Welcome from Professor Lucie Green, Chair of Governors

As Chair of Governors of The UCL Academy I am delighted to be part of a school that is providing new and exciting educational opportunities for our students. The vision of the Governing Body is that each child will fulfil their potential and become a confident and articulate citizen, and that our staff are supported to flourish in their careers. We are part of the Camden family of schools and as such seek to support the whole borough.

University College London (UCL) was founded on principles of equality and access to education for all.  Today, the wider UCL and The UCL Academy family are able to work together to build on these principals. In addition, areas such as curriculum development, academic excellence and careers advice all benefit from a broad range of activities that are run between The UCL Academy and UCL. We are exploring new ways for universities and schools to collaborate in order to improve the outcomes for all our students and provide a rewarding environment for all our staff to work in.

I welcome any comments or enquiries from parents and can be contacted via the Clerk to the Governors through the Academy reception: [email protected] 

About the Governing Body

The Governing Body of The UCL Academy is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Academy, holding the Co-Principals to account for the educational performance of students and performance of staff, and overseeing the financial performance of the Academy and ensuring its money is well spent.

Governors serve a term of four years and subject to remaining eligible to be a particular type of governor, any governor may be re-appointed or re-elected. It is made up of up to ten UCL sponsor-appointed governors, one co-principal, two parent governors, two staff governors and one local authority representative from Camden Council.

The Governing Body meets five times per year. The following committees also meet a minimum of three times per year, to provide further focus on key strategic areas of the Academy:

  • Admissions
  • Finance, Audit and Risk
  • Staffing
  • Curriculum and Standards

For the Academy Trust’s Scheme of Delegation, click here.

Please also see the Academy Trust’s Funding Agreement and Articles of Association

Governing Body meeting minutes are available upon request. 

Governors on the Governing Body:

Professor Lucie Green – Chair of Governors; Appointed January 2018. Governor for Data and Pupil Premium; Member of the Finance and Audit Committee; Member of the Governing Body since September 2009.

Lucie is a Royal Society University Research Fellow based at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL’s Department of Space and Climate Physics, where she studies activity in the atmosphere of our nearest star, the Sun. Her commitment to education in the widest sense is the reason she became a governor at the UCL Academy. She believes that education of the highest quality should be available to all and that universities should engage with their communities to support younger learners.

Simon McBride Principal


 Julia Balfour-Lynn Sponsor Appointed Governor; Careers Link Governor; Personal Development Link Governor; Member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee; Appointed 1 February 2022.

Julia is a Solicitor who lives locally and is a graduate of UCL. She worked for many years in private practice as a fraud litigation Partner in a City law firm. She then became the firm’s Managing Partner with responsibility for driving financial performance, business development, people management, and the firm’s corporate social responsibility programme. Since leaving her role, she has been active in the third sector, volunteering with various charitable organisations helping unemployed and disadvantaged individuals (many of them young people) to get into work.

Ajith Das Sponsor Appointed Governor; Chair of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee; Governor for Fundraising and Growth; Appointed February 2022.

Ajith Das is the Head of EU Engineering Planning & Automation with Amazon Transportation system. His team is responsible for the project delivery of engineering infrastructure for the middle mile network of Amazon in the EU. Prior to this he has also worked as an engineer in the Oil & Gas industry. Ajith has done his Bachelor of Technology from India and Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Columbia University, New York.  Ajith has experience of strategic leadership, operations management, change management, financial planning  and organisational growth. Coming from a family with three generations of educators, Ajith is passionate about holistic education with a focus on skill sets required to lead a happy and successful life.

Wendy Feher Sponsor Appointed Governor; Member of the Admissions and Staffing committee; Appointed 1 Sept 2023.

Wendy Feher is an independent consultant in the areas of business development, corporate client relationship development, leadership development, culture transformation, new technologies and social impact. Wendy served as a founding team member of DoinGud, a social impact & blockchain start-up, and has worked at London Business School, Yahoo and USA Today where she served in B2B sales and growth of corporate client relationships. While at London Business School, Wendy and her team successfully sold, designed and implemented one of the largest-ever leadership and culture change programmes. The programme supported ING Bank’s transformation from traditional bank to a global fintech. The collaboration went on to win an Europe-wide award for excellence in organisational transformation. Alongside her corporate career, Wendy consistently committed her efforts to build the confidence and competence of young people. Wendy was a co-founder of a career-readiness nonprofit (New York, USA) for senior school and university students. She has supported early career professionals with an emphasis on increasing diversity at the upper levels of organisations. Wendy earned her BA from Brandeis University (Boston, MA, USA) and MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management (Evanston, IL, USA).

Jasper GreenAppointed Co-Opted Governor; Chair of the Staffing Committee; Member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee; Appointed 14 July 2023.

Jasper Green is Associate Professor (Teaching) and Head of Initial Teacher Education at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. At UCL, Jasper leads IOE’s initial teacher education programmes which educate around 1,000 teachers a year, in partnership with around 500 schools, colleges and early years settings. Prior to joining IOE, Jasper worked in a number of leadership roles in education. He was an HMI at Ofsted where he led the work on Ofsted’s Science Research Review and Subject Report. Jasper studied Biology at the University of Oxford, has a MA in Science Education from King’s College London and PhD from the University of York. He began his career as a science teacher working in London schools.

Charla Incedal Staff Governor; Member of the Staffing Commitee; Appointed 24 January 2024.

As a cover supervisor, I am deeply committed to prioritizing the wellbeing of our teaching staff, ensuring a fair and supportive workplace environment. My ultimate goal is to achieve academic excellence and create a positive school experience for our students. I firmly believe that the success of our academy hinges on the wellbeing of our staff. I am dedicated to supporting them in every way possible. With my passion for education and unwavering commitment to staff wellbeing, I am confident that together we can create a thriving and successful school community.

Alison Kelly – Local Authority Governor; Member of the Finance and Audit Committee; EDI Link Governor; Appointed September 2013.

Alison has been a governor at the UCL Academy since 2013, nominated by Camden Council. Alison was employed in senior roles in public bodies for many years, working with families with children with special needs, managing all services to children and young people in an inner London borough and then in the Audit Commission where she became Head of Governance. Before becoming an education officer, Alison worked with the government, the Open University and CIPFA on developing materials for school governors. She also had a weekly column in the Times Education Supplement for several years. Alison has always lived in Camden and has chaired various Camden schools, including secondary, primary, special and nursery schools. Alison is an active trustee of a human rights charity and of a national institute for group psychotherapy. Alison is a devoted and adoring grandparent.

Jessica Learmond-Criqui Sponsor Appointed Governor; Link Governor for HR/Recruitment; Link Governor for Pastoral and Student Wellbeing; Member of the Staffing Committee; Member of the Admissions Committee; Appointed July 2012.

Jessica has served on the Governing Body of the UCL Academy since September 2012. As a mother of two young children, one of whom is about to enter secondary education, Jessica is interested in the education system and the link between the ability to develop children to reach their maximum potential through education and the realisation of their career and lifetime goals and aspirations. She is passionate about securing high standards of achievement across all areas of the curriculum and in the provision of an enriched and inclusive education for all while exploring the particular advantages which UCL as a sponsor can bring to the Academy. Jessica is a solicitor specialising in employment and business immigration.

Elshaymaa Molokhia – Parent Governor; Vice-Chair of Governors; Chair of the Curriculum and Standards Committee. Link Governor for Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Link Governor for Behaviour; Appointed November 2020.

Elshaymaa is a parent of four children, three of which currently attend The UCL Academy (Levels 3, 2 and 1). The fourth child graduated from The UCL Academy last year and is now continuing his studies at university. Elshaymaa is an art teacher with both BA and MA degrees in Fine Arts and a PGCE in teaching. She has taught art at Richmond College and has also worked as a PR consultant at UNESCO.
Elshaymaa is passionate about education and has gained extensive experience as a governor in Camden schools over the past 14 years. She has held the positions of Chair and   Vice-chair of the Governing Board at Beckford Primary School and Vice-chair of the Governing Board at Haverstock Secondary School. Elshaymaa supported both schools through 3 successful Ofsted inspections and 3 successful headship appointments. Elshaymaa believes that the key to providing our students at The UCL Academy with a unique, world-class education is effective and collaborative working relationships between stakeholders; sponsor, trustees, governors, staff, parents, students and the local community.

Hannah Opoku-Mensah Staff Governor; Member of the Staffing Commitee; Appointed 9 January 2024.

I am a Psychology teacher who has worked in a range of schools across inner London. I am committed to serve as a mediator and advocate for the wellbeing of our teaching staff, ensuring a fair and supportive workplace. Collaboratively, we can navigate challenges and celebrate achievements, working towards a shared vision of academic excellence and a positive school experience for our students.
My primary motivation is to contribute to the overall success of our academy by prioritising the wellbeing of all stakeholders and fostering a collaborative environment. I am confident that my passion for education, strategic mind-set, and commitment to the development of our school community will facilitate progression for all.

Philip QuinnParent Governor; Member of the Curriculum Committee; SEND Link Governor; Link Governor for Parental Link and Communications; Four year term from 5 December 2022.

Philip has three children including one at the UCL Academy. He lives locally and loves investing in this community. He is serves as a governor at New End Primary, is a pastor at London Community Church and works as Deputy Director at a community charity in west London. The charity he helps to lead is focused on empowering, supporting and integrating migrant communities.

Ian Rowe – Sponsor Appointed Governor; Member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee; Appointed 5 July 2023.

Ian is an Order Management Analyst at Capital Group, supporting investment professionals on the operational aspects of portfolios as well as working towards implementing long-term strategic changes. Prior to this, he worked in compliance roles at PIMCO & Invesco and received a degree in Accounting & Finance from the University of the West of England, Bristol. Ian is passionate about students’ access to a well-rounded education that will equip them with skills for life.

Val Russell – Sponsor Appointed Governor; Member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee; Safeguarding Link Governor; Appointed February 2024.

I have lived in Camden for 40 years. I qualified as a teacher in 1972, and have worked in various senior roles, including as a SENCo, and in the field of School/Industry links. I am now retired, but busier than ever with my interests in art, reading, and voluntary work.

Governing Body parent updates 2023/24 will be available here in due course.

For the Governing Body Meeting Attendance in 2022/23, please click here.

Members of the Academy Trust

Members of the Academy Trust are appointed by the sponsor, UCL (University College London). The role of the Academy Trust Members is distinct from those of the Governors; they do not play a role in the strategic direction or day to day management of the Academy, but they have responsibility for a small number of significant decisions, as detailed in the Memorandum and Articles of Association, primarily to ensure the accountability of the Governing Body. The Chair of Governors is a member of the Academy Trust, as stipulated in the Academy’s Articles of Association. 

The Academy Trust members meets bi-annually with the governors, and the current members are:

  • Professor Anthony Smith – Chair of the Academy Trust (appointed 2 February 2015)
  • Professor Lucie Green (appointed 9 January 2018)
  • Dr Clare Goudy (appointed 2 February 2015)
  • Professor Norbert Pachler (appointed 3 July 2018)
  • Amy Lightstone (appointed 1 September 2022)

For the Register of Interests of current Governors and members of the Academy Trust click here.

The following governors left the governing board at the end of their term of Office in the last 12 months.
Clare Brooks – 31 Aug 2023
Johann Kamper – 31 Aug 2023
Caroline Holding – 18 October 2023
Kitty Benzecry – 6 December 2023
Matthew Swales – 6 December 2023
Helen Connor – 28 March 2024
Jean Saillard – 24 April 2024