The official description of The HMCK Charity is “a foundation charitable, incorporated organisation (CIO) where the trustees are the members.” What that means in practice is that the charity is run by a leadership team whose members all knew Heather well and who bring skills and experience to its work. Four of the team are trustees, as required by law.
My early education was in a small rural primary school, followed by seven years at a maintained girls’ grammar school in Essex. I was the first in my family to enter Higher Education when I read Physics at Southampton University. After completing my PGCE, also at Southampton, I became a teacher, based in two Hampshire comprehensive schools, with ten years as an Academic Deputy Head. After twenty years of teaching I returned to Southampton University to study for a Master’s degree in Institutional and Professional Development. Following my time in the maintained sector, I joined Alleyn's School, an independent HMC School in Dulwich, where I spent seven happy years, including three as Assistant Head (Director of Studies). My last seven years of teaching were spent at King's College School, Wimbledon, as Principal Deputy. At King's I saw first-hand how valuable independent state school partnerships (ISSPs) can be - for all schools, pupils and teachers involved. I am now a student once again, this time at KCL, studying for a PhD – investigating ISSPs; their worth and how they are enacted.
Ian was Heather's husband now retired from a HR and change management career in the field of international construction engineering and project management. He took a keen interest in the partnership programmes Heather set up and helped with joint staff development strategy plus highlighting the learning opportunities presented to the more privileged pupils. The idea of supporting the continuation of Heather's work was generated from many quarters of the Rays' professional contacts and friends. He feels privileged to be working with such an esteemed and experienced team of educational professions in shaping how best the charity can make a difference.
I spent most of my working life at BAA and British Airways on the commercial and marketing side. During a career break raising three sons, I volunteered for a variety of charitable causes and worked on committees for community-based events. I returned to work in the charity sector leading the rebranding of the Wimbledon Guild, which aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness for people living in Merton and working as Communications Manager with Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity. For a large part of my life I have been involved in organising and promoting fundraising events. Some notable highlights include being Chair of The Friends of King’s College School, the parents’ association, and running the school’s Christmas Fair for several years. It was during my time as a parent at the school that I first encountered Heather McKissack’s incredible work. I was immediately hooked and sought to raise the profile of that work in whatever way I could. More recently, I worked as Commercial Director for a graphic design agency in the City and, during my furlough leave, set up the Farringdon Furlough Club with two colleagues to offer design and branding expertise to good causes.
Bill spent most of his career as a solicitor in London. Latterly, he has held positions as a non-executive director of an insurance company, a consultant to a large firm of insurance brokers and as an advisor to several recruitment firms.
Bill was educated at Christ’s Hospital and has had a lifelong involvement with the School, including roles as a Governor, Chairman of various committees and Deputy Chairman of its Council. He is currently Chairman of its Heritage Committee. He is also a Trustee of a Charity in the Education Sector.
Born in Weymouth, Dorset, Carol attended the local state coeducational grammar school before reading chemistry at University College, London. Neither of her parents had received formal education beyond the age of 16 so tertiary education was an enormous step and challenge. After graduation Carol took up an offer undertake research in plant biochemistry which, although rewarding, clarified a career in teaching was what she wanted. She took up a teaching post at Coombe Girls' School in New Malden, a non-selective state school, and progressed to being appointed to the Headship in 1997. Whilst seeking the sponsorship necessary to enable her school to become a Languages Specialist School, Coombe were introduced to KCS Wimbledon through the Sutton Trust, and the partnership took off, with Heather McKissack being the key link. Carol was then asked by her local authority to take on additionally, through federation, a troubled local boys' school, now renamed Coombe Boys' School. The partnership link was crucial. She retired in 2011 and is currently a Member of the Coombe Multi-academy Trust, which comprises the two Coombe Secondary Schools and three state primaries.
After studying at Cambridge, Harry Chapman lived in Spain for several years before joining the staff of King's College School in 1997 as a teacher of languages. As co-ordinator of partnerships at King's he worked closely with Heather McKissack MBE to develop the Wimbledon Independent-state Schools’ partnership. Harry became director of partnerships and outreach at King's in 2012 and continued to run the programme according to Heather's principles of mutual benefit, sustainability, and the capacity of schools to learn from each other. Harry was a founder member of the ISC's schools together group, which holds an annual conference to promote cross-sector partnerships. As a governor of Ricards Lodge High School in Wimbledon, he learned about the challenges faced by a thriving community school and was delighted when it was ranked outstanding by Ofsted in 2017. Although Harry has now stepped down from running the King's partnerships and outreach programme, he continues to take a strong interest in independent- state schools’ partnerships and has a wide range of contacts in the field.
After attending Fulham County Grammar school, Sarah Sawyerr worked for Lloyds Bank, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. She then moved to the charity sector where she led on the Daffodil Campaign for Marie Curie Cancer Care. With two small children and the support of her husband, Sarah returned to education to complete a BA Hons in English and Theatre studies and a PGCE in drama. Her teaching career began at Ricards Lodge High School in 2002. Sarah later completed a Master's in Drama in Education and joined the senior team in 2008. As part of her portfolio Sarah managed the school's participation in the KCS Wimbledon independent-state schools partnership programme set up by Heather McKissack. Whilst Sarah retired as Assistant Headteacher in summer 2019 she continues to teach and runs ESOL classes at a local refugee centre and tutors students in English who have missed education due to school closures this year. Sarah believes that education can change lives and the power of the arts can transform lives. We are delighted to have Sarah join us on our Educationalists Panel.