Surrey Square Primary School

Surrey Square Primary School


Surrey Square Primary School– governance of the Academy

The School is a member of a Multi Academy Trust known as Big Education Trust. You will find a statement on the Trust’s approach to governance on its website

At individual school level, our work is overseen by our Local Governing Body (LGB), which takes all the main decisions relating to the day-to-day operation of the school.

The key accountability for local governing bodies is to ensure that life at the school reflects the values and objectives of the school and Big Education Trust. The Local Governing Bodies are technically committees of the Board of Big Education Trust, but the Trust wishes there to be full local autonomy and oversight, so there are extensive delegated powers. The membership of each local governing body includes elected parents and staff, and co-opted governors. The headteacher of the school is an ex-officio member of the local governing body. They meet at least three times a year.

Local governing bodies support and strengthen their headteacher’s leadership through;

  • robust challenge and support and by holding them to account for the performance of pupils and staff, in line with the individual vision of the school
  • ensuring that local processes are in place for health, safety and compliance, including day to day financial monitoring, and that the Trust Board is kept informed of any risks or matters of concern.

Ways of working

The Trust expects all Governing Bodies within the Trust to sign up to some core principles, for example:

  • A commitment to elected parental representation on LGBs
  • Governors to be hands-on in supporting Headteachers in achieving their local mission as well as exercising their governance responsibilities
  • Governing Bodies to be highly skilled and active in self-assessment, learning and peer-review – living the Trust’s values
  • The Trust to provide or enable training in response to each LGB’s own and trust-wise priorities for development  
  • To prioritise effective communication between Trustees and local governors e.g. working together on cross-cutting projects

The Governing Body of Surrey Square Primary School consists of the following people:

The Clerk to the Governors is Octavo Clerking, who can be contacted by email at

They can be contacted via the School office or by email to


Surrey Square Primary School Governors

Dear parents,
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 Nicola and the staff in the management of the school. While Nicola is 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 or Nicola know.
All best wishes

John Springford
Chair of governors

Our school Governors are:

Frances Edege

Parent Governor

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!

 John Springford

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.

Simona Tottoli

Parent Governor           

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.

Claire Gosnell

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. 

Jason Taylor

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.

Diana Cawdell-Douglas

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 Morden

Deputy Headteacher

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. 

Jacques Morris

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.

Matt Bowman

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.

Parent governors
Simona Tottoli
Frances Edege
Communtiy governors

LA governors
John Springford Chair
Claire Gosnell
Partnership governors
Diana Cawdell Vice Chair
Mary Clarke
Jason Taylor
Staff governors
Liz Robinson - Headteacher
Nicola Noble - Headteacher
Kelly Rowles
Jamie Addleton
Matt Dean

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