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Governing Body

The Governing Body supports the school in its strategic development and scrutinises the key aspects of the school’s work such as pupil progress, public examination results and the school’s curriculum as well as ensuring that the school complies with the law and good practice relating to education.

The governing body is a mix of Parent, Community, and Staff Governors.  The community governors are members of the local community and are often nominated for the specific skills which they bring to the governing body.  A number of the community governors have formerly been parent governors and know the school very well.  The Governing Body meets twice a term and also has a number of Committees which oversee the various aspects of the school’s work such as Achievement and Behaviour and Finance and Premises.  A list of governors and a pen portrait of each is given below, as is an overview of the work of the Committees.

The school converted to academy status on 1 August 2011.  As a converter academy, the school is both a registered company and a charity. All governors are directors of the company.  The trust consists of five ‘members’ (who are often referred to as trustees).  The memorandum and articles of the Trust require that there should always be a balance of parent and community governors as members (i.e. there will always be 3 community governors and two parents or vice versa).

The Chair of Governors is Rebecca Hanley who is a Parent Governor.  If you wish to contact the governors about any matter, letters or emails should be sent to the school office and they will be forwarded promptly to the Chair of Governors.  We hope that you will not have cause for complaint, but if you do and have already raised your concerns with the school, complaints may be forwarded to the governing body.  The process for this is laid out in detail in the Complaints Policy (under the policies area of the website).

The governing body is keen to hear from parents and other members of the school community and continues to hold an Annual Parents’ Meeting in the Autumn term each year so that parents can discuss the examination results and any other major issues affecting the school.

As an academy, the school is funded directly by the government (via the Education Funding Agency). The school’s finances are subject to external audit. The key documents relating to the governing body can be found below.

Current Members of the Governing Body

Dr Susan Cottam - Parent Governor term ends 18/11/2019

Susan joined the Governing Body as a parent governor in 2015; her daughter started at the school in the same year. Susan is a clinical psychologist employed by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She works for a community service in Camden for disabled children and their parents, where her clinical role involves supporting children's and young people’s emotional wellbeing, behaviour and learning. She is also a consultant volunteer in a new charity to support adult mental health in Central London. Susan retrained as a clinical psychologist in 2008 after working as an account director in two corporate design agencies.

Kay Excell - Staff Governor term ends 29/11/2019

Kay has worked in various industries but since returning to work after looking after her children she has worked as a teaching support assistant at Livingstone Primary School, Barnet where she served on the PTA, drove the school minibus both during school time and on school journeys. She joined Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School in January 2003 as IT/Media Studies Technician, but now works full time in Media Studies.

Jennifer Ford - Staff Governor term ends 30/09/2018

Jen has worked as a teacher in the borough of Barnet since completing her PGCE at Middlesex University in 2007. In her pervious school Jen held the pastoral position of Director of Learning before moving here to pursue a Subject based role, she is now the school's Head of Drama and Performing Arts.  This however is not her first experience of QE, Jen completed her Secondary education here at Queen Elizabeth's Girls' School, and has therefore been part of the school community for 20 years.

Royden Gothelf - Co-opted Governor term ends 07/12/2019

Royden has been on the Governing body since 2007, first as a Parent Governor and currently as a Co-Opted Governor. Royden has lived in the local area since 1986 and was previously a Governor at Cromer Road School. Royden currently Chairs the Achievement and Behaviour committee. Professionally Royden works in areas of IT enabled Business Change and Product management of FX trading systems. Royden is a Chartered IT professional.

Rebecca Hanley - Chair - Parent Governor term ends 18/11/2019

Rebecca is a mother and BBC journalist. She is good at asking the right questions and getting quickly to the point. Rebecca also has experience of working to limited budgets - therefore being fully aware of the need to prioritise and spend wisely.

Her belief is that high expectations, sharing best practice and, above all, excellent staff are crucial to the school, with effective communication key. 

Neil Hewitt - Associate Governor term ends 12/12/2020

Neil is a qualified Chartered Accountant ( FCA ) and registered auditor and he has been practising as such in New Barnet for over 30 years.  He is a sole practitioner employing 6 staff and his clients consist of sole traders, partnerships, limited companies, not for profit organisations  and charities.  They are varied in terms of business activities and several  have a net worth of £10 to £20 million. 

Neil is also treasurer of the Old Fold Manor Golf Club on Hadley Highstone and he has held this position for over 20 years.  He is married  and has  4 adult  daughters, a niece who studied at Queen Elizabeth's Girls' and a sister in law who works at the school also.

Alan Jenner - Vice Chair, Parent Governor term ends 23/10/2018

Alan joined the Governing Body in 2014 as a parent governor, having served on numerous Governing Bodies both as a parent and member of staff. He worked in the state education system, initially as a teacher and latterly as a Head teacher, supporting schools who found themselves in challenging circumstances. More recently he has supported schools in the appointment process of senior staff. Alan has lived in Barnet for the last 40 years and his daughter attends the school.  He is currently Chair of a charity which aims to support vulnerable young people and adults, not in education or employment, through equestrian related programmes. He is Chair of the Governing Body Staffing Committee, a member of the Achievement and Behaviour Committee and is the link governor for Staff Training and Development.

Kate Kardooni - Associate Governor term ends 12/12/2020

Kate is a qualified accountant and executive coach.  She has worked in a number of interim Finance Director roles in recent years at schools, including most recently at Queen Elizabeth's Girls', after a long career in Finance within the City.  She is also a governor at a school in Hackney, a mother to two children, and  a volunteer treasurer for a local rugby club.  With the continuing financial challenges that schools are facing, Kate would like to provide her insight and assistance in this area in particular.  Kate is chair of the Finance and Premises committee.

Debbie Lane - Co-opted Governor term ends 08/02/2018

Debbie has been on the governing body since 2006, first as a parent governor and now co-opted. Her two daughters both attended the school. She currently works as a gardener and designer but has a background in computing and a degree in Modern Languages. As well as having been Chair of a local drama group she is involved in many other ways, including acting and directing. Debbie has served as Chair of the Welfare Committee and now sits on both the Finance and Premises and Achievement & Behaviour Committees.

Penelope Martin-Smith - Co-opted Governor term ends 12/12/2020

Penelope has a degree in Music and a Diploma in singing performance. She attended Queen Elizabeth's during the 1970s, where her passion for the performing arts began. During a 25 year career she has both performed and taught in the state and independent school sectors, both as a one to one singing teacher, choral director and operatic producer. She is associate director of the baroque group "Vivaldi's Women" ( and also founded and directs Canterbury Cathedral Garden Opera. Penelope is committed to encouraging the continuation of performing arts education in schools. 

Uzo Nwamu - Co-opted Governor term ends 12/12/20

Uzo Nwamu is a Senior Engineer with Vodafone UK and has worked as a project technical lead in previous roles. She has a background in electrical and communication engineering and has had  a career in the telecommunications industry for about ten years, having started as a data design engineer. Uzo holds an MSc degree in Petroleum Engineering and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. She actively participates in promoting the study of engineering and visits schools to encourage the next generation of girls in particular to consider a career in engineering.

Rebecca Peer - Parent Governor term ends 12/12/2020

Rebecca is a mother of a daughter in year 9 and a lawyer. She has wide ranging legal experience including in public law and employment law. She has strong analytical skills. She believes it is important for all girls to aspire to and achieve their potential and for all parents and staff to support them in the ways they are able. 

Heather Price - Staff Governor term ends 27/09/2020

Heather began her career in Education as an Art teacher in 1997 after two previously successful careers as a PA in the Motor Industry and in Sales and Marketing within the Electronic Components Industry. After gaining a degree in Fine Art she completed her PGCE at Middlesex University. She has been teaching at Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School for eighteen years now, twelve of which were spent as Head of the Art Department, up until 2015. Since working part-time Heather has been able to volunteer some of her time to working within the Barnet community by running art classes at Moss Hall Primary school, as well as being able to pursue her own art interests.

Hannah Ross - Co-opted Trustee term ends 29/01/2022

Hannah - awaiting content

Carrie Scott - Co-opted Trustee term ends 29/01/2022

Carrie -  awaiting content

Violet Walker - Headteacher

Violet began her career in Education as a mathematics teacher in 2001 after two previously successful careers in Accountancy and Psychotherapy. She has achieved the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers.  Violet was accredited as an Advanced Skills Teacher in Mathematics in 2004 and is an LLC Coach and an accredited Specialist Leader of Education.  In 2006 Violet set up a new sixth form, judged Outstanding from its first inspection.  Alongside her role as Head of Sixth Form and Assistant Headteacher at an Outstanding school in Harrow, Violet worked with the National College as part of the London Leadership Strategy to develop teaching across Greater London and to write and deliver a programme to build capacity in sixth forms in Greater London and Greater Manchester schools and sixth form colleges.  Violet was seconded for a period in 2011, as a Deputy Headteacher, to an Outstanding school in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, to support the development of the Leadership Team and improvements in Mathematics.  In 2012, as a Specialist Leader of Education and sole Deputy Headteacher, Violet joined a school in Ealing which had been placed in Special Measures three months earlier.  She supported the Headteacher to take the school out of Special Measures in a year.  Violet’s areas of responsibility included the Curriculum, Quality Assurance of Learning and Teaching and Data triangulation, Professional Development of Staff, Staffing and Performance Management.  Violet was key to the improvement of the school which was judged to be Good, two years later, in the Summer of 2015.