Chair of Governors Welcome

On behalf of the Board of Governors of The Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools, I am extremely proud to welcome you to our integrated website.

By clicking on the Menu, there is a vertical navigation down the right side where you will find our Executive Headteacher’s Welcome, which focuses on the aims and benefits of our Federation. By navigating down to the individual schools, you will be similarly welcomed by our Headteachers and kept up-to-date on all matters relating to each specific school.

The Leathersellers Company’s involvement in Lewisham dates back to providing the original site for Colfe’s School in 1634 and the original site for Prendergast School in 1890. The Leathersellers then funded Prendergast’s move to its current location in 1995. As one of the oldest livery companies (or trade guilds) of the City of London, charity has long become our main raison d'être, and education has become an increasingly far-reaching activity. Many of our members volunteer for governance work. This commitment to governance is singularly the most important part of our role in Lewisham. We are often cited by senior figures in Lewisham as having made a significant contribution to education in the borough. You can be sure that that commitment will remain for many future generations of children.

The Federation today provides for 2500 children of 3-18 year olds with the potential to grow to 3500 in the coming years. Over £70 million of taxpayer money has been spent on new buildings and refurbishment in the past 8 years. We are well aware of the scale of our responsibilities to the children of Lewisham. We are always striving to improve teaching standards and academic outcomes through strong leadership and management. With that in mind, we are constantly reviewing our governance capabilities and structure.

In recent years we changed the legal status of Prendergast Ladywell from a Community school to a Foundation school. This had the effect of unifying all our Federation schools to Trust status. Trust status has certain benefits including the governing board becoming the employer of all school staff, our own admissions authority and the freehold owner of the schools’ land and buildings.

It is no secret that our end objective is to convert our schools to academy status under a Multi-Academy Trust. This would enable us to improve the education we provide for young people and make sure we raise achievement in all our schools. It would give our governing board greater capacity, as well as more freedom over our curriculum and finances. It would enable us to be a more effective employer and to invest more in staff. It would help our Federation improve and develop our schools and strengthen our governance capabilities. We have a clear vision to build an outstanding educational institution in the heart of Lewisham, one that will stand the test of time in the years ahead.  

Christopher Barrow
Chair of Governors