Our governors are people from the community who have business, management or education experience, alongside staff and parents:

Grae Laws MBA (Chair of Governors)

Grae is the Managing Director of Beyond Touch Ltd, a consultancy grae-lawscompany that focuses it efforts in developing growth strategies for its clients.

In 1985 Grae started working life as a letterpress print apprentice in the Yorkshire Dales. He spent over 20 years in media and publishing, his career in print took him across the world. His knowledge of Six Sigma Lean Manufacturing and Prince2 Project Management took him into the technology sector. He fast became the industries subject matter expert on customer engagement technologies and put this knowledge to use whilst undertaking an Executive MBA. Grae graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2013 and started his own consultancy which he continues to run to this day.

When not helping businesses in the Bicester area to grow stronger and more resilient, you may find Grae behind the lens of a camera; he is a keen photographer and videographer.

Richard Brown

Brown RRichard gained ample industry experience, embracing exciting graduate engineering opportunities in the UK and overseas, before moving into the education sector. This helped him understand the importance of real-world contact and relevant learning content.

He has been working in a variety of roles in the education sector since 2002, including leadership of pastoral and faculty teams, as well as a variety of school senior leadership roles. Across all stages of my career, he has been lucky enough to work with some inspiring people who have reinforced a consistent message to him: “People who are relentless and focused in their efforts but remain resilient and refuse to allow their ambitions to be lowered will have unmatched opportunities.”

Richard holds the view that far too many of our young people have lowered horizons and don’t realise the benefit of dedication and hard work. He is passionate about the need for schools to help provide quality experiences to student. Richard is honoured to lead Bicester Technology Studio, a school that has unparalleled ambition for its students.

David Hudson

david-hudson-editDavid started his teaching career in 1986 and has taught in a wide range of countries and educational settings.

He is particularly interested in developing interesting curriculum models which are appropriate to all students’ needs. David is currently Headteacher at the Royal Latin School in Buckingham.

Lewis Knight

Knight LLewis works for environmental charity Bioregional. He is the Bicester Eco Town Project Manager, focusing on environmental sustainability and viability of this innovative development.

This includes working on ways future residents of and businesses in Bicester can achieve low carbon lifestyles, through energy from waste strategies, biodiversity strategy and green infrastructure plans, transport plans and the promotion of One Planet Principles.

Before working at Bioregional, Lewis worked at Central Bedfordshire Council as a Sustainable Growth Officer and at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) as a sustainability consultant. During his time at BRE, he worked on several innovative projects, such as the Green Deal Go Early pilot projects in Birmingham, produced large scale sustainability masterplans and created the BRE Community Assessment Tool, which looks to test the resilience of community groups to climate change.

At BRE, Lewis received the Chinese Beijing Green Building Park Project and Sustainable Communities Team Award. He also wrote two key reports, BRE Trust Information Paper: Supporting Sustainable Development Through Planning and BRE Trust Information Paper: Smart Growth.

Lewis holds an honours degree in BSc Geography and an MSc in Sustainable Cities, with his dissertation focused on new and evolving management strategies for allotments within the UK. In his spare time, Lewis enjoys playing and watching sport. He is also a keen birdwatcher and gardener and enjoys long country walks with his family.

Steph McNeil

steph-mcneilSteph is a staff governor at Bicester Technology Studio, where she is also part of the Senior Leadership Team and works as Business Liaison Coordinator. She is the main link for work placement and business-led project based learning. She is also the Lead Business teacher, Vocational Quality Lead and Quality Nominee for the all BTEC provision.

Steph was previously Head of Business at the Banbury Campus of Activate Learning, in charge of rewriting the BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3, moving from traditional teaching to project based learning and embedding employability skills. She was previously a Senior Soft Skills Management Trainer and ILM Programme Manager, delivering a range of soft skills courses, as well as an External Standards verifier.

Brian Whitford MBE FIoD

Whitford B MBEBrian Whitford MBE is an international director with extensive experience managing businesses of all sizes. Specialising in business transformation, Brian has worked globally, successfully growing businesses and opening new markets.

A member and Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a board member of the Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the local parish council, Graham has a broad range of expertise in the private and public sector.

Brian has managed global divisions for Alcan and Racal Electronics and has successfully established, built and sold businesses of his own. He has in depth experience in South East Asia and has established distributor and agency networks throughout the region, as well as establishing a manufacturing joint venture in China. He also has extensive experience in franchising, having owned one of the most successful UK franchises for Bartercard. Brian has advised many businesses who have wanted to expand via a franchise model.

Brian was honoured in 1997 for his services to industry.

Georgina Whyatt

Whyatt GGeorgina is Head of Marketing at the Faculty of Business at Oxford Brookes University.

With a first degree in Textile Design, her working life started as a clothing buyer for High Street retailers. Georgina then moved to Hong Kong, to run the Hong Kong Exporters Association, where she was responsible for liaising between US and European retail buyers and their Far Eastern suppliers. On her return to the UK, Georgina combined study for an MBA with a role as town centre manager, working closely with retailers and local communities.

Since joining Oxford Brookes University, she has developed a range of business related programmes, with a particular focus on marketing strategy and retail management courses.

Dean Woodham

Woodham DDean is a passionate believer that students shouldn’t be limited, as they can achieve far more than they think is possible. Since 2002, he has enjoyed working with students, enabling them to flourish throughout their education. Dean has taught in a variety of different contexts, within a number of middle and senior management positions.

He is enthusiastic about learning and sport, having been heavily involved in football coaching and worked within professional football and for the FA. Dean now uses these skills to support the running of grassroots sports clubs in the local community.

Dean is keen to work together to guide Bicester Technology Studio to reach its full potential as a world class educational establishment.


Contacting our Governing Body

Chair of Local Governing Body is: Graeme Laws, Chair of Governors, Bicester Technology Studio, Queens Avenue, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 2NS

To contact the Governors, please email clerk@activatelearning.ac.uk or call: 01865 551 025.