Trustees' & Members' Biographies

Emily Arries

Co-opted Trustee

Emily is a financial services risk management professional, with a specialism in financialCapture crime risk, audit, governance and regulatory compliance.  She has a Bsc Business Management degree from the University of Manchester and during her career has obtained formal qualifications, including becoming a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and Certified Cyber Risk Officer (CCRO).

Currently, Emily is Manager of a Governance & Assurance Risk team within HSBC.  Emily has held previous positions of employment at large financial institutions, including Senior Financial Crime Consultant at Wells Fargo Bank and Associate Director, Financial Crime Compliance at Standard Chartered Bank.

Emily is passionate about using her professional skills to support the local community and Trust.  Emily is a Trustee and member of the Buildings, Finance and Resource Committee.

Carol Buchanan

Co-opted Trustee – Link Trustee for SEND 

Carol worked as a teacher in both primary and secondary schools in London for 16 years, before moving to Kingston in 1989 as the Advisory Teacher for Special Educational Needs (SEN). CarolCapture became the Inspector for SEN in West Sussex and then returned to Kingston into the same position and went on to become the Strategic Lead for Inclusion in both Kingston and Richmond. This leadership role incorporated SEND, vulnerable pupils at risk of exclusion, Looked After Children as well as pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Carol has also been a School Improvement Partner for many years, in Primary/ Secondary and Special Schools. This role required Carol to provide support and challenge to schools, senior leaders and governing bodies to raise standards.

Carol has now retired, but remains an external School Improvement Partner at a pupil referral unit and works as an Educational Consultant from time to time. Carol is a member of the Curriculum, Performance and Standards Committee and has oversight of the school’s provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Looked after Children, as the lead trustee in these areas.


Sue Conder

Co-opted Trustee and Safeguarding Lead

Sue has lived in the Kingston area for 20 years and spent 8 years as a Parent Governor in a local outstanding Primary School. During this time she held the positions of Vice Chair and Chair, sheCapture joined the Kingston Educational Trust as a Community Trustee in October 2013.

Sue has spent the majority of her career working within the Marketing area and is currently Senior Marketing Manager at Kingston College (now known as South Thames Colleges Group).

Sue is Vice Chair of the Trust board and the link Trustee for safeguarding. Sue is also the Vice Chair of the TKA Local Academy Committee.

Jennifer Edwards

Member Representative for Kingston University


Jen Edwards is the Director of Public Affairs and Insight and Acting Head of Brand Communications at Kingston University.

Fleur Kitchingman

Co-opted Trustee

Fleur is a Trustee and member of the Buildings, Finance and Resource Committee.Image001

Fleur is a seasoned lawyer with over 25 years of experience in the legal field mainly in corporate governance, compliance, corporate and commercial law.  Fleur has spent her career to date working for law firms as well as for a large construction company, where she led a legal team as well as being a member of the executive leadership team responsible for all aspects
of the business such as strategic planning, business development and
business operations.

Fleur has a keen interest in SEN, having lived experience of bringing up two children with SEN.  Fleur now serves as the Chair of TAG, a charity dedicated to supporting disabled young people and their families in the local community, championing inclusivity and accessibility.

Fleur is passionate about supporting her local community and using her business skills and networks, as well as her governance and lived personal experience, to benefit the Trust and its schools.


Andy Hudson

Co-opted Trustee and Chair of the TKA Local Academy Committee

Andy was born in Birmingham, England, and educated at Five Ways Grammar School, University of Wales and Institute of Education University of London. He lives in East London. He is a fellow ofCapture the Royal Society of Arts and a Freeman of the City of London.

Andy was most recently Associate Dean for Education Partnerships in the Faculty of Health Social Care and Education at Kingston University (2014-2017) and has worked all his professional life in Education.

Andy retired in 2017 after a career spanning over 40 years, as a school teacher, an author and editor of educational materials, as a researcher into International policies for children and as  a teacher educator for over 20 years.

He worked initially as a secondary school teacher in Hackney, rising to become Head of the large Humanities Faculty at Haverstock School in Camden and then following a period in educational publishing and international consultancy Andy moved into teacher education in 1990 securing a senior position at the Institute of Education at the University of London.

From 1993 Andy co-directed the largest secondary teacher education programme in the country at that time. This was followed by a period leading the education team at Greenwich University and then a move to become Head of the School of Education at Kingston in 2004. The School gained ‘Outstanding’ from OFSTED in respect of its Primary education work and achieved and held a top 5 Guardian League table position.

Andy has always worked on innovation with pre-service and serving teachers at home and abroad, has lectured widely and written extensively on educational issues. He is a passionate educationalist. The Kingston Academy offers an opportunity to bring so much of this ambition together in one glorious project of benefit to children and the local community.

Andy loves travel, music, theatre and film, wild gardens and fine wine. He is pleased to be able to offer support to the arts and humanities in the new school.

Any states that: “This is the most exciting project I have been lucky enough to be involved in so far, and there have been many. The opportunity to bring together the resources of the University, the College, and Royal Borough of Kingston, is a wonderful opportunity for this community and our children that I am so proud to be a part of.” 

Griseldis Kirsch

Member Representative for Royal Borough of Kingston

Dr Griseldis Kirsch is a Councillor in Royal Borough of Kingston and has lived in Kingston for many years.

Griseldis is a reader in contemporary Japanese culture at SOAS University of London.


Peter Mayhew Smith

Member Representative for Kingston College (now known as South Thames Colleges Group) and Community Trustee

Peter has worked as a Lifelong Learning practitioner for twenty-seven years now, starting out as a community education tutor in west London, where he held a succession of roles including homeCapture learning manager, creative writing co-ordinator and equal opportunities officer. He co-wrote a guide to London for people with disabilities (‘Access in London’, published by Nicholsons). He was appointed as a community education advisor to the Local Authority’s Education Committee in Richmond in 1993 and, in the same year, won a scholarship to look at workplace basic skills education in the USA.

He then moved to South Thames College and managed the Basic and Key Skills provision there while contributing to a number of local and regional projects including inspection visits for the BSA Quality Mark and the establishment in 1995 of one of the first Summer Colleges for year 11 children at risk of exclusion and under-achievement. In 1998, he wrote a ‘Guide to Careers in Further Education’, published by the Guardian Newspaper.

He went to Lewisham College in 1998 as Head of Key Skills and then, in 2002, moved into the role of Director of Faculty with a remit for General Education, Adult Education, Basic and Key Skills, ESOL, learning disabilities and learning support. In 2005, he led the College’s successful bid for the provision of learning to offenders in South London. In 2006, Lewisham College’s provision was graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

At the end of 2006, he became vice-Principal for Quality and Curriculum Development at Lewisham College, overseeing all of the College’s assurance and improvement arrangements, including teacher training and learning and development.

In Summer 2009, he was appointed as the new Principal of Kingston College and took up post there in April 2010. In December 2011, Government agreed that Kingston and Carshalton Colleges could share a Principal under their proposed Federation and Peter became Principal of both Colleges from that time on, forming the first College group of its kind and overseeing £45m-worth of learning in south-west London. In 2013 Kingston College was graded ‘Good’ by Ofsted for the first time ever and Carshalton equally achieved its first-ever ‘Good’ grade from Ofsted in 2014.

Peter oversaw the three college merger in August 2017 between Kingston , Carshalton and South Thames Colleges to form the South Thames Colleges Group and was appointed as Group Principal and CEO from August 2017. In February 2019 South Thames Colleges Group was graded ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

Peter chairs the Trust’s Buildings, Finance and Resources committee and is the Health and Safety Lead.

Dean Morley

Community Trustee

Dean is currently Director of Human Resources for Richmond University, a private liberal arts university and the only UK University able to award joint UK and US degrees. Dean has executive levelCapture responsibility for the full range of people, estates and IT strategies, policies and programmes within the university.
Dean’s senior level HR experience spans over 30 years, gained across private, public and higher education sectors and includes:

  • HR Director for Kingston University, Royal College of Art and Richmond University
  • Head of HR for HM Prison Service, Pension Disability & Carers Service, Dept for Work & Pensions, Home Office, Pearl Assurance and NatWest
  • Strategic reward consultancy assignments for Loughborough and Middlesex universities.

Dean’s areas of expertise include strategic workforce planning; organisational mergers; reward & recognition; cultural change & development; designing & developing People Strategies and revitalising & refocussing HR teams. Dean is also now currently leading all people, estates and IT projects in relation to the University’s forthcoming campus move.

Within the HE sector, Dean has served as Chair, M25 HR Directors group and Vice Chair, UHR. Dean is also a regular speaker at national and international HE events and has led reward projects recognised as CIPD Awards Finalists.

Dean is professionally qualified, holding both Chartered Fellow CIPD and an MSc (Distinction) in Strategic HRM. He is also accredited in the full range of Human Synergistic cultural transformation and leadership tools.

Outside of work Dean is a regular marathon runner, having completed over 30 marathons world-wide.

Dean is a member of the Trust Board’s Buildings, Finance and Resources Committee.



Saphina Sharif

Community Trustee

Saphina is a trustee, appointed by the Members and sits on the Fern Hill Local AcademyCapture Committee.  Prior to joining Kingston Educational Trust she was a governor at Fern Hill and had two daughters at the school.

She is a qualified Project Manager, having spent most of her career to date working for a global engineering consultancy.  As well as working on several multi-discipline projects, including project managing the London2012 enabling works project, she has experience in business development and planning.

Saphina is passionate about supporting her community and using her business skills in strategy, project and change management to benefit the Trust and its schools.  She is also a committee member of the North Kingston Forum and of Friends of Latchmere Rec., as well as an active STEM Ambassador.

Baljit Thatti

Community Trustee

Baljit Kaur Thatti is married and has recently become a mother to a son. She has more than 10 years’ experience working in higher education as an academic in Chemistry. During this time, she hasCapture played an active role in reaching out to school and college learners to challenge career stereotypes that exist within STEM subjects. She is a great advocate of inclusion as the thread that should run through everything we do and has been involved in national level projects that ensure diversity is valued.

She has used her passion and her own lived experiences of being the first generation in higher education to ensure that learners are aware of the full range of careers and opportunities of lifelong learning that exist.

Some of her other interests include utilising professional societies and bodies to increase awareness of STEM subjects, and as such Baljit sits on several national and international professional subject knowledge committees.

Baljt is a member of  The Kingston Academy Local Academy Committee.


Sean Weston

Community Trustee

Sean Weston is a RIBA registered Architect. He has lived in Ham for over fifteen years and is married with two children.

Sean’s architectural career has principally focused on a social agenda including new schools, residential developments and healthcare facilities.Capture

He is passionate about his role within KET  and is keen to lend his knowledge and experience to help deliver the Trust’s vision.  Alongside Sean’s core architectural skillset of creative problem solving, he also possesses skills that cover Employee Relations, Recruitment and Training and Development.

When not in his practice Sean has a passion for travelling with his family, is a coach for Kew Park Rangers Football Club and is a keen runner who can often be seen on the Richmond Park circuit and running home from work.


Graham Willett

Community Trustee, Chair of the Trust Board

Graham has been involved in Kingston Educational Trust from the inception of the project in 2009 and he was the lead proposer when the application was made in 2012 to the Department ofCapture Education to open a free school on The North Kingston Centre site. The Kingston Academy opened in 2015.

Since November 2015 Graham has been developing his own business, Scholis Education Limited, an independent education consultancy. Scholis specialises in brokering the skills and expertise of highly- experienced, successful, senior professionals. Its goal is to provide support for schools, senior leaders, governing bodies and local authorities as they navigate their path through the significant changes introduced by government legislation.

Previously Graham was Director of Education Services for Achieving for Children. AfC is an innovative approach to the provision of children’s services, being a community interest company jointly owned by Kingston and Richmond councils on behalf of which it provides services. Graham was one of the senior leadership team directors. In that role he was the overall lead for all education issues within the early years to age 19 cohorts and responsible for the standards within 105 schools.

Before the formation of AfC he was the Lead School Improvement Partner within Education Kingston, a partnership between schools and Kingston Council. He was one of the original architects of the project, working with headteachers and other officers throughout 2011 on shaping it prior to its launch on April 1, 2012.

Graham has worked in Kingston since 1992. For the six years until 2012 he was a member of Kingston’s Inspection and Advisory Service, as a Link Inspector and School Improvement Partner, supporting and challenging schools to raise standards. It was while in this role that Graham first embarked on the KET project.

Prior to joining the local authority Graham taught in schools in the state sector for 25 years, mostly in senior positions. He still always describes himself as a teacher when anyone asks and he intends never to lose that perspective as he believes it most appropriately defines his approach. His particular areas of expertise in school were science teaching, ICT, curriculum planning, timetabling and leadership and management.

He believes greatly in the ability of partnerships to achieve more than the partners could alone. He also believes that the changes that we hope to see take place in our schools are more successfully realised if we start from a position from which we recognise and respect the autonomy of schools to determine their own path for improvement.

His aim always is to develop empathetic, supportive and genuine relationships with school leaders and governors based upon the same principle. He believes that working together to ensure that all children and young people are prepared and able to attend a good school is the single most effective thing we can do to support their development and well-being.

As well as being a KET trustee, Graham has been a governor at Kingston College since 2008 and was previously lead proposer and chair for The Richmond upon Thames School.