Schools Advisory Team

Chatsworth’s Schools’ Advisory Team (SAT), has been established to act as ‘critical friends’ for our Heads and school communities.

The SAT consists of professional people with a wealth of experience in education, with the requisite skills and knowledge in a very wide range of curricular and extra-curricular subjects. Collectively, they have over 250 years’ experience in the maintained and independent schools sectors working with children aged 2 to 18+.

Our priority is to establish strong relationships with our schools and all members of the community. This is achieved by the team spending quality time in the schools and, at the same time, providing remote support, when needed.

Graeme Delaney (Governor)

BA (Hons), PGCE (Mod. Langs. and Sport), Sprachdiplom

I fell into teaching almost by default, because the British government thought I was a Stasi spy, having worked as an interpreter and translator for the East German government in the 1970s. Once in teaching, I was lucky to work at some exceptional schools and with many amazing pupils. I have worked almost entirely in the independent sector, at single-sexand co-ed boarding and day schools. Apart from French and German, I have taught Spanish, Dutch, Sport and Drama to all ages at Secondary level. I have edited and written several plays for the European Theatre Company, and set up a theatre group performing plays in several languages. I have also edited language course books. I have been involved in running boarding houses and organising the international dimension in several schools. For 9 years I was Chair of MEP UK, encouraging Sixth Formers to be involved in all matters European. Since early retirement in 2012, I have been involved in international education and school inspections. I also work with Cambridge, writing educational papers and German exams, and am a member of QPEC. Outside of education, I still play sport (cricket), love travelling (a house in France helps), and get to the theatre whenever I can.

John Alcott

M.Sc., B.Ed. (Hons)

After an early career teaching Secondary PE, History and Geography in Devon and North Yorkshire I became a Head at 44, leading three Prep schools in Worcestershire and Hampshire, with the tremendous support of my American wife Cecilia. I had long been attracted to working overseas, however, and from 2004 to 2013 I was Head of one of the leading Middle East Prep Schools. After a brief spell in early retirement mentoring and consulting, in 2016 I was appointed Founding Principal of a new through school in another Gulf country on a one-year start-up contract. I have experience in both single sex and co-educational boarding and day schools, and in charitable trust, group and proprietorial schools. I have been a school governor and, more recently, a mentor of new Heads for IAPS. I also have conducted schools’ inspections in the UK and overseas. Whilst in the Gulf I was part of the Heads’ group that made initial representations to the Department for Education to encourage the creation of the ‘British Schools Overseas’ Kitemark of excellence. My wife and I love to travel to off-the-beaten-track places and I am still a ‘sports nut’, supporting lost causes like Birmingham City!

Jane Emerson

M.Sc. Dip. Dyslexia. Speech and Language Therapist. Literacy and Numeracy Specialist.

I qualified as a Speech and Language therapist in 1977 and completed my Masters at City University, London, with further qualifications in 1983 at the Hornsby Centre and Dyslexia Institute. I have always taught children individually or in small groups in my career. I have spent time travelling widely, living and working overseas (in New Zealand as a Speech and Language Therapist, and in Peru, teaching English as a second language). I set up Emerson House in West London, with the late Dorian Yeo (sold to WLG Learning Partnership in 2016), which is a specialist centre for children with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia, working closely with the research work on Dyscalculia, with Emeritus Professor Brian Butterworth and with Professor Diana Laurillard on digital interventions for Dyscalculia. I have also lectured widely, and ran teacher-training courses on assessing and working with dyscalculics within the Primary sector. With Patricia Babtie, I published The Dyscalculia Assessment in 2010. I was a governor at Fairley House School for 8 years, and am currently a member of the Learnus Council, a new think-tank about how Understanding Learning links with current knowledge in the field of Neuroscience. Currently, I am an Independent SEND Advisor and Dynamic Assessor to schools and centres.

Clair Marsh


I have worked in schools teaching mainly in Early Years and have also held leadership roles in both primary and secondary schools. I have been involved in starting up schools and working in schools that require improvement, helping to develop strategies to enable teachers to meet the children’s needs more effectively. Most recently, I have been involved in curriculum development and assessment to support teachers implementing the best learning experiences in their classrooms, and developing new ways of making data accessible to teachers to ensure pupil’s learning has real quantifiable value.

My husband and our three wonderful children have recently moved back to the U.K. after having lived in the UAE for many years. The children are of course now anxiously awaiting their first snowball fight and sledging experience.

Angela Hobbs

MSc Responsible Business, DipHE Management.

My company, Wilkinson Hall supports entrepreneurship, ensuring innovators build successful, sustainable businesses. Entrepreneurs add economic value, enable diversity and create vibrant communities, bringing global benefits in healthcare, education, travel and communication. Gender inequality is a waste of talent, bright ideas need to thrive on a level platform.  The challenge for women to continually push through barriers that should no longer exist has to be resolved. We support female entrepreneurs, through coaching, workshops and bespoke programmes. Travel inspires me from horse-riding in Mongolia to running workshops in Oman, Dubai and Melbourne.

Gordon Milne (Chair of Governors)

B.Ed (Hons), Cert.Ed., MCollP, FRSA

I have worked in independent schools for the last 38 years and have taught History, English, PE and almost every other subject on the Primary curriculum at some point. I became a Head at the relatively young age of 32 and spent the next 27 years leading four schools in Hampshire, Yorkshire (x2), and latterly in London. At one time my three children were in my school and my wife was a teacher. I have experience of single sex and co-educational education in proprietorial, group and charitable trust owned schools. I have been a school governor for more than ten years and am currently Chair of Governors of a 3-11 years’ co-ed prep school. I mentor and appraise Head teachers, conduct inspections and advise on best practice in safeguarding and governance. Sport is a passion, and I play (the oldies!) and officiate county badminton for Yorkshire, where I have been Chairman of the County Association for more than ten years. I also sit on the Disciplinary Committee of Badminton England and I am currently the Independent Chair of a major competition review.

Scroll to Top