List of Trustees and Members

Members

GEOFFREY COPLAND CBE

Appointed 29/01/2018

Skillset and experience – A physicist and former Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of Westminster from January 1996 until July 2007. Previous positions also held include Vice-President of Universities and Chair of its England and Northern Ireland Council, Chair of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, Trustee of Council for Industry and Higher Education, Vice-Chair of London Higher, Board member of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education and other education bodies including TECs.  Vice Chair of Harrow Tertiary College and Chair of the HEFCE Sustainable Development in Higher Education Steering Group from 2006 until 2012. A former Trustee of the Helena Kennedy Foundation and former Governor of University of Bedfordshire. Geoffrey was awarded a CBE in the 2007 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to higher education.

Currently is Chairman of Thomas Wall Trust, International Students House and Learning from Experience Trust, President of ASET, Vice Chair of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and of Trinity College London.

Following a series of university posts engaged in post-doctoral research, lecturing, and senior management in various universities in London. Since retirement Geoffrey has undertaken a number of consultancy projects for higher education including reviewing the governance structures of two higher education institutions. He has written a report for the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education on issues of good practice and challenges of university governance.

Geoffrey has a career long interest in improving the higher education student experience and access for those who have encountered barriers to conventional academic achievement at pre university level to enable all to achieve their full potential.

REV GRAHAM CLARKE

Appointed 29/01/2018

Skillset and experience – Minister Marshalswick Baptist Free Church St Albans. Trustee of St Albans and Harpenden Education Project.  Community Governor of a Primary School. BA (Hons) Applied Social Science Postgraduate Diploma Biblical and Theological Studies.  Chartered MICPD. Moderator (Chair) of the Central Baptist Association and West Herts YMCA. Regional Director SE England YMCA Project Development, Governance and Management Consultant 1987-97. Director programme development YMCA England – interface with government and funding bodies 1997-2000. Student Minister Eastleigh Baptist Church 2000-2003 responsible for community development and youth work.

Involved in children’s and young people’s work both in schools and in youth work projects.  Youth work and voluntary sector governance and management both as a consultant /trainer and Trustee of a number of charities. Youth and community work Liverpool and Leeds 1977-87.

DUNCAN GIBBONS

Appointed 13/10/2015

Skillset and experience – A qualified solicitor working as a senior in house lawyer in a Canadian bank with global management responsibilities.  Previously, Duncan worked as a solicitor in a private practice at a large global law firm, specialising in finance law.   He has also been an Army officer specialising in logistics.

Former Governor of Maple Primary School, Chair of Finance Committee and Chair of Governors in the final year. Governor of Sandringham School, Chair of Resources, former Chair of CAW.

LADY FLORA LETANKA

Appointed 05/07/2017

Skillset and experience – Director of School of Partnerships and Innovation at Teach First. After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in History, Flora taught History and A-Level Politics at Albany School, Enfield (now Oasis Hadley Academy) in one of the first cohorts of the Teach First programme. Advising on market brand and growth strategies at Lighthouse Global, a strategy consulting firm. Governor of St. Michaels’ C of E VA Primary School in St. Albans

A leader in Teach First from 2010, leading and developing high-impact alumni programmes, including the well-reputed Teach First Innovation Unit, which has resulted in 23 new education ventures prototyped, 15 ventures incubated and over 40 growing social enterprises supported to work with 2564 schools and 209,600 pupils in the lowest socio-economic areas in England and Wales.

JIM WRIGHT

Appointed 05/07/2017

Skillset and experience –  Self-employed business consultancy liaising with blue chip companies on strategic thinking, change implementation and leadership development. PhD in Chemistry. Previous roles include leading a research team in the pharmaceutical industry. Global Head of Human Resources. Parent Governor in a comprehensive school in Surrey.

Jim has lived in St Albans for 20 years.  After research in the pharmaceutical industry he transferred into general management. During that period his interests included working closely with secondary and tertiary education to support the development of scientists and to promote awareness of career opportunities in the scientific sector.  He has served as non-executive Director on the boards of several not-for-profit organisations. He is currently involved with supporting investment in small businesses in Central and Eastern Europe to promote employment and alleviate poverty and in developing business leaders in these countries. Jim has been a member of the Sandringham Governing Body for the last 7 years where he has chaired the CAW committee and is currently Chair of the HR Committee

Trustees

NARESH CHOUHAN

Trustee term of office 19/09/2018 – 18/09/2022

Skillset and experience – Naresh started work at 16 years old with JMRC and continued to study on a part-time basis achieving a degree in Business Studies and qualifying as a Chartered Certified Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor, whilst progressing his career.  He moved to the private sector in 2000 and since then has worked for several PLCs in the technology, communications and oil and gas sectors in a variety of risk, compliance and assurance senior management positions.

This will be Naresh’s first governing body appointment and he is really looking forward to addressing the challenges with the team and making a valuable contribution to the schools within the trust.

Naresh has lived in St Albans for 30 years after moving for work from Solihull in the West Midlands.  He is married with two sons and appreciates the challenges faced by both schools and parents in educating children. In his free time, he enjoys sports, cinema, reading and regularly experiences the frustrations of being an Arsenal supporter.

GREG COMNINOS

Trustee term of office 18/07/2017 – 17/07/2021

Skillset and experience – A qualified Chartered Accountant and has spent his whole career, from trainee to partner, with Deloitte. A current Trustee and Treasurer of the St Albans Citizens Advice Bureau. Greg is also a Community Governor at Sandringham School.

Greg moved office to St Albans when Deloitte established a practice office there in 1995 and subsequently retired from the firm in 2008.  He joined the Sandringham Governing Body in 2013.  Through Greg’s role at the St Albans Citizens Advice Bureau he is able to get involved in wider community issues in St Albans. Greg lives in Berkhamsted and enjoys bridge, travel and, when time permits, retirement.

NICHOLAS DAYMOND

Trustee term of office – 29/01/2018 – 28/01/2022

Skillset and experience- Retired Headteacher of Parmiter’s School in Garston 2010-2017 and former Headteacher of Roundwood Park School in Harpenden 2004 – 2010.   He has led both schools from “Good” to “Outstanding” through Ofsted inspections.  At different times Nicholas has been Chair of the Links ESC Management Committee in St Albans, Chair of STASSH (St Albans and Harpenden Secondary School Headteachers) and Chair of the St Albans and Harpenden SAPG (Strategic Area Partnership Group 16-19).  As an elected member of Schools’ Forum between 2012 and 2016 ensured that money retained at the centre was spent wisely.

Since the beginning of his career in 1985 Nicholas has taught in four different schools in Hertfordshire and so has a good knowledge of the County, its schools and its issues.  He is a strong believer in schools working together for the benefit of their students and staff and has always worked hard to improve collaboration.  Consequently, Nicholas has taken on a number of additional roles beyond his schools which have given him the opportunity to put this into practice.  Parmiter’s currently leads on ITT.  Nicholas is a National Leader of Education and trained Pupil Premium reviewer.  He has plenty of experience of supporting other schools and was Executive Headteacher of another Hertfordshire school for a term.

ALAN GRAY

Trustee term of office 18/07/2017 – 17/07/2021

Skillset and experience – Headteacher of Sandringham School for over 13 years and previously Headteacher at The Hemel Hempstead School for 6 years. Alan is a National Leader of Education and has experience of working with a number of secondary schools in this capacity to support leadership. Alan has trained and served as an additional OFSTED inspector and chairs Hertfordshire Schools Forum, the Alban Federation (ITT provider) and the Alban Teaching School Alliance. He has previously chaired local and Hertfordshire Headteacher groups. He is a member of the DfE Secondary Headteacher Reference Group, supporting the DfE with guidance on education matters.

Alan has worked closely with governing bodies for over 25 years and has significant experience of school leadership and how to create an outstanding learning environment for all.

LIN KEEN

Trustee term of office 18/07/2017 – 17/07/2021

Skillset and experience – Lin is a National Leader of Governance, working with governing bodies in other schools. After graduating from Edinburgh University, Lin started her career in Market Research in Birmingham, moving on to Marketing and eventually relocating to St Albans to take a position with Cadbury Schweppes.  Lin did a variety of freelance work and helped her husband who was building up a Market Research company.  She took on responsibility for the finance and company secretarial functions.

Lin became a Parent Governor in 1999. Over the years she has been a governor at three different schools in various roles including being chair at two of these.

Lin is still a governor at Sandringham School and Ridgeway Academy. She is now retired.

RICHARD KENNEDY

 

Trustee term of office 19/09/2018 – 18/09/2022

Skillset and experience – Richard’s current role with a global gas company requires him to develop and implement strategic programmes in order to deliver on business objectives for revenue, profit and debt. Richard has 14 years experience on school governing bodies. His most recent role has been Chair of Governors at Verulam School.

He is a motivated, hardworking and supportive team member who thrives on building relationships alongside strategy development and implementation.

Richard lives in St Albans with his wife Liz; they have three sons who have all attended school locally. A keen rugby supporter, he also coached with the St Albans based Old Albanian Rugby Club.

NORMAN LEINSTER

Trustee term of office 21/03/2018 – 20/03/2022

Skillset and experience – Norman qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1991 with the then Touche Ross, and worked in various accountancy roles in the private sector, with firms such as Parity and Citigroup. Norman’s roles focused on financial and management accounting, budgeting, and installing financial systems.  Norman then joined the diplomatic service at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 2003, and has worked in various policy areas such as Syria and Lebanon, Iraq, the UK Overseas Territories, and also in corporate areas such as IT and Freedom of Information, and Data Protection.  He is currently Desk Officer for Anti-Corruption.  He has been posted overseas to Kuwait and Pretoria, South Africa.

Norman has lived in St Albans since 1988, attends a local church in St Albans and goes regularly to the National Theatre, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the Royal Academy of Arts. He travels widely both with work and for leisure, including many of the southern Africa countries when he was working in Pretoria.  He worked for three years in Germany and France, and speaks both languages.

JEREMY LOUKES

Trustee term of office – 29/01/2018 – 28/01/2022

Skillset and experience – Former Headteacher of a Hertfordshire Academy judged outstanding by Ofsted.  Jeremy has spent three years as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors, based in the London region. Jeremy currently has a leadership role in a schools’ company providing school improvement services to primary schools in and beyond Hertfordshire.

Having started his teaching career in London, Jeremy taught across the primary age range, having held teaching and leadership posts in Hertfordshire and London schools. In addition to leading inspections of maintained schools, independent schools and academies, the role included reviewing local authority arrangements for school improvement and inspecting initial teacher education providers. It also involved carrying out a broad range of quality assurance tasks and leading training for school leaders, Governors and Ofsted Inspectors. He is committed to promoting high standards, including those of disadvantaged students.

RICHARD SPRINGALL

 

Trustee term of office 19/09/2018/ – 18/09/2022

Skillset and experience – Richard is an Engineer whose current role is UK Technical Director for a Swedish Design & Engineering consultancy. His strong design and engineering skills are complemented by his accomplished leadership skills. His success and passion for improved design and development have seen him invited to lecture at the Royal College of Art, London.

Richard has been a pro-active Community Governor since 2006 and contributes wholeheartedly to supporting and verifying school decisions and policies. Married to Diane, they have three children and have lived in St Albans for 34 years. Richard enjoys sailing, skiing, classic cars and all types of electrical, plumbing and building maintenance.

DEBORAH STRAZZA

Trustee term of office 19/09/2018 – 18/09/2022

Skillset and experience – Deborah is an experienced HR practioner, with both operational and strategic experience.

Passionate about learning and leadership development she has worked in the retail, automotive and not for profit sectors. For the last 17 years she has been at the John Lewis Partnership where her roles have included Managing Director at Milton Keynes and High Wycombe branches, and most recently the Head of Organisation Effectiveness & Talent Management.

Deborah was a member for the MK Chamber of Commerce Board for three years and now sits on the Young Enterprise Board in Hertfordshire, as well as acting as business advisor & judge on the YE company programme.

She lives in St Albans with her husband and two children. Her daughter attended Marlborough Science Academy , and is now at Nottingham Trent university and her son is a current pupil at Verulam.

 

 

PENNY THEI

Trustee term of office 18/07/2017 – 17/07/2021

Skillset and experience – Graduated in 1970 with a degree in Sociology, then in 1971 qualified as a Careers Adviser.  In 1998 Penny become a senior lecturer in Career Guidance on the postgraduate diploma at London South Bank University where she taught until she retired in 2014.

Brought up and educated in north west London.  As a careers adviser Penny worked in a variety of roles and with a range of client groups including adults.   Both Penny’s daughters attended Sandringham School and she then became a Parent Governor.  In 2003 when Penny could no longer claim to be a parent in the school, she was co – opted as a Community Governor and has served in this capacity since.  Outside of Penny’s Governor role she is a St Albans Green Badge tour guide, sings in the community choir, and volunteers at the museum on various projects. Chair of Sandringham HR Committee and the Admissions sub committee.  Link Governor for Careers and Science.

JIM WRIGHT

Trustee term of office 18/07/2017 – 17/07/2021

Skillset and experience –  Self-employed business consultancy liaising with blue chip companies on strategic thinking, change implementation and leadership development. PhD in Chemistry. Previous roles include leading a research team in the pharmaceutical industry. Global Head of Human Resources. Parent Governor in a comprehensive school in Surrey.

Jim has lived in St Albans for 20 years.  After research in the pharmaceutical industry he transferred into general management. During that period his interests included working closely with secondary and tertiary education to support the development of scientists and to promote awareness of career opportunities in the scientific sector.  He has served as non-executive Director on the boards of several not-for-profit organisations. He is currently involved with supporting investment in small businesses in Central and Eastern Europe to promote employment and alleviate poverty and in developing business leaders in these countries. Jim has been a member of the Sandringham Governing Body for the last 7 years where he has chaired the CAW committee and is currently Chair of the HR Committee

Company Secretary to the Trust

JULIA SHAW

Skillset and experience – Julia Shaw has worked at Sandringham School as School Business Manager for over 10 years, having started her career working within global finance in London before starting a family. She operates at a strategic level and has considerable business acumen.

After graduating from Bournemouth university with a BA in Business Julia started a career working in finance at Saville and Holdsworth Ltd and latterly The Wall St Journal. She subsequently joined Accenture where she qualified as a management accountant and spent 10 years + in their finance team. In 2007 she decided on a career change and took up a Business manager role at Sandringham School.  During her time at Sandringham she has seen the school move from maintained school to an academy and finally to a multi academy trust and has gained significant experience in operating school budgets and managing the operation of a large institution.

Appointed as Finance Director and Company Secretary to the Trust Board.