About HJPS

Governor biographies

To download a PDF of Governors Register of Interests, please click here.

Rita Alak-Levi - Interim Headteacher

I was appointed Interim Headteacher at HJPS in 2018. Previously, I held management posts in schools over a 28 year period, receiving an Excellent and Senior Teacher status in only my second year of teaching. I have taught every year group in Key Stages and 1 and 2 in six different but amazing schools and I was honoured to be one of the first Advanced Skills Teachers in the London Borough of Barnet.

Joe Arazi - Foundation Governor

I joined the Governing Body in 2016 as a Foundation Governor. My wife Melanie and I have 4 sons, all of whom have either attended or still attend HJPS. I practice as a Solicitor and head up the in-house law firm of a large insurance company. I feel very passionately about ensuring our children benefit from both a strong Jewish and secular education. I sit on the Premises and Admissions sub-committees and I am also the Link Governor for Jewish Studies.

Lily Ashkenazi-Bakes - Parent Governor

I joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor in November 2017. I live in Bushey with my husband Maurice and 4 of our children, Talia, Isaac, Rafi and Aviva who are in Years 2, 3, 5 and Reception at HJPS. I was a lawyer for 7 years prior to becoming a television producer at the BBC. Currently I am helping on the Finance and Fundraising Committees of the Governing Body.

Iain Blakeley - (Chair) Foundation Governor

Having joined the Governing Body in September 2012, I am now proud to be Chair of Governors at HJPS. I have previously chaired the Education, Premises and PR Committees and currently sit on both the Education and Staffing Committees. I have three daughters, one of whom is at the school in Year 6. Our elder two children graduated from HJPS with strong values and a pride in being Jewish. I am a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, working in commercial property investment and asset management and am pleased to be able to utilise my professional skills and experience to the benefit of the school.

Debbie Cane - Parent Governor

I joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor in April 2016. I live in Bushey with my husband, Adam and 2 daughters, Abigail and Emily who both attend HJPS. My work on the Governing Body includes being Chair of Staffing and on the finance committee. My professional background is in accountancy and I am currently a Tax Director at a large professional services firm. I hope to use my skills to give something back to the HJPS community, of which I am proud to be part of.

Robert Cohen - Foundation Governor

I am the father of 2 boys both at HJPS. I am a qualified Chartered Accountant and the Finance Director of a company that sells car paint and consumables to garages around the country. I currently sit on the Finance and Premises committees, both of which are absolutely key to ensuring the schools runs successfully and in the interests of all staff and pupils. I am also particularly keen to develop the school’s physical education and sports programmes.

Natasha Collins - Staff Governor

Mrs Collins graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2006, gaining a BA (Hons) in Conference and Exhibition Management and an HND in Hospitality and Events. She then completed a PGCE in Primary Education with the Agency of Jewish Education. She has been teaching at HJPS since 2007. She was appointed Phase Leader of Key Stage 1 in 2010, became an Assistant Headteacher and is currently Acting Deputy Headteacher. Mrs Collins enjoys taking part in the creative arts and helping to organise events for the whole school to enjoy. She has been a governor for the last 9 years.

Jeremy Harris - Foundation Governor

I joined the Governing Body in October 2018 as a Foundation Governor and as an “independent” where my two daughters attend different schools in the area. I currently sit on the Education and Premises Committees. I hope that my experience of having children at other schools will help bring a different and fresh perspective to the education committee. Having worked as a specialist Property Litigation Lawyer in my practice in Hampstead for a number of years, I hope to put that property experience to good use on the Premises Committee.

Tony Jacobs - Foundation Governor

I am delighted to have been voted as Parent Governor (2014) and look forward to contributing towards the school's continued growth. I sit on both the Premises and PR committees, where I am able to offer my commercial expertise to the advantage of the school. I have been involved with the CST as a senior volunteer and instructor for over 25 years, and will help in any security matter in order that our children stay safe and secure.

Lara Lipsey - (Vice Chair) Foundation Governor

I joined the Governing Body in September 2016 and have recently been elected to Vice-Chair. I’m proud to be a Foundation Governor at HJPS. It is an outstanding school which combines strong secular and Jewish education in a warm and nurturing environment. I’m looking forward to using my professional expertise in public relations to further enhance the reputation of the school, in addition to my communal experience to maintain the ethos. I sit on the PR Committee and Chair the Staffing Committee. I am also a parent at the school.

Leigh Myers - Foundation Governor

I joined in 2016 and feel privileged to be part of the GB. I am committed to helping HJPS continue to strive for excellence. I am the chair of the Finance Committee and sit on the Admissions Committee. As a parent of two children at the school I have seen first-hand the excellent work of the staff and school and so have volunteered my time and skills. Professionally I am a Chartered Accountant, having spent several years in practice and I am currently Head of Finance at Dixons Carphone.

Nadine Taylor - Parent Governor

Elected as a Parent Governor in November 2017, I live in Elstree with my husband Justin and my sons Joshua (Year 6) and Nathan (Year 4). Having successfully co-chaired the PTA, I was driven by a desire to do more for our school. As Chair of the Admissions Committee and through my involvement on the Finance Committee and other projects including Governance and GDPR, I look forward to contributing further to HJPS’s continued success in delivering outstanding Jewish education and academic excellence.

Kate Thomas - Co-opted Governor

I am currently the School Business Manager at HJPS. I have over 20 years’ experience in marketing, finance and business management positions. I initially worked in the finance industry for Global Asset Management and then Raymond James Investment Services, before moving into the childcare industry, working for Asquith Nurseries and now HJPS. I enjoy the diverse nature of my role, liaising with various departments and individuals on a daily basis, both in school and externally.
01923 855 857 admin@hjps.herts.sch.uk