Paul Connolly (Chair and Member)

Term of Office

(05/10/2016 – 04/10/2024)

Registered business interests: None

I have been a Governor at Simon Balle since 2004 and have two boys who have been through the school, university and are now both working in science and medicine. I am now retired after working for 34 years in Pharmaceutical R&D in various technical and leadership roles.

During this period as a Governor, 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 have been Chair of Governors since 2016 which has been a really enjoyable challenge in learning more about the wider aspects of education, teaching, learning and leadership. 

We have an excellent Governing Body with a wide range of backgrounds, skills and experience but all focussed and aligned on the clear vision, ethos and culture of Simon Balle All-through School that makes it such a great place in which to learn, work and play.

Louise Archer Ker

Term of Office

(01/05/2019 – 30/04/2027)

Registered business interests: None

I joined Simon Balle as a governor in 2019, after eight years as a governor in a local primary school. I am a Professor at UCL Institute of Education, where I specialise in sociology of education and educational inequalities. I am currently the link governor for SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). I feel privileged to be able to support the school as a governor and I love the school’s inclusive ethos.

Jo Brown

Term of Office

(08/02/2016 – 07/02/2028)

Registered business interests: CFO at ethical investment manager, EdenTree. Husband, E Brown, works at the school.

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 2016 and enjoy using skills gained in my career to support and contribute to the school. I am the Chair of the Audit Committee, a member of the Finance and Resources Committee and I also coordinate governor visits with the school to ensure they cover a wide range of school focus areas and are properly recorded.

 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

Term of Office

(04/02/2019 – 03/02/2027)

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.

My roles on the governing board are supporting the school by discussing and evaluating a broad range of topics as part of the student, community and partnerships committee and contributing to the environmental aspect of  the health, safety, environment & sustainability committee. Having worked in the environmental sector since 2010, mainly related to advancing water stewardship implementation with global companies, I believe I offer the school a broad range of technical expertise across a range of environmental considerations including their Eco-School Silver award achievement.  

I have seen first-hand through my two children, Simon Balle delivering a well-rounded learning experience which is able to adapt to a broad demographic of students. The senior leadership team and staff consistently demonstrate a responsive attitude to critique and challenge from the governor board.

Tara Bullworthy

Term of Office

(10/12/2012 – 09/12/2024)

Registered business interests: None

I am now retired from working in local government before and after spending ten years as a stay at home parent. Singing in two choirs (and as membership secretary of the school’s adult choir)  volunteering on Hertfordshire police scrutiny panels and of course being a school governor keep me busy now.

Following many years as a parent at the school and secretary of the PSA, I started as a parent governor in 2012. My four children all thrived from the holistic educational environment at the school and after 6th form each followed a different path leading into work: straight into work (now commercial business manager), college (now zookeeper), apprenticeship (now kindergarten supervisor) and university (now primary school teacher).   

I sit on 2 committees: attainment and standards and student and community.  I am one of two link governors for attendance and behaviour, both important areas to keep improving to ensure the continuing excellence of the school . I also attend the very active and influential school parliament.

The ethos and values of the school are what drew us to the school twenty five years ago for our children and they are still the foundation for the excellent teaching and learning now in the all- through school.

Adam Cooper

Term of Office

(01/04/2023 – 31/03/2027)

Registered business interests: None

Having two children attend the school in the primary phase, I enjoy hearing about their learning environments and the development they are making within the school, which is reflective of the school’s community and values.    

I am the Governor aligned to Pupil Premium and passionate about providing an environment whereby each child has the best opportunity to reach their full potential. I believe Simon Balle All-through School provides an optimal environment to achieve this.

Marisa Dass

Term of Office

(22/03/2021 – 21/03/2025)

Registered business interests: None

My two sons flourish from the approach to learning and all the unique opportunities that Simon Balle offers, with one son now at university. I am passionate about supporting the school and my local community, hence my decision to join the governing body in 2021.

I would like to use my skills, experience and background in computer science and IT to make contributions that are beneficial to all at the school and ensure that all students are given an excellent school experience. Equally, I would also learn and develop from the successes of SBAS.

Will Davies

Term of Office

(01/01/2017 – 31/12/2024)

Registered business interests: In addition to my full time job I occasionally support high net worth or high profile people with their personal security – this sole trading work can include school leaders

I am the school’s data protection officer and sit on the personnel committee.

I am the Deputy Chief Information Security Officer for a global software development company. I have over 30 years of security experience derived from military, law enforcement and central government roles. I specialise in disruptive technology.

I was asked to join the governing body to challenge the school to be better at all aspects of security and digital development.  The school always strives to improve and by comparison, Simon Balle is visionary and at the vanguard of digital development.

I have two children at Simon Balle and enjoy watching them develop in the school I would have liked to have gone to.

Kelly Gradwell

Term of Office
Registered business interests: None
I am the Headteacher of Westfield CP School in Hoddesdon.
I joined Simon Balle as a parent governor in 2021, although I have been a primary governor locally for many years. I am a Head of School in a large Primary School in outer London. I have many years of experience both teaching and leading in primary schools. I am a Specialist Leader in Education and have been deployed to many schools to offer support at all levels. I am passionate about education and improving life chances for all children through education. I currently sit on the Personnel Committee.

I have two children at the school and I have seen them grow and thrive in the environment that is offered at Simon Balle.

Roy Hardcastle

Term of Office

(05/10/2015 –31/08/2024)

Registered business interests: My daughter-in-law works in the school.

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

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 teaching and non-teaching employment and working closely with Head Teachers both Primary and Secondary and the Trade Unions.

I have two grandchildren that attend the school and I believe in the values and ethos that are instilled in the young people at the school in creating tomorrow’s citizens today.

Zoe Hussain

Term of Office

(01/09/2022 – 31/08/2026)

Registered business interests: None

I am Vice CEO of a Multi Academy Trust in Hertfordshire which has both primary and secondary settings. I also work as a Hertfordshire School Effectiveness Adviser, supporting school improvement in primary settings. 

As a governor at Simon Balle, I sit on the Personnel Committee and I am also the Safeguarding Governor. I believe passionately in seeing the potential in all young people and also in recognising the positive impact high-quality education can have for young people. I am pleased that I can make a contribution locally as a governor.

I have a daughter in Year 11 at Simon Balle and it has been a pleasure to see her develop in her time at the school.

Priya Khambhaita

Term of Office

(05/07/2021 – 04/10/2024)

Registered business interests: None

I work as a Senior Widening Participation Officer at an Higher Education Institute. I am a mum of two children at the school and enjoy being an active part of the school community. I hold a position as the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Governor and attend the Student, Partnership and Community Committee which fits well with my career experience and interests.  I am proud to represent the school, its values and beliefs and support the staff and students to uphold a high standard in my professional and personal life.

Ann Orpin (Member)

Term of Office

(03/03/2014 – 02/03/2026)

Registered business interests: None

It has been my pleasure to be a governor since 2014 – I support and challenge the school as Vice Chair of Governors and as chair of the Finance Committee  

As a retired accountant I have been able to bring that skill set, but I have also learned a great deal from leaders, staff, students and colleagues during my 10 years service

Both of my boys attended the school and were extremely happy here. It is so lovely to now watch them as university students, use the skills, both academic and social, that the school helped them develop by always treating them as valued individuals

Charlotte Phillip

Term of Office

(01/09/2021 – 31/08/2025)

Registered business interests: None

I sit on the Board of Governors as a Staff Governor. I work at Simon Balle in the Larch as a Reception Teacher and Phase 1 Leader. I am extremely proud to work at our school and believe our Early Years curriculum enables every child to thrive and build a strong love of learning to prepare them well for their journey through our All-through school.

Andrew Porrer

Term of Office

(01/01/2016 – 31/12/2027)

Registered business interests: None

I joined the governing body of Simon Balle All-Through School as a parent governor starting in January 2016 and I have a child in the secondary phase. Having been all through the primary phase and one still in the primary phase. Both are flourishing and are involved in the musical life of the school.. 

I am a software developer and run a small business and have an office in Hertford. I have also been a Hertford Town Councillor for 4 years.

I am chair of the Achievement and Standards committee and also sit on the Finance committee. I find being a governor at Simon Balle All-Through School very rewarding.

Chris Townsend

Term of Office

(01/09/2021 – 31/08/2024)

Registered business interests: None

I am currently deputy Head of Department in Maths, I have previous teaching experience in both Primary and Secondary settings. I see my role as a Staff Governor to help bridge between the School and Governors. The school has forged excellent relationships between staff and SLT members over the years.

John Wiggett

Term of Office

(01/01/2017 – 31/12/2024)

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 children at Simon Balle All-through School and joined the Governing Body in January 2017.  I am a member of the Finance, Assets and Resources (FAR) committee and the careers link governor.

As director of a Hertford-based architectural practice, I have over twenty years of experience working on projects in the healthcare sector. I have mentored RIBA architecture students since 2015.

As well as supporting pupils in fulfilling their academic potential and preparing them for the workplace, Simon Balle offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities.

Chris Williams

Term of Office

(01/09/2023 – 31/08/2027)

Registered business interests: I work for HFL Education

I am currently a HR Manager at HFL Education, supporting schools, settings and trusts with a broad range of HR matters. I joined the governing body in 2023.

I have worked with organisations supporting education since 2005, initially with Hertfordshire County Council. I am also a former pupil of the school.

My knowledge and experience include employee relations, pay and conditions for teaching and non-teaching employment, working with trade unions, organisational design, change management, and organisational development.

As a governor at Simon Balle, I sit on the Personnel Committee. I believe in providing the opportunity for pupils to achieve their potential through high quality education which I believe Simon Balle All Through School provides.

Rachel Kirk: Co-headteacher

Term of office
(01/09/23 – )
Registered business interests: Primary Hertfordshire Improvement Partner for Herts for Learning (part-time)

Michael Moss: Co-headteacher

Term of office
(01/09/23 – on going)
Registered business interests: None

Independent Members

Russell Andrews

Vivienne Jones

David Spring