Hitherfield Primary School and Children's Centre



School governing bodies are responsible for working with the school to ensure that it delivers a good quality education.  Together with the headteacher, who is responsible for day-to-day management, they set the school's aims and policies.  Hitherfield has 14 full Governing Body members and 4 associate members drawn from the staff, parents and local community.  The full governing body meets six times a year.  In addition governors belong to one of two sub-committees who usually meet six times a year.

Governors have three main roles:

  • To provide strategic direction for the school 
  • To act as a critical friend to the Headteacher 
  • To ensure accountability  

They also carry out a number of other important duties, which include:

  • Determining how the school's budget is spent 
  • The appointing and dismissing of staff  
  • Hearing appeals and grievances 
  • Forming policy on the school's curriculum and collective worship
  • Setting standards for pupils' behaviour and discipline 
  • Making sure school buildings are welcoming and safe  
  • Setting and monitoring the school's aims and policies  

We have 2 governing body sub committees: 

  • Resources 
  • Learning and Personal Development


Name Position About
Ibtisam Adem Parent Governor Ibtisam was elected by the parents and carers at the school and joined the Governing Board in November 2018.  
Taiwo Afolabi Associate Member Taiwo joined the Governing Board in September 2018 and is a member of the Resources Committee.
Christopher Ashley-Jones Headteacher  
Michael Ball Co-opted Governor  
Tessa Crilly Co-Opted Governor

Dr Tessa Crilly has been a governor since 2002 (originally a Local Authority appointment) and chairs the Learning and Personal Development Committee.  She was born in Liverpool and moved away to study at the London School of Economics.  Her father, Frank, was a builder's joiner who left school at 14, but claimed - to general mirth - that "I steered my kids round the minefield of education".  The serious point was that education was valued.  Tessa's focus is to ensure that children get the best chances possible and develop all their potential through their time at Hitherfield.

Phyllis Dunipace OBE

Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by the Governing Body, Phyllis has been a governor since 2010.  Until she retired she was Director of Children's Services and previously Director of Education in Lambeth.  She was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to children and families.

Michael Elliott

Co-Opted Governor

Appointed by the Governing Body

Simon Hooberman

Chair of Governorning Board

Local Authority Governor


Simon Hooberman was first appointed as a Governor of Hitherfield by the Local Authority in 1982. After two spells as Vice-Chair of Governors, he was elected Chair in September 1999 and has held the post ever since. Simon lives in Leigham Court Road and works from home as a self-employed Admin Consultant (although he hates that phrase!) providing administration, fundraising and other support as required to a number of local charities and voluntary organisations. He also serves as Clerk to the Governing Bodies of a number of other schools in both Lambeth and Croydon. He regularly attends events involving Governors across the borough and serves as a member of Lambeth’s Independent Appeal and Review Panels. He is also involved with a number of other organisations on a voluntary basis and served as an elected Councillor in Lambeth for 12 years in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Graham Lee



Co-Opted Governor

Graham is aged 75 and has lived locally since the 1970s.  He had a career in local government and since his retirement, has since been engaged mainly in historical research.  He became a Local Authority nominated governor of the school in 1994 until 1998 and again from 2002 to 2015.  Since then he has been a co-opted governor and since 2007 has served as Chair of the Resources Committee.

Clare Christie


Staff Governor Elected by the staff, 
Julia Patrick

Associate Member

Appointed by the Governing Body

Mike Short Parent Governor Mike joined the Governing Board in 2016.  He has two daughters at Hitherfield.  Mike works for a major trade union where he is deputy head of Local Government, focusing on policy issues, public service improvement and workforce matters.  In the past he has worked in policy roles covering higher education, the community and the voluntary sector.
Nicola Yarlett

Co-Opted Governor

Nici was a pupil at Hitherfield in the 1960s and became a governor when her son (now 30) was at the school.  She has seen a lot of changes at Hitherfield over the years; amalgamating the Junior and Infants into a single school, opening the Children's Centre, expanding to 3 form entry and the extentions to the junior building.  Now she has retired from her career as a teacher she loves the learning that is involved in being a governor.

Jacinta Waters

Associate Member

Deputy Head

Associate Member Appointed by the Governing Body

Arlette Wells

Associate Member

School Business Manager

Appointed by the Governing Body

Karen Frankel  Parent Governor Karen was elected by parents and carers at the school in May 2021

Associate Members do not currently have voting rights. 

Membership and Register of Business Interests

Academic Year 2020-2021

Academic Year 2019-2020