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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, having been introduced to Hillcross by a work colleague whose children attend the school. I’ve lived in the local community for nearly twenty years, having attended a secondary school in Sutton and 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 for over ten years, training as an accountant on the job, and have worked with the Charity Sector, Elections Policy and the HR Functions across Government. More recently I’ve moved to be a Finance Business Partner for a nationally focused department undertaking a significant chance programme.

Within the Governing body, I am the link governor responsible for Maths and Governor Training, as well as being chair of the Business Committee. I’ve really enjoyed my time so far with the Governing body and hope that my own skills and knowledge can continue to help Hillcross provide the children with the best education, opportunities and experiences 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 been a member of the Governing Body since November 2014 when I was elected as a parent governor and then from July 2015 as a co-opted governor when the governing body reconstituted. I have a long-standing relationship with the school since my eldest daughter started in the nursery over eight years ago, and although she has recently transferred to secondary school, her two sisters are currently in years 6 and 4. Plus having grown up locally, I was aware of the school's strong reputation and the high regard it has within the community.

As a secondary school English teacher, I have a strong commitment to education and teaching.  I have worked in local comprehensive schools for over 15 years in a variety of roles and am currently the deputy SENCo in a Merton secondary school. 

I am the chair of the Standards, Teaching and Learning committee and the link governor for literacy within 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  joined the Governing body in October 2015 and I am the Early Years Governor and the deputy Safeguarding Governor.  I also serve as the Vice-Chair of the Standards, Teaching and Learning Committee. 

I am a finance professional and I work full-time as a Product Manager in a global Corporate and Investment Bank.  In my role I work closely with legal and risk teams on regular basis. 

I am a qualified chartered accountant with experience in business assurance and auditing.  I have significant recruitment and training experience gained through a two year secondment to the graduate recruitment department of a Big 4 accountancy firm. 

I bring  my genuine interest in education,  my financial background  and my  risk and control awareness  to the Governing Body. I am committed to ensuring that the children educated at Hillcross school continue to be 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 4 and reception, 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.


Kate Withey
Co-opted Governor
Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  17th September 2021

 Having recently retired from my nursing career after 35 years, I have joined the governing body of Hillcross and am a passionate believer in the value of education.
I was co opted to the Governing body in the Autumn of 2017 and participate on the Personnel Committee and am one of the link Governors for special needs pupils.
I also help out with volunteering with the socially isolated within my own community.

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Paul Wahba

Parent Governor
Appointed by:  Parents of the School
Term of office expiry:  27th September 2021

I recently became a Parent Governor in September 2017.

I am a parent of 2 children who attend the school in years 2 and 3.

By being a school governor I want to ensure the school continues to get the support it deserves so that the children can receive the best education and opportunities available to them.

I care about the children's education and social needs at Hillcross and I feel it is very important that it's not only what is being taught but how the children experience learning and development.

I am a practising Architect and work in Parsons Green where I am partner. I have been practising for 20 years and oversee number of multi-million pound projects throughout the UK. As part of my role I am involved in all aspects of the construction process including health and safety. I hope my skill set can provide the support the school needs.

I hope my professional and parental experience will be an asset to the Governing Body and to the school and I look forward to working with the fellow Governor’s. 

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

I joined the governing body in September 2016 and am part of the standards, teaching and learning committee. This is my 6th year teaching at Hillcross  after joining the school as a Newly Qualified Teacher in 2012. This year I am teaching in year two as well as holding the role of phase 1 leader and responsibility for school council. I enjoy 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.