Alpha Plus Group - The Gold Standard in Education - Governors

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Governors of Alpha Plus

The key responsibility of the Governors is to ensure that the Alpha Plus Group has a clear sense of direction and purpose. They are responsible for creating an ethos of high expectation and are expected to monitor, evaluate, support and challenge but not to manage nor interfere with the day-to-day operation of each school and college. Good Governance is ultimately concerned with providing insight, wisdom and good judgement. All Alpha Plus schools and colleges are expected to support the Group’s strategic priorities and to discuss their own development plans with the Governors.

The Governors of all of the Alpha Plus Group's schools and colleges are the following Directors of Alpha Plus Holdings plc:


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

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 2018. 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.


Mark Hanley-Browne (CEO)

Mark graduated with a degree in Natural Sciences from Oxford University before going to Cambridge University to study for his PGCE. He is an educationalist, having taught at Sevenoaks School in Kent, Charterhouse School in Surrey and Highgate School in North London before becoming Head of Emanuel School in South London. He held this post for thirteen years, leading the school through a period of very successful development and making it one of the most popular schools in the capital. Mark has international experience, having created partnerships with schools in the USA and in China, and knows the benefits of being part of a group of schools through his work with the United Westminster Schools Foundation. 

Mark is married to Rachael, who is Head of Leadership Consulting at Harvey Nash. Mark's interests include wine, travel and Arsenal football club.


 Graham Able (Deputy Chairman)

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.


Liz Francis (Director of Education)

Liz started her career in education as a teacher. She has also worked for a number of government agencies, including the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the Training and Development Agency for schools, where she was Deputy Director for Strategy, Standards and Qualifications. She has also been a senior education adviser for Suffolk County Council and an Ofsted inspector. Prior to joining Alpha Plus Group Liz worked at the Department for Education where she was a policy adviser on school leadership and departmental performance reporting. She holds a PGCE and Masters degree in Education. Liz lives in Suffolk and is married with two grown up children.  Her interests include keeping fit, reading (she is a member of a book club) and walking.


Mark Sample (Director of Finance)

Mark is a graduate of Imperial College London where he studied Mining Geology. He then qualified as a Chartered Accountant at BDO Stoy Hayward in 1989. He subsequently accumulated 22 years of experience in the Chartered Surveying Industry and was Group Finance Director at Colliers International UK plc between 2008 - 2012. He lives in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and is married with three children. His interests include cycling and cooking as well as being a huge sports fan with a particular love of football.


Richard Jones (Director of Property)

Richard, a chartered surveyor, has over 25 years experience in the field of specialist asset, development and estate management. Having worked for a private practice he then joined the Board of a number of private property companies and also spent time with a firm of chartered accountants running a banking workout unit. He joined Alpha Plus Group as a consultant in 2008 and the Board as Director of Property in 2010. As well as overseeing the real estate portfolio he supports new acquisitions and brings a breadth of expertise to this and indeed search targets. A keen sportsman although this is now limited to golf, running and touchline support at his children’s schools.


Jenny Stephen (Director of Schools & 


Jenny has held Headships in independent schools for 22 years and has also managed a start-up school and a college. She was board member of the Halle Orchestra at a crucial time in its development, a JP working with Youth, and has served as a Governor for numerous schools including Chetham's School of Music for many years. A scientist, she is married with 3 grown up sons and retains a deep interest in sport, dating from her time as a County runner. Her other passion is restoring derelict houses, which came in handy when she decided to rebuild South Hampstead High School, London!


Paul Brereton - Director of HR

Paul joins Alpha Plus Group from his previous role as Head of HR and Safeguarding at Ark Schools Group. He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Kingston University and is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. Paul has over twenty years Human Resource, change management and commercial experience across many sectors. This includes as HR Director for both The Natural History Museum and BBC Resources Ltd.  He has a proven track record for successfully introducing innovative and lateral approaches to business opportunities and ensuring that the HR function supports and leads the vision.Paul is married with three children and has many interests, which include music, the sciences and the odd game of tennis. 


Rossella Proscia - Director of Marketing & International Sales

Rossella Proscia, Director of MarketingRossella joined the Alpha Plus Group as Director of Marketing in July 2016, assuming responsibility for the strategic marketing direction and development of schools and colleges, nationally and internationally.  Rossella has 14 years’ experience as a Marketing Director in the global education sector, her latest role with McGraw-Hill Education.  Here she created the EMEA marketing hub, led customer insight and demand generation programmes and managed a team of 18 people. Prior to this she was EMEA Marketing Director for Cengage Learning, a provider of education solutions for higher education, schools and libraries worldwide. She set the marketing strategy for the EMEA region, led many successful product launches and achieved consistent improvement in marketing Return on Investment. Rossella graduated from University of Trieste with a BA Hons in International Relations and is fluent in both English and Italian. Married with three children, her ambition is to find time to restart her triathlon training. Other interests include history and music.


Russell Seaman - Director of IT

Russell joined the Alpha Plus Group as Director of IT in December 2016 to lead the strategic
 alignment of technology, ensuring that the IT department fully supports the vision of the schools and colleges. Russell brings a wealth of experience of managing IT operations, projects and strategy from his previous role as contract manager for an international IT managed service provider and more recently as Head of IT for the Defence sector at Carillion Plc. Russell met his wife whilst studying Computer Science at the University of Exeter and they now live in Haslemere, Surrey with their young son. When not testing out the latest IT innovations, Russell is a keen photographer and avid motorsport fan.