Chair of Governors

On behalf of the Governing Body I wholeheartedly welcome you to Ditcham Park School, where we aim to provide the richest possible “Ditcham experience” for the successful education of your child.   The School ethos of “where every child is known and valued”  continues to build on the founding principles of “concern for the individual child, close links with parents and a care which includes body, mind and spirit” [Patricia Holmes, Headmistress 1999].


A message from our Chair of Governors Mr Chris Pickett

My own involvement with Ditcham Park stretches back to 2002 when we entrusted the school with the education of our son Henry. We felt that Ditcham would provide all the qualities that we were looking for from a school during those most precious and important years of his education. Henry thrived at Ditcham in so many ways and, following the successful completion of his GCSEs, he left at the end of year 11 as a confident and ambitious young man, ready for the next challenge in his educational journey.

We were so impressed with the standard of education Henry received that we subsequently entrusted our daughter Ella to Ditcham and, as Ella moves into year 10 this September, we are equally pleased with her all-round education.

I was invited to join the School’s Council of Governors in 2008, an invitation I was delighted to accept, as I felt Ditcham Park to be an outstanding school and one that I was keen to help steer into the future. In 2014, I became Chair of Governors, a position I am immensely proud to hold, working alongside a talented and supportive board of fellow governors.

During my time as a Governor, I have been personally involved with each of the Governors’ Sub-Committees. I sincerely believe that to discharge my duties and responsibilities as Governor and Trustee most effectively, I should maximise my understanding of all the operational matters of school life.  Therefore, as Chair of Governors, in addition to sitting on the Schools’ Health & Safety Committee and Chairing the Building Sub-Committee, I also attend the meetings of each of the other Sub-Committees (for Education, and for Finance).

It is my belief that Ditcham Park School has maintained and built on the outstanding qualities and values that originally attracted my family to the school back in 2002. The superb educational opportunities have been further enhanced in recent years when the School, as an early adopter locally, introduced a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) programme to all age groups. This programme ensures that when our pupils leave the school they are equipped with the technological skills, knowledge and confidence required to cope with the challenges that they will encounter in further education, and in their chosen professions, in this ever-changing World. It is gratifying that Ditcham’s STEAM programme has subsequently been recognised with an Independent Schools Association National Award. The core values and ethos of the School are our guiding principles and are fiercely protected, which gives me great confidence in Ditcham as the Chair of Governors, but also as a current parent.

Undoubtedly our pupils’ learning experiences, both academically and in sport, are enhanced by the School’s superb location high in the South Downs National Park. The School’s 16 acres overlook magnificent and unspoilt views to the Solent and Isle of Wight and it is a privilege to care for and protect this superb environment, which provides simply the best possible venue for the School’s outdoor learning and environmental awareness activities.

Working alongside my fellow Governors, each of whom have a great deal of experience within the world of education or in business, it is my intention that we remain focused on developing the School to further enhance its facilities and the learning experiences of our pupils, and to support our Headmaster and his staff in their aim to provide our very special Ditcham Park education now and long into the future. The School has an ambitious 5 to 10-year buildings development plan, which includes a new Centre for the Creative Arts, and many improvements to the existing school buildings.   The School has continued to concentrate on its future development plans despite the recent challenges of the Covid-19 national lockdown.  As I write, an impressive extension to our indoor Sports Hall is approaching completion.  This new building also provides additional spacious classrooms and a fitness and activity suite.   To enhance the delivery of sport, the addition of an all-weather pitch remains in near focus.

If you are considering Ditcham Park School for your children, please take a moment to explore our website and to watch the short videos.  These will provide a useful flavour of what is on offer for your child and your family, however far the best way to understand how Ditcham Park School might be able to nurture and support your children into their future is to visit us in person.  I warmly invite you to contact the School Admissions team and encourage you to visit the school to make your own judgements on its unique educational environment.

If you are already a current Ditcham Park parent, I am always very happy to make the time to talk with you about the school, should you wish, and my contact details are provided below. As Chair of Governors and a parent, I attend most School events and I look forward to meeting you at one of these occasions in the future, particularly as we look forward with hope to the re-introduction of a “post-Covid” calendar of events from September.

Mr Chris Pickett

Chair of Governors.

August 2021

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The Chair of Governors can be contacted either via the Clerk to the Governors, Mrs Denise Allen,at the School by e-mail denise.allen@ditchampark.com or telephone 01730 825659 Ext 1250; or directly by e-mail chairofgovernors@ditchampark.com, or by postmarking correspondence “Private and Confidential for the Attention of the Chair of Governors” and posted to the School address.

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