Highbury Infant School and Nursery

Tel: 01462 630500

E-mail: admin@highbury.herts.sch.uk

Governor Biographies


Head Teacher: Helen Avey

I have been Headteacher at Highbury since January 2006. Before that I was Deputy and Acting Head at Mary Exton School, Hitchin. I was there for 16 years. I originally began teaching in Enfield and always knew that was what I wanted to do. My particular interest is in the Early Years and so Highbury is my perfect school.

My other educational roles include, member of the Hitchin Partnership of schools and its’ curriculum committee, Professional Partner for New Heads.


Co-opted Governor: Victoria Hellyer

I have been a governor at Highbury since 2008. I have three sons who have all attended Highbury.

Since my eldest son started in the Nursery here, I have enjoyed helping within the school in many different classrooms. I am employed within the school as a Teaching Assistant.

I am very grateful that my children have attended such a wonderful school and I am proud to be part of the school community.


Co-opted Governor: Fotini Tsiatoma

I am a full-time working parent, with experience in the financial and, more recently, in the pharmaceutical industry, as an Information, Cyber and Risk manager. Since having my children, I have been actively involved in their educational journey. I have been a member of the Parent Partnership committee whilst my sons were attending nursery and I am currently chairperson of Hitchin Fun Club's committee.

I have seen my eldest son flourish through his years at Highbury. He is now at Whitehill, whilst my youngest son is at Highbury. Joining the Governing Body as a co-opted governor gives me the opportunity to shape, contribute and support Highbury in offering an excellent educational journey to our children.


Clerk to the Governors: Antoinette Flavin

I had been in an educational setting in London for over 20 years. I started working at Highbury Infant School in September 2012 and now feel part of the furniture. I enjoy the many challenges that working in a school brings.


Co-opted Governor: Steven Miller

I have lived in Hitchin for the last 14 years and both of my boys attended Highbury. I have worked in international education for the last 25 years in Turkey, China and the UK and currently for Cambridge Assessment – the exam board of the University of Cambridge. My professional background includes school management, designing and producing assessments for both children and adults and delivering education reform projects in countries around the world.


Co-opted Governor: Edward Hawker

I started as a parent governor in 2019. My son is now in Whitehill while my daughter is at Highbury. I am pleased to be able to make a contribution to help the school remain an excellent place for our children to develop and learn.

I am a civil servant, currently working for HM Treasury.

Outside of work, I spend a lot of time running around after my children but also find time for running an amateur cricket team and following the mixed fortunes of Ipswich Town Football Club.


Co-opted (Chair): Tony Side

I have lived in Hitchin since 1987 & all 3 of my children have attended Highbury at some time. I was elected a Parent Governor in 2019.

I originally studied & practiced Architecture, & subsequently worked in environmental psychology research, the development & support of architectural CAD systems & the design of interactive media.

I have 23 years experience as a University tutor, course leader & Director of Programmes in Design, with responsibilities including staffing, budgets, curriculum development, teaching & learning strategy, research supervision, academic quality standards, & overseas collaborations.

Having retired in 2017 I now have more time & opportunity to contribute to sustaining & supporting the success of our excellent school.


Parent Governor: Lauren McKowen

I am a mum of two children, one at Whitehill Junior School and one at Highbury Infant School.

My passion for education, along with twenty years of international teaching and tutoring, has allowed me to gain extensive experience and knowledge. I have just recently qualified as a SpLD specialist teacher and continue to volunteer at both schools. This has helped me understand the journey ahead for Highbury pupils and the links across the schools. 

I look forward to taking on new responsibilities as a parent governor.


Staff Governor: Sally Phillips

I grew up in Bedford and have spent my life in school environments having grown up in a family of teachers, either helping out at my father's primary school events, or assisting on my mother's school trips abroad.

My working life prior to Highbury, has been based in administrative positions -  for a matrimonial lawyer; at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the Speech & Language Therapy department; for a television company, and for 16 years, in a major British industrial conglomerate working for the Board of Directors.

Other strings to my bow include being a qualified piano-tuner (lapsed) and London Tour Guide (also lapsed). I am married to Lance, a Media Lawyer, and we have two sons who started their educational journey at Highbury.

I joined Highbury in 2012, initially as a volunteer and am now part of the support staff.


Parent Governor: Caz Swanson

I am a musician and educator and have been working in schools for over 20 years, teaching music from reception to undergraduate level.

In my current role as Whole Class & Community Music Development Lead for Hertfordshire Music Service, I support schools across the North Herts & Stevenage region in their music provision - including Highbury Infant School. 

This experience, along with my passion and enthusiasm for a creative, holistic education for all, supports me in my role as a parent governor.