In This Section


Who Are We?

Mr N. Cutting – Chair of Governors
I have lived in Ham for the past ten years. I was born in Zimbabwe but was raised in South Africa. I have three children, one of whom still attends The Russell School.

I hold a BSc Honours degree in Civil Engineering and am a member of the Institute of Directors. For the past three years I have been working in the City for University Partnership Programme (UPP) in my capacity as a Transaction Director. As a family, we value community and are very involved in a local Church. I am a cyclist, a runner and a regular supporter of Harlequins Rugby.

I believe that I can bring a balance of management, strategic thinking, negotiation skills and enthusiasm for the local community to the Governing Body. As an existing parent of the school, I feel that I have a good sense of what the children and parents appreciate and love about their school as well as their hopes and concerns. I passionately believe that all children need to be valued, well thought of, nurtured, physically challenged and protected within a caring school environment that upholds mutual respect through an appropriate code of conduct. I loved my school years - my desire is that all children would experience the same and develop a lifelong habit and love for learning.

Cllr B. Miller - Vice Chair of Governors
Three of my children and two of my grandchildren have attended The Russell School and I have taken an active role in the school since 1983. I have been a Governor since 1994 and chaired Governor’s Committees since 1995. I have been a Member of Richmond Council since 1990 and bring this experience to the Governing Body to facilitate the relationship with the local authority. I have a teaching qualification which gives me an insight into the school’s operations while my background in international marketing and factory management brings experience in finance, recruitment, premises and Health and Safety issues.

Dr S. Pennell
I am a mother to Ella Simon who attends The Russell School. I teach History at a local University and have lived in Petersham for the past 8 years. I am passionate that all the children at The Russell School have a chance to receive the opportunities that I did. Current economic situation means that we have to pursue creative solutions and seek out alternative sources of support, to sustain those positives; and provide for the areas such as the Physical environment and IT provision.

As someone who communicates for living, I believe that I can be a strong and effective voice for the parent body amongst the governors.

Canon T. Marwood
I spent 35 years working as a teacher, mainly in schools in Inner London. My final teaching post was as Head of St Mary's C.E. Primary School in Putney for 20 years ending in 2007, (this included some School Inspection and Management Advisory work).

I was ordained as a priest in 1996, after training part-time, and took services in churches in Battersea and Kennington until I became Priest-in-Charge at St Peter's Church in Petersham in September 2007. I have been Assistant Part-Time Chaplain at King's College School, Wimbledon since January 2008. I was also made an Honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral in November 2008.

I am involved in links with the church in Zimbabwe. My spare time interests include following England rugby and cricket, both of which give demanding opportunities for prayer. I own a vintage grey Ferguson tractor - in common with the Vicar of St. Andrew's Church in Ham, which is an amazing coincidence.

I think that the pupils of The Russell School are a terrific advertisement for the excellent education that they receive from the both the staff and their parents.

Mrs C. Boyten
I have worked at The Russell School as a teaching assistant for over 30 years. I live in Petersham and now work at the after school care provider, Fit for Sport. I have also been a member of the governing body for over 10 years. The Russell School is in my heart and I give up much of my time to improve things for the children here.

Mrs S. Leir
I am the Headteacher of The Russell School and have been in post since March 2012. I am driven by the enthusiasm and excitement that a new challenge brings and am determined to ensure that all children reach their full potential and leave The Russell prepared for their role in the 21st century. When I am not chasing around school, I can be found chasing around after my two boys aged 12 and 6.

Mrs J. Mead
I am the Teacher Governor at The Russell School. I currently teach in Year On eand have been at the school for a number of years. I have three children of my own and when I am not working I am running around after them..

Mr R. Woolner

Ms D. Mingham

Mr T. Lloyd

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 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 curriculum
  • 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.

The number of governors in each school is set out in a legal document called the Instrument of Government. At The Russell School we have twelve governors on our Governing Body, at least a third of these need to be parent governors i.e. have children at the school at the time they are appointed. The rest are made up from the community, the Local Authority and staff governors. A Governor‘s term lasts four years.