QE Connect Masthead
QE Barnet School

Wishing you a warm welcome

This is an e-magazine produced by QE for all our old boys.

We trust you will enjoy reading it and will also take the opportunity to visit
QE Connect, our social and business network.

Visit QE Connect

I am delighted to be able to introduce you to our new QE Connect e-magazine.

It’s exactly ten years since we launched our termly e-newsletter, Alumni News. In that time, we have reported on the lives and careers of scores of old boys. Alumni News has served us well – we have incorporated it below – but we now need a new publication that reflects the breadth of all we currently offer under the QE Connect brand. We are working with Old Elizabethans of all ages to build and maintain an active, engaged community where alumni both help each other and benefit current QE students. You can read below about several exciting developments, including QE Collections, my predecessor John Marincowitz’s new history book, the 450 Club and Alumni Giving.

It has been great to welcome back a good number of alumni this term. Nabil Haque (2010-2017) and Alex Beard (2013–2020) spoke to Year 11 at our Oxbridge evening. The boys were inspired, particularly when they heard how Nabil has used our alumni network: having been headhunted by one OE, he is heading off to New York, where he will stay with another! Elliot Hughes (2002–2009), guest speaker at the Year 12 Luncheon, had some great practical advice – “Focus on what makes you happy” – and some really thoughtful reflections on identity, racism and careers. Other visits have included those from: Paul Buey (1976–1983) and Michael Johnson (1976–1983) for their 40-year reunion; former School Captain Russell Brooks (1996–2003); Anthony Mazen (OE 1989-1996); Simon Midgen (OE 1977-1984), and Asif Ahmed (1997–2004). And Chris Newton has done great work on sound and lighting at in-School events.

We look forward with excitement to the autumn opening of our Music School (which Chris is also working on!). Current pupils have been busy fund-raising to equip it to the highest standards, through a Pianoathon, a sponsored walk and our Showstopper Bake contest. Old boys have played their part, too, with Anthony Anaxagorou (1994–1999) making a literary contribution to virtual Founder’s Day and Sumit Sethi (2012–2019) donating his amazing artwork as lots for an FQE auction.

I hope you enjoy reading QE Connect.

Neil Enright

Neil Enright



Generations of alumni, many of them from modest backgrounds, have benefitted hugely from the unparalleled opportunities that QE has given them. We remain committed to providing the best possible state school education through the ongoing transformation of our facilities – and we are asking our alumni to ‘give something back’ and support us in this very good cause.

To this end, QE now has its own Development Office, with Sharla Worrall as our Development Officer. She is always keen to hear from our old boys as she works to strengthen our network. And remember, it’s not just about supporting current pupils – the network is very much about alumni helping each other, too.

Alumni Giving at the moment is particularly focused on our new 450 Club. Joining it is a great way to support your School as we approach the 450th anniversary celebrations in 2023. Just commit to donating £450 before September 2022 (in instalments if you wish). Benefits include a free copy of the new history of the School (see below) – and you can have your name listed on its donors’ page, too. What’s more, anyone who joins before September 2021 will also be invited, as special guests of the Headmaster and Chairman of Governors, to the concert we are planning for the opening of our new Music School later this year.

The Music School is, in fact, another priority for Alumni Giving, through our Piano Fund. The fund has been set up to make sure the new facility is equipped to the highest standards. There are a range of options for giving, including our Buy a Piano Key campaign – with 88 available at £50 each.

Email our new Development Office
450 Club Button
QE Alumni

Proudly presenting QE Collections

QE Collections is a new online service offering free access to the wonderful riches of the School’s archives and to our other collections looking at School life and Barnet’s history. More than 2,500 artefacts have already been professionally digitised – and the number grows every week. Easily navigable, the site offers something for everyone, whether that’s reading the very first Governors’ minutes, from 1587, or browsing photos to see if you can find yourself pictured way back when!

QE Collections is supported by the Digital Fund. The fund was established through a very generous donation by former School Captain Richard Newton (OE 1956–1964), who passed away in February.

Visit QE Collections
QE 450th Anniversary Book

The definitive history of QE: coming soon

A new book by former Headmaster John Marincowitz (1999–2011) will set out the history of the School from 1573 right through to the present day. The culmination of extensive research, it is being published to coincide with QE’s 450th anniversary celebrations in 2023. Pre-orders can be made online via the School Shop from 1st September. In the meantime, you can email our Development Office to register your interest. Better still, join the 450 Club, receive a free copy and get your name added to the book’s donors’ page.

Register your interest via our Development Office
Arjun Plaiwal

Times of transition, for Arjun and for his clients

Arjun Paliwal has moved back to London to a new role within Facebook and is now working with clients who are among the world’s biggest brands in the fashion and luxury industry.

The new job – as Client Solutions Manager – marks a further step up for Arjun (OE 2006-2013), who returns to the UK after nearly four years in Ireland, with the last 15 months spent in Dublin as a Senior Account Manager.

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Ed Owens

“Go with your heart”: Ed’s career advice after half a century at the forefront of the battle to protect the environment

As an academic scientist and a world-renowned first responder to oil spills, Ed Owens has had a more varied life than most – and certainly one with more than its fair share of excitement.

He has worked on some of the world’s biggest and most infamous spills, such as Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 1989 and the Deepwater Horizon BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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Fabio Castagno

Fabio’s route from field trips to hedge funds

When Fabio Castagno entered the world of finance after completing his engineering degree 11 years ago, it was definitely not the career path he had planned – yet today he is Chief Operating Officer of an alternative investment firm and has just launched his fourth hedge fund.

And while it is certainly an achievement to have become a COO so early in his career, Fabio (OE 1999–2006) says it is not the job title that means the most to him.

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Colin Smith

Creating a better coffee world!

When his father told him he wanted to retire and invited him to take over the family coffee business, Colin Smith had already established a successful career in teaching.

There was no obligation for him to make the move – his father had always valued the fact that a QE education gave Colin (OE 1957–1964) opportunities that he had not enjoyed himself. And it was not a decision Colin wanted to take lightly – “I thought about it for around a year”.

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Founded 1573
Queen Elizabeth's School, Queen's Road, Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN5 4DQ
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