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Board of Trustees


Karen Falvey

Chair of The Hawksmoor Learning Trust

Karen has been a governor at Nicholas Hawksmoor Primary for 19 years, and chair for 4 of these and is now the Chair of the Hawksmoor Learning Trust). Having taken a degree in Pharmacology, Karen worked in the oil industry for 7 years before taking a career break to bring up her 3 children, all of whom went to NHPS.

During her time working for Esso Petroleum, Karen worked in both marketing and operations, with her operations experience including supervision of Esso's presence at both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, and shift supervision of production at Fawley Refinery. Whilst at the refinery, Karen also spent some time supervising all product testing in the site laboratory.

Whilst in Southampton, Karen became a business governor of a local secondary school, and took a keen interest in encouraging girls into science and engineering, giving regular talks to pupils on the oil industry and women in business.

Whilst on a career break, Karen became heavily involved in graduate recruitment for Esso, visiting many Universities, and running graduate assessment centres. On leaving Esso, Karen became Company Secretary for a family HR consultancy, being responsible for annual accounts, payroll and statutory reporting.

Richard Edwards                                               

Richard was Headteacher of Nicholas Hawksmoor Primary from 1990 to 2013, leading it to become one of the country’s highest achieving primary schools. Beacon status, two Outstanding Ofsted inspections, five Artsmark Golds, plus Foundation, Trust and Academy status were accomplished during his Headship.

As one of the first Primary academies, Richard advised other schools upon Academy Conversion and supported Sponne School in its application. 

He is also a member of the Headteacher Board, which advises the Regional Schools Commissioner for North-West London and the South Central Region. This brings together local and regional knowledge and experience when discussing key decisions relating to poor academy performance, new academy provision and sponsors. Richard has also been an interview panel member for Free School applications.

In addition, he is a Schools Admission Appeals and Independent Review Panel member for the Local Authority and Vice Chair of Governors of a village primary school. He specialises in school improvement, HR and finance matters.

Peter Spruce

Peter Spruce BSc (Hons), FIoD:  Managing Director, De Boer Structures UK Ltd (“De Boer”), Brackley, Northamptonshire.

De Boer provides large-scale temporary infrastructure and has an annual turnover of £12m, and employs 39 staff. Peter has served as Managing Director for De Boer for over 10 years and reports directly to the Group CEO (De Boer group is an international company, with a turnover of £58m employing 325 people). Peter has full Profit & Loss responsibility and during his tenure as MD of the UK business (the largest in the Group) he has also acted as interim MD for De Boer businesses in Spain and Scandinavia, in addition to orchestrating the successful “start-up” of a business unit in the Middle East.

Peter was project director for both the De Boer Mass Fatality response in the wake of the London 2005 bombings and for the provision of the Athletes’ Village and Olympic Hospitality Centre at the London 2012 Games. Prior to De Boer Peter spent several years in senior commercial roles with Silverstone Circuit and Lola Cars.

Peter has significant experience in business ‘turn-around’, change-management and profitable new market development at an international level but continues to be a strong advocate for corporate support of local initiatives.


Damian Reynolds

- Chair

Damian has been a Governor with Nicholas Hawksmoor Primary School for over 5 years. He has worked in a Business to Business role for over 20 years. The strengths that he brings from this role are:

·         People Management and performance management

·         Finance, Budget Management and Development

·         Strategy development and implementation

He is also a parent of 3 children, 2 of which are currently attending NHPS, the third has been through the school and is now in Year 8.

Karen Falvey

See above

Neil Patterson

Neil is an engineer by profession.  Prior to taking up the role of Principal at Silverstone UTC, he was Chief Engineer at McLaren Automotive.  His portfolio of projects includes the Mercedes SLR McLaren, the McLaren 12C and 650S coupe and Spider, and also the recently launched 570S.  His connections to the industry and proven expertise in managing complex projects marked him out as a candidate for the role of Principal at the new Silverstone UTC.  He was enticed into the role from a passion for inspiring younger people to enjoy engineering as he does, and from a frustration with the skills gap which is leading to business being turned away from the UK.  In his role as Principal, he oversaw the final design stage and construction of the new £10.5m building, the recruitment of a whole team of staff and development of a curriculum to meet the needs of industry, as well as developing a marketing strategy to ensure that sufficient students were recruited to the UTC.  After just 5 terms, the UTC achieved a "good" Ofsted grade and the first set of results showed that students had made good or outstanding progress in key subjects

Chris Lofts

Chris has lived in Towcester since 1997 with his wife and two daughters. Chris has a B.Sc. (Hons), Diploma in Environmental Health, Diploma in Management Studies and has extensive local government experience having worked as a Deputy Chief Executive until 2006 managing multi-million pound budgets and multi-disciplined professional staff in complex organisations. Since retiring Chris has been has been a Director of South Northants Bus Company and of South Northants Leisure Trust and is currently a Town, District and County Councillor and has been a school governor since 2014.  As a corporate parent, he contributes both knowledge and interest and to his role as safeguarding Governor.

Max Marchini

Educated to PhD level. Spent 6 years as a Geologist in Southern Africa exploring for gold and base metal deposits. Spent the last 22 years in UK financial services where responsibilities have included working as a Financial Adviser (4 years) and a Training Manager (5 years).

Last 13 years have been spent recruiting, developing and managing teams of Financial Advisers for a number of large UK financial institutions including two major banks.

Joined the governing body of NHPS in 2002 as a Parent Governor and currently serve as a Trust Governor.

Chris Nikel

Chris has been a governor since 1996, have served on many Committees and have served as Vice-Chair of Governors and have chaired Finance, Management, Remuneration Committees and Redundancy Panel.  Previously Health & Safety Governor. Currently Finance Responsible Officer

Chris is a former owner & director & of IT Consultancy Company and is currently a free-lance IT Consultant specialising in SAP systems.

Previous experience and roles include: Technical Editor and Senior Information Officer at British Standards Institute and Design Engineer and Technical information officer at construction plant manufacturer.

Educated at Northampton (Town & County) Grammar School for Boys and at Imperial College, London (B.Sc Eng).

James Nicholson

Recruited from Academy Ambassadors Programme.

James is a Senior Management Accountant at The Open University – Faculty Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. James is a highly experienced senior manager with leadership experience working in Higher Education.  His key responsibilities include; Risk Assessment; Financial Strategy; Financial Scrutiny; Analysis & Reporting and Resources and Team Management. James is a member of the Faculty Executive Board and takes a full part in strategic decision making.