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 – Chair
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 between 2009 and 2019. 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.
Helen’s background is in Sport, Health and Physical Education and she currently works within the public health sector. Liaising closely with school nursing teams, Helen works tackling obesity and physical inactivity amongst children aged 5-15 and their families in Luton.
Claire Robins – Member
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 – Member
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 – Trustee
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.
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.
Jenny Howarth – Vice Chair
Jenny joined the KWS Board of Trustees in January 2019 as a Community Governor. She has been involved with the ‘New School for Harpenden’ project since its inception in 2013 through her involvement with Harpenden Parents Group, a community action group focusing on local school places. Jenny has lived in Harpenden since 2010 and has two primary aged daughters educated locally.
Jenny is a practising solicitor; she works for a global insurance company and focuses on financial and professional risks. Jenny passionately believes that all children deserve an excellent state education providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in our ever changing world. She looks forward to supporting Katherine Warington School achieve its goals and aims.
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.
Fiona Haynes – Trustee
Fiona is the Outreach Manager for the Links Multi Academy Trust which support Primary and Secondary Schools in St Albans, Harpenden, Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere. Fiona is an experienced Governor having been a Parent, Staff and Community Governor in the past and with linked responsibilities to Safeguarding, Policies and Children Looked After.
Fiona’s background is in Behaviour, SEND and Inclusion. Fiona has held a number of roles in Hertfordshire including setting up an Inclusion Centre and working for the Local Authority Admissions team as an Integration Officer. She is also a Trustee of the James Marshall Foundation.
Fiona and her family moved to Wheathampstead from Yorkshire 23 years ago. Away from work Fiona is a keen cyclist and has two allotments with the hope to one day be self-sufficient.
Rebecca Robertson – Clerk to Governors
Rebecca worked in banking for 17 years before entering the world of education. She is currently School Business Manager in a large primary school near St Albans. She reports to their Governors and has worked with 3 different leadership teams over the last 10 years. She is the Founder and current Chair of the Hertfordshire Association of School Business Managers which has over 170 members.
Rebecca was a parent Governor for 6 years (2 1/2 years as Vice Chair) in a St Albans school, the Treasurer of the PTA for several years and has also clerked for over 2 years in her own school.
Rebecca is very happy to be joining KWS on its exciting journey.