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James Marks Academy

Teaching Staff

Some of the Roman Fields staff work across both Roman Fields and Forest House Education Centre.

William Allen – Humanities Teacher

William retrained as a history teacher in 2018. He previously spent many years running local charities supporting disadvantaged groups, such as ex-offenders and pupils with mental health conditions. 

William is passionate about history and happy to explore any topics of interest with pupils, especially if they are new to him. He enjoys all things historical including films, board games and visiting historical buildings, and finds ways of bringing these into his lessons.

He is keen to nurture young minds and apply his past experience to help pupils to overcome whatever holds them back from achieving their potential.

Helen Boxall – Creative Arts Lead

Helen is our Music Teacher, and leads the Creative Arts team at Roman Fields. She started her career in 1999, and has a wealth of experience of teaching at Key Stages 2, 3 & 4. She completed the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership in 2013.

Helen studied music from a young age and plays a number of different instruments, which she enjoys teaching to others. She is passionate about her work and about providing the best possible care and education opportunities for the pupils she works with.

Dominic Bunce – RFA Maths Lead

Dom is a teacher of maths with over 20 years of experience in both mainstream and specialist provisions, supporting pupils to reach their potential from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5. 

Dom is passionate about teaching mathematics, investing time and effort in to pupils to help them achieve their potential.

Dom is an extremely keen swimmer as he finds this keeps him both physically and mentally fit. He has run marathons and competed in cycling time trials. Dom finds setting personal targets, both short and long term, helps with motivation and he applies the same model in supporting pupils to meet their own targets and achieve personal challenges.

Ian Cunningham – Technology Tutor

Ian worked for a local electrical contractor where he completed a City & Guilds apprenticeship in Electrical Installation. He then moved into the fields of electronics and electro-mechanical assembly working for companies in the military, aerospace and transport sectors. After a number of years, Ian returned to the world of electrical installation, running his own small electrical contracting business, taking on apprentices and so putting back something into the industry.

Having always had an avid interest in motorsport, and particularly motorcycles, Ian diversified and began working for a company that specialised in both racing car and race motorcycle preparation as a mechanic and as workshop supervisor, then later moving on to work for Triumph motorcycles in sales and workshop positions, and more recently to run his own business restoring classic Italian motor scooters, which is another of his obsessions.

Ian is passionate about helping to change pupils' lives by helping them to fulfil their potential by building positive relationships, developing practical skills, and growing resilience and confidence through personalised tuition built around individual special interests and aspirations for the future. 

Ruth Davies – Technology Tutor

Ruth Davies is a Technology Tutor, with experience of working in both schools and colleges. 

Ruth qualified as a Teacher, with a degree from Swansea University. She started working in St Albans as a teacher of Design and Technology.

In 2014, she started working in Oakland’s College with pupils in the Supported Learning Department. She has worked at Roman Fields since 2016.

Liesa Durrant – English Teacher

Liesa joined Roman Fields in September 2021.  She attained a degree in English Literature and History from The University of Leicester and has since gone on to complete a teaching qualification. 

Prior to joining Roman Fields, she worked at a Further Education college, initially supporting SEN pupils, then moving on to teach GCSE and Functional Skills English to both adults and young people.  She enjoys seeing pupils flourish and develop their confidence in the subject.

Liesa likes to keep herself fit by dog walking, Pilates, meditation and trips to the gym. 

Steve Harwood - JMA Maths Lead

Steve Harwood joined James Marks Academy in September 2023 as Head of Maths. 

Jane Fox – PHSE Teacher

Jane Fox is a PSHE teacher at Roman Fields. Her role includes leading on the Personal Social and Health Education which is an integral part of the curriculum, with each pupil having a bespoke curriculum designed to meet their needs.

Jane has had a long and varied working life, including working for a Member of Parliament and many years in the voluntary sector for Save the Children. Jane came to teaching later in life, completing her PGCE at Bristol University in 2014, before moving to Roman Fields in 2016 as part of a move to be near her son who opened CrossFit Aylesbury. 

She is also a CrossFit Level 2 coach and a keen competitive Cross Fitter and Masters Weightlifter.

Caroline Harding – Teacher

Caroline attained her degree in Geography at the University of Lancaster, before completing her PGCE in 2006. She has predominantly taught Maths and Geography, across key stages 3, 4 and 5, in mainstream and specialist schools, both in the UK and abroad.

Prior to joining Roman Fields in 2018, Caroline completed her Masters in Educational Leadership and Management, and was Head of the Maths and Humanities Faculty in a mainstream school in Shropshire.

Caroline values the importance of building positive relationships with pupils to support their social, emotional, and academic growth. She is always striving to inspire our pupils to be the best they can be. Caroline is proud to be part of such a dedicated, dynamic, and caring team.

Paul Instrall – Food Tech Tutor

Paul has worked at Roman Fields since 2008. His background is mainly in catering from starting work in a hotel age 16, and he took on his first head chef role within four years.

He has worked in most types of catering roles, from hotels to industrial catering and restaurants. He then started working for Herts county council with young people. 

In the early 1990s, he was running education projects for young people who had dropped out of the education system. Since joining Roman Fields, he has combined his love of cooking with his experience of working with young people.

Mark Milsome – Sports Tutor

Mark has worked as a Sports Tutor at Roman Fields for seven years. During this time, he has helped a large number of pupils improve their health, fitness, and positive views of themselves.

This support and positive reinforcement has not deterred him from thrashing them at pool during lunchtimes.

Cassandra O'Neill – ICT Teacher

Cassandra O'Neill is originally from South Africa. Cass spent 18 years training and supporting IT in the legal and banking sectors of London; she has also worked in Further Education and the Construction industry.

Cass’s experiences have helped shape her desire to build strong relationships with the people and families she works with.  She teaches Business Studies and all things Computing from Functional Skills (focusing on application software) to GCSE Computer Science.

She believes that enjoyment should be part of learning, forming lessons around pupils' interests where possible.


Joanne Rayner - HLTA

Jo joined the James Marks Academy Trust as a Higher level TA in February 2024.  Prior to joining the Trust, she worked as a Higher Level TA in primary schools across KS2 and KS1.

Before joining the Education Sector in 2022, Jo had Senior Head of Department roles leading teams within the Government, working for the HM Treasury and Cabinet Office.  Prior to that, she also had Corporate Managerial roles in management consultancy, leading global procurement teams.

As a former Civil Servant, Jo is passionate about giving back to the community and to uphold the core values of professional integrity, fairness, inclusion, and equal opportunities.

Jo values the importance of providing children with a safe, calm and continuous learning environment throughout their academic and personal journeys.


Gail Ringrose – Art Tutor

Gail joined Roman Fields Academy in 2022 as our Art Tutor. She has an eclectic range of skills having studied Maths & IT, but as her passion from a young age was Art, she later attended a variety of courses at West Herts College.

Gail has 16 years of experience working in schools & 10 of these as a school Governor. She enjoyed designing & creating the end of year production scenery for over a decade. For the last 4 years, she was responsible for the maintenance of the IT systems in her previous school. In addition, she tutors Maths to GCSE level.

She believes art is a great tool for improving expression, concentration and communication as well as being therapeutic, so hopes to develop these skills with those students she works with.

Sophie Tyler – Head of Science

Sophie is the Science Lead at James Marks Academy.  Sophie joined the James Marks Academy Trust working at our Roman Fields site as an experienced Science Teacher as prior to joining our Trust she was part of the faculty leadership team at a large secondary school. Sophie has taught science across Key Stage 3 and 4, and BTEC Applied Science and Medical Science at post-16.

She is a biology specialist and loves to enhance young people's understanding of the world around them.

Sophie is a keen equestrian, having studied Equine Science at University and has represented the county at team competitions. 

Sophie is a kind, approachable person who aims to build positive and supportive relationships with pupils which support their academic and personal growth.

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Roman Fields
11 Box Lane
Hemel Hempstead