I’m writing to give some information about the governors of Surrey Square Primary School to the parents. I’ve been Chair of Governors since the infant and junior schools merged, and I’d like to take a few moments to discuss what the governors’ role is.
The governors help Liz and Nicola and the staff in the management of the school. While Liz and Nicola are responsible for the day-to-day running of the school, governors provide strategic management, and are a critical friend, supporting the work of the head teacher and other staff.
Governors monitor the school's progress, and set annual targets for the school's performance and for the head teachers (and ensure that the head teachers set targets for other staff).
Surrey Square has a delegated budget to cover salaries, running costs, maintenance and equipment, and the governors ensure this budget is well spent. We offer advice to the head about staff recruitment and some of the other strategic spending decisions.
We would be delighted to hear from you if you have anything you would like to discuss with us about any aspect of the school. You can contact me through the school. We are currently seeking parent governors for the school, so if you would like to get involved, please let me, Liz or Nicola know.
All best wishes
Chair of governors
Our school Governors are:
I became a partnership governor at Surrey Square in 2007 when I was a senior manager in PwC, a large professional services firm involved in Business in the Community issues in Southwark. I have continued to enjoy my links with Surrey Square since retiring from PwC. My focus has been on finance as Chair of the Finance and Premises sub-committee. Surrey Square is a lovely school, it encourages the highest standards in work and play.
Before joining PwC I spent time with my family in Japan and South Africa working at universities on part time research projects around public private investment in infrastructure and as a consultant to a government sponsored organisation in the UK. I still do some freelance work in this area.
I enjoy spending time with my large, close family and work abroad with Riding for the Disabled.
My name is Frances. Please do not get confused, I am not from France neither do I speak French but I like the Eifel Tower and most things French; i.e. fashion. I work for a major charitable organisation within the London Borough of Southwark. I have an uncontrollable desire for charity, nothing is more pleasing to serve and I love serving my local community hence I became a parent governor.
I have a non-exhaustive list of passion ranging from cooking, movies, music, looking after children, reading and poetry. If I were to be an animal I would choose to be a lion to protect the vulnerable, a honey badger to withstand the venoms that come with being charitable, a towering palm tree to be able to hold my head up high. Fortunately, I am a human being!
Chair of Governors
I work for the Centre for European Reform, a public policy think-tank in Westminster, where I cover European economic issues. I wanted to become a governor at Surrey Square because I live in the area and wanted to help out with a local school. It has been a great experience to be part a successful school which achieves excellent results and has built a compassionate, friendly environment for pupils and staff.
My hobbies are music (a bit of tuneless singing and strumming the guitar), getting on the train to go for walks around London and in the countryside, and going to art galleries.
I work as a Regeneration Programme Officer for a Local Authority. I love being a governor at Surrey Square where my daughter goes. I have discovered that there is quite a lots and complicated work behind the scenes in running a school. I am pleased to be part and support the school staff to make decisions about future directions while also challenging the school leadership. In the role of parent governor, I make sure that the point of view/feelings of parents/careers are always considered.
I am vegetarian and environmentally conscious at all times, during my spare time (which is not much) I volunteer for a local Vegan Coop (community group), I love family time, forests, dogs, yoga, swimming, running, cycling, travelling, reading biographies and everything organic, healthy and ethical.
I lead on branding and communications for a large international law firm. I live quite near to Surrey Square and was impressed by the school's ethos and inspired by the commitment of the staff and leadership team to make a difference to their children and their families. Being part of the governing body is very rewarding and a great way for me to feel more in touch with my local community; I highly recommend it!
Away from school and work, I love nothing more than to get lost in a good book.
I am the Head of Strategy Development for Plan International: an international development children’s charity working in over 70 countries around the world, striving to achieve child rights and to eliminate gender inequality. I previously worked as a strategy consultant for EY; I wanted to be a governor for Surrey Square School in order to apply my financial and strategy experience in a school environment.
Having lived in both Elephant and Castle and Canada Water, I also am delighted to be involved with a school in any area I know well. Personally, I enjoy walking, outdoor adventures and international travel. I am a proud father of a daughter.
Vice Chair of Governors
In my professional life, I run a strategic arts consultancy, which helps arts businesses - galleries, museums, art fairs - to evolve and grow. I live locally and have been a governor at Surrey Square Primary School for a number of years because I believe education can transform children's opportunities.
When I am not working, I love to cook and get huge pleasure from the arts - both visual and performing and long walks in the country!
Matt is a keen musician and performer. You can often find him 'treading the boards' at the Bridewell Theatre.
Being a governor means that I have a deep understanding of all the mechanics that go on behind the scenes in order to keep a school running effectively. It is great to be part of a team that works together towards the same goal and vision - ensuring excellence for all children at Surrey Square.
I am a Civil Servant currently working in international security in the Home Office. Having previously worked closely with schools and local authorities in the Department for Education, I wanted to get more involved with education in my community (I live in Brixton) and was immediately drawn to the innovation, success and friendly atmosphere of Surrey Square!
I am excited to be a new governor at Surrey Square and to bring a perspective of government policy to the school. Outside of work I spend my time playing football, music, and exploring the plastic mountains of local climbing centres.
My name is Matt Bowman and I am a finance and financial restructuring and insolvency lawyer who works for a large international bank in London. I first became aware of Surrey Square through my involvement with the bank’s charity steering committee and its current partnership with Magic Breakfast. I feel extremely lucky and proud to have the opportunity to join such a successful team who have already achieved so much but hope that my finance background and legal skills can help support the school as it continues its journey.
I believe that you only get out of life what you put in and we all have a duty to give back where we can. Outside of work I live in South West London with my wife and 2 primary school age children and I am passionate about sport and health and fitness generally. I also sing in a community choir.
John Springford Chair
Diana Cawdell Vice Chair
Liz Robinson - Headteacher
Nicola Noble - Headteacher
Every year all governors sign a register of business interests and at present there are no interests to be declared.
Details of the committees, attendances and appointment dates can be found here.