Alpha Plus Group - The Gold Standard in Education - The Alpha Plus Council

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The Alpha Plus Council

The Group benefits from a Council which advises on the educational direction of the Group. Council members offer a wide range of experience and include a current parent. The Council meets termly, reviews all educational and business aspects of the schools and colleges, and its advice is noted by the Board. The CEO and representatives from the other Executive Directors also attend Council meetings.

The CEO ensures that the Council is regularly updated on all appropriate school and college matters including standards, budget management, premises, health and safety, safeguarding, pupil welfare and wellbeing. Council members also receive a detailed annual report of pupil achievement and progress and this is discussed at their respective meetings.

The Members of the Council are:

Sir John Ritblat FRICS, Hon FRIBA, Hon D.Lltt, Hon D.Sc (Economics) CCMIc (Chairman of Governors)

Sir John Ritblat is the Honorary President of The British Land Company PLC, Chairman of Delancey’s Real Estate Advisory Board, and Chairman of the Alpha Plus Group.

He is a philanthropist with a keen interest in education, young people and The Arts. He has many educational interests and his varied experience as a School Governor included the Deputy Chairmanship of The Hall School in Hampstead and as a Governor of Dulwich College where he remains as a Special Advisor to the Governors and a founding member of the College’s Development Strategy Committee.

He stood down as Chairman of the Board of Governors of London Business School in April 2014 after 25 years on the Board and 10 years in the Chair. He remains as a member of their Estates Committee and is an Hon Fellow. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Wallace Collection Foundation having been a member of the Board of Trustees for 11 years, 9 of these as Chairman, and an Hon Fellow and Hon Trustee of the Royal Academy of Music. He is Vice President of International Students’ House, and an Hon. Fellow and Vice President of the Council of The Royal Institution.

Sir John was re-appointed to the Board of the British Library in 2015, having sat on the Board previously between 1995 and 2003 during the period of its move from The British Museum to its new home in Euston Road. He is the sponsor of “The Sir John Ritblat Gallery, Treasures of The British Library”.

He is the President of British Ski & Snowboard. In his different guises he has been the principal sponsor of The British Alpine National Ski Championships for the last 36 years and with Delancey have now committed as main sponsor to all four Ski and Snowboard disciplines until 2016. He is also Vice President of the Tennis & Racquets Association,

He holds Honorary Doctorates of Literature from London Metropolitan University and the University of Buckingham and an Honorary Doctorate of Science (Economics) from London Business School.

Graham Able

Graham was Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Plus from 2009-2014. Prior to that, he spent 40 years teaching in independent schools, the last 21 as a Headmaster in London. He retired from the Mastership of Dulwich College in August 2009. He is a former Chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference and was President of the International Boys’ Schools’ Coalition for 3 years. A keen sportsman, he is a member of MCC.

Dame Rosalind Savill, DBE, FBA, FSA

Dame Rosalind, Curator Emerita, the Wallace Collection, London, was educated at the University of Leeds (BA English and Fine Art 1972) and at the Study Centre. In 1973 she became a Museum Assistant in the Ceramics Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, moving to the Wallace Collection in 1974. There she worked for thirty-seven years, becoming an Assistant Director in 1979 and Director in 1992, and retired in 2011. She was awarded a DBE for services to the Arts in 2009.

Kay Goswell

Kay graduated with an LLM (Tax) from King’s College London. After qualifying as a solicitor she specialised in tax and corporate law, becoming a tax partner at a City law practice before moving on to become Head of Tax at another. She has three children, two of whom are currently pupils at one of the Group’s schools.

David Doran

David has degrees from London University and Oxford University taught in schools for 16 years occupying posts at all levels. He was then appointed to the Bedfordshire County Council Inspection and Advisory Service becoming Chief Inspector and then succeeded Paul Brett as Director of Education Arts and Libraries.  He joined Alpha Plus in 2006. He has been a member of a range of UK and international government committees and working groups and was involved in the setting up of the National College for School Leadership. In 2004 David was awarded the Ordre des Palme Academiques by the French Government for services to education.  Until March 2012 he was a trustee of the Bedford Charity and a governor of Bedford School. 

Julia Yorke

Julia has spent her career teaching in both the maintained and the independent sectors, culminating in her appointment as Head of the Junior School at The Hall School Hampstead (1977-1998). For 20 years she was a member of the Selection Committee for the Mercers’ Company Educational Trust, and was also a Governor of St Paul’s Cathedral School. She specialised in music, and for many years sang with the Chorus of the London Symphony Orchestra. She has recently been a Governor of the Royal Academy of Music and is currently Vice-Chairman of St Mary Magdalene’s C of E Primary School in Paddington.

Sue Freestone

Sue studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the University of Bristol. After running music departments for twenty years, Sue became Head of Sibford School in Oxfordshire in January 1997. She was Chairman of SHMIS, (now the Society of Heads), in 2002 and moved to the Headship of King’s Ely in 2004. She has been a governor of all manner of school, maintained, independent, primary and secondary, in the UK and overseas.

Virginia Kairis

Virginia graduated with a BA Degree from Brown University, USA.  She worked at JPMorgan Private Bank in their Events Department both in New York and London. She completed the International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy - Early Childhood Course in 2004.  She has two children, both of whom have been pupils at the Group's schools and she has been very involved with the Parents' Association at each school.

Kirsty Anderson

After graduating from Exeter University Kirsty started her teaching career at The Hall Junior School and then taught at Trinity Grammar School, Sydney as part of an exchange programme. After a brief spell at St Paul’s Junior School (Colet Court) Kirsty returned to The Hall as Head of the Junior School in 2001. Before retiring in 2017, The Hall created an endowment Bursary Award in Kirsty’s name. Kirsty was a community Governor at New End Primary School, north London sitting on the academic curriculum committee. She is now a consultant for the Birla Schools in Kolkata, a Governor at Farleigh School, Hampshire and is advising on a yet to be launched educational start up business.