Denstone College was founded by Canon Nathaniel Woodard in 1868 and was incorporated in 2004. The Charity is a Limited Company and wholly owned subsidiary of the Woodard Corporation. The Governors are the Directors of the Company and are elected to hold office for 5 years initially, with 5 yearly renewals thereafter.

The school is governed by the Governing Body which operates using a number of Committees and meets as a Full Board at least 3 times a year. Many of its members are Old Denstonians or have children who are ODs or currently in school. The day to day management of the school is delegated to the Head and Bursar, supported by the Senior Management Team.

The Governing Body looks to ensure a mix of skills, background and competence and their details are as follows:

Nigel Ratcliffe - Chair of the Board

Nigel T. Ratcliffe (Prof.)  B.Pharm, Ph.D, DMS, FRPharmS, FRSB, CBiol, PFHEA, FTOPRA, FCMI. Appointed 2017 Chair of the Board (Custos) June 2020. Member of the Education and Marketing Committees, Chairman of Compliance and Remuneration Committees, as Custos ex-officio member of all Governance Committees. Emeritus Professor of Pharmacy and previous Head of School, Keele University 2012 -2018. Visiting Professor University College London and previous Chairman of the UK, Heads of Pharmacy Schools Council and academic member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of GB Governance Assembly. Previous Chairman of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent NHS Community Trust and Chairman of the Nursing and Midwifery Appointments Board. Retired from AstraZeneca in 2001 as a Global VP of Business Strategy and Development and of the Global Regulatory Affairs Executive. Two children educated at Denstone, son now a Veterinary Surgeon (Edin) and daughter reading Pharmacy at Strathclyde. Enjoys cycling, hill walking, skiing and family life.

Emily Bell

Emily Bell (MA, Oxon), appointed 2016. Solicitor specialising in employment law (non practising). Chair of Personnel Committee. Enjoys family life, reading, yoga, outdoor pursuits.

Andrew Coley

Andrew Coley appointed 2003. Member of Premises Committee. Quantity Surveyor / Business Manager, Partner of Ainsley and Partners. Old Denstonian. Member of MCC, sportsman and theatre enthusiast.

Malcolm Coffin

Malcolm Coffin (MA, Cantab), appointed 2016. Private equity investor and formerly investment banking. Member of the Finance and Marketing Committees. Old Denstonian. Enjoys sport in all its guises and family life.

David Cooper

David Cooper BSc BEd MSc MCollP MBCS MCIEA. Appointed 2019. Chairman of Education Committee. David is an experienced educationist with over 30 years’ experience in schools. Enjoys playing football and running and is a keen skier. Believes in lifelong learning and has completed several MOOCs in maths and cybersecurity.

Mark Huddy

Mark Huddy, Airline Captain and Type Rating Instructor (TRI) and Examiner (TRE). Appointed 2019. Member of Finance & General Purpose, Safeguarding, Compliance, IT & Fundraising committees. Past Parent and Old Denstonian. Enjoys shooting, gardening, wine, volunteering on outdoor projects and time with family.

Chris Lewis

Chris Lewis appointed 2010. Member of the Finance and Marketing Committees. Director of Denstone College Enterprises Ltd. Partner of the Lewis Partnership, Board member of a number of educational charities. Enjoys skiing, walking, food and wine.

Jenny Marshall

Jenny Marshall joined the Board of Governors at Smallwood in 2015 and Vice Custos before the closure. A retired Primary School teacher who specialised in Early Years Education and Special Educational Needs. Jenny has worked in various primary schools across Cheshire from rural villages to inner city schools with high deprivation and social needs as Head of Early Years. Jenny opened a nursery 16 years ago that recently relocated to larger premises within an Academy Trust. Her husband attended both Smallwood Preparatory School and Denstone College. 

Gareth McAloon

Gareth McAloon

Barbara McNally-Young

Barbara McNally-Young appointed 2015. Chair of IT Committee. Systems, IT & Network Strategy Manager at BT, specialising in technical product introduction. Enjoys music, travel and rugby.

Jack Sampson

Jack Sampson (BA Hons), appointed 2022. Corporate marketing and media professional. Member of the Marketing, Fundraising, and Enterprise Committees. Enjoys all sports leisurely, particularly triathlon, as well as a budding family life.

Qamar Siddiqi

Dr Qamar Siddiqi (MBBS, MRCGP and MSc(SEM)) has worked in health care for almost 30 years and is currently a practicing GP in the NHS. He holds specialist qualifications in Sports and Exercise Medicine and has worked with elite athletes and as a club Doctor for a Premier League football team. He was appointed as a governor in March 2023 and is a member of the Compliance and Safeguarding Committees. In his leisure time, Dr Siddiqi plays football, trains in Karate and attends the gym. He enjoys spending time with his family and walking to explore the Staffordshire countryside.

If you would like to contact any of the governors, please email [email protected] or write to:

Chair of Governors,
Denstone College,
ST14 5HN