Governor Biographies


Wim Bushell – Chair of Governors


Wim is the Deputy Chairman of Gallagher London, a global insurance company. His education at Millfield as a boarder in Walton (1970 – 1973) fuelled his passion for sports and as well as participating in a wide variety of sports (amongst which football, cricket and rugby) he gained first team colours in football. After leaving Millfield, his interest in sports did not dwindle and he continued to play for two seasons for Corinthian Casuals AFC, swapping sports afterwards to play for Richmond RFC, also captaining the infamous Richmond ‘Heavies’. Additionally, he was captain of Lloyd's Gentlemen's Rugby XV. Wim is a keen golfer and is also a member of the MCC.

In 1974, Wim went to work for a small insurance brokerage firm (Wigham, Richardson and Bevington) in the City. In 1987 he became a partner in a company called MRC Limited, which sold itself, in 1996 to a Chicago based brokerage firm, Arthur J. Gallagher, where he became Managing Director, then Chairman of the Reinsurance arm. After this company was acquired by Aon Corporation, another Chicago based operation, Wim became Deputy Chairman for Aon Re UK and has since returned to Arthur J Gallagher as Deputy Chairman of Gallagher London. As well as having been educated at Millfield, Wim was an Old Millfieldian Society committee member in 2003 - 2006. He joined the Foundation Committee from 2007 – 2008 and was appointed a Governor in 2009.


Robert Thornton


Bob attended school in Dublin and London before reading for a BA (Hons) in French and English at London University. He spent three years as an airman in the RAF and another three in various occupations before deciding he wanted to be a school teacher.

He was appointed to his first headship in 1986 of a catholic comprehensive school in Bristol where he remained until 2004. During his 18 years in this post he was asked on several occasions if he would seek permission from his governors to be seconded as temporary head teacher to a number of secondary schools in Bristol that for various reasons were experiencing some difficulties. When he resigned his substantive post in 2004, he was invited by the Director of Education for Bristol to take on the leadership of Withywood School which was designated to become the Merchants' Academy in new buildings in September 2008.

Bob retired in August 2008 but after a year of ‘retirement' he was engaged by Oldham Education Authority to do some school leadership development and then to take the role of ‘interim head teacher' in a co-educational 11-18 comprehensive school with over 1,200 pupils on roll. He now acts as an educational consultant.

Bob has been a Governor in a number of secondary and primary schools including one of Bristol's oldest independent schools, and was appointed as a Governor at Millfield in 2010.


Sanda De Silva


Sanda is a qualified account along with a powerful skill set and a genuine passion for the development of her local community. Sanda currently works in HSBC Global Banking and Markets as an Investment Banker working with public sector clients. She focuses on the funding strategy of sovereigns and supranationals predominantly relating to the development needs of various countries.


Sanda holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (University of London) and a Masters in Finance (University of Durham). She is also a certified CFA and CIMA professional. She has represented Sri Lanka in international English debating, having taken part in tournaments in South Korea, USA, Greece and Qatar. She also coached the national Sri Lankan English Debating team that took part in the World Schools’ Debating Championships held in South Africa in 2012.


Tim Cook


Tim is a Governor of The Michael Tippett School in London SE24 and has been a governor at BMA since opening. TMTS is a Lambeth local authority school and provides education for students who have profound, severe and complex additional needs. Tim is an experienced educationalist who has held several senior posts over his long career.  Most recently, he was Headmaster at Portland Place School and, prior to this, Deputy Head at St Dunstan's College.  Tim began his career at Dulwich College, one of Britains most eminent independent schools, spending fourteen years at the school.