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WestVille House School

Independent School For Girls & Boys

westville house school Exceptional Education ranked in the top 50 preparatory schools by the sunday times

Governing Body

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  • Adam Holdsworth

    Chair of Governors

  • Adam has had a long association with the school. His four children were educated at Westville, lives locally in Ilkley and he took over the role of Chair in January 2018. Adam graduated from Northumbria University and served his apprenticeship in the Bradford wool trade specialising in luxury fibres such as cashmere, camelhair and angora. He has been involved with the start up of two businesses. Pure Collection a mail order cashmere brand  and more recently as Managing Director of N.Peal – a luxury cashmere specialist with stores in London and New York.  Adam is a keen sportsman and has represented Yorkshire and England in full bore target rifle.


  • William Eddison


  • William Eddison

    Senior Partner in Dale Eddison the UK’s most successful small chain Estate Agency practice. Highly respected in the locality, William brings a huge depth of knowledge regarding land and buildings and more recently Health and Safety. William’s children were educated at Westville and he has been a long serving Governor.William Eddison

    Senior Partner in Dale Eddison the UK’s most successful small chain Estate Agency practice. Highly respected in the locality, William brings a huge depth of knowledge regarding land and buildings and more recently Health and Safety. William’s children were educated at Westville and he has been a long serving Governor.

  • Helen James


  • Helen James has been a Governor at Westville House for thirteen years and has had five children who have all been educated at the school.

    Helen’s primary responsibility on the Governing Body is marketing and communications.

    Having graduated in Business Studies, Helen's career has been based in strategic marketing for three national franchise companies. This was followed by a number of years lecturing at graduate and post-graduate levels in Marketing and Corporate Strategy.

    More recently Helen has set up Girlie Gardening, a leading party plan and e-commerce company. She has undertaken a number of television appearances…including forming a partnership with Peter Jones (Dragons Den), ITV’s Tycoon series, and has regularly been seen presenting with Alan Titchmarsh on his ITV1 chat show.


  • Michael Tait

    Advisory Governor

  • Michael graduated from Oxford University with a MA and went on to gain  a doctorate in philosophy. He was appointed Headmaster of Westville House in 1987 and oversaw the move from the schools original site in Westville Road to the current location in Middleton. Michael retired from the school in 1995 following the change to charitable status for the school. He continues to offer a wealth of experience and advice in the running of the school.

  • Stewart McGuffie


  • Stewart is Group Chief Executive of Allied Textiles Ltd, a business that employs 230 people and focuses on specialist products for technical end uses in markets such as automotive, aeronautical and aerospace. Stewart also serves as Treasurer and a Non-Executive Director of UK Fashion and Textiles, the largest representative body for the industry in the UK; he is a trustee of the Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club and an “Entrepreneur in Residence” for Connect Yorkshire. Stewart graduated in law from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, before qualifying as a Chartered Management Accountant. Stewart's commercial expertise is invaluable to the board.

  • Karen Ellison


  • Karen lives locally and has had a long association with Westville having put all four of her children through the school starting from 1994. Karen qualified as a doctor and practiced at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist for 25 years, following which she took a Master’s Degree in Health Care Ethics and Law. She now practices in medical law for the Medical Protection Society. Her medical and legal expertise are great assets to the board.

  • Alison Schmidt


  • Alison read law at Cambridge University and went on to train and qualify as a solicitor in the corporate department of one of London’s leading firms, Linklaters. She has practiced exclusively as a family lawyer from 2006 (initially in London and latterly in Leeds following relocation to Yorkshire with her family in 2012). Alison specialises in the resolution of financial matters upon relationship breakdown and in complex private children law proceedings. Alison has also qualified as a family law mediator alongside her practice as a solicitor. Alison brings a depth of valuable, professional expertise to the board.

  • James Mundell


  • Headmaster of Giggleswick Junior School

    Born in South Wales, James read Law and Politics at Cardiff University and then gained a Primary teaching qualification at the University of Wales, Newport. James joined Giggleswick School in 2004 teaching a wide range of subjects. He became Deputy Head in 2012 and Headmaster in 2015. Since taking on this post James has further developed EYFS provision, as well as making extensive changes to curriculum and assessment structures at the school. He has also led the school’s digital strategy. James is part of the school’s safeguarding lead team and has a specific interest in developing pupil’s mental health and wellbeing. James is currently training as an ISI (Independent School Inspectorate) inspector with a focus on regulatory compliance for independent schools.


  • Rosey James

    Advisory Governor

  • Rosey James was born and brought up in Zimbabwe. She trained at the University of Cape Town where she majored in Maths and Chemistry and completed her PGCE. Her teaching career spanned 36 years during which she taught in 4 countries, in state, independent and international schools. For the first 15 years of her career, Rosey taught in secondary schools and managed both Maths and Science departments. She has sat on several national panels involved with the development of assessment material and has a broad knowledge and experience of different educational systems. She joined Westville in 1996 and through her 19 years held a range of roles from SENCo, Director of Studies, Deputy Head and Headteacher.  Rosey retired in September 2015 and now enjoys mentoring Heads, working on governing bodies and having some time for her hobbies which include sewing, bridge, swimming, travelling and attempting to play golf!

  • Mark Robinson


  • Mark was educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, has a Masters in the Art and Science of Warfare and an MBA from the Open University. He served as an officer in the Yorkshire Regiment, formerly the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding).  He has worked across the globe, including operational tours in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. Mark acted as Chief Operations Officer in Helmand leading a multi-national planning team which designed, planned and implemented the largest operation in Afghanistan involving 15,000 Afghan and NATO personnel. He retired from the service in May.