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Governing Board

Queen Elizabeth’s Girls' School converted to academy status on the 1 August 2011.

 It reconstituted on the 24 April 2018 to bring the school in line with the Government’s latest recommendations for academies.  (The relevant documents can be found below as attachments)

The Board of Trustees meets five times a year.

It has a Finance and Premises Committee which meets four times a year.

Members hold an AGM annually. 

There is also a Pay Committee and an Admissions Committee.


Structure of Governance:






/ Academy trust board of trustee \
Finance and premises committee I Link trustees
\ Senior Executive Leader (academy principal)                    /


 Governance structure and lines of accountability 

The academy trust board of trustees delegates responsibility for the day-to-day running of the academy to the principal. The trustee board will hold the principal to account for the performance of the academy. The principal in turn holds other members of the senior leadership team to account by line managing them.

The principal will report to the board on the performance of the academy, although this will be supplemented by the monitoring of trust board committees and individual trustees with any delegated responsibilities.

The principal is performance managed by the trust board.


Roles and Responsibilities

The Role of the Members:
The members appoint trustees to ensure that the trust’s charitable object is carried out and so must be able to remove trustees if they fail to fulfil this responsibility. Accordingly, the trust board submits an annual report on the performance of the trust to the members. Members are also responsible for approving any amendments made to the trust’s articles of association.

While members are permitted to be appointed as trustees, in order to retain a degree of separation of powers between the members and the trust board, and in line with DfE expectations, not all members should be trustees. Under model articles employees are not allowed to be Members.

The role of trustees:
The academy trust is a charitable company and so trustees are both charity trustees (within the terms of section 177(1) of the Charities Act 2011) and company directors. 

The trustees are responsible for the general control and management of the administration of the trust, and in accordance with the provisions set out in the memorandum and articles of association and its funding agreement, it is legally responsible and accountable for all statutory functions, for the performance of the trust, and must approve a written scheme of delegation of financial powers that maintains robust internal control arrangements.  In addition, it must carry out the three core governance functions: 

  1. Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  2. Hold the executive to account for the educational performance of the trust and their pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  3. Oversee the financial performance of the trust and make sure its money is well spent.

The board of trustees has the right to review and adapt its governance structure at any time which includes removing delegation.

The role of trust board committees
The Academy Trust of Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School has a Finance & Premises Committee to which the board delegates financial scrutiny and oversight. 

The trustees may also delegate responsibilities to other committees or to individuals as appropriate.

The membership (at least three trustees) and responsibilities of board committees are set out in the committee’s terms of reference.

The role of the senior executive leader
The principal has the delegated responsibility for the operation of the trust.     

The principal is the accounting officer so has overall responsibility for the operation of the academy trust’s financial responsibilities and must ensure that the organisation is run with financial effectiveness and stability; avoiding waste and securing value for money.

The principal leads the senior leadership team (SLT) of the academy trust. The principal will delegate management functions to the SLT and is accountable to the trust board for the performance of the SLT. 

If the principal is also a trustee they are entitled to participate in votes and committees of the Board of Trustees.


Further details of the board can be found in the Trustees’ Handbook (see below).

The chair of the board of trustees is Rebecca Hanley.  Her email is

If you wish to complain please refer to the Complaints Policy which is in the policy section of the website under “About Us”. 

Current Members of the Governing Board

Ashley Braganza - Governing Board Member

Ashley is deputy dean of Brunel University London's College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences and Professor of Organisational Transformation at Brunel Business School. His research and consultancy expertise covers the development and implementation of strategy. He has won a number of grants over the years, most recently with UKIERI, to create a curriculum for employability skills for mainstream and special needs students.  He has published three books and over one hundred papers.  

Ashley has worked with a large number of organisations advising them on a variety of business process, digital transformation, strategic, knowledge management and information systems issues. He is on the council of the British Academy of Management and founder of the organisational transformation, change and development special interest group within the Academy. He serves on the governing board of a school.  

Prior to joining Brunel Business School, Ashley was with the Cranfield School of Management for 17 years in a variety of senior academic roles. Ashley attained his doctorate, which focused upon the implementation of radical process oriented change, from Cranfield University. Ashley completed a MBA at Strathclyde Business School. He elected to specialise in corporate strategy and finance. Prior to his MBA, he completed the Chartered Institute of Bankers examinations. Before joining academia, Ashley spent ten years in the banking industry.

Alison Davis - Governing Board Member 

Originally a graduate chemist, Alison has worked in IT roles in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences sector for 31 years, 17 of them as CIO. Since November 2013, she has been the CIO for the Francis Crick Institute.  Her work in leading the team that set up the IT capability for the Crick was recognised with the Women in IT 2018 CIO of the Year award. Alison is mum to a teenage son and daughter. She is also a governor at her son's state grammar school.  She is enthusiastic about encouraging women to follow careers in STEM subjects in general and IT in particular.

Royden Gothelf - Governing Board Member

Royden has been on the governing body since 2007, as a parent governor and as a co-opted governor, and in 2018 moved from being a trustee to a member of the governing board. Royden has lived in the local area since 1986 and was previously a governor at Cromer Road School. Professionally, Royden works in areas of IT enabled business change in commerce and education. Royden is a Chartered IT professional.

Debbie Lane - Governing Board Member

Debbie has been on the governing body since 2006, first as a parent governor and now co-opted and has moved from being a trustee to a member of the governing board. Her two daughters both attended the school. She currently works as a gardener and designer but has a background in computing and a degree in modern languages. As well as having been chair of a local drama group she is involved in many other ways, including acting and directing. Debbie has served as chair of the welfare committee and sat on both the finance & premises, and achievement & behaviour committees.

Dr Susan Cottam - Governing Board Parent Trustee - term ends 18/11/2019

Susan joined the board of trustees as a parent governor in 2015; her daughter started at the school in the same year. Susan is a clinical psychologist employed by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She works for a community service in Camden for disabled children and their parents, where her clinical role involves supporting children's and young people’s emotional wellbeing, behaviour and learning. She is also a consultant volunteer in a new charity to support adult mental health in central London. Susan retrained as a clinical psychologist in 2008 after working as an account director in two corporate design agencies.

Rebecca Hanley - Chair - Governing Board Parent Trustee - term ends 18/11/2019

Rebecca is a mother and BBC journalist. She is good at asking the right questions and getting quickly to the point. Rebecca also has experience of working to limited budgets - therefore being fully aware of the need to prioritise and spend wisely.

Her belief is that high expectations, sharing best practice and, above all, excellent staff are crucial to the school, with effective communication key.

Alan Jenner - Vice Chair, Governing Board Parent Trustee - term ends 23/10/2018

Alan joined the Governing Body in 2014 as a parent governor, having served on numerous Governing Bodies both as a parent and member of staff. He worked in the state education system, initially as a teacher and latterly as a Head teacher, supporting schools who found themselves in challenging circumstances. More recently he has supported schools in the appointment process of senior staff. Alan has lived in Barnet for the last 40 years and his daughter attends the school. He is currently chair of a charity which aims to support vulnerable young people and adults, not in education or employment, through equestrian related programmes. He is chair of the governing body staffing committee, a member of the achievement and behaviour committee and is the link governor for staff training and development.

Penelope Martin-Smith - Governing Board Co-opted Trustee - term ends 12/12/2020

Penelope has a degree in music and a diploma in singing performance. She attended Queen Elizabeth's during the 1970s, where her passion for the performing arts began. During a 25 year career she has both performed and taught in the state and independent school sectors, both as a one to one singing teacher, choral director and operatic producer. She is associate director of the baroque group "Vivaldi's Women" ( and also founded and directs Canterbury Cathedral Garden Opera. Penelope is committed to encouraging the continuation of performing arts education in schools. 

Uzo Nwamu - Governing Board Co-opted Trustee - term ends 12/12/20

Uzo Nwamu is a senior engineer with Vodafone UK and has worked as a project technical lead in previous roles. She has a background in electrical and communication engineering and has had  a career in the telecommunications industry for about ten years, having started as a data design engineer. Uzo holds an MSc degree in petroleum engineering and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. She actively participates in promoting the study of engineering and visits schools to encourage the next generation of girls in particular to consider a career in engineering.

Rebecca Peer - Governing Board Parent Trustee - term ends 12/12/2020

Rebecca is a mother of a daughter in year 10 and a lawyer. She has wide ranging legal experience including in public law and employment law. She has strong analytical skills. She believes it is important for all girls to aspire to and achieve their potential and for all parents and staff to support them in the ways they are able. 

Hannah Ross - Governing Board Co-opted Trustee - term ends 29/01/2022

Hannah is a lawyer working in the Financial Conduct Authority's general counsel division, within their insurance, product intervention and redress team. Before that she was with Clifford Chance as a senior associate. She held various editorial positions with the Cambridge student newspaper before joining their board of directors. She was also welfare officer for Magdalene College. Hannah is our link trustee for humanities and policies.

Carrie Scott - Governing Board Co-opted Trustee - term ends 29/01/2022

Carrie is a team inspector with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in the UK and previously worked in the audit and accounting practice at KPMG London.  She has a background in auditing FTSE100 investment banking, wealth management and insurance companies and previously lived and worked in Bermuda and Los Angeles, California.  Carrie studied history (honours) at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and is a an ACA registered with the ICAEW.  She has a keen interest in education and microfinance, previously serving as the treasurer/ a trustee of Microfinance Club UK.

Violet Walker - Headteacher

Violet began her career in education as a mathematics teacher in 2001 after two previously successful careers in accountancy and psychotherapy. She has achieved the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers.  Violet was accredited as an Advanced Skills Teacher in Mathematics in 2004 and is an LLC Coach and an accredited Specialist Leader of Education.  In 2006 Violet set up a new sixth form, judged outstanding from its first inspection.  Alongside her role as head of sixth form and assistant headteacher at an outstanding school in Harrow, Violet worked with the National College as part of the London Leadership Strategy to develop teaching across Greater London and to write and deliver a programme to build capacity in sixth forms in Greater London and Greater Manchester schools and sixth form colleges.  Violet was seconded for a period in 2011, as a deputy headteacher, to an outstanding school in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, to support the development of the leadership team and improvements in Mathematics.  In 2012, as a Specialist Leader of Education and sole deputy headteacher, Violet joined a school in Ealing which had been placed in special measures three months earlier.  She supported the Headteacher to take the school out of special measures in a year.  Violet’s areas of responsibility included the curriculum, quality assurance of learning and teaching and data triangulation, professional development of staff, staffing and performance management.  Violet was key to the improvement of the school which was judged to be good, two years later, in the summer of 2015.