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Talking Heads 2024

Joff Powis and the Senior Leadership Team are delighted to invite parents to our second Talking Heads Forum at Vinehall School.


Introducing our speakers:

Mr Jesse Elzinga, Head, Sevenoaks School

 Jesse Elzinga has been Headmaster of Sevenoaks School since September 2020. Since then, he has managed the school through the pandemic, overseen their successful exam results and supported the wellbeing of the school community, including as part of Harvard University’s groundbreaking Human Flourishing Program.

His aims for the school’s future include widening access to a Sevenoaks School education through more financially assisted places. As a recipient of bursary support himself he knows that access to exceptional education can transform life opportunities. He is also working towards the school becoming carbon neutral, developing partnerships with other leading IB schools and furthering Sevenoaks School’s global outlook. He is committed to the school’s award-winning ethos of service and partnerships which connects them to their local community and supports communities around the world.

Jesse joined Sevenoaks from Reading Blue Coat School, Berkshire, where he had been Headmaster since 2016. Before this, he was Director of Studies at Harrow where he broadened their academic curriculum. He also worked at St Edward’s School, Oxford, as Director of Studies, IB Coordinator and residential Assistant Housemaster, and Whitgift School as a teacher of Theology and Philosophy, Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Theory of Knowledge Coordinator. He has a BA Honours cum laude in Comparative Religion and Philosophy from Harvard University, and his subsequent MSt from Oxford University focused on ethical philosophy.

Jesse was a three-time national champion rower at Harvard and Oxford. He then became a competitive cyclist, twice racing against Sir Bradley Wiggins at the British Time Trial Championships (although Jesse is keen to point out that Sir Bradley won by a significant margin on both occasions!). Jesse is also an Ironman triathlete and marathoner, and he can be spotted early morning running in Knole Park.

Jesse’s wife Elaina works in the investments team at the Wellcome Trust, and they enjoy cooking and travelling, are Friends of the Royal Opera House and supporting members of England Rugby Club. They live in Sevenoaks with their three daughters.


Ms Jude Lowson, Head, The King’s School, Canterbury

Ms Lowson joined the school in Autumn 2023 and brings with her a wide range of experience from both co-educational and single-sex day and boarding schools including Whitgift School, where she was Head of Sixth Form and Putney High School, where she was Deputy Head (Academic) and most recently as the Senior Deputy Head of King’s College School, Wimbledon.

Growing up in Belgium, she was educated at Sevenoaks School and the University of Cambridge, where she gained a Masters in History and a Diploma in Management Studies. She worked as a strategist in one of the UK’s leading advertising agencies before beginning her teaching career at Whitgift School in Croydon.

Ms Lowson is married and her daughter attends Junior King’s School Canterbury. In her spare time she is a novice saxophonist, and enjoys cycling and running on the many beautiful routes in the Kent countryside surrounding Canterbury.


Mr Peter Goodyer, Head, Bede’s Senior School

Peter commenced his teaching career in South Africa at St. Andrew’s College in Grahamstown. His teaching career in the UK started in 1998 at St. John’s, Leatherhead. During the twelve years he was there he held the position of Director of Co-Curricular, while at the same time being Housemaster of a boys' Boarding House.  In addition, he established and ran the A-level Psychology Department for ten years. 

Peter is currently the Senior Headmaster at Bede's School in Upper Dicker, a post he took up in September 2016. Before this he was the Deputy Headmaster of Colston’s School in Bristol, a co-educational school (11-18), this was a post he held for six years. 

He enjoys coaching sport most notably rugby, cricket and swimming while also engaging with outdoor pursuits. He is currently an ISI inspector and a member of the HMC Sport Subcommittee.