The Group benefits from a Council that advises on the educational direction of the Group, from a range of perspectives. 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 meetings.

The Members of the Council are:

Sir John Ritblat

Sir John Ritblat is Chair of the Governors of Alpha Plus Group. His extensive experience, influence and positions on various boards over many years make him an immensely valuable contributor to the Council.

Graham Able

Graham was Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Plus from 2009-2014 and is currently Deputy Chair, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the Council.

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, retiring in 2011. She was awarded a DBE for services to the Arts in 2009.

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.

Neil Watts

Neil graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge University with a degree in Economics and trained as a teacher at Leicester University. He taught in both the independent and state sectors, and spent 21 years as a Headteacher in large secondary schools, including 17 years as Headteacher of Northgate High School in Ipswich, during which time the school was awarded four consecutive outstanding Ofsted inspection outcomes.

Post headship Neil has worked both in education for Suffolk County Council and Alpha Plus, and in the field of regulation being a founder member of the Board of Ofqual. He has served on the Council of the Advertising Standards Authority, and the Complaints Committee of the Independent Press Standards Organisation. He sits on the Foundation Board of the University of Suffolk and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2016.

Matthew Collins

Matthew Collins is a graduate in History from St Catherine’s College, Cambridge. Since graduation he has held senior positions in investment banking and private equity. He is now Managing Partner of his own private equity fund management business, Hutton Collins Partners LLP. As such he brings valuable business experience to the Council, but is also passionate about education. He was the Chair of Governors at Shrewsbury School for six years and the idea of setting up international schools abroad happened during his time as Chair. He was closely involved in setting the strategy and negotiating the commercial arrangements for that project. He has also kept close to his Cambridge college, serving on the College Advisory Group (which provides strategic business and fund raising advice to the Master). He has recently been appointed Chair of that body.