Find out about the role of our governing body, meet our governors and read latest governing body news here.

The Role of a School Governor

School governors are members of a school’s Governing Body. They have responsibility for raising school standards through their three key roles of setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and monitoring & evaluating school performance. They are the largest volunteer force in the country. Governors are made up of parents, staff, members of the community and appointed representatives from the Local Authority.

Find out more about the roles and duties of a school governor

Who can become a school governor?

All types of people can become school governors. No special qualifications are required, but you must be 18 or over on the date when you are elected or appointed.

Enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education are the most important qualities. You don’t need to have a child at the school. All Governors are required to complete a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) before they become a school governor.

Please see below for more information about our team of Governors.

How to become a governor

Usually, governors are usually elected when a vacancy becomes available. A vacancy can arrive by an existing governor’s term of office ending, a governor moving on or changes in legalities. When a vacancy arrives it will be advertised though letters in school and on the school website or learning platform. This will contain information regarding how to apply for the vacancy. If you are really interested in becoming a governor in general, please visit the Harrow Council website section for school governance for more information and to apply.

Our Governing Body

Neil Sherman

I live in Pinner with my wife. I have two adult children and three very young grandchildren. I spent my childhood in Stanmore, attending St John’s Primary School and then John Lyon School, Harrow-on-the-Hill. Currently I am Chair of Governors at a central Harrow primary school, a position I have held for the past 5 years.

I spent my early career teaching mathematics in Lambeth and Southwark. I am an experienced headteacher. For the last 9 years of my teaching career I was head of a large comprehensive school in Hillingdon, with 1300 students, of which 150 were in the 6th Form.

I hold the National Professional Qualification for Headship and achieved School Improvement Partner accreditation from the National College for School Leadership in 2010.

Having spent all of my professional life in Education, some time after I retired, I decided to return to education, in a voluntary capacity, using the knowledge and experience I had gained over the years in an effort to help other local schools achieve the very best for their pupils.

Joanne Daswani

My working career spans more than three decades in education and industry​, respectively as​​ a Teacher and an Executive Leader. My teaching experience ​here and overseas ​extends across ​both primary and secondary phases. I am passionate about improving life chances for children and young people.

 As an innovative leader, I believe in the importance of ​embracing new challenges and ​leading learning. ​​I regularly develop my professional skills and engage with new experiences in order to enhance my performance and effectiveness as a school leader.

 As a trained Ofsted​ ​Inspector, I apply my ​detailed ​working knowledge ​and long experience ​of the UK education system to benefit ​my​ school​ in whatever ways possible​, ​​particularly in the areas of ​Strategic ​Leadership, School Improvement and ​Curriculum ​Development.

 I ​am privileged to be Headteacher at Whitchurch Primary School & Nursery, working with​ my​ dedicated staff, our delightful children and their wonderful families.

Kulabalasingham Sudhakar

I am a teacher of Mathematics at a leading independent school in Harrow and have been working as a secondary school teacher for nearly 14 years in both state and independent schools. Alongside teaching Mathematics, I have held many positions of responsibility within these schools to improve pupil achievements, numeracy across the curriculum, teaching and learning, and staff development. At present I am the chair of the school Staff Association, overseeing staff welfare. In addition, I have worked as a GCSE/A-Level examiner for nearly 10 years for a leading exam board. I am very excited to be part of the Whitchurch School governing body and will share my knowledge and experience to make a positive impact in the Whitchurch School community.

Meera Shah

I work part time within the NHS. I am passionate about children and young adults, and, work primarily with teenagers. I can see how a solid foundation shapes young children to become happy, confident teenagers who then progress to well adjusted young adults.

I understand how important the school environment is in shaping a child’s life, and that teachers and other members of staff can have a lifelong impact.

I believe education is the key to achieving a healthy, balanced life. As a parent governor, I am happy to be involved in supporting the school and staff who teach our children / direct the progress of the school.

Link Governor for Inclusion – Gifted and Talented, Pupil Premium and Sport Premium focus

Peter Tenconi

With a BSc Computer Science, I have worked as a director and manager of major projects at home and overseas. I have an excellent understanding of technology, a proven track record of delivering business solutions as well as managing organisational change and consultancy services. I have been responsible for budgets in excess of £20M and managed teams of 50 to150 staff (depending on projects).

As a school governor at a secondary school for 7 years, I have chaired the Finance Committee and the Personnel Committee. I have also assisted with the planning and implementation of a number of building improvements as well as the recruitment of the headteacher and other senior roles. Most recently I have been Chair of Finance on the GB of a Harrow school.

Paul Randall

Profile to follow

Gabriela Ahmadi-Assalemi

Education in my family always was and remains a top priority. Reflecting on my childhood and on my own family, we strive to achieve more and constantly improve on previous achievements. In my profession as a Head of IT for the Medical Research Council, I am responsible for leading, developing and delivering the computing services, strategy and ensuring that the service remains sustainable, compliant with industry standards and relevant legislation. I serve on the operations committee for the Athena Swan Silver application and service improvement working groups in an advisory capacity. I am a visiting lecturer on MSc Cybersecurity Programme and pursue research at the Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute (WCRI), University of Wolverhampton including cyber-physical systems and data acquisition for digital forensics.

I am an experienced Chair of Governors for Glebe Primary School, where I contribute to all the Committees and chair the Health, Safety and Premises in addition to the main GB.

I bring to the school my commitment and knowledge and skills both from my professional background and as an experienced governor and a member of the local community to be an effective member of the Governing Body.

Mina Parmar

I have proudly represented Belmont Ward since 2014 and have been a resident in Harrow for over 40 years. I am a proud supporter of the local businesses and well known amongst the many communities within Harrow.

By profession, I am a HR Director with over 20 years’ experience in both public and corporate sectors. I run an Outsourced HR Company for SME’s. I am passionate about employment rights, fair representation and channels and this is done by serving on the Employees’ Consultative Forum.

I was previously a trustee for Age UK Harrow and Governor for Stanburn School. I am passionate about the care of the elderly. I remain actively involved with several charities and hope to make a difference in this field.

When time allows, I enjoy long country walks and Zumba and endeavour to support the local residents, promote the small businesses and serve the communities of Harrow.

Jatin Patel

With a BSc Actuarial Science from University of Kent, Canterbury, my background is very much a financial one having some 15 years in the City; UBS, Barclays and Gottex. In financial services, I looked after a wide range of clients, institutional and private, across investment management and banking. Currently I am actively involved as a consultant, supporting the Chairman of a US$ 5bn Indian conglomerate, with interests in real estate, infrastructure, hospitality, healthcare, education, retail, construction and manufacturing.

As a founding trustee and Chairman of The Maths Society, which supports young people facing socio-economic disadvantage to achieve a meaningful level of academic attainment, I am passionately committed to supporting people of all ages and backgrounds, and to develop the behaviours and skills they need to navigate our fast-changing world.

I am a governor at Avanti House Secondary School and a member of the Henry Jackson Society, US Indian Business Council, UK India Business Council, Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, Indian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, Indian Angel Network and TiE London & India. I am also a social secretary at Pinner West End Lawn Tennis club, where I play four times a week and engage in organising lively events for the club’s members.

Manji Kara

I am a retired railway engineer dedicating my free time for community service. I have been a Ward councillor since 2002 as well as an LEA nominated school governor at Glebe Primary School and Stanburn Primary School over the years. I was an active member of the PTA at Priestmead School and Park High School where my sons received fine education.

Link Governor for Health and Safety

Maria Nickson

I have been teaching at Whitchurch for four years and during this time I have worked across both Key Stages 1 and 2.​ I have also mentored Newly Qualified Teachers which requires half termly observations, guidance and support with all aspects of pedagogy. I am the PE Coordinator which entails budgeting the sports grant money, organising sporting events, sports clubs and most importantly our annual whole school sports day.

Prior to entering full time teaching, I worked as an TA in a special school in Harrow which catered for all Key Stages up to the age of 18. My first employment was in the Leisure industry, coaching tennis and swimming across many London boroughs. I have always had a sporting background and was fortunate to be selected as a volunteer lifeguard for the triathlon in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Staff Governor

Sarah Mehrali

As a former television news journalist, I am accustomed to relaying the stories and priorities of individuals whilst getting to the heart of the issue promptly. I worked as a producer at ITN, the BBC and Thomson Reuters up until recently. I now work for a sports consultancy, focussed on helping more women reach board level positions within the British sports sector. In addition, I am collaborating with a Cabinet Office backed tech start-up called Bright Little Labs that is producing books and a television show that will for the first time ever, feature a British Gujarati girl as the protagonist.

For several years, I was a member of Friends of Whitchurch which I found to be hugely fulfilling, gave me an insight into systems of the school as well as enabling me to make a great set of friends. With a combination of government cuts and my professional history, I have felt the children could benefit from greater exposure to extra-curricular activities that will equip them for an AI-led world, a focus on the art of public speaking (I worked at TED talks last year) and an overall approach that will ensure consistency and stability for the children in their foundation years.

Paul Smith

I have two children at the school and have been a member of the school community since 2016.

As Chief Executive and Board member of a number of public sector organisations in Australia and the UK in recent years, I have developed key skills in leadership, collaboration and communication. I am an effective listener and a pro-active decision-maker, and strongly feel that effective communication is a key responsibility of a governing body. As a governor I am keen to see more openness about the discussions and decisions being considered by the governing body, ensuring an open relationship with parents.

Julie Raybould (Clerk to Governors)

Profile to follow

Governing Body News and Documentation

Governing Body News

To follow

Other Documentation

To follow

Enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in education are the most important qualities for being a governor