• Welcome to

    The Russell School


The Governing Body are an important part of The Russell School. They work with the Headteacher and staff to ensure that the vision and values which we uphold are fully delivered. They provide ‘check and challenge’ for the school and support the work that we do with the children in many ways. Our current Governing Body is:

Mr Neil 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 July 2019 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 Headteacher Performance Appraisal Group. He is also the Governing Body's Designated Safeguarding Governor.

Mrs Louise Allen – Vice-Chair Governor

Mrs Louise Allen joined the Governing Body in July 2023 as a Co-opted Governor. Louise joins the Governing Body having worked extensively in public policy and communications, including education policy issues. Louise has a passionate interest in finance, fundraising and governance matters and looks forward to supporting the Governing Body and the Russell School from September.

Laura Brooks - Headteacher

Laura Brooks is the Headteacher at The Russell School. She has been in post since September 2023 and she is loving getting to know the children and families. She is honoured to be leading such a vibrant and inclusive school. Laura attends all Governing Body Committee Teams, sharing the school's development plan, and she welcomes the strategic input and oversight that governance offers.

Mr Rob Woolner - Co-opted Governor

Mr Robin Woolner was first elected as a parent governor in 2011 and in November 2019 was re-elected to serve a third 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 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.

Mr Tom Lloyd - Co-opted Governor

Mr Tom Lloyd was first elected a parent governor of The Russell School by the parent body in 2015. Tom began a second term, having been re-elected by the parent body in January 2019, and is now a Co-opted Governor, re-elected by the Governing Body after his children moved on to secondary school. Tom brings with him a wealth of experience in the education sector, including 15 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 Rebecca James - Associate Governor

Miss Becky James is the Deputy Headteacher of The Russell School and is an Associate Governor. Miss James works tirelessly for the success of the children, staff and parents of the school and has taught in all of the different year groups from Nursery to Year six. Becky plays a key role in the Senior Leadership Team of the school attending all of the full Governing Body meetings. She also plays a key role in overseeing the delivery of the strategic objectives of The Russell through the approved School Improvement Plan.

Mrs Claire Smith – Parent Governor

Mrs Claire Smith was elected a parent governor of The Russell School by the parent body in March 2022. Claire will serve a minimum of four years of office. She is keen to be involved in shaping the school community around well-being and the curriculum. Claire is the Assistant Director of Children’s Commissioning for the London Borough of Hounslow and NWL/CCG. She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise around commissioning services, particularly for Looked After Children, Children and Young People with Mental Health, Autism and Learning Disabilities. Claire provides strategic leadership for the Children’s Commissioning Team while working in an integrated way with SEN, Education and Health colleagues. She shares our passion and values, ensuring better outcomes for our children.

Mrs Nicola McCann – Staff Governor

Nicola opted to be a Staff Governor because she has always enjoyed being involved in the wider community of the school and was interested in supporting the Governing Body. Nicola studied Psychology at degree level and went onto achieve a Diploma in Professional Studies in Education and Child Psychology after her PGCE. She has been in Education for 15 years and it is her 6th year working at The Russell, starting as a SENCO and now also teaching alongside this role, currently in Year 6, as well as being the Lead for History. Nicola loves working at a small school where everyone works together to nurture and develop the best out of every pupil and staff member at the school.

Mr Coulter Patton – Parent Governor

Mr Coulter Patton was elected a Parent Governor of The Russell School by the parent body in December 2022. Coulter is a Director of a top London design agency. His role requires creativity, leadership skills and an understanding of business. He brings 30 years of experience in this industry to the Governing Body. Since moving to Ham 16 years ago, Coulter has learnt the value of community and believes a school has a central role in creating this. His history with The Russell School spans over 12 years and he is proud to support and help drive The Russell School’s commitment to a friendly, inclusive and supportive community.

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 this page of the website, on request at the school office or from the Headteacher.

Committees also meet at least once 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 Governing Body’s work is split into two main committees:

Curriculum and Communication Committee
Looks at the achievements of the children, their progress and the curriculum, alongside their views and the views of parents, carers and the local community

Resources Committee
Looks at all areas of finance, setting the budget and staffing as well as Premises and Health and Safety


Register of Interests and Attendance 2022/23

Register of Interests and Attendance 2023/24

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.

March 2024

February 2024

November 2023

July 2023

May 2023

March 2023

January 2023

November 2022

July 2022

May 2022

January 2022