Meet Our Governors


Sara Fox

Sara has several years experience as a Hackney School Governor, with responsibility for keeping an overview of the development of the new building utilising her experience of construction and project management skills and experience. In her professional role she provides advice on all aspects of property development including planning, design, construction, and fit-out. Sara managed all aspects of Swiss Re’s Foster-designed building in the City of London (The Gherkin), including construction and fit-out; selecting and managing interior design firms; dealing with all external relations regarding the building (planning authorities, local community, government agencies, etc.) and managing all media and communications issues.            

andreaAndrea Klettner

Andrea worked as news editor at Building Design magazine. She has also written about architecture and design for the Evening Standard. She is editor of the social housing blog Love London Council Housing, and has written for publications including the Times, Architects’ Journal, Construction News and New Civil Engineer. Andrea speaks regularly about social housing on BBC Radio London and at events including Clerkenwell Design Week and 100% Design. She has taught at the Royal College of Art and has been a visiting critic at London Metropolitan University and the University for the Creative Arts. Her areas of expertise include digital, social media, editorial and copywriting. Andrea speaks fluent German and is a Hackney resident.

James Gowland (Chair Of Governors)


James is a qualified accountant and finance director for a firm based in Canary Wharf.  He has two children at Orchard primary school.  James has several years experience as a  school governor at schools.


Hannah Lownsbrough


Hannah is a consultant working on campaigns in the UK and internationally.  Recently, she has worked on international trade with, helped to train campaigners with ActionAid International, and authored a report on the future of campaigns with Save the Children International. She was previously a member of the founding team of 38 Degrees, and before that was an education researcher with the thinktank Demos. She is on the board of a youth organisation called Envision, and lives in Hackney.



Cllr Ian Rathbone

Ian Rathbone has been a councillor for Lea Bridge ward since 2002 and has worked hard to build up the community and improve the environment in the ward, from Millfields Park and the River Lea to Clapton Pond and Pond House. He has been a school governor in Hackney for more than 30 years, and been Chair of Governors of several primary schools, with children who came through Hackney Schools. He has been a lecturer and Trainer in Journalism with the National Council for Training of Journalists (NCTJ). He is also chair of Hackney Community Law Centre and campaigning to improve legal aid services and general advice in the borough.



 Kay Richardson

Kay has a background in media and has worked for national newspapers. She has a good knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the governing body and strong communication skills. Kay is the vice chair of Friends of Orchard. Kay works in a number of local community organisations. She liases with Hackney Council, the Mayor of London and local businesses, helping reinvigorate the local economy by creating an innovative community market which celebrates diversity and encourages youth engagement. She is passionate about art and culture, and runs children’s art workshops.



Alberta Senyah

Alberta has worked in schools for over 12 years in an administrative function. She has two children aged 10 and 14, and has worked at both Orchard & Southwold Schools. She has a strong knowledge of both schools communities.



Richard Allen

Richard has been a Hackney primary school governor since 2006 and a Hackney resident for 21 years. Beginning as a parent governor at Southwold he has been an active and enthusiastic participant in the transition to the Federation. Richard works in organizational development and consultancy at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. Much of his working life has been spent working for organizations directly associated with children’s services and learning disability. This includes a period with Barnardos and, as Director of the Parenting Fund which was aimed at strengthening parent support services. Of his three children two are at inner London secondary schools.



Sara Walsingham

Sara has worked in Hackney education for over 20 years. She has excellent communication skills and is the main schools finance expert in Hackney Council. She has knowledge & understanding of the role of the governing body having served as a clerk several years ago. She has excellent general knowledge of education and schools.


l  Lenna Marson  


Lenna has been a proactive parent of Southwold for over 7 years and a member of the existing Governing body since 2014. She has completed a number of courses, which have enabled her to gain the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to make a difference as a governor. She has good communication skills and a strong interest in both community matters and in the education of children. She has extensive experience working with children in schools and is the parent of 3 boys aged 7 to 21.


 Claudia Moreirac


Claudia is a parent at Hoxton Garden School. She has a good knowledge of strategic planning, financial and administrative systems and the roles and responsibilities of the Governing  body. She speaks Portuguese and Spanish fluently in addition to English. Claudia has a strong interest in the education system and is the parent of a child in Year 2.



Stephen Hallsh

Stephen is the Executive Headteacher of Hoxton Garden, Orchard and Southwold Schools and a National Leader of Education. He has worked as a senior leader in schools for over 12 years, in Hackney for 7 years and was previously an advanced skills teacher specialising in primary mathematics and behaviour management. Stephen has also worked as a schools improvement adviser and is a registered Ofsted Inspector.


Laura Theobold


Laura was a Teach First secondary school English teacher before taking up a position as a management consultant in the financial services people and change sector. Laura currently works in a large UK retail bank, where she has gained extensive experience of currilcum planning and training design in a regulated environment.