The school will be operated by the Thomas Lucas Academy Trust which is made up of:
- High calibre and experienced education professionals
- Representatives from a long established charity for vision impaired children – Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC), formerly known as the Royal London Society for Blind People
- Technology innovators
- Committed parents passionate about creating a learning and caring school community, and supporting young people to realise their potential
Key people involved:
Smita Bora has worked in education for over 20 years and has an MBA in Strategic Management. She is Principal Designate of the International Academy of Greenwich opening in September 2016, and led her previous school, an award-winning International Academy in Westminster, to be judged as Outstanding by Ofsted in March 2013. In 2015, her academy was in the top 1% of schools in the country for progress with 80% of Sixth Form students achieving A/A* grades and above world average results in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
Florence Orban has 10 years’ experience in vocational education and training and was involved in shaping national policy in this field. She is currently on the board of the Education and Training Foundation that works with teachers, trainers, leaders and employers to help them deliver excellent standards in further and vocational education and training.
She is Director of Corporate Development at RSBC, and Director at Wayfindr, a non-profit organisation creating the benchmark in standards for digital wayfinding on mobile devices.
Beverley Gardner is the Executive Principal of the Trinitas Academy Trust. The Trust is made up of three schools; two of which are rated Good and one rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
Ian Collins is the Chief Executive of the Trinitas Academy Trust and Principal of the Trinity Church of England School, Belvedere. The Trust is made up of three schools; two of which are rated Good and one rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
Terrie Duncan has worked for over 37 years’ as a Business Manager in schools and has extensive experience in both finance and personnel management in the education sector.
David Simpson is a Senior Researcher at Nominet developing leading-edge technologies to support the internet of tomorrow. He specialises in AI, Text Engineering, and Natural Language Processing and leads projects that have the potential to deliver social or economic benefits. He has a particular interest in supporting young people to become the digital makers of the future.
Sue Sharp is Director of Services and People at RSBC and responsible for all education and community services as well as the Society’s staff and volunteers. Sue was, for two years, a governor of a secondary specialist SEND academy for students with complex learning disabilities. She is currently on the Board of Governors for RSBC’s Dorton College, a residential specialist College for vision impaired students.
Sue spent almost 20 years in the civil service where she specialised in disability, representing the government on national and international expert groups. Sue has a MSc in Inclusive Environments from the University of Reading and an MA from the University of Glasgow.
Dr Tom Pey
Dr Tom Pey is Chief Executive of RSBC. The charity has a 177 year history of educating vision impaired children, and has evolved under his leadership in more recent years to provide expert family support and a wide range of services for 0-25 year blind young people.
Dr Tom Pey was previously Director of External Affairs at Guide Dogs and President of the European Guide Dog Federation. Prior to working in the charity sector he had successful career in international investment banking.
Valerie May has over 30 years experience in education, having taught across all the key stages she discovered special education, and aged 27 became the Deputy Head of Little Heath M.L.D. school in Redbridge. Following the birth of her children she taught students on home tuition and was exposed to a variety of heart breaking situations affecting the education of everyday teenagers. This led to her founding the Beth Marie centre in Sevenoaks while working for Kent LEA.
In 1997 West Heath, the school formerly attended by Diana Princess of Wales, went into receivership on the day of her death. It was to be sold as a commercial venture, Mrs May started a campaign to keep it as a school and against 2,700 charitable ideas it was successful. The New School at West Heath was founded. Mrs May served for ten years and saw the school grow from 17 day students to 112, the maximum student roll, including 60 boarders. The young people had a variety of mental health problems but went on to achieve both educationally and socially.
Please note, more members’ details to be added soon.