Karen Giles 1962 – 2024. Thank you for inspiring us all.

Staff and trustees of the charity are very sad to hear of the loss of our long-standing trustee Karen Giles. Karen sadly passed away on Friday 22nd March surrounded by family after a long period of receiving palliative care at home after a diagnosis of brain cancer. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.Karen Giles

Karen’s passing will be a huge loss for so many people… the charities and trusts she supported; the fellow professionals and friends she inspired; and of course, the staff, governors, children, and communities that were so blessed to have her as their Headteacher at Barham Primary School, in Brent.  

We want to say a remembrance thank you to Karen for all her sage council, unwavering support, incisive challenge, and her humanity and wit. Thank you Karen for…

  • Being so passionate about inspiring children and showing them what is possible whatever their backgrounds and family circumstances.

Karen Giles hosting school assembly.

  • Always offering your school as a place of learning, letting professionals engage, inspire, and in turn learn with your students, helping them improve their own practice and offers.  
  • Representing and presenting our charity (and so many other causes), with a wide range of people and places.

Karen Giles and students outside 10 Downing Street. Nick Chambers, Damian Hinds and Karen Giles.

  • Being a relentless champion for diversity, equality, and inclusion. For opening your school with its own rich cultural and racial diversity so that we can record our campaign video to help diversify school governance.

Karen Giles with school governors.

  • Always upholding and championing the views and perspectives of schools, school leaders, and children in our board meetings. Helping us think more about what we offer and how we offer it. 
  • Being so generous with our staff, sharing your life journey and giving them insight into your own career leadership lessons and most notably the joy you both gave to, and took from, your Head teacher role. 

List of things Karen finds joyful in her job including the honour, love and addictive nature.

Our thoughts also lie with Jayshree, Daksha, and all the staff, governors, pupils, and parents of Barham Primary school as they work through this sad and unsettling time. Karen’s own leadership was to build the leaders and people around her so we know they will continue to uphold her legacy at Barham and, as she would have wanted, develop their own. 

She truly was Inspiring for all who had the privilege and good fortune to be touched by her wit, passion, wisdom, and unwavering moral purpose.  

Thank you Karen and rest in peace.