Central Seeks New Chair of Governors as Ralph Bernard Steps Down

26 February 2024

Ralph Bernard, Chair of the Board of Governors at Central School of Ballet, has announced he will be retiring from his role after 15 years of service. He plans to stand down later this year after a successor is appointed.

Ralph has overseen a momentous period in the history of the school; the move from Central’s former studios in Herbal Hill, Clerkenwell, and a successful capital campaign raising over £10m towards the new bespoke premises in London’s South Bank arts community. He supported the current Executive Director Mark Osterfield when the school was forced to close during the COVID19 crisis and the subsequent exciting move to the Countess of Wessex Studios, opened by Her Royal Highness (now the Duchess of Edinburgh), to commence a new era in Central’s history with world-class facilities for professional dance training and opportunities for the wider community to participate in the joys of dance.

Ralph Bernard said: “As we are now well established in The Countess of Wessex Studios with a newly refreshed board fully committed to the success of the school, the time is right to call time on my leadership of the board of Central School of Ballet. My tenure has been an exciting one. We have enjoyed many successes as well as inevitable financial challenges. Higher Education funding for specialist vocational schools like Central has been reduced in recent years. However, thanks to the management of the school by our executive team, as well as the talented individuals around the board table, the school is secure and stable for an exciting future. I am grateful to the Trustees, past and present, for their support during my leadership and Central’s executive and wider management teams for their combined efforts towards the school’s ethos and commitment to excellence in dance training.”

Ralph plans to step down at the end of the current school year. Charlotte Talbot, Deputy Chair, is now commencing the process of recruiting his successor.

Central School of Ballet is partnering with Nurole, the leading board-level search specialist, to find an outstanding new Chair. You can find out more and apply here. To arrange an informal conversation or in case of any other queries, please contact joshua.dernie@nurole.com