Governors and Governance
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. Elected 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. Elected September 2019.
Emma Wakefield, Staff Governor
Born and raised in London but with an international education from ACS Hillingdon International School. Keen player of volleyball and qualified coach in the sport. Travelled for a year working in animal sanctuaries both in Costa Rica and Thailand followed by a season at summer camp in Pennsylvania USA, working with children aged from 6-17. Returned to London to study at Roehampton University for her BA Education and PGCE in association with Fox Primary. Several of her family are teachers so it was almost inevitable that she would follow in their footsteps. Fortunate to train at both Fox and Ashburnham primary schools, joined KPA in the summer term of 2019. Taught Key stage 1 and Key stage 2 in her training years and is currently teaching Year 1 at KPA for a second year.
Term of office three years. Elected January 2021.
Chloe Letch, STAFF GOVERNOR
Chloe grew up in West London and attended independent schools throughout her educational life, which sparked her passion for learning and education. Pursuing this love, she went on to study Education at Oxford Brooks University, giving her a valuable insight into teaching. Chloe loves to travel and was thrilled to be accepted into the West London Free School's teacher training scheme while in Bali! Having taught here for 4 years, she is dedicated to the school's values and delivering the sequential curriculum. A dog mum of one, she is a committed, reflective teacher, who has found her groove here at the Knowledge School's Trust.
Term of office three years. Elected September 2021.
Abbe Martineau , co-opted Governor
Abbe was born in London and grew up in West Sussex. She was educated at her local state primary and secondary schools before going to Birmingham University to study French and History of Art.
As part of her degree, Abbe studied in Strasbourg and volunteered to work for a British MEP during the plenary sessions at the European Parliament. Her first job was as a researcher for an MP in the House of Commons before re-training to become a lawyer. She qualified in 2005 and worked for city law firms Jones Day and Freshfields for more than 10 years. She now works as an in-house lawyer for an insurance company.
Abbe is married to Rupert and they have two children at WLFSP. Over the last couple of years, Abbe has been a class rep and an active supporter of the PTA. She is very proud to hold the position of parent governor for WLFSP and is looking forward to using her skills to help support and uphold the vision of the school.
Term of office three years. Elected February 2021.
OLIVIA GAUTIER, CO-OPTED GOVERNOR
Olivia was born and raised in London, where she attended a local English primary school, before going on to study at the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle, where she obtained her French baccalaureate. She has a bachelor’s in International Relations and a masters in Management from the London School of Economics. Her career has been in Corporate Finance and Investment, across which she spent several years working in China and more recently joined Diageo in London, as part of their Mergers and Acquisitions team.
Olivia believes strongly in promoting equality and opportunity through education and hopes that her background and experience will contribute effectively to the school’s vision, goals and performance.
Term of office four years. Elected June 2021.
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. Elected 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. Elected September 2021.
MILENA JAKUPOVIC, PARENT GOVERNOR
Milena has grown up in Croatia and lived in US, Germany and Switzerland before finally settling in London. She has lived locally to KPA school for last 15 years and has worked in London’s financial sector for nearly 20 years. Milena has been travelling the world extensively before becoming a parent and she has shared her adventures on several occasions with nursery and reception classes in KPA. She is a proud parent of 2 children who really enjoy their school and lovely community of school friends.
Milena hopes she will be able to apply her various professional skills as parent governor, and help further establish KPA as an outstanding school.
Term of office three years. Elected May 2019.
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. Elected June 2021.
The West London Free School Primary’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 Earl's Court Free School Primary and Kensington Primary Academy. 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 schools 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 email@example.com
Parent Governor Forums
We invite current parents of the school to join us at parent / governor forums. Our forum of 2021/22 was held virtually on Mon 18th Oct 2021 and the presentation is available here
We will diarise further forums should there be the need to, but otherwise questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 and Edlesborough Primary 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.