Governor Biographies


Mr Adrian Barkey (Co-opted Governor, Joint-Chair of Resources) has three children and lives with partner Claire.  Adrian is passionate that education balances academic progress with personal development.  He owns a technology company that provides services to small and mid-sized businesses in the South East.  Adrian is link governor for Health & Safety.

Mrs Katy Kay (Co-opted Governor, Chair of Governors) this is Katy’s 7th year as a school governor, which she does alongside working as a midwife. Katy is motivated by wanting to ensure that in a time of huge change in education, Abel Smith continues to provide an outstanding and nurturing primary school experience within a close community.  Katy’s youngest daughter Mariella is in year 6 and her older children have moved on from Abel Smith to Richard Hale and Presdales.

Mrs Sarah Malawana (Co-Opted Governor) is a GP who enjoys working locally in Hertford and wants to support Abel Smith to continue to flourish for students, parents and the local community. She is passionate about providing an excellent education for everyone and hopes that she can particularly contribute to any health related and safeguarding issues within the governing body. She is also interested in education and the learning process as a whole and enjoys training and supporting junior doctors during their last few years gaining accreditation to become a GP. Sarah’s eldest son Noah is in Year 1 and his younger brother Raffy is in Nursery. This is Sarah’s second year as a governor.

Mr Nick McMahon (Parent Governor) is dad to Phoebe in year 5, and Dan and Will who both moved to Richard Hale from Abel Smith School.  This is Nick’s third year as a Parent Governor and he is again looking forward to supporting the school to build on its many successes so that every pupil can achieve their full potential.  He works for GSK as head of a global scientific department enabling the discovery and development of new medicines.

Mr John Palfreyman (Co-Opted Governor, Joint Chair of Resources) lives in Hatfield and was elected as a governor in February 2016. As a qualified accountant he is keen to utilise his finance experience to support Abel Smith School through the ever-changing educational and financial landscape. He is a member of the Resources Committee and also assists with ad-hoc finance-related projects. In his spare time he plays table tennis and generally enjoys all sports.

Mr Simon Tilbury (Parent Governor, Vice Chair of Governors) and his wife Steph have two children at the school, Benjamin in year 6 and Maya in year 4. Simon has lived in Hertford all his life. He is currently a Secondary School Assistant Head Teacher and has worked in two schools in Hertfordshire over the last 20 years. Simon is a keen sportsman and plays and coaches cricket locally, as well as coaching rugby.

Mrs Maddie Waller (Co-opted Governor) has been a school governor for nearly 9 years.  She is an experienced and well-trained governor and has been involved in school improvement and resources across all year groups.  She believes that every child has the right to a first-class education and that good schools can make a big difference to a lifetime of learning.   Maddie is also  the Vice Chair of Governors at Presdales secondary school.  

Miss Dorothy Abel Smith (Associate Governor) is a long serving governor.  She is interested in the early years of education, writing a short history of ‘Abel Smith School’ in 1998.  She has always lived near Hertford and seen many changes in the town’s schools and educational systems.  She supported retaining the original c19th building as an integral part of the School and the formation of Churchfields Children’s Centre and more recently the Kindergarten.  She strongly believes that every child should have the opportunity to receive a broad education from an early age.

The Revd. Canon Jo Loveridge (Associate Governor) is Vicar of All Saints Church. Abel Smith School has always enjoyed a good, close relationship with the Church. School and Church have a vital role in society in building up a greater sense of care for one another, the community and the environment. Before being ordained priest Jo was a teacher and has always been passionate about education. She has three sons and two grandchildren. Jo is also on the governing body of Richard Hale School.

Mr Paul Williams (Parent Governor) Paul has two children at Abel Smith, Jake in Yr2 and Iris who is in Reception. He’s really keen to support Abel Smith to continue to thrive for pupils, parents and teachers and maintain its unique place in the growing community of Hertford. Throughout his career, Paul has worked for health, family support or educational charities leading programmes around anti-bullying, fundraising for sanctuary scholarships and is currently supporting gender balance programmes and member inclusion at the institute of physics. This is Paul’s second year as a governor.

Cllr Bob Deering (Local authority Governor) Bob is a lifelong local Hertfordshire resident. After attending local primary and secondary schools, Bob obtained a law degree from Cambridge university and spent many years as a senior partner specialising in international commercial litigation with a City of London law firm. Bob believes in opportunity for all and now represents Hertford at Hertfordshire County Council where he is the deputy portfolio holder for Resources and Finance.

Mr Nick Sheffield (Co-opted Governor) Nick works as an assistant headteacher in a large special needs school in Brent and is passionate about inclusion and equality. Nick lives in Hertford and has already been blown away by the incredible work and dedication of all the staff at Abel Smith and is looking forward to using his specialist knowledge to support the school.

Mrs Elizabeth Read (Parent Governor) recently joined the governing body and has a son in Y2. She started her career as a primary teacher and currently specialises in the recruitment of School Leaders across Hertfordshire. Liz is keen to share her passion and commitment to education to ensure the best for all pupils at Abel Smith School.

Mr Daniel Hewitt (Head Teacher) and Mrs Anna Cockley (Deputy Head Teacher) are the Staff Governors.