School Council Members

Esther Tyler-Ward

I have worked for the CLF for eight years and became a councillor after joining Digitech as an Art and Photography Teacher. My interests include dance, piano, cello, and of course art. As a teacher I am fascinated by systems of education and how social and political agendas infiltrate our schools. I hope that by being a councillor for Digitech I will have a better awareness about how the school functions and more say about how it can do that with students’ best interests at the centre.


 Chris Smith

I have been involved in school and academy governance for over 20 years and am delighted to be now working to support you and the amazing staff team at Digitech. My background lies in senior food industry roles across Europe and I am currently MD of a fast growing west country company where, along with colleagues in the business, we take every opportunity we can to engage with the education of school pupils in the area. We have always found we gain as much from you as you do from us!

I believe with the support of the whole community – including parents, carers, employers and others – we can help you make the most of a unique opportunity to build your learning alongside employers. Digitech provides the environment to gain academic qualifications with an incredible first-hand insight into how to use the employability skills inherently developed within the curriculum. Through this you will grow into articulate, independent and confident young adults setting you up to follow your aspirations.

Predrag Jaksic

I am Predrag Jaksic (or Dragan) and I live in Swindon for over 13 years now. I was born in Czech Republic and grew up in Prague and I am half Czech, half Serbian. I work for Intel Corporation as a Sales Director and that his how I learned about Digitech. As part of Intel Education team we were looking for innovative schools we could work with and help advance education. Whilst working on understanding strategy and needs of Digitech it seemed obvious to help as a school councillor too. As I have been working across Northern Europe covering education business I do get insight into how schools work in UK and Nordic countries and I am happy to share best examples with schools I work with. I am also governor at primary school in Swindon.

I am married and have three children (age 17, 13 and 6) so I have opportunity to “personally” experience how primary schools, secondary schools and colleges work. I love sailing, SCUBA diving, rock climbing and photography and usually manage to involve my family in those hobbies.

Andy Ling

I have worked for the Cabot Learning Federation since its formation in 2007, and previous to that was the Strategic Head of IT at John Cabot CTC. In my current role at CLF I lead the strategy for ICT for all academies. Part of this work included working with the Digitech team to support the development of its IT system.

Raising the outcomes for students in the CLF is something I care passionately about, and I hope that in my role as Academy Councilor for Digitech I able to apply myself in new ways to support this ambition.

Beyond academy life I like to fill my time with my family, DIY and anything that take me outdoors – so arguable, a family holiday that requires me to build my own tent from raw materials would be bliss.

Lis Jolley

I studied music at Cardiff University, I then trained as a music teacher at Goldsmith’s University London. I moved into school leadership about ten years ago and have worked in four Cabot Learning Federation schools. I am passionate about education and the role it plays in improving life chances and opportunities for young people.


Helen Shellard

I currently work for South Gloucestershire Council in an admin role supporting its work with young people.  Previously I have worked as a part-time youth worker in different provisions on specific issues and pieces of work.  As a young person I have participated in youth exchanges, both within the school setting and with a voluntary organisation.  Previously I have been involved in Parent Teacher Associations.  I feel this role is crucial to put forward recommendations for improvements to the education of the young people on the school role.  My hobbies include sewing, silver-smithing, other crafts.  I enjoy spending my spare time with family and friends and travelling.

Lis Anderson FCIPR

Lis is an experienced and award winning PR communications consultancy MD with over 20 years in the industry. She is founder and director of AMBITIOUS, a PR communications business based in Bristol.
She works with a range of businesses and organisations – from fast growth high tech enterprises to government departments – supporting them with  PR communications strategy, content marketing, social media and stakeholder relations.
She also serves as Board Director of creative industries network Bristol Media, a networking with over 600 members in the South West region and is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. 



Full list of Digitech Studio School Council Members

      • Chris Smith – Sponsor Appointee –Chair of Studio School Council
      • Lis Anderson – Sponsor Appointee
      • Predrag Jaksic – Sponsor Appointee
      • Lis Jolley – Academy Principal
      • Mrs Shellard – Elected Parent Councillor
      • Mrs Wade – Elected Parent Councillor
      • Esther Tyler-Ward – Teacher Councillor
      • Andy Ling – Support Staff

Directors who served during the year 2015 – 2016
Directors who served during the year 2016 – 2017