Find out more about our board of trustees in the profiles below.
Dr Judith Collis - Chairman
Judith Collis was an Alleyn Court parent and is a Trustee and Senior Tutor (Head of Education and Welfare) of St Edmund's College, Cambridge, where she also teaches geology undergraduates and archaeology graduates. Her research into geo-archaeology takes her on expeditions to Egypt among other places.
Richard West is an old boy of Alleyn Court. His children Sophia and Sam both attend the school. Richard’s wife Nicky has previously held the position of Secretary to the PTA. Richard is a solicitor and partner at Kennedys LLP, an international law firm specialising in working for insurers and their customers. In his day job, Richard is responsible for the Liability Division at Kennedys, which has a turnover of £35m pa, as well as holding a position on Kennedys’ management board. He also helps to run a team of 100 lawyers in Kennedys’ Chelmsford office. Richard’s interests outside work include rugby (he coaches the U8 team at Southend RFC), and motorsport.
Chris is a Chartered Accountant, having been educated at Alleyn Court, Malvern College and St John’s College, Cambridge. After nine years at Ernst & Young and 14 years at Close Brothers Group plc and then one of its subsidiaries, he is a director of Soditic Discount & Trade Limited. He lives in Berkshire, and his daily round trip to Piccadilly Circus often includes 21 miles of cycling. Other interests include running, Bridge, tennis and music; he is also treasurer for his village church. Chris has two children who were educated at Brockhurst Preparatory School and then Pangbourne College; his son then read Automotive Engineering at Coventry University and his daughter is in her third year of her MA in Mathematics at Cardiff University. Chris is excited at the opportunity to help forge the future of Alleyn Court, a school which has helped give him so many opportunities. His mother still lives in Leigh-on-Sea.
John Wilcox, grandson of the Founder. Educated at Alleyn Court, Malvern College and Pembroke College, Cambridge. Formerly Headmaster and Chairman of the Board.
John has also played cricket for Essex and won blues at Cambridge for Rackets and Real Tennis. Following teaching he founded The Court Gallery now run by his son Dr. Denys Wilcox specialising in Modern British Painting and Sculpture.
Nieves Vara Gonzalez
Nieves Vara Gonzalez is Spanish but moved to England over 20 years ago when she married William. Nieves is a qualified teacher who has been involved in education throughout her working life. She has worked intermittently at Alleyn Court since she arrived from Spain teaching children of different age groups from the pre nursery right through to GCSE when Alleyn Court went to 16. Nieves supports William in his different roles at Alleyn Court and enjoys the challenges that brings!
Currently, she runs her own business advising parents who are looking for a boarding school education for their children.
Richard Green’s association with Alleyn Court goes back over thirty years. As a pupil he attended the school on the original Westcliff site. He has fantastic memories of his time at the school many of which relate to representing the school in a variety of sports. Richard has always been extremely proud of his association with Alleyn Court and his father was Headmaster between 1991 and 1997 at the time the school undertook the move to the Thorpe Bay site. Whilst the location, grounds and facilities have changed and evolved since his time at the school, Richard believes the philosophy and ethos have not changed markedly. He is now Headteacher of a large primary school in Rayleigh and is delighted to offer his support to the school in the role of Trustee.
After a career in the music industry, working as an executive assistant with some big names, Sarah Drummond decided to move into education to support her own children in their learning and development. Initially training as a Montessori Teacher at Montessori Centre International, London, she then went on to study Early Years at the University of Greenwich where she graduated with honours. Twelve years ago Sarah opened her own Montessori nursery locally, in her home, which now, due to parental demand, relocated to bigger premises. Sarah is a parent of three daughters, two of whom attended Alleyn Court, she considers the needs of every child must be at the forefront of every school’s aim, whatever their age, and therefore embraces Alleyn Court's motto “not to move forwards is to go backwards.
Shameem Nabi has a long association with Alleyn Court, as a parent, having sent all four of her children to the school. Shameem has been actively involved in the school over the years. She was a member of the PTA for 9 years, first as secretary and then as treasurer. She has also held the position of Class representative for the Parents Forum, and is currently senior school parent representative for the Healthy Schools Committee.
Qualifying from UCL in 1991, Shameem previously worked at both Guys and The Royal London teaching hospitals as a clinical lecturer/demonstrator. She is currently a General Dental Practitioner in a fully Private Practice in Southend. She is hence very familiar with the needs and expectations of the Private sector. She hopes this knowledge, together with her own experiences at the school, will help her to be a useful and informative member of the Board of Trustees.
After completing his undergraduate in Geography at the University of St. Andrews, George volunteered, worked and lived abroad for over 2 years focusing on child development in less economically developed areas of the world. He then went on to study his Masters at the Inter-European University of Human Rights, focusing his thesis on improving the EU’s immediate protection mechanisms of unaccompanied children as they crossed from Turkey into Europe. Currently he is working as outreach advocate for victims of Human Trafficking, and guaranteeing these victims receive the support they’re entitled to by law.
Emma McDonnell – Clerk to the Governors
Emma is married to Gary and is a mother of two, and both her children, Nathan and Olivia, have attended Alleyn Court - Nathan was Head Boy and is excelling in his secondary education, and Olivia is enjoying every moment of being part of the AC family.
Emma was a Personal Assistant at the Bank of England for ten years, and then decided to work locally for Olympus KeyMed, where her initial role was PA to a Director of the Board and was then promoted to Personal Assistant for the CEO of the Olympus Corporation. Emma is now a ‘remote’ PA and has her own business ‘Priority1 Secretarial Services Ltd’. Emma is a keen netball player and participates in the Southend and Basildon leagues.