Governors at Leigh Academy Blackheath

We are delighted to be able to introduce some very important people to you as part of the Governing Board of the Academy. As you will see from their biographies they bring a huge wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to our school through their governance role.   

Leigh Academies Trust Governance Structure 2018-19

Chair of Governors – Tim Snowball

 Tim Snowball is a Public Affairs and Communications Consultant, working with a wide range of global and major UK companies.  He is a former political adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and served as both Chief of Staff and Director of Communications for the Liberal Democrats while the party was in government. As a resident of Old Dover Road, Blackheath, and as someone passionate about achieving excellence in education for all, Tim is delighted to have an opportunity to be part of the Leigh Academy Blackheath governing body. He hopes to help the school with its communications and business/community relations activity.   

Governor – Anne Marie Duguid

Anne-Marie Duguid has 30 years experience working in education. Anne-Marie has worked in schools, with Local Authorities and most recently nationally in her role as Director of education with SSAT. She is now Director of the Empowering Education Partnership and works closely with a number of key strategic organisations and MATs.  Anne-Marie designed the Lead Practitioner Accreditation, used now by thousands of teachers, and the Framework for Exceptional Education. Anne-Marie has earned her reputation nationally in the field of effective pedagogy and the importance of evidence informed education. Anne-Marie’s national profile means she works closely with leading international academics, thought leaders and school leaders as well as contributing to policy discussions. Anne-Marie was instrumental in setting up the Royal College of Teaching as one of the founding Directors, working closely with all education organisations and the DfE to bring the profession together and celebrate teachers and teaching. She is proud to see how it has now grown and to be part of its legacy.  She believes passionately in social justice, whilst in the news social mobility is becoming the rhetoric, she believes strongly that this forms a subset of social justice, recognising there are several pathways for students to succeed. She keeps a relentless focus on the students, whilst we are undergoing a period of turbulence in education she has always maintained that students only have one today, we have to get it right for them now as well as plan for the future.

Anne-Marie has been a governor for a Greenwich primary school for over 7 years, a member of Royal Greenwich Teaching School Alliance Board and has led on developmental work in the field of governance in the ever changing education landscape.

Anne-Marie believes in supporting the local community and therefore is looking forward to being a governor and supporting the brand new Leigh Academy Blackheath.

Governor – James Ward

Associate Dean – Further Education & Community Engagement at Ravensbourne.  As Associate Dean, James is responsible for the overall strategic management of the Further Education (FE) School. He controls the day-to-day management of the FE, Higher Degree Apprenticeship qualifications and Outreach department. This role covers income generation, staffing, curriculum development and educational quality control. Over James’ ten years of tenure at Ravensbourne he has grown a department of one full time course (175 students) to a portfolio of six full time FE courses with over 400 students, two Higher and Degree Apprenticeship qualifications and a suite of Community Learning courses delivered in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG).

Working in partnership with British Telecom (BT) and eskills James has developed and introduced an FdSc Trail Blazer Apprenticeship qualification (January 2015) and a Higher Apprenticeship BSc qualification introduced in January 2016.

James is Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, (SFHEA). As a senior
academic James is at the heart of the academic community at Ravensbourne with membership of a number of internal committees and boards; Board of Governors, Academic Board, Quality Development Committee, Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee, Portfolio Group and the Media School Board of Study.

External partnerships include; The Arts Council England (ACE) where James is an advisor to the Cultural Education Expert Group (2014-2016). Steering group membership of the Linking London Higher Education Funding Council England, National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). Association with the World Heritage Sites Education Group has enabled James to support a number of UNSECO projects and membership on the Skill-set Digital Media Apprenticeships Advisory Working Group allowed James the opportunity to shape the creation of national curriculum.

James has an interest in national educational policy and strategy; he is currently concluding his MBA in Further Education Management at King’s College – London. James’ MBA research has focused on quality enhancement of FE delivered in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) this research is enabling a greater understanding of the FE in HEI sector and supporting the benefits to the FE students’ educational experience.

International recruitment has permitted James the opportunity for extensive travel across Asia and northern Europe, attending numerous student recruitment events and on occasions, presenting on behalf of the British Council. This international collaboration has been demonstrated through James’ academic career, with the development and delivery of a number short international summer schools and research investigating the delivery of FE provision in Japan.

James is an FE external moderator (levels 1 to 4) for University of the Arts London Awarding Body. Previously Subject Leader – FE (Ravensbourne), Acting FE Course Leader, University for the Creative Arts (UCA), Widening Participation Officer (The Surrey Institute of Art & Design) and freelance printed textiles designer to a number of fashion and furnishing companies.

Governor – Carling Colfer

Carling works on the Debt Capital Markets desk within HSBC and is responsible for structuring public and private debt raising with a focus on European corporates and sub-sovereigns. In his career, Carling has worked across Private Equity, Corporate Banking and Leveraged & Acquisition Financing, connecting customers to opportunities and enabling businesses to expand. Specifically in the Higher Education sector, Carling raised GBP35m for one of the world’s leading business schools. He has also assisted a prestigious Oxbridge College in issuing their inaugural GBP30m private placement, locking-in historically low funding costs and arbitraging its endowment fund returns. Finally, last year he supported The University of Southampton in pricing their highly successful GBP300m 40yr debut bond issue – the lowest ever coupon in the public bond market by a UK university. The funds were raised from high quality, real money investors in order for the University to invest in its campuses and estates. As a resident of Greenwich, Carling is delighted to have an opportunity to be part of the Leigh Academy Blackheath governing body. He hopes to help the school with its financial stewardship.

Governor – Dr Carolina Valiente

Established international Senior Executive and economist with strong academic background.  With a track record in international, cross-industry and cross-sector networks and experience, financial and public institutions, specialist skills include corporate governance and business matters. Expertise on financial analysis, governance regulations, risk analysis, stakeholders’ relationships, and strategic decision making.  Board-related skills include policy development and growth, culture and values, industry relationships, scenario analysis and budgetary planning. Other skills include enhancement of team environment, overcoming obstacles and crossing cultural borders.  Able to ponder and handle different stakeholders’ positions through a professional and confident approach.  Bilingual.

Governor – Alex O’Donnell

I started my career as a PE teacher in 1994.  Working through the curriculum leadership route, I joined the Leigh Academies Trust in 2009 as Vice Principal at Longfield Academy.  I became a co-Principal in 2011 as part of the small schools model, becoming sole Principal in 2016. My educational ethos is around whole child education, ensuring they have both the academic and social skills to be successful in society.  I have successfully led the academy through the recent Section 5 Inspection, gaining an overall “Good” grading, with “Outstanding” for Post 16. Until recently, I have sat on the Management Committee (Governing body) for the local Alternative Provision, thus gaining an alternative model of stakeholder governance.

Governor – Peter Ralston

Peter is a lawyer at the London office of a global real estate fund manager; his day job involves working with a range of pension fund investors to maximise returns from industrial real estate investments.  As a resident of Westcombe Park since 2004 with three young children of school age, Peter is keen to apply his knowledge of business developed over 20 years working in the City to support the Leigh Academy Blackheath as it becomes established. In part of his role as company secretary with responsibility for regulatory compliance, he has extensive experience of principles of sound governance and robust decision making which he hopes will be of benefit to the governing body.