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Hillcross Primary School

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Meet the 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 been a teacher for over 20 years in the sixth form sector and held a variety of leadership and management  positions over that time. She now teaches part time whilst studying for a doctorate in education and writing freelance 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 seventeen 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 son left Hillcross in the summer and now attends a local secondary school and her daughter is currently in Year Four. 


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 will 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.


Jo Thompson
Co-opted Governor (Chair of Standards, Teaching & Learning Committee)
Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  12th July 2023

As a secondary school English teacher, I have a strong commitment to education and teaching and have worked in local comprehensive schools for over 15 years in a variety of roles. I am currently working in the Special Educational Needs department of another local school.

Having grown up in this area, I was aware of Hillcross Primary's strong reputation and the high regard it has within the community. My personal experience of the school goes back more than 10 years as all three of my daughters have attended since nursery. With the youngest having just completed her time at Hillcross and now moving on to high school, I am pleased that continuing to serve on the governing body will be a great way to maintain links with the staff and school community.

I am currently in my second term as a governor, being first elected as a parent governor in November 2014 before becoming a co-opted governor when the governing body reconstituted.  I am the Chair of the Standards, Teaching and Learning committee and the link governor for maths within the school.


Paul Wahba                                                                                                    

Parent Governor (Chair of Business Committee)
Appointed by:  Parents of the School
Term of office expiry:  27th September 2021

I  became a Parent Governor in September 2017.

I am a parent of 2 children who attend the school in years 4 and 5.

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. 


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.


Caroline Harold  

Co-opted Governor
Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  29th October 2022
                                                                

I joined the governing body in 2018 as 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 well being 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 (Vice-Chair of Governors)
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 will be a member of the Business Committee and will be the lead for SEN and inclusion


Ena Crane                                                                                                                                    Co-opted Governor                                                                                                   Appointed by:  The Governing Body
Term of office expiry:  15th October 2023

I was appointed as a Co-opted Governor at Hillcross primary school in September 2019. I have always had a high admiration and respect for teachers and the education system as a whole. My mother was a primary school teacher and my father until recently a university professor. Through them I have always had the belief that a good education provides foundation for success in individuals which in turn provides a positive contribution to society. For me being a governor means I am able to provide positive support to the school and the community in which it is located.

I live within walking distance to the school and my husband and I have lived together in the area since 2011. I was attracted to Hillcross primary school on my first visit. The school is maintained at a high standard and the school has a clear vision in providing a good quality education system which I will endeavour to support. 

I come with many years of experience as a senior manager working in major oil and gas companies as well as in my current role working for a major engineering company. My current role as a project controls manager means I have experience in planning and managing complex work processes, collaborating with others and selecting a large team of people from various social backgrounds and diverse cultures.

I look forward to applying my skills and experience in the governing board at Hillcross primary school and in working with the head teacher and the team of governors.


Jane White                                                                                                                                     Local Authority Governor                                                                                                            Appointed by:  The Governing Body                                                                                        Term of Office Expiry:  13th September 2024

I am delighted to have been recently appointed as a LA governor to 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 may be 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.


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