Chisenhale School Governing Body

School governors act as ‘critical friends’ to the school. This means they work with the staff and local authority to support the school. They help to set strategic aims and achievement targets for the school, monitor procedures and budgets and contribute to the drafting of policies. They are unpaid volunteers and at Chisenhale we are lucky to have a very committed governing body with a wide range of skills and experience.

There are 14 school governors at Chisenhale, four are elected parent governors, seven are co-opted community governors, chosen by the governing body, and one is a local authority governor, appointed by Tower Hamlets. The Headteacher is a staff governor and one other staff governor is elected by the teachers and support staff.

How do governors carry out their job?

At Chisenhale the governors meet once a term for a full governors’ meeting and twice a term for committee meetings. The Chair of Governors meets more frequently with the Headteacher to discuss matters as they arise. Much of the governors’ work is done at committee level and at Chisenhale we have two main committees. The Resources Committee deals with finance and staffing, the School Improvement Committee looks at learning and teaching, standards and the curriculum.

Who are the governors at Chisenhale?

The Chair and Vice Chair of governors and the Chairs of committees are elected annually by the governors. Currently the Chair is Neil Cunningham and the Vice Chair is Sarah Hannett.  The Chair of Governors can be contacted via the school address and school telephone number shown below.

Chisenhale Primary School

Chisenhale Road

London E3 5QY

Telephone number - 0208 985 2584

Being a Governor is a challenging but rewarding experience. If you are interested in becoming a governor please speak to one of the parent governors, the Headteacher or to Ruth Crossan, our parent engagement officer.

Be a governor

Please click here for information about being a governor and the national Governance Association

Chisenhale Governing Body March 2023

The school is a maintained community school. It is governed by a body of 14 governors, some of whom are elected and others appointed. The Governing Body has a significant role in making strategic decisions, particularly on finance, and in holding the school to account through its challenge to the Headteacher. The governing body of Chisenhale Primary School usually meets four times a year. In addition there are two standing committees – School Improvement and Finance & Resources. The governors and associate members at 1 March 2023  are:

Name: Mairead McCarthy

Position held: Interim Headteacher (April 24 - Jan 25) - ex-officio governor

I attend all governors’ meetings and give regular reports to the governors regarding safeguarding, finance, data and the standards of teaching and learning here at Chisenhale.

Name: Neil Cunningham

Position held: Co-opted governor & Chair of the Governing Body 
Elected 28/02/2023, term expires 27/02/2027

I currently have two children at Chisenhale and a third who moved up to secondary school last September. I’ve loved being a governor and subsequently Chair at Chisenhale over the last eight years - it’s been a privilege to support the school and develop the governing body.  I run a business outside the world of education and my governor and work roles complement and improve each other.


Name: Sarah Hannett

Position held: Parent Governor, Vice-chair of the Governing Body, Chair of the School Improvement Committee
Elected 21/10/2022, term expires 20/10/2026

I have two children who attend Chisenhale School in Years 6 and 3. I have been a parent governor for 4 years, and vice chair of the Governing Body for 3 years. I have very much enjoyed taking part in the running of the school and contributing to its success.


Name: Tamara Barklem

Position held: Parent Governor
Elected 21/10/2022, term expires 20/10/2026

I have three children attending Chisenhale Primary School. I believe Chisenhale Primary School, the staff, pupils, and school community are fantastic and my children are thriving and learning loads. I have been involved as a volunteer through the PTA and school trips; additionally being a Parent Governor allows me to support the school’s great work. 

I’m a qualified accountant and work in commercial accounting for FMCG companies. I grew up in Pennsylvania in the USA but have lived in London for 17 years and East London for three years. 



Name:  Kim Glynn
Position held: Staff Governor, School Improvement Committee
Elected 21/09/2022, term expires 22/09/2026

I have worked at Chisenhale for more than 20 years, starting when my daughter was a pupil at the school. I initially worked as a TA, working mainly in year 6, until 2014. I am now part of the school admin team but still work with the year 6 children and attend the yearly residential to Devon. 


Name: Dr Jenny Lowe

Position held: Local Authority Governor, Safeguarding and Attendance governor, Resources Committee. 
Appointed 01/04/2021, term expires 31/03/2025

I joined over 15 years ago when my children attended Chisenhale. I am still motivated and enjoy what I do. An experienced governor, I have worked with several head teachers to improve the school. In the past, I have been chair, vice chair of governors, committee chair and held various link and panel roles. This knowledge informs my decisions and helps support governors, parents and school leadership.

Trained as a researcher, I worked on inequalities in health, public housing and education.  I also set up and volunteered in community organisations in Tower Hamlets and Hackney. As a governor I am focused on getting the best outcomes for all children at Chisenhale, no matter their family situation or educational ability. 


Name: Paul Kenning

Position held: Position held: Co-opted Governor, School Improvement Committee
Elected 15/11/2020, term expires 16/11/2024

I previously owned and ran a textile business in Ilford, specialising in ribbons and bows. I sold the business in 2018 and am now retired. I am a long-standing member of the Worshipful Company of Weavers. This is a City Livery Company who have enjoyed a long association with Chisenhale. Through them, I jumped at the opportunity to help them make a difference to the school.


Name: Thomas Georgiou

Position held: Co-opted Governor, Link Governor for Behaviour and Wellbeing
Elected 16/11/2021, term expires 15/11/2025

I have worked with schools in Bow for the past four years as part of my work as Head of Programmes for an educational charity. I’m passionate about educational opportunities for young people, and empowering local communities to educate the changemakers of the future. In my free time I enjoy reading and exploring different historical parts of London.


Name: Tom Sheldon

Position held: Co-opted Governor, School Improvement Committee
Elected 28/02/2023, term expires 27/02/2027


With over 10 years of experience in education and youth development, I have had the privilege of working internationally as a Curriculum Developer in China and a Youth Programme Director in the USA. Currently, I hold the position of Computing and PE Lead in a local Tower Hamlets Primary School. I look forward to bringing my experience and knowledge to support Chisenhale, its students, and local community. 


Name: Seth Pimlott

Position held: Co-opted Governor
Elected 28/02/2023, term expires 27/02/2027


I am the curator of social practice at Chisenhale Gallery, where I produce our community and education programmes. As a governor, I hope to deepen the connection between the school community and the gallery following a number of rewarding collaborations over the last few years. If you have any questions, would like to say hello, or have ideas you would like to explore, please get in touch - my email is

Name: Ben Woolner

Position held: Co-opted Governor, Chair of Resources Committee

Elected: 28/02/2023, term expires 27/02/2027

I have been a Chisenhale governor since early 2019, and have chaired the resources committee since then. I've loved being a governor during this time and seeing Chisenhale develop and grow. I live in Mile End, and don't have any other connection to the school, but being able to support has really helped me in feeling like I am part of the community. I am a chartered accountant and work as a Director at PwC.



Name: Rebecca Miles

Position held: Parent Governor
Elected 26/03/2023, term expires 26/03/2027

 I am a journalist, magazine editor and small business owner and my daughter is currently in year 3 at Chisenhale.  As a parent at the school, I want to be involved in the school's governance to help ensure all pupils receive the best possible education and opportunities while feeling safe and secure in their surroundings.


Minutes of Governors' Meetings

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Chisenhale Governing Body - meeting info

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