Who we are

Picture 1 John Harris, Chair of Trust
Picture 2 GIll Jones, CEO
Picture 1 Graham Cunningham, Headteacher, Longdean School
Picture 2 David Gelernter, Chair, AscotRd CFS Governing Body
Picture 3 Jo Kavakeb, Squirrels Day Nurseries
Picture 4 Andrew Nightingale, Director
Picture 5 Martin Glick, Vice Chair
Picture 6 Kristian North, Jupiter CFS Governing Body
Picture 7 Amandip Sidhu, Trustee
Picture 8 Issy Maxwell, Trustee
Picture 9 James Jenkins, Member, University of Herts
Picture 10 Angela Daniel, Trustee
Picture 11 Randal Whittaker, Trustee
Picture 12 Gregory Holmes, Trustee, Herts County Council
Picture 13 Kate Ma, Member, Herts County Council

Trustee Biographies

 

MEMBERS

 

Graham Cunningham

Graham has been the Head teacher of Longdean School, in Hemel Hempstead for 6 years and was the Deputy Head teacher before that. Prior to that he worked at The Cavendish School in Hemel Hempstead and Walford High School in London. His particular areas of interest are teaching and learning, leadership and management and pastoral care. Away from education he is a keen reader and has an interest in military history.

 

Jo Kavakeb

Jo Kavakeb is an Early Years Professional. She is the owner of Squirrels Nurseries which she established almost 30 years ago. Her business consists of six nurseries, three of which are providers for the Trust schools in Watford and Hemel Hempstead. Her nurseries aim to provide parents with a high quality, affordable and flexible service.

 

James Jenkins

James is Associate Dean (International) in the School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire. He has worked in higher education for nearly twenty years, undertaking a variety of roles in that time. His teaching and research specialisms sit within the area of Geography and Environmental Management, and he lectures on a wide variety of geographical and environmental issues. James is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, as well as being a Chartered Environmentalist and Geographer. He is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Geographical Society.

 

Kate Ma

Kate works as a Senior School Planning Officer for Hertfordshire County Council. The School Planning Team is responsible for ensuring there are sufficient school places across the County. They do this by forecasting pupil numbers and negotiating with school providers to try to match the level of school capacity in an area with projected demand. In recent years this has involved bringing forward statutory proposals to expand schools as well as supporting the establishment of new schools. Through her role, she has a breadth & depth of experience working with schools at a local level and planning school provision at a strategic level. She is also embarking on part-time study with the University of Hertfordshire; and is due to complete an Executive MBA in Spring 2018.

 

John Harris

John is the Chair of WHST and the link Trustee at Lanchester CFS. He has a distinguished career in Children’s Services and Education, both in local government and the private sector. John was Director of Education in Westminster and went on to serve as Hertfordshire’s Director of Children’s Services until he retired from that role in 2011. He was inaugural chair of the ADCS Families, Communities and Young People Policy Committee and chair of the Local Authorities Research Consortium. He now works as a management consultant and currently has a lead role at national level with the Children’s Improvement Board in driving forward sector-led improvement in Children’s Services. John has a particular interest in the role that evidence and research play in supporting service improvement and better outcomes for children. He is Vice-Chair of the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). He is contributing to national thinking about the future role of schools working in formal partnerships and collaboratives to drive school improvement and is a founder director of the West Herts Schools Trust.

 

 

DIRECTORS

 

Martin Glick

Having trained as a Chartered Accountant, Martin helps keep an eye on Trust finances and compliance. He is particularly interested in the Free School movement and the opportunity that it brings for innovation. Martin currently serves as Vice Chair of the Trust and contributes to governor meetings at Jupiter CFS as their link trustee.

 

Angela Daniel

Angela is a Fellow Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants with over 18 years’ experience within the industry. She has acquired her experience within the Accounting & Audit Practice, Consulting and Banking. Currently she works as the Head of Finance for an International Asset Management Firm. She enjoys mentoring young people and has a passion to see young people maximise their potential. She acts as the link trustee for Ascot Road CFS.

 

Amandip Sidhu

Amandip is a pharmacist and has a varied background in the healthcare sector. Understanding of safeguarding, strategic design and execution coupled with a passion for learning allows him to offer these varied skillsets to benefit the Trust board. A single focussed objective of positive educational outcomes for children is the main driver for his activities and involvement with the trust. In line with his religious and cultural background the ethos of "selfless service to others" is paramount to his role as a board member but also a member of the local community. Amandip has a child at Lanchester CFS.

 

David Gelernter

David is Chair of Governors at Ascot Road CFS. He is a Justice of the Peace and a recently retired judge of the Family Court and now acts as a Family Court adviser. He is also Chair and Responsible Individual for an Independent Fostering Agency as well as Chair and main board member of several SME's and a Director of several PLC's. He was Chair of West London Family Court and on the Executive Board for Family Proceedings - Greater London and the Lord Chancellors advisory committee for implementation of the Single Family Court in London.

 

John Harris

John is the Chair of WHST and the link Trustee at Lanchester CFS. He has a distinguished career in Children’s Services and Education, both in local government and the private sector. John was Director of Education in Westminster and went on to serve as Hertfordshire’s Director of Children’s Services until he retired from that role in 2011. He was inaugural chair of the ADCS Families, Communities and Young People Policy Committee and chair of the Local Authorities Research Consortium. He now works as a management consultant and currently has a lead role at national level with the Children’s Improvement Board in driving forward sector-led improvement in Children’s Services. John has a particular interest in the role that evidence and research play in supporting service improvement and better outcomes for children. He is Vice-Chair of the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). He is contributing to national thinking about the future role of schools working in formal partnerships and collaboratives to drive school improvement and is a founder director of the West Herts Schools Trust.

 

Issy Maxwell

Issy is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development with 30 years experience acquired in dynamic and diverse companies characterised by change and growth. Born and schooled in Watford, Issy qualified from university in Business Studies & Finance with an HR Specialism, before gaining 2 Masters Degrees in Human Resource Management (HRM) & Employment Strategy; and HRM & Employment Legislation. Issy has many broad, transferable and professional skills to bring to the Trust and relevant experience in Business Transformation, Change Management, Strategic Development and Organisational Design. She is passionate about education, training and development, and enjoys mentoring and supporting people maximise their potential.

 

Kristian North

Kristian is the Chair of Governors at Jupiter CFS. After graduating from University Kristian joined BT Global Services where he has worked for the last 15 years. He spent the first half of his career working as a Project Manager delivering complex transformational programmes before he changed tack and moved into Business and Contract Management. This has allowed him to develop a broad set of skills which he now brings to the role of Governor and Trustee.

 

Randal Whittaker

Randal has over 30 years experience in Financial Services driving and delivering transformational business change programmes; improving the customer experience; organisational efficiency and delivering sustainable revenue growth.
His work has focused on developing individuals and teams, engaging people across organisations to realise their own potential and he is interested in contributing to the future of society through local education.

 

 

Gregory Holmes

Greg has worked for Hertfordshire County Council since 2008 and is currently a senior manager in the School Admissions & Transport department. Alongside managing both the Reception and Secondary transfer processes, he represents the local authority and schools in defending admission appeals. He has also helped develop and implement a number policies that the County Council currently operate.

 

Phil Mason

Dr Phil Mason is Head of Strategy in the University of Hertfordshire’s Business School, where he has been employed for the last seven years. He is an active researcher in education governance, strategy, leadership and policy, and teaches executive students in the area of research consultancy. Phil has been professionally involved in school governance for the last four years, and continues to support a range of practitioners and schools through his work. He has three young children and in his free time enjoys swimming and outdoor pursuits.

 

Pulvi Popat

Pulvi is the Chair of Governors at Lanchester CFS. She has lived in Watford for the last 14 years, and both her children attend Lanchester CFS. In her role as Chair of Governors, she endeavours to support the school in achieving their milestones and actively ensures that the children are happy, confident and achieve to the best of their abilities. She is an experienced marketing professional who specialises in internet and email marketing and has a BA in Education Studies and a MA in Marketing Management.

 

 

Gill Jones

Gill Jones is an experienced education and school improvement professional. She is currently the Chief Executive of the West Herts Community Free School Trust and was the proposer for the Hatfield Community Free School which opened in 2012. Previously she was Head of Standards and Effectiveness in Hertfordshire running a highly successful school improvement service with a strong trading arm and a history of school to school support. She was also a member of the Director of Children’s Services strategic management board. Her career prior to this included work as a school adviser, Ofsted inspector, NPQH trainer, head teacher and teacher.