Leadership and Governance

The St Julian’s Association has an important role in developing the educational vision and character for the School. 

Membership of the St Julian’s Association

The St Julian’s Association is made up of between 30 and 50 members who have been proposed by a nominating committee and have been voted in at the Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). The nominating committee strives to ensure that a wide and balanced membership is maintained including alumni and former or current parents, in addition to members from the wider community. Some Association members are from the Greater Lisbon region, whilst others are from the UK and other European countries. 

Purpose of the St Julian’s Association

The St Julian’s Association was founded in 1938 as a cultural an non-profit making organisation whose sole objectives are to provide and support the provision of education, and all revenues of the St. Julian’s School Association must be applied or reserved for the pursuit of these objectives.

Board of Governors

The number of Board members varies, but does not exceed nine, and has a minimum number of seven. Three members are required to be British citizens. The members of the Board are elected at the AGM of the St Julian’s Association and serve for a term of three years and restricted to a maximum of three consecutive terms in office. The Association aims to ensure that the Board is comprised of a members with a balance of skills and experience that will enhance the governance of St Julian’s in addition to being able to make the required commitment for participation. 

The Governors assume this role on a voluntary basis and are not remunerated for their work.

The Board operates as a non-executive body, whose responsibility is to ensure that the school’s mission is fulfilled now and in the future through providing strategic direction, governing through policy and monitoring progress. The Board approves the annual budget and the capital and investment strategy that will best support the best educational provision for St Julian’s students. The Board appoints the Head of School and the Head of Finance and Support Services (Bursar), which serve as its only executive function. The Board of Governors presents a formal report to the members of the St. Julian’s School Association at the Annual General Meeting.

Board meetings are generally held around six times a year, which involve a presentation from the Head of School, and on occasion other members of the leadership team when agenda items are relevant to their specialist areas. Board Subcommittees and working groups meet with a frequency that suits their particular needs.

Purpose of the Board of Governors

The purpose of the Board of Governors is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance.
The Board has three core objectives:

  • To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • To hold executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and
  • To oversee the financial sustainability of the organisation and make sure its money is well spent.

Board Subcommittees

A large amount of the detailed work undertaken by the Board is done in sub-committees of the Board. The current subcommittees of the Board are as follows:


The Finance Subcommittee exists to exercise the finances of the school to ensure that there is financial sustainability and transparency, ensuring that funds and financial risks are managed effectively within the financial policies recommended by the Finance Subcommittee and the Board. 

Discounts and Bursaries 

To Discounts and Bursaries Subcommittee’s remit is to review and decide upon any request for discounted school fees within predefined guidelines set by the Board.


The Infrastructure Subcommittee assists the Board in providing an oversight of: all matters pertaining to the capital assets of the school, all matters pertaining to the IT infrastructure, any other matters referred to it by the Board.

The Policy Subcommittee supports the Head of School in establishing policies, ensuring that they are aligned as appropriate with the school’s Guiding Statements and to oversee their effective implementation.


The Alumni Subcommittee assists the school Alumni Officer in setting out strategies and direction in order to create a more complete database of Alumni, and increase Alumni involvement and participation in the life of the School


The Strategy Subcommittee supports the Head and school leadership team to develop the vision, mission and long term objectives for the school, ensures that changes to the operating model reflect the vision and objectives of the school, ensures that the vision and long term objectives of the school are syndicated and communicated with the main stakeholder groups


In addition to strategic leadership, the Board is responsible for creating robust accountability from executive leaders. This means holding them to account for both educational performance and for financial and organisational performance, and ensuring money is well spent. 

Further details of the workings and remit of the Board of Governors are contained in the Governors Handbook.

Members of the Board

Alan Johnson (Chair) is British, joined the Board of Governors in October 2016 and was appointed Board Chair in September 2019. Alan has been a member of the St. Julian’s Association since 2013, was on the Fiscal Board between 2013 and 2016, and is a member of the Board's finance and policy sub-committees. His daughter graduated from St Julian's in May 2018.
Alan recently finished his term as a Non-Executive Director of Jerónimo Martins SGPS, S.A. He was Chief Financial Officer of the company from 2012 to 2014 and currently chairs the company’s Internal Control Committee. He was the Chief Audit Executive for the Unilever Group, and also served as Chief Financial Officer of Unilever's Global Foods businesses. He worked for Unilever for 35 years in various finance and general management positions in Africa, Europe and Latin America.
Alan is a member of the Board and Deputy President of the International Federation of Accountants, is on the Board of Trustees of the International Valuation Standards Council, and is a Non-Executive Director of the UK Department for International Development and chairs its Audit & Risk Assurance Committee.

António Casanova is Portuguese. António leads a fast moving consumer goods company and has previously held senior positions in telecommunications, banking, shopping centres and as a strategic consultant. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics, MBA from Universidade Nova and AMP from Harvard Business School. He chairs the Supervisory Board of the Nova SBE Alumni Association and the Make A Wish (Portugal) Foundation and is a member of the Supervisory Board of Observador (the online newspaper). António's two children have been or are presently being educated at St Julian's. António's areas of governor responsibility at St Julian's include strategy and infrastructure.

Murphy Cobbing is British and currently Vice-President of the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification). A former BBC Senior Broadcast journalist, Murphy spent most of her career working in the UK in news and current affairs, as well as producing a wide range of documentaries for radio and television. Until 2017 Murphy was a trustee and Vice Chair of the Tyneside Cinema and a trustee of the North East Circus Development Trust. She is a Commonwealth Scholar.

Jamie Darke has dual British and Portuguese citizenship and is a former senior British diplomat with extensive Whitehall, policy, management and operational experience, focused on the Middle East and counter-terrorism, before serving as Political Counsellor in Lisbon from 2003-06. Jamie has also been a shareholder-director of a central London marina since 1996, and has his own Risk Advisory and Property Development companies. He has lectured pro bono at Universidade Nova de Lisboa on Middle Eastern politics, terrorism, intelligence and security; and more recently has been a committee member of The Lisbon Players.

James Frost is British and for the past 27 years has worked in the developing and managing of the family property Quinta de Sant’Ana, building up three successful businesses. Prior to moving to Portugal, James served as an Officer in the British Army for seven years. James’ seven children have all been or are presently being educated at St Julian’s. James currently chairs the Board's alumni sub-committee.

Teresa Roque is Portuguese, a former pupil and has two children at St. Julian’s. Teresa currently manages her family’s Holding Company, and has lectured at several universities in the fields of international economics and politics, having received a B.A. from Oxford (where she is also currently completing an Executive MBA) and an M.A. from SAIS, John Hopkins University. Teresa has been involved in several projects promoting education, including EPIS (Empresários para a Inclusão Social), a Portuguese NGO whose mission is to tackle the school drop-out rate in Portugal and of which Teresa is a founding and lifetime honorary member; Teresa was also vice-chair of the Horácio Roque Foundation and a member of the Strategic Committee of Nova SBE between 2010-14. Teresa has been on the Board of St Julian's School since 2016 and is a member of the alumni and strategy sub-committees.

Taheer Saiyad is Portuguese and a former St Julian’s pupil, having attended the school between 1984 and 1991. He has two children currently attending St.Julian's. He received a BA in Politics & Philosophy from York University and an M.Phil in Politics from Oxford University and is currently the CEO of three successful family-owned businesses in the clothing retail and real estate sectors. He is also the co-founder of MyWishGuru, a technology-based startup which was developed between 2012 and 2014. Taheer has been a member of the St Julian's Association since 2016 and has sat on both the Nominations Committee and the alumni sub-committee.

Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade is Portuguese and a former pupil, having graduated with an M.Eng with Distinction in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland), followed by an MBA at MIT Sloan (Boston, USA). Miguel has been a member of the Executive Board of EDP since February 2012, and took on the role of CFO of EDP in 2018. Miguel sits on the finance and infrastructure sub-committees of the Board, and his children attend St Julian’s.


ur purpose is to create a happy, secure and stimulating learning environment within which all members of our community can achieve their full potential and develop a commitment to lifelong learning.

Our purpose is to create a happy, secure and stimulating learning environment within which all members of our community can achieve their full potential and develop a commitment to lifelong learning.