ALEX CONABEARE, CHAIR OF GOVERNORS, CO-OPTED GOVERNOR
Alex grew up in London, attending an independent school centrally which gave him a broad and varied education. He studied Physiology and Pharmacology at university in Bristol before returning to London and developing a career in Marketing and Digital within Financial Services and Professional Services. A father of two, he is proud that his daughter is a founding pupil at the Earl’s Court Free School and believes that the principles set out for the school are very important for the well rounded and confident development of our children.
The role of governor for the schools has given him the opportunity to apply his skills in support of the schools' vision and development and he is proud to hold the position.
Term of office, three years. Appointed April 2021.
EMMA MADDEN, CO-OPTED GOVERNOR, VICE CHAIR
Emma is currently Head of School at Fox Primary School and has a daughter and a son at the West London Free School Primary. She has lived in West London all her life. Emma studied English Literature at Cambridge University, before completing her PGCE and Masters of Teaching at the Institute of Education. She has been the Head of School at Fox Primary, Notting Hill, for 2 years, and Deputy Head for 7 years before that. Fox has been the highest performing primary school nationally for 3 years running and is Ofsted rated Outstanding (2009). In her role, Emma delivers extensive training to qualified teachers around London and works in an advisory capacity to many schools, coordinating school-to-school support. She has particular strengths in use of school data, curriculum design, monitoring teaching and learning and staff development. She has served as Governor and Associate Governor on her own governing body for the past 10 years.
Term of office three years. Appointed September 2022.
RIKDEEP LIT, CO-OPTED GOVERNOR
Rik was born in Canada but has lived in the UK since a young age. He has attended a mixture of state and independent schools, giving him a broad experience of education in the UK.
Rik has lived in London ever since moving to the city to study Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has used this background to build a career in the investment management industry, where he currently serves as a Director at BlackRock. His primary role is to build investment portfolios to help European pension schemes meet their funding requirements. Using his professional finance skills and passion for education, Rik looks forwards to helping ensure the continued success of the WLFS Primary, ECFS Primary and KPA in his capacity as a governor.
Term of office four years. Appointed June 2021.
JANE EMMETT, CO-OPTED GOVERNOR
Jane Emmett is the Headteacher of Fulham Prep School. She founded the school in 1996 and has over 30 years of experience in education, having taught in both the independent and state sectors.
Fulham Prep was ranked 'Outstanding' by Ofsted during its most recent inspection in 2014. In the report, Jane's leadership of the school was singled out for praise: "The Principal knows the school extremely well and provides the senior leaders with clear direction and the right mix of support and challenge to inspire them to pursue excellence." Jane is also a director of the Knowledge Schools Trust.
Term of office four years. Appointed September 2021.
DEE PURDY, PARENT GOVERNOR
Dee joined the Knowledge Schools Foundation Trust as a trustee in 2017 and was formerly the Chair of the PTA for Earl’s Court and West London Free School Primaries. During the schools’ early years, Dee established the Schools Enrichment (SEP) Programme which successfully tapped into the skills, time and networks of the parents and carers to support with improving the schools’ facilities and enrichment programme.
Dee grew up in South Africa where she attended a local school and later completed a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts (Hons) degree at the University of Cape Town. She moved to London in 1998 where she met her husband. They have two daughters who attend West London Free School Primary. Her career has included IT project and process management roles within the international financial sector, with 8 years experience within IT Governance.
Through her roles within the school and as a parent at WLFSP Dee has always been committed to helping the schools to grow and develop their strategic vision and she is looking forward to continuing to do this as a parent governor.
Term of office four years. Appointed June 2021.
DUNCAN FERGUSSOn, STAFF GOVERNOR
Duncan is currently class teacher for Year 5 at Kensington Primary Academy, as well as being subject leader for History and Geography. He attended grammar school in Kent, before completing a BTEC Diploma Foundation Studies in Art and Design at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, and a BA (Hons) in Textile Art at Winchester School of Art. Following a period holding an art studio in East London, and working at Tate Modern Art Gallery, he completed his PGCE in Primary Education at the Institute of Education in London.
Duncan has held multiple class teacher, subject leader and phase leader roles across the full primary age range, previously being based in schools both in North and East London. He is passionate about all aspects of primary education, but particularly enjoys exploring new ways to make learning creative and fun, incorporating different teaching and learning styles into planning, and developing cross-curricular links across subjects. He believes in the importance of promoting equality, inclusion, and meeting the needs of all learners to help them achieve their full potential.
Term of office four years. Appointed September 2022.
Eunice Obi, Staff Governor
Eunice was born and raised in West London and has four grown up children, who were home schooled. Due to their experiences of home schooling, two of her children are both secondary school teachers. Eunice joined the trust (WLFSP) in 2013 with the founding students and has seen the primary school grow from strength to strength.
The opportunity of staff governor will provide occasions to share skills and knowledge learned over the years, as well as continuing to promote the schools’ ethos.
Finally, Eunice is completing an Open University BA (Honours) in Education Studies- refining her practice with theory.
Term of office four year. Appointed September 2023.
DOMINIC SHALES, CO-OPTED GOVERNOR
Dominic was born in Zimbabwe, where he lived until the age of 9. In England, he was educated in the independent sector at Malvern College before reading modern languages at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. Dominic’s career has been in marketing, communications and the media. As well as nine years with global, WPP-owned communications agency Hill + Knowlton, he also set up his own agency, Paratus Communications, which was acquired by Next 15 Group (N15). He subsequently became MD of N15 company, Lexis. In 2017 Dominic moved into the media, joining VICE Media Group to set up a new purpose-driven content platform. He left in 2020 and is now working on three start-up businesses (a media platform, an agency and an app) which focus on driving positive change. Dominic has lived in Brackenbury Village for 20 years and has a daughter at West London Free School Primary.
Term of office four years. Appointed September 2022.
ANTONIA RIDLEY, CO-OPTED GOVERNOR
Antonia Ridley was born, raised and educated in the UK.
She attended University of the West of England in Bristol where she gained a BA Hons in Social Sciences specialising in politics and history.
She worked for two years for a political consultancy before developing a career in marketing strategy and communications. She has over 20 years of experience working for small and medium enterprises and start-ups across a variety of different sectors including exhibitions, renewable energy and retail. She has diplomas in marketing, PR, photography and freelance journalism.
Antonia has lived in the borough for 15 years. She has three children all of whom have attended Earls Court Free School and West London Free School primaries and benefited from the core knowledge curriculum and the school community.
She is passionate about the community she lives in and believes vehemently that all children should have access to a good education providing them with the best possible start in life. She is looking forward to bringing her commercial experience, knowledge of the schools and local community to her role as governor.
Term of office four years. Appointed September 2022.
Abi Taylor-Knox, Co-opted Governor
Abi grew up in South Africa where she completed an undergraduate degree majoring in Corporate Communication, followed by a PGCE and then an honours degree in Education Management. She moved to West London in 2017 with her husband. Abi is a specialist English teacher and she has worked in Prep schools in North and West London. She was Assistant Head Future Schools and a member of the Senior Leadership Team at Fulham Prep School from 2019. She has recently left education to start her own 11/13+ consultancy. She is passionate about education, and keen to share her knowledge and experience of working in leadership within schools with her local community. She is particularly well-versed in interpreting academic data as it pertains to the curriculum, and using these data points to inform strategy and implement interventions across the curriculum. Hammersmith is very much home to her, and she is excited to be able to contribute to her local community by serving on the governing board.
Term of office four years. Appointed September 2023.
Owen Hopkins, Co-opted Governor
Owen is the Director of New Technologies and Innovation at Arts Council England. He has a son in West London Free School and has lived in Hammersmith for over fifteen years. As an innovation professional, Owen’s worked as a Marketing Manager in Amazon’s video games category managing the Xbox and Sony Playstation accounts. Before Amazon, he was a Managing Editor at Global Radio, overseeing the digital platforms of Classic FM, Radio X and LBC. He is also a professional musician and is currently touring internationally with Kelly Jones (Stereophonics) and his band, Far From Saints, whose debut album went to no. 5 in the UK charts. As well as appearances at major festivals and events such as Glastonbury and Latitude, Owen has also performed on TV and radio programmes such as Later with Jools Holland and Top of The Pops. Owen holds a Journalism degree from Cardiff University and an MBA from Saïd Business School, The University of Oxford.
Term of office four year. Appointed September 2022
Karen Kondo, Co-opted Governor
Karen is currently Head teacher of a state primary school in West London and has one son studying Mechanical Engineering at University. She grew up in Kent before attending university in Southampton and completing her Masters in International Business at the École Supérieure de Commerce de Rennes, France. Having started her career an English teacher in 1996, Karen has been a Head teacher for 5 years and worked as a teacher and Deputy head in London since 2009. Prior to this Karen lived and worked in Japan for seven years as a teacher, trainer and leader across a variety of education and corporate environments.
She has particular strengths in curriculum design, organisational structure, MFL, EAL and middle leadership development and is passionate about equality and improving pupil outcomes.
Term of office four years. Appointed September 2023
Kensington Primary Academy’s local governing body is responsible for the quality of education at the school. The governing body is combined across all three London primaries in the Knowledge Schools Trust, including that of the West London Free School Primary and Earl's Court Free School Primary. The three schools share the leadership of our Director of Primary Education, Laura Lund and this is the most effective method of providing governance for the three schools.
Governors focus on ensuring the schools have a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction. We hold our headteacher to account for the educational performance of the schools, and we oversee the financial performance of the schools including ensuring that their budgets are well spent.
We have eleven governor positions on the team including two parent governors and two staff governors. We've recruited a governance team to bring the skills and experience that we need to perform the functions described above. As such, we have governors with experience of working in education, finance, the local community and business.
Our governing body will evolve as the schools grow and develop. However, in line with both Lord Nash and Sir Michael Wilshaw’s comments about the excessive size of some governing bodies, we intend to keep our team small to ensure it is effective.
Governors exercise their responsibilities and powers in partnership with the headteacher and staff. We do not make day to day decisions on the operational running of the school unless there are weaknesses in the school, when governors then have a duty to investigate and take action. Instead, governors focus on longer-term strategic issues and on checking that the daily operations are taking place in line with the school’s vision, aims and strategic plan.
The Chair of Governors can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
PARENT GOVERNOR FORUMS
We will diarise further forums should there be the need to, but otherwise questions can be sent to email@example.com
KNOWLEDGE SCHOOLS TRUST
Knowledge Schools Trust (formerly the West London Free School Academy Trust) is the legal entity accountable for all schools within the group, currently the West London Free School, the West London Free School Primary, the Earl's Court Free School Primary, Kensington Primary Academy, Edlesborough Primary Academy and Dovery Academy. As such, the Trust is responsible for operating all schools within the group and holds the Master Funding Agreement with the Secretary of State.
The Trust's directors have specific responsibilities for defined aspects of governance across all the schools in the group, namely, Strategic Management, Curriculum and some co-ordinated administrative functions. They set the ethos and vision for the Trust, hold the title to the land the schools are on, employ the staff and are the contracting party for services that serve more than one school in the group (catering, ICT, etc). The Trust's directors have appointed a Chief Executive Officer, who is the Accounting Officer for the Trust, a Finance Director, and a Chief Operations Officer. HR and Legal services are outsourced to an external provider.
The directors have delegated certain functions for each school to a local governing body. The Chairs of the local governing bodies are also directors of the MAT.
You can see an organogram showing how the Trust relates to the local governing bodies here and read the Terms of Reference, which set out the relationship between the Trust, the local governing bodies and the head teachers, here.Governor Information Pack