Chelsea Academy has an experienced Governing Board (also known as the Trustees). The governors can be contacted via the PA to the Principal, Katie Courtley. For the Governor’s Declaration of Interests and committee membership please scroll to the links at the bottom of the page.

Lady Sassoon

Chair of Governors

Bio to follow.

Ms Diana Huntingford (LDBS)

Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of Students and Curriculum Committee

Diana has over 30 years experience of working in education. For more than 15 years, she worked in a variety of schools in West London. Diana began her teaching career as a Geography teacher in Hounslow and subsequently undertook many roles in schools, including being a Deputy Headteacher at a large and very successful comprehensive school in Ealing. Diana also has extensive experience of working as an Officer for London Local Authorities. In 2001 Diana joined Kensington & Chelsea as a District Inspector and, in 2006, she was appointed Head of School Improvement and was Head of Commissioning, School Standards in the new tri-borough Education Service until September 2012. Diana has a passion and commitment for all aspects of school improvement; in Kensington and Chelsea she led a team of over thirty officers who worked in schools to help raise the standard of achievement for all groups of learners. Diana developed very good relationships with senior leaders in schools and thoroughly enjoyed working with them to improve the life opportunities of children and young people. Diana particularly liked the diversity of her work which included responding to the demands of working for a very successful and high achieving Local Authority. Diana, now retired, is married and has a daughter, a son and a stepson, all of whom are in their twenties/early thirties and pursuing different careers. Diana also relishes her role as a grandmother to two lovely grandchildren and takes delight in spending time with them whenever possible.

Ms Kate Roskell (LDBS)

Chair of Remuneration Committee

Kate has over 25 years’ experience as a secondary school teacher and leader in London, including 11 years as Headteacher of a Church of England secondary school. She is a Maths graduate and taught the subject to A level as part of her wider school responsibilities. Much of Kate’s work has been in church secondary schools within the London Diocesan Board for Schools (LDBS) family and therefore has a deep understanding of what makes an outstanding Church of England academy. Kate is now Secondary and Co-ordinating Adviser at LDBS. She works with senior school leaders and governors across the diocese supporting school effectiveness and improvement. Kate worships at St John’s Hyde Park and is a keen singer and walker.

Mr Julian Simmonds

Chair of Finance and Audit Committee

Julian Simmonds has just retired as Chair of Governors of Notting Hill and Ealing High school after 7 years where he played a key role in rebuilding and extending a major part of the school. He is also on the advisory council of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a non-executive Director of one of the largest Russian banks, VTB Capital. He read Russian and Soviet Economics at the University of Surrey. In addition to Russian, he also speaks French and German. Julian’s entire 29 year career was spent at Citigroup from which he retired in 2001. At that time, he was the Executive Vice President responsible for all the trading businesses in the developed world. He is married with 2 grown up children and has lived in Chelsea since 2007. He enjoys running and working out in the gym.

Ms Anna Birkett (RBKC)


After reading Modern Languages and Law at university, Anna qualified as a solicitor in the City and then went to business school to obtain an MBA. Her career combined a spell in management consultancy with many years of practising as a solicitor in the City where she specialised in commercial and environmental law.  For the last 10 years of her legal career as a Partner, she set up and ran the risk, compliance, ethics and knowledge management function of a large firm. She retired from full time practice in 2014.  She is Chairman of Governors of an independent girls’ secondary school and is on the Development Committee of the Royal Ballet School.  Her interests include travel, walking, football, Egyptology and ballet.

Revd Dr Brian Leathard (LDBS)


The Revd Prebendary Dr Brian Leathard was delighted to join the Governing Board of Chelsea Academy in the summer term 2014. Revd Leathard is Rector of the parish of Chelsea: St Luke and Christ Church so he lives and works in the middle of the community served by the Academy. He has been a school governor in various places, a parish priest and a university chaplain. St Luke and Christ Church’s Parish Primary School is one of the Academy’s feeder schools and Revd Leathard has enjoyed the opportunity to see the children he has known for years maturing into young adults at the Academy. When not working, the Reverend enjoys cinema and reads a lot of contemporary novels in English and German. He loves to eat new foods and to travel to new places.

Mr Matthew Williams


Matt has worked in education all his life, starting his career in Reading and then moving to work in inner London schools in Waltham Forest, Camden, Barking & Dagenham and Westminster. Matt trained to be a teacher at UEA and specialised in Geography. Matt has a passion for technology and how it can be used to enhance learning and is committed to ensuring that every student both succeeds and is happy in school. Matt currently sits on the school forum as an Academy representative and is a member of the Independent Review Process into permanent exclusions.

Mr Tim Gilchrist

Staff Governor

Tim Gilchrist is a Physics teacher at Chelsea Academy. He graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Physics. Before qualifying as a teacher in 2012, he spent 27 years as an IT and Management Consultant. He was a Partner at IBM and at Accenture, where he specialised in the automotive and finance sectors, leading multidisciplinary teams working with a range of global clients. He also spent two years as the Head of IT Strategy for National Australia Bank Europe. At Chelsea Academy, as well as teaching Physics, he indulges his interest in engineering by helping the students build an electric car.

Ms Susan Harris

Parent Governor

After graduating from Durham University with a degree in Politics and Social Policy, Sue spent thirteen years in Procurement roles, working in the furniture, travel, telecoms, and FMCG sectors.   The arrival of children in 2004 marked a change in direction, though negotiation skills are very much still required when dealing with her two boys, Jack and Luke.  When Jack started school, Sue decided to get involved in education as well, spending eight years as a Governor of a local primary school. She became a Parent Governor at Chelsea Academy in the summer of 2016, where she is keen to strengthen the links with the parent body and encourage parental involvement in school life.  As a fluent Italian speaker, Sue takes every opportunity to travel to the region of Abruzzo in central Italy, where she continues her quest to produce the perfect risotto.

Dr Eric Sie


Dr Eric Sie has taught Chemistry for over 20 years and is currently in charge of Admissions at Harrow School where he has worked for the last 17 years. Before going into his current role, Eric was the House Master of one of Harrow’s 12 boarding Houses for 9 years (being in loco parentis to 70 boys) and, prior to that, Head of Chemistry for 5 years. He has had two A-level teaching packs published. He is married with a teenage son. He enjoys keeping fit and has competed in numerous triathlons and cycle sportives.

He studied for his degree and doctorate at Imperial College, so was a resident in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for some years as a student.

Dr Mark Richards


Bio to follow.

Ms Laura Malkin

Safeguarding Governor

Laura’s career has been in education, beginning as a teacher in a bilingual classroom and eventually moving into management, administration, advisory and volunteer roles.  She currently holds various positions with institutions from primary through post graduate levels, in the UK and the US.  Laura is the recently retired Executive Chairman of the Thomas’s Schools Foundation which works with more than 40 central London primary schools and community centres, helping them to address a range of challenges. She is an experienced school governor and currently serves on the governing body of the Fox Ashburnham Primary School Federation, Alleyn’s School and Wellesley College (US) and on several advisory boards at Harvard University. Laura is married, has four children and has lived in Chelsea since 1989.  She holds a BA (Latin American Studies) from Wellesley College (USA).

Cllr Tim Ahern (RBKC)


Bio to follow.


Governors Declaration of Interests

Current Governor Committee Membership