SELCAT has a strong team of Directors with a diverse skills base who support the Trust in its mission to deliver outstanding Catholic education for children and young people across South East London

The Board are required to follow the principles of public conduct set out by the Nolan Committee and are required to oversee the management and administration of the Trust and academies within the Trust.

If you would like to contact the Chair then please email our Clerk via

Bill Farren - Chair of Board

I grew up in South East London and attended Our Lady of Grace in Charlton, St Joseph’s Academy in Blackheath and Christ the King Sixth Form College in Lewisham, before studying mathematics at Imperial College London and then qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. I now work as a partner in a large firm of accountants.

In the formation of SELCAT I have been particularly focused on discussions around the establishment of governance structures; drawing on my experience to help ensure that local leaders and governors remain fully empowered and accountable in their roles, whilst being able to draw on the strength that the SELCAT partnership model provides.

As well as Chair, I am also vice chair of the local academy committee at More Park Catholic Primary School in West Malling (part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership MAT), as well as having held various other roles within the Archdiocese of Southwark on a voluntary basis over the years. As Chair, I provide leadership and direction for the operation and performance of the Trust.

Evelyn Holdsworth

I was a headteacher in Primary education for over 25 years and in a range of different schools – VA, Maintained, academy, large and small. I have supported school leadership development at an LA level, have experience of conversion into an Academy, a MAT and project managed the opening of a Free School in South East London. I qualified as an Ofsted inspector and am a trained coach. I have also been involved in a number of Erasmus programmes promoting leadership and curriculum developments across several European countries.

Since I retired, I have become more directly involved in school governance and am now a Member of one community academy trust, chair of governors at a local Catholic secondary school and a community primary school. I also serve as a governor on two further Catholic schools.

Fr John Fricker

I grew up in Yorkshire only coming down to London aged 20 in pursuit of a vocation in a religious order. I joined my community a year later in 1980 and was ordained a priest in 1988. I have worked in several roles within the community primarily in formation and latterly in the administration of the community. This has primarily involved accounts and buildings. I became Parish Priest in 2006 and have been very involved with the two schools in the parish.

My main focus in the parish has been in promoting a welcoming community which can offer an invitation into the richness of Catholicism. The various Catechetical programmes are vital for this and the Catholic Schools play a big part.

Mark Harris

I initially began my career with British Coal, qualifying as an Accountant during that time, and was finance lead on the last deep mine sunk in the UK. Moving into the education sector, I spent a number of years at Further Education establishments, leading on College new builds and re-location projects before moving to Northamptonshire County Council to work on school support services and Academy transition. During this time, I was appointed a Fellow of my accounting body.

Having worked in the Academy sector for over 15 years, from both a local Authority and a Sponsor perspective, and with the last 8 years as Finance Director of one of the largest Catholic MATS, I am an avid supporter of the advantages that Academy status can bring to schools.

Married with two daughters who are both currently studying for accountancy qualifications, I spend much of my free time either watching football, or car detailing.

Janet Nelms

My background in education includes 10 years as Head Teacher in a London High School of 600 pupils rising to 900. 

I then became a School Improvement Partner, working with Secondary schools and Pupil Referral Units.  My work as an external adviser for Head Teacher Performance Review in both Primary and Secondary schools continues to date.

I am currently Chair of governors in a Catholic Primary school and have experience of governance in Primary and Secondary schools including Academy Trusts and Pupil Referral Units, also, both Primary and Secondary.  As a National Leader of Governance I have supported schools to improve and develop.

Nick Tildesley

I have worked in education in various roles for the past 30 years. I have worked as a teacher, senior leader, headteacher and CEO across schools in South London- mainly Lewisham and Southwark. I am currently the CEO of Communitas Education Trust, a 4 school primary trust based in Southwark. I am passionate about education as the tool to unlock life chances for our children and young people. I have worked as a National Leader of Education supporting schools to develop further and leaders to grow their skills. I am excited about supporting the SELCAT board and using my skills to develop a collaboration between schools in South London which will benefit pupils, families and communities.

David Garrido - CEO

Throughout my career, I have been involved in transforming schools and the life chances of young people, many of whom have faced challenging situations.  My first degree was in Music and Liturgy, and I was organ scholar at St Mary-Le-Tower in Ipswich.  I then went on to Reading University for my PGCE.  The rest as they say, is history.  My teaching career has covered nine schools, two where I was deputy headteacher and two as headteacher.  So, I have extensive leadership experience and a proven track record of raising standards, in a diverse range of schools.

I am convinced that the way forward for schools is in partnership and I am privileged to have the opportunity to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Catholic Education across the Archdiocese. Building upon the diocesan strategy and SELCAT vision.

In developing SELCAT, I am very conscious of protecting the identity of each school that joins our family.  Together with the Headteachers of our schools, I want to create a legacy for the future and a unique identity for SELCAT, which centres on our faith, its traditions, academic excellence and developing a curriculum relevant to the needs of students enabling them to be highly successful, confident individuals.