Grove Park Governors

Welcome to the Governors Page of the school website. At Grove Park we have a very committed Governing Body 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.


Grove Park Governors: Who we are

We have 14 governors at Grove Park. There are:

  • 5 Parent governors who are elected by the parents of the children at Grove Park.
  • 1 Staff governors - 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.
  • 6 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 body feel will complement their skills and talents.

The Governing Body 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 2017/18

Please click here for Governor Details

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

Governors 2018/19

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 is at the School and I served as a Parent Governor here from 2013 to 2017.



 Darren Jones – Head Teacher

I am very proud to be the Headteacher at Grove Park and very much enjoy a strong and fruitful relationship with my fellow governors who firmly have the school’s best interests at heart. At governor level we work hard to look at the strategic vision of the school and to make the school a pinnacle of innovation and creativity where children are happy to be at school and families feel a strong community connection. I have extensive experience of educational leadership and successfully led a large 4 form entry school taking it from satisfactory to outstanding at Ofsted. I am passionate about education and am half way through studying for my doctorate qualification linked to children’s writing and the use of picture books. I enjoy travelling, experiencing different cultures and keeping my fluency in Spanish up to date. Also, making the most of the dynamic and exciting culture and life London has to offer.


Mary Buchanan - Vice Chair of Governors

I was appointed in 2006 & have been here ever since! I currently chair the Senior Appointment Panel and for many years I chaired the Community Committee. I have lived in Chiswick for 45 years & my 3 children went to school locally. Way back I was a parent governor at Belmont School when my son was there. I now have 5 grandchildren of school age so my interest in education goes on. I was a local magistrate for over 20 years & I sit on the Hounslow Schools Appeals Panel & so am very aware of how strongly families feel about where their children are educated. In my retirement I enjoy walking, going to the theatre, playing golf (very badly) & bridge marginally better.


Gill Golding - Chair of Staffing and Community Committee

I’m originally an HR professional and have lived in Chiswick for forty years. I’ve worked in general management and have experience of charities, social enterprises, SMEs and large corporates. I’ve worked with the Prince’s Trust for over eighteen years mentoring young people who want to start their own business.

I was on the Board of the Notting Hill Housing Group from 2004 – 2010 and chaired Notting Hill Home Ownership (the commercial subsidiary).  In the 1990s I was on a Non- Executive Director of the then Hounslow and Spelthorne Community & Mental Health Trust.

I have one daughter and two grand-daughters who are at primary school in another borough. Through my role at Grove Park I enjoy understanding the sort of things that they get up to at school.



David Woodward – 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 & a member 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!



Helen Alvey- Staff Governor

I first started at Grove Park as a student during my PGCE and I fell in love with the school instantly. I am now in my fourth year of teaching here and have recently been appointed as Key Stage One Phase Leader. I was keen to become a teacher governor because I wanted to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes and be involved in the formulation of Grove Park’s long term goals. I am part of the Achievements Committee and am dedicated to maintaining consistently high levels of progress across the school. During my short time as a governor, I have already learnt so much and feel privileged to be part of such an enthusiastic and dedicated team.


Brian Hardman – Co-opted Governor      

I have been at Grove Park now for ten and a bit years. Being a governor has helped me get an understanding of how a school works behind the scenes; the dedication from all the staff and governors, and the extra hours put in beyond a normal day. It is a pleasure to be a part of such a team committed to the development of all the pupils.


Martine Oborne - Co-opted Governor


I have lived in Chiswick since 2011 and, as Vicar of a church close by, I have got to know many children who attend the school and their families.

In 2004-2011 I represented the London Diocesan Board of Schools on the board of the St Mary Magdalene Academy trust that was responsible for established a newbuild secondary school Academy in Holloway, Islington. I helped in the planning and fundraising for the school and subsequently became a Governor when it opened in 2008.

I have five children – with only two still at school now.

My early career was in investment banking. While bringing up my children, I wrote and illustrated children’s picture books.

I have university degrees in Mathematics, Theology and Children’s Books Illustration.

As a member of the Community Committee, I hope to support the school by encouraging children, parents and staff to interact with the local community - so that we are seen as a blessing to our neighbours


 Katherine Forster – Parent Governor

A Parent Governor since 2012, I have been a parent at the school for thirteen years, my son is in Year 5. I grew up in North Yorkshire and studied English Literature at Sheffield University, and my background has been in the theatre. My particular interests as governor are the school community, literacy & the use of space as the school expands.





 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.