Paul Connolly (Chair and Trustee)

I have been a Governor at Simon Balle since 2005 and have two boys who have been through the school, university and are now both working. During this period I have served on most of the committees and tried to help ensure that the school does its very best for the students, staff and local community.  I am really enjoying the challenges that being Chair of Governors has presented in learning more about the wider aspects of education, teaching and learning and leadership. We have an excellent Governing Body with a wide range of backgrounds, skills and experience but all focussed on the clear vision, ethos and culture of Simon Balle All-through School making it such a great place in which to learn, work and play.

Jane Abery

I joined the governing body of Simon Balle School as a community governor in November 2014.  I have worked in education in the public sector, locally and nationally, for over 20 years – currently for Hertfordshire County Council in the Admissions and Transport Service, prior to that I was a civil servant for the Department for Education.  I hope my understanding of government and education policy /legislation, as well as my general management experience will be beneficial to the governing body and the school.

I live locally and am keen to make a contribution to my local community as a governor.  Simon Balle is a truly inclusive schools and am I committed to provide both support and challenge to the school.  I have just taken up the role as Child Protection Governor and am looking forward to working closely with Leon Brown in this role.

Sandie Abery

I worked in the Human Resources team for HCC and latterly for HfL for almost 20 years until my retirement in 2016. Simon Balle was one of the schools in my patch and I always enjoyed working with the school

I worked in a primary school for 11 years prior to coming to HR where I served as a governor following that. I have also previously been a governor at a secondary school

I am passionate about education and with 7 grandchildren my passion has been heightened!

I look forward to being part of the Simon Balle community.

Hannah Ahmet

I am a Head of Year 9 and a Geography teacher at Simon Balle. Since joining the school in 2010, I have been involved in a variety of different aspects of school life from teaching and learning, to extra curriculum activities and school trips.

I hope my experiences will help to make informed decisions within the assessment and standards committee.


Louise Archer

I joined Simon Balle as a governor in 2019, although I have been a primary governor locally for eight years. I am a Professor at UCL Institute of Education, where I specialise in sociology of education, with a focus on educational inequalities. I also have a child at the school.  I care passionately about education and am delighted to be able to support the school as a governor.

Jo Brown

Having a high profile, senior “city” role I have been looking to find ways in which I can use my skills to give back to my local community.

I have a toddler and a baby. I have a particular interest in Simon Balle as the toddler will probably fall into the 2018 intake and as a new school I am interested to see how this develops.

I am a qualified accountant (FCA) and am looking forward to contributing to the finance committee.


Tara Bullworthy

I became a Parent governor in November 2012.  I have four children, 3 having been through Simon Balle and are now in varying successful careers.  I  was a Cub Scout Leader for 17 years.  I am part of the Student and A&S committees which links in well with my role as PSA secretary. Being a governor and part of a like-minded group of people helps ensure that the school continues creating an ideal environment where pupils will continue to get the high quality education and personal development that my children received to set them up for life beyond Simon Balle School.

Paul Cable

I joined the governing body in January 2017. I have a son in year 2, a daughter in Reception and another daughter earmarked to join in 2019. I live close to the school and have enormous appreciation for the role the school plays not just directly in my children's education but indirectly across the community we live in. My background is in marketing, digital innovation and branding and I hope to be able to support the school in all aspects of communication.


Emma Davies

I  sit  on the Student, Community and Partnership Committee.  I have two girls in the secondary school.  I run my own events company organising and running parties and weddings.  I am a Governor at a local primary school, and have been for 7 years, sitting on the Education Committee and also the link Governor for Early Years.  I live in a local village and get involved in many community events.

My strengths are organisation, multi tasking,  the ability to talk and  advise, and my endless energy. I am passionate about the school, its aims, ethos, strengths, and the amazing music department that exceeds any expectation of a senior school.  I am really looking forward to supporting the Governors, SLT and students and contributing to what is, in my opinion, the best school in Hertford.

Will Davies

I have two sons at the school and joined the board of Governors in late 2016.  When I found out that my professional experiences would be useful to the School to help it (continue) to excel, I signed up straight away.  With just over 30 years of working in the Military, Police and currently disruptive technology industry, I hope my experiences will add value to what is already an excellent team.

I sit on the Attainment & Standards Committee and look forward to adding to the successes of the Simon Balle School family.

Sally Dooks

I am a qualified accountant having worked in such large companies as Tesco, John Lewis, Premier Foods, Primark and currently at Easyjet.  I have always worked as a business partner to the business working on strategy, planning, budgeting and forecasting and analysis of performance.  I am a mum of two small girls and I am very interested in the role of governor to ensure I am helping build the best educational opportunities for my girls and other students.


Jo Ennis (Trustee)

I joined Simon Balle as a Parent Governor in 2015.  I have a two daughters at the  school.  I felt that having children at the school I wanted to be a part of ensuring that the school continues in its great efforts to educate the children and prepare them for adult life.
I am a member of the Personnel Committee, and having spent over 20 years of my career in HR roles in global, blue chip organisations, I believe I can use the skills and experience I have gained over the years and contribute to the continued success of the school community.


Roy Hardcastle (Trustee)

I joined the Governing Body in 2015 following my retirement from Herts for Learning as Head of Schools HR.

I have worked in the public sector for 40 years working in two London Boroughs before joining Herts County Council.  I have previously been a Governor for 8 years at another Hertfordshire Secondary School.  My experience and knowledge covers all the aspects of teachers’ employment and working closely with Head Teachers both Primary and Secondary and the Trade Unions.

Alison Mackie

As a former pupil and now parent of a primary child, I am passionate about being part of the governing body and supporting the school to achieve key objectives to the benefit of all pupils.

My background is scientific.  I work as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry and look forward to using my skill-set to contribute to the development of the all-through school.  I joined the governing body in January 2016 and currently attend the Attainment & Standards Committee.


Christian Lafferty

I joined the Governing Body in late 2016 and sit on the Attainment & Standards Committee. I currently work at BT Research where I lead on innovation for IT Services, Systems & Software. I am also BT's strategic research lead for the Future of Software & Computing.

I am passionate about engineering and technology and have over thirty years’ experience in the communications sector. I believe that a solid education in the STEM subjects promotes critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be applied to other disciplines and throughout life in general.

In 2015, my daughter joined Reception Class as one of the first Larch Centre students and my wife is an active and enthusiastic associate of the Parent Staff Association. My family feel very honoured to be part of the Simon Balle community and we hope to contribute towards the school's success for many years to come.


Andrew Porrer (Trustee)

I joined the governing body of Simon Balle School as a parent governor starting in January 2016.  As a parent of a primary child, I am keen to support the school.  I am a software developer and run a technology firm in London providing services to the finance industry so can offer expertise in IT and familiarity with finance – as well as input as a father with two children!  I look forward to contributing to the Simon Balle community.


Ann Orpin (Trustee)

I became a Parent Governor in March 2014. We have lived locally for over 20 years and have two boys who both, different though they are, thrive within Simon Balle’s inclusive, caring and challenging ethos

My background is in Management Accounting though I now run my own local micro-business which ensures that I have the time to support our sons and contribute to the school and local community.

I am chair of the Finance committee and hope that I can continue to learn and grow I my role.


Steve Brown

I am new to the role of school governor but I believe my skills and experience will help contribute to the overall direction of the school. I am an independent sustainability consultant specialising in the water sector. Currently I am completing a PhD in a project related to water demand in commercial buildings, such as schools. Before this, I worked as a civil engineer on large-scale infrastructure projects in the UK and New Zealand. 

My eldest child attends the school and loves being part of the Simon Balle community. I look forward to contributing to the operation and strategy of the school. 

John Wiggett

I joined the Governing Body in January 2017 and have two primary children .

As a qualified architect I have worked on projects in the healthcare and education  sectors for over fifteen years.  I will to use my skills to contribute to the fantastic work done by everyone involved at Simon Balle.


Daniel Bidwell

I have worked in Education for over 20 years, serving much of my time at John Warner School as a Head of Upper School. I have recently taken up a post of Deputy Headteacher at Knightsfield School - A school for hearing impaired children. I have 2 daughters at Simon Balle and look forward to offering my support and experience in education as part of the governing body.