Chair of Governors
Christopher Barrow sits on the Court (main board) of the Leathersellers’ Company where he is a member of the Education Committee and Chairman of the Investment Sub-Committee. After a two-year stint in teaching, he spent 28 years in investment banking including a period of 18 years in Asia. In 2007 he acquired a safe deposit business in London. He has been a Governor since 2007 and chaired the Federation’s Finance Committee before being elected Chair of Governors in 2013. He is married with three children, all of whom share his interest in food, wine, sport and travel.
Andrew is an elected parent governor with a child at Prendergast Primary school. Andrew believes that robust and transparent governance is essential for all our schools to be as good as our children deserve. Andrew works as a theatre producer, and has experience in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. Through his work he has developed a keen interest in leadership, communications and digital marketing, and hopes to contribute this experience to the Leathersellers’ Federation.
Martin is a Foundation Governor and a member of the Court of The Leathersellers' Company and their charitable trust. Martin works for the public sector providing assurance on the delivery of major programmes and projects in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. He is a Chartered Accountant and chairs the Finance & Remuneration Committee of The Leathersellers' Federation of Schools.
Chantelle is a co-opted governor. Chantelle has worked at Pendergast Ladywell School for 7 years as a Year Leader and English teacher. Over these years Chantelle has developed a well formed familiarity with the staff, students and their families which has enabled her to gain a good and knowledgeable insight into the notions of staff and students alike.
Head Teacher Governor
Niall is the Headteacher of Prendergast Ladywell School and has been in post since 2013. Niall was born in Lambeth and attended a comprehensive school in Wandsworth. He lives in Honor Oak in the borough of Lewisham, 15 minutes’ walk from the school he serves. Niall has worked as a History Teacher and held a number of leadership roles in 3 x Secondary Schools in South London for over 17 years.
Roger lives in Lewisham and wishes to help ensure local families and their children attend excellent schools. His professional career was in secondary education in London schools. Roger brings successful experience as a headteacher and now, in retirement, as an experienced governor and adviser to the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools.
Andrew Holmes OBE
Living locally, Andrew originally joined Prendergast as a co-opted Community Governor, until later being nominated by the Local Authority to become its representative. Now retired, Andrew comes from a multinational company in the private sector, operating at board level. He brings to the table general management skills and as a civil engineer by profession looks for aspiration from within the sphere of maths and science. Andrew has an ongoing interest in all matters educational and was previously a governor at an all-through school in West Africa and a governor of the University of Greenwich for five years.
Will is a co-opted governor from Prendergast Vale School where he is currently Lead Teacher of History. He has been a teacher at Prendergast Vale for two years now but has been involved in the world of education for much longer. Prior to starting at Prendergast Vale, Will worked for a number of educational charities that involved working in schools across the country. Given this background in educational charity a particular interest of Will’s is in the overlap between the sectors of charity and education.
Gregory Jones Q.C.
Gregory is a Foundation Governor. Gregory lives in Lewisham with his wife and two daughters, both born in Lewisham hospital. He went to Pelham Road Primary School and Colfe’s School and studied at Oxford and London universities before being called to the bar. Gregory is an elected Independent Common Councilman in the City of London and a Liveryman of the Leathersellers’ Company. He is on the electoral role of St Mary’s Church, Lewisham.
Head Teacher Governor
Duncan is the Headteacher of Prendergast Vale School and has been in post since September 2016. He was born and educated in London. Duncan has taught GCSE and A level sciences in each of the four regions of London. Prior to joining the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools he was a Deputy Headteacher in a successful school in East London. In addition, Duncan has worked for Ofsted as an inspector and also for Ofqual, reporting on national standards across GCSE Sciences.
Caroline has been elected staff governor since 2004 and is the longest-serving governor on the board. Most of this time she has been an active member of the sub-committees Human Resources, Curriculum, Health and Safety and, since its formation last year, the 'School Improvement Board' (SIB). Having taught in Prendergast for over 20 years as an English and (until last summer) Philosophy teacher, Caroline has an excellent knowledge of the school and its students and staff. She is an ardent advocate of state, versus private, education; all five of her children have been educated in local state schools. Caroline has an English BA Queen Mary College, London, Philosophy of Education MA (Distinction) Institute of Education, and subsequently studied for a PhD in Philosophy of Education for 12 years until the birth of her fifth child to be able to spend more time with her children. Caroline believes that she bring hugely important skills and knowledge to the Governing Board, both in her Philosophical training in seeking for clarity and logical rigour to debate, while challenging obfuscation, and in her life-long experience as a teacher and student of educational aims and practices. Caroline was elected as the first Federation wide Staff Governor in 2017.
Prof Ashley Kent MA (Cantab) (PGCE) (London) PhD (London) C Geog FRGS
Ashley’s career has been in the world of education. He has taught in secondary schools and led a department in one of them. He then became a teacher and researcher in the University of London where he became professor and Pro-Director at the Institute of Education, University College London. Ashley has written successful school and university level textbooks and has particular interest and expertise in geography and outdoor education. He has considerable experience in curriculum development; teacher education; a global perspective; and raising the aspirations of students to apply for and attend the very best universities.
Head Teacher Governor
Paula is a Headteacher Governor. Paula joined Prendergast School as Headteacher in September 2016. She has an MA in Education Management from Kings’ College, University of London, a PGCE in Innovation in Education from the University of Warwick, a PGCE in History and Religious Studies from Nottingham University, BA Hons in Historical Studies from the University of London and the NPQH. She is also an accredited facilitator for the National College of Teaching and has delivered many CPD programmes such as the NPQML and SLE programme. Paula is a Lewisham resident and is passionate about improving education in Lewisham. She strongly believes that we need to support our students to make good progress in their academic studies, but far more importantly that we ensure that all of our students are happy, safe and have a wide range of opportunities both within and outside of the classroom. She believes that we are stronger together and that through collaboration we have greater success.
Sophie is a foundation governor, as a member of the Leathersellers' Company. Her professional career has been largely spent in the civil service, with a spell in consulting. Sophie is currently Director of External Affairs at Virgin Money, where she helps to manage the bank's interests in public policy, including education and skills, financial exclusion and mental health. Sophie lives in Camberwell, where she has two little girls in school and nursery.
Paul is now a co-opted governor, having been parent governor for Prendergast School for several years. He is Vice-Chair of the Governing Board and Chair of the HR Committee. Educated at St Olave’s School and at Lancaster and London universities, Paul has been deputy and chief executive of national charities for 30 years. As a South London resident for all of his life his passion is to see our young people achieve at school and do well in life.
Andy is a Foundation Governor appointed by the Leathersellers’ Company and is Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee. Andy was born in Brockley and currently lives in New Cross. He spent 27 years at Deloitte where he was Head of the UK real estate business and then retired from there in 2015. Andy is currently self-employed working on ad hoc advisory projects. Locally he is a Trustee of Deptford First and the New Cross Gate Trust charities. He is also a Trustee of The London Transport Museum and The Florence Trust. He is a Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants and The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and an elected member of the management committee of the Lewisham Governors Association. Andy attended Brockley and Kidbrooke Park Primary Schools, won a full scholarship to Colfe’s, went on to study PPE at St Catherine’s College, Oxford and has a particular interest in promoting social mobility for local young people.
Richard has been the Headmaster of Colfe’s School since September 2005. He began his teaching career at Sevenoaks School in 1983 as a Classics teacher. Subsequent posts of responsibility at Sevenoaks included International Baccalaureate Co-ordinator and Director of Studies. In 1998 Richard moved to Forest School as Deputy Warden. Forest is the only major independent school in London's East End. In addition to being a Federation governor, Richard is also a school governor at Deptford Green School and the British School of Paris. Richard was educated at Methodist College Belfast and Jesus College Cambridge where he graduated in Classics. During the latter part of his time at university and the early part of his teaching career he participated in four seasons of Mediterranean archaeology.
David is Executive Head of the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools and took up post in September 2013. Prior to joining the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools he has worked as a teacher and school leader since 1978. David is a National Leader of Education since March 2012, and a Trustee of the English and Media Centre. He has been a governor of a number of maintained schools since 1998.
Kate is a parent governor with children in years 8, 10 and 12 at Prendergast School. Kate has lived in Brockley for 15 years and in or around Lewisham for nearly 30 years. She works as a psychotherapist, and is also a lawyer, with a long history of voluntary community service. Kate recently joined the Ethics Committee of the Metanoia Institute, which is a well-established educational charity specialising in the professional training of counsellors and psychotherapists. She also has ten years of experience of leading governance in a Lewisham primary school, with a proven track record of effectiveness. Ofsted said that governance under her chairship was 'rigorous', and that governors provided the right level of challenge and support. They also said that governance had a good impact on teaching, and on pupils' outcomes. Kate believes that state schools today face three serious challenges: further raising standards, a national crisis in teacher recruitment, and potentially catastrophic funding issues. Schools need a clear and coherent strategy to move forward in these times of rapid and unprecedented educational reform, and so effective governance has never been more important.
Philip was appointed as a Governor by the Leathersellers’ Company. He is a member of the Court of the Leathersellers and sits on the committee which allocates the Company’s charitable grants. Philip became a Governor because he is very keen to support the Company’s educational work in Lewisham as well as its charitable work, particularly its efforts to improve outcomes for the least advantaged. Philip is also Chief Executive of a software and financial documentation business based in the City, and a Trustee of a family charitable foundation.