Governors and Steering Committee
Below you can read about the lead members of our Governing Body and Steering Committee, who are all volunteering their time to develop the Greenwich Free School.
Chair of Governors
Jonathan is currently Director of Strategy for Serco covering a range of social policy areas including health and education and working with local authorities and the public sector to improve outcomes for people in the UK. Prior to this, he worked in the Cabinet Office, the Treasury and the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit where he specialised in education and skills policy. Jonathan also stands as Deputy Chair of Governors for one of his local schools and is a trustee of World Wide Volunteering.
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Vice-Chair of Governors and Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee
Tom graduated with a first class degree in History from Magdalen College, Oxford. Having worked as a secondary school teacher of History and as a consultant for McKinsey & Company, he is now a policy advisor at the Department for Education. When he's not doing that, he's an officer in the Royal Navy Reserve, a keen sailor and dinghy instructor, and sits on the Governing Body of the England National Schools' Debate team, which he also helps to coach.
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Chair of the Site and Premises Committee
Jack is a barrister specialising in local government and public law, with substantial experience of education law. He has long been interested in education, and currently serves as a school governor in west London. Jack is advising our group on legal questions and oversees our relationship with the architects and builders who are responsible for developing our permanent site. Jack graduated with a Double First from Emmanuel College Cambridge and was the World Universities Debating Champion in South Africa in 2003.
Chair of the Finance, Pay and Personnel Committee
Vanessa has over 15 years of experience across a broad range of financial roles. She worked for Goldman Sachs for 10 years where she was involved in mergers and acquisitions advisory as well as corporate treasury analysis. She has held roles as the Chief Operating Officer of a boutique M&A advisory firm and as a business manager within a global asset management firm. Vanessa has also worked on a scheme to finance early interventions for vulnerable children in the care system.
Governor with responsibility for communications
Previously the Director of Stakeholder and Ministerial Engagement at the Department for Business, Louise is now an independent communications consultant working in the international arena. She has more than 12 years experience in a range of communications roles across the financial services sector and in government. She is passionate about helping people to realise their full potential, and is also strategic counsel to the CEO of The Transformation Trust, which funds extra-curricular activities in schools in challenged areas of England.
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Governor with responsibility for compliance
Ben graduated with an M.Phil in Politics from Wadham College, Oxford where he tutored undergraduates. Whilst at Wadham, he also served as President of the Students’ Union. He now works as a solicitor for Clifford Chance, a leading international law firm. Ben worked at the English Speaking Union running their Debate Academy programme, and is now responsible for the England National Schools’ Debate Team development programme for secondary school debaters: he has been coaching students to speak in public for six years.
Governor with responsibility for standards of learning and teaching
Barbara is an experienced educationalist and National Leader of Education who is currently Headteacher of a consistently Outstanding secondary school in South London. Her school’s last Ofsted report noted “The Headteacher’s leadership is outstanding as she has a clear vision and strong determination and has established a continuously improving ethos in a highly successful school.” She brings her wealth of experience and expertise to advise the Greenwich Free School on education-related matters.
Governor with responsibility for standards of learning and teaching
Educated at King’s College London, Université de Rennes and Oxford, Stephen has taught in a wide range of establishments, from one of the country’s largest mixed comprehensives to Dr Challoner's Grammar School where he is currently an Assistant Headteacher. He is passionate about improving the opportunities of every pupil, and places excellent classroom practice at the forefront of all he does. He brings his deep subject knowledge and his experience of supporting other schools to advise GFS on educational matters.
In addition to our Governing Body, GFS is fortunate to draw on the support of an Advisory Committee including:
Steering Committee Head of Development
David is part of the investment team at Bridges Ventures, the leading social investor, working on investments across a range of sectors and regions, but with a particular focus on environment and software businesses. He also works on strategy for Bridges as a whole.
David was previously Director of Strategy and Investment for the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, having also co-founded the Initiative and led its work on government reform and private sector development in Sierra Leone. Prior to joining the Africa Governance Initiative, David was a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company. He leads GFS' development initiatives, in particular focussing on developing partnerships and securing sponsorship and support
Steering Committee Head of IT
James is the Network Manager at Dr Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham, where he has developed a the school's hardware and software infrastructure, both of which support other schools in the area. A keen developer, James has developed much of Dr Challoner's software applications himself. He is advising GFS on IT procurement and development.
Dr George Molyneaux
Member of the Greenwich Free School Group
George is a Member of the Greenwich Free School Group, the Academy Trust that has legal responsibility for the Greenwich Free School. He is a Tutor and Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, where his main interest is Late Anglo-Saxon England and early medieval Europe more generally. He is currently finishing his book about the formation of the English kingdom in the tenth century.
Steering Committee Head of Operations
Helen is Head of Campaign Management at Comic Relief, coordinating both Red Nose Day and Sport Relief Campaigns. Prior to this she was a consultant at McKinsey and Company where she concentrated on public sector work, particularly Education and Health Care. She is a Graduate from the University of Bath with a first class Masters degree in Biology.
She has always had a keen interest in education and has long held the belief that with the right support and encouragement anyone can achieve their goals. Putting this into practice she was an ambassador for higher education while at University and acted as peer motivator on summer schools throughout her education, encouraging school leavers to investigate the possibilities of higher education and vocational courses to expand their horizons and achieve their ambitions in life.
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