Academies are schools funded by the government with the freedom to govern independently – but all are accountable to the Secretary of State for Education. To share resources and best practice, many are part of multi-academy trusts – a network of schools under one legal body.

Evelyn Grace Academy is part of Ark Schools - a leading education charity and one of the country’s top-performing academy operators. Ark is non-denominational and does not make any profit from running its schools.

Ark’s relationship with the Secretary of State is set out in the Amendment and Restatement agreement. There are also supplemental funding agreements for each individual school in the network, including Evelyn Grace Academy.

Every school in the Ark network is the legal responsibility of the Ark Schools Board. This board focuses on statutory duties and delegates most day-to-day responsibilities to each school’s individual Local Governing Body (LGB). This means that Evelyn Grace's governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.

Amendment and Restatement Agreement

PDF iconEvelyn Grace Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement


Our Local Governing Body

Ark Evelyn Grace Academy’s LGB is made up as follows:

  • 6-10 members appointed by Ark, to include the Chair – usually people with a local connection or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area
  • Evelyn Grace Academy's Principal
  • Two parent governors
  • One teaching staff governor
  • One non-teaching staff governor
  • One local authority representative from Lambeth

Governors are appointed for three-year terms, up to a maximum of ten years.  The initial term of the first Chair will be three years, with annual election by the LGB thereafter.  Academy staff may not be Chair or Vice Chair of the LGB. Ark aims to create a balanced group that will have the right skills, connections and dynamic for the LGB to work well and support the school in achieving exceptional performance:

  • Good insight into the specific challenges at the school and the general challenges of operating top-quality schools
  • Excellent community links
  • Specific skills as needed by/relevant to the school
  • A link to the senior executive team of Ark

The LGB meets six times a year.

Contacting The Governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Katie Bird ( Governors can be contacted through Katie and the parent governors can be contacted through the school office on 0207 737 9520.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit or, if you have any governance-related queries, please contact

Evelyn Grace Academy Local Governing Body

Richard de Friend (Chair)

I retired in July 2012, after a career of almost 40 years in legal education. Between 1973 and 1998 I taught various areas of law (mainly at the University of Kent but also as a visiting lecturer or professor at the Warwick University, the London School of Economics, and the University of San Diego). I became Head of the Kent Law School, and then Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Kent. I left Kent in 1998 to join The College (now University) of Law, where I was the Director of its Bloomsbury Centre, a member of its Management Board; and Chair of its Academic Board. Currently, in addition to being a governor of EGA, I am a Trustee and member of the Management Board of the cross-party research and policy organisation Justice. I am married with two children, and three grandchildren; live in North West London; and split my leisure time between the theatre, concerts, some travel and twice monthly gigs with my blues band for which I play the drums.

Richard Brent (KS5 including proposed S London 6th Form Consortium)

I am a lawyer practising in the field of commercial law. Before I became a lawyer, I was a historian and academic at St John’s College, The University of Cambridge. I have two children, both of whom are now at university. My family has been heavily involved in education, my father worked for a number of years in a College of Education, training teachers; my mother was a Deputy Head of a comprehensive school; and my sister is a special needs teacher in a comprehensive school. My main interest in being a governor is to ensure that the school is run in a way that enables its students to maximise their opportunities to pursue their chosen careers, whatever their abilities. My experience at university and at the Bar, together with my family background, has meant that I have learnt the importance of education. As a governor, I wish to ensure that others enjoy the same opportunities to benefit from a good education that I had.

Mark Brown (Teaching, Learning & Curriculum KS3- KS4) 

I have almost 25 years' stakeholder engagement and consultation experience, gained across all industry sectors and throughout the UK.  After University, I began my career in the media, before becoming an investment manager with a leading merchant bank.  I spent three years heading up the communications team promoting proposals for the redevelopment of King's Cross and subsequently launched my own specialist property communications consultancy before setting up Local Dialogue in 2000. Local Dialogue is now one of the UK’s leading stakeholder engagement and consultation specialists, with offices in London, Leeds and Exeter.

Mark is currently actively involved in projects for a diverse range of private and public sector clients including National Grid, the University of Sussex, English Cities Fund, Muse Developments and Unite Student Housing. These include nationally significant infrastructure proposals on behalf of National Grid and Muse Developments’ multi-million pound scheme to regenerate Lewisham Gateway.

Mark has lived in Stockwell – where Local Dialogue is now based - for more than 20 years.

Jacqueline Cheltenham (Marketing)

I was called to the Bar in 1992 and was in practice in Criminal Law until 1998 when I left to become a lecturer on the College of Law's (now the University of Law) Bar Course. In 2004, I was appointed Director of the Bar Vocational Course and am still leading the renamed Bar Professional Training Course.
I have an interest in equipping school age children to be in the best position to make the right educational choices about their future careers and I am delighted to be a governor of the Evelyn Grace Academy so that I can assist with this.

Graham Gayle (Teaching Staff Governor)

Maureen Sheridan (Safeguarding, Secondary Phase and SEND Link Governor)

All my adult life I worked in training and development, as well as being the mother to five boys I am now grandmother to thirteen and a great grandmother of two. I am Legal guardian of Two boys and a Girl who are aged between twelve and fifteen.

I believe passionately in the potential of schools to transform the lives of children and young people, and that every child deserves the best possible education, I am committed and feel strongly about improving the quality of education for our children also to support inclusive education for all members of the school community.  I have the willingness to contribute my skills, knowledge and experience to help the schools to provide the best education for all members of the school community and to improving standards in the school

Sandy Sutherland (Finance Link Governor)

I am a tax consultant by profession. In parallel to my working life among international corporate structures, I have an interest in English History, and English schools in particular. I share Ark’s vision for providing an outstanding education for all the students at its academies, and support as best I can, the sterling efforts at Evelyn Grace.

Meera Chadha (Ark Link Governor)

Meera is currently Head of Operations for Assembly, an education data venture established by Ark and NEON.

Prior to this Meera worked at innovation charity Nesta, supporting youth-focused social innovations to scale and grow their impact. She also established Cities of Service in the UK, helping councils increase the impact of volunteering in their city working with Chief Executives, Council Staff, Councillors and community partners.

In previous roles, Meera led Future First's inaugural #backtoschoolweek campaign and worked with London Early Years Foundation and The Social Investment Consultancy. She spent 4 years as a consultant at Ernst & Young where she managed major transformation programmes for public sector, commercial and non-profit clients.

Meera is a trustee for In2Science, a mentor with Teach First and was in the Victory Ceremonies team for the London 2012 Games. She has been a trustee for READ International and EdAngels, an advisory board for education start-ups

David Gorton (Associate Governor)

After spending two years in international marketing management, I started trading the financial market in 1986. I have held several senior management positions in large international banks including Head of Trading for HSBC Americas and Head of European Proprietary Trading at JP Morgan. Since 2002 I have run my own Hedge Fund.


LGB Name Term Dates Gov type and Term Relevant declarations of interest                 

Attendance at meetings 2015/16


Richard Brent 01/05/2012 Ark Nominated


4 out of 6

Mark Brown 25/03/2013 Ark Nominated
  1. Managing director, Local Dialogue Limited
  2. Director, Local Dialogue Limited
  3. Liveryman, Worshipful Company of Gardeners
  4. Member Chartered Institute of Public Relations

6 out of 6

Jacqueline Cheltenham 01/09/2014 Ark Nominated
  1. Spouse is the Director of SEN for Harris Academy Crystal Palace

6 out of 6

Richard de Friend 01/09/2014 Chair
  1. Trustee: Justice; Hubbard Scholarship Scheme; University of Law Scholarship Fund

6 out of 6

Jenny Fuller 01/10/2014 Non-Teaching Staff
  1. Learning Support Mentor - Evelyn Grace Academy

1 out of 6

Graham Gayle 01/10/2014 Teaching Staff


6 out of 6

Devon Hanson 01/09/2012 Principal


6 out of 6

Maureen Sheridan 01/01/2013 Parent


6 out of 6

Sandy Sutherland 01/05/2012 Ark Nominated
  1. Interim Financial Controller, Tax and Partner Financial Affairs, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

6 out of 6

Louise Thomas (former) 01/11/2014 - 31/10/1017 Local Authority Rep
  1. Employment: Department for International Development

6 out of 6

Meera Chadha 10/11/2016 Ark Link    
*David Gorton 01/03/2015 Associate Governor    

All appointments are made by the Governance Manager for Ark Schools.  The term of a governor is three years, except for the Principal, who remains a governor for the duration of his time in post.

*David Gorton, Founding Partner, continues to support Evelyn Grace Academy as an Associate Governor, from March 2015