The Board of Advisors meets half termly and is responsible for overseeing the well-being of the school. It looks at all aspects of school life and is responsible for the appointment of the Head.
Dolphin’s Advisors come from a variety of backgrounds, including business and education, several of whom are former pupils, parents or teachers at the school. All are deeply committed to the school’s continuing success and maintain regular contact with staff, pupils and the parent community.
"Dolphin’s Advisors bring a rich mixture of experience and backgrounds to their roles, but what we all share is a commitment to the magic that the Dolphin ethos can deliver. It is my pleasure and my passion to be the chair of such a dedicated group. Dolphin School is a special place that has contributed so much to so many childhoods (including my own and those of my 3 children). There is truly no other school like it. It is our duty to be the guardians of that heritage, but also to ensure that the Dolphin way evolves and develops over the decades, ensuring that it stays fresh and relevant to every new generation that we have the privilege to educate.”
Tim Charlesworth, Chairman of the Board of Advisors
Board of Advisors
Accordion Tim Charlesworth, Chairman
I studied at Dolphin from the age of two from 1975 until 1986. I went on to study at St Paul's, Barnes, then at the University of Bristol (Economics and History) and finally at Cranfield School of Management (MBA). I am a former chairman of Wokingham Local Education Authority and have served as a school governor in the state system. I am a chartered management accountant and have worked as the finance director with several companies in the water industry. I am married to Julia; our two daughters and son are all current pupils at Dolphin. I enjoy a variety of sports and I am a passionate squash player.
I love Dolphin because: “Dolphin allows people to see the world and learn from their environment in ways that wouldn't otherwise be possible; a priceless gift, of which the receiver will never tire.”
Interesting fact: "I was once the youngest Chairman of a Local Education Authority (LEA) in Britain and stood for Parliament in the 2001 General Election."
Accordion Matt Allwright
I was a student at Dolphin from 1977 to 1982. Afterwards I attended Reading Blue Coat School, subsequently graduating from Manchester University with a degree in English Language and Literature. Between 1991 and 1994 I lived in Japan, teaching English in Saitama Prefecture, North of Tokyo. I then returned to the UK to complete a postgraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Since 1997 I have worked as a producer and presenter on BBC television. I am best known for consumer journalism, working on BBC1's Watchdog programme for over 15 years. I also write regularly and I am a patron for the Stillborn and Neonatal Death Society charity (SANDS).”
I love Dolphin because: “Quite simply there's nowhere like it. As a pupil it fitted me like a glove, making me work hard but also giving me unique experiences which have been useful throughout my life.”
Interesting fact: “I speak OK Japanese.”
Accordion Linda Charlesworth
I was an account manager for an international publishing house for two years following my degree from Reading University, where I read English and Education. Professionally, I gained finance experience as an assistant accountant, working locally for two years and then joining a Hampshire firm for five years. I moved within the Hampshire group of practising accountants, broadening my experience and working directly for the Founder and Managing Director of the group for 5 years.
From 1999 until 2012 I was the Executive Co-ordinator at Dolphin School and from September 2012 I became one of the school's Advisors. I have an in-depth knowledge of the school, being a parent of Dolphin pupils from 1974 until 1987, a Dolphin employee, and now I am delighted to be the proud grandparent of three Dolphin pupils.
I love Dolphin because: “Dolphin offered education for my sons of the highest standard, breadth and rigour and offered it without the usual attributes of a classic 'prep school'.
Interesting fact: “I have a long history with Dolphin as a parent, employee and now grandparent and Advisor. As a family we have been involved with the school for over 40 years.”
Accordion Andre Compton
My Dolphin experience started at seven years old when my parents took the brave step to send me to a school that did things a little differently, especially in 1978. It was a significant life decision.
I went on to Sir William Borlase Grammar School, followed by a BA (Hons) languages degree at Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 1994. After a City-based corporate sales career, I established a design and communications agency in 2005. Many of the creative, problem solving and communication skills that I continue to rely on can be traced back to a formative Dolphin education, as can a love of sport, outdoor activities and an enquiring nature. Having hung up my rugby boots some years ago, I am now a keen competitive open water swimmer.
My son and daughter are both Dolphin pupils and are proudly thriving within the school's community. My other interests include serving as Chair of Trustees for Building for the Future, a children's charity based in Wokingham.
I love Dolphin because: “The children are extremely happy and engaged, with inherent curiosity, wonderfully developed communication skills and a thirst for learning."
Interesting fact: "A hip replacement at 42 years old led me off the sports field and into rivers, lakes and the sea, swimming wherever and whenever possible. In July 2016, I swam the length of the Thames, over 10 consecutive days.”
Accordion Rachel Edwards
I graduated from the London Hospital Medical College (now the Royal London) in 1970 and I spent a year in Australia as a second year intern before returning to the UK to train in anaesthesia and intensive care. I was appointed as a Consultant anaesthetist to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in 1979 where I continued to work for over 30 years. During this time I became the clinical director of anaesthesia and ITU and the Executive Medical Director of the trust. I led the massive change in medical practice from elective to emergency care. I am now fully retired both as a clinician and medical manager. I am also the mother of two Old Delphinians; one still wears her faded T-shirt, and both have very happy memories of their Dolphin years and especially of their field trips. My husband has equally fond memories both of driving the school minibus to Northumberland and writing and producing a school play. As grandmother of a potential new Delphinian, maintaining the original ethos of the school while recognising modern changes in education are as important now as ever.
I love Dolphin because: “It was simply the best for my children 30 years ago, and it’s even better now, ready for my grandchildren.”
Interesting fact: “In my retirement I have become a keen golfer.”
Accordion John Prosser
I have taught in the state and independent sectors for many years; 25 of them as a Head in Wales and as a Deputy in London, where boys sat Common Entrance for highly respected senior schools. I have a B.A. and B.Ed (Hons ) from Wales, with additional experience as a governor of two London schools, as well as being qualified for Ofsted Inspection.
When my wife took up a post as a doctor in Oxford we moved from Harrow and I joined Dolphin as a part time teacher until retirement. At the school I found the atmosphere warm, friendly, welcoming and exhilarating under Dr Ophelia Follett.
In my spare time I enjoy train travel, hill walking, opera and skiing.
I love Dolphin because: “The unique trips programme brings the curriculum alive through memorable and well planned day and extended educational visits which provides a plethora of hands-on learning experiences for pupils.”
Interesting fact: “Until the age of five, my little Welsh village did not have electricity so I was brought up on gas light. I reflect on the technology that we now take for granted but was not available to me in my childhood.”
Accordion Claire Smith
Biography: Over a 20-year period I have held a number of teaching and marketing roles both within Dolphin and at other schools. I retrained as a photographer and I currently run my own business.
Between 1991 and 2005 my two daughters studied at Dolphin. During this period I held the post of FunRaisers' Chairman (Dolphin's equivalent of a parent-teacher association) for some years before becoming a member of staff. Having been involved in every aspect of Dolphin life, I hope that my commitment to and belief in the school will help to ensure that future generations benefit from the exceptional education on offer, in the same way that my own daughters did.
I love Dolphin because: “It taught my daughters to be curious, to value their thoughts and opinions and it stimulated and stretched them. All of this happened whilst nurturing and caring for them in an atmosphere of safety and joy.”
Interesting fact: "As a student I was a member of the university ballroom dancing team."