Our Local Governing Board
Alan Ball (Chair)
Alan trained as an engineer and had a number of senior roles in a varied career. Highlights include two successful start-up businesses, divisional management for a multi-national company, project management services for a large transport provider and running change management projects for up 5000 people.
Education has always been a personal passion and Alan has been a governor for over 30 years. He was the Chair at Winhills when it joined the Trust and has been a member of several Local Governing Bodies in the Trust.
Originally from Scotland, Elspeth moved to Royston in 2007, and lives here with her two children. She completed a PhD in human genetics at Edinburgh University, and for over 15 years has managed a small team of researchers and developers, initially based at University College London and now at the Wellcome Genome Campus at Hinxton. Currently a Director of Research at the University of Cambridge, her group runs a database and website related to human and vertebrate genetics and science communication, and she is involved in projects investigating the use of genomics in healthcare.
Elspeth's interests in being a governor are based not only on the education and well-being of the children at the school, but also around the key role the school has within Royston, and how it can best work with, and fit within, the local community. She believes strongly that the families of pupils (present, past and future) are a key element of any successful school. Unsurprisingly, she also has a strong interest in the education of science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM) and in efforts to bridge the gender gap within these subjects.
Chris has been a school governor in Royston for the past 8 years, initially at Greneway, then RSAT and now KJAR. His children have flourished during their school life in Royston and he wanted to become a governor to support our schools. He has been Safeguarding governor for the past 6 years as well as supporting the Local Governing Body.
Chris is a registered Pharmacist who has worked for over 20 years in the Pharmaceutical Industry, leading teams developing new medicines. He is currently the Technical Director at a Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Site, responsible for ensuring the best scientific and engineering approaches are used to make high quality medicinal products.
He is passionate about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and within his team they support the training and development of apprentices, university students and graduates.
Karen has been working at King James Academy formerly Greneway Middle School for eighteen years. Prior to that she worked voluntarily at the school for six years helping with the schools swimming lessons. She has been associated with the school as a parent since 1995.
Her role at the school is a teaching assistant which she finds very rewarding. Sarah enjoys helping children stretch their capabilities. The school has always had good results and provided the children of Royston a great foundation for furthering their education.
Having the school been through much change in the last few years, She would like to be able to contribute to maintaining a high standard of education for the children of Royston.
Stuart has worked in the Banking Industry for close to 25 years, mainly working in Project Management. He is experienced in managing large budgeted works, assessing, selecting and managing suppliers, interacting with both internal and external customers and working to the best quality delivery possible. Most of the projects Stuart has worked on have been invisible to the customer as they were designed to deliver upgrades with no loss of service/degradation of quality. The most public project Stuart has worked on was the 3-year delivery of the new £1 coin implemented in 2017.
Stuart has been a governor and a member of the Local Academy Board at Meridian/King James Academy since late 2015. He has 3 children who all attend the school.
Sarah has been a teacher for over thirty years and has worked in Royston for much of that time, firstly at Meridian and now at King James Academy. She is currently head of Humanities and PSHE, teaching History across the age range and some Religious Studies as well. In the past she has also taught A level Sociology. As well as being head of department for many years, she has also been head of house and taken the lead with whole-school data.
Sarah has been a governor for many years, representing the interests of her colleagues and the pupils she teaches, and will continue to make a positive contribution to the growth and success of King James Academy.
Emma grew up in Stevenage and has lived in Royston since 2000, she has two children attending King James Academy. Emma is a qualified procurement professional and currently holds the post of deputy director for a purchasing consortium in central London working with procurement teams in Universities and other not for profit organisations.
Emma is keen to support the work of the Head, the school staff, and the governing body in making King James Academy the best place to learn, develop and grow for all young people in Royston and the surrounding villages.
In her own time, Emma volunteers for a local animal shelter, is passionate about sustainability and inclusivity and enjoys spending time with her family.
Greg has been closely involved in education for over 20 years as a governor of two schools and as the chief executive of three educational organisations.
He is currently CEO of GL Assessment, which provides a range of assessments to schools in the UK and around the world to help teachers maximise the achievements of every pupil. His work brings him into regular contact with many schools and multi-academy trusts, plus educational policymakers and the Department for Education. Before GL, Greg led a national examination board and a chain of English language schools.
He is a trustee and director of the Xavier Project, a UK-based charity which supports the education in West Africa, and of the National Youth Choirs of GB.
Gordon took up the post of leading King James Academy Royston (formerly Royston Schools Academy Trust) in September 2018. At the time the school was in a state of change and this culminated in joining with DLPT in March 2020. Prior to this position, he was Principal at Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport in Essex where over his tenure there he moved the schools from requires improvement to good with a significant turnaround across all KPI’s. Gordon is a firm believer in comprehensive education and has worked in secondary schools across the country. Gordon very much believes that King James Academy, Royston should always see itself as part of the community and firmly believes that the children in our care are the most important resource we have.
Whilst studying for her A Levels, Lisa spent a summer working with a group of young people and children in Romania. It was during this time that she realised that she wanted to work with young people to support them to improve their own life chances through education. She went on to study at the University of London and later spend two years as a post-graduate student at the University of Reading.
Wanting to teach and help young people, Lisa completed her PGCE in her second year at the University of Reading and went on to teach in Cambridgeshire. She has held a variety of roles and responsibilities in the educational context teaching across the age range and abilities. Lisa has held a variety of Middle and Associate Leadership positions through to senior positions including Senior Vice-Principal and Partnership Director. Her work over the course of time has been to ensure all learners have the opportunity to benefit from experiences that raise cultural capital and learning regardless of their background.
She is currently Executive Secondary Headteacher at the Diamond Learning Partnership Trust. Lisa has a range of professional expertise including the delivery of school improvement, organisational change, curriculum leadership, and innovation in teaching and learning. She has conducted staff development and training in a variety of contexts including ranging from new staff to senior leaders in primary and secondary education and has also led staff development with a number of colleagues from Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Estonia. She currently co-chairs a Schools’ Forum group of headteachers from St Neots Schools & locality team.