Paul Connolly (Chair and Trustee)

Registered business interests: None

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.

Jayne Abery

Registered business interests: None

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.

Hannah Ahmet

Registered business interests: None

In 2010 I joined Simon Balle School as a Geography teacher and in 2015 I became a Head of Year. I have led a cohort through key stage 3 and 4 and I am currently HOY for year 11. Throughout my time at the school I have been involved in a variety of different aspects of school life from teaching and learning, to extra curricular activities and school trips. I hope my experiences will help to make informed decisions within the assessment and standards committee.

Louise Archer Ker

Registered business interests: None

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

Registered business interests: I work at an investment manager and sometime provide advice to the finance committee on treasury management.

I am a Finance Director in financial services and have a depth of experience in a variety of finance and accounting roles. I joined the Governing Body in 2015 and enjoy using skills gained in my career to support and contribute to the school. 

Both of my children are now at Simon-Balle and are benefitting from the learning opportunities and experiences offered to them. 

I am committed to ensuring that the high standards and expectations already set continue to remain high and that through our values and ethos we support all students as they develop into young adults, enabling them to thrive in the wider world.

Steve Brown

Registered business interests: I am the director of a limited company that specialises in providing environmental consultancy services, with a focus on water. As part my work I sometimes engage, and help promote, suppliers of related technology and services.

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.

Tara Bullworthy

Registered business interests: None

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.

Will Davies

Registered business interests: None

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.

Roy Hardcastle (Trustee)

Registered business interests: One daughter-in-law works in the school, one daughter-in-law is a governor at the school

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.

Rebecca Hardcastle

Registered business interests: My father-in-law is a governor at the school

I joined the governing body of Simon Balle School in February 2020 and also have previous experience as a primary governor.

As a busy working Mum, living very close to the school, I want to give something back to my local community and also help improve the educational experience for not only my daughter, but other local families.

After working in Buying & Retail for over 20 years, I hope my broad experience will help add to the success of the school.

Christian Lafferty

Registered business interests: My wife works at the school

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.

Alison Mackie (Trustee)

Registered business interests: None

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.

Ann Orpin (Trustee)

Registered business interests: None

It has been my pleasure to be a parent governor since 2014 when I was originally recruited because of my background in finance.  At the time I had two very different boys thriving within the school; one has now moved on to university where he continues to use skills learnt as a Simon Balle student, the other continues to thrive, both educationally and socially, from all that the school offers. During my time serving the Governing Body I have learnt a great deal from leaders, staff, students and colleagues, this in turn has helped me to bring all that I can offer to benefit the school and the community

Andrew Porrer (Trustee)

Registered business interests: None

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.

Catherine Tallis

Registered business interests: Director of Business Services Herts for Learning Ltd, Associate Governor Layston C of E First School, Trustee Layston Pre-School and Nursery

I joined the Governing Board in 2019 having sat on a range of primary school Boards over the last eight years, including six years as Chair at my own children’s school in Buntingford. I am currently the Director of Business Services at Herts for Learning, leading teams that support schools to ensure the smooth running of  Human Resources, Schools Finance, School Business Management, Data Management, Technology in Schools and Governance. I am passionate about balancing high quality business support and services with the highest quality of teaching and learning to maximise effectiveness of schools. In my career both at Herts for Learning and prior to that Hertfordshire County Council I have seen that whilst excellent teaching and learning is integral to an effective school, optimising business functions, particularly HR and Governance is key to achieving outstanding results.

John Wiggett

Registered business interests: I am employed by AD Architects as Associate Director – a possible supplier or contractor to the school.

I am the father of two primary children at Simon Balle All-through School and joined the Governing Body in January 2017.  I am a member of the Finance committee and the link governor for Sports Premium and Careers.

As a qualified architect, I have worked on projects in the healthcare and education sectors for almost twenty years. I am a member of the RIBA East education committee, which supports the region’s schools of architecture and architecture students.

I will use my experience to support Simon Balle in continuing to be an outstanding all-through school.