Strategic Governing Body

STEP Governance

The name STEP, an acronym, reflects the aspirational nature of the organisation – Striving Together for Excellence in Partnership. Inspired by the commitment to improve children’s life chances, STEP Academies work together to provide high quality learning experiences for all their pupils.

STEP Governors

“STEP First” is the notion that, first and foremost, everyone is committed to being part of The STEP Academy Trust. All governors must be fully aligned to the Trust’s Mission and Vision. Although serving one or more particular Academies, governors are members of the wider STEP team. We are all one team, in one organisation, working towards the same goal: to be outstanding in all we do – STEP First!


STEP Governance Structure

Recent changes introduced by the Department for Education (DfE) allow academy trusts to establish a local governing body that is responsible for two or more academies.


Strategic Governing Body


The Strategic Governing Body will have a maximum of 12 Governors as follows:

  • Parent x2 (elected, ideally one from each Academy)
  • Staff x2 (Headteachers)
  • Staff x2 (elected, ideally one from each Academy)
  • STEP Governors x6
  • Temporary Co-Opted Governors (according to need)
  • A member of the Executive Management Team will also be invited to attend meetings

It is the belief of the Board of Trustees that this new governance structure, underpinned by sound principles, will make best use of our strengths, will address our challenges and will provide the framework for each of our Academies to become Outstanding at the next opportunity.


To contact our Chair of Governors, please write to our Clerk:

Lynn Bruce (Clerk to the Strategic Governing Body of La Fontaine and Heathfield  Academies)
La Fontaine Academy
Nightingale Lane
Bromley BR1 2SQ

You can also contact our Clerk by email: click here

Key Documents

Governing Body Newsletters


Autumn 2017: click here

Summer 2018: click here


Strategic Governing Body - Annual Calendar

AUTUMN 1: Wednesday 13th  September – 18:30-20:30 Minutes available here.
AUTUMN 2: Wednesday 6th December – 18:30-20:30 Minutes available here.
SPRING 1: Wednesday 24th January – 18:30-20:30 Minutes available here.
SUMMER 1: Wednesday 2nd May – 18:30-20:30 Minutes will be approved as part of the next meeting.
SUMMER 2: Wednesday 11th July – 18:30-20:30 Minutes will be approved as part of the next meeting.

Governors' Biographies


Chris Stevens (STEP Governor, Chair of Governors, Safeguarding, Website Monitoring Governor, 01/09/2015-31/08/2019): Chris has lived in Bromley since 2002 but grew up near Bournemouth, Dorset.  He is married with two children who attend La Fontaine Academy. Chris is a lawyer specialising in criminal defence and extradition. He enjoys sports and plays cricket, goes cycling and competes in triathlons.

Chris was involved with the Strategic Governing Body from the beginning at La Fontaine Academy and then with Heathfield Academy.  He enjoys working with both schools and is committed to helping the strategic direction of each school through the values of STEP.  He is dedicated to providing primary school options in Bromley and Croydon, with a focus on language learning, excellent academics, and educating students about their own community and the world around them.

Allison Allen (STEP Governor, Vice-Chair of Governors, SEND and Inclusion, Looked After Children, Standards, Pupil Premium, Headteachers' Performance Management Governor, 14/12/2015-13/12/2019): Allison is Director of Outstream Consulting, a Founding Member of the Chartered College of Teaching, Senior Fellow of MirandaNet and past Trustee of Naace.  She works as consultant to schools, government and other organisations; she is joint author of Naace’s Curriculum Framework and a lead author of the review of the schools’ Self Review Framework and accreditation.  Allison is a digital safeguarding leader and joint author of several publications including Routledge and UCL Press.

After studying and teaching in the north east of England, Allison taught in Croydon for many years before joining the Local Authority as senior School Improvement ICT Adviser, later becoming a director and trustee of the London Grid for Learning and chair of the London Challenge teaching and learning action group. Subsequently Allison joined Becta as the London Regional Manager working with all 33 Local Authorities, the range of schools and national conferences.

Allison specialises in using education technology to enhance the life chances of children and their families. In the spirit of optimism, she believes that our children – even the very young – are being helped to become digital citizens with the ability to support the change needed by taking good ideas to a scale that fundamentally alters the way we live; our best schools continue to take up the moral imperative to develop learners who have higher thinking skills and the confidence that supports effective, safe, innovative use and creation of technology.

Eva Allotey (Parent Governor, 17/10/2016-16/10/2020): After graduating from University, Evelyne started off as a Languages Instructor for an international firm in Paris which involved teaching French to speakers of other languages for three years. She decided to pursue a life and career in the UK with her first job here, working for Eurostar, as a European Customer Service Supervisor.

Whilst in London, Evelyne developed a passion for passing her knowledge onto young people after a short stint as a Teaching Assistant in an inner London Secondary school.

She has now been teaching French and Spanish for 10 enjoyable and successful years and she is looking forward to continuing extending her knowledge and passion for languages and cultures onto her students.

Sarah MacKay (Staff Governor, 21/03/2016-20/03/2020): Sarah studied Sociology at The University of Birmingham focusing on the family and education. After her undergraduate degree, Sarah went on to complete her Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Goldsmiths University in London, specialising in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Sarah has been the Early Years Leader at Heathfield Academy since September 2015 and became an Assistant Headteacher in September 2018

Mark Anderson (Co-opted Governor, Finance Governor, 24/04/2017-23/04/2021): After a Law Degree at Durham University and qualifying as a Solicitor with Clifford Chance, a City Law Firm, Mark was a Partner in a Management Consultancy advising large public companies on share incentive schemes, profit sharing schemes and remuneration. He retired in 2004 and now works part-time managing a small holiday house business in the Scottish Highlands. His main interests are singing with The Bach Choir, History and gardening. He has three children and has been a Governor at local schools since 2012.

Karl Meier (Co-opted Governor, Safeguarding Governor, 01/09/2017-31/08/2021): Karl  was born in Germany, where he completed secondary school and went to university. After moving to the UK in 2006 he trained as languages teacher and has since worked in secondary schools, teaching predominantly German and holding a number of pastoral positions. He currently works as Assistant Head at Eltham College, with particular focus on years 7 and 8, as well as assistant safeguarding lead. In his free time he enjoys playing hockey, travelling the world and reading.

Jennifer Taylor (Co-opted Governor, Finance Governor, 01/09/2017-31/08/2021): Interim Head of Children and Young People at Time to Change, Jennifer has worked in the voluntary sector for over 17 years both in Canada and in the UK. She is currently working as Head of Children and Young People for Time to Change. Time to Change is England's biggest programme to change how we all think and act about mental health problems. Her team works with schools across England by supporting them to run their own Time to Change campaigns. They do this by providing training, advice and resources to enable schools to engage staff and students to stand up to mental health stigma and discrimination.

In her previous roles, Jennifer has led the Employment, Leadership and Youth Services team at Shape Arts, she has worked on the Fit for Work Europe project as well as in the Advocacy and Partnership team at The Work Foundation. In Canada, Jennifer worked for the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation and The School of Dance in Ottawa.

She has a BA in Law and History from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada

Laura Tully (Associate Parent Governor 01/02/2018-31/01/2019): Laura has two children who attend La Fontaine Academy and has been actively involved in many of the school projects, including setting up the La Fontaine camping trip. She is an informed and passionate advocate for the La Fontaine community.

After studying at the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication in London, Laura has enjoyed working with entrepreneurial businesses across the Fashion, Architecture and Construction Industries. She has a wealth of experience and is dedicated to gaining knowledge and understanding, which she applies in a reasoned, conscientious and compassionate way.

Laura is committed to supporting young people’s growth and development respectfully, ardently sharing STEP Academy Trust's values and desire for providing a rich, diverse and outstanding school experience for every child, where success means continually placing the emotional and academic needs of children above all else.

Ashana Graham (Associate Governor, 18/12/2017-17/12/2018): On completion of her Business Information systems degree, Ashana went on to complete her PGCE in ICT at the IOE and is due to complete her Masters in Social Justice and Education in 2018 at UCL.

A qualified ICT teacher, Ashana has taught and been a senior leader in alternative provision as well as working for the Virtual School for a local authority.

Ashana’s passion, background, and experience in education and working with incredibly vulnerable children and young people has now led to her role as the Education Commissioning and Quality Assurance manager for Croydon Council.

Ashana is dedicated to improving the educational experiences and outcomes all children, with a particular focus on those children and young people deemed vulnerable and or disadvantaged.

Annabel Bates (Co-opted Governor, 18/09/2017-16/10/2021): Chief Executive of UP-Unlocking Potential, a charity set up to transform the life chances of children with social, emotional and mental health needs. The charity provides intensive support to children through the use of multi-disciplinary approaches, working in partnership with other professionals. Annabel’s background is education, with extensive teaching and school leadership experience in her native Scotland and in London.  Prior to taking on her current role Annabel worked as the secondary headteacher of a large secondary school in North West London, as part of the Ark network of schools.  She is also part of a consortium of school leaders and policy experts developing best practice for schools in the developing world as part of The World Bank’s international team.

Laura Macinnes (Parent Governor, 13/11/2017-12/11/2021): Laura currently has a daughter at Heathfield Academy and has thrown herself into the new school community. As well as recently becoming a parent governor, Laura is also co-chair of Friends of Heathfield, the parents' association of the school, organising events from Christmas Fairs to School Discos.

Laura has worked in the financial services industry for nearly 20 years and has been with her current company for 10 years. She manages a team of staff who look after the pension schemes of several large blue-chip clients.

She is dedicated to ensuring that the children across STEP Academy trust receive the best education possible and strongly believes in the Trust's vision and values.

Michael Speziale (Staff Governor, 12/1/2017-11/11/2021): Michael grew up in rural Ontario, Canada where he attended a two room school house and thus had a very unique experience of primary education. He began his career by teaching EAL to new Canadian immigrants and then private language students in Toronto. Michael went on to study classical guitar and opera at York University, in Toronto, and completed a degree in music education. Michael has now been teaching in England for almost 13 years and has worked in primary schools in Tottenham, Surrey and Kent where he has worked as an assistant and deputy Headteacher.  Michael is a member of the Ambition School Leadership network (part of the Future Leaders programme) and he believes strongly in the ability of education, in particular music and the arts, to transform and enhance the lives of children. Michael loves to travel and spends his spare time with his wife and 4 young children discovering and learning about new places in England.

Rachael Atkinson, STEP Governor, Co-Headteacher at Heathfield Academy (Ex-Officio)

Sebastien Chapleau, STEP Governor, Headteacher at La Fontaine Academy (Ex-Officio)

Paul Glover, STEP Governor, Executive Headteacher at Heathfield Academy (Ex-Officio)

Mark Ducker OBE, STEP Academy Trust CEO, Executive Team Representative (Ex-Officio)


Lynn Bruce (Clerk to the Governing Body)


AUTUMN 1: Wednesday 21st September – 18:00-19:00 (Standards Committee) Minutes of Committee Meetings are not published.
AUTUMN 1: Wednesday 21st September – 19:30-20:30 (Strategic Governing Body) Minutes available here.
AUTUMN 2: Wednesday 2nd November – 18:30-20:30 (Resources Committee) Minutes of Committee Meetings are not published.
AUTUMN 2: Wednesday 23rd November – 18:30-20:30 (Strategic Governing Body) Minutes available here.
SPRING 1: Wednesday 18th January – 18:00-20:30 (Standards Committee) Minutes of Committee Meetings are not published.
SPRING 2: Wednesday 22nd February – 18:30-20:30 (Resources Committee) Minutes of Committee Meetings are not published.
SPRING 2: Wednesday 1st March – 18:00-20:30 (Strategic Governing Body) Minutes available here.
SUMMER 1: Wednesday 26th April – 18:00-20:30 (Standards Committee) Minutes of Committee Meetings are not published.
SUMMER 1: Wednesday 24th May – 18:30-20:30 (Resources Committee) Minutes of Committee Meetings are not published.
SUMMER 2: Wednesday 14th June – 19:30-20:30 (Strategic Governing Body) Minutes available here.

To access STEP Board meeting minutes (including STEP Board Member attendance at each meeting), click here.