Governors' Profiles

Nick

Nick Plater

Chair
Trust appointed Governor
Committee: Chair Standards and Learning/Finance, Resources and Personnel

LAC/EAL Governor

Currently Co-Curricular Deputy at Norwich School, with responsibility for all extra-curricular activities, sports and games, music, drama and the creatives, Nick spends the majority of his time watching lessons being taught, tracking pupils' performance through observation and assessing teaching. He retains much of his previous brief as Academic Deputy Head, a role he fulfilled for twelve years. His experience as an inspector is now applied beyond the classroom as well as in it. He was appointed to Norwich School as Head of History, from Bristol Grammar School where he taught History and was in charge of all games. Nick has been an A Level examiner and local coordinator and has also taught Politics to A Level and English and Geography to GCSE. Always involved in sports, especially cricket and rugby, he ran cricket at both BGS and Norwich.

His wife works as a Deputy Head in one of the city Academies; his elder son is at Exeter University and younger just going through the upper sixth. Apart from sports his interests lie in music and the environment being involved with conservation projects and beekeeping.

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John Ford

Principal

Committee: Standards and Learning/Finance, Resources and Personnel

I had a range of work experience on leaving school including restaurant, bar and factory work, before returning to education with a desire to teach in my early twenties.

I used my initial experience in teaching to take the opportunity to travel, training science teachers in Asia for a couple of years, before returning to lead science departments in two schools.

I moved into senior leadership in 2001 and I have been part of four senior leadership teams as both Assistant Head and Deputy, covering all responsibility areas.

I became a Headteacher in a large Norfolk secondary school in 2011 for almost six years before moving on to work as an educational consultant.

Missing the excitement of school life, however, has driven me back to seek the challenge of school leadership once again and I am delighted to become part of the value-driven, inspirational team that is Open Academy.

Basil

Basil Choudhry

Trust appointed Governor

Committee: Chair Finance, Resource and Personnel

Safeguarding and Website Compliance Governor

Basil originally moved to Norwich to study law at UEA, however, soon fell in love with the city and has never left. He has worked for a variety of software companies in Norfolk in senior marketing roles, with responsibilities for multi-million pound budgets. Currently he is the Vice President of Growth for digital staffing startup Pickr. Basil is a practicing born-again Christian and attends the Potter's House Church on Dereham Road.

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Mark Hurren

Trust appointed Governor

Committee: Finance, Resources and Personnel

Health and Safety and Pupil Premium Governor

I have always been local to the area, though from over the county border in Beccles. Having studied Mathematics at UEA, I went on to qualify as an accountant working as an external auditor based in the Ipswich office of KPMG. After a brief spell at Larking Gowen in Norwich I took up my current role at Aviva Investors in the city centre, which involves analysing commercial and public sector real estate tenants as part of direct property investments and commercial mortgages.

Being married to a primary school teacher has given me good insight into the education sector and I recently spent just over a year as governor at a small rural primary school before that came to a natural conclusion. I was keen to get back into a new governor role and was delighted to take up a vacancy on the Open Academy governing body.

Much of my time (and energy!) outside of work is currently taken up looking after my new son, Blake, born February 2017. Beyond that I follow a range of sports and am a keen runner having completed marathons in London, Paris, Berlin and New York

Anthony

Anthony Edwards

Staff Governor

Committee: Standards and Learning

Attendance Governor

I was keen to become a Staff Governor at Open Academy because I wanted to be involved in the Open local community. I hope to get a better understanding of the students and their needs through closer contact with their parents and local issues.

I bring 20 years of full time English teaching experience to the role of Staff Governor, working over the years at three secondary schools. I have held responsibility positions both academically (as Head of Subject - Media Studies) and on the pastoral side – as Assistant and Deputy Head of House. I am interested in forming links between local business and the Academy.

I look forward to building relationships with members of the Open Academy staff and bringing their ideas and inspiration to Trustee committee meetings.

I moved to Norfolk 20 years ago (from London, where I worked as an Editor in magazine publishing – titles included Rugby magazines, Television Advertising, London and Health). I live in a rural village, and regularly let the community down in the local football and cricket teams. I am married with two children, two Border Terriers (Roseberry, pictured) and one Labrador.

Charlotte

Charlotte Land

Trust appointed Governor

Committee:  Standards and Learning

I am, a committed, proactive, highly skilled and knowledgeable Independent Chair of Governors on the Local Governing Body of a Multi Academy Trust. Prior to this, I served on the board of City Academy Norwich from January 2010-June 2014.
I believe that strong and effective Governance can transform the educational opportunities and outcomes for every student, at every stage of their education. I believe that every student deserves the same educational opportunities thus enabling them to achieve their aspirations. School should be: a calm, happy, safe and stable environment where each student’s achievement is celebrated and valued.
In education, I am an approachable, collaborative forward thinking classroom practitioner who works well within a team and in leadership roles.  An adaptable, confident, resilient individual, capable of inspiring, motivating and challenging young people to achieve their aims and aspirations.
I look forward to using my experience to support Open Academy in order to meet the expectations of all its stakeholders.

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Astra Richardson

Trust appointed Governor - Committee: Finance, Resources and Personnel

Careers and RSHE Governor

I grew up in Hong Kong and then Norwich and following a few years living elsewhere , ended up returning to this lovely part of the country. My professional experience includes working in recruitment and photography before entering the education sector. I work at the University of East Anglia and my role involves working with schools Norfolk-wide to broaden access to higher education (university and higher/degree level apprenticeships) by ensuring students understand their progression options and have the highest aspirations for themselves.

I am especially keen to support equality of opportunity, wellbeing amongst students and staff and support for those with disabilities. A previous job in which I supported young people with learning difficulties and disabilities enter employment taught me a huge amount about diversity and the resilience young people can have, and I am still inspired by this on a daily basis.

In my spare time I enjoy travelling, gardening (in good weather!) and running – I can often be found at one of Norwich’s many Parkrun events on a Saturday morning.

Governor L Aldous

Lisa Aldous

Trust appointed Governor

Committee: Standards and Learning

SEND/LAC/EAL governor

I was raised and attended school in Africa where I lived for 21 years before returning to my home town of Norwich. I feel very fortunate to have grown up in developing countries and having been a part of many different cultures.

Professionally, I am a manager of a Financial Services Firm, leading a team of 20. I have recently completed a Leadership and Management Degree and currently undertaking a Masters in HR. I am passionate about Leadership, believing that this role brings a responsibility and ability to empower, develop and inspire those around me.

I have had the privilege of working alongside a number of Norwich schools both in a work experience capacity as well as to provide guidance as the children embark on their careers. I am proud to be involved with this as feel it is important our children are prepared for the world of work and given the best possible start.

I have a daughter in Year 9 currently and another arriving into Year 7 in September. I was keen to be a part of the Governing Board at Open Academy as I feel parental involvement is important throughout a child’s education. Additionally, having an older child who has completed education and was SEN registered, I am only too aware of the challenges parents face with their children’s education. As a result I have a very keen interest in the SEN provision at the school.  This role also allows me to provide a parent perspective on decisions made by the school.

I hope to get to know as many parents as possible to ensure parents feel heard and involved in their children’s education.

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Alyson O'Sullivan

Trust appointed Governor - Committee: 

Governor

I grew up and was educated in Holt before moving away to study and work in Edinburgh, Oxford and London, returning to settle once again in Norfolk when my two sons were born. I am an English teacher and have taught children of all ages, ranging from Year 5 to A level. I was most recently employed at Chigwell School, Essex and Gresham’s School in Holt.

Education has the potential to transform a person’s life and I am committed to assisting that process in any way possible, whether as a teacher or a governor.
When not involved with work or family, my interests include reading, cooking and floristry and I also enjoy running, sailing and walking my dogs.

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Callum Perry

Norwich has been my home since birth. I was born in the old hospital, now flats, and attended local schools, sixth form and now am undertaking my Bachelor's Degree in Education Studies. From an early age I was a keen learner in the classroom but school was not always easy for me. As I developed academically and socially at school, I embraced leadership positions and was head boy at my sixth form. School was a place which I enjoyed and it also encouraged me to pursue a career in the same field.

Since then, I have been actively involved in community youth work in local catchment areas and have worked closely with young people on various funding boards such as YAB and YNAF. Most recently, I have undertaken a sabbatical from studies to lead UEA Students' Union as the Undergraduate Education Officer; focusing on curriculum standards, quality assurance and student voice across the learning community. As well as this, I have had extensive training and experience of chairing our charity trustee board and managing our CEO. Performance and data are important aspects of understanding success , but what really matters to me is understanding the students and getting a feel for the school.

Our community is a huge part of our identity and OPEN Academy is no exception to this. With huge opportunities for collaboration and joint work, we can enhance our understanding of educational excellence and also enhance the experience for our students at the points of entry, retention and success, and progression and transition. I have always been an active member of service and so I very much hope that staff, students and parents will feel my presence around the school and I hope to bring a fresh and innovative approach to governance at OPEN.

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