All Academy governors know what their legal responsibilities are and how these fit in with the responsibilities of the Principal, the Sponsors, the Local Authority and the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. Governors are a crucial part of how schools/academies operate. They play both a supportive role, but also one related to accountability and challenge. As Sponsors of the Academy, the City of London Corporation and City, University of London make up the vast majority of the governing body. There is, however, also representation from the community, staff, parents and the local authority. Governor’s responsibilities are listed in the Academy’s funding agreement.

The City of London Corporation offers us physical support in terms of sponsorship, but equally important are the partnerships we are forming with the schools in the City and with the business world. This Academy is a “business and enterprise” specialist. Our sponsorship allows us to make links with business, draw on the expertise of mentors, and set up work experience opportunities in the City. The links are not just to the financial world, but also through the livery companies to law and accounting. Equally important is our link to City University London which offers another source of expertise and a range of partnership activities. All this is focused on providing our students with additional opportunities and direction, and supporting the regeneration of London boroughs. City, University of London has expended tremendous amounts of time and are committed to the success of our students. We have made strong links with the University and our students benefit from having access to one of the top universities in the country.

For further information about how to become an Academy governor, then please contact us. If you would like more general information about the role of the governor, then please click on the link below.

Governing Body Meetings

Governor Committee Attendance 2019-20 Business and Pecuinary Interests of Directors

Governing Body Members

The Full Governing Body consists of the following:

Chair of the Full Governing Body

Mr Russell Willmer

City of London Corporation

Russell graduated from Wadham College, Oxford with a First in Chemistry in 1981. From there he has spent over 35 years in the reinsurance industry in the City of London as both a broker and an underwriter. He founded the London operations of a US reinsurance company and has also been a non-executive director of a Lloyds Managing Agency. He is keen to support COLAI’s staff in their aim of delivering the best educational outcomes for the pupils and to aid the financial management of the Academy as Deputy Chair of the Personnel, Finance and Premises Committee. Russell has lived in Islington for the past 12 years and is a keen cricketer with 2 children.

Sponsor Governors


Mr Henry Colthurst

Sponsor Governor, City of London Corporation

Henry Colthurst graduated in Law from Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1980. He spent the first fifteen years of his working life as a broker in the London insurance market before making the switch to underwriting in 1995. He has managed insurance businesses with involvements around the world from London and Singapore. He continues to act as a director of two insurance businesses at Lloyd’s and was elected to Common Council in 2013 as a member for Lime Street. Henry chairs the Mossbourne Federation of schools, is chairman of the City of London Corporation Education Board and is a trustee of Governors for Schools. He has been married to Sophie since 1982 and has three children and two grandchildren.

Sanowar Khan

City, University of London

Hafiza Patel

City, University of London

Reema Khan

City, University of London

Natasha Lloyd-Owen


Natasha Lloyd-Owen is a City of London councillor and the Lead Member for Young People on the City of London Corporation’s Children and Community Services committee. 

Natasha works as a criminal barrister, lectures on Transnational Criminal Justice and is a trained community mediator.”


Mr Ronald W. Zeghibe

City, University of London

Ron has 25 years experience in leading management buyouts, startups and corporate turn-around situations. He joined Xenomorph Software Holdings Ltd., as Chairman, at the beginning of 2016 to assist its rapid growth and to help it maximize the opportunities presented by the rapidly changing regulations in the Global Capital Markets. Currently, he is also the Non Executive Chairman of The Money Cloud, a cloud based solution for the price comparison and execution of foreign exchange transactions as well as a member of the Investment Committee of New Model Venture Capital. In 2016, he became a member of the Governing Council of City, University of London. He joined the Governing Board of City of London Academy in September of 2017. Previously, he spent 8 years as the Chairman of the Friends of the Royal Academy of Art.

HHJ Philip Katz QC

City of London Corporation

Philip Katz lives and works in the City of London. After a career as a barrister working in the field of criminal law, he now sits as a permanent judge at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey).
Having himself been educated in state schools with high standards, he is committed to promoting the highest standards of education at COLAI.


Mr Peter Colet Laurie

The Worshipful Company of Saddlers


Community Governor

Mr Eric Sorensen

Community Governor

Local Authority

Vivien Cutler

Vivien was elected as a St Peter’s ward councillor in 2018 after a career of over 40 years in education and skills. Working mainly in schools in Islington and Tower Hamlets -  including a middle manager role at COLAI’s predecessor school, Islington Green – she held headships in both boroughs and was the first woman head of Highbury Grove. From there, she moved into senior positions in local authorities and also worked in the Civil Service, with a focus on learning and skills. 

She has experience both as a sixth form college and school governor and is currently a member of the governing body of the Richard Reeves Foundation. In May 2019, she was elected Chair of the Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee of Islington Council.