BOARD OF TRUSTEES

THE TRUSTEES

We have a Trustee vacancy - click here for details


  • Derek Morgan - Chair of Trustees

Derek was appointed Chair of Trustees for the Coombe Academy Trust in December 2020 having been a Trustee of the Trust for four years and before that was the Chair of Governors of Green Lane Primary and Nursery School. Derek is semi-retired and has been a Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer in large multi-national corporations for the last thirty years, most recently as Global COO for the Consulting Division of Aon. Currently, he is COO for Magic Breakfast, a UK children’s charity, and is also a Trustee and Treasurer of Médecins Sans Frontières UK.


  • Samia Ahmad

BSc (hons) in biochemistry, PGCE Primary. Samia has been working as a primary school teacher for the last 14 years, currently leading ICT and RE and as the school coordinator for a collaboration of local schools. Samia served as a member of SLT and the school staff governor for four years, she has lived in New Malden for nearly 40 years and has wide connections amongst the local community. Before becoming a teacher, she worked as the Support Worker for the Kingston Childminding Association. Samia has been involved in a range of charity work and served on local liaison groups. She has four daughters, three of whom previously attended Coombe Girls' School.


  • Rowena Bass - Chair of Audit Committee

BSc FCA qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in London and has extensive audit experience in the private and not for profit sectors. She currently works for a number of the accounting institutes and training providers on accountancy exams and apprenticeship assessments. Rowena is a Councillor with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, director of Kingston Chamber of Commerce and till recently a governor at Robin Hood Primary School.


  • Marcus Bhargava

Head of School of Education, Midwifery and Social Work at Kingston University and a member of the University’s Senior Leadership Group. He is responsible for the strategic direction and operational and financial activities of his School. A former secondary school teacher, Marcus has significant experience in educational experience having served as a member of two National Curriculum expert panels in Citizenship Education, a former consultant to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority leading a national exemplification of assessment project and leading teacher training at two Universities. He is a former governor of an Outstanding Infant School, where he chaired the learning committee and a large secondary school. He has a son at Coombe Boys’ School.


  • Diana Brotherston - Chair of Remuneration Committee

Diana qualified as a primary teacher in 1977 (B'Ed) and later studied for an MA in Education through the Open University. She worked in various schools in Surrey and Kingston, latterly as Headteacher for 18 years of an outstanding primary school. Diana has extensive knowledge of primary education and since she retired in 2012 served as Chair of Governors at Knollmead Primary supporting the school as it became part of Coombe Academy Trust. In 2019 Diana resigned as governor to concentrate on her trustee responsibilities.


  • Samy Etienne

Samy is currently Deputy Head of Education at a selective independent school in London. Prior to this role, he held the roles of Deputy Head of Modern Languages, Head of French and Head of House. Samy also holds the position of Principal Examiner at Pearson Education and is a Member of the Chartered College of Teaching. He has extensive knowledge and experience of Charity governance in both state and independent educational settings. Samy is interested in all aspects of educational leadership and teaching and learning.


  • Jan Galloway

Jan is a partner at the south and London based law firm Moore Barlow and is chairwoman of their Individuals and Family division. Jan has practised family law for 32 years and has a wealth of experience in dealing with the consequences of a relationship breakdown and the impact that can have on the children of the relationship. She’s a trained mediator, collaborative lawyer and an accredited member of the Law Society Family Law Panel. She has a daughter who has just concluded her masters at Newcastle University.


  • Margaret Hunnaball - Chair of Infrastructure Committee

Margaret is a former physics teacher, with senior leadership experience in both state-maintained and independent secondary schools. She is currently a PhD candidate, conducting ESRC-funded research into cross-sector educational partnerships at King’s College London. Her research interests are: partnership working, leadership and education beyond the formal curriculum. Outside education, Margaret is passionate about hockey, she was an International Hockey Federation (FIH) umpire and is now on the World Panel for Umpire Managers. She also serves on the European Hockey Federation Appointments Committee and the FIH Rules’ Committee.


  • Emeka Okorocha

Emeka is a Managing Consultant with PA Consulting, a management consultancy in London. He has over 20 years experience in project management and engineering of major infrastructure and construction projects. He specialises in project governance, business case and contract negotiations working on several occasions as the client agent. Emeka has served as a parent and co-opted governor in a maintained school in Merton for 6 years and was involved in the formation of a Federation of two schools and the appointment of an Executive Head to bring one of those schools up from requiring improvement. He is married with 3 children, one of which attends a school in the Coombe Academy Trust.


  • Emma Thomas - Chair of Resources Committee

A CIMA qualified accountant with 19 years experience in government finance. Her work has focussed on the development of high-quality finance business partnering in recent years, looking to drive efficient and effective use of scarce resources though a passion for data insight and high quality strategic financial advice. She is currently the interim Strategic Finance Director at Home Office. She has been a Coombe Trustee since March 2018.


If you would like to register your interest to become a Trustee, please contact Lucy Dawson at trustclerk@coombe.org.uk

THE ROLE OF THE TRUSTEES

Trustees apply the highest standards of conduct and ensure robust governance. They follow the Governance Handbook and aid compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook through leading:

  • strategic leadership that sets and champions vision, ethos and strategy;

  • accountability that drives up educational standards and financial performance;

  • people with the right skills, experience, qualities and capacity;

  • structures that reinforce clearly defined roles and responsibilities;

  • compliance with statutory and contractual requirements; and

  • evaluation of governance to monitor and improve its quality and impact.

The Trustees comply with the Trust’s charitable objects, with company and charity law and with the funding agreements. Their duties are to: act within their powers; promote the success of the Trust; exercise independent judgement; exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence; avoid conflicts of interest; not accept benefits from third parties; and declare interest in proposed transactions of arrangements. They ensure regularity and propriety in use of the Trust’s funds and achieve economy, efficiency and effectiveness. The Full Board of Trustees meets twice per term.

The purpose of the Full Board meetings is:

  • to ensure that the Trust’s funds are used in accordance with the law, the Trust’s Articles, its Funding Agreements and the Academies Financial Handbook;

  • to ensure that the Trust and its academies are operated in accordance with the law, the Articles, its Funding Agreements and the Academies Financial Handbook;

  • to ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction, propose overarching aims and objectives for the schools;

  • to monitor the quality of educational provision across the Trust;

  • to challenge and monitor performance including overseeing the performance of the EHT;

  • to oversee the financial performance of the Trust;

  • to determine Human Resource Policy and Practice;

  • to comply with their duties as company directors and charity Trustees, including to exercise reasonable skill and care in carrying out their duties;

  • to ensure the Nolan principles of public life are adhered to (selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership); and

  • to recruit EHT and Executive Directors.

The Resources Board Sub-Committee focuses on the effectiveness and efficiency of the management of the financial and staffing resources of the Trust. This Committee covers human resources and financial resources. Within this remit, the Committee will address any matter raised by the Executive or Deputy Executive Headteacher or that the Committee reasonably considers to be within its remit and that is not a Reserved Decision.

The Infrastructure Board Sub-Committee focuses on the compliance of the Trust with regard to Health and Safety, Premises and oversees the effectiveness and efficiency of the premises and ICT to support the objectives of the Trust. This Committee covers: Health and Safety; Infrastructure (including premises, buildings and ICT); and Data Protection.

The Audit Board Sub-Committee maintains an oversight of the Trust’s governance, risk management, internal control and value for money framework. It reports its findings annually to the Board of Trustees and the Accounting Officer as part of the Trust’s annual reporting requirements.

The Remuneration Board Sub-Committee will maintain an oversight of the Trust’s pay policy and pay procedures, performance management of the leadership and executive leadership teams and leadership succession planning. It will report any findings to the Board at the December and July meetings.

TRUSTEES ATTENDANCE AT BOARD MEETINGS

TRUSTEES REGISTRAR OF PECUNIARY & BUSINESS INTEREST