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Hillcross Primary School

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Meet the Governors

Julie Hyam
Co-opted Governor (Chair of Governors)
Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  12th July 2019

I joined the Governing body in 2009, as a parent of 2 children both at the time pupils at Hillcross. My daughter has now moved onto High School and my son is currently in Year 5.

I have a close affinity with Hillcross and the local community having grown up in the area and attended Hillcross as a pupil. I have always taken an active role in the school having previously Chaired the school PTA and still enjoy coming into school to interact with staff and children.

In my professional work life I am a full time Graduate Programme Manager for a global IT organisation and have worked within Human Resources in global companies for over 10 years.

Outside of work I enjoy running a busy Guide and Brownie unit based at the school.

I feel I have been able to bring my HR knowledge and experience in working in large corporate organisations to the Governing Body; this combined with a passion for giving all children the best opportunities possible to experience new things and learn and develop at every opportunity keeps me motivated.

I believe that we have a very active Governing Body, comprising of people with a variety of skills and knowledge that ensures that we can play the role of critical friend to the school.

Ainne Dolan-Williams
Parent  Governor (Vice Chair of Governors, Chair of Personnel Committee & Governor for the ICT Curriculum)
Appointed by:  The Parents of the School
Term of office expiry:  1st September 2017

I joined the Governing body of Hillcross School in 2013 as a parent governor. Both my daughter and son are at Hillcross in Year 6 and Year 1 respectively.

I’m a full-time working mum, currently I’m a senior civil servant specialising in organisational design and development. Previous to that I trained as a psychologist and worked in a number of fields including education, the health service and the voluntary sector.

In addition to my paid jobs I’ve undertaken voluntary roles in a variety of areas including chair of a Sure Start Centre in East London; Trustee of a Homelessness Charity in South London; and a community based postnatal supporter for new mums.

I am very committed to the educational ethos at Hillcross and the schools dedication to nurture and support each child’s individual development. As a governor I bring my current and previous professional knowledge and experience to support the staff and ultimately pupils in the school. I am currently the Chair of the Personnel Committee and governor for the ICT curriculum.

John Williams
Co-opted Governor (Chair of Finance & Business Committee)
Appointed by: The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  12th July 2019


I joined the Governing body in 2014 and currently sit on the Business Committee as Vice-Chair.

I’ve always lived in SW London, moving to Lower Morden in 2007. I wanted to become a school governor to be able to give something back to education, having been fortunate to enjoy excellent teaching and support though my own school years.

In my professional life I’ve been a Civil Servant since 2007, working in a range of roles within the National Archives and the Cabinet Office. In recent years my roles have focussed on programme governance and finance. I’m currently training to be a management accountant and since Feb 2013 I’ve been the Finance Manager for a large scale programme enabling people to register to vote online.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my granddad and can sometimes be found lunching in the local Wyevale. I also love playing squash (I’m the Treasurer for my club), weekends away (spa resorts are a favourite) and going to the theatre.

I’ve really enjoyed my first year on the Governing body and hope that my own skills, knowledge and experience can help Hillcross continue to expand and provide the children with the best education, opportunities and experience possible.

Jo Thompson
Co-opted Governor (Chair of Standards, Teaching & Learning Committee)
Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  12th July 2019

I have recently joined the Governing Body having been elected In November 2014 as a Parent Governor and then as a Co-opted Governor when the governing body reconstituted. I am a parent of three daughters at the school with the eldest in year 4, another in year 3 and the youngest in year 1.    I have a long-standing relationship with the school since my eldest daughter started in the nursery nearly six years ago, plus having grown up in the local area, I knew of Hillcross through friends and its positive reputation within the community before my daughters began attending.

 I have a strong interest in education and am a trained secondary school English teacher and have worked within local comprehensive high schools for over 12 years in a variety of roles. I am currently working part-time in a Merton High School within the Learning Support Department where I withdraw students with Special Educational Needs to improve their core literacy skills. In addition to this, I am also completing a course to enable me to become a Specialist Teacher in Access Arrangements – special provision that is given to students with learning needs to allow them to access exam papers.

I am greatly looking forward to my involvement with the Governing Body and I am hoping that my experience and knowledge will be an asset to the team and to the school.

Giles Rothwell
Co-opted Governor
Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  12th July 2019

I am Vice-Chair of the Finance and Business committee. I have been a Community Governor at Hillcross since September 2008 (maybe it was 2009). I spent 22 years in the City and am now a non- executive director of a number of financial companies.

Michelle Thomason
Co-opted Governor (Vice-Chair of Personnel Committee)
Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  12th July 2019

I joined the Governing body in June 2014 as a parent of two children in the Hillcross community. My son is in year one and my daughter is in nursery. 

Within the Governing body, I am the link governor responsible for Behaviour and Safety and I am also Vice Chair of the Personnel Committee.

Originally from the north east, I moved to the local area in 2006 when the school was still in special measures. I have watched it turn around and grow into the thriving school it is today and I feel that its creative approach to teaching and learning gives Hillcross a unique standing amongst other schools in the area. I am proud that my family is now part of its community. 

In my professional life, I am a curriculum area leader at a busy inner London sixth form. I have worked as a qualified teacher of English and Media for thirteen years, leading departments and taking on cross curricular management roles in two different sixth forms. I have also previously been a teacher governor as well as NUT rep at the sixth form I currently work at. My particular areas of expertise and interest include literacy, e-learning, coaching and staff development. 

Outside of work, and when I’m not managing my own kids’ hectic social schedule, I do some freelance writing and enjoy photography and digital editing. 

I am committed to an inclusive approach to education that has the student as individual at its core and which values diversity and creativity. I am really looking forward to bringing my own experiences in education and my commitment as a parent to ensuring Hillcross continues to thrive and be successful. 

Sharon Furlong
Co-opted Governor
Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  19th October 2019

I recently joined the Governing body in October 2015. I am a finance professional currently working as a Product Manager in a Corporate and Investment Bank.   I am also a qualified chartered accountant.   I have a 5 year old daughter who has just started reception at a local school. 

I will bring  my genuine interest in education,  my financial background  and my  risk and control awareness  to the Governing Body  to ensure that the children educated at Hillcross school are offered the best learning opportunities possible.

Viccie Nelson-Hillhouse
Parent Governor
Appointed by:  Parents of the School
Term of office expiry:  3rd February 2020

I became a Parent Governor in February 2016.  As a parent of 2 children in school, years 3 and nursery, I am keen to support the school so that it is a well respected, high achieving and balanced organisation.  I support the PTA and have volunteered in the school as time permits.  I also volunteer as a Sunday Club leader at Martin Way Methodist Church.

Originally from Australia, I worked as a Physiotherapist in rural areas and Sydney before heading to the UK in 1996.  I worked clinically as a physiotherapist predominantly in older people’s rehabilitation in acute and community settings, as well as developing expertise as a Moving and Handling adviser.  I went on to manage clinical teams before working at a senior manager level within acute and community services organisations in London; moving across into commissioning as Assistant Director of Commissioning at Sutton and Merton PCT.  

Since then I have undertaken a number of project roles within the NHS and Local Authority.  I am currently working with Sutton CCG as part of a national programme to enhance health in care homes.

I hope that my professional and parental experience will be an asset to the Governing Body.  

Carina Morris
Staff Governor
Appointed by: The Staff of the School
Term of Office expiry:  19th September 2020

I have recently joined the governing body in September 2016 and will be part of the standards, teaching and learning committee. This is my 5th year teaching at Hillcross  after joining the school as a Newly Qualified Teacher in 2012. This year I am teaching in year one as well as holding the role of Phase 1 Leader. I am also responsible for Eco Schools and school council within Phase 1.  I look forward to working alongside the rest of the governing body and sharing my ideas and experiences from a staff perspective. As a teacher at Hillcross, I hope my role as staff governor will allow me to contribute to the development of our school and ensure Hillcross continues to build on its strengths and successes.