Meet our Governors

 

Michelle Thomason  Co-opted Governor (Co-Chair of Governing Body)

Appointed by:  The Governing Body 
Term of office expiry:  12th July 2022

Michelle is Co-Chair of the governing body and link governor for safeguarding. 

She has over twenty years of experience teaching in the post-16 sector and held a variety of leadership and management positions in that time. She now works in higher education in initial teacher training and is currently studying for a doctorate in education. She writes for a number of publications, predominantly in the education sector.

Originally from the north-east, Michelle has lived in London and the local area for over eighteen years and is pleased to have seen how much Hillcross has developed into the popular, thriving school community it is today. A parent of two, both her children have attended Hillcross since nursery. Her daughter is currently in year 5 and her son now attends a local secondary school. 

Stuart Field Co-opted Governor   (Co-Chair of Governing Body)

Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  29th October 2022

I joined the Governing Body in October 2018 and sit on the Standards, Teaching and Learning Committee.

Living locally, I believe schools to be a cornerstone of any community. I believe passionately that children deserve the best education regardless of background or family circumstances and that this should be delivered in a safe and nurturing environment.

Having worked in the City for the past 15 years, I hope to use my professional experience to assist the school continue its great work. 

Caroline Harold Co-opted Governor (Co-Vice-Chair of Governing Body and Chair of Personnel Committee)

Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  29th October 2022    

I joined the governing body in 2018 and am a member of the Personnel Committee.

My grandson is a pupil at the school and I have been impressed by the high level of care and unfailing level of commitment to his wellbeing and that of all the other children in the school.

I am a Barrister and Senior Lawyer presently working within the Civil Service and have worked for a number of Government Departments.  I have extensive  experience in employment and commercial law together with  a keen interest in public and regulatory law, and alongside this I have a good deal of experience in terms of delivery from the operational perspective, specifically of organisation and people-centred change.

I am a strong proponent of life-long learning and continuous development and consider the education and development of future generations to be of immense importance and I wish to support the school in its efforts to help every child achieve their full potential.

I have a broad range of skills and experience that enable me to act as a critical friend to the school, and I am happy for those skills to be used in any way that may be of assistance either to meet strategic and business planning objectives or to further the educational and pastoral aims of the school.

Tony Williams    Co-opted Governor (Co-Vice-Chair of Governing Body)

Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  29th October 2022

It is thanks to my grandson Jude that I am now a Governor at Hillcross School joining in November 2018. Picking Jude up from school has given me the opportunity to view the school from both the inside and the outside. What I have seen in terms of quality of education, an ethos of inclusivity and fun and a caring approach in all matters has given me an appetite to be part of the Hillcross School future journey. I feel privileged that I have been given that opportunity.

In respect of my school experience, I am also a Governor at Dysart School (which specialises in children with autism), have been a Board Trustee for the Radius Trust (managed three schools focussed on special educational needs) and was Deputy Chair of Governors at my children’s primary school (Malden Manor) for six years.

My background and work experience is a mixture of public, private and not for profit sectors. I have worked as the Director of HR Services in the Home Office, a consultant for Insight HR Consultancy (I now run my own consultancy Tony Williams Associates) and the Executive Director of People at the Orbit Group Housing Association. I have also set up Project4Africa which focuses on raising funds to Make a difference to the lives of children (we have built a school and maternity unit in Malawi).

What has always driven me is an interest in people and making a difference to their lives. My key skills focus on coaching and mentoring, strategic planning, transforming organisations and people engagement.

In my Governor’s role at Hillcross I am a member of the Business Committee and the Childrens Champion lead. 

Paul Wahba   Parent Governor (Chair of Business Committee)

Appointed by:  Parents of the School
Term of office expiry:  27th September 2025

I became a Parent Governor in September 2017 and have subsequently become a Co-Opted Governor.

I am an Architect and I work in Parsons Green where I am partner running a busy practice. I have been working in architecture for 20 years and oversee a 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.

At Hillcross, I am primarily involved with the Business Committee, which I now chair with specific responsibility for health and safety. I have been able to utilise my professional skillset to support the school strategically in this area.

I currently have one child in Year 6. My other child moved on to secondary school this year having also attended Hillcross since nursery. It is a great privilege to be part of a strong governance team that supports and guides the school to ensure there is clarity of vision, a tangible ethos and strategic direction.

I am passionate about the children's education and social needs at Hillcross, therefore supporting the school strategically to efficiently deliver the school’s mission, vision & values is crucial to me.

Sharon Furlong    Co-opted Governor            

 Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  19th October 2023

I joined the Governing body in October 2015 and I am the SEN Governor.  I am currently a member of the Business Committee and previously served 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 also have significant recruitment and training experience. 

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.

Peter Thomas     Co-opted Governor (Chair of STL Committee)                    

Appointed by: the Governing Body 
Term of Office Expiry: 6th December 2024

I joined the governing body in December 2020 as a member of the Standards, Teaching & Learning Committee.

I have a strong interest in education and its life enhancing outcomes in the lives of children and young adults. I have previously been a Local Authority appointed Governor at Hillcross and a Governor and Director at St. Mary’s University Twickenham.

I am a retired international banker who has worked in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the United Kingdom largely in client coverage, credit risk, corporate restructuring and project management roles in Corporate, Institutional and Investment Banking.

I am currently a member of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust and a Magistrate.

I hope that my professional experience and previous knowledge of Hillcross will enable me to contribute to the Governing Body.

Jane White   Local Authority Governor


Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of Office Expiry:  13th September 2024

I am delighted to be a Local Authority governor at Hillcross Primary. I live locally and now enjoy the slightly slower pace of life since retiring from being a headteacher in 2017. For thirty years I worked in Merton schools across the borough and during this time was privileged to serve as a headteacher in two of those schools. I hope I am able to use my education and leadership skills effectively on the school governing body over the coming years.

I believe in developing strong communities and in the past have been involved in local community development projects, Food Bank and served as a local councillor. As a member of Morden Baptist Church I have led various courses for members and the local community.

In my spare time I love to explore new places, visit sites of historical significance and swim or walk to keep fit and active. I also find there is nothing better than simply enjoying a cup of coffee with friends and family which I have been lucky enough to do more frequently since retirement.

Lucy Kelsall    Staff Governor


Appointed by: The Staff of the School
Term of Office expiry:  31st August 2023

I am part of the Standards, Teaching and Learning committee.    I have been teaching at Hillcross for over 3 years having previously taught at a school in Sutton.  I am a year four teacher and am also responsible for leading the teaching and learning of Science at the school.  Being ideally placed at the end of Phase 2 and before the beginning of Phase 3, I feel that I am advantageously placed to share my viewpoint on the Governors' committee from a staff perspective.  I am sure that my role as a staff governor will allow me to support Hillcross in continuing to build a strong school community as well as celebrating the success and achievement of the children and staff.

Kate Billingham-Wilson  Parent Governor

 Appointed by: Parents of the School

Term of Office expiry:   3rd February 2024

I become a Parent Governor in February 2020, my two girls currently attend Hillcross School having both started in nursery. In that time I have been able to see the great community atmosphere that Hillcross has and the nurturing environment that it provides to allow children to learn and develop.

I am a senior charity fundraiser and have worked in the sector for over 20 years, latterly managing teams that raise substantial figures each year (circa £3million+ pa). Working in this area has given me valuable and extensive experience of budget planning and management and the financial constraints that organisations (including schools) have to work within and the adaptability required to do so. It has also given me the experience of the statutory requirements that charities need adhere to when helping vulnerable adults and children and the empathy required to work with diverse community groups. I hope that my considerable professional experience has given me a good understanding of these areas which I would be able to bring to the role of parent governor. 

 As a governor I aim to support the school’s senior staff to continue to meet the challenges of running a large primary school, offering constructive challenge where necessary, as well as enabling teachers to express their concerns, as well as provide a positive impact as a parent governor to the benefit of pupils, parents, teachers and support staff. 

 

Please see the document below for full membership details, declarations of interest and attendance records of our current governing body.

Hillcross Primary School, Ashridge Way, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4EE

020 8542 6936

info@hillcross.merton.sch.uk