Channing Governors with members of the Senior Leadership Team

Any correspondence for the Chair of Governors should be addressed to: Mrs Cindy Leslie, Chair of Governors, Channing School, Highgate, London N6 5HF –

John Alexander FCA

Until recently a partner at Carter Backer Winter LLP, and previously at PKF and KPMG, chartered accountants and business advisors, John is now acting as an independent business advisor. He had previously been a full-time insolvency practitioner since 1976 and founding member of R3 (the insolvency profession’s trade body). He was a member and sometime vice-Chairman of the ICAEW’s review committee and is now on the ICAEW’s new probate committee. He is also on the Financial Reporting Council’s panel of tribunal members and acts as a non-Executive Director.

Andrew Appleyard BSc

Educated at the Perse School and Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge. BSc degree in Land Management from Reading University and diploma in Investment Management from London Business School. Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Until recently senior director in Aviva Investors Real Assets Team. Now a consultant to a later life living company, a real estate fund and a merchant bank. Unitarian.

Julia Burns BA

Educated at Ranelagh School, Berks and the University of Southampton. Headmistress of Leicester High School for Girls 2003-2013, a Girls’ Independent School for ages 3-18. More than 30 years’ experience in independent girls’ schools. Has also worked as a GCSE and A Level Examiner, and is an ISI Inspector. Has represented the Midlands Region on the GSA CPD Committee from 2006-2011.
Chair of Education Committee.

Daniel Costley BA

Trained for Unitarian Ministry at Harris Manchester College, Oxford and called to the Sevenoaks Unitarian congregation in 2010. Secretary and Trustee to the General Baptist Assembly, and Treasurer to the Manchester Academy Trust. Former Policy Advisor at HM Treasury.

Cindy Leslie LlB

Educated at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and the University of Bristol. She is a Solicitor and former longstanding Dispute Resolution partner with Dentons. Governor of Birkbeck, University of London, and a member of fitness to practise panels of the Health and Care Professions Council.  A trustee and non executive board member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Chair of Fitness to Practise panels at the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners. Former non-executive member of the board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, former member of the Council of the University of Bristol and former Trustee of the University of Bristol Students’ Union. Chair of Governors.

Brigid Rentoul MA

Educated at Cambridge and Yale, Brigid is a corporate finance lawyer, practising both English and NY law. Currently employed at Winton Capital Management Ltd as General Counsel. Crafts Council Trustee and Member of the Audit Committee. Current Channing parent.

William Spears BA, MBA, FRGS

Educated at Brentwood School (Essex), the University of London (SOAS) and Cass Business School, London. William has a background in marketing and public relations. In addition to running his own communications consultancy, he is also a consultant at two City-based public relations firms. He is a descendent of the Reverend Robert Spears, co-founder of Channing School.


Educated at the University of Bristol, Amanda Sutton is currently a GP partner at a large practice in Muswell Hill. She has 10 years’ experience as a GP trainer and educationalist with responsibility for training junior doctors in General Practice. Her two daughters both attended Channing School.

Ingrid Wassenaar MA, DPHIL

Studied French and Dutch literature at Robinson College, Cambridge, before embarking on her doctorate at St John’s, Oxford on Marcel Proust. This was published as Proustian Passions (OUP, 2000). She was the Scholl Fellow in Modern Languages at Christ’s, Cambridge (2000-04). She has also taught at Oxford, the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and the University of Sydney. After two years as a management consultant with SHM (2007-09), she started to work as an independent educational consultant. She was a governor for five years at Highgate Primary School, and chair for two years (2010-12). One of her two children recently started at Channing. She is currently writing a book called Motherload.

Lisa Cristie BA

Lisa was educated at Malvern Girls’ College and the University of Bristol. She completed a law conversion course at the College of Law and trained as a solicitor at Simmons & Simmons. After qualifying, she specialised in corporate taxation with a broad transactional and consultancy practice. She moved to HM Treasury where she currently works as a tax policy adviser. Lisa is a current Channing parent.

Helen Stringer MA, DPhil

Educated at Danum Grammar School in Doncaster and the Universities of Bristol (undergraduate), Sussex (MA and DPhil) and London (teacher training at the Institute of Education). Taught History and Politics at Leicester Grammar School and James Allen’s Girls’ School, Dulwich. Spent nine very happy years teaching at Channing (1998-2007) before moving on to The Stephen Perse Foundation, Cambridge, as Head of Senior School, then Vice-Principal. Currently Head of Northampton High School.

Juliette Otterburn Hall

Educated at Channing School and Bristol University. With over 25 years of experience in Media, Start-ups and Digital, Juliette is behind directing and producing highly successful prime time TV shows. She has worked across a range of shows and formats including I’m A Celebrity, Coronation Street and created the first iPhone app for the BBC. In addition, Juliette has extended her expertise to run digital start-ups, with her most recent being successful acquired by a market leading FMCG company.  

Punam Peck