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New Chair On Board at the Elmhurst Ballet School


Jim Harris has been announced as its new Chair of the Board of Governors.

New Chair On Board at the Elmhurst Ballet School

Elmhurst Ballet School, the vocational school in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, announces the appointment of Jim Harris as its new Chair of the Board of Governors. The appointment is with immediate effect. Jim has served on the Elmhurst Board for the last 13 years, most recently as Vice Chairman.

Jim succeeds Dan Howard who steps down to concentrate on a new, full-time role in the education sector. Dan will continue his association with the School, as a Governor of the Board.

Jim Harris was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and started his working life serving in the British South Africa Police (BSAP). Following a move to the UK in 1981, Jim has spent his career supplying claims services to the Protection Insurance Industry in the UK and Ireland.

In 1993, in partnership with a leading international reinsurer, Jim established the Health Claims Bureau, (HCB Group), which pioneered the concept of Early Intervention as a management tool for Income Protection Claims Managers to support those sick or injured transition back to work.

Outside of running his Group of Companies, Jim serves as Chairman and Trustee of the British South Africa Police UK Regimental Association, and co-owns a small ballet school in Oxfordshire with his son, which aspires to help prospective students reach vocational training standards.

In 2018, Elmhurst turned to the expertise of the HCB Group and Healix Health Services to develop and pioneer The Young Performers' Health Trust Scheme. The bespoke provision allows the School to meet the healthcare demands of young dance students in full-time training by giving it more freedom to act swiftly when sourcing the most appropriate treatment, setting and cost to manage the mental and physical health of the young people in its care.

Commenting on his appointment, Jim Harris, said: "I feel honoured and privileged to take up the post of Chairman of Elmhurst Ballet School. Elmhurst has bold plans and a bright and exciting future, and I look forward to supporting the School to continue to deliver world class training to these exceptionally talented young people."

Jessica Ward, Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School, added: "Elmhurst is thrilled to have Jim on board as its new Chair. Jim has long admired our commitment to producing world class professional dancers and initially offered his services to the Board from the perspective of a parent. His youngest son graduated from Elmhurst in 2011 and is still working in the dance sector.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, staff and students at Elmhurst, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Dan, and I welcome Jim as the School starts a new and exciting academic year and works towards its 100th anniversary in 2023."

Elmhurst was founded in Camberley in Surrey in 1923, almost one hundred years ago. The School relocated to Birmingham in 2004 to form what has become a thriving association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, the UK's premiere touring ballet company directed by Carlos Acosta, CBE.

Based in Edgbaston, one mile from Birmingham's city centre, Elmhurst is a world-renowned centre of excellence that prepares talented young performers aged between 11 and 19 to become professional dancers. Many graduates including the very recent Class of 2021 can be seen performing in companies across the UK and around the world.

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