Governor Profiles

St George’s Governing Board

John Featherby

John is married to the ever-supportive Beth and father to Frederick, Charles, Wilbur and Felicity, the eldest two of whom are students at St George’s. John is a long term advocate for the redefinition of success in business towards something that balances our desire for prosperity with being a force for positive social and environmental change. Senior Advisor to Blueprint for Better Business in its early days, Blueprint being a primary protagonist for the importance of corporate purpose. In 2015, John was UK Founder Member of “B Corp”, now the world’s leading “business as a force for good” movement. He sits on the Investment Committee for Resonance’s multi-award winning impact investment funds and various other finance, land and family office working groups exploring the commercial and philosophical question of stewardship. Once in real estate and corporate finance at Savills Capital Advisors, John holds an MA from Cass Business School and BA (Hons) from University of Nottingham.

Helen Barton

I have been part of the St George’s family for 16 years having been first appointed as an Assistant Head in 2005. I was promoted to deputy in 2008 before having the great privilege to be trusted with the role of Head as of September 2017.  I have a degree in Geography from the University of Wales and a Master’s degree from the Open University.  I started my working life as an accountant working for National Power and Scania Trucks, before going back to University to train to be a teacher.  My educational career has taken me through all incarnations of educational establishment at secondary level and has included time in both the Independent and state sectors.  When I’m off duty (Ha!) I love to read, run, hike and travel. 

 Chris Lumsden I have taught at St George’s since September 1999, having accepted the post of Head of Science. This came after 14 years of teaching at Dame Alice Owen’s School in Potters Bar. Five years later, I stepped down from that post so as to concentrate on what I enjoyed the most - teaching in the classroom. Five years ago, I decided to go part time, in anticipation of a gradual step down before retirement, which finally started in September 2021. This year, I have a very few hours’ contract to help Mrs Howard to run and organise the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.  My training background was Engineering at Cambridge University (St John’s College) followed directly by PGCE at Oxford.  Married for 33 years to Gail, the good Lord only provided us with one son (Matt, 23 years old now!) but at least we have him to cherish. We have lived in old Welwyn most of our married life.  My interests lie in sports (rugby was my favourite whilst young enough to take part), walking the hills around the country, white water kayaking, DIY and reading.

Emma Sabato

I have taught at St George’s for six years and have loved my time as part of the St George’s family so far. I am currently working as one of the Deputy Directors of Learning for Humanities, but have held various posts in the school, including Subject Specialist for History and Deputy Head of Grant House, and I teach history and politics within the faculty. I have a degree in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds and completed my PGCE training at the Institute of Education in London, where I met my husband (also a history teacher!). We now have an almost three year old who is almost certainly destined for a career in education. I love teaching and wouldn’t want to do any other job; I firmly believe that a child’s educational experience helps to shape their future, academically, socially and pastorally. I am also passionate about facilitating opportunities for our young people to become more politically informed. Outside of work, I enjoy keeping fit and I also love having the time to enjoy a really good book.

Fiona Rainsford

I have been a Governor at St George’s since 2013 and was previously a Governor at St Nicholas School. I have lived in Harpenden with my husband Mark since 1997 and our five children have all passed through the school, between 2005 and 2012. I am a practising family law barrister with a special interest in child protection issues, and will bring some of that knowledge to my role as Safeguarding Governor.

Lynda McCarney-Redford

I have lived in Harpenden for 44 years and worked in education for 20 years. I started my school career as a Matron at a local Prep Boarding School. I first became part of the St George’s community 14 years ago when my daughter joined the school, my son is now in Year 13, which means my time as a parent will soon come to an end. I am the Pastoral Support manager, Mental Health Lead and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead at St Georges. As Pastoral Support manager I am responsible for the Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs of students on the SEN register. I have the privilege of managing a team of staff who are dedicated to supporting our young people in this area. As Mental Health Lead I support a whole school approach to Mental Health for both our young people and staff. As DDSL I have a greater understanding of our most vulnerable students and their needs. I like to throw myself into all aspects of St George's life including taking part in DofE and I have worked in all three boarding houses, giving me great insight into the life of a boarder. My interests are walking, talking and laughing.

Liz Cowan

I was elected a Governor in 2018 and have a particular interest in Curriculum and Boarding.  I have lived in Harpenden with my husband John since 1997 and my children were both born here and have attended St George’s; the younger child will leave after A Levels in 2022. I am a qualified Solicitor and practised in the area of Commercial Property before I had my children.  I have subsequently been involved in several organisations in a voluntary capacity including St Nicholas Church, the Cecil Grant Founder’s Trust and a local Scout group.  In my spare time I enjoy playing and watching tennis, supporting Arsenal FC (not always enjoyable!), reading and cooking for family and friends.

John Hayward

My first involvement with St Georges was in 1986 as a consultant quantity surveyor for the construction of the Design and Technology Block. I moved to Harpenden in 1988 and shortly after that was invited to sit on the Estates Committee. I became a Governor in 1990 and have advised the school on the maintenance of the school’s estate and most of the new build and major refurbishments projects that have taken place since. I head a small construction consultancy practice based in Fleet Street. My spare time is taken up with walking three dogs, cycling, hill walking, watching rugby and football. I am hoping that some  skiing and travel will be possible in the new year.


Jo Ledsham

I have a long association with St Georges spanning over 40 years.The school has always been a central part of my life since 1980, being an Old Georgian boarder who married another Old Georgian boarder and then many years later both of our daughters have attended the school. Having graduated from the University of London I went on later to complete my postgraduate studies in Business at the University of Oxford & Insead, Paris. I have worked in the Retail industry for many years at a number of high street retailers, most recently as a Commercial Director. I now run a bespoke consultancy specialising in commercial and brand strategy development as well as global sourcing initiatives within a variety of categories. When I have free time I enjoy the outdoors, swimming, running & walking my wire haired fox terrier.