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One of our Sports Academy partners invited our academy players to attend a stadium tour of the home of Watford FC, Vicarage Road Stadium. Our thanks to our partners at Watford FC and their Trust members for their hospitality.


Christmas has started at Harpenden Academy....with our magical foyer!


* Music Academy Rock Band Workshop *Yesterday some of our Year 9, Year 10 and Sixth Form students took part in a brilliant Music Academy Rock Band Workshop.We thank Mr Wilkinson, a professional drummer, for delivering such a fantastic session.#rockband


RBA ‘Thoughtful Decorations’ - students busy preparing our Christmas 🎄 decorations which have a deeper meaning.


We’ve had some incredible entrants into our design a Christmas Card competition, with 225 entries this year. We will be sharing some of the fantastic designs on our countdown to Christmas over the next few weeks.First up is this gorgeous digital drawing from Charm in Year 10.


Oak class taught the naughty elves how to decorate the tree, with the help of Rudolph! 🎄


This morning Year 11 were treated to a performance of A Christmas Carol by to support their learning of this GCSE Lit set text. Absolutely fantastic - students and staff were equally impressed. Would highly recommend to schools that teach this text.


Our fabulous and talented library assistants have been hard at work today to make the library look fun ‘n’ festive. They have done a great job!


Oh no… some cheeky elves got into the school overnight and have tried to decorate for Christmas! They haven’t done a very good job so I think we’d better help them today… 🎄


Year 9 Enrichment PEAfter learning about different Methods of Training the students braved the sub-zero conditions to take part in a Continuous Training Session down the Lee Valley Path. Amazing effort this morning! 👏


* Latest News * joins Scholars' Education Trust. Read full news story here


Sounding great!


Providing high-quality education for more than 5000 children across 7 schools, has chosen Alps to support the sharing of best practice across the Trust. You can find more information around Alps and how we support Trusts here:


Ladybirds have had a fantastic time learning new skills on the iPad this morning with Nick from Select Academy.


* Samuel Ryder Rugby Academy Trials *NEXT MONDAY, 4th December: 4.15pm-5.45pmTrials for current Year 11 students for a Sept 2024 place at our academy for a rugby programme alongside A-Levels.Register here:


Support roles closing soon! Highly sought after term time vacancies including:▶️After School Club Asst▶️Cover Supervisor▶️First Aid Co-ordinator▶️Teaching Assistant▶️Wraparound Care Manager


Congratulations to the students in yr8 who were recognised for their effort and achievement this month.


JLT Virtual Reality! JLT being RBA Ambassadors testing out the new RBA VR system 🖥️😀


We are so impressed by the confidence of Yr8s leading Yr12 form promoting Maths!


Thank you to Miss Pett for organising. Lovely get together for year 7, friendship & pizza 🍕


In Oak class, the Message Centre is our favourite place to play. Today, we made a rainbow pen and used it to create lots of interesting marks. Even Mrs Ward wanted to join in the fun!


Teaching vacancies closing soon! Join a supportive and expanding MAT across Beds and Herts including :🟢Asst Head of Science🟢Design & Technology🟢English🟢Geography (MAT)


Year 13 students in A Level Chemistry class were measuring the pH of acids using data loggers as part of their practical assessment.


Wonderful design. Congratulations Anna.


Workshop wonders. Great creativity seen from the students, in the session on ‘strange designs’. A design and make brief on taking an existing ‘boring’ but functional product and creating something new and fun.

Trust Board Profiles

A list of the relevant business and pecuniary interests for our Governing Body can be found here

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Geoff Payne - Chair of Trust Board

Geoff Payne became a member of the Trust Board in 2017.  He was a member of the Governing Body at Sir John Lawes School from 2013 to 2018 and he attended Sir John Lawes School himself.  He was a governor at a large secondary school in Islington, rated outstanding, for over twelve years, serving as Chair of Governors for four of them.  He is a Circuit Judge and sits in the Crown Court dealing with criminal cases.

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Joel Bellman - Vice Chair of Trust Board

Joel has lived in Hertfordshire for over a decade, and has children at one of the Trust's schools.  He is passionate about the Trust's vision: to enable its schools to develop young people of whom we can all be proud, who achieve more than they ever believed possible and who are prepared to contribute to society at every level.

Joel's background is in finance, governance and technology.  He is currently a partner at a digital consultancy, specialising in large scale delivery projects using modern web and mobile technology.

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Martin Sidders - Trustee

After qualifying many years ago as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers Martin spent most of his career in the Retail and Construction industries.

He has enjoyed roles in accounting, treasury, company secretarial and taxation that have taken him all over Europe and to the USA. Martin is currently the Finance Director of a housebuilder based in London.

While he takes a particular interest in financial and legal aspects of the school he also has a keen interest in Special Educational Needs and has previously served as a governor in a Specialist SEN school.

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Jocelyn Angrave - Trustee

Having studied French and European studies at University Jocelyn went on to do a master’s course in the United States in Political Science.  She went on to have a career in international marketing and product development and in 2001 set up her own business. 

Jocelyn was first involved in the Trust in 2015 when she helped set up and initially chair the Friends of Sir John Lawes School.  After that she was elected as a parent governor and later appointed as a co-opted governor.  During this time, she has served as the governor link for various areas including curriculum, learning and inclusivity and safeguarding.  She was also the governor representative on the Trust Admissions and Educational Standards committees.

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Paul Burrett - Trustee

Paul recently retired as a Headteacher of an Outstanding School in South Bedfordshire. Before working in a leadership role, he was a Music teacher in secondary and middle schools.

Paul has experience of taking a school into a multi-academy trust and has also served on the Central Bedfordshire School’s Forum and has been a mentor for new Headteachers. Previously he has also enjoyed a role in teacher training.

Andy Cunningham

Andy Cunningham - Chair of Finance & Audit Committee

Andy started his teaching career in 1972 as a Physics teacher at Kingsbury High School in the London Borough of Brent.  Moving to Hertfordshire four years later he moved through a number of promotional posts to become Headteacher of two Hertfordshire schools.

After 14 years of Headship Andy transferred to work for the Hertfordshire Education Department first as Principal Secondary School Adviser and then as acting director of the Building Schools for the Future programme.  During this time Andy supported the changes taking place at the Bushey and Samuel Ryder Academies, both of which involved Sir John Lawes School.

After retiring in 2011 part time consultancy work followed, for 5 years, mainly as a schools’ adviser for Luton and for the past four years Andy has been a Governor at Ashlyns School in Berkhamsted.  Andy also chairs the Trust's Finance & Audit Committee.

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Victoria Garvin - Trustee

Victoria became a member of the Trust Board in March 2022 and my two daughters currently attend one the Trust’s schools. She is pleased to support the Trust and its schools, and is looking forward to supporting the success of Scholars' Education Trust.

Victoria is dynamic, versatile and commercially focused, with significant and broad knowledge of Governance functions. She is a governance consultant and has worked for many years within the financial services sector overseeing the application of governance practices across businesses. She has also been a Trustee of a large Company Pension Scheme and a school governor. 

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Sean Hegarty - Trustee

Sean became a member of the Trust Board in 2021. He has seen both his children go through one of the Trust schools and is delighted to help the Trust deliver on its vision and values. 

Sean's focus is supporting the Trust in the areas of Finance, Strategy & Governance, having held senior finance leadership roles in the Media, Technology, Travel & Leisure and Education Support Services. He is currently the CFO of a Fintech business in London.

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Bill Rammell - Trustee

With a degree in French Bill spent his early career in Local Government and Higher Education management. He then served for 13 years as the MP for Harlow, the last 8 of those as a Government Minister at the Foreign Office and the MOD, but most relevantly as Minister of State for Further and Higher Education.

After 8 years as Vice Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, he moved into the private sector at the end of 2019.

He has worked in and around Education all his working life and has an absolute passion for the capacity of education to transform and change lives for the better. Bill is keen to use his experience to help ensure all our students in the academy schools fulfil their potential and as many as possible benefit from going onto University.

Claire Robins

Claire Robins OBE - Trustee

Claire taught at a number of schools in Hertfordshire before becoming head of Sir John Lawes School in 2006. In 2008, Sir John Lawes became a National Support School and Claire was made a National Leader of Education, since when she has led on school to school support work with a number of schools, leading to the setting up of the Scholars’ Education Trust in 2011. In September 2022, she stepped down as head of SJL and became full-time CEO of the Trust.

Claire sat on the Regional Schools’ Commissioner’s Head Teacher Board for the NWLSC region for 8 years and is also a founder director of the Harpenden Secondary Schools’ Trust, which was established to promote wider educational opportunities across the town. She is a Member of the Harpenden Secondary Education Trust, the governing body for Katherine Warington School, a free school which opened in Harpenden in 2019, and also a trustee of the Atlas Academies Trust and The Kemnal Academies Trust. Claire was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June 2018 for Services to Education, is a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching, and an honorary fellow of Worcester College, Oxford University.

David Whiteley - Trustee

David's career has taken himacross most of the ‘built environment’ having studied architecture and worked in private practice before moving to construction, facilities management and facilities maintenance in a number of roles including; business development, sales and marketing, business change and operational roles. His current role is the Head of Sales and Solutions for Integral, a national facilities service provider and forms part the wider Jones Laing Lasalle business.

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