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Governor Biographies

Staff Governors are elected by school staff and can be teachers or support staff. Headteacher William is a staff governor by virtue of his office.

William Dean is the headteacher of Highgate Primary School and therefore also a governor. At our meetings we hold him to account and keep him on his toes by asking challenging questions. He reports back to governors regularly on the curriculum, budget, resources and progress against the school development plan. When he’s not in school or at governors meetings he’ll either be in his garden, walking Cosmo, watching cricket or, if he’s really lucky, in his caravan.

Ollie Parsons is a class teacher in Year 3. He trained at Hampstead Parochial School and then moved to Highgate to take up a teaching post. Before teaching, Ollie worked in politics and children’s policy, first for an MP and then a children’s charity. Ollie also has experience in safeguarding and child protection having been a volunteer Childline counsellor.

Associate Members are not full governors but are appointed by the GB for their expertise in particular areas.

Billie-Jean Daniels lives close to the school with her daughter Robyn. She is a dedicated member of staff, having been involved with the school for nine years, and now teaches in Year 4. She is currently in her fifth year as Well-Being Governor and is a member of the Safeguarding team. In addition to this, and prior to becoming a member of the teaching team six years ago, she was a member of the PSA, which she went on to chair for two years. During her time at the school Billie acquired a degree in Education, at the Institute of Education and achieved her PGCE.

Local Authority Governors are not elected, but are appointed by the local authority.

Liz Morris has been a Highgate resident for 12 years and became a Highgate councillor in 2014. She is interested in children and education and has been the party spokesperson in Haringey for children and education for over two years. She also sits on Haringey’s Corporate Parenting Committee and the Children and Young Persons Scrutiny Committee. Her background is in marketing and she has spent a large part of her career at Warner Bros. in their licensing and interactive games divisions. She has recently become a Local Authority governor and will be chairing the school’s Communications Committee.

Co-opted Governors are appointed by the GB to represent community interests.

Liam Frost has lived in Highgate for over ten years. He has a daughter in Reception and strongly believes in schools being at the heart of the community. He completed his PGCE in Primary Education in 2005 and has worked at a Primary School in Islington ever since, currently as Assistant Headteacher. He is really interested in promoting fun, creative, and memorable educational experiences to nurture and create a lifelong love of learning.

Claire Meier is a full-time research analyst at an asset manager and mother to a son in Year 4. She was co-opted into the Governing Body to help with the school’s financial planning. She also wants to join the effort of building on the strength of the academic focus of the school. She firmly believes that after we, as a school, take care of children’s well-being, including a safe environment and nurturing confidence, they will rise to any academic challenge as well.

Warren Swimer has lived in Highgate for more than a decade and is the finance director of a London real estate company. He joined the Governing Body in 2015, primarily to help with the resources committee, and is interested in ensuring that children go to school in an environment that is safe and one that encourages confidence and independent thought.

Ruth Vince has taught at Highgate Primary since 2001 and is our Deputy Headteacher, Subject Leader for Literacy and Assessment and leader of the Early Years Foundation Stage. She is one our most experienced teachers, having taught in both key stages, including Year 2 and Year 6. Ruth can usually be spotted cycling in and out of school in her fluorescent jacket, exercising in our Pilates class or reading a good book.

Parent Governors are parents or carers of children at the school who are elected by other parents and carers.

Jake Baker has been a governor since 2010 and is the Chair of the Governing Body. He has a son in Year 6. He is a secondary school teacher at Alexandra Park School, and is interested in child development and the learning process. He appreciates the importance placed on play-based learning in the early years at Highgate Primary, and the strong emphasis on quality of life, relationships and group experiences throughout all the years here.

Laura Eden has worked with children, including those with special educational needs, for the last 20 years, aiming to make sure children are safe at home, in school and in the community, and hopes to use this area of expertise for the governing body. She has a strong belief that children thrive if they feel secure and confident in their environment.

Sharminee Kumaradevan has two children at Highgate Primary School. She worked as a writer and editor in scientific and medical publishing before training as an acupuncturist. She enjoys working with the children as a volunteer for Forest School and the Better Reading Partnership. She wanted to become a parent governor to support the schools strong community ethos and emphasis on inclusivity. She feels proud to be part of a school which celebrates its diversity.

Barbara Palczynski is the Vice Chair of the Governing Body and has been a parent at the school since 2005, with children now in Years 6, 8 & 10 both here and at Fortismere School. She studied French and German and works as a freelance Projects Consultant with the London Sinfonietta, previously with the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras overseeing large-scale projects. She was an active PSA class rep until she became a governor in 2012. She is passionate about music, education and young people, and in her spare time she plays the cello.

Steven Porter is a parent governor and local secondary school teacher of computing. Before teaching he was a graphic designer and web developer. He is interested in raising standards for all children in education and especially STEM. He has a keen interest in robotics and helped his school become national champions last year.