bryanston and Abingdon Schools
Chairman of the Society of Heads
Chair of IMB Pucklechurch Young Offenders’ Institute
Chair Brook Advisory Service Bristol
Hobbies: Golf, rugby, hill walking, aviation, natural history

Mrs Deidre Dyson

Trustee role and responsibilities: Member of Education Committee
Qualifications: BA (Hons) French, Cert TEFLA
Professional focus: EAL teacher
Experience in public or commercial life:
Member of Foreign Office for 30 years travelling the world from post to post
Language teacher for over 14 years
Numerous voluntary projects
Hobbies: Walking, cycling, travel, gardening, reading

Mrs Tina Elder

Trustee role and responsibilities: Member of the Finance & Marketing Committee
Qualifications: BSc (Chemistry), MBA
Professional focus: Management consultancy (strategy, leadership and organisational design)
Experience in public or commercial life:
VP A&D Gemini Consulting
Partner EMLP (Oslo)
Charity Mentors
Hobbies: Nordic walking, travel, theatre, opera

Prof. Nicholas Mann

Trustee role and responsibilities: Chair of Education Committee
Qualifications: MA, PhD, Hon. DLitt, CBE, FBA
Professional focus: Higher Education (Humanities)
Experience in public or commercial life:
University teacher (Cambridge, Warwick, Oxford, London)
Foreign Secretary (Vice president for international affairs) of the British Academy
Trustee of arts-related charitable organisations
Hobbies: Sculpture, poetry, yoga

Mr John Miller

Trustee role and responsibilities: Co-Deputy Chair of Trustees, Health and Safety Trustee
Qualifications: Agricultural College (NCA), Institute of Agricultural Management (IAGIM)
Professional focus: Agriculture, environment and countryside
Experience in public or commercial life:
Parish Council from 2004
High Sheriff of Berkshire 2006
Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire from 2009
President of Reading Cricket and Hockey Club
Chairman of Committee of Real Ale & Jazz Festival of Reading for 24 years
Hobbies: Cricket, hockey, golf, shooting, skiing, walking, gardening, woodturning, local history society

Mr Jeremy Robertson

Trustee role and responsibilities: Safer Recruitment and Safeguarding Children Trustee
Qualifications: B.Ed (Hons), Dip Ed, Cert Ed
Professional focus: Teacher and Principal
Experience in public or commercial life:
Headmaster of a charity-based independent residential school until 2007
Teacher for 36 years
Hobbies: Golf, sailing, gardening, house renovation, National Trust volunteer, local history

Mr John West

Trustee role and responsibilities: Co-Deputy Chair of Trustees, Member of the Finance & Marketing Committee
Qualifications: Undergraduate Diploma in Biblical and Theological Studies (University of Oxford), HND Business Studies
Professional focus: Property development
Experience in public or commercial life:
Company Finance Director
Residential developer
Trustee and treasurer to two charities
Governor of a state primary school
Hobbies: Gardening, writing, travelling

The Chair of Trustees or any Trustee may be contacted in confidence by emailing the Clerk to the Trustees to bursar@padworth.com or by writing to:

Chair of Trustees
c/o Padworth College
Sopers Lane
Reading RG7 4NR
United Kingdom

Are you Padworth? If you are a unique individual and open–minded global citizen, we are the right school for you.

Marzia Di Bella-Negi Padworth College Head of Marketing & Admissions
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