Anne Lea, MGC 1970 Leaver

Malvern Alumnae 100 Anne Borrowdale

I have spent 30 years volunteering to serve as a school governor in sometimes challenging situations and taking on leadership roles within that service. I qualified as a solicitor with a City law firm in March 1977. Although it was then over 50 years since the first woman had been admitted to the profession, there were still comparatively few women solicitors. 

After our first child was born six years later, my husband’s success meant I did not have to work from a financial point of view. My education and secure family background had given me the confidence to believe that if I worked hard, I could do anything I put my mind to. This also gave me the confidence to believe that I could achieve success from working as a volunteer as well as from being employed.

I was drawn into the world of education. I wished to make a difference and took on challenges; the local maintained primary school when it was threatened with closure and then a local prep school following a very serious fire which destroyed two thirds of the school. I remained a governor of the primary school for 25 years, chairing the governing body for 10 years and was on the board of the prep school for 10 years during which time the school was successfully rebuilt and became financially secure.  During this time I also became a governor of MGC.  I took a very close interest in the school’s merger with St. James’s and served on the merger steering committee. Following the merger I remained a governor of Malvern St James and chaired Council for 10 years, retiring in 2017.  

Looking back, my experience of serving as a school governor for 30 years in both the maintained and independent sectors has been very rewarding. I could not have taken on these challenges successfully had it not been for my education and professional training.

What does success look like?  

Achievement of your personal ambitions and satisfaction with your achievements.

What is your best piece of advice?

Aim high, work hard and believe in yourself.