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 this link

Attendance Information for 2021/22 can be located here

Attendance Information for 2022/23 can be located here

Declarations of Business Interests can be located here

The Link Director for Safeguarding at the Trust is Hilary Jarvis

Allison Thornton - CHAIR

I am an experienced HR Director having worked across sectors and in both large and small global firms. My career in HR over 20+ years, has focused on Talent with a focus on Talent Acquisition, Diversity & Inclusion, Talent Management and Leadership Development and I am currently the Global Head of Talent Acquisition for Russell Reynolds Associates, a leading global leadership advisory firm.

I bring over 9 years’ experience on governing boards and have been the vice chair previously at two Catholic schools.  During that time I supported the schools with leadership and talent advice, hiring and recruiting head teachers and staff, D&I thinking, training, and onboarding of new governors and helped engage with parents and communities alike.

I have a bachelor’s degree from Loughborough university, an Executive Master’s degree in Strategic HR Leadership from Bocconi Business School and am a Chartered member of the CIPD.

Proud mother to twin girls and an active member of St Marks parish in West Wickham.


Appointed: 12/12/2022
Term of Office: 4 Years

Bridget Durrant - Vice Chair

My working career began in the Cabinet Office as a PA to Undersecretaries of State which was an incredible experience.

Having had two girls I studied for my BA Theological Studies and embarked upon my teaching career as a specialist RE teacher which I thoroughly enjoyed for 25 years, of which the last 15 years was as a Deputy Head. I had a range of responsibilities during that time. I have been both a parent and foundation governor in a primary school and as Deputy attended all governor meetings.

I am involved as a catechist in the parish of Our Ladye Star of the Sea Greenwich, I have been a Trustee of Ursuline Links since 2016 and am a Catholic Schools Inspector.

I have been a member of HCPT Group 22 for over 46 years and my grandchildren keep me very busy.


Appointed: 03/01/2023
Term of Office: 4 Years

Abbot Hugh Allan

Father Hugh Allan is the Apostolic Administrator of the Prefecture of the Falkland Islands and Ecclesiastical Superior of the Missions sui iuris of the islands of Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha ad quinquennium (for a period of five years).

The Right Reverend Hugh Allan, O.Praem. was born in Hertfordshire, England, to a Scottish family from the town of Auchtermuchty, located close to the village of Falkland.

Raised as a Free Presbyterian, he converted to Catholicism at the age of 16 and trained to be a teacher at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. On leaving university, he joined the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Premonstratensians, the Norbertines or ‘White Canons’. Following his noviciate, he was sent to complete further studies at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford. He made his solemn profession on 27 October 2001 and was ordained a priest on 22 November 2002 by Bishop Terence Brain.

Following ordination, he worked as a full-time school chaplain in North Manchester. In 2004, he was appointed parish priest of Gorton, Manchester. In 2006, he was appointed superior of the Norbertine community in Manchester, aged only 29. At the time, he was the youngest Catholic religious superior in the world.

In 2008, the Norbertines opened a new Priory in Chelmsford and he was appointed superior to this new canonry. At the same time, he was appointed parish priest of Chelmsford and has also recently served as the Area Dean for Mid-Essex. He was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Falkland Islands and Ecclesiastic Superior of St. Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha by Fernando Cardinal Filoni on 26 October 2016 for a period of five years.

In recognition of this ecclesiastical appointment, Hugh Allan was also elevated to the title of ‘Titular Abbot of Beeleigh’ by the Abbot General of the Norbertine Order, the Most Revd Thomas Handgrätinger, O.Praem.


Appointed: 18/09/2023
Term of Office: 4 Years

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.


Appointed: 10/09/2021
Term of Office: 4 Years

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.


Appointed: 25/11/2021
Term of Office: 4 Years

Hilary Jarvis

My initial career was as a nurse both in Cambridge and London. I retrained as a primary school teacher at Goldsmith’s College. My teaching career has covered Lambeth, Bromley and Lewisham. I have been a Headteacher both in Bromley and Lewisham schools.

I am a strong believer that outstanding education can change a child's life, Without the opportunity to access outstanding teaching and learning, children cannot develop to their full potential. I also believe that as a Catholic community we must assist children and young people to be increasingly able to make an informed and mature response to God in faith and to nurture that faith.

At present, I am a Foundation Governor with responsibility for Safeguarding and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. I also actively  volunteer within my local and wider community.

I am a Sunday Reader at St Thomas More Church in East Dulwich


Appointed: 04/09/2023
Term of Office: 4 Years

Jerzy Kwasniewski

I am a BACP qualified Counsellor and a Coach/Consultant working across public, private and third sectors.

Prior to that I had 28 years experience as a Senior HR Business Partner in the financial services industry.

I am passionate about education, and have worked with my local authority facilitating Governor Induction training, Safer Recruitment as well as coaching individual governing bodies in improving their performance and effectiveness. 

I was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Services in 1999 and am an Affiliate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


Appointed: 22/06/2022
Term of Office: 4 Years

Mary Nwaonu

I grew up in Lagos Nigeria; born and raised in a devout Catholic home, I trained as a lawyer in Nigeria and came to the UK in 2010 acquiring a Master’s degree in International Commercial Law from University of Birmingham.

In the last 12 years, I have worked as a trainer and legal/compliance professional in the financial service Sector and have worked for a number of global Investment Banks and FCA regulated firms in London and Ireland.

I met my husband in London, we are blessed with three kids and are parishioners at St Joseph’s and St Swithuns Church, Bromley.

I enjoy reading, spending time with my kids and travelling.

I am passionate about learning and impacting knowledge, recognising that our contributions in this sector are invaluable as it provides the future generation with the essential head start they need to succeed in life.

I feel privileged to be part of the SELCAT board and look forward to working with and  collaborating with colleagues in order to make the most positive impact difference to the children who need it.

Appointed: 09/05/2023
Term of Office: 4 Years

Greg Olsen

I am a partner in the international law firm, Clifford Chance LLP, based in London. 

Born in New Zealand, I first came to the UK to pursue post-graduate study and am still here over 30 years later. 

I am an active member of the parish at the Most Holy Trinity church at Dockhead, Bermondsey and am passionate about the central importance of education to personal development. 

I am married with three grown-up children.   


Appointed: 13/01/2022
Term of Office: 4 Years

Rt Hon Jenny Willott OBE

I am the Director of Enterprise and Innovation at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, responsible for the university’s commercial and philanthropic income and outreach activities. 

Prior to joining St Mary’s in 2016, I was a Member of Parliament for ten years, serving in a number of positions in both Opposition and Government, including as Consumer Affairs Minister, Women and Equalities Minister and a Government Whip. 

Alongside my role at St Mary’s, I have been a parent governor at my children’s primary school, a Non-Executive Director on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, and I currently also chair the Civil Aviation Authority’s Consumer Panel. 

Prior to entering Parliament, I worked in the voluntary sector, including as Chief Executive of Victim Support South Wales and Head of Advocacy for UNICEF UK.


Appointed: 24/01/2022
Term of Office: 4 Years

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.


Appointed: 01/09/2021
Term of Office: Ex-Officio