In This Section


Who Are We?

Mr N. Cutting – Chair of Governors

Mr Neil Cutting is the Chair of The Russell School Governing Body. Originally elected as a parent governor in 2011, Neil was re-appointed as a co-opted governor by the governing body in September 2015 following the change in school governance regulations. Neil takes an active interest in all areas of the school and is especially interested in how better governance can help to support The Russell in its drive towards becoming an outstanding school. Neil also chairs the Parent, Pupil and Community (PPC) Committee and the Headteacher Performance Appraisal Group. He is also the Governing Body's Designated Safeguarding CLA (Children Looked After) Governor.

Cllr B. Miller - Vice Chair of Governors

Mr Brian Miller was appointed a co-opted governor of The Russell School in 2015, which carries a two year term, and was elected Vice Chair of The Russell School Governing Body. Previously a Local Councillor for the Ward of Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside, Mr Miller has a long association with the school dating back to 1982 when his twin daughters joined the school and 1994 when he first became a governor. Brian has lived in Ham for many years and is an active member of the community with a wealth of knowledge and experience in town planning, development and local government policy.  His unique viewpoint has helped the Governing Body debate the many and varied issues surrounding the changing educational landscape and redevelopment of the school in recent years. Brian is a member of the Resources Committee, which he also chairs, and a member the Curriculum, Achievement and Standards (CAS) Committee.

Dr S. Pennell

Dr Sara Pennell became a co-opted governor in 2015 having previously been an elected parent governor in 2011. Sara chairs the Curriculum, Achievement and Standards Committee and, with a background in teaching and research in the Higher Education sector, is familiar with the regulatory environments within which education as a whole must operate. A highly committed former parent of the school, Sara has often been involved in the planning and delivery of key fund raising events throughout the school year. Sara was previously the Vice Chair of the Governing Body for a number of years and also provided vital strategic support to the school during the most recent Ofsted inspection.

Canon T. Marwood

Canon Tim Marwood is a Local Authority governor of The Russell School appointed to the post by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Canon Marwood is Vicar of St Peters Church in Petersham and a lifelong educator having taught for 35 years, mainly in Church of England primary schools, including twenty years as the Head of St Mary’s CofE Primary School, Putney. Tim is a highly respected and valued member of the Governing Body as well as a very encouraging and active supporter of the school. Tim regularly challenges the Governing Body to consider its actions in light of what is best for the children of The Russell School and is a member of the PPC Committee. Revd Marwood is also the Governing Body’s Designated SEND Governor.

Mrs C. Boyten

Mrs Carole Boyten is a co-opted governor who has faithfully served The Russell School community for a number of years including as a member of the Governing Body. Following the recent change in school governance regulations, Carole was appointed by the Governing Body in September 2015 with a two year term of office. Carole has a keen interest in the daily life of the school and works with the pupil ecology groups at lunchtimes and regularly attends the Junior Leaders meetings led by the children of the school. In addition to her Governing Body responsibilities, Carole is a member of the Resources and PPC Committees.

Mrs S. Leir

Mrs Samantha Leir is the Headteacher of The Russell School and, as such, is automatically a member of the Governing Body in the Staff category. Samantha’s term of office runs concurrently with her appointment as the Headteacher of the school. Mrs Leir works tirelessly for the success of the children, staff and parents of the school and can often be seen, morning and afternoon, at the top entrance of the site with a warm welcome for all pupils and their carers. Leading the Senior Leadership Team of the school means that Samantha attends all of the Governing Body Committee meetings i.e. CAS, Resources and PPC, all of which oversee the delivery of the strategic objectives of The Russell through the approved School Improvement Plan.

Mr R. Woolner

Mr Robin Woolner was elected as a parent governor in 2011 and in December 2015 was re-elected to serve a second term of office with the unanimous support of the Governing Body. Robin has extensive business management and strategic leadership experience working in the technology sector for a number of years. A keen supporter of The Russell, Robin regularly attends key events in the life of the school and always brings clear insights and considered opinions to bear during Governing Body meetings. In addition to participation at these meetings, Robin serves on the CAS and Resources Committees. He also fulfils another important role as a member of the Headteacher Appraisal Group where performance is measured against previously set targets and new objectives set for the year ahead in line with the Governing Body’s strategic priorities for the school.

Ms D. Mingham

Ms Daniela Mingham is a co-opted governor of The Russell School and Head of Sixth Form, Director of Studies and a teacher of mathematics at Hampton Court House School. Daniela joined the Governing Body in 2013 as a community governor which converted to co-opted membership following the 2015 amendment to school governance regulations. Ms Mingham brings a unique peer perspective through her work and leadership at a local private school. Daniela read mathematics at Oriel College, Oxford and began her career in the financial services sector as a forecasting analyst followed by a few years in business management strategy. In addition to attendance at Governing Body meetings, Daniela is a member of the CAS Committee.

Mr T. Lloyd

Mr Tom Lloyd was elected a parent governor of The Russell School by the parent body in 2015. Tom will serve a minimum 4 year term of office and brings with him a wealth of experience in the education sector, including 13 years (and counting) working as an Educational Psychologist for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. His particular areas of interest are in prioritising high academic standards and maintaining the friendly nature of the school as it expands into its brand new buildings. All members of the Governing Body are encouraged to participate in one or more of the established committees and Tom is currently serving on the Resources Committee.

Miss C. Briggs

Miss Claire Briggs was appointed to the role of Clerk for The Russell School Governing Body at the beginning of 2016. Claire is a full time employee of Achieving for Children, a social enterprise company created by Kingston and Richmond Councils to provide for the respective boroughs' children's services. She brings with her a wealth of experience in project management and client side delivery of public sector building projects. Claire has quickly made her mark, producing high quality minutes and contributing to the effective running of the Governing Body. In addition to full Governing Body meetings, Claire also provides clerking services to the Resources Committee.

How Do We Work?

The Governing Body has a very strong strategic role to play in the progress of the school. It works in establishing a strategic framework by:

  • setting aims and objectives for the school
  • adopting policies to achieve those aims and objectives
  • setting targets to achieve those aims and objectives

The Governing Body monitors and evaluates the progress of its strategies and regularly reviews the framework for the school in light of that progress. The Governing Body takes into account advice given by the Headteacher and the Local Authority when it is establishing the strategic framework and reviewing the progress made.

The Headteacher has responsibility for the management of the teachers, support staff and the school and for the implementation of the strategic framework as established by the Governing Body. Governors are not expected to be involved in the detail of the day to day management of the school. In practice, this means that the Governing Body’s role is one of strategic leadership. Thus the focus of the work of a Governing Body is school improvement and high standards of educational achievement.

Having identified the school’s needs and priorities, the Governing Body and the Headteacher agree a plan with clear targets for improvement and success criteria. The implementation of the plan is the Headteacher’s responsibility, however the Governing Body reviews progress made on this plan at each Governing Body meeting and agrees any action required in relation to the strategic aims on the plan.

The Headteacher is responsible for leading the staff in regular evaluations of all aspects of the school and must ensure that the school self-evaluation is robust and evidence based. Areas for development and improvement must be identified. The Headteacher must report the outcomes of the evaluation to the Governing Body and this is done via the Headteachers report at every Governing Body meeting. The quality of the information provided, on a timely basis, means that the Governing Body can fulfil its function. By working in this way the Headteacher and Governing Body can work in synergy and deliver the best possible education for the children at The Russell School.

The Governing Body meets twice a term and minutes of these meetings are available to all parents on the website, on request at the school office or from Mrs Leir.

The Governing Body’s work is split into three main committees:

  • Curriculum, Achievement and Standards Committee - which looks at the achievements of the children, their progress and the curriculum23rd May 2016
  • Resources Committee – which looks at all areas of finance, setting the budget and staffing as well as Premises and Health and Safety
  • Pupils, Parents and the Community Committee – which looks at the views of the children, the parents and carers as well as the community.

Committees also meet twice a term and report back, via minutes, ahead of the Governing Body meeting any decisions that need to be taken.

A Governor is one important player in a wider partnership, which also includes parents, the staff in the school, the Local Authority (LA), the community and the Government. Each of these partners contributes in different ways, supported by a legal framework that clearly sets out their roles and responsibilities.

The aim of all partners is to make sure that children acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and attitudes needed to play their full part as citizens of the future. The aim is to ensure that the children of The Russell School leave having reached their full potential and have the tools for learning and the skills for effective studying that they will need as they move on to secondary education.

Minutes of our Meetings

The minutes of our full Governing Body meetings are available below. Minutes will be uploaded to the website as and when they have been signed off by the Chair of Governors.

21st January 2019 

26th November 2018

24th September 2018

2nd July 2018

21st May 2018

19th March 2018

29th January 2018

4th December 2017

9th October 2017

3rd July 2017