Skip to content ↓

Governor Profiles

Kieran Balfe
 

Kieran Balfe has been a teacher for over 33 years working in Peru, Hertfordshire, London and Essex. He was appointed Head of Drama at HGS in September 1999, but in September 2014, with the closure of the Drama Department, became teacher of drama within the Music Department. He also serves as the National Education Union representative. He was first elected as a teacher governor in July 2013 and re-elected in September 2017. He currently sits on the Finance and Resources Committee.

Joanne Briggs 

Jo was appointed a Parent Governor in October 2018.  She has a daughter in Year 7 at HGS, a son in Year 10 at The Priory School and also a 4 year old daughter.  Jo has been a Police Officer with Hertfordshire Constabulary for 21 years and has a wide range of policing experience including management teams within the safeguarding command investigating domestic and child exploitation and abuse.  She has vast experience of partnership working and has played a strategic role in developing policy around safeguarding vulnerable children.  Jo is currently a Detective Inspector, leading teams dealing with Gang Crime and Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery.

Ken Down

Ken became a Community Governor in July 2010.  He is a Chemistry graduate who currently works as a medicinal chemist and project leader at GlaxoSmithKline and has over 14 years experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry.  He is Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee and the Link Governor for the Science department.

Geoff Edwards

Geoff became a Parent Governor in October 2017.  He has a daughter in Year 11 and his wife teaches PE at HGS.  Geoff has a degree in Banking and Finance from The University of Birmingham and is a Director of a London based consulting company that works with the investment management industry.  Geoff is a qualified cricket and hockey coach and has been heavily involved with Hitchin Cricket Club and Blueharts Hockey Club for over 30 years.

Chris Emmings

Chris Emmings was elected staff governor in February 2016. She has worked in education since 2000. Chris works at HGS as Data and Examinations Manager. Chris enjoys camping, albeit in a motorhome, and spends most weekends camping in orchards, farmers’ fields or Camping Club Sites. She is on their committee as the Youth Leader, for which she organises activities for children 12 -18 years of age during the weekend.

Tony Fitzakerly

Tony Fitzakerly became a Community Governor in 2012 and is the link governor for Modern Foreign Languages. He is a member of the Asset Management & Finance committees. He has worked for many years in the communications industry in the UK and internationally. Tony’s three daughters all attended the school.

Chris Hall

Chris became a parent governor in 2009 and was appointed Chair of Governors in 2014. In October 2017 he was appointed a Community Governor. He is a member of all the committees and is the link governor for the Sixth Form and Mathematics. He has worked in educational and health publishing for over 30 years for a variety of UK and International companies and has two daughters who have attended the school.

Chris now runs his own business focusing on SEND and psychological assessment in schools.  He is a Trustee of Rainbows Bereavement Support GB and a Trustee of Hitchin Educational Foundation and the Hitchin Girls' School Charitable Trust.

Nesta Job

Nesta Job has served as a governor of Hitchin Girls' School for 25 years, the first 4 as a parent governor, and is the Chair of the Personnel and Admissions committees and Vice Chair of Governors. Nesta has served as a Hertfordshire governor for 35 years. She is a consultant for management and leadership within the motor industry. Prior to that, she was a consultant specialising in Recruitment and Customer Care primarily in the Retail and Motor Industries. She is the link Governor for Careers, Staff CPD and the Student Development depar

Mary King

Mary King has been a governor in Hertfordshire schools for more than 20 years. She is Chair of the Curriculum and Performance committee and a member of the Personnel and Admissions committees, the governor responsible for Safeguarding in school and also for Healthy Schools. Mary is a Biochemistry graduate who has recently retired from teaching in a special school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties and complex needs in Hertfordshire.

Simon Lucas

Simon became a Community Governor in 2015. He is Managing Director of the executive search firm, Society, and a Trustee of The Society Foundation, a charity to which his company donates 10% of its profits. Simon grew up in South Wales and read Philosophy and Politics at the University of Warwick. He lives just round the corner from HGS with his wife and two children.

Frances Manning

Frances became a Governor on her appointment as Headteacher in 2007.

She is the Accounting Officer for the Academy Trust and is a member of all Governing Body committees. Frances is also a Trustee of the Hitchin Girls' School Charitable Trust and of Phase, the Hitchin Churches Schools Worker Trust. 

Frances is a national Leader of Education (NLE), providing support to schools via the North Herts Teaching Alliance and is also Vice Chair of Hertfordshire Association of Secondary Headteachers (HASSH). 

Kate Middleton

Kate was elected a Parent Governor in October 2016. She is a psychologist, ex-medic, speaker and author with a special interest in emotional problems and considerable experience working with teenagers. Her books include those on self-harm, eating disorders, anxiety and stress. She has over 15 years’ experience working with multi-disciplinary teams involved in supporting teens and young people including child protection. Most of all she is passionate about enabling people to reach their potential and the role of emotional resilience and confidence training in this.

Steve Mills

Steve became a parent governor in 2014 and is now a Co-opted Govenor.  At present, he sits on the Finance, Curriculum & Performance and Admissions Committees. He is also the link governor for Classics and Physical Education – a particular interest of his. Steve is Headteacher at Whitehill Junior School, taking up the position in September 2013; prior to that, he taught in schools in Luton and Hitchin. Steve’s wife, Sally, is Assistant Head at HGS and his daughter is a former student in the Sixth Form.

Colin Minton

Colin Minton has been a community governor for over 25 years and was originally elected as a parent governor. He was Chairman of Governors for 13 years until 2014 during which time HGS became a Specialist Science School and converted to Academy status. He sits on the Finance, Personnel and Admissions committees. Now retired, he has a broad and unusual background having been both on the main board of a major public company and a full time trade union official. His later management consulting work covered a wide range of corporate and employee communications assignments in the UK and overseas in both the public & private sectors. His main interests are in photography, music and sports.  Colin is link Governor for History.

Sonia Morrison

Sonia Morrison has been a school governor at various Hertfordshire schools for the past 15 years. She started as a parent governor at Hitchin Girls School in 2010 and moved to being a community governor in 2014 when her daughter left the school. Sonia is the vice-chair on the Curriculum and Performance committee and also sits on the Personnel committee; she is the link governor for English. Through the years she has been Chair and Vice-chair of governors at other schools as well as chairing various governor committees and has been involved in several successful Ofsted inspections including the one at Hitchin Girls in 2013. She has been a governor at Knebworth Primary School since 2003; she is also a Director & Vice-chair of Governors at Woolgrove Special School where her youngest son attended.

Katharine Rowe

Katharine attended the school as a student from 1978-1985.  She completed a Classics degree at Newnham College, Cambridge, and then worked for five years as an administrator in Life Assurance.  She did a PGCE in Classics in 1994 and returned to Hitchin Girls' School as a teacher of Classics.  She became Head of the Classics in 2003 as well as the Head of Year in 2014.  Her daughter started at HGS in September 2012: the fourth generation of her family to attend here.  Katharine is a member of the Finance and Resources Committee.

Mark Seaman-Hill

Mark is a Community Governor and a member of the Finance and Resources Committee.  He is a Chartered Surveyor and Partner in the Hitchin based firm of Messrs John Shilcock.  He is a member of the Rotary Club of Hitchin and Chairman of the Youth Committee which, amongst other things, assists in the annual Youth Speaks competition. Mark is the link Governor for the Technology department.

Toby Scott

Toby has been a Parent Governor since 2017 and is also a member of the Admissions and Curriculum & Performance Committees.  He is the link governor for Philosophy and Ethics.  An experienced journalist and communications professional, he is currently Head of Communications and Campaigns for Hospice UK.  Toby is from Lancashire and has lived in Hitchin since 2014.

Stuart Sprawson

Stuart was appointed as a Community Governor in 2013. He is a lawyer by training and has been in practice for over 30 years. He is a Recorder (part time judge) in the Crown Court. Stuart is a member of the Admissions and Personnel committees and link Governor for Learning for Life.

Mike Winter OBE

Mike has 39 years’ experience in international education, including the British Council in the UK, Turkey, Brazil, France & Japan, where he was awarded an OBE for his services to international education collaboration.

In 2009, Mike became Director International for the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) in London, the world’s foremost centre for education research. He has been the University of London’s Director of Global Engagement since 2016.

Mike lives in Hitchin with his wife Claudia and his daughter Bibi, who is in Year 8.

From 2011 to 2015, Mike served as Parent Governor at Highbury Infant School and Nursery.