Kench Hill Centre is owned by Hackney Council, but since 2008 has been managed by The Kench Hill Charity, a company limited by guarantee. Staff are directly employed by Hackney Learning Trust and seconded to the Charity. We are currently seeking to recruit new Trustees to the Board, particularly from those who share our commitment to inclusive education, with experience in property management, marketing and fund-raising.
Board of Trustees
John Larter MBE
Born and educated in Hackney and University of London, John spent 34 years in service as a teacher in 5 Hackney primary schools, including as headteacher at Holmleigh Primary 1988-2000. He was Partnership Development Manager for the Hackney Schools Sports Partnership 2002-2007. John has been involved with Kench Hill, formerly on the management committee, since 1986 and was awarded MBE for voluntary services to Hackney Schools Athletics Association. He is still actively involved in retirement.
Nicola Baboneau (Chairperson)
As an educationalist, Nicola has a BEd in Sociology and MA in Education (University of London). Previously, as an assistant director and senior adviser at The Learning Trust she had lead responsibility for Community & Partnerships. Promoting community cohesion and raising educational achievement for marginalised young people were key components of her role. Prior to this she was a headteacher in Hackney for ten years and then worked for three years across Education, Health, Social Services and the Voluntary Sector, with lead responsibility for Hackney’s Children’s Services Plan. Nicola has been involved with Kench Hill over many years both as line manager to the Centre Director and more recently as a Trustee.
Sandi Bain BSc (Hons), PGCE (Head of Centre)
Trained and taught as a primary school teacher in central London before specialising in environmental and conservation education, working as an education officer at London Zoo and project manager for Out-of-School Hours Learning at London Wildlife Trust. Head of Centre since 2004.
Tom Brooke (Secretary)
Tom is a solicitor specialising in education law, with over 20 years experience working for Wandsworth Council and Learning Trust, Hackney. He currently works as a consultant for Stone King solicitors and has been appointed as judge in the First Tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber. Tom’s three children have all attended happy visits to Kench Hill with Hackney primary schools, where Tom lived for many years, spending time as a school governor at Grazebrook Primary. He is now a governor in a Suffolk federation.
Elizabeth Cooke Szewczyk
Retired English teacher. Secondary and primary, formerly EMAS, SENCO, Deputy Head, Inclusion Manager in Hackney. Currently Associate Governor and volunteer at Burdett Coutts Primary, Westminster. School Journey organiser while in Hackney with strong links to Kench Hill for over fifteen years.
Nick Corker (Head of Virtual School for Looked After Children, Care Leavers & Youth Justice, Hackney)
Nick is currently head of Hackney’s Virtual School, which advocates and supports these children in the education system. Previously he was Deputy Head of a large Hackney school. He has attended Kench Hill many times over the last 18 years in both roles. He is a strong believer in the power of outdoor education, and has led groups to a range of places including Wales, Romania and India.
Bernard Hawes (SEN School governor)
For a substantial part of my life I have been involved in one way or another in Hackney education. From the age of 5 to 11, I attended Our Lady & St Joseph’s primary school. I started as a Newly Qualified Teacher in Hackney in 1989 and for the last twenty three years have been teaching and leading education in a number of different Hackney primary schools, becoming the Head teacher of St Scholastica’s Primary in 2010.
I was a teacher in Hackney Primary Schools from 1966-1997 and then spent 8 years teaching in Tower Hamlets until retirement in 2005. For many years I organised the school journeys at Grazebrook School, initially at ILEA-owned centres, and then at Kench Hill. At Tower Hamlets I was involved in the planning and organisation of weeks at Gorsefield Centre. I was a secretary of the initial Friends of Kench Hill committee set up in 2002 and was happy to rejoin as Treasurer in 2014.
Accountant: Chavereys Chartered Accountants