St Bees School

Local Advisory Council

Local Advisory Council

The St Bees School, Local Advisory Council

St Bees School is managed by the Board of Directors for St Bees School Management Company Ltd. This is overseen by the parent company, Full Circle Education. 

The Board of Directors has established a Local Advisory Council to act on their behalf, providing both local and educational specific knowledge and to liaise with and oversee the SLT of the school.  They meet on a termly basis to discuss all key matters relating to the school and support the Headmaster and his team in ensuring the school is compliant with all boarding and ISI standards, with a particular focus on safeguarding, health and safety, safe recruitment, and boarding provision. 

More regular meetings will happen between certain members of the Council and senior leaders in the school, notably with the Nominated Safeguarding Lead.  All meetings are minuted and minutes are passed on to the Board of Directors. 

Contact with the Local Advisory Council can be made through the Chair, Mr Mark George at

LAC Annual Report 2022-2023 

Mark George -  Chairman

About Mark

Mark recently retired from a career in financial services. He lives in St Bees and his family have been involved with the school for over 70 years. His wife and children were all pupils. 

Following the school's closure in 2015, Mark joined the Trustee Board in early 2016 and was instrumental in developing the relationship with Full Circle that led to the school reopening in September 2018. 

Passionate about protecting Edmund Grindal's legacy of educating children in West Cumbria, Mark recognised the strength of the global proposition of Full Circle and the potential to create something unique and enduring in equipping children who study at the school for the modern, global world. 

Mark chairs the Local Advisory Council, and the St Bees charitable trust. 

He is an avid fell walker and aims in retirement to get better at golf and to take up cycling again.

Laurence Gribble

Laurence Gribble - Full Circle Designated Authority

About Laurence

A graduate of Chinese Studies at Cambridge University and Peking University, Laurence has spent many years studying and working in China.

Laurence spent time working in tourism and travel before focusing on educational study trips. He has further experience in curriculum development, operations and school management.

Laurence is Full Circle Education's Deputy Director and oversees the group's UK operations.

As a St Bees School alumnus, Laurence is now back at his old school in the role of Assistant Head, working to forge a truly global school with strong links between China and the UK.

Laurence is a big football fan and a keen cyclist. He cycled 17,298km from London to Hong Kong in 2014-15 and recently cycled from Hong Kong to Cambodia, where the charity school he co-founded is located.

Roger Sinnett - Director of Education of Full Circle Education

About Roger

A graduate of universities in London and Cambridge, Roger has been a Principal or Director of Education of international schools for the past 20 years. He also co-founded Full Circle Education based in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

Based in China between 2006 and 2019, Roger played a major role in setting up five international schools, and nine kindergartens/training schools. In catering for the needs of Chinese students who aspire to an international education, he pioneered a new concept in "Fusion" education, where international and local Chinese curricula are integrated.

Roger believes passionately in developing children's character in parallel with their academic attainment and is leading curriculum initiatives designed to enhance their EQ, with strong emphasis on teamwork, leadership, independence, confidence, personal organisation, critical thinking, research skills and creativity.

As Director of Education for the entire St Bees group, Roger is building upon his previous two years of Headmaster at St Bees UK, to further develop and create a West meets East fusion profile. In helping to lead the founding of St Bees schools in China, and preparing students for the international world of tomorrow, he will remain a close contact and support to St Bees UK throughout the year.

Anne Guest - Nominated Senior Safeguarding Lead

About Anne

Anne recently retired after teaching for almost thirty years in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. As a language graduate, she initially taught German and French, but a job in Tanzania and the experience of learning a pinch of Kiswahili opened things up a bit.

Most of her career was spent teaching English and Humanities in London, Bristol, Birmingham, a small village in Worcestershire and latterly Shanghai, where, sadly, her language learning skills turned out to be not as good as she thought they were.

The St Bees Chinese partnership drew Anne to the school and it's her view that the blended curriculum is highly advantageous in terms of personal and academic growth, cultural understanding, and job prospects. She feels strongly that the future for St Bees students, both here and in China, looks very bright with this string to their bow.

Anne has always enjoyed the outdoors and the beautiful hills and valleys around Wasdale are a great place to do this. She likes cycling, hillwalking, and running with her dogs, who, despite their advanced age, always run faster than she does.

Rob Miller - Estates

About Rob

Rob is a former pupil of St Bees School (93-00) and a member of the Trustee Board involved in the initial development of the relationship with Full Circle. Rob is a graduate of Estates Management from Northumbria University and Property Surveying through The College of Estate Management.

A native of Cumbria but moved to Newcastle for his studies, the North East became Rob's home for nearly 16 years where he enjoyed a diverse career in surveying, property development and regeneration, Head of Estates for the Public Transport Authority and finally Director of Estates within the FE and HE sectors.

More recently Rob relocated back to Cumbria with his wife and is currently Head of Business Case Capability at Sellafield Ltd responsible for the successful delivery of major proposal development and delivery through to HMG and Treasury.

Rob is passionate about the success and sustainability of St Bees School and the development of a strong and valuable offer that provides young people with the right tools and life skills to create opportunities in their lives.

Rob enjoys spending time with his wife, his young son and Ted the dog. He enjoys travelling, shooting and watching (sadly too old to play) rugby.



Konrad Hansen - Staff Representative

About Konrad

Konrad has recently embarked on a career in education, bringing his broad experience to his role as teacher of Economics and Business Studies at St Bees. He has previously worked across all levels of government, serving as a civil servant, a portfolio holder for a local authority, and as a staffer in the European Parliament.  More recently he set up a management consultancy advising and training SME leaders and managers, before deciding to give something back and help young people recognise and reach their potential.

Konrad has sat on a number of boards and management committees and is a former Mayor and fellow of the chartered management institute. He holds a BA, a MBA, and a PGCE with QTS, and has a passion for lifelong learning. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, and raising awareness and funding for charitable pursuits as a local Rotarian. He is sports fan and recalls forty years ago Bobby Charlton told him ‘You’ll go a long way son!’ – he’s still waiting for the call up…


Jonathon Rushton - Legal

About Jonathon

Jonathon is a former pupil of St. Bees School (1982-1988) and was part of the group which contested the closure of St Bees School in 2015.  

A Cumbrian born and bred he graduated from Middlesex University in law and went on to be called to the Bar in 1997.  He remained in London, a practicing barrister, specialising in the areas of chancery and property law.  During his period in practice he has represented the interests of Local Education Authorities, schools and parents at Tribunal during which time he has developed a reputation for his no-nonsense advice.

Like many Old St Behgians Jonathon is eager to see that the St Bees story moves from success to success and in doing so provides a quality education to its students. 

After some 15 years in London Jonathon now lives in a very rural part of Worcestershire with his three children and a border terrier.  He likes nothing more than to follow the progress of Worcester Warriors RFC in the Premiership, ski and take part in historic motorsport when time allows.


Helen Ip - Parent Representative

About Helen

Helen trained at Performers College in Essex, gaining her teaching qualifications in Tap, Modern and Ballet. Before going into teaching, Helen performed professionally at Wembley Stadium, The London Palladium, and had professional contracts in Japan, Crete and on cruise ships.

On her return to Cumbria, she opened her own dance school, as well as frequently teaching in local primary schools and Netherhall secondary school in Maryport.

St Bees School has been a part of Helen and her husband Chow’s life since 2006 when their eldest child started at the school.  They have had three children at the school before its closure in 2015 and, since the reopening, have had Charlotte join the school and Alexander will join in September. They were excited to give their younger children the opportunity to become a part of the St Bees community and enjoy seeing the school go from strength to strength.