Chard Prep School Governors

James Salt – Chair of Governos

James is a Management Consultant, focused on change and leadership. He grew up in the area, moved away for some years having joined the Army, then returned in 2016 with his wife Davina. They have two children both at Chard Prep School. He read History at Exeter, later undertaking a Masters at Oxford Brookes in International Development in anticipation of some overseas work. Outside of these activities his passion is sailing.

Gemma Buckley

Gemma is a senior commercial lawyer for a FTSE 100 financial services company. She predominantly works in the technology sector, focusing on strategic and business-critical initiatives. Her role as a member of the company’s leadership team has provided her with a wealth of management and leadership experience.

Gemma has two daughters at Chard Prep School. Having grown up in the area, she and her family made the decision to move back in 2020, providing her children with the enriching experience of being raised in the countryside.

Mike Buckley

Mike is a senior marketing specialist at a global digital quality engineering company, with 20 years’ experience in tech and financial services marketing communications and PR. Mike has two daughters at Chard Prep School.

Alexa Dugdale

Phil Higgs

Stewart Hull

Stewart was a boarding pupil at Chard Prep School from 1958 to 1962 and remembers his schooldays with great affection. He went on to have a successful career in the Metropolitan Police in London finishing as a Detective Superintendent investigating serious crimes. He then had a short career as a Financial Adviser and after he retired in 2001 he took up his passion, rock and roll music, and has been entertaining people ever since. He has recently become a Governor at the School as he is Chairman Elect of the Old Cerdics Association which he will take over in June 2024 upon the retirement of the present Chair.

Zoë Prien

Zoë has taught primary and secondary in both the state and private sector. She has been a subject lead and has worked in The Sunday Times Good Schools Guide’s ‘London School of the Year’. She is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. She grew up in Chard and has two children at Chard Prep School.

Mike Sitch – Head of Safeguarding

Mike moved to the local area in 2022 and he joined the Governing body in 2024. He is the Headmaster of a Primary School in Dorset. He read Classics and Archaeology at the Universities of Cambridge and Nottingham, and prior to life as a teacher, worked as a lawyer in the City.

Tristan Wootten

Tristan is currently a Programme Director working for HSBC in Risk and Compliance Transformation. Tristan joined HSBC in 2017 following 5 years as the Operations Director of FSI Europe. Prior to this Tristan did a brief stint with LOCOG as part of the 2012 Olympic Games responsible for City Operations and the Last Mile at Wembley Stadium and Arena. This followed several years in the Army as an officer in the Royal Engineers. Tristan completed a number of operational tours during his time in the Army. Tristan is married to Samantha and has two daughters both of whom attended Chard Prep School.