About Us

The Executive Committee

Meet our Executive Committee

Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools offer a unique and innovative system of education, known as the Monmouth Model. Our family of schools aspires towards national and international respect for delivering an exceptional all-round education for girls and boys. The schools are renowned for developing talented young men and women with a refreshingly grounded attitude to life and a belief in the importance of community.

To deliver this vision, we have a team of highly-skilled and experienced staff led by our Principal and his Executive Committee.


Mr James Murphy-O’Connor MA Oxon

Mr James Murphy-O’Connor became the first overarching Principal of Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools in September 2019.

Mr Murphy-O’Connor joined the family of schools after a decade of outstanding service in Bath where he was Head of Prior Park College and subsequently Principal of Prior Park Schools with responsibility for their prep school, junior school, college, and the senior school he established in Gibraltar in 2016.

Mr Murphy-O’Connor is an historian who studied at Oxford and Cambridge and has three decades of experience in the Independent School sector and especially so in groups of schools. He has been a Housemaster at Sherborne and a Head of both old and new institutions in this time.

He is keen on Art, Literature and History and he is a passionate supporter of the Ireland rugby team as his father and uncle both played for the side during the 1950s.


Mrs Tessa Norgrove MBA

Mrs Tessa Norgrove started her career in educational management at a large comprehensive in Wiltshire when financial management of schools switched from the LEA to each individual school.

After 11 years in post, she joined another maintained school in Somerset to help them set up their own financial model.

Mrs Norgrove then moved into the independent school sector working as the bursar of Bilton Grange an IAPS prep school in Warwickshire.  She became bursar of Monmouth School for Girls and then became the overarching Foundation Bursar in 2015.

She completed her MBA in Educational Business Leadership (International) while in post.


Mr Simon Dorman MA Oxon MPhil

Mr Simon Dorman became Headmaster at Monmouth School for Boys in October 2020.

Mr Dorman, who hails from Northern Ireland was educated in Belfast, was previously the school’s Second Master, a role he fulfilled with dedication and passion for 10 years.

With a degree in German and Philosophy from Jesus College Oxford, Mr Dorman achieved a MPhil and a PGCE at Queen’s University in Belfast.

His first teaching post was at Gordonstoun School, followed by a year in Seville, where he worked on his Spanish while teaching English and German.

Mr Dorman then took up a post as Head of German at The Leys School in  Cambridge and became Housemaster of a boarding house, before joining Monmouth as Second Master in 2010.

Mr Dorman’s wife, Miranda, teaches Learning Support at Monmouth School for Girls, where their two daughters are pupils.


Mrs Jessica Miles MA Oxon

Mrs Jessica Miles joined Monmouth School for Girls as Headmistress in April 2019.

Jessica was previously the Head of Queen Margaret’s School in York, a day and boarding school for girls aged 11-18.

Jessica graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, in Spanish and Linguistics and gained her PGCE from King’s College, London.

She has extensive teaching experience, initially as a Spanish teacher at Dulwich College where she progressed to become Deputy Head of Upper School and was mistress in charge of rowing.

From there, Mrs Miles taught French and Spanish at Sherborne School and was also a boarding house tutor before moving to be Deputy Head and Head of Sixth Form at Leweston School in Dorset.


Mrs Jennie Phillips BA(Ed) Hons

Mrs Jennie Phillips took over as Headmistress at Monmouth School Girls’ Prep in September 2019.

Mrs Phillips has been at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools since September 2014 as Head of Monmouth Schools Pre-Prep and Nursery.

Mrs Phillips continues to play a key role at Monmouth Schools Pre-Prep and Nursery where she is joint Head with Mr Neil Shaw, Head of Monmouth School Boys’ Prep.

Mrs Phillips has a wealth of experience in developing, supporting and inspiring children.

A keen swimmer and cyclist, she has worked in the maintained and independent sectors in both co-educational and single-sex schools.

She previously taught at Badminton Junior School in Bristol, where she was Head of Key Stage One and co-ordinated the Early Years Foundation Stage team.


Mr Neil Shaw MA

Mr Neil Shaw took up the role of Headteacher at Monmouth School Boys’ Prep in September 2016.

He is also joint Head, with Mrs Phillips, the Headmistress at Monmouth School Girls’ Prep, of Monmouth Schools Pre-Prep and Nursery.

Previously, Headmaster of Westonbirt Prep School, Mr Shaw was, before that, Deputy Headmaster and then Headmaster of Kingswood School in Solihull.

Mr Shaw is a Geography graduate of the University of Exeter, and was awarded a Master’s degree from the University of Nottingham.

He enjoys hill walking, cycling and camping and lists Lego as one of his interests.


Mr Matt Wren BA Hons

Mr Matt Wren graduated from the University of Wales with a BA Hons in Primary Education and joined Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools in 2004.

Mr Wren was appointed Head at Monmouth Schools Pre-Prep and Nursery in the summer of 2020 and will take up his overarching leadership position in September.

Mr Wren was previously the Pre-Prep’s Deputy Head, a role he fulfilled for eight years.

As an experienced early years teacher, Mr Wren taught in and led the Year 2 team for many years. A Religious Studies specialist, he is passionate about outdoor learning, pupil voice and well-being.

A seasoned camper, Mr Wren also enjoys photography and renovation projects.


Mrs Sarah Lee BSc Hons

A boarder from the age of 10, Mrs Sarah Lee graduated with a degree in Psychology and began her career working in London for a top 10 advertising agency.

As an Account Director, she worked on accounts as diverse as Airbus, BP and International Classic Brands where she gained considerable experience marketing in Europe and internationally.

Mrs Lee switched to marketing the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools in 2000, a role she remains passionate about. Her connections to the local area are strong; her father was an Old Monmothian and her two daughters and son have all attended the schools. Mrs Lee enjoys interior design, yoga, theatre and paddle boarding.