Grove Park Governors

Welcome to the Governors Page of the school website. At Grove Park we have a very committed governing goard who work actively to help improve and support the School. We hope you will find the following information about our role, who we are and how we work helpful.


Governors’ support for the School’s 2020 Autumn Term timetable

Having scrutinised in detail the School’s phased timetable for welcoming children back during this term, the Governors are satisfied that the School’s plans are sound, sensible and designed, above all, to keep the children and staff safe. The School has properly conducted the required COVID-19 Risk Assessment and I, as Chair of Governors, am receiving from the Headteacher a weekly report on the continuing implementation of the required actions arising from that assessment. We wish to warmly thank all of the School’s staff for the work this has entailed.

Professor Neil Taylor, Chair of Governors


Grove Park Governors: Who we are

We have 15 governors at Grove Park. There are:

  • 5 Parent governors who are elected by the parents of the children at Grove Park. We currently have one vacancy, for which we will hold an election in September 2020.

  • 1 Staff governor - who is elected by the staff

  • 1 Head Teacher - at Grove Park the Senior Leadership Team also attend governing board meetings as observers.

  • 1 Local Education Authority governor who is appointed by the London Borough of Hounslow. Usually these are people with no other links to the school. Anyone can volunteer to be an LEA governor.

  • 7 Co-opted governors - who are appointed by the governing board itself. Co-opted governors are local people with an interest in being a governor who the governing board feel will complement their skills and talents.

The governing board has a Chair and a Vice Chair. The board meets at least 3 times a year on a termly basis. The governors work through three committees; Staffing and Community, Finance and Premises, Teaching and Learning. The chairs of each committee together with the Chair and Vice-Chair make up the Chairs Group. The governors work closely with the Head Teacher to support the school and oversee its direction.

Each governor is appointed for a four year term which can be renewed for a further four years.

If you would like to contact the governors you can either write to The Chair of Governors c/o Grove Park Primary School, or, if your letter is of a non-confidential nature, you can email via the school email address:

Please click here for the Governors Annual Report 2019/20

Please click here for Governor Details

Please click here to read the National Governance Association Code of Conduct.

Please click here for Governors Committees attendance 2019/20

Governors 2019/20

The current governors are:

 Neil Taylor - Chair of Governors

I am a co-opted Governor and became the Chair of the Governing Body in April 2018. Although my background is primarily in Higher Education (I am an Emeritus Professor in English Literature at the University of Roehampton), I have experience of all levels of education in the UK, having taught in a secondary school and supervised teaching practice in primary schools. I am currently a member of the Froebel Trust Research Committee, which awards grants to researchers in Early Years education. I know Grove Park Primary School well: my youngest son was at the School between 2012 and 2019, and I served as a Parent Governor here from 2013 to 2017.




 Rachel Davies – Head Teacher

I have had the privilege of working at three outstanding primary schools over the past 22 years. After graduating from St. Mary’s University College in 1997, I was a class teacher and middle leader in Isleworth for 13 years before moving on to start my journey as a senior leader in the role of Assistant Head and later Deputy Head at a school in Wandsworth. I also supported a school in the Local Authority as an Associate Head while they were recruiting a substantive Headteacher. In 2016 I joined Grove Park as Deputy Head and SENCO and loved the school from the moment I visited – there is something very special, almost tangible, about Grove Park and I am hugely honoured to now be the Headteacher of such a wonderfully warm, caring, diverse and dynamic school with truly brilliant children, staff and families. Working alongside governors at four schools has been hugely rewarding and interesting and has enabled me to see the immediate situation as well as inspiring my vision for a school’s future. The Governors at Grove Park work tirelessly to provide support and challenge and make sound decisions to ensure that our children and staff are achieving highly and having the best experiences and opportunities possible every day. Outside of school I love nothing more than spending time with my dear family and friends. I have lived in London my whole life and never tire of all our wonderful city has to offer.



David Woodward – Vice Chair of Governors and Vice Chair of Finance and Premises Committee

I was a Director at the UK’s National Audit Office from 1987 to 2009.  I took time out to be Director of External Audit of the United Nations in New York for seven years, an honorary magistrate at the French Court of Accounts in Paris for one year & Chairman/Member of NATO’s International Board of Auditors in Brussels for four years. I was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael & St George (CMG) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2000.  I have lived in Chiswick since 2006 & have one grown up son who lives in London. Since retiring in 2009 I have been active in the local community as a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator & Chairman of the Metropolitan Police’s Riverside Ward Panel. I have been a governor at Grove Park Primary School since July 2014 & chair of its Finance & Premises Committee from November 2014 to November 2017.



Debbie McMullen – Chair of Teaching and Learning

I have been a local authority governor for the past 9 years and was the Chair of Governors for 6 years and currently chair the Teaching and Learning Committee. I live locally, have two grown up children & three grandchildren. Before retiring, I was a town planner and senior manager at the Greater London Authority with responsibility for the preparation of the London Plan. I have an MBA and a certificate in Coaching and Mentoring. I have had a long-term interest in education with previous experience as a parent governor, community governor & as the Chair of the Hammersmith & Fulham Urban Studies Centre. I also served on the management committee of Acton Housing Association. It is a great privilege to be associated with Grove Park School with its outstanding achievements and dedicated staff. My interests include my allotment, opera, walking and bridge.



Craig Robertson - Chair of Finance and Premises Committee

I was delighted to be elected as a parent governor in November 2014 and am thoroughly enjoying the role. I have three children at the school (Year 5, Year 4 & Year 1) so am obviously keen to see Grove Park thrive for a long time to come. I am Chair of the Finance & Premises Committee, and am also a member of the Teaching & Learning Committee as these reflect my particular interests. Being a father of three young children doesn't leave much leisure time but I try to keep fit by playing tennis and 5-a-side football - as well as running the occasional half-marathon!




Jonny Hibbert - Staff Governor

It is my delight to undertake the role of Staff Governor at Grove Park, as I enter my seventh year of teaching. I am currently a Year 5 teacher and the Art SDP lead at the school, with a passion for developing and fostering a creative approach to teaching. Originally from Stockport, Greater Manchester, I come from a family of teachers, as well as having a wife who is a secondary maths teacher and also works within the borough. I gained my PGCE in Primary Education from Kingston University in 2012, following the completion of a B.A in Politics from the University of Leeds. I aim to speak for and represent the interest of all staff at Grove Park to the best of my ability. ‚Äč


Azim Karimjee - Co-opted Governor

I was until 2018 Finance Director of Prolojik Limited, a leading supplier of intelligent lighting controls in the UK.  Prior to Prolojik, I held a number of senior roles in Bass plc covering strategy and international development.  An engineer by training, I have also worked for Bain and Company and the Medical Research Council.  I have an MBA from the London Business School and a B.Sc. from University College, London.  A keen golfer, I have lived in Chiswick since 1993 and am delighted to have been elected as a Governor in June 2019 and look forward to contributing to what is clearly an amazing school dedicated to bringing out the best in each child.


 Mark Brewer - Co-opted Governor

I have spent over 35 years’ working within the recruitment and Human Capital sector and founded my own business in 1987. I was brought up in East Sussex, studied at the local comprehensive school and read English Literature at Bristol University. I’ve lived in Chiswick since 1990 and am a governor of Latymer Upper School and Latymer Prep School, a Trustee of the Maldon Arts Festival and a recruitment advisor to Richmond FC, the second oldest rugby club in the UK.

Laura Atherton - Co-opted Governor

I am a local resident and a lawyer with over 15 years of experience in a wide range of areas. I am also a compliance professional focussing on process and organisational improvement.

As the product of an excellent state education, for which I am eternally grateful, I know how important the right start in life can be to the rest of the journey. My free primary and secondary schooling was the spring board for my university success and my career, and I would like that same springboard and the opportunities to be as available to all children. I look forward to doing my part in ensuring that we continue to make that a reality for the children who attend Grove Park.


Alice Hyde - Co-opted Governor

I was delighted to be elected as a Co-opted Governor in 2019.  I have been based in Richmond since 2013, and have many friends in the area with young families, so I am keen to become more actively involved in the Grove Park community.  I am Senior Corporate Counsel at All3Media (the largest TV production and distribution business in the UK) and previously worked in the City as a corporate M&A lawyer.   I have a degree in Philosophy and Theology from Oxford University and am a keen yogi and enjoy life drawing in my free time.


Karen Jorgensen - Co-opted Governor

I have spent my career working in international organisations focusing on sustainable development, environment and promoting a better life for people living in poverty. I have developed policy, carried out projects, overseen large operations, and held governments to account for their development cooperation performance. Through my work I have lived in Kenya, New York, Afghanistan, Paris and briefly in South Africa and Samoa and travelled extensively in both developed and developing countries. I have witnessed how important it is to give children a good education to set them up for a strong start in life. I have been a frequent visitor to Chiswick since 2006, bought a property here in 2011 and decided this is where I wanted to live upon my retirement in early 2018. I am thrilled to have been given a chance to serve as governor of the Grove Park Primary School.





 Kathryn Davey - Parent Governor

I was elected as a parent governor at the end of the 2017 summer term. I’m a parent of three boys at the school and have always been involved in the PTA and community events since 2010. Grove Park has a wonderful community spirit spreading across many ethnic and diverse cultures of which I am very proud. My career has been in the creative arts, with 13 years in post-production in Soho, and more recently as an abstract landscape oil painter. In-between my work and parenting I enjoy keeping fit, visiting galleries, as well as playing cards and Minecraft with my boys.



Laura Albery - Parent Governor

I was elected as a parent governor in November 2018. I have two children at Grove Park; as a family we feel very lucky to be part of such a warm, vibrant and inclusive school community.

I have a degree in English Language & Literature from Oxford University and I’ve worked in marketing and communications for over twenty years, including projects relating to business transformation and organisational change. In my spare time, I enjoy running and reading (although not simultaneously).

As a governor, I’m keen to make sure Grove Park continues to have an ambitious vision for its future and for its pupils. We may be ‘outstanding’, but we should always strive to push things to the next level - whilst ensuring that community and inclusivity remain at the heart of the school.


Maryam Shahmanesh - Parent Governor

I am so proud to have been elected Parent Governor in 2018. I am a mum of three (year 4 and year 9). As class rep and chair of the parent's forum over the past eight years I had the privilege to witness this loving, diverse and happy spirit of Grove Park; whilst maintaining a fun and creative approach to learning. I am an Associate Professor and Consultant at University College London. I have established two new Masters programmes, taught PhDs and future Medical Doctors. As a teacher, scientist, doctor and mother, I am really looking forward to sharing my skills and expertise to help Grove Park achieve even greater excellence in teaching, whilst maintaining the wonderful creative and innovative approach to learning that we are so proud of. I love reading, movies, contemporary dance, music, food and travel, preferably with my kids.