Leadership & Governance

Mr Amit Mehta 

Proprietor & CEO


Mr Vernon Hales

Chair of Governors



Inspired Learning Group 
Georgian House
Park Lane
Stanmore HA7 3HD


+ 44 (0) 207 127 9862





Senior Leadership Team

Mr James Nichols – Head

Having achieved a First Class Honours in Modern History and Politics at the University of Southampton, I knew that I wanted to either be a politician or a teacher of these fantastic subjects. Obviously, the latter won out and I completed a PGCE at the University of Warwick. I subsequently did a MA Education alongside my emerging teaching career. I have been incredibly fortunate to hold several leadership positions in the four schools in which I have worked since 2008; three of which have been all-girls' schools. I also established and managed my own commercial enterprise in political education services and have worked with over 250 schools in developing their political education provision. The combination of commerce and education is something that I find particularly exciting. I joined St. Francis’ College as Deputy Head in April 2021 and have not looked back once. The College is such a warm, welcoming and well-established community and I was delighted to be appointed as its first male Head from September 2022. The College’s ability to secure outstanding academic outcomes and produce well-rounded, respectful and global young people is extremely special. Outside of school, I am a political junkie, foodie and lover of reading and writing. Although I adore Hertfordshire, I also regularly return home to Oxford, which I fervently maintain is the best city in the world. 

Ms Cathy Eames – Bursar

After completing my degree in Business Studies at the University of Brighton, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with BDO.  I have had a varied career in the commercial sector, mainly in Financial Services, before settling into the education sector. I was very proud to join St Francis College in 2018. Whilst at leisure, I enjoy time with my family, going out with friends and working on the house and garden.  Every weekend I am out and about cycling or rambling through the Hertfordshire countryside, with friends, via the counties many teashops.  When finally at rest I enjoy reading, current affairs and box sets.   

Mrs Julia Spence – Deputy Head 

By experiencing a childhood dominated by sport, there was only one career path I was going to take. I knew from an early age that I wanted to teach PE and achieved my dream by attending university where I achieved a 2:1 degree in Sport and Exercise Science, and later my Post Graduate Certificate in Education with Qualified Teacher Status. As a newly qualified teacher I quickly realised my passion for developing the character of young people and in my first year of teaching I took on the responsibility of developing whole school PSHE. From that point on, I continued to develop my career by taking on the Assistant Head of Department role in PE. In 2012 I started a family having given birth to our first son. My career continued on the back burner through a part-time PE role while I had two very young sons - the second to arrive in 2015. At the start of 2016 I decided I would branch out and took on the role of Head of Year. This was a hugely rewarding job as I developed a culture of success among a group of students who I guided through to their GCSEs. During this time, I simultaneously took on an Associate Assistant Head position responsible for timetabling and managing the complex project of migrating the whole school management information system. Following this success, I felt it was time to progress my career further and I took on the role of Assistant Head at a brand-new academy free school - with only a year 7 cohort on roll - as Safeguarding and Pastoral Lead. Developing this school from the beginning has been both a rich learning experience and a joy to oversee as it now stands full today with a cohort of Years 7-11 (1200 pupils). While in this role, I subsequently began a two-year master's degree and apprenticeship in Educational Leadership and Management, which I completed in July 2022. I joined St. Francis’ College as Deputy Head in September 2022 and have been touched by the warm community feel of the College. The staff and students alike are a pleasure to work with and I am very excited for what the future will bring, not only for me personally but for the College and its students and staff.  Outside of College life I continue to be extremely passionate about all sport and I am an ardent Manchester United fan. I continue to play netball competitively and am an avid gym goer and runner. My husband, two sons and I are the very proud owners of our Golden Doodle, Molly who we enjoy spending lots of time with in the outdoors.

Mr John Sample – Head of Preparatory Department 

Having completed my PGCE at Bedford I have spent my career within the independent education sector. My first position was in a Prep School in Buckinghamshire where I taught for 4 years and became an Assistant Housemaster. I moved to North Yorkshire in 2001 to become a Head of Department and was subsequently promoted to Deputy Head, a role I carried out for over 10 years before making the step to Headship. I enjoyed 5 successful years as a Headmaster and bring  this experience to St Francis. Away from my professional life I am a father of three beautiful girls aged 16, 13 and 8. I can therefore empathise with the challenges of modern parenting! I'm a keen athlete and continue to play club cricket and golf whilst following the fortunes of Newcastle United Football Club.  To be an educator is a privilege and I aim to ensure every St Francis student receives an outstanding educational experience.    

Mr Dan Carr – Assistant Head, Director of Studies

Having completed my undergraduate degree in French and Spanish (Language and Linguistics) at the University of Southampton, I completed my PGCE at the University of Cambridge. Having started my career teaching Modern Languages at a co-ed school, I have since moved into the private sector and have developed my career working across a range of girls’ independent schools. Here, I have been fortunate to gain a vast range of experience in supporting pupils academically and pastorally, holding roles of Assistant Housemaster and Head of French along the way to becoming Head of Sixth Form here at the College in 2016, prior to recently moving into my current role as Director of Studies. My true passion is holistic pupil development, and the role which extra-curricular activities play in this. I have coached rugby and badminton, led more DofE expeditions than I can remember, and have led school trips across a range of countries and continents as diverse as Mongolia, Tanzania, and Costa Rica, and have seen the unique benefits these opportunities bring to young people. As I grow older, so does my passion for History and visits both personally and with schools to the World War I Battlefields, The Normandy Landings, and Colditz Castle have fuelled this interest, together with taking part in the Lessons from Auschwitz programme alongside 6th Form students. Away from school I am a sports fanatic, both watching and playing several sports. At the weekend I will often be found refereeing rugby union matches anywhere across Hertfordshire.

Mrs Janey Foster - Assistant Head, Pastoral

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that theatre is my first love. As a child, I always performed in plays both in and out of school. It was no surprise when I chose to study Theatre and Performance at the University of Warwick, which was a challenging but hugely rewarding course. Next, I completed my PGCE in Drama with English and began teaching at a co-ed independent school. I was lucky enough to direct a number of large-scale productions, including Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream and A Servant to Two Masters. It was here that my interest in pastoral care began. I loved teaching drama, but also found great joy in developing pupils holistically, preparing them for adult life and making them positive and resilient. During this time, I became increasingly interested fitness and the role it plays in boosting our mental health. I became an avid runner and competed in running races, triathlons and duathlons. In 2016 I became housemistress, which involved monitoring and championing the wellbeing and academic progress of over 100 pupils. This experience has prepared me for my position as assistant head pastoral at St Francis, a role I am thrilled to take on. Outside of my professional life, I enjoy spending time with my daughter, performing with my local theatre group and improving my fitness at the gym. 


Mrs Ruth Scott - Head of Sixth Form

My childhood was filled with Music.  I developed my tenacity and musicianship with a range of inspirational teachers and performing or teaching were always my goals.  After setting up and leading choirs, musical ensembles and a Performing Arts Company that visited local schools, I knew that teaching was my passion. It has always been an incredible thrill to see a child develop in confidence and skill.  It can make the heart burst with pride when a pupil discovers that they can really fulfil their dreams with hard work and determination.  I have had a range of leadership experiences and these have included leading Music departments, Performing Arts Faculties, More Able strategies and Services & Assemblies. Outside of College, I am a Mum to two boys and my husband and I enjoy taking our family away for adventures in Tom the Camper Van.  Having visited 39 countries, travel is my passion and I am looking forward to discovering foreign places once again. Having worked with Sixth Form students for many years, I am excited to be leading this important part of the College into a new phase.  I am looking forward to watching them blossom as independent learners, role models and leaders. 


Role of the School Board

The School Board is composed of a suitable blend of those with educational and wider experience both from within the ILG team and also those with connections to the School. Its role and responsibilities are similar to those of any Board of Governors and can be summarised as follows:

  • Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
  • Set and review policies, plans and procedures
  • Hold those in leadership positions to account for the management and educational provision of the school
  • Ensure compliance with legal and DofE requirements
  • Contribute to and attend ISI/Ofsted inspections as and when required
  • Raise standards through monitoring and evaluating performance
  • Ensure the welfare and pastoral care of the children
  • Act as a critical friend to those in leadership positions
  • Make recommendations to the Proprietor concerning these functions
  • Act with integrity, objectivity and honesty in the best interests of the school

The School Senior Leadership Group is responsible for the day to day operation and management of the School at all times, and reports to the Board on a termly basis in formal meetings and frequently through regular contact with the Chair of the School Board and other members of the ILG executive team. Governance is conducted through two committees (Education and Finance & General Purposes) as well as a Full Board.


Any matters to be raised with the School Board should be addressed to the Chair as follows:

Mr Vernon Hales

St. Francis' College

Broadway, Letchworth Garden City

Hertfordshire, SG6 3PJ

Telephone: 01462 670 511

The Chair can be contacted directly via this email.

Governing Committees

Education Committee

David Tidmarsh, ILG, Chair
James Nichols, Head
Julia Spence, Deputy Head
Dan Carr, Director of Studies
John Sample, Head of Prep 
Vernon Hales, ILG
James Fowler, ILG

Finance and General Purposes

Vernon Hales, ILG, Chair
James Nichols, Head
Carrie Askew, ILG, Head of Operations & Safeguarding Governor
Wrichik Majumder, ILG, Head of Finance
Cathy Eames, Bursar
Julia Spence Deputy Head
John Sample, Head of Prep

Full Board

Vernon Hales, ILG, Chair of Governors
Amit Mehta, ILG, Proprietor & CEO
David Tidmarsh, ILG, Chair of the Advisory Board
Wrichik Majumder, ILG, Head of Finance
Carrie Askew, ILG, Head of Operations & Safeguarding Governor
James Fowler, ILG
James Nichols, Head
Cathy Eames, Bursar
Julia Spence, Deputy Head
John Sample, Head of Prep