Governing Body


The whole Governing Body meets at least once a term and there are regular committee meeting and subject meetings.

Parents, the Headteacher, the Staff, members of the local community and the Local Authority are represented on the governing body. They are all committed to the further development of the school and the achievement of the children who attend.

If you are interested in becoming a School Governor, please contact the clerk to the Governing Body or speak to the Headteacher.

The role of the governing body

The School Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013 sets out the role of the governing body. It states that:

The governing body should focus strongly on three core functions:

  • Setting the vision and strategic direction of the school;

  • Holding the headteacher to account for its educational performance;

  • And ensuring financial resources are well spent

Further details of the roles and responsibilities of the Governing Body can be found here:

School Governance Regulations 2013 departmental advice | PDF

Governors Declaration Register April 2018



Becoming a governor

Becoming a governor is a significant commitment and requires real commitment, time and effort.

A governor plays an extremely important part in formulating and driving forward the strategic direction of the school. Supporting the school in its journey to becoming an outstanding school that delivers high quality, and highly effective teaching and learning.

Governors will help all of our children develop to their full potential, whatever their starting point. They will support all of our children in achieving as much as they can, enabling them to experience early success in their lives.

Governors are responsible for ensuring the safety of our children, parents and staff at all times.

Governors are expected to fully engage in the work of the Governing Body; behaving in a respectful, positive and supportive manner with children, parents, staff and other governors.

Governors can also expect to experience great personal satisfaction in knowing that they are playing an essential part in the school’s continuous improvement towards becoming an “outstanding” school.

The current members of the governing body are as follows:

Venessa Nicholas   

Type of Governor:  Headteacher

Term of office start date:  26th February 2015​


Dave McCullagh – Parent Governor and Chair

Date appointed: 8.7.2017

Term of Office: 4 years


I have one child at Derwentwater in Year 3. In my professional life as a sales and marketing director I have gained extensive experience in many areas relevant to school governance, including data analysis, strategic planning and implementation, as well as financial planning and budget control. I come from a family of teachers and am passionate about education and its wider impact on our society. I was elected Chair of the Governing Body in December 2017 and am a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee and Resources Committee.


Nick Jones Local Authority Governor and Vice Chair

Date appointed: 1.2.16

Term of office: 4 years
I have been the Church of England Rector of Acton since 2015. I have broad experience of school governance stretching back to the 1990s, both in the secondary and primary sectors, including two spells as a Chair of Governors. I also have experience of third sector governance with organisations working with young people, including a charity in West Yorkshire that I founded. I am currently a trustee of Acton Community Forum and chair the board of Mindfood CiC, which is locally based. I am a qualified Restorative Justice facilitator and trainer.  I live close to the school and have built up broad community links across Acton. I am Chair of the Children’s, Safeguarding and Community Committee.


Leigh Whitehouse – Parent Governor

Date appointed: 12.12.14

Term of Office: 4 years


I have been a Parent Governor since December 2014 and I have two children at Derwentwater. Since April 2016 I have chaired the Resources Committee (known as Staffing, Premises and Finance Committee until April 2017). I am a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and have almost 20 years’ experience working in London local government. Between 2010 and 2017 I was the Director of Finance at the Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames, and am currently the Interim Director of Finance and Corporate Services at the London Borough of Bexley. As part of my role in Kingston I was also a Non-Executive Director of the council-owned company providing children’s services to Kingston and Richmond.


Emma Webb – Co-opted Governor

Date appointed: 28.3.2018

Term of Office: 4 years


I am an experienced and professional educational leader offering particular expertise in consultative school evaluation, strategic planning and professional development. I have been the been the Headmistress of Queen’s College Preparatory School in Central London since September 2016, having held a number of leadership roles at the British International School in Riyadh where I spent 11 happy years.  I am a graduate of Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, and completed my PGCE at the University of East Anglia before beginning my teaching career at Davenies Preparatory School in Beaconsfield. I am a member of IAPS and the Institute of Leadership & Management. I am married with two children, both of whom are currently in the Sixth Form. I am absolutely thrilled to have been appointed as a Governor of Derwentwater Primary School, and look forward to working with the governors and the leadership team as the school enters the next exciting stage of its development.


Gary Kynaston – Co-opted Governor

Date appointed: 25.4.2017

Term of office: 4 years


I have been a Co-opted Governor since April 2017. I have two children at Derwentwater Primary School, one in year 3 and one in year 6. I have wide ranging experience in education, with the past seven years as a head teacher of a large secondary school. I am passionate about ensuring all children are given the best opportunities in life in order to succeed, no matter their background. I provide support and guidance around all educational areas especially with curriculum, leadership and pedagogy. I value our local community and Derwentwater primary is at the heart of the learning for our young children. I am a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee.


Geoff Carruthers – Co-opted Governor

Date appointed: 17.7.2017

Term of Office: 4 years


My youngest child graduated from Derwentwater Primary School in 2015 and I have recently joined the governing board and am Vice Chair of the Resources Committee. I have spent most of my professional career as an IT consultant and a company director, but I also worked briefly as a high school mathematics teacher.  I value Derwentwater and its place in our community and am committed to helping achieve excellent outcomes for all of its students.


Liz Bennett – Staff Governor

Date appointed: 10.11.16

Term of Office: 4 years


I started working at Derwentwater in September 2015 and in that time I have taught in both Lower and Upper Key Stage 2. I am currently a Year 4 teacher. I am passionate about literacy and particularly enjoy reading new children's literature.  I love being a part of the Derwentwater school community.


Abdullah Gulaid – Co-opted Governor

Date appointed: 19.4.2016

Term of Office: 4 years


I have an extensive educational background and wide-ranging experience in the sector. I graduated from Queen’s College in Chemistry, did an MSc Degree in Analytical Chemistry at King’s College and undertook my PhD degree at the Royal Postgraduate Medical - currently Imperial College. I worked for major pharmaceutical and diagnostic pathology companies in the UK, France, Belgium, Italy, USA and Japan. I have been/am a trustee for charity organisations and a school governor for many years. I have many years of management experience in both private and public institutions. I advise and encourage the community to aim high in education and integration. I have been an Ealing Councillor since May 2010, representing Acton Central Ward where Derwentwater School is situated. I am a member of the Resources Committee.

Victoria Jackson – Parent Governor

Date appointed: 7.11.17

Term of Office: 4 years

I am an experienced primary school teacher and a mother of three; two of my children attend Derwentwater Primary School and I have a toddler at home. Although I am currently not teaching, I have worked in three diverse West London community primary schools, teaching children from Year 2 to Year 6. I have also been a member of the school Leadership Team; mentoring new teachers and students, managing seven classes in Key Stage Two, coordinating the teaching and learning of English and Science in all year groups, and leading Assessment across the school. Derwentwater was our first choice school as I strongly believe its ethos and sense of community help it offer all its pupils an outstanding education. I was elected a parent governor in November 2017. I am member of the Teaching and Learning Committee.


Vicki Joshua - Parent Governor

Date of Appointment - 8 May 2018

Term of Office - Four Years

I have two children at Derwentwater, currently in Year 3 and Year 6.

I have taught in a Local Authority school in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham for 20 years.  The school I teach in shares similar strengths and challenges to Derwentwater.  I strongly believe that a school should recognise every child as an individual and help them reach their full potential. I look forward to using my experience in teaching and learning to support the school in my role as Parent Governor. 


Monica Miglior -  Associate Member

Term of office start date: 15th June 2016

End date: 14th June 2020


Catherine Mulvany -  Associate Member

Term of office start date: 11th March 2015

End date: 10th March 2019