As an experienced educationalist, having worked in five different secondary schools, three of them in the St Albans and Harpenden area, Alan has a strong understanding of what students and parents expect from their local school. Alan has senior leadership experience in three high performing schools and as the Headteacher of Roundwood Park School he is really excited by the prospect of working with his fellow Headteachers, Rothamsted Research and the University of Hertfordshire to set up this new school.
Helen Parkinson – Trustee
Helen has been a director of the Harpenden Secondary Education Trust since February 2015. Alongside her work at the trust, Helen has also been a parent governor at Sauncey Wood Primary School since 2009. During that time she has spent 5 years as Chair of Governors and had linked responsibilities which included safeguarding, Headteacher performance management, financial procedures and computing/e-safety. Prior to education voluntary work, Helen worked in the fitness industry as an instructor and later in the IT sector as a trainer and project manager. She has 2 girls who both attend local Harpenden schools.
Claire Robins – Trustee
Claire Robins is head of Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden. After reading Classics at Oxford University, Claire gained a PGCE in English and taught at a number of schools in Hertfordshire before being appointed deputy head at SJL in 2003 and becoming head in 2006. In 2008, Sir John Lawes became a National Support School and Claire was made a National Leader of Education, since when she has led on school to school support work with several local schools, leading to the setting up of the Sir John Lawes Academies Trust in 2011. In 2012, Sir John Lawes became joint lead school in the Alban Teaching School Alliance, which contains the Alban Federation SCITT.
Claire has sat on the Regional Schools’ Commissioner’s Head Teacher Board for the NWLSC region since its inception. She is also a founding trustee of HertsCam Network, a group which aims to improve teaching through teacher leadership.
Helen Barton – Trustee
Helen is the Headmistress of St George’s School in Harpenden, taking up the post in September 2017. Having studied for a degree in Geography, Helen went on to train as an Accountant in industry. Realising accounting wasn’t for her; she returned to full time study and gained her PGCE in 1993 teaching at a number of schools, both independent and state sectors, within the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire areas. Arriving at St George’s in January 2005 as an Assistant Headteacher whilst studying for her Master’s in Education, she became Deputy Headteacher in September 2008. Helen is a hugely passionate and skilled educator, who’s greatest desire is to see our children grow up to lead fulfilled lives, enjoy healthy lifestyles and make a positive contribution to the wider community.
Helen is looking forward to working with the trust and supporting the development of the new free school.
Steve Angus – Trustee
Steve is the nominated finance governor for the Harpenden Secondary Education Trust.
An accountant by profession, Steve is Finance Director at a Clinical Research company in Hertfordshire. Throughout his financial career, Steve has had the opportunity to work in various service industries developing an extensive commercial and financial skill set. Steve is looking forward to applying his financial expertise on this exciting project.
Away from work, Steve is a lifelong Harpenden resident and he attended Sir John Lawes School.
Philip Waters – Chair
Philip has been involved in the management and administration of educational organisations for over 40 years. He started as a Graduate Trainee with the Inner London Education Authority in 1974 being successively appointed to administrative positions in three Further and Higher Education colleges in London. He then took a senior appointment at a London Polytechnic before moving to the University of Hertfordshire in 1989 eventually becoming the Secretary and Registrar in 2001. During that time he served as a Director of various national Higher Education bodies before he retired as Registrar of the University in 2013. He continues his involvement with the University chairing the society comprising retired staff and the legacy society. He served as the founding Chairman of the Harpenden Secondary Schools Trust the trust which promotes co-operation between the secondary schools in Harpenden and became the first Chairman of the Harpenden Secondary Education Trust when it was founded in 2014 to make the application for the new school. He is also Chairman of two bus companies (Universitybus Ltd and Unobuses Northampton Ltd) which trade as UNO and he undertakes a range of transport consultancy.
Philip and his family have lived in Harpenden for over 20 years and all four children attended primary and secondary schools in Harpenden. He is Secretary and a Trustee of Harpenden Cricket Club and still plays cricket at vets level.
Helen Fish – Trustee
Helen Fish is CEO of an international digital publishing company which specialises in Human Resources, Recruitment and Leadership. A business she has led since 1990. She has transformed it from a traditional print publisher to a multi-channel, world class digital platform, delivering daily newsletters, magazine’s, events and recruitment reports to over 150,000 readers every month.
She is an experienced school Governor and represented the LEA on the governing body of a Hertfordshire secondary school where her focus was to mentor the senior leadership team to improve the OFSTED ratings.
Julie Newlan – Member
As Pro Vice-Chancellor, Julie is responsible for:
⦁ business development
⦁ marketing and communications
As well as overseeing strategy in these areas, she manages teams and initiatives relating to knowledge transfer, graduate employability, reputation management, fundraising and recruitment.
Julie’s role also covers leveraging intellectual property, and developing enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities for students and staff.
As director of Marketing and Communications, Julie is also responsible for:
⦁ UK, EU and international recruitment
⦁ corporate media
⦁ PR and events
⦁ alumni relations
She joined the University’s Business School in 1996 as a Senior Lecturer in Business Strategy, and held various posts before being appointed Head of the Business School in 2006.
Julie’s academic career began at the London Institute in 1993, after achieving management success in the hotel and restaurant sector. This included running a chain of high street cafés for Martin The Newsagent, and subsequent strategic marketing position with Guinness when it acquired the business.
Julie was awarded her MBE for services to Higher Education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2014..
Tony Smith – Trustee
Tony studied Economics at London School of Economics then worked for the BBC and EMI before setting up his own music and media companies. After an MBA at Cranfield University, he entered the education profession initially as an unqualified teacher. He trained via the GTP programme at the University of Hertfordshire and qualified as a teacher in 2008. Promoted shortly afterwards to the Senior Leadership Team as Assistant Headteacher at Roundwood Park School, he became Deputy Headteacher in 2012. Driving excellence in education by establishing the best structures to enable staff to deliver an enriching teaching experience and for students to thrive in a nurturing learning environment has been fundamental to the classroom and whole school work Tony has undertaken. He contributed to the initial proposal to establish a new secondary school in Harpenden in 2013 and has worked as project manager for the Trust since 2015. He takes up his position of founding Headteacher of the Katherine Warington School in January 2018.
Angela Karp – Member
Angela is Director for Science Innovation, Engagement and Partnerships at Rothamsted Research. She is leading the Institute’s overall strategy on external engagement and partnerships, and is developing new mechanisms for collaborative innovation, including a new accelerator initiative (AgRIA) to co-develop innovative solutions with businesses to challenges in agri-food. Angela has more than 35 years’ experience in crop genetics and breeding for food and bio-renewables. Her recent research career focused on optimising the sustainable yield and composition of perennial biomass crops (especially willows) for bioenergy, biofuels and other industrial products, under low-input arable systems. She has more than 130 refereed publications, co-authored a text book on genetics, and is co-editor of books on genetics and bioenergy. In 2007, she received the Royal Agricultural Society of England Research Medal and, in 2008, the Alfred-Toepfer Prize for her research achievements. Angela lives in Harpenden and has two children, one of whom attended Roundwood Park School.
Kevin Parsons – Member
Kevin grew up in Harpenden and attended St. Nicholas Primary School, Harpenden and St. George’s School, Harpenden as a student. His children were educated at Crabtree Junior School and St. George’s. 2018 is Kevin’s 50th year of association with St. George’s School. He has been a Governor of the school for 21 years and is currently the Chair of Governors.
Kevin’s background is in Law having been a partner in a local law firm for a number of years until his retirement from general practice to pursue a career in software and law.
Kevin is passionate about ensuring all students are provided with opportunities to develop themselves and achieve their potential, whatever their aspirations may be. He looks forward to contributing to the development of Katherine Warington School and helping its students to flourish.
Simon Mundy – Member
Simon started working life as a scientist, took the opportunity to retrain as a solicitor and now works for the Government Legal Department. Close involvement with both Government Ministers and the work of Parliament has proved to be fascinating and genuinely illuminating on how British democracy works.
Simon became a governor at Sir John Lawes 14 years ago and has chaired the governing board since 2016. Sir John Lawes has supported several schools in Hertfordshire over the last few years and Simon is delighted that Sir John Lawes is now working with Roundwood Park and St George’s, together with the University of Hertfordshire and Rothamsted Research to promote the new Katherine Warington School. Simon believes the dedication and expertise of all the teaching professionals involved in this project is inspiring.
Moira Hart – Member
Moira has lived in Harpenden for over 20 years and has brought up four sons who attended Roundwood Park School and then went on to study at university. Much of her professional life has revolved around teaching and learning in a number of different environments. Moira started out as a trainer for an IT company but qualified as an IT teacher when her youngest son was 2. For 17 years she taught part time at Luton 6th form college where, amongst other things, she taught A level ICT and ran vocational courses for challenging 16 year olds.
In 2008 Moira became Chair of Governors for Roundwood Park School, having been a parent governor and then a community governor for 8 years. She is very proud to have been part of the team that established the Harpenden Secondary Schools Trust. The Trust now includes all three secondary schools in Harpenden, will shortly include Katherine Warington School, and together with the University of Hertfordshire and Rothamsted Research the Trust provides exciting opportunities for students and encourages the use of shared facilities and the sharing of expertise. Moira is very keen to help ensure that secondary education in Harpenden is excellent for all students.
For many years Moira has been associated with St Albans Masorti Synagogue and currently serves as Chair to the community. She is also beginning to work and promote holocaust education and, along with her husband, is involved in giving talks on this topic.