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The Board of Governors has a collective responsibility for the safe and effective operation of the school, and has ultimate authority for making decisions about the strategic direction of the school. They fulfil their responsibilities through the following actions:

  • Appointing and managing the performance of the Headteacher
  • Strategic planning and agreeing the School Improvement Plan
  • Monitoring pupils’ progress and achievement through regular data analysis
  • Ensuring all pupils receive support according to their individual needs
  • Agreeing the school policies
  • Monitoring the quality of teaching and overseeing staff structure
  • Analysing in detail the school’s finances and ensuring careful management of the budget
  • Overseeing spiritual, moral, social and cultural education
  • Reviewing the school curriculum
  • Setting targets for the school’s performance
  • Sitting on panels as required for hearing staff or student grievances and appeals against student exclusions

The Board of Governors and the Headteacher work in partnership for the good of the school, respecting each other’s roles and responsibilities. Governors do not get involved in the day-to-day running of the school or in issues relating to individual students (other than in an exclusion panel). They act as a “critical friend” to the Headteacher and the school and provide advice, feedback and constructive challenge.

Apart from the Headteacher, who is ex-officio, parent and staff governors are elected for a term of four years; they can however be re-elected after this term has expired. Co-opted governors do not serve for a fixed period; they are appointed according to the requirement for their skills or experience in specific areas.  The school is following DfE guidance on ensuring the Board of Governors has the appropriate skill set to do the job effectively.

Please click on the expandable sections below for further information.

Board of Governors

Chiswick School’s Board of Governors

Chair: Rachel Jerrome

Headteacher: Laura Ellener 

Parent governors: Joanna Keeling, Jo Smith, Victoria Buchanan

Co-opted governors: Denny Anthony, Jitesh Sudera, Rachel Jerrome, Maryam Shahmanesh, Julia Cove-Smith, Emily Louise, Elroy Cahill, Debbie Light, Ruhina Cockar

Trust appointed governor: Nicholas Lee

Clerk to Governing Body: Beth Holmes

Academy Trust Members: Jocelyn Cripps, James Lamont, Ron Mushiso

Company Secretary: Joanna Duddy

Governors Details

Please click on the following link to view Governors Details.

Governors Details

Biographies of our Governing Body

Denny AnthonyDenny Anthony

My name is Denny Anthony, and I have worked with young people within the Chiswick community for over 20 years. During this time, I have worked as a Youth and Community worker and managed Hogarth Youth Centre’s youth programme. I am a qualified Youth worker who studied at Brunel University, achieving a BA in Youth and Community work. As the link governor for Safeguarding and Child protection my role is to ensure that the wellbeing of young people is paramount. I have taken on this role, due to me being a qualified Level 3 Child Protection professional. I pride myself in being able to devise programmes that meet the needs of young people, whist also striving towards an ethos of putting young people and their safety first.

Rachel JerromeRachel Jerrome

Rachel has more than twenty years’ experience in Human Resources and is currently working for a large education charity where she supports leadership teams in schools across London to implement effective people strategies.  She has extensive experience in both the public and private sector having previously worked as a HR Director at Deloitte.  Rachel was elected Chair of Governors in April 2018 bringing over 10 years' experience of primary school governance to the role.  

Rachel is a member of both the Resources and Pupil Outcomes Committees and parent of two children at the School.

Jitesh SuderaJitesh Sudera

I work as a project manager in healthcare, having joined the NHS as a graduate management trainee. I was involved in the development of Personalised Care and am now at the forefront of its implementation across the service, enabling people to be active partners in their health and wellbeing.   

I look forward to contributing to the ambition of Chiswick School. I sit on the Resources committee and am the link with the Pupil Premium team.  

I like to be active and travel as often as my schedule allows.

Jo Smith

Governor Biog photoI am currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Department of Renal Medicine at UCL. The focus of my research is understanding genetic causes of inflammatory kidney disease in order to develop effective therapies.

I have more than five years experience of School governance and I am currently Chair of Governors at Cavendish Primary School.  I am the governor lead for maths and a member of the Pupil Performance & Outcomes Committee at Chiswick School.

My three children all attend Chiswick School.

Victoria Buchanan

Victoria BuchananI am a mum of 2 at Chiswick School. I believe in community schooling and the life changing power a school can have. I really wanted to get involved and help this school be the best it can be.

I am a executive creative director in the digital communication industry. I’ve spent 25 years in the ever evolving digital sector using creative technology to enhance brand experiences and communications. I work on a range of businesses developing their customer experiences. I develop branding, content, design, advertising, social media, customer journeys to physical exhibitions. I also work with many organisations championing female and neurodiversity in creativity and STEM business.

Nicholas LeeNicholas Lee

Nicholas has extensive investment banking and capital markets experience and is actively involved in public markets.  Having read Engineering at St. John’s College, Cambridge, he commenced his career at Coopers & Lybrand where he qualified as a chartered accountant.

He then joined Dresdner Kleinwort, where he worked in the corporate finance department advising a range of companies across a number of different sectors. When he left in 2009, he was a Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking for Dresdner Kleinwort’s hedge fund/ alternative asset manager clients. He now holds a number of directorships of public and private companies with a particular focus on technology and financial sectors.

Emily Louise

Emily seeks to represent the community, especially those whose voices aren’t always heard. Chiswick School, its students and teachers have played a significant role in her journey and she hopes to ensure it continues to do so for others.

She studied at Chiswick School from Year 7 to Sixth Form and became the first in her family to attend university when she was admitted to the University of Oxford to study History as a Moritz-Heyman Scholar. Despite fewer than 1% of students admitted to the university growing up on free school meals, she went on to achieve a first-class degree.

She is a future trainee solicitor and have experience in the education sector having worked for the Sutton Trust, volunteered with Universify Education and held the position of both Vice-President of the Oxford First-Generation Society and JCR Access Officer of Somerville College.

Debbie LightDebbie Light

Debbie has been teaching in the borough of Ealing for nearly 20 years and is currently Vice Principal at Ark Acton Academy, leading on teaching and learning. She has worked there for seven years and has been part of a transformational journey, moving the school from Inadequate to Good. She has over a decade of experience leading on teacher development and inclusion at two secondary schools in Ealing.

Debbie is passionate about ensuring all students, regardless of their starting point and background, flourish at school and showcase their talents. As an English teacher, she is particularly interested in the link between literacy, language and improved life chances for all.

Debbie has two teaching books published by Bloomsbury: Lesson Planning Tweaks for Teachers and Stretch and Challenge.

JkJoanna Keeling

Our two children have been at Chiswick School since we returned to the area in 2019 after living and working abroad.

I am the founder and director of a management consultancy which focuses on growth at an institutional and individual level. We work with a wide range of clients across sectors, industries and professions. My work has given me skills and practice in leading people and teams, creating growth and delivering excellence. I specialise in the practical side of improving performance, culture and leadership impact.

As a family, and community members, we share in the school’s compelling and far-reaching ambitions. I am very proud to have the opportunity to offer empathy, support, curiosity and challenge to the school’s staff and leadership team as they continue to deliver on these goals.

IMG 7291Elroy Cahill

Elroy is an education professional with significant experience as a Headteacher specialising in securing rapid and sustained improvement. Most recently Elroy worked as a Headteacher in a nearby secondary academy, leading the school to secure its first ever Ofsted 'Good' grading, along with an increase in student numbers and the school placing in the Top 15% of school's nationally for progress. Elroy currently works for an National Multi-Academy Trust as part of the Quality and Standards team, reviewing secondary school performance and working with Headteachers to accurately self evaluate and identify key priorities for improvement. Elroy has over 10 years experience as a school governor across both primary and secondary settings. Elroy sits on Chiswick's Resources committee. 

Julia Cove SmithJulia Cove-Smith

Julia is the former CEO of Emma Bridgewater Ltd, where she led around 450 people across manufacturing, distribution, shops and commercial roles.  She has extensive retail and e-commerce experience having held senior positions in Marketing and Business Development at Waterstones and WHSmith prior to joining Emma Bridgewater.

Outside work, Julia is a qualified netball coach and has been volunteering regularly for the past 8 years at a local state primary school running inclusive after school netball clubs encouraging year 3-6 children to participate in team sports. She also runs a grass roots U15 Girls football team in the Surrey Sunday League and recently completed her FA introduction to football coaching. 

With an interest in the benefit of keeping young people (particularly girls) actively engaged in sport as they go through their early teens, Julia started in April 2024 as a volunteer sports coach at the newly opened WEST Youth Zone in White City. 

Julia is married with 3 children aged 15, 17 and 20.  Her oldest left Chiswick School in 2021 to study History at Manchester University, and both her younger children are still at Chiswick School.

Headshot (1)Ruhina Cockar

I've spent 14 years immersed in education teaching mathematics and developed my leadership through various roles and responsibilities. For 5 years, I guided a dynamic mathematics department to make innovative curriculum changes and fostered a high-performing team deeply committed to pedagogical excellence and enhancing the student experience. As Assistant Vice Principal in a single-sponsored Academy in inner London, for the last 3 years, I have focused on curriculum design that merges character education (personal development) with the academic curriculum to prepare students for living and working in a complex, diverse, technologically advanced and connected world. Outside of teaching I am a Certified Facilitator of coaching courses with Graydin, where my passion in leadership has been to advocate for an approach to having “Better conversations” and empowering leadership (and anyone interested!) through coaching with connection building at its core. I am really interested in making a sustainable and positive impact in education through teacher development as having inspiring teachers and leaders leads to raising standards for all students.

Governors Register of Business Interests

Governors sign a form each term to declare whether they had any related parties with whom Chiswick School has had any transaction in the last school year. (relevant parties are listed below).

  • Spouse or Partner
  • Adult children
  • Any person with whom they have a close personal relationship
  • Any entity in which they have an interest which gives the significant influence over its affairs.
  • Any interests in which any entities where the person noted under 1-3 above has a significant influence

Governors currently have the following Business interests to declare:

Chiswick School Governors Interests 22-23

If you require any further information please contact the Clerk to the Governors.

Chiswick School Academy Trust

There are 4 members of the Chiswick School Academy Trust, which is a charitable company responsible for the running of the school, and which has control over the land and other assets. Although it has an official role in submitting an Annual Report and Accounts to Companies House and holding an Annual General Meeting (AGM), it delegates most matters of governance to directors – also called governors.


The Board of Governors recently underwent a restructure in line with DfE guidance. The previous committee structure has been replaced and governors now attend meetings more frequently about all school business. This means they are fully informed about all aspects of governance. Sometimes a small working party will look closely at a particular project and report back to the board of governors on findings and recommendations. The one exception is the Pay and Staffing committee, which meets regularly and reports to the main Board of Governors on aspects of staffing.

Meetings and Reporting

Each governor is linked to a designated area of activity within the school (for example, SEN-D or Health and Safety) and they are responsible for reporting back on this area to the whole governing body at meetings held at least twice a term. A summary of the minutes of these meetings is available for all to see on the Minutes section of this website.

Meetings are usually held at 6.30pm on weekdays and last around two and a half hours. In addition, there is an AGM once a year and a Development evening. Meeting dates and attendance records are as follows:

Governing Body Attendance 2022-23

Meeting minutes are available upon application from the Clerk to the Governors, Beth Holmes -

Training and commitment

All new governors receive induction training and are allocated a mentor. There is a wide programme of training courses available through the London Borough of Hounslow all year round and governors also commit to studying training modules online through the Modern Governor website, to which the school subscribes. Governors receive weekly newsletter updates through the NGA (National Governors Association) and are expected to keep up to date on education policy and government initiatives. An annual team development evening is held every summer and ad hoc training sessions are organised when a need is identified.

Governors read numerous papers and policies prior to meetings and they keep in close contact with the school in between meetings through informal visits and by attending school events. The Chair/Vice Chair meets weekly with the Headteacher and communicates with the other governors on items discussed and new developments.

Governor Report (Audited Accounts)

Please click on the following link to view the Audited Accounts -

Audited Accounts for Year Ending 31 August 2022


You can contact the Board of Governors by emailing, by letter to Ms R Jerrome, c/o Chiswick School, Burlington Lane, London W4 3UN or by leaving a note or letter at the school’s reception. We welcome your feedback.

If you have a concern or complaint, please raise it with the school first. Any questions concerning your child’s education are best directed in the first place to his or her form tutor or an appropriate member of staff. Email addresses of individual teachers are available by phoning reception on 020 8747 0031.

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