The board of governors of Hackney New School (HNS), comprising the secondary school and the primary school (Hackney New Primary School/HNPS), is responsible for the strategic oversight of the multi-academy trust. This role has three main elements:-

  1. Ensuring that the vision and strategic direction of HNS and HNPS are clear and pursued consistently by everyone who works at the school;
  2. Working with the headteacher to monitor educational performance at HNS and HNPS, and the performance management of staff;
  3. Monitoring the financial performance of the trust and making sure its funds are well spent.

The board’s responsibilities are in many ways similar to those of other maintained schools and its functions are set out in the same statutory instrument that all state schools are bound by (The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013). The main difference to maintained schools is that HNS’s board, like that of other Academies and Free Schools, is the admissions authority for HNS and the employer of all staff at the school.

All governors, except the headteacher, are appointed for a period of four years. Provided they remain eligible to be a particular type of governor, they can be re-elected at that point. The board generally meets at least four times per year. In order to discharge its responsibilities most effectively, the board has constituted three sub-committees – the HNS Committee, HNPS Committee and a Finance & General Purposes Committee. While these committees have primary members, all governors can attend meetings of the committees. Committee meetings generally take place 7-10 days prior to board meetings.

You can find more information about our governance arrangements here:-

1. An overview of the trusts’s governance structure

2. A list of governors, their attendance record and outside interests

3. The terms of reference of the three board committees

The founders and other HNS governors understand that access to high-quality information is very important to current and prospective pupils of HNS, their parents as well as teachers and other educational services providers. The minutes of all board and committee meetings are therefore available on request, excluding all confidential matters. Any questions about the governance of HNS should be addressed to the Chairman, Andreas Wesemann. This is best done by contacting the PA to the Headteacher, Colette Corbin at info@hackneynewschool.org.


Andreas Wesemann

Andreas Wesemann is one of the co-founders and Chairman of Hackney New School. He is a partner of Ashcombe Advisers LLP, a corporate finance firm. Andreas was born and raised in Vienna and has lived in England for over 20 years. He read economics at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics and is the publisher of Chronicle of a Downfall. Germany 1929-39, a book about inter-war Germany. He lives in Hackney.

Phillippa De’Ath

Phillippa De’Ath is Vice Chairman of HNS and Chief Operating Officer of an education technology company. She was the project manager for HNS in the year prior to opening in September 2013 and, as such, responsible for the day-to-day management of the project. She has extensive experience in helping organisations implement change in technology, organisation and culture. Her current interest lies in how data can be used by teachers, parents and leaders to improve education outcomes. She lives in London Fields with her husband and daughter, and read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. 

Sophie Solomon

A co-founder of HNS, Sophie Solomon is a violinist and composer, who has recorded as a solo artist for Decca and performed with artists as diverse as Paul Weller, Rufus Wainwright, Ralph Fiennes and the London Symphony Orchestra.  As a musical educationalist, she has taught at the Royal Academy of Music and Weimar Conservatoire and was, from 2012-2016, Artistic Director of the Jewish Music Institute, University of London. Sophie is also Senior Director of Creator Engagement leading the global marketing team at (Hackney-based) pioneering music technology start-up, ROLI. She has a First Class degree in History and Russian from University College, Oxford and an MSc in Economic History from the London School of Economics. She lives in De Beauvoir with her husband and two children.

Durell Barnes

Durell Barnes is a freelance education consultant, specialising in issues relating to safeguarding and governance. He was until recently Head of Communications/Deputy Director of the Independent Schools Inspectorate where he was involved in the development of several new inspection frameworks, including the latest, piloted in 2015-6. His responsibilities included quality assurance and safeguarding and involved communication with the ISC associations, Ofsted and the Department for Education. Prior to working at ISI, Durell Barnes spent over twenty years teaching in ISC schools, for half of which he was a deputy head.

James Clements

James Clements is a freelance writer, researcher and education adviser. Prior to this, he worked as a teacher and senior leader at an outstanding inner-city primary school and as a local authority lead teacher, supporting teaching and learning across a network of schools.

John Hinton

John Hinton is an architect with his own practice based in Stoke Newington. He is a member of the RIBA and gained his Degree and Diploma in Architecture at the University of Cambridge. He has also taught architectural design at the Architectural Association and Chelsea College of Art, University of the Arts, London.

Stuart Banks

Stuart Banks is a solicitor and European general counsel at Hellman & Friedman, an investment firm. He read physics at Oxford University before undertaking post-graduate studies in law. He has worked in various law firms and as a regulator at the Takeover Panel. Stuart lives in west London with his family.

John McIntosh, CBE

John McIntosh joined the board of HNS in 2016. He was Headmaster for almost 30 years of The London Oratory School, an all-ability school for 1,400 boys, aged 7 to 19, in central London. Before and since his retirement in 2006 he has been an active adviser to many organisations and government on educational matters and projects. He is presently Vice-Chairman of Council of the University of Buckingham and was Chairman of the Commission on Assessment Without Levels, which published its report in September 2015