Board of Directors



MR JULIAN DUTNALL (CEO/Director of Secondary)

Julian studied Law at Exeter University and qualified as a barrister in 1996. After a year working as a Crown Prosecutor he completed a PGCE at Anglia Ruskin University and began teaching. He has taught in 5 state schools in 3 local authorities. At Chelmsford County High he was Deputy Headteacher when the school was graded Outstanding by Ofsted and gained the highest GCSE results in England in the January league tables.  He is in his 7th year as Headteacher at Frances Bardsley Academy, a Good school with Outstanding features.  Julian holds a 1st Class honours degree in English, a Masters in Educational Leadership and the NPQH. He is a Committee Member of the Association of State Girls Schools, has chaired the cross phase Havering Education Strategic Partnership and writes for the National Education Trust.



Ann is a Qualified Accountant (FCCA retired) and worked in the NHS for 40 years, 20 years in Director of Finance or equivalent posts at board level. Ann has experience of provider services (NHS trusts), commissioner services and strategic management (most recent appointment was a Director of Finance for NE London Strategic Health Authority). Familiar with structural change (10 different structural reorganisations during career) - ranging from consensus management, general management to purchaser/provider splits, directly managed units and NHS Trusts.

Ann’s responsibilities have extended beyond financial management to include (in different jobs) IT, Estates, Capital projects (including PFI), Contracting (as a provider), Commissioning, Performance management (A&E waiting times and Elective Waiting times), and Family Practitioner services and Ann also participated in risk management committees and audit committees.  Ann spent three years acting as professional adviser to RCN remuneration committee and was awarded an OBE for services to the NHS and community in NE London.

Ann is also on the Governing Body at FBA with over 20 years’ experience as a school governor, including acting as Responsible Officer (Finance) and Vice Chair of governors. Part of a small governor group that worked on a school PFI project (resulting in consolidating the school onto a single site) and on a steering group overseeing conversion to academy status. Experience of dealing with school HR issues, including appointments, grievances and complaints.  Ann is retired but undertakes part time voluntary work in another local secondary school (mainly linked to SEND students). And is qualified as a level 2 LSA post retirement.



Michael holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies from London Guildhall University and Practitioner accreditation in Managing Successful Programmes.  Michael was a manager in the Met Police for 31 years until retirement in 2011.  The post included managing teams in specialist areas such as analysing accident claims and injury liabilities to assess accuracy of data on criminal records and arrest and conviction reports.  Michael was a Business Manager for the police in the Borough of Tower Hamlets involving, among other things, budget control, recruitment, promotion, discipline and oversight of the local estate and Michael has experience of chairing various HR related boards.

At a more senior level, he was a Programme Manager on corporate change programmes such as Met Police Modernisation, balancing the demands of local community expectations for safer neighbourhood teams against the more specialist requirements such as anti-terrorism, sexual offences and fraud.  Michael became Director of Business Strategy setting out annual and longer term strategic business plans in conjunction with the Senior Leadership Team at the Met, the Metropolitan Police Authority and latterly the Mayor's Office.

Since he retired from the Met in 2011, Michael has joined the Parent Staff Association at Frances Bardsley and chaired this group until he became a Parent Governor in 2014.  As a Governor he has recently been elected Chair of the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee and is also the link Governor for attendance.



After reading law at University and winning a scholarship to the Bar, Sophia was called to the Bar in 2001.  Sophia has developed a successful career as a commercial lawyer, both in-house and in private practice working with US multinational utility companies and also acted for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Ltd on the procurement of telecommunications and technology infrastructure for the 2012 Olympics.

Sophia is qualified as a solicitor and also holds an International Practice Diploma in Intellectual Property Law. Sophia is Vice President and Head of Legal at Colt, a multinational technology company headquartered in London.



Toni is a management consultant and currently a Doctoral Researcher and Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy (UK) at Manchester Metropolitan University.  As former International Director of one of the UK’s largest NGOs, she has specialist experience in social development policy reviews, national programme management (including child care/ safeguarding protocols and young people’s participation). Much of this work entailed working linkages across the private, public and third sectors. Having worked as an Independent Consultant, her background spans: high level missions with ministries, corporate through to small enterprises, local government and town partnerships. These initiatives often helped to support local governance and business enterprise for social transformation. 

Toni is a recipient of a Government of Canada Presidential Star Award (CIDA, 2005). As a former Consultant Coordinator to the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (Eastern Caribbean), Toni has worked extensively with international Donors (including: DfID, UNDP, UNICEF, the OAS and the Inter-American Development Bank).  Her most recent work on youth enterprise and non-formal learning in the UK was included in an EU funded (SALTO) publication (2014). Toni is very accustomed to cross-cultural settings and maintains an active research interest in relational

business models and youth enterprise.



Louise is a consultant and trainer working in a variety of settings across the world, many of which are schools.  Her current activities include leading HR consultancy for a federation of schools in an inner London borough, training and development activities, safeguarding audits, policy development, support and advice.  Louise has strong relationships with many schools across the country and regularly supports them with employment issues and safeguarding activities.  She also works with solicitors, doctors, social workers and other professionals in safeguarding.

She has worked at senior levels for over 20 years and was for a number of years a trustee of YMCA training.  Louise has successfully developed child protection strategies for many third sector organisations and gained much of her experience in this area, whilst a director of a high profile youth development charity.  She also supports voluntary organisations with training, audit and consultancy activity and currently works with a large London based young learners’ training provider.  Louise is a director of Graffam Consulting Ltd a leading consultancy focused on safeguarding and learning and development.

Louise holds a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management Practice and is particularly interested in learning and management.  She is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and often combines her child protection expertise with specific HR activities, particular in support schools with allegations made against staff, senior team recruitment processes and in formulating staff documentation.

Her interim and management consultancy work has included major change management projects for national and international organisations focusing on people and organisational culture.  Louise is also the independent reviewer for the Bishop of Chelmsford, scrutinising personnel and clergy files in line with current statutory requirements and is the safeguarding adviser to the national Cathedral and Choir Schools Safeguarding Group.


MR DAVID DENCHFIELD (Director of Primary)

After working in banking for 5 years, David returned to full time education where he completed a BA (Hons) in Business Studies. Following this, he undertook a PGCE and began teaching in primary education. David has taught in 6 state schools in two authorities. Whilst working as Deputy Headteacher at Great Berry Primary in Essex, the school was graded Outstanding for the first time and is widely recognised as a lead primary in Basildon. The school also successfully converted to an academy during this time.

Upon completion of the NPQH, David was awarded his first headship at Benhurst Primary. Within his first year of headship, David successfully led the school from Requires Improvement to Good. Three years on, the school is now firmly working towards Outstanding. In 2014, Benhurst’s excellent work was recognised and the school expanded from 1½ FE to 2FE. Benhurst Primary is now widely known for its forward-thinking ethos and has worked extensively with many local, national and international schools and businesses in its constant drive for excellence. David also held the position of Executive Headteacher for another local school during a period of prolonged absence of the substantive Headteacher.

David is an active member of the local Cluster group, has been a governor in four schools and holds a position on the Schools’ Funding Forum for Havering.



Principal and Chief Executive Havering College of Further and Higher Education

Born in Hull, Yorkshire Maria studied languages at the University of Bath before going on to gain her Masters in Marketing at Humberside University. 

Maria Thompson joined Havering College of Further and Higher Education in July 2001 as Director of Studies for Business & Management and was appointed as Vice Principal with responsibility for the Curriculum, Quality and Student Achievement in January 2003 and in 2008 was appointed as Deputy Principal. In January 2012 Maria was appointed Principal Designate and took up her role as Principal in September 2012.

Prior to this Maria worked at Hull College as Director of Customer Services and Head of the Business Faculty. Before she entered education Maria had 10 years’ experience of working for large blue chip international companies in the areas of Business Development and Marketing.  She is a published author in the areas of Business and European Studies.Learning.